By Joe Davidson
The weather suggests winter in every regard, and it's the peak of basketball season with the Northern California basketball championship games set for Power Balance Pavilion and Folsom High School.
But isn't it always football season, too?
A quick run down of some news and notes on the prep gridiron front of late...
* Marcus Rios, a junior defensive back/athlete for Cosumnes Oaks, has been offered a scholarship by UCLA.
* Rios also has offers from Washington State, Boise State and Arizona State.
* Boise State recently signed Cosumnes Oaks standout lineman Robert Ash to a letter of intent, and Ash regularly spends his March days studying and stopping by coach Ryan Gomes' office to finish off any eats.
* Shaq Thompson of Grant has been offered by Cal, but whether or not the outrageously skilled Pacers star goes to Berkeley remains the question. He could emerge as Grant's all-time No. 1 recruit, which is saying something.
* Whitney stars Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (TE/LB) and Jake Rodrigues (QB) continue to field major college interest, to the point that coach Mike Gimenez said, "spring ball for us will be crazy" with all the recruiters stopping by.
* Brendan Keeney and Gavin Andrews of Granite Bay are also drawing a lot of interest. Keeney, a quarterback, has bypassed baseball to focus on football only. Andrews is a lineman.
* Lineman Tucker Kearney of Folsom will play at John Hopkins University next season to study mathematics or engineering. This officially makes him smarter than the mere mortal.
* Sacramento-area stars scheduled to play in the April 23 Polynesian Bowl in Fairfield against the Bay Area stars are Vei Moala, George Folau and Vidal Davis of Grant; Tu'uta Inoke and T.J. Poloai of Burbank; Michael Calvan and Drake Tofi of Monterey Trail; Devin Tuitasi of Laguna Creek. More names and more news coming from this worthy event in coming weeks.
* Gimenez of Whitney is also excited about taking on Coeur d'Alene High early next season, the 5-A state champion from Idaho.
* Other early season monster games include the Battle at the Capital that honors Wounded Warriors soldiers and features two monster games in Loomis: Pleasant Grove vs. Lincoln-Stockton and Del Oro-Westlake. This event comes days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and there isn't a veteran, a soldier, a family or friend of either who wouldn't be moved by the cause of this event.
* And there's the Grant-Long Beach Poly showdown in September at a venue and date to be determined, a week or so after Grant and Folsom open in Del Paso Heights. In short, expect another banner football season.