Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Briggs To Receive Key To City

Elk Grove News is reporting that the Elk Grove City Council will vote Wednesday on whether they will hand out a key to the city. The two names that will be lofted to city fathers are former Chicago Bears All-Pro linebacker Lance Briggs and professional water-skier Brian Detrick.

 [Update- The EG City Council did, by a 4-1 vote, approve the awarding of the Key of the City to Briggs. However, the Council deadlocked 2-2 (with Detrick's father, Steve - a city councilman- recusing himself from the vote) on approval for Derrick to receive the Key]

A year ago, in the City's first such honor, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kyle Larson was awarded a key.

The idea of Briggs receiving such an honor is a no-brainer. Since graduating from EGHS in 1999 he's been one of the top linebackers in football, first with the University of Arizona and then with the Bears. Recently, Briggs opened a BBQ restaurant in the city and for several years has been financially helping youth football locally with big donations to his alma mater along with holding an annual football camp.

His foundation annually purchases Christmas gifts for children in need in Chicago.

At first the notion of Detrick getting a key was a head scratcher, until I thought about it for a while. Like Larson, Detrick is at the top of his sport at a young age. The 2007 EGHS grad is ranked in the top ten worldwide in waterskiing and his accomplishment in his sport is unmatched by any one ever from Elk Grove.

Larson, likewise, is the first Elk Grove resident to ever reach the top rung of NASCAR. He was his sport's Rookie of the Year and though he has yet to win a Sprint Cup race, Larson has finished in the top five twice in the past month.

But here are three other Elk Grovians (is there such a word?) worth considering for future Keys To the City:

1. Stephanie Lopez-Cox
Easily the best soccer player to ever come out of EG. The 2003 EGHS grad helped Portland University to a NCAA Soccer championship and was a member of the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal-winning women's team in Beijing.

2. Bill Cartwright
Old timers who saw him play at EGHS in 1975-1977 say he was the best basketball player this region has seen. He was one of only two EG residents to ever be drafted by the NBA. The other one was Xavier Thames of Pleasant Grove H.S. two years ago.

Cartwright played alongside Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen helping the Chicago Bulls win three NBA titles before retiring. He's coached in the NBA and in Japan since.

3. Buck Martinez
He goes back many years but John Albert Martinez is Elk Grove's most accomplished baseball player. He spent 17 seasons with the Blue Jays, Royals and Brewers. He briefly managed the Blue Jays and Team USA but in recent years has been in the broadcast booth in Toronto.






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