Here are some more noteworthy highlights from the 2010-2011 high school sport season to complement Joe Davidson's year-in-review story in today's sports section.
Legally blind athlete Kym Crosby, a distinctive presence on area tracks because of her bright red hair and pale skin, finishes as River Valley's most accomplished track and field athlete. The Chico State scholarship signee sets school records in the 100, 200 and 400 meters and lands Tri-County Conference MVP honors after winning the triple jump and 400 and finishing second in the 200 at the league finals.
Sheldon, behind Bee Player of the Year Darius Nelson, plays one of the most ambitious boys basketball schedules in area history, competing in major invitationals in Southern California, Kentucky and Louisiana. The Huskies repeat as D-I section champions, but lose by two points to De La Salle of Concord in a physical NorCal D-I semifinal.
Davis' Wade Allen wins the Sac-Joaquin Section 50- and 100-yard freestyle swim championships to cap an incredible run of 13 individual section titles by the Allen family. Jake Allen, now swimming at Stanford, won six individual titles; Trevor, now playing water polo at UC Davis, won three and Wade, the youngest, finishes with four titles.
Area baseball and softball players make the dramatic adjustment to two game-changing new rules. More baseball squads gravitate to small ball as hitters adapt to less explosive composite bats while softball gets an injection of offense with the pitcher's circle moved back three feet.
Despite graduating all their starters and beginning anew under new coach Paul Hayes, there is no rebuilding for Woodcreek boys basketball. The Timberwolves make a return trip to the CIF Northern California Regional Division II championship game at Power Balance Arena, falling to parochial power Archbishop Mitty of San Jose.
The Davis girls soccer team, ranked No. 1 nationally most of the season, beats St. Francis to end the Troubadours' three-year reign as D-I champions while another nationally ranked team, Rio Americano, finishes an unbeaten season by beating rival Benicia for the D-III championship.
With high-profile national recruits Vei Moala and Puka Lopa of Grant leading the way, 28 area players sign NCAA football national letters of intent. Cal and coach Jeff Tedford enjoy the the biggest coup in landing both Moala and Lopa. But the Pac-10 plucks six others - Grant's Darryl Paulo, Burbank's T.J. Poloai and Sheldon's Mansel Simmons to Washington State; Grant's James Sample to Washington; and Folsom's Tyler Trosin to Oregon State.
Bonded by teamwork and a best-friend unity, Del Oro girls basketball enjoys its greatest run in coach Mike Takayama's momentous 25-year career. Only nationally ranked St. Mary's of Stockton can stop the 27-5 Golden Eagles in the postseason.
The Davis girls basketball team rebounds from the firing of popular coach Jeff Christian (and the reinstatement of twin stars Malika and Khaliya Wilkins who he had booted for "conduct detrimental to the team") to win the Delta Valley Conference under interim coach Dennis Foster, the first-year athletic director.
UCLA scholarship signee and St. Francis four-year player Zoe Nightingale finishes as one of the area's all-time greats by earning All-American honors. Only one other St. Francis player has done that, Troubadour coach Alynn Wright's daughter, Taryn Wright.
Multi-talented Davis senior Ian Rock readies for decathlete duties at Duke by beating a loaded field in the rain to win the boys pole vault with a personal best 16 feet, 2 inches at the CIF State Track and Field championships in Clovis.
- Bill Paterson