After one of the most dreadful Super Bowls on the field and with only about three decent commercials (the puppy and the Clydesdales, the little kid turns cowboy - Doritos, and GoDaddy.Com's Tan Spraying) it's time to re-cap the weekend and look ahead....
Kyle Von Ruden (Franklin H.S.) and David Smith (Elk Grove H.S.) combined on a four-hitter to lead the Cosumnes River College Hawks to a 6-2 win over Shasta College Saturday to open the community college baseball season.
Drake Atlee, who graduated from Foothill High School in Tustin, has returned to the Elk Grove-area where he attended high school his freshman year at Pleasant Grove. He led the Hawks by going two-for-four with a double.
CRC will face Skyline College Tuesday afternoon on the road.
Coach Tony Bloomfield has a roster this season loaded with area players including three from Pleasant Grove (Zack Stilwell, Austin Friello and Ian Chandler), three from Franklin (Von Ruden, Tyler Blake and Josh Pigg) and two from Elk Grove (Smith and Jordan Koch). Bloomfield is now in his 15th season at CRC.
Former Oakland A's farmhand and Laguna Creek graduate Brad Kilby is the pitching coach. Rejoining the Hawks' coaching staff is former Sheldon head coach John Misplay.
The Hawks won the California State Community College Championship in 2012.
CRC Softball Grabs Twinbill
Cosumnes River College's softball squad also opened its season Saturday and did so in a big way by taking a doubleheader win over Shasta College, 8-0 in six innings and 6-2.
Fourth-year head coach Kristi Schroeder has several local players on her squad, as well, including Elk Grove's Jessica Venturelli and Christin Stein, Cosumnes Oaks' Brianna Cherry and Jessika Wilkins and Franklin's Nicole White and Haley Watson.
Spring Training Right Around The Corner
With the Super Bowl (and the football season) now complete, we can turn our attention to pro baseball pretty soon. Pitchers and catchers will report to their spring training facilities Feb. 13 with complete squad workouts starting on the 25th.
Several locals have already headed out to Arizona and Florida to find places to live and get settled in. David Freitas (Elk Grove H.S.) will be going to spring training with the third organization of his young professional career. He'll contend for a spot on the major league roster with the Baltimore Orioles. He was traded by the A's in the off-season in a deal for reliever Josh Johnson.
David Hernandez (Elk Grove) may have one of his biggest challenges this year even to make the roster of the Arizona Diamondbacks. A late-inning reliever, he was getting hit hard late last season and even spent a couple weeks with Triple-A Reno to get his edge back.
Kyle Castro (Pleasant Grove) and Dylan Chavez (Pleasant Grove) will both have important springs to determine their future in professional baseball. Castro is in the Rangers' organization. Chavez is with the Red Sox. Both are pitchers.
Bradshaw Christian's Brady Dragmire had a solid 2013 in the Blue Jays' minor league ranks and hopes to repeat that this summer. He, too, is a hurler.
Jake Rodriguez (Elk Grove) is heading to his first spring camp with the Houston Astros, as is Tyler Linehan (Sheldon) with the Brewers, Rowdy Tellez (Elk Grove) with the Blue Jays and Dom Nunez (Elk Grove) with the Rockies.
Childs, Lopez Hope For Opportunity To Play
Former Thundering Herd players Andrew Lopez and Dwight Childs are hoping some MLB organization will give them a second chance this season.
Lopez who graduated from Elk Grove in 2005, signed out of high school and played a couple seasons for the Rays' organization and one with the Cubs. He returned to town, played some college football for Sacramento City College and just basically hung around.
Last season he played in the independent Pecos League for the Las Vegas franchise. He batted .340 with 14 homers in 58 games.
Childs, who was cut last spring by the Indians, played much of the summer for the St. Paul Saints in the American Association.
A catcher up to now, he's remaking himself as a pitcher. Childs did bat .241 with the Saints last season in his best year at the plate thus far in the pros.
He's hoping to land a spot somewhere in the Dodgers' organization.
Cosumnes Oaks Fate To Be Decided Tuesday
We'll know more on Tuesday, but Cosumnes Oaks High School has appealed a 16-game forfeit for an alleged recruiting of a player who was a key member of the Wolfpack's 19-1 start to this basketball season.
If the decision is upheld, then the Wolfpack's record will fall to 5-17 with about four more league games remaining. They must win all of those to insure a spot in the post-season.
The ruling, expected to come from the CIF, could also clamp additional sanctions on the team, but that is unlikely, according to a source, because Cosumnes Oaks self-reported illegal transfer of that player from a high school in Stockton.
Franklin did real well at a wrestling tournament at Rodriguez H.S. and the CalGrappler's newest Sac-Joaquin Section rankings were posted over the weekend. We'll have those soon.