January 31, 2012
Valley Christian boys win 107-68 tonight over Wilton Christian

Josh Flanagan led four Valley Christian players in double figures with 32 points as the Lions defeated Wilton Christian 107-68 in a Sacramento Metro Athletic League boys basketball game tonight in Roseville.

It was the highest point total of the season for coach Brad Gunter Jr.'s up-tempo Lions.
The team's previous high was 105 in a win over West Campus Dec. 19.

Valley Christian is 14-6 overall, 7-0 in league.

January 31, 2012
Girls Top 20: No. 2 Pleasant Grove downs No. 3 Oak Ridge

Avonna Lee had 18 points and Dejza James 15 as No. 2 Pleasant Grove defeated No. 3 Oak Ridge 56-51 in a Delta River League girls basketball game tonight.

In other games involving Bee Top 20 girls teams:

• MacKenzie Conarro had 16 points to lead No. 6 St. Francis to a 62-42 win over Ponderosa.

• Brianna Burgos had 15 points and Kedina Monroe 14 in No. 10 Sheldon's 65-37 Delta River League win over Folsom.

• Ericka Magana had 25 points and Riana Byrd 18 in No. 13 Inderkum's 71-12 Tri-County Conference win over Pioneer.

January 31, 2012
Boys Top 20: No. 4 Antelope coasts to CAL win over Whitney

Jarvis Waktins had 17 points to lead No. 4 Antelope to a 66-41 win over Whitney in a Capital Athletic League boys basketball game tonight.

In other games involving Bee boys top 20 teams:

• Erik Kinney had 33 points as No. 3 Sacramento beat No. 7 Burbank 81-71 in a Metro Conference game at Burbank.

• Matt Donlan had 28 points and Trey Belton 20 in No. 16 Capital Christian's 73-58 Golden Empire League win over No. 18 Lindhurst.

• Keith Duronslet had 16 points in leading No. 12 Kennedy to a 62-40 Metro win over McClatchy.

January 31, 2012
Kinney scores 33 as No. 3 Sac topples Burbank Titans tonight

Trying to stop the No. 3 Sacramento High boys basketball team is like playing Whac-A-Mole.

Just when you figure you have one of the No. 3 Dragons' scorers under wraps, another one pops up to fill the basket.

Entering tonight's Metro Conference showdown at No. 7 Burbank, five different Dragons had led or co-led their team in scoring during their first eight Metro Conference games, all wins.

Now make that six.

January 31, 2012
Three Nevada Union football players to sign with colleges Wednesday

Three Nevada Union High School football players will be signing the appropriate paperwork early Wednesday morning as they prepare for the next chapter of their student-athlete lives.


They are: defensive back Josiah Paye to Stanford, fullback Connor Keith to San Diego State and center Alec Sarner to the University of San Diego.

Paye is the next Paye to go to Stanford, following brother John and sister Kate, both exceptional athletes on The Farm in their day. Paye started at quarterback for NU as a junior and then made plays as a senior leader in the secondary as a senior, all while maintaining the sort of grade-point average that makes most people nod in envy, at 4.5.

January 31, 2012
Grant's Shaq Thompson explains decision to pick Washington; Lupoi not the deciding factor

Shaq Thompson bounded across his Grant High School campus Tuesday morning with a Washington Huskies sweat top and beanie, his smile the only thing more radiant than the purple colors.

The All-American safety said that he initially planned to make his college choice on National Letter of Intent Day on Wednesday, like scores of athletes across the country. But he concluded that Washington fit him the best while sitting at home with his mother Patty late Monday night. So he made his announcement via text and Twitter and had discovered he didn't toss an turn over night for the first time in a good while.

"I'm really happy and relieved, and now I can get a good night's sleep, rest and relax, because it's been hard," Thompson said outside a Grant computer class.

January 31, 2012
Placer United to send record number to college soccer programs

Placer United Soccer Club, which will have a record 29 high school seniors from their program move on to play at four-year colleges, will hold a signing ceremony and celebration 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Loomis.

Those moving on are:

January 31, 2012
El Camino wins 3 in a row; climbs into boys basketball Top 20

El Camino joins The Bee's Top 20 boys basketball rankings for the first time this season at No. 20.

After losing to No. 4 Antelope 56-51 in the Capital Athletic League opener Jan. 17, the Eagles have since defeated Cordova 59-55, Whitney 49-41 and Mira Loma 65-35.

The Eagles (11-9, 3-1) play host to Rio Americano (8-12, 3-1) tonight.

January 30, 2012
Shaq Thompson decides on Washington Huskies


Shaq Thompson made it official via texting and via a Tweet - and that's the new generation of recruiting for you - as his exhausting and emotional whirlwind has met a bit of closure.

The Grant High School All-American safety wrote in a text moments ago that he will go to Washington on a scholarship tour for the following reasons, "It's where my heart is; second highest grad rate in Pac-12; love the coaches."

The agreement was sealed after Thompson made an unofficial recruiting trip to Washington over the weekend. He had taken an official visit during the fall, and was hosted by his close friend and former Grant teammate James Sample, a Huskies safety.

January 30, 2012
Granite Bay OL Gavin Andrews delighted with Oregon State commitment; took no other trips

gavin.JPGBy Joe Davidson

Gavin Andrews received plenty of college football recruiting interest, but the 6-foot-6, 340-pound guard for Granite Bay High School understood one thing for certain.

He really liked Oregon State. From the start and right to the end, and he didn't have to endure a whirlwind of recruiting with flights across the country, endless phone calls and speculation.

Everything about OSU felt right, Andrews said. The overall program, the academic setting, the football facilities, the coaches, the location in Corvallis.

Andrews was an early verbal commitment to the Beavers and never wavered. He did not accept any other recruiting trips, and he gladly welcomed Beavers coach Mike Riley to his Placer County home last month to sit and talk, along with Andrews' mother, Kara.

"Colorado was my second favorite, but I really liked OSU," Andrews said. "I'm very happy about it."

What's more, Andrews is a small-city kind of guy who loves the mountains, lakes, rivers and woods.

"I'm definitely an outdoor guy," Andrews said. "I'll have fun in my free time. We'll get some other recruits, teammates, and go on some fishing trips."

Andrews is as friendly, jovial and kind as he is football enormous and gifted. He fills out his jersey, and he won all the trench wars as a senior for a Grizzlies team that won its final six games and took down Sac-Joaquin Section top seeds Lincoln of Stockton and Pleasant Grove in the semifinals and championship, respectively.

In the Division I title game at Sacramento State, Andrews often lined up across from Pleasant Grove lineman ace Arik Armstead, causing tremors as Armstead is no pup at 6-8 and 295. Their battles could continue as Armstead will be going to Oregon.

Andrews, sporting a hearty beard in honor of his line coach Mike Lynch after that section title conquest, talked glowingly of his family and friends who have watched him play since his youth. Within days, he shed the beard when he learned that the Grizzlies did not land a CIF State Bowl bid (it went to Bellarmine of San Jose).

"But you know what? The beard's back," Andrews said with a laugh. "It's in full force now."

Andrews was a state-meet wrestler earlier in his prep career but he dreaded having to lose up to 50 pounds to make weight - days of steamed vegetables for lunch while his pals grubbed on fast food. He does want to trim a bit at Oregon State.

Most of all, Andrews said he is grateful for the scholarship opportunity.

"I feel very fortunate," he said. "A scholarship is really something nice to cherish. What my mom gave me, all she's done for me...it's amazing. At the beginning she was concerned about football, but we took the risk and look at the rewards. She's getting a pretty good return on it, me too."

He also spoke highly of his head coach Ernie Cooper - The Bee's 2011 Coach of the Year - and Lynch. It wasn't uncommon for Andrews to hang out with the coaches well after practice - to talk about the game, about school, about his future, about family.

"What those coaches have done with me...it's quite an amazing thing," Andrews said. "I feel lucky."
For more news and updates, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 30, 2012
Pleasant Grove, Sac High top first girls basketball power ratings

Pleasant Grove (Division I), St. Mary's-Stockton (D-II), Sac High (D-III), Colfax (D-IV), Brookside Christian-Stockton (V) and Victory Christian (V-VI) are the top seeds in the first Sac-Joaquin Section girls power ratings released today.

Area teams joining Pleasant Grove among the top 16 are: No. 3 Oak Ridge, No. 4 Kennedy, No. 6 Nevada Union, No. 7 Monterey Trail, No. 8 Grant, No. 10 St. Francis, No. 13 McClatchy and No. 14 Franklin.

Those area teams among the top 16 in D-II are: No. 2 El Camino, No. 4 River City, No. 6 Florin, No. 7 Del Oro, No. 8 Inderkum, No. 9 Rio Americano, No. 11 Del Campo, No. 13 River Valley, No. 14 Rocklin, No. 15 Antelope.

The second power rating will be released on Feb. 6 and the third on Feb. 13. Playoff brackets will be posted on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 19.

For more

January 30, 2012
Sac High's Angel-White, Benjamin to ink football letters of intent

Sacramento High football standouts Devin Benjamin and Jalen Angel-White have verbally committed to Idaho State and the University of San Diego, respectively, and will sign letters of intent at a school ceremony 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday in the Mel Lawson Theater.

Angel-White, a strong safety and wide receiver, was the Metro Conference co-Player of the Year and Bee All-Metro first team defensive back this season. He was twice voted team captain by his teammates and made All-Metro Conference first team as a sophomore and junior at linebacker.

This season Angel-White led the Dragons in receptions with 62 for 985 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had five interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

As a junior, he had 22 receptions for 317 yards and 323 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 37 carries and 57 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Angel-White led the team in tackles as a sophomore with 67.

The 6-foot-3 Benjamin was a two-time All-Metro Conference wide receiver who had 61 catches for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns during his two-year varsity career. As a senior, he also had two interceptions and returned a punt for a touchdown.

They helped coach Paul Doherty's Dragons to a combined 13-9 record and two playoff appearances.

January 30, 2012
Jesuit, Antelope and Foothill top first boys section power ratings

Jesuit (Division I), Antelope (D-II), Foothill (D-III), Modesto Christian (D-IV), Capital Christian (D-V) and Victory Christian (D-VI) are the top seeded boys basketball teams in the first Sac-Joaquin Section power ratings released today.

In D-I, Sheldon is seeded No. 2, Bethel of Vallejo No. 3 and West of Tracy No. 4. Other area teams ranked among the top 16 are No. 5 Franklin, No. 6 Burbank, No. 7 Pleasant Grove, No. 8 Kennedy, No. 10 Oak Ridge and No. 14 Granite Bay.

In D-II, Sacramento is No. 2, McNair of Stockton No. 3 and St. Mary's of Stockton No. 4. Other area teams seeded among the top 16 are No. 6 Bella Vista, No. 7 Del Oro, No. 8 Del Campo, No. 12 Rio Americano, No. 13 El Camino, No. 15 River Valley and No. 16 Yuba City.

The second power rating will be released on Feb. 6 and the third one on Feb. 13.

Brackets will be posted on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 19.

For more

January 30, 2012
Capital Christian soccer players to sign letters of intent

Capital Christian coach Ab Alvarez reports that three players from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V champion Cougars boys soccer team will sign letters of intent to play in college.

They are:

• Jonny Murray, goalkeeper, University of San Diego.
• Keenan Armbrust, forward/defender, Azusa Pacific University.
• Micah Alvarez, midfielder; Azusa Pacific.

January 30, 2012
Folsom High linemen Alleva, Madra give verbals to San Diego, Weber State

Another season, another hearty collection of college-bound football talent for the Folsom Bulldogs.

Over the weekend, two linemen gave verbal commitments to further their academic and shoulder pad ways with Jordan Alleva headed to the University of San Diego, a Division I-AA power, and Yuvraaj Madra to Weber State of the Big Sky Conference, also a Division I-AA member.

Folsom coach Kris Richardson has raved about Alleva and Madra all season - as leaders, as players, as great finds for the programs they selected. Richardson said Alleva was his most physical, brawling linemen, as proud as he was tough.

January 30, 2012
Updated Sacramento-area prep football recruiting list: who is headed where and who is still looking

By Joe Davidson

UPDATED Feb 1...

Our regional football list that could grow a bit today in the unpredictable nature of recruiting. We will post updates throughout the day of who formally signs...follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson and on www.sacbee.com

* QB Tanner Trosin Folsom Cal Poly
State single-season passing and total offense leader ready to run Mustangs triple option
* QB Jake Rodrigues Whintey Oregon
Already enrolled with Ducks; ideal for Oregon's spread offense with arm, legs, drive.
* QB Austin Young Colfax Southern Utah
Big at 6-5 and linebacker tough; Thunderbirds beat Sac State, UC Davis last season.
* QB Zac Cunha Roseville Minot State University
Scholar with cannon arm thrilled to be at Division II program and small-city living.
* RB Deon Ransom Elk Grove Sacramento State
Can run with speed, power, block, catch and a good personality to boot.
* RB John Wiernicki Liberty Ranch Air Force
Sac-Joaquin Section's leading rusher in 2011 burst onto the scene; just getting started.
* FB Connor Keith Nevada Union San Diego State*
Has over come blown right and left knee and keeps plugging pride, perseverance.
* WR Corey Palin Whitney Butler University
A scholar who can catch touchdowns; overcome injuries to secure ride.
* WR Dalen Jones Woodland Fresno State
Was dynamite as spread QB for Wolves and can also play in secondary; great athlete.
* WR Dylan Collie Oak Ridge BYU
Next Collie to head to Provo; incredible work ethic, leadership; versatile, proud.
* WR Doug Vernon Folsom Cornell
Excellent hands, big, strong, a terrific target across the middle; great student.
* WR Kyi Thomas Sheldon Sacramento State
Has 44-inch vertical leap, which helps; played football just one year and now loves it.
* WR Michael Thomas Cosumnes Oaks UNLV
Overcame injuries to become national recruit; superb skills, ready to run with the Rebels.
* WR Carson McMurtrey Folsom Cal Poly
A real steal for D-IAA Mustangs; overcame injuries to blow past defenders down the stretch.
* WR Logan Smith Vista del Lago University San Diego
All-time single-season records for receptions; makes amazing grabs with hands, body control.
* WR Devin Benjamin Sacramento Idaho State
Excellent leaper at 6-3, good handsl huge upside as emerging talent.
* TE Nate Iese Sheldon UCLA
Explosive off the end as a DE, too, and can fly down field as a receiver; exploded on scene.
* TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick Whitney USC
Superb hands and blocker; was sure not to wear beloved Raiders gear when Lane Kiffin made home visit.
* TE Josh Letuligasenoa of Elk Grove Cal Poly
Affable outside of shoulder pads and dominant inside them; joins brother Lefi in the trenches.
* OL Steven Moore Elk Grove Cal
Was core leader for revived Herd team that went 12-1; at 6-7 has a pro body now; great work ethic.
* OL Gavin Andrews Granite Bay Oregon State
Loved OSU from the start; powerful, proud and dominated all comers all season at 6-6, 340.
* OL Yuvraaj Madraf Folsom Weber State
Excellent pass blocker, good feet who protected Tanner Trosin from harm; joins Big Sky Conference.
* OL William Boule Oak Ridge Eastern Washington
Quietly excelled for playoff team with good games against great competition.
* OL Jordan Alleva Folsom University of San Diego
Coaches called him smash-mouth tough-guy brute for Bulldogs.
* OL Alex Sarner Nevada Union University of San Diego
Studious line leader can long snap, center snap as a center.
* OL Watson Tautuiaki Elk Grove Western Oregon
Late commitment for powerful Herd center who keyed prolific running game.
* OL Tobin Gramyk Roseville University of San Diego
Powerful with a gift of leg drive for team that could run or pass.
* OL Nicky Kelly Casa Roble Humboldt State
Line leader for yet another playoff team heads to state's remaining D-II program.
* K Jon David-Smith of Oak Ridge to Southern Oregon
Excellent leg who also boomed punts for Trojans and could see immediate action.
* K Marcus White Pleasant Grove UC Davis
Led state in kickoffs with cannon leg; father Russ played TE for UCD in the 1980s.

* DL Arik Armstead Pleasant Grove Oregon
Area's No. 1 recruit all time with overwhelming interest; long, powerful, eager.
* DL Charles Fairamo Grant Nevada
Was sold on Pack from the start; overcame foot injury to have strong Pacers season.
* DL Antonio Perez of Sheldon to Idaho
A scholar had offers from six other schools; jokes he can't wait to play in the snow.
* DE Roman Andrus Oak Ridge BYU*
Had some dominating moments; joins teammate Collie to Provo tour.
* LB Alex Bertrando Del Oro Nevada
Bee Defensive Player of Year has excellent pursuit; can hit, cover, run.
* LB Tanner Huber Del Oro BYU*
Teamed with Bertrando to power Golden Eagles to CIF State Bowl game.
* LB D.J. Dunn Pleasant Grove Air Force
Punishing tackler who loved flight simulator ride on recruiting trip.
* LB LeDontrae Gooden Cosumnes Oaks Southern Oregon
Unsung talent is fast, ferocious, a real find for small-college in Ashland.
* LB Darion Jackson Sheldon Southern Oregon
Piled up tackles for playoff team; instinctive, quick, good hitter.
* LB Cameron Buell Casa Roble Humboldt State
Tackling machine was defensive enforcer and leader for CAL champs.
* DB Norm Sadler Del Campo Cal Poly
Defensive stalwart for another Cougars playoff team; excellent coverage man, hitter.
* DB Desmond Lewis Pleasant Grove Air ForceScholar has superb coverage skills; very fast; joins teammate Dunn for 5 more years.
* DB Shaq Thompson Grant Washington
Nation's No. 1 safety has incredible closing speed and big-play ability; electrifies in open field.
* DB Marcus Rios Cosumnes Oaks UCLA
Makes plays on special teams, too; had Miami, Notre Dame, Washington in pursuit until Monday.
* DB Andrew Williams Cosumnes Oaks Idaho
Set school record with 230 rushing yards - as a QB; excellent athlete.
* DB Jalen Angle-White Sacramento University of San Diego
Versatile as he had nearly 1,000 yards receiving; hitter
* DB J.T. Frank Jesuit Holy Cross
Scholar had six interceptions and keyed a D that made return to playoffs
* DB Josiah Paye Nevada Union Stanford*
Played QB as a junior, made plays on D as a senior; next Paye to head to The Farm
* Preferred walk-on
Follow for more updates on Twitter: sb_joedavidson
Note to other media: please attribute Sacramento Bee as your source when copying this list
PHOTO CAPTION: Del Oro tight end/linebacker Alex Bertrando is off to Nevada. Bee Photo by Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee

January 30, 2012
Shaq Thompson update: visits Washington over the weekend; might he also join Armstead at Oregon?

The home visits are over, the road trips, too. Now it's extra think-tank time for Shaq Thompson.

The Grant High School All-American safety said he has narrowed the final four college scholarship destination programs down to three, with the real sense it might actually be down to a final two. The programs are, in no particular order: Cal, Oregon, Washington and UCLA. He said, "There are three schools still in it, and I can't tell the schools, but everybody will see Wednesday (on National Signing Day) and I'll make my final choice."

Thompson is the Sacramento-area's next real curiosity. On Sunday at his family church in Sacramento, Pleasant Grove All-American lineman Arik Armstead announced that he will go to Oregon. Armstead and Thompson have become close friends in the past several months, a bond that grew during their week together at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio when Thompson ribbed Armstead as "Big Ole Arik."

January 29, 2012
Arik Armstead picks Oregon in front of overflow setting in family church

Arik Armstead made it official in a place of family comfort - the family church - today as he boiled down his college football recruitment.

He will be an Oregon Duck, and let Duck Nation and Eugene in general rejoice as they have landed an exceptional talent who is equally as humble and genuine.

Pleasant Grove High School All-American defensive end, all 6-foot-8 and 295 pounds of him, made his announcement at The House Christian Church on Broadway in Sacramento in front of an overflow gathering of family, friends, teammates, coaches and a throng of media.

January 27, 2012
Shaq Thompson down to Final 3; enjoyed visits from Oregon, Cal, Washington

The home visits are over, the road trips, too. Now it's extra think-tank time for Shaq Thompson.

The Grant High School All-American safety said he has narrowed the final four college scholarship destination programs down to three. The programs are, in no particular order: Cal, Oregon, Washington and UCLA. He said tonight, "There are three schools still in it, and I can't tell the schools, but everybody will see Wednesday (on National Signing Day) and I'll make my final choice."

Four possibilities, three serious contenders, one winner. Which program is the odd one out?

January 27, 2012
Girls Top 20: Miners snap Del Oro's 63-game league win streak

It had to end sometime.

No. 11 Del Oro's 63-game Sierra Foothill League girls basketball winning streak came to an end tonight with a 44-42 loss to unranked Nevada Union in Loomis.

It was Del Oro's first league loss since a 34-23 defeat to Placer on Jan. 9, 2006, so long ago that the Hillgals now play in a different league.

Sydney Porter led Nevada Union (11-10, 5-0) with 18 points. Brianna Ruiz had 22 for Del Oro (12-9, 4-1).

In other girls games involving Bee Top 20 teams:

January 27, 2012
Boys Top 20: No. 1 Sheldon soars past No. 3 Pleasant Grove; Ogalue's 34 points helps Laguna Creek stun No. 7 Franklin

The top-ranked Sheldon boys basketball team bounced back from its 39-35 upset loss on Wednesday to No. 12 Oak Ridge in a big way tonight.

Breaking open a close game, the Huskies went on a 19-0 second-half run to defeat No. 3 Pleasant Grove 74-57 in front of a turn-away crowd at Sheldon High School.

Sheldon (16-4, 4-1) junior point guard D'Erryl Williams turned in a dominating performance in finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

Dakarai Allen added 16 points, Ryan Manning 12 and Kyi Thomas 11 for Sheldon. Malik Thames topped Pleasant Grove with 22 points.

It was Pleasant Grove's second loss in a row after falling 75-57 to Jesuit on Wednesday. The Eagles (18-3, 3-2) started the season 18-1.

In other games involving Bee boys Top 20 teams:

January 27, 2012
Twelve Jesuit athletes to take part in college signing ceremony

Twelve Jesuit students will participate in an NCAA letter of intent signing ceremony 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Carmichael school's gym.

Those scheduled to participate are:

Gabe Araj, Pacific, baseball; Ben Corfee, UC Davis, golf; Jacob Crayne, Utah, diving; Zach Green, Oregon State, baseball; Steve Guzman, UC Davis, soccer; Logan James, Stanford, baseball; and Nick Kramer, Georgetown, swimming.

Others slated to participate are Chris Macasaet, Pacific, golf; Louis Mejia, Pacific, baseball; Gus Orlando, Seattle, tennis; Jeff Rose, Seattle, soccer; Pete Wajda, Chico State, soccer.

January 27, 2012
Heavily recruited Arik Armstead to announce college choice on Sunday

By Sunday, we'll know - and then normalcy for all.

Arik Armstead, Pleasant Grove High School's towering and dominant 6-foot-8, 295-pound All-American linemen, will make his college scholarship announcement on Sunday.

He will announce at his family church - The House Christian Church - on Broadway in Sacramento. There will be prep teammates, coaches, family, friends and local media on hand, and why all the fuss? He's a unique talent, a unique kid know for his humility as much as his considerable football and basketball talents and upside. He has been on everyone's short list on national recruits and seemingly every prep All-American team across the country, including MaxPreps, Sports Illustrated, Parade and a host of others.

January 26, 2012
Girls Top 20: Klein leads No. 3 Oak Ridge past Ponderosa

Jenna Klein tallied 19 points to lead No. 3 Oak Ridge to a 63-38 win over Ponderosa in a Delta River League girls basketball game tonight in Shingle Springs.

In other girls games involving Bee Top 20 teams:

• Niel Valmores had 16 points and Ishana Burch 13 as No. 10 Christian Brothers defeated Casa Roble 65-29 to remain unbeaten in Capital Valley Conference play.

• Sarah Hagar scored 20 points to lead No. 18 Bear River to a 63-34 Pioneer Valley League win over Center in Lake of the Pines.

January 26, 2012
Boys Top 20: No. 14 Del Oro takes two-game lead in SFL

No. 14 Del Oro solidified its hold on first place in Sierra Foothill League boys basketball tonight by beating visiting and No. 19 Granite Bay 61-38.

With No. 18 Roseville falling 47-46 to Woodcreek, Del Oro (5-0) now holds a two-game lead in league over Granite Bay (3-2) and Roseville (3-2).

In other boys games involving Bee Top 20 teams:

January 26, 2012
Arik Armstead is finished with recruiting after home visits with Cal, Oregon, USC, Auburn, Washington; now decision time

Just talked to Arik Armstead on the phone, and there's a sense of relief and pride in the voice of the All-American lineman for Pleasant Grove High School.

He is finished with the recruiting trips, the in-home visits - all of it - and now will continue to confer with his parents, Guss and Christina, to figure out exactly where he might be the next 4-5 years of his life.

On Tuesday, Auburn and coach Gene Chizik stopped by the Armstead's Elk Grove home for a visit. On Wednesday, Cal and the defensive staff stopped by. Then it was USC with Lane Kiffin, waving an Armstead jersey playfully (and no, Armstead couldn't keep the jersey).

January 26, 2012
Shaq Thompson's final recruiting days come down to home visits tonight, tomorrow with Cal, Washington, Oregon

Here's the deal with Shaq Thompson of Grant High School, everyone's No. 1 safety prospect in the land: he's stressed out of his mind about this recruiting chaos to the point of exhaustion and migrane headaches. Normally booming of good cheer, Thompson has "been in a fog lately," his mother Patty said. "We all want to get this over with. It's really changed Shaq."

Thompson was all set to go to Cal, was excited to join other incoming freshmen to help boost the Bears' fortunes in Berkeley. He told me about this leading up to his announcement during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and after.

The wrench in the Cal feel-good story for Old Blues was hurled by Tosh Lupoi, the former Cal coach who recruited Thompson for well over a year and is now hot on his heels as the recently hired Washington assistant coach. Thompson is torn. First it was all Cal. Now Washington is in the mix. And so is Oregon. And so, suddenly, is UCLA.

January 25, 2012
Boys Top 20: No. 12 Oak Ridge shocks No. 1 Sheldon 39-35

No. 12 Oak Ridge, putting the clamps on top-ranked Sheldon's fast-paced offense, upset the Huskies 39-35 tonight in a Delta River League boys basketball game in El Dorado Hills.

Oak Ridge led 17-9 at halftime and 24-20 after three quarters.

Bryce Scott led Oak Ridge with 15 points. Kyiron Thomas topped Sheldon with 10.

In other games involving The Bee's Top 20 boys teams:

January 25, 2012
Uu, No. 2 Jesuit shoot lights out in beating No. 3 Pleasant Grove

At one point during tonight's Delta River League boys basketball showdown between No. 2 Jesuit and No. 3 Pleasant Grove, a Pleasant Grove fan bellowed, "Where's Uu!"

It wasn't in the form of a question.

It was a frustrated plea to Pleasant Grove's on-their-heels defenders to keep their eyes on Jesuit senior sharpshooter Parker Uu.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard seemed to be everywhere on the floor, hitting bombs from long range or using his sturdy frame to score inside.

He finished with a game-high 18 points in leading the Marauders past the visiting Eagles 75-57, snapping Pleasant Grove's 12-game winning streak and forcing the Eagles (18-2, 3-1) into a three-way tie for first with the Marauders (17-4, 3-1) and top-ranked Sheldon.

January 25, 2012
Delta River League tops section's basketball strength ratings

The Delta River League has earned this season's top Sac-Joaquin Section boys and girls basketball strength ratings.

The strength ratings, compiled by a section seeding committee based on nonleague games played before Jan. 6, help influence qualifying and positioning for the postseason.

The Delta River boys and girls both received an 8.2 rating.

The Delta River League boys includes The Bee's No. 1 Sheldon, No. 2 Jesuit, No. 3 Pleasant Grove, No. 12 Oak Ridge and No. 15 Folsom.

The Delta River League girls includes No. 2 Pleasant Grove, No. 3 Oak Ridge, No. 6 St. Francis and No. 9 Sheldon.

January 24, 2012
Girls Top 20: Womack's 19 points lead No. 1 Sac past McClatchy

Briana Womack tallied 19 points as top-ranked Sacramento defeated McClatchy 61-47 in a Metro Conference girls basketball game tonight in Oak Park.

In other games involving Bee Top 20 girls teams:

• Avonna Lee's 23 points helped No. 2 Pleasant Grove defeat No. 6 St. Francis 68-56 in a Delta River League game. MacKenzie Conarro led St. Francis with 25 points.

January 24, 2012
Boys Top 20: No. 14 Del Oro tops No. 18 Roseville 64-53

Jordan Broyles and Austin Soldano each scored 16 points to lead No. 14 Del Oro to a 64-53 win over No. 18 Roseville in a Sierra Foothill League boys basketball game tonight in Loomis.

In other games involving Bee Top 20 boys teams:

• Gabe Bealer led four players in double figures with 19 points as No. 5 Antelope defeated Cordova 69-48 in a Capital Athletic League contest.

January 24, 2012
Pleasant Grove football defenders Desmond Lewis and D.J. Dunn give verbals to Air Force

lewis.jpgTeammates before, now and in the future, Desmond Lewis (right) and D.J. Dunn (below) of Pleasant Grove High School returned from a recruiting trip to the Air Force Academy ecstatic with the experience and possibilites.

The seniors have given verbal commitments to the Falcons, which will become binding on National Letter of Intent day on Feb. 1.

Dunn and Lewis got to experience a flight simulator after touring the grounds, the school, the football facilities.

January 24, 2012
Colfax QB Austin Young gives verbal commitment to Southern Utah

By Joe Davidson

Austin Young's first varsity position at Colfax High School was tight end. Falcons coach Tony Martello wanted his promising young talent to learn the game inside out - the blocking, pass catching, physicality of the trenches.

Then Young emerged as a quarterback the last two seasons for the small-school power, passing for more than 5,000 yards and 58 touchdowns in two playoff seasons, including 2,752 and 33 touchdowns for an 11-1 team in 2011.

Now he's moving on. Young, 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, has given a verbal commitment to play for Southern Utah of Cedar City. The Thunderbirds went 6-5 last fall, including wins over Sacramento State and UC Davis. Southern Utah will join those teams in the Big Sky Conference this fall.

Young joins an impressive list of Colfax quarterbacks who has played on scholarship over the years, including Nate Ray to Fresno State (as a defensive back) and Marcus Arroyo to San Jose State (and now the quarterbacks coach at Cal).
For more news and updates, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 24, 2012
Pleasant Grove kicker Marcus White gives verbal commitment to UC Davis;

white.jpgBy Joe Davidson

Marcus White doesn't just have a leg. He has a canon with a shoe at the bottom.

The Pleasant Grove High School senior led the state in touchbacks, booming an amazing 6,971 yards worth of kickoffs to pin teams into the end zone. He also scored 107 points, sports good grades with a 4.2 grade-point average, is a fine athlete in general, and now had a scholarship.

He has given a verbal commitment to play at UC Davis and outgoing coach Bob Biggs, an Aggies fixture for more than 40 years as a player and coach. Biggs will coach the 2012 season, his 20th as the Aggies head man, and then retire.

"I am excited to work with Coach Biggs for one year before he retires as he was my dad's position coach when he played for UC Davis back in the early '80's," White said.

White was a three-year starter for Pleasant Grove, helping the Eagles reach three Sac-Joaquin Section Division I titles with one championship. He averaged 42 yards a punt, including an amazing 84-yarder.

He also played receiver and defensive back, plenty eager to block, hit and hammer foes. Really, how many kickers can squat 450 pounds?

His grandfather Roger White played defensive end and split end for UCLA's 1954 national title team, and father Russ White played tight end under Biggs at UCD.
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January 24, 2012
Plenty of showdown games among boys Top 20 teams

It's another big week of showdown matchups in area boys basketball, especially the ultra-competitive Delta River League.

No. 18 Roseville, which moves into The Bee's Top 20 for the first time after beating defending Sierra Foothill League co-champion Granite Bay 69-66 on Thursday, plays at No. 14 Del Oro tonight in a battle of league unbeatens. Both are 3-0 in the SFL.

On Wednesday, No. 2 Jesuit plays host to No. 3 Pleasant Grove and top-ranked Sheldon plays at No. 12 Oak Ridge in Delta River League games. Sheldon and Pleasant Grove are both 3-0 in league.

January 20, 2012
Boys Top 20: Graham, No. 4 Sac too much for No. 11 Kennedy

It was a battle of Metro Conference boys basketball unbeatens tonight in Oak Park between No. 4 Sacramento and No. 11 Kennedy.

For most of the first half, it was a competitive game.

Then Sac High and senior point guard Darius Graham dialed up the intensity a notch.
Kennedy was left gasping.

With Graham, the UC Davis scholarship signee, hitting four three-pointers and finishing with a game-high 22 points, the Dragons rolled to a 77-39 win.

January 20, 2012
Arik Armstead of Pleasant Grove to host a number of home visits, including USC, Auburn, Washington, UCLA, Oregon

By Joe Davidson

UPDATED on Jan. 24

The phones are ringing off the hook at the Armstead house in Elk Grove, and there's been a steady stream of some of the biggest football faces in the country at the front door and on the family couch.


Arik Armstead is a wanted man, with scores of colleges providing a full-court press to talk to him, to visit him, to land his considerable football and basketball gifts. The 6-foot-8, 295-pound Pleasant Grove High School All-American lineman will entertain home visits in the coming days from the following schools, with a heavy load of visitors on Thursday:

* Cal (Bears have been on him since his freshman season, with football coach Jeff Tedford and basketball boss Mike Montgomery in for home visits; new DL coach hire Todd Howard is interesting as Howard was the first to offer Armstead a scholarship - 3 years ago when Howard was at UCLA; Cal staff visited with Armstead's on Sunday).
* USC (Trojans coach Lane Kiffin, defensive coordinator father Monte and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron made a home visit tonight - Tuesday; speculation of bad blood with Armsteads and Kiffin certainly wouldn't include a home visit; USC should be preseason top 3 team this fall).
* Auburn (Tigers head coach Gene Chizik and assistant will make home visit on Wednesday; have visited the school before; Tigers won BCS title in 2010).
* UCLA (Bruins and new coach Jim Mora pay a visit on Wednesday; Bruins already have scored well on recruiting).
* Washington (practically the entire defensive staff in for a visit Thursday, including former Cal assistant Tosh Lupoi; hoops coach Lorenzo Romar also has been in constant contact).
* Oregon (coach Chip Kelley stops by on Thursday, days after turning down Tampa Bay Bucs job and a day before visiting another national top 5 recruit in Grant safety Shaq Thompson).
* Notre Dame (Irish coaches have been regulars on campus - in class, even - and for home visit).
"It's crazy but it's cool," said Armstead's father Guss Armstead, who has a notebook and calendar full of expected visits. "We really can't complain. We're blessed. It's a unique situation. Our boys are really good kids. They're humble. They're handling this really well."

And about USC, seemingly out of the running long ago? Guss Armstead said it made no sense to turn down a home-visit offer from Kiffin, whom Armond played for.

Arik has no more campus visits. His last visit was to Auburn, a trip he took with brother Armond and their father. Arik said he would love to play with his brother in college, but it certainly isn't a deal breaker.

Armond has one more season after starting on the defensive line in previous seasons with USC. Armond did not play this past fall for USC due to an undisclosed medical condition that was never life threatening. Armond will return to USC in the coming weeks to work on his master's degree. He could still play another season for USC, which will likely be a top three preseason team next season. Armond also happens to be an intriguing NFL prospect at 6-5 and 295 pounds, able to play tackle or end.

Arik gave USC a verbal commitment before his junior season then de-committed in November to accept recruiting trips to Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, Cal and Auburn.

The Armstead brothers had hoped to make their college choices earlier last week, and Arik was ready to take classes at either Cal, Notre Dame or Auburn as he was enrolled, not uncommon for blue-chip prospects who graduate from high school early. But petitioning the Southeastern Conference to transfer takes weeks and not days, and the news of Lupoi leaving Cal for Washington stunned Arik.

Said Arik, "I'll take my time and make the best decision. It got too rushed. We'll figure things out."

Armstead said earlier that he does like Todd Howard, the new Cal defensive line coach and joked that he hoped the coach still remembered him. Son, he remembers.

In the meantime, the brothers have been savaged on social media outlets such as Twitter, with frustrated fans - or those feeling jilted - firing off venomous notes. The brothers nod their heads and wonder.

Photo by Brian Baer

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January 19, 2012
Sheldon tight end Nate Iese gives verbal commitment to UCLA

By Joe Davidson

It isn't just the body and ability and work ethic drive that wows people about Nate Iese.


He's about as polite a young man as you will see, so long as you are not lining up across him in the trenches, and he takes his academic load as seriously as he does his pursuit of the ball or a ball carrier. Iese once sheepishly asked his Sheldon High School football coach Josh Crabtree if he could take a practice session off to work with homeless people through his church, to which Crabtree said he'd thump him if he didn't go.

Iese this past fall quickly emerged as a national recruit, fast and ferocious as a rush end at 6-foot-5 and 250 pound and equally as difficult a handle as a tight end. He has receiver speed with soft hands and was a sight to behold at his size racing down field. In a scrimmage before the regular season, Iese took a quarterback snap and rumbled down field, racing past some defenders and over others.

In short: a complete player.

When Jim Mora, fresh on the UCLA job, saw Iese run the floor in a basketball practice, gliding up and down with biceps to die for, the new coach muttered on the spot that he had to have him.

Now he's got him.

Iese on Thursday night gave a verbal commitment to play for UCLA. He has been enamored - and mutual - with the Bruins for months. He took a recent recruiting trip to the campus in Los Angeles, saw the Rose Bowl, soaked up the academic appeal and continued his good rapport with assistant coach Angus McClure, the former Sacramento State standout lineman and assistant coach.

"I'm really excited," Iese said. "I'm glad I was able to make this decision. They've been recruiting me since the beginning. I really like Coach Angus. He's very good at what he does. You can tell some coaches come and recruit and treat it as a job. Angus takes pride in what he does with recruiting and that really impacted me. He really stood out."

Iese chuckled in admitting he wasn't sure if that was Coach Mora at that recent basketball practice. He knew he was someone important, but was trying to concentrate on drills, too, and cracked that it's a good thing he didn't run into a wall or fall down.
Iese said he was so impressed with UCLA that he felt it the right thing to do in canceling a home visit with Cal on Thursday night and a weekend recruiting trip. UCLA, he said, is home now. Iese also had offers from Nebraska, Cal, Washington (from Tosh Lupoi on Wednesday night), Nevada and others.

Iese said he is willing to play either tight end or defensive end, and ideally, perhaps play both.

Iese also credited Crabtree and his Linemen Win Games coordinator Jon Osterhout, a good friend of McClure from their Sac State days. Osterhout has helped groom scores of linemen through his program that specializes in technique, conditioning and the thinking aspect of the game (for more information: linemenwingames.com).

For news, updates, stories and links, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

Editor's note: This story's headline has been corrected.

Bee photo by Randy Pench

January 19, 2012
Boys Top 20: Roseville 4th-quarter burst tops No. 15 Granite Bay

Cole Jacobs had 23 points and Latrelle Swayne and Andrew Schmidt added 12 apiece as Roseville outscored No. 15 Granite Bay 20-8 in the fourth quarter to post a 69-66 win over the visiting Grizzlies (10-10, 2-1) in a Sierra Foothill League boys basketball game tonight.

Scott Romuk had 20 points and Jerry Hansen 18 for Granite Bay.

The win keeps Roseville (12-8, 3-0) in a first place tie with No. 16 Del Oro in the SFL.

The Golden Eagles (13-7, 3-0) defeated Nevada Union 55-43 tonight as Jordan Broyles had 19 points for the winners.

In other games involving The Bee's boys basketball Top 20:

January 19, 2012
Quarterback Mason Magleby of Del Oro transfers from Nevada to Sacramento State

Former Del Oro quarterback Mason Magleby has transferred from Nevada to Sacramento State, where he starts school on Monday.

Magleby completed his sophomore season with Nevada as the No. 3 quarterback. He passed for 109 yards this past season and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Magleby joins a Sac State program also deep in quarterback play, though Hornets coach Marshall Sperbeck invites position competition.

Magleby was a three-sport star at Del Oro, also in basketnball and baseball, where he was a Bee All-Metro pitcher and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles. In football, he helped the Golden Eagles win three consecutive SFL titles. He was a senior captian and team MVP in 2007, passing for 1,900 yards and rushing for 700.

In other Del Oro news: Del Oro senior tight end Tanner Huber will be a preferred walk on at BYU, where he reports in June. Huber was a key piece to Del Oro's Sierra Foothill League title team, one that went on to claim the program's eighth Sac-Joaquin Section championship with a Division III repeat and was the lone section team to play for a state title.

Also from Del Oro, Bee Defensive Player linebacker Alex Bertrando has accepted a scholarship to Nevada. He picked the Pack early in the season.

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January 19, 2012
Sheldon High lineman Antonio Perez gives scholarship verbal to Idaho

Lineman Antonio Perez of Sheldon High School has big goals. Wants to study business and criminal justice, to earn a degree - and to man the trenches on a college football team.

Fresh off a recruiting trip to Moscow, Idaho, the senior said he has given a verbal commitment to play for Idaho of the Western Athletic Conference.

He has also been offered by Sacramento State, Weber State, Army and Cal Poly. Though he will still take a recruiting trip to Army, he sounded quite firm on Idaho.

"I chose Idaho because it just felt like a great fit," Perez said. "I loved the small-college town of Moscow and Idaho has an amazing business school."

Perez said he is relieved that Letter of Intent day is just around the corner, on Feb. 1 when signatures make scholarship deals binding.

"I'm so glad this process is over," he said. "I think every other player who is being recruited would agree that these last few weeks are stressful."

Also from Sheldon, receiver Kyi Thomas has given a verbal to Sacramento State and tight end Nate Iese is deciding between UCLA, Nebraska, Nevada and Washington.
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January 18, 2012
Boys Top 20: No. 4 Sacramento beats No. 19 Valley 74-52

De'Von Boyd had 17 points to lead No. 4 Sacramento to a 74-52 Metro Conference boys basketball win tonight over No. 19 Valley.

In other games involving boys basketball Top 20 teams:

• In his first game back since injuring his ankle at the Father Kelly Tribute Jan. 7 at Jesuit, Michael Bryson led four players in double figures with 15 points as No. 6 Foothill defeated Bear River 58-52 in a Pioneer Valley League game.

January 18, 2012
Placer lineman Eddie Vanderdoes received scholarship offer from Washington and new coach Tosh Lupoi

By Joe Davidson

We know who the major national recruits are this time around are - Shaq Thompson of Grant and Arik Armstead of Pleasant Grove - so now say hello to the cream of the 2013 crop for the Sacramento region.

His name is Eddie Vanderdoes, a powerfully built 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive lineman for the Placer Hillmen, a tradition-rich program. We call him "Floor Safe" because he's about as wide as one, as unyielding and as sturdy as a run-stopper with the skills and motor to pursue plays, too.

Just a junior, Vanderdoes on Wednesday night received another scholarship offer, this one from Washington and freshly hired defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, who was also hot on the Vanderdoes trail when he was the position coach at Cal.

On Thursday, Vanderdoes received an offer from Nevada. He's the hot junior regional recruit.

Vanderdoes also has offers from Cal, UCLA, Oregon State and San Jose State, and expect that list to swell ten-fold before long. Vanderdoes also has interest from Maryland, Georgia, Oregon, olorado, Texas A & M and Mississippi State

"I'm excited," Vanderdoes said in a text.

He has good reason to be. Some scouting services have Vanderdoes as the No. 1 defensive linemen prospect on the West Coast, certainly in California.
Vanderdoes is also a power pitcher prospect in the spring, so imagine those legs and that leg drive on the mound.
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January 18, 2012
Logue finds way as No. 8 Bella Vista boys top No. 9 Del Campo

Bella Vista Broncos senior star K.J. Logue has mixed emotions when it comes to playing Fair Oaks boys basketball rival Del Campo.

The 6-foot-6 forward loves the packed gym, the raucous rooting sections and the playoff-type atmosphere.

But there's also the flip side.

"I must have played against these guys about 20 times, going back to seventh grade," Logue said after helping the No. 8 Broncos to a 64-57 Capital Valley Conference win over the No. 9 and host Cougars. "It's the battle of the Oaks. It's how it's always been. You grow up with them, so it's tough because you know it's super competitive. You're friends with them, so you know you can't lose to them."

January 18, 2012
Armstead decision: Arik to wait until Letter of Intent Day, Armond returning to USC for classes

Thumbnail image for armstead.jpgBy Joe Davidson

Finally, some clarity and the sound of a bit of relief in their voices.

Armond Armstead said today that he will return to USC any day now to take classes toward a master's degree. He last month graduated from USC with a degree in sociology. The former defensive lineman starter who sat out the 2010 season due to a series of medical tests - he reports that he is just fine - said he hopes to transfer over the summer to resume his playing career, perhaps to Notre Dame or Auburn, and there are a host of others looking at hm, too. He could also entertain the NFL draft after workouts.

His brother Arik, meanwhile, will wait until national Letter of Intent on Feb. 1 to decide, the first day high school players from across the land can formally sign binding contracts with a school. The 6-foot-8, 290-pound All-American lineman had hoped to be taking classes this week, and was enrolled at Norte Dame, Cal and Auburn.

He still lists those schools and Oregon as possibilities - just like last week - though other schools have been in contact, too. And yes, the brothers still love the idea of playinjg together, but they learned this week that is easier said than done considering the obstacles (transfer petitions, etc.) and fit.

Stressful? Dramatic? A chore?

"Most definitely," Arik said from his Elk Grove home. "Different loops, twists and things to go through. It's too gut wrenching so I'll take more time to decide. There's a lot of stuff to think about. This is the biggest decision of my life."

As of Sunday night, Arik was greatly intrigued with Cal - the location, the education, position coach Tosh Lupoi. Cal coach Jeff Tedford and Lopoi stopped by the Armstead home on Sunday evening. By Monday morning, Lupoi stunned the Bears and his recruits by accepting a coaching spot with the Washington Huskies.

The loss of Lupoi stung?

"Most definitely," Arik said. "Really like him. That was a guy I was hoping might groom me the next few years. It definitely affects everything."

Armond, meanwhile, said he is eager for some normalcy. No more speculation - at least for now.

"Everything became too rushed," he said. "Too much to do, too little time, too much stress. I'm taking everything step by step. I am relieved - dealing with all the drama, a side show, everyone freaking out (fans across the country). It's not really fun. The fun thing is going to school, playing ball. People lose sight of that."

As for competing again, Armond said, "I'm very eager to play again."

And on his brother, "I want him to do what's best for him. He'll be living at a school for four years. We may still play together but that takes time to put together."

Because Arik has graduated, he cannot return to his high school basketball team, which is ranked No. 3 regionally by The Bee and has the sort of lineup that can make a Northern California large-school title run. Still, Arik harbors no regrets.

"You can't regret anything or go back and change anything, and I'll be busy trying to figure out what's best for me (long term)," Arik said.

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January 18, 2012
No decision for Armstead brothers on where to play college football; mom says "the saga continues."

armstead.jpgBy Joe Davidson

Moms know best, the saying goes, but in this recruiting situation regarding her sons Armond and Arik Armstead, Christina Armstead doesn't know what to think.

Her mind is swimming, as are those of her towering linemen sons and husband Guss, and in a chat with her today, there is no decision on where they will play football next.

Together? Seperately? Stay tuned.

"The saga continues," Christina said, allowing a laugh.

Armond is the 6-foot-5, 290-pound block of a former starting defensive lineman for USC who graduated last month and wants to transfer and play out one more season - healthy - before bounding in to the NFL Draft. Arik, all 6-8 and 295 pounds of shadow-casting upside, is also a graduate, days ago, from Pleasant Grove High School via on-line courses.

This early graduation was by design. The All-American lineman wanted to be attending classes this week - at Cal, Notre Dame or Auburn. He was greatly intrigued with Cal, particularly with position coach Tosh Lopoi, who was with Tedford on Sunday night for an Armstead family home visit. On Monday morning, Lopoi stunned Cal - and those he was recruiting - by leaving Berkeley for the Washington Huskies.

Arik said Monday that a "major reason I was thinking about Cal was coach Tosh."

Is Cal still in play? Perhaps, but the Lopoi departure changes things and perhaps greatly enhances the desire for the Armstead brothers to play together. USC wasn't going to release Armstead to play for a rival like Cal, so that certainly muddles matters.

Could the Armsteads wind up at Washington? Far too early to tell, and it sounds like a long shot, but calls are flying into the Armstead home from recruiters across the country - some for the Armstead brothers to play together, mostly to have them separately.

"Our whole motto, our whole thing, our goal...our kids love each other and Arik would do anything to help Armond and vice versa," Christian continued. "We'd love to have them play together and they really love that too. It'd be so hurtful to the heart if they're not together, and that's why we're holding off on a decision because they really don't know. We're looking into all the options of playing together first."

The options we do know are this: Auburn and Notre Dame for the sons together. Armond and father Guss joined Arik for a recruiting trip over the weekend to Auburn of the mighty Southeastern Conference and winners of the BCS championship following the 2010 season. As a mid-year graduate, Armond has been told he can enroll right away at Auburn, contrary to reports that SEC schools do not accept mid-year transfers or those who have graduated.

"Actually, as a graduate, it makes it easier," Christina said. "But we have to petition the SEC for that transfer and that can take two days or three weeks and we're thinking, 'Oh Lord...let this nightmare end."

On Sunday, Armond and Guss took a trip to Notre Dame. More intrigue and possibilities. Auburn coaches have visited the Armsteads in Elk Grove countless times, and Notre Dame coaches have also paid visits.

So the Armsteads ponder, brainstorm and wonder and wait.

For UPDATE on Armstead decision, click here.

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January 17, 2012
Boys Top 20: No. 5 Antelope defeats El Camino 56-51 tonight

Jarvis Watkins had 19 points and Gabe Bealer added 16 points as No. 5 Antelope defeated El Camino 56-51 in the Capital Athletic League boys basketball opener tonight.

In other games involving Bee Top 20 boys teams:

• Nate Brillington had 21 points and Jerry Hansen 18 as No. 15 Granite Bay defeated Nevada Union 85-54 in a Sierra Foothill League game.

• Alan Kidwell led a balanced Del Oro attack with 10 points as the No. 16 Golden Eagles defeated Woodcreek 56-42 in an SFL game.

• Matt Donlan scored 20 points to lead four Capital Christian players in double figures as the No. 17 Cougars defeated Marysville 82-46 in a Golden Empire League game.

January 17, 2012
Sheldon boys basketball moves atop The Bee's Top 20

With its convincing 88-70 win over Jesuit on Friday, Sheldon takes over the No. 1 spot held by the Marauders since The Bee's first top 20 boys basketball rankings debuted on Dec. 7.

The two-time Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion Huskies (13-3, 2-0) play only their third home game of the season on Friday against Ponderosa (8-10, 0-2) in a Delta River League game, then play defending CIF Northern California Regional champion Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland 6 p.m. on Saturday at Contra Costa College in San Pablo.

No. 2 Jesuit plays at No. 12 Oak Ridge on Friday, then hosts parochial rival Christian Brothers on Saturday.

January 17, 2012
Folsom receiver Doug Vernon off to Cornell University and the Ivy League

By Joe Davidson

Quarterbacks and receivers tend to fly off the shelf at Folsom High School when it comes to college football shopping.

Doug Vernon is the next bargain.

The Bulldogs' 6-foot-4, 195-pound receiver is headed to Cornell University of the Ivy League, proof that not only is the senior a terrific talent in shoulder pads, he's a remarkable student.

Vernon caught 52 passes for 721 yards and nine touchdowns for a Bulldogs team that marched back to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title game.

"Doug is just scratching the surface of his football potential," Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. "He's extremely intelligent, has a great work ethic and leadership skills. He's a huge target over the middle and a dominant blocker on the perimeter, and he's fast."

Vernon's quarterback was Tanner Trosin, The Bee's Offensive Player of the Year who set state records for most yards passing in a single season (5,185) and total yards in a single season (6,364). Trosin recently gave a verbal commitment to play for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Another Folsom receiver, Carson McMurtrey, is also bound for Cal Poly, where they will join 2010 state championship teammate Stephen Sippel, a center.
McMurtrey caught 51 passes for 987 yards and eight touchdowns for Folsom despite missing games with injuries. He is also a fine punter.

Also from that 2010 team, NorCal receiving record holder Tyler Trosin earned a scholarship with Oregon State, and quarterback Dano Graves signed with Air Force.
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January 17, 2012
Woodland's Dalen Jones commits to Fresno State

A recruiting trip to Fresno State was enough to change his mind.

Dalen Jones of Woodland High School on Monday evening gave Fresno State a verbal commitment to play either receiver or defensive back.

He decommitted from Washington State in making his Fresno State destination more formal. National Letter of Intent is Feb. 1, when signatures make scholarship commitments binding.

The Fresno State experience was an emotional one for Jones, who played quarterback for Woodland and led the Wolves to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
In early December, Jones was expecting a home visit from Fresno State coach Pat Hill, who for years has mined the Sacramento region for prospects, only to learn the veteran leader had been dismissed. Fresno State coaches kept in contact, however.

Jones passed for 2,043 yards and 23 touchdowns with just three interceptions - playing the position out of necessity as the team's most outlandish athlete. He ran for 1,008 yards and 11 scores for an 8-3 team.
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January 16, 2012
Antelope boys beat Center with strong second half tonight

In front of a packed house and two large and raucous standing rooting sections at Antelope High School for the marquee neighborhood finale of the two-day, 10-game Common Good Classic, the towering duo of Isaiah Ellis and Gabe Bealer helped No. 5 Antelope break open a one-point game at halftime to defeat No. 13 Center 60-46 in a boys basketball game tonight.

The 6-6 Ellis and the 6-5 Bealer, both juniors, dominated the inside in blocking and altering shots, rebounding and combining for 34 points. Jarvis Watkins added 16 points for Antelope (16-1).

Christopher Smith led Center (13-4) with 17 points.

"Our 10 days off really showed early on," said Antelope coach Rob Richards. "We were a little indecisive, little slow, little lethargic. Our guys should have known better. Center is a great ballclub. They're playing well. We can't come out like that. But we woke up at halftime and started to bang inside and got back to our basketball."

In orther Common Good games today:

January 16, 2012
Oak Ridge receiver Dylan Collie enjoys BYU recruiting trip; will continue family tradition

By Joe Davidson

Dylan Collie is his own man now. He's a Collie, to be sure, but he's no longer "Zac's kid brother" or "Austin's brother."


He's Dylan Collie, BYU football - and yes, a member of the Collie BYU clan that also included father Scott a generation ago.

Collie, the terrific Oak Ridge High School receiver, spoke glowingly of his recruiting trip in Utah, the BYU campus visit, the academic possibilities, the football facilities, the Mormon mission ideas, the next chapter of his life.

And this time, he went to BYU not directly affiliated or attached to Zac, now in real estate in Folsom, or Austin, a receiver for the Indianapolis Colts.

"I was so excited to be there, it got me juiced," Collie said tonight. "It was fun to go when I was younger and went with a brother, but I was always Austin or Zac's younger brother. This time, it was me, and that made it special."

Collie said the entire weekend was memorable, right on down the pizza slices and the talk of faith and football.

And here's a refreshing twist about Collie: he's in no dire hurry to grow up. He wants to maximize every last day at Oak Ridge, in El Dorado Hills.

"I was never a kid who wanted to grow up and get out of here," he said. "When I was 6 or 7 years old, I was scared to grow up. I'm more of a guy wanting time to slow down. I absolutely have loved El Dorado Hills and all the people. It's going to be hard to leave because of all the people.

"I'm in no hurry to go. I'd love to go back and play some games 100 percent healthy (after missing time with injuries). But as slow as I want these months to go, I can't wait until Sept. 1 against Washington State."

Collie expects to be in uniform on that date, the season opener. He play the season then head off for a two-year mission, destination unknown.

As much as Collie embraces the BYU name and tradition and for what it all stands for, he earlier had visions of Oregon Ducks green, especially after striking up a friendship with Whitney quarterback Jake Rodrigues, a Ducks recruit.

"At first, I would have loved to have gone to Oregon," Collie said. "They were interested. They came to Oak Ridge for visits. I wanted to commit to a school before the season, and then later, one day it hit me: there is no other place like BYU. I'm very excited to be going there."
Follow Dylan Collie on Twitter: DRC_09
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January 16, 2012
Cal Poly football has verbal commitments from four area players

By Joe Davidson

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has received verbal commitments from four Sacramento-area products in recent days and weeks. They are:

* Folsom quarterback Tanner Trosin, The Bee's Offensive Player of the Year who set state records for yards passing in a single season and total offense

* Folsom receiver Carson McMurtrey, who overcame injuries to stretch teams with his speed and hands; he is also a superb punter.

* Del Campo defensive back Norm Sadler, a good cover man, a hitter and leader for another Cougars playoff team

* Elk Grove linebacker/tight end Josh Letuligassenoa, a team captain leader who powered the Herd to a 12-1 season, before losing to Folsom in the playoffs. He will join older brother and former Bee Athlete of the Year Lefi at Cal Poly.

Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh will be in Sacramento for home visits on Tuesday.

Josh said earlier tonight that he is still weighing options.

For more area news and updates, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 16, 2012
Franklin beats Deer Valley in boys basketball in MLK event at Cal

By Joe Davidson

Just over a week ago, Jesse Formaker watched Deer Valley as it competed in the Jesuit Father Kelly Tribute and nodded at the Antioch team's size, skill and depth.
Now Deer Valley is nodding.

Rallying from six down with just over three minutes to play, the Franklin Wildcats and their delighted coach Formaker toppled the Wolverines of the North Coast Section 54-51 in the Martin Luther King Showcase at Cal's Haas Pavilion.

Forward Theo Johnson had 16 points for the Wildcats of Elk Grove, who moved to 14-4 and have their eyes set on a fifth consecutive Delta Valley Conference title. Victory Rustin, another forward, had 15 points and provided superb defense in stretches on national recruit 6-foot-9 big man Marcus Lee, who had just four points.
Darin Johnson added 13 for Franklin and guard Arieas Toney was again solid and effective at guard. Kelton Newman, the team captain, was also strong, Formaker said.

"I was very pleased with how the boys played," Formaker said, walking the streets of Telegraph Hill. "Victor defended the heck out of Lee. Lee's long, tall, moves well, and at first our kids were intimidated by him a little because we don't get to see guys like that in our area."

Formaker enjoyed the experience personally, too. He is a Cal graduate, loved his time there and joked he may spend several more hours on Telegraph before heading home.

* Special thanks to Twitter updates from our reporter friends Jimmy Durkin of the Bay Area News Group and Harold Abend of Cal-Hi Sports. Follow Harold at HaroldAbend and Durkin at Jimmy_Durkin.
For more news and updates: sb_joedavidson

January 16, 2012
Kyi Thomas of Sheldon football makes verbal commitment to Sacramento State

Kyi Thomas of Sheldon High School has been recruited before, on his own campus, to play football, and now football will provide a path for the senior athletic marvel.

Thomas took a recruiting trip to Sacramento State over the weekend and today accepted a scholarsip offer to play receiver for the Hornets, giving the program a verbal commitment.

Thomas said he has to thank his prep football coach, Josh Crabtree, who would sit and marvel as the public address announcer for Huskies basketball games in recent years, agape as Thomas dominated his craft. Crabtree convinced the 6-foot-4 wing to give football a try, and when college football recruiters saw him working out in basketball, they wondered, "Who the heck is that?"

Thomas played receiver for Sheldon this past fall, catching 638 yards worth of passes and five touchdowns in a still-learning season. His 44-inch vertical leap are among his many athletic gifts.

Sac State this weekend also got a verbal commitment from Elk Grove High running back Deon Ransom, making for two major gems.

Sheldon tight end Nate Iese, also a basketball player, is deciding between Nebraska, UCLA and Cal. Sheldon defensive lineman Antonio Perez is picking between Sac State, Army, Idaho and Weber State.

The Huskies sent defensive tackle Marcus Paige-Allen to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo last season (Crabtree visited him over the weekend on the Central Coast) and tight end Mansel Simmons to Washington State.

For more news and updates, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 16, 2012
Cal loses football recruiting guru Lupoi; does it impact Shaq Thompson, Arik Armstead?

Recruiting. It never ends, and it's never boring.

The news within the last hour of Cal recruiting guru Tosh Lupoi bolting to the Washington Huskies for a significant pay raise to help coach that defense is a two-way blow that could leave a lasting ripple effect for recruits across the land.

The hire marks a significant boost for Washington as prime recruiters are prized employees, and Lupoi has earned a reputation as one of the country's best.
It's an even bigger blow to the Bears in Berkeley with this being the final, frantic weeks of recruiting, including scores of home visits just this weekend.

January 15, 2012
Arik Armstead heads home from Auburn to make decision; says he is enrolled at Cal, Notre Dame, Auburn

By Joe Davidson

It's wheels up for Arik Armstead as he headed back today from his last recruiting trip, his mind full of possibilities.

Does he become a Cal Bear? An Auburn Tiger? An Oregon Duck? A Notre Dame Fighting Irish? The ministry instead?

Armstead, the All-American lineman from Pleasant Grove High School, visited Auburn over the weekend with brother Armond and father Guss. They checked out basketball practice - Armstead wants to play both sports in college - visited the football facilities and talked as a family about the academic structure, the chance to multi-task as an athlete.

Where to go?

Armstead's father said his team "will get home and pray on it" and make a decision by Monday morning. Armstead said he would ideally like to start attending classes as early as Tuesday. He said Sunday that he is enrolled at Cal, Notre Dame and Auburn, and that should provide all the proof needed on just how tight this three-school race is.

How can Armstead be enrolled into three schools at once? Enrolling before committing has become something of the norm for blue-chip recruits who graduate from high school at mid year. Keep in mind that nothing becomes binding until an athlete actually attends a class.

Ideally built to play offensive tackle at 6-foot-8 and 290 pounds, Armstead said he prefers to play on the defensive line, either tackle or end (much like Armond did at USC). Auburn offers a chance to compete in the muscle-bound Southeastern Conference, home of the last six BCS champions and eight total since its inception in 1998.

Notre Dame is unique for tradition and athletics. Cal has Armstead intrigued because of its academic standing, its new football stadium, the proximity to his Elk Grove roots and because scores of friends are headed there, including Grant star Shaq Thompson.

What's more, the Armstead brothers would like to play together. Armond was a two-year starter at USC before sitting out this past fall with a medical condition. He has medically been cleared and the family said he was never in any danger.

Arik gave a verbal commitment to USC following his sophomore season but opened his options in the fall and accepted recruiting trips to Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon and Cal. It's ironic to note that USC coach Lane Kiffin is in the Sacramento region today to make a home visit to Whitney tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, a longtime pal of Armstead (they attended Jesuit as freshmen and played football and basketball there).

On Sunday night, Armond visited with Notre Dame football coaches. He also has a great deal of mutual interest with Auburn, though the brothers insist each will make their own decision independent of the other.

All told, Armstead is the most heavily recruited linemen in Sacramento-area history. Others of note from the lines include Gordon King of Bella Vista and Stanford, a first-round pick of the New York Giants in 1978, Reggie Rogers of Norte Del Rio and Washington and a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 1987, Jason Fisk of Davis and Stanford and a second-round pick in 1995 and Vei Moala of Grant from last season (now at Cal).
For more updates, follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 15, 2012
Elk Grove football star Deon Ransom gives verbal commitment to Sacramento State; Sheldon recruit updates

By Joe Davidson

Sacramento State football could has received a verbal commitment from one regional star and could get more in the coming days and weeks.

The Hornets this weekend hosted a recruiting trip for Deon Ransom of Elk Grove High School, a tailback/safety prospect, and Kyi Thomas of Sheldon, a receiver with incredible leaping ability (he's also a superb basketball prospect).

Ransom and Thomas have been offered scholarships, and as of Sunday afternoon, Ransom gave a verbal commitment to play for the Hornets. UPDATE: On Monday, Thomas gave a verbal to play for Sac State (see story link).

Thomas has yet to make a decision but did say he is greatly flattered and wildly intrigued.
A three-year starter for the Thundering Herd, Ransom was a tough, instinctive and proud performer. He was a key part to his program's resurgence in 2011, rushing for 1,825 yards and 27 touchdowns for a 12-1 team. Elk Grove won four games in each of the previous two seasons.

Elk Grove coach Chris Nixon has raved about his leader for more than a year. He's delighted with this Sac State news.

"Great kid, works hard in the classroom and is a complete football player: great runner, terrific blocker and fearless hitter," Nixon said.

Elk Grove lineman ace Steven Moore has given a verbal commitment to attend Cal. Another Herd captain, lineman Josh Letuligassenoa, has been offered a scholarship by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where his brother Lefi plays.

Thomas, meanwhile, tried football for the first time this past fall - effective on-campus recruiting by football coach Josh Crabtree - and said he loved the experience. With a 44-inch vertical leap, Thomas can jump out of a gym and well over a defensive back. He said football wasn't an option before last fall but it most certainly is an option now.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Thomas had 38 catches for 628 yards and five touchdowns for the Huskies.

* Also for Sheldon - Sheldon tight end Nate Iese has been offered by Cal, in addition to Nevada, Nebraska and UCLA. He will take a recruiting trip to Cal next weekend. Iese said his top two at the moment are UCLA and Nebraska, with Cal offering last week.

* More Sheldon - Sheldon defensive lineman Antonio Perez took a recruiting trip to Sac State Big Sky Conference rival Idaho over the weekend. He said he has earlier been offered by Sac State, Army, Cal Poly and Weber State, where he will on Jan 20th, West Point on the 27th (Army came for a home visit last week).

For more news and updates, follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 14, 2012
Del Campo boys top Granite Bay in Common Good Classic

Del Campo's boys basketball team is every bit a throwback.

The Cougars are a bunch of no-names from the neighborhood who are playing so well these days that 10-year coach Dave Nobis admits to feeling rejuvenated.

No. 10 Del Campo is 15-3 after breaking open a tight game in the fourth quarter and beating defending Sierra Foothill League co-champion and No. 15 Granite Bay 61-49 in today's Common Good Classic at Antelope High School.

January 13, 2012
Boys Top 20: Unranked Valley upsets No. 6 Burbank 48-45

Tercail Hadley, Aaron Redd and Robert Perry each had 10 points as unranked Valley upset No. 6 Burbank 48-45 in a Metro Conference boys basketball game tonight.

In other games involving top 20 teams:

• Dakarai Allen had 29 points, four steals and three blocks and D'Erryl Williams added 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in leading No. 2 Sheldon past No. 1 Jesuit 88-70 in a Delta River League game. Kurt Parker led Jesuit with 18 points.

January 13, 2012
No. 2 Sheldon stuns No. 1 Jesuit with second half onslaught

For one half Friday night in Carmichael, it lived up to a battle of The Bee's top-ranked teams and rivals who always seem to bring out the best in one another.

The No. 1 Jesuit Marauders trailed the No. 2 Sheldon Huskies 37-35.

Then came the blitz.

Sheldon opened the second half with a 13-2 run, outscored Jesuit 31-15 in the third quarter and coasted to an easy 88-70 Delta River League win.

January 13, 2012
Pleasant Grove national recruit Arik Armstead is NOT officially a Cal Bear; reports premature on his Cal enrollment

By Joe Davidson

You have to love "sources" in the new social media world where everyone scrambles to get it first.

In the NBA, I have a source that tells me "sources" that break trade rumors or assistant coaching hires are actually agents who want that news to get out.

On the high school and college sporting front, I don't know how a source can be any more in tune, in touch or iron-clad than the immediate family.

Let's take Arik Armstead, the national recruit football linemen from Pleasant Grove High who is with his brother Armond and dad Gus in Alabama as we type away here for a recruiting trip to visit the Auburn Tigers.

I talked to Arik at length earlier and to his dad, too, and contrary to fast-circulating reports, the 6-foot-8, 290-pound linemen man mover is not formally enrolled at Cal, meaning he is not a for-sure lock to be a Bear. Could Armstead wind up a Bear?

Absolutely, and that's my guess. But at the moment, not true.

What has caused confusion is Armstead's name appearing in the Cal student directory online. This is a common tactic for student/athletes who aspire to graduate from high school early and enroll into college immediately.

But here's the important element here: it's not unique to have a recruit's name listed in a directory and he never showing up. If anything, it's a holding-pattern situation so if Armstead does indeed decide on Cal, he has a head start with a course load.

And this clincher: Armstead, or any student, must attend classes at a college to formally become a member of that institution.

The Armstead family will announce late this weekend which college Armstead will call home.

I don't need a source for that. That comes from the family themselves. We'll have a Bee story Saturday that looks into Armstead's decision to graduate early, to leave his Pleasant Grove basketball buddies behind and the hopes of playing at least one college season with brother Armond, who wants to transfer from USC.
For more updates, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 12, 2012
Boys Top 20: Granite Bay and Del Oro win in SFL tonight

Nate Brillington scored 34 points to lead No. 15 Granite Bay to a 77-70 Sierra Foothill League win tonight over Woodcreek.

Nick Howe led Woodcreek with 20 points.

In another SFL game involving a top-20 team, Austin Saldano, Taylor Bergthold and Nick Lewis each had 12 points as No. 16 Del Oro beat Rocklin 79-36.

January 12, 2012
Girls Top 20: No. 10 Kennedy edges No. 5 Florin 53-51 tonight

Lynette Johnson scored 23 points and Lori Wong added 15 as No. 10 Kennedy defeated No. 5 Florin 53-51 in a Metro Conference girls basketball game tonight.

In other games involving Bee Top 20 girls teams:

• Jehiah Cook had 22 points and Briana Womack 13 to lead top-ranked Sacramento to a 73-41 Metro win over Rosemont.

January 11, 2012
Girls Top 20: No. 8 River City pounds Liberty Ranch 62-29

Katie King scored 20 points to lead No. 8 River City past Liberty Ranch 62-29 tonight in a Sierra Valley Conference girls basketball game in West Sacramento.

River City is now 17-1 overall, 3-0 in league.

January 11, 2012
Boys top 20: No. 3 Pleasant Grove beats Oak Ridge in overtime

Malik Thames scored 25 points, Colfax Nordquist 16 and Cody Demps 13 as No. 3 Pleasant Grove defeated No. 12 Oak Ridge 73-66 in overtime in the Delta River League boys basketball opener tonight in El Dorado Hills.

Bryce Scott had 26 points for Oak Ridge.

The game was tied 57-57 in regulation.

The win moved Pleasant Grove to 16-1. Oak Ridge is 9-7.

In other boys games reported to us involving teams ranked in The Bee's top 20:

January 11, 2012
Davis and Grant boys combine for 210 points tonight

In the wildest area boys basketball game in sometime, Grant defeated Davis 109-101 tonight in the Delta Valley Conference opener for both in Del Paso Heights.

De'Sean Parsons led six Pacers in double figures with 34 points. Tyler Sousa topped Davis with 24 points. Fourteen Blue Devils scored.

Davis is using a up-tempo offense called "The System" that has turned the once staid and low-scoring team into the state scoring leader.

But it's produced mixed results in wins and losses. Davis is now 8-8 overall and 0-1 in league after losing its third straight and fifth in the last six games.

Grant is 9-9, 1-0 in league.

January 11, 2012
Nine area wrestlers medal at major wrestling tournament

Nine area wrestlers medaled at the prestigious Doc Buchanan Wrestling Invitational in Clovis on Saturday.

Folsom's Connor Pollock placed second at 126 pounds, losing by pin to Anthony Valencia of St. John Bosco of Bellflower in the championship match.

Bella Vista's Shayne Tucker (138), Oak Ridge's Keaton Subjeck (160), Center's Khymba Johnson (195) and Foothill's Mike Lowman (285) all won third place medals.

Elk Grove's Martin Ramirez (132) placed fourth and teammate Josh Letuligasenoa (220) finished sixth. Folsom's Lorenzo De La Riva (120) and Ponderosa's Nick Traquato (170) placed seventh.

Folsom finished 10th in the team standings. Clovis won the team title.

January 10, 2012
Girls Top 20: Top-ranked Sac High beats Johnson 71-3

Jehiah Cook had 16 points and Casey Williams 15 in top-ranked Sacramento's 71-3 Metro Conference girls basketball win over Hiram Johnson tonight.

It was a tough back-to-back for Hiram Johnson, which lost 105-2 to No. 5 Florin on Thursday.

In other girls games tonight involving Bee Top 20 teams:

January 10, 2012
Bender, Williams lead No. 7 Foothill boys past Rio Linda tonight

Kelly Bender scored 21 points and Anthony Williams added 15 as No. 7 Foothill defeated Rio Linda 57-40 in a nonleague boys basketball game tonight.

Foothill played without star Michael Bryson, out with an ankle injury suffered on Saturday at the Father Kelly Tribute at Jesuit High School.

In other games involving boys top 20 teams:

• Underclass power forwards Trey Belton and Nifae Lealao combined for 28 points in No. 17 Capital Christian's 55-47 nonleague win over Lincoln.

• Drew McPherson had 22 points and Jake Duenkel added 18 as Vista del Lago upset No. 20 Cosumnes Oaks 63-62 in a Sierra Valley Conference game.

January 10, 2012
Justin Woody helps Folsom climb into The Bee boys Top 20

No. 14 Folsom moves into The Bee's top 20 for the first time this week after beating No. 15 Granite Bay 64-53 Tuesday and No. 16 Del Oro 57-53 on Saturday in nonleague games.

Sandwiched between those games was a 52-26 win over Monterey Trail.

Senior guard Justin Woody continues to be coach Mike Wall's go-to scorer. He had 23 points against Granite Bay and 17 against Del Oro.

January 9, 2012
Sacramento High girls coach Massari said team will compete against struggling Johnson with effort, empathy

massari.jpgBy Joe Davidson

Michele Massari (left) will welcome the Johnson Warriors and their courageous coach Jeanie Huizar (below, right) with open arms Tuesday night in Oak Park.

Massari is the Sacramento High School girls basketball coach, top-ranked in the region and heavy favorites to cruise to another Metro Conference championship. Huizar coaches Johnson, a school every bit as proud as Sacramento but also a place without a basketball tradition, or a feeder program, or any girls who have played on off-season travel teams, the foundation for elite programs across the country.

Massari is many things - feisty, driven, loud, proud - and she also understands class and empathy. Her deeply talented Dragons face a Warriors team heavy on desire but thin on numbers, height, quickness - and even thinner on basketball experience. Some players are still learning the game - how to play it, how to dribble, drive, shoot, defend. Huizar often coaches solo and practices solo. The elite programs, by contrast, have an army of coaches working with skilled players.

Florin crushed Johnson 105-2 on Thursday, the Warriors' 46th consecutive Metro loss. The Warriors are 1-62 in the last four seasons under three coaches. Huizar is in her second season, determined to teach the game, to show that school and sports can indeed go hand-in-hand.

The big loss Thursday to Florin came two nights after Florin trailed 29-0 to Sac High out of the gates in a battle of Bee Top 4 teams. Sac High won that contest 66-31. So Sacramento could conceivably beat Johnson....even worse than Florin?

No chance. Tuesday's Sac-Johnson affair won't be nearly as bad as the Florin-Johnson outcome, Massari said.

Massari said her team will not score 100 points. After a certain point, the Dragons will not full-court press, will not trap to the point of absolute destruction, will not race to the basket on steals. This isn't to suggest the Dragons won't compete - they always compete - but rather they will attack in different ways.

huizar.jpg"We'll definitely run the shot clock down, take outside shots, and we won't score on fastbreak layups," Massari said. "We'll get a maximum offensive effort by passing the ball. We'll play hard but it will be modified and it won't be insulting to Johnson."

Huizar said she has been moved by the support and compassion of Massari, who called her after the Florin loss to offer encouragement. Huizar said she wants teams to compete against her club and that if foes suddenly put their hands down, then it's really an insult.

What's more, the coaches talked about impacting young lives beyond wins and losses. Both coaches have taken their teams to Sacramento State women's games, to expose them to the college view, and they chatted at length.

"I had a great talk with her," Massari said. "Told her that she affecting lives with her effort and attitude more than she can imagine, the lessons she teaches go beyond anything on the floor.

"I know I've been blessed with great coaches here and great talent, but what she's doing is just as important."

Huizar, a championship coach at the lower levels at McClatchy, said Johnson "feels like home" and that her players "feel like family."

"Coach Massari said if I ever wanted to join her staff, I could," Huizar said. "That's so nice. But I can't leave these girls. We're going to learn and get better."

Hometown Report: There's no pity, just admiration for team that loses 105-2

For prep news, scores, story links, updates, fun and flavor, follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 8, 2012
Folsom QB Tanner Trosin gives verbal commitment to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

By Joe Davidson

For a football player who shattered state passing and total yardage records this season, who willed his team back to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title game, the only missing piece to the puzzle was a scholarship.

Now Tanner Trosin has that in hand, too.

The Folsom High School senior standout quarterback gave Cal Poly San Luis Obispo a verbal commitment to play for the Mustangs in the Big Sky Conference. He visited the school over the weeknd of Jan. 8, was wowed by the experience, and gave a commitment to Cal Poly coaches before heading back to Folsom with his parents, Tony and Evan.

"I really like it there and can't wait to get started," said Trosin, The Sacramento Bee's 2011 Offensive Player of the Year. "I'm excited about this."

Know for its academic structure, its picturesque setting on the Central Coast and for producing some very good football teams in Division I-AA, Trosin seems to be an ideal fit for a program that likes to have versatile passers who can use their legs and arm in forcing teams to back pedal.

What's more, Cal Poly was the only school to express serious interest, the prevailing thought from other college programs being that the slightly 6-foot-1 and 175 pound Trosin wasn't sturdy enough to handle the rigors of the college game. The position has become a big-man's spot - look at Stanford's Andrew Luck.

Never mind that at 17, Troisn is still growing, maturing, or that his father is 6-foot-3 (Tony is the last quarterback to lead Sacramento State to the playoffs, in 1988, taking over at midseason after a stirring win at Cal Poly).

All told, Trosin is the fourth successive Folsom quarterback to land a scholarship and the third Folsom player to go to Cal Poly in the last year (center Stephen Sippel signed last year and receiver Carson McMurtrey gave a verbal earlier this season).

Folsom's other scholarship quarterbacks under coach Kris Richardson include: Cary Grossart, Northern Arizona; David Graves, Hawaii; Dano Graves, Air Force.
Trosin's brother, NorCal record-setting receiver Tyler Trosin of Folsom's 2010 team, is on scholarship at Oregon State.

Tanner Trosin was a defensive back starter for Folsom's 2010 CIF Division II State Championship team and then emerged at quarterback in 2011. Instinctive, tough, tenacious and driven, he obliterated area, then section, then NorCal and finally a bevy of state records.

Tanner Trosin this past fall became the first quarterback to pass for 5,000 yards in a single season, remarkable considering the thousands of players who have aired it out in this state over the decades, finishing with 5,185 yards and 49 touchdowns. He also became the first athlete in state history to amass 6,000 yards in a single season, going for 6,364 and 69 total touchdowns. The 69 touchdowns are second most in state history, behind Dano Graves' 85 last season.

Some fans - internet Trolls, in other words - contend that Trosin was a system quarterback. Kris Richardson, the Folsom coach, argues that a great talent makes a system all the more great. Folsom has expertly run the spread offense the last eight or so seasons.

"He's a great player, the most competitive guy I've coached, and he made our system great, so it's a fit," Richardson said. "Tanner's an amazing talent. He played hurt in some games and just willed us to achieve."

For more prep news and updates, follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 7, 2012
Jesuit rally falls short against powerhouse Newark Memorial in capper of Father Kelly Tribute; area teams go 3-1 in event

By Joe Davidson

Sluggish and fatigued for 3½ quarters after two impressive wins since Wednesday and facing a superbly coached powerhouse program, top-ranked Jesuit High School pulled to within two with 18.8 seconds left on a Parker Uu runner, but Newark Memorial iced it on the line for a 56-50 victory in the nightcap of the Father Kelly Tribute at Jesuit on Saturday.

All told, regional teams went 3-1 against the heavies from the North Coast Section in the 10th annual showcase event, with No. 7 Franklin beating Freedom of Oakley in the opener 53-46, No. 8 Foothill downing Deer Valley 57-45 despite losing star Michael Bryson for most of the second half with an ankle injury and No. 2 Pleasant Grove held off Berkeley 57-52.

There was no shame for Jesuit falling to Newark, a longtime North Coast Section power, and a club Jesuit beat at the buzzer on a Uu jumper in the Gridley Invitational on Dec. 9, but what irked Marauders coach Greg Harcos was a breakdown on fundamentals. Jesuit harbos Sac-Joaquin, NorCal and State title hopes with a veteran roster that has played the part of contender most of the season.

Jesuit (13-3) was impressive in winning the Sand Dunne Classic in San Francisco last week, edging NorCal power McClymonds in Oakland on Wednesday and routing Granite Bay on Friday but fell behind early against Newark (10-4).

The Cougars led by 12 midway through the fourth before Jesuit chipped away, with Uu hitting a three-pointer to pull to within 50-46 with 1:56 to go. The senior guard then hit Brian Glodowski for an inside pass to cut it to 52-48 with 1:30.

Casey Norris, Newark's superb senior guard, had four late free throws and 26 points.
Uu had 18 points and Kurt Parker 13.

Harcos told his team that they relied too much on 1-on-1 play, didn't move the ball and didn't defend well enough, and all of those areas have to improve with the Delta River League schedule looming, including No. 2 Sheldon on Friday.

For more prep news and updates, follow on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 7, 2012
No. 3 Pleasant Grove (15-1) holds off Berkeley in Father Kelly Tribute; area teams off to 3-0 showing

By Joe Davidson

The No. 3-ranked Pleasant Grove Eagles are a couple of bounces and four points shy of a perfect start to a season of great promise.

They are 15-1, winners of nine straight, yet here is coach John DePonte wanting more, expecting more, demanding more. DePonte was pleased that his gritty and terrifically talented bunch beat Berkeley 57-52 in Game 3 of the Father Kelly Tribute at Jesuit on Saturday, but like any leader, he wasn't completely satisfied.

With top-ranked Jesuit and No. 2 Sheldon looming in a brutally tough and deep Delta River League that also features ranked Oak Ridge and upstarts in Ponderosa and Folsom, improvement was the theme in the post-game locker room.

"We've been in a little bit of a funk," DePonte said. "We're not always concentrating. We need better mental focus and execution over all. Jesuit and Sheldon may be deeper than us, and we have to do all the little things - boxing out, getting on the floor (for a loose ball), all the fundamental things."

Guard Malik Thames had 18 points for Pleasant Grove and wings Colfax Nordquist and Cody Demps contributed 13 each. With guard Caleb Jackson sidelined with a knee injury and 6-foot-8 post Arik Armstead competing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio earlier in the day, the Eagles coaches challenged the unsung performers to up their game.

Matthew Hayes, Ben Nguyen, Matthew Smrekar and D.J. Dunn provided ball handling, defense and hustling against the Yellowjackets, for decades a girls national power but also a strong Bay Area boys program.

Pleasant Grove has lost only 62-58 to Bakersfield and is coming off a title showing at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in Palm Springs.

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January 7, 2012
Foothill loses star player Bryson, but earns win over loaded Deer Valley at Father Kelly Tribute

By Joe Davidson

Already facing a daunting task in facing the tall and talented Deer Valley Wolverines of the North Coast Section, Foothill's challenge became even greater when star wing Michael Bryson went down early in the third quarter, nursing a two-point lead.

That would be down and out.

Bryson rolled his ankle and sat on the bench with an ice pack the rest of the way, imploring his teammates to soldier on. They did, admirably, playing with composure and with defensive fury to topple the Wolverines of Antioch 57-45 in the second game of the Father Kelly Tribute at Jesuit on Saturday.

Huge win," a relieved and delighted Foothill coach Drew Hibbs said. "The guys really picked it up after Bryson, and we played our hearts out."

The gifted 6-foot-4 Bryson scored 18 of his 21 in the first half in showcasing his full arsenal of skills: long-range shooting, ball handling, leadership. Bound for UC Santa Barbara via scholarship. Bryson's ankle isn't considered serious with Pioneer Valley League play opening next week.

Guard Anthony Williams scored 15 for Foothill (12-3), which has suffered losses only to Bee No. 3 Pleasant Grove (by three), No. 14 Center (by three) and to Analy of the Bay Area (by four).

Kelly Bender had nine points for Foothill, which also received superb overall efforts well outside the scoring column from guard David Sanders and forwards Douglas James and Dante Hullum.

Hibbs, the only area boys coach to win two state titles, both with Foothill, said the Mustangs can continue to surge if they play together and with effort.

"We have to play smart, limit our turnovers, and we can compete with anyone," Hibbs said.

That was certainly the case against Deer Valley (10-5), which boasts of 6-foot-9 center Marcus Lee, a junior national recruit commitment to Cal. He scored on an early dunk to highlight a 9-0 opening run and had 12 points total. But he didn't score in the fourth, testament to the Mustangs defense.

Follow Joe Davidson for more prep news and updates on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 7, 2012
Foothill loses star player Bryson, but earns win over loaded Deer Valley at Father Kelly Tribute

By Joe Davidson

Already facing a daunting task in facing the tall and talented Deer Valley Wolverines of the North Coast Section, Foothill's challenge became even greater when star wing Michael Bryson went down early in the third quarter, nursing a two-point lead.

That would be down and out.

Bryson rolled his ankle and sat on the bench with an ice pack the rest of the way, imploring his teammates to soldier on. They did, admirably, playing with composure and with defensive fury to topple the Wolverines of Antioch 57-45 in the second game of the Father Kelly Tribute at Jesuit on Saturday.

Huge win," a relieved and delighted Foothill coach Drew Hibbs said. "The guys really picked it up after Bryson, and we played our hearts out."

The gifted 6-foot-4 Bryson scored 18 of his 21 in the first half in showcasing his full arsenal of skills: long-range shooting, ball handling, leadership. Bound for UC Santa Barbara via scholarship. Bryson's ankle isn't considered serious with Pioneer Valley League play opening next week.

Guard Anthony Williams scored 15 for Foothill (12-3), which has suffered losses only to Bee No. 3 Pleasant Grove (by three), No. 14 Center (by three) and to Analy of the Bay Area (by four).

Kelly Bender had nine points for Foothill, which also received superb overall efforts well outside the scoring column from guard David Sanders and forwards Douglas James and Dante Hullum.

Hibbs, the only area boys coach to win two state titles, both with Foothill, said the Mustangs can continue to surge if they play together and with effort.

"We have to play smart, limit our turnovers, and we can compete with anyone," Hibbs said.

That was certainly the case against Deer Valley (10-5), which boasts of 6-foot-9 center Marcus Lee, a junior national recruit. He scored on an early dunk to highlight a 9-0 opening run and had 12 points total. But he didn't score in the fourth, testament to the Mustangs defense.

Follow Joe Davidson for more prep news and updates on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 7, 2012
Franklin-Elk Grove rallies to beat Freedom-Oakley in opener of Father Kelly Tribute; coach says it's best effort of season

By Joe Davidson

The Franklin Wildcats trailed 12-0 out of the gates, called time out and then....woke up.

Playing inspired and with cohesion in gaining an even deeper measure of trust from the coaches, the Wildcats of Elk Grove stormed back against Freedom of Oakley of the North Coast Section to take their first lead at 43-41 on a Kyle Ford layup and never looked back, winning 53-46 in the opener of the four-game Father Kelly Tribute at Jesuit on Saturday afternoon.

Ranked No. 7 by The Bee, Franklin improved to 11-4 in halting a two-game losing streak. The Wildcats now bound into Delta Valley Conference play next week as the clear favorites. Under coach Jesse Formaker, the Wildcats are four-time defending league champions.

Saturday's effort included the slow start, a meeting of the minds and plenty of earned coach-player trust. Specifically, Formaker listened to leaders such as Arieas Toney, who suggested going to a zone defense. That ploy helped stall the Falcons, who came in at 11-3, including wins over Monterey Trail and Laguna Creek and a 61-56 loss to Burbank. Franklin had a 16-4 run to seize control, and the Wildcats prevailed with one of their star players sidelined with illness in junior guard Darrin Johnson.

"They wanted to go to a zone and we did," Formaker said. "It's their team. I really like our group of kids. They're capable of achieving great things."

Formaker said he likes playing out-of-section opponents, all the better to get a playoff feel on the eve of conference play with a neutral court, unfamiliar locker rooms and more. And the coach couldn't contain his grin.

"I'm more pleased with this game than any we've played all season because it was a team effort," he said. "We as coaches took a step back and let the boys step up."

Senior standout forward Theo Johnson had 13 points and senior captain leader Kelton Newman, a wing, had 12 points, including cool free throw shooting down the stretch, making five. Victor Rustin had nine and Shikabe Aziz six for Franklin.

For more prep news updates, follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 7, 2012
Sacramento-area prep football recruiting update: who's going where and who might get a shot?

By Joe Davidson

UPDATED Jan. 29...

This much we already know about football scholarship verbal commitments, with more to come and plenty of top talents likely to fall through the cracks, victim of a numbers game (thousands of prep stars and only hundreds of scholarships):

* TE Nate Iese of Sheldon to UCLA
* QB Tanner Trosin of Folsom to Cal Poly
* OL Steven Moore of Elk Grove to Cal
* RB Deon Ransom of Elk Grove to Sacramento State
* DB Marcus Rios of Cosumnes Oaks to UCLA
* WR Michael Thomas of Cosumnes Oaks to UNLV
* WR Kyi Thomas of Sheldon to Sacramento State
* ATH Andrew Williams of Cosumnes Oaks to Idaho
* QB Jake Rodrigues of Whintey to Oregon
* TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick of Whitney to USC
* OL Gavin Andrews of Granite Bay to Oregon State
* OL Charles Fairamo, Grant, Nevada
* LB Alex Bertrando of Del Oro to Nevada
* WR Carson McMurtrey of Folsom to Cal Poly
* TE/LB Josh Letuligasenoa of Elk Grove to Cal Poly
* WR/DB Dalen Jones of Woodland to Fresno State
* WR Dylan Collie of Oak Ridge to BYU
* DB Desmond Lewis of Pleasant Grove to Air Force
* WR Doug Vernon of Folsom to Cornell
* LB D.J. Dunn of Pleasant Grove to Air Force
* RB John Wiernicki of Liberty Ranch to Air Force
* DL Antonio Perez of Sheldon to Idaho
* QB Austin Young of Colfax to Southern Utah
* WR Corey Palin of Whitney to Butler University
* K Marcus White of Pleasant Grove to UC Davis
* DB Norn Sadler of Del Campo to Cal Poly
* K Jon David-Smith of Oak Ridge to Southern Oregon
* OL/DL Yuvraaj Madra of Folsom to Weber State
* WR Corey Palin of Whitney to Butler University
Others seniors:
* Shaq Thompson, Grant, S (No. 1 safety prospect in the country had given a verbal to Cal before assistant coach Tosh Lupoi bolted for Washington; now has Cal, Washington, Oregon in a dead heat).
* Arik Armstead, Pleasant Grove, OL/DL (No. 1 prospect by some; will announce today at 3 p.m. at family church; sense is it's down to Cal, Washington, Oregon).
* J.T. Frank, Jesuit, DB (defensive playmaker with 6 picks & a great student; all sorts of Ivy League interest)
* Nathan Di Donato, Franklin, DE (his 22 sacks mean he's hard to block; fast)
* Mark Jenkins, Pleasant Grove, RB (yes, he's diminutive, but he's incredibly quick, shifty, instinctive)
* Logan Smith, Vista del Lago, WR (terrific hands, routes, NorCa record 152 catches this year; rising interest)
* Zac Cunha, Roseville, QB (excellent work ethic, size, arm, student, leader; lot of D-II and D-III interest and from UC Davis, too)
* Alex Wood, Folsom, LB (team leader on D has made a ton of plays)
* Brendan Keeney, Granite Bay, QB (poised, proud, tough, a winner, scholar)
* Spencer Briare, Granite Bay, TE/LB (don't want to get run over by this guy)
* Jordan Alleva, Folsom, OL (best lineman for best passing team in the state)
* Jonathan Iulio, Grant, LB (heart and soul of Pacers D; tough, fast, good size)
* Watson Tautuiaki, Elk Grove, OL (strong in wing-T and wins most battles)
* Aaron Young, Vista del Lago, QB (at 6-3 with good touch, makes plays)
* Mitch Samson, Casa Roble, QB (excellent scholar, leader and excellent touch passer)
* Casey Lambert, Roseville, RB (a ton of yards in two seasons in rugged SFL)
* Zach Heath, Del Oro, OL (every bit as good as his brothers before him, and they got full rides)
* Cameron Buell, Casa Roble, LB (all he does is make plays and tackles, by the bushel)
* Preston Dean, Oak Ridge, FB/LB (brutish with the ball, brutish in pursuit with Ivy League grades)
* Gabe Humphers, Nevada Union, LB (coach's son is tough, versatile, smart; prefered walk-on offer from UCLA)
* Cody Demps, Pleasant Grove, QB (excellent basketball player is a leader, a scholar, a hidden talent; Hawaii, Cal Poly interest)
* Russell Smith, Del Oro, WR/DB (fast, instinctive, tough; Sac State interest)
* Maile Fainu, Burbank, DE (sack specialist with size and burst)
* Ray Edwards, Highlands, LB (relentless and has 22 sacks)
* Andrew Nave, Jesuit, K (excellent leg, athlete, student)
* Charlie Vue, Grant, K (area records for kick scoring means he's getting it through with distance, too; big interest from San Jose State)
Follow Joe Davidson for more updates on Twitter: sb_joedavidson
Send updates to jdavidson@sacbee.com and we'll include ASAP

PHOTO CAPTION: Del Oro tight end/linebacker Alex Bertrando is off to Nevada. Bee Photo by Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee

January 7, 2012
Grant's Shaq Thompson gives verbal commitment to Cal; would be next great Grant star to head to Berkeley

By Joe Davidson

Shaq Thompson made it a bit more official today when he announced during the NBC broadcast of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that he will head to Cal on scholarship.

Thompson was in his yellow West team jersey when he made the announcement, a plea and requirement of the Army Bowl as they want to draw more intrigue and ratings for the premiere prep All-Star even in the land. The West team won 24-12 with Thompson making five tackles on defense and nearly coming up with an interception.

The Bee's Player of the Year and a major national recruit as a Top 3 safety in the land, Thompson gave Cal a verbal commitment last spring after Junior Day in Berkeley, then de-committed - a common move for prep stars - to explore all options. The powerfully built 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior took recruiting trips to Washington, Arizona State and Notre Dame, but in recent days, Thompson said Cal became the clear choice.

Scholarship commitments do not become official until Feb. 1 - National Letter of Intent Day when pen goes to paper and is immediately faxed to college programs.

"It's like family for me," Thompson said of the Bears.

There are two reasons for that. Older brother and idol Syd Thompson, also a prep All-American at Grant, was a four-year starting cornerback for the Bears last decade and is now a second-year player for the Denver Broncos. Worrell Williams of Grant started three years at linebacker for Cal, a teammate of Syd Thompson, and Cal landed Bee 2010 co-Defensive Players of the Year last in defensive linemen aces Vei Moala and Puka Lopa.

Grant has been a rich pipeline for Cal coach Tedford, who needs a recruiting class boost to snap out of the program's mediocre run of late.

Thompson is a devastating runner and can also play quarterback, but he said he likes safety the most - "the chance to make plays and hit," he said.

"I think our class can really come in and make a difference for Cal," Thompson said of the Bears, who seem to be on their way to landing a national Top 5 recruiting class, including other Army All-Stars and Elk Grove standout lineman Steven Moore.

Grant coaches Mike Alberghini and Reggie Harris raved about Thompson's incredible athletic ability, his ability to turn games, to buckle foes. Most of all, the coaches were impressed by Thompson's leadership the field and especially on campus.

Alberghini, Harris and Thompson's mother Patty flanked Thompson for the announcement. As soon as he announced, Thompson and Harris hustled back to the sideline. Harris coached the West All-Star defensive linemen, a unit that includes Pleasant Grove All-American Arik Armstead.

The 6-foot-8 star who also excels in basketball said Friday that he will not announce his college choice until late this month. His top three remain Cal, Notre Dame and Oregon. He did concede to The Bee on Friday that the idea of playing at Cal with a friend like Thompson "would be cool."

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

PHOTO CAPTION: Grant quarterback Shaq Thompson. Paul Kitagaki Jr. Sacramento Bee

January 6, 2012
Boys Top 20 roundup: No. 1 Jesuit wallops No. 10 Granite Bay

Bryce Pressley had 14 points and Akachi Okugo and Kurt Parker 11 each as top-ranked Jesuit walloped No. 10 Granite Bay 68-29 in a nonleague boys basketball game tonight in Carmichael.

In other boys games involving top 20 teams:

• Darius Graham and De'Von Boyd each scored 15 points and Erik Kinney hit the game-winning three-pointer as No. 4 Sacramento beat No. 5 Burbank 61-59 in a Metro Conference game in Oak Park.

January 6, 2012
No. 4 Sac High overtakes No. 5 Burbank 61-59 in Metro thriller

There are no Kevin Galloways, Chase Tapleys or Josiah Turners leading this year's Sacramento boys basketball team.

Those mega-talented players could take over a game and score in bunches.

"Not having a star - a gifted creator - we have to rely on each other more this season," says Sacramento coach Derek Swafford.

Still, these Dragons are doing just fine with a couple of understated senior leaders and a strong group of hungry juniors.

January 6, 2012
Bee's Davidson joins Mike Finnerty on SureWest Sports Radio Show to talk basketball, football recruiting, Jesuit basketball tournament, Andrew Susac

By Joe Davidson

Hoops, football recruiting and a bit of baseball will be our items of interest on the SureWest Sports Radio Show as I join Mike Finnerty after a holiday break Saturday morning between 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320 (and linked later to ESPN1320.net) as The Bee and SureWest continues a content-share agreement to provide the best coverage and insight on local sports.

Big-picture view topics include:

* Sacramento beating Burbank 61-59 in a Metro Conference boys basketball thriller in Oak Park (big plays, amazing atmosphere).

* What we learned from the 103-point loss - yes, 103 points - the Johnson girls suffered at the hands of Florin. Encouraging and refreshing, but should any team ever lose 105-2?

* Jesuit basketball coach Greg Harcos calls in to talk about Saturday's Father Kelly Tribute that features area teams taking on Bay Area foes, including regional powers Foothill, Franklin, Pleasant Grove and Jesuit. Harcos is a Jesuit graduate.

* Former Jesuit catching great Andrew Susac will check in to talk about the professional baseball life as a promising prospect with the Giants.

* Football recruiting updates from Shaq Thompson of Grant, Arik Armstead of Pleasant Grove (both play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio tomorrow on NBC) and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick.

* Commentary, rankings, previews, reviews, predictions and more....

Question for us to answer on the air? Leave on comment forum below or send via Twitter to sb_joedavidson

January 6, 2012
Johnson Warriors girls basketball coach applauds team's resolve, courage after losing 105-2 to No. 4 Florin

I just found a high school girls basketball team that handles defeat a lot better than teams handle victory and will profile them tomorrow in The Bee.

The Johnson Warriors measure victories in the smallest milestone moments of fundamental success. They have lost 46 consecutive games in Metro Conference play and are 1-62 overall over the last four seasons under three coaches.

They lost 105-2 on Thursday night at Bee No. 4 Florin, and that's no typo, though we all wish it was. It's the most lop-sided score I can recall in my Bee stint (since 1988).

Johnson coach Jeanie Huizar glowed about her team's resolve, tenacity, thirst to improve and desire to practice. The Warriors have no players with year-round, travel-ball experience. Most haven't played the game until this season. Some still struggle to dribble, to screen, to shoot properly. But they care and they compete, and Huizar says "that's a victory in my book any day."

And they want no sympathy. The Warriors didn't want to quit and go home after it was 69-0 at the half at Florin. Johnson scored on two free throws "and we celebrated like it was a championship," Huizar said.

Huizar said Florin did not run up the score or rub it in. There was no full-court press. Her team was simply overwhelmed. Florin players, parents and coaches told Johnson players they appreciated their effort and admired them for sticking it out

Said Huizar, "people at school give our girls a hard time, but our girls wonder why they don't come out and play, and our girls have the courage to compete."

Bravo to that.

Florin coach Larry Price said his team can relate to horrific routs. His Panthers were 0-27 just four seasons ago. It took time, he said, to build from nothing.

Reminder: I join Mike Finnerty on the SureWest Sports Radio Show to talk about handling blowout losses. Also on topic: football recruiting with Shaq Thompson, Arik Armstead, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick. We will have two guests: Former Jesuit catcher and Giants draftee Andrew Susac and Jesuit basketball coach Greg Harcos to preview his school's Father Kelly Tribute on Saturday that includes local powers Franklin, Foothill, Pleasant Grove and Jesuit. We air each Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320 with show linked later on ESPN1320.net
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

January 6, 2012
Pioneer junior baseball trio make major college verbal commits

Pioneer of Woodland will be a baseball team to watch this spring, thanks to three outstanding juniors who have announced verbal college commitments, including two to the Pac-12.

Pitcher Zach Aukes, a USA Baseball junior national team player, has selected Oregon; pitcher-first baseman Robert Daugherty plans to play for Washington; and outfielder Marcus Vidales says he will play for Cal State Fullerton.

"A coach is lucky to get one D-I guy, let alone three," said Pioneer coach Craig Marquez. "They're part of a real talented group that's been playing together for a long time. They and their families have done a real good job of getting their names out at the showcases."

January 5, 2012
Basketball roundup: No. 8 Foothill boys edge No. 9 Bella Vista

Michael Bryson had 15 points and Kelly Bender 10 points as No. 8 Foothill held off No. 9 Bella Vista 48-46 tonight in a nonleague boys basketball game.

In other boys games involving top 20 teams: Gabe Bealer had 15 points in leading No. 6 Antelope to a 72-37 win over Christian Brothers, and Justin Sevilla had 26 points and Troy Owens 25 as No. 18 Cordova defeated Ponderosa 75-60.

In girls action, top-ranked Sacramento defeated Burbank 72-21; No. 3 Oak Ridge held off No. 14 Inderkum 44-42; No. 4 Florin beat Hiram Johnson 105-2; No. 6 Kennedy topped McClatchy 62-39; and No. 9 Sheldon topped Granite Bay 76-18 behind Brianna Burgos' 26 points.

January 5, 2012
No. 4 Florin girls defeat Hiram Johnson 105 to 2 tonight

We're still gathering more details, but in one of the most lopsided high school basketball results we've seen, the No. 4 Florin girls defeated Hiram Johnson 105-2 tonight in a Metro Conference game at Florin.

Daijah Joe-Smith had 29 points and 10 steals and Dalayna Sampton added 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers, who were was hammered 65-31 by top-ranked Sacramento on Tuesday in the Metro season opener, a game that ended with coaches from both teams barking at each other and security having to clear the gym.

In tonight's game, Florin (12-3) led 33-0 after a quarter and 69-0 at the half.

Dajah Harris scored Johnson's points with two free throws in the third quarter.

January 5, 2012
Ex-Roseville star Mykell Bates to participate in MLS combine

Santa Clara University defender Mykell Bates of Roseville hopes to follow several former Broncos with area ties into Major League Soccer.

Bates is one of 52 college seniors scheduled to participate in the MLS Player Combine Friday through Tuesday in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The combine is a prelude to the MLS draft Jan. 12 and supplemental draft Jan. 17.

Former Broncos Peter Lowry (Bella Vista-Portland Timbers), Steve Cronin (Bella Vista-DC United) and Jalil Anibaba (Davis-Chicago Fire) played in the MLS last season.

Anibaba, the Fire's top draft pick last year who started 27 matches, played his first three seasons at Santa Clara before transferring to North Carolina for his senior year.

Bates, a defender and two-time team captain, scored four goals, including three game winners this past season for Santa Clara (11-5-4).

He made the All-West Coast Conference first team for the second consecutive season and also was named the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I National Soccer Coaches Association of America All Far-West Region Third Team, despite missing five matches because of injury.

As a prep, Bates was a three-time Parade All-American and captained the U.S. National U-17 team that played in the 2007 FIFA World Cup.

He was all-Sierra Foothill League his freshman season for Roseville High coach Pablo Gutierrez and helped the Tigers win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship that season.

He finished his prep career in Florida while playing in the U.S. Soccer's youth national residency program.

January 4, 2012
Top-ranked Jesuit rallies to beat McClymonds in Oakland

Trailing 36-32 after three quarters, top-ranked Jesuit rallied to beat McClymonds 49-46 in a nonleague boys basketball game tonight in Oakland.

Akachi Okugo led the Marauders (12-2) with 19 points. Kurt Parker added 12.

In other games involving Bee boys ranked teams:

• Juniors Malik Thames and Colfax Nordquist combined for 29 points in leading No. 3 Pleasant Grove (13-1) to a 67-56 win over No. 12 Center (11-2) in Antelope. Christopher Smith had 22 points for Center.

January 4, 2012
State No. 10 Jesuit to play state No. 20 Newark Memorial

Saturday's meeting between Jesuit and Newark Memorial in the marquee game of the four-game Father Kelly Tribute at Jesuit gets a little added pizazz with the Bay Area school joining the Marauders this week in the Cal-Hi Sports' state boys basketball top 20.

Jesuit (11-2) is ranked No. 10 (climbing from No. 12) after beating St. Ignatius 68-49 Thursday to win the Sand Dune Classic in San Francisco.

Newark Memorial (7-4) moved into the state rankings at No. 20 after a strong showing in the ESPN Holiday Classic in Torrey Pines last week.

January 4, 2012
San Jose State to hold Darnell Hillman jersey retirement

Former Hiram Johnson basketball star Darnell Hillman, a member of the San Jose State University Sports Hall of Fame and the university's first player to be chosen in the first round of a National Basketball Association player draft, will have his Spartan playing jersey No. 45 retired during a Feb. 4 halftime ceremony of the San Jose State-Hawaii men's game.

The 6-foot-9 Hillman played 10 seasons as a pro in the NBA and the American Basketball Association.

Hillman played on one of San Jose State's best teams in 1968-69 when the Spartans went 16-8 and beat then No. 2 nationally ranked Santa Clara 73-69 in overtime.

January 3, 2012
Near fight after Florin-Sacramento girls game sullies possible great rivalry

It's been a good while since I've covered a basketball game at Florin High School, and I found that the gym still sparkles even if there was a dust-up after this contest tonight that may sully what could be a very good rivalry between superbly skilled and well coached girls teams.

The top-ranked Sacramento Dragons bolted to leads of 20-0, 29-3 and 34-5 and prevailed over the No. 4 Panthers 65-31 in a Metro Conference opener expect to be a fight to the finish.

As it turned out, there was almost a fight after the finish, and don't let anyone tell you that things get heated only in boys prep events.

January 3, 2012
Bryson scores 34 in No. 8 Foothill boys win over Del Campo; Sacramento, Kennedy girls open Metro Conference with wins

UC Santa Barbara-bound Michael Bryson scored 34 points, Kelly Bender added 19 and No. 8 Foothill outscored No. 11 Del Campo 33-6 in the first half en route to a 58-45 nonleague win tonight in Fair Oaks.

Foothill climbs to 10-3; Del Campo falls to 12-3.

In other games involving Bee Top 20 ranked girls and boys teams:

January 3, 2012
Grant coach in awe of U.S. Army All-American Bowl players

Grant athletic director and assistant football coach Reggie Harris has worked with plenty of gifted athletes at his school.

But even Harris is amazed at the level of talent he is working with this week in San Antonio as a West assistant coach for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl game at the Alamodome.

Harris is the defensive line coach for a West squad that includes his own Shaq Thompson and Pleasant Grove's Arik Armstead.

January 3, 2012
Prep football recruiting updates for Cosumnes Oaks, Shaq, Armstead, Cope-Fitzpatrick

shaq.jpgFootball season over yet? Almost.

The only downs left for high school seniors are this week for prep All-Star showcase games, including the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Saturday that includes Pleasant Grove's Arik Armstead and Grant's Shaq Thompson.

Last week in Dallas, Cosumnes Oaks cornerback Marcus Rios had five tackles in the Offense/Defense All-American Bowl.

Rios is headed to UCLA, one of three Cosumnes Oaks players to give verbal commitments. Receiver Michael Thomas is headed to UNLV and all-purpose Andrew Williams is off to Idaho. Tailback Tavon Willis has been offered by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is awaiting his test results from SAT/ACT exams.

January 3, 2012
SureWest Sports offers Prep Sports Year in Review and Fall Coaches of Year

The SureWestSports Show, a Bee content partner, offers its Year in Review segment and Fall 2011 Coaches of the Year.

Host Mike Finnerty details highlights, including:

Oakmont wrestler Jake Elliott winning a state title; the girls and boys basketball teams at Sacramento High winning Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championships; the basketball coaching retirement of famed area coaches in Harvey Tahara of McClatchy, Bob Jones of Cordova and Bill Baxter of El Camino, who won his 600th game last season and now is an assistant at Sacramento State; softball and baseball section title teams; Folsom quarterback Tanner Trosin shattering state records in passing; Del Oro repeating as section football D-III champions; Granite Bay winning it all in D-I football and Union Mine's success in volleyball.

Reminder: we resume our weekly Saturday morning SureWest Sports Radio Show as I join Finnerty to talk prep sports in big-picture form after taking a holiday break. The show airs each Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320 (and linked later online at ESPN1320.net).

Guest this week includes Jesuit basketball coach Greg Harcos to talk about Saturday's showcase event, the Father Kelly Tribute that includes area ranked teams in Franklin, Pleasant Grove, Foothill and Jesuit.

Go here for SureWest Sports Show page.

January 3, 2012
Delta River League holds top 3 spots in boys basketball Top 20

With No. 3 Pleasant Grove winning its division of the Maxpreps.com Holiday Classic in Palm Springs, Delta River League teams hold the top three spots in The Bee's rankings this week. Jesuit is No. 1 and Sheldon No. 2.

DRL play begins next week.

River Valley of Yuba City and Lindhurst climb into The top 20 this week.

The Bee's Top 20
PR - previous ranking
records Through Monday
School W-L PR
1. Jesuit 11-2 (1)
2. Sheldon 11-3 (2)
3. Pleasant Grove 12-1 (4)
4. Sacramento 8-4 (3)
5. Burbank 10-3 (5)
6. Antelope 13-1 (7)
7. Franklin 10-3 (6)
8. Foothill 9-3 (8)
9. Bella Vista 14-2 (9)
10. Granite Bay 7-5 (10)
11. Del Campo 12-2 (12)
12. Center 11-1 (13)
13. Del Oro 8-6 (11)
14. Kennedy 9-4 (15)
15. Cosumnes Oaks 10-4 (17)
16. Oak Ridge 7-6 (14)
17. Capital Christian 9-4 (18)
18. Cordova 8-5 (20)
19. River Valley 9-3 (-)
20. Lindhurst 10-5 (-)
Dropped out - Whitney and Davis

January 2, 2012
Girls basketball rankings: Battle-tested teams head into league play

By Joe Davidson

League play starts this week for area high school girls basketball teams, many of them battle tested after rigorous nonleague schedules.

The key questions: Who is off to the best start, and who might emerge as champions?

The Delta River League features four Bee ranked teams in No. 2 Pleasant Grove, No. 3 Oak Ridge, No. 9 Sheldon and No. 10 St. Francis, the five-time defending league champion with a 48-2 league mark in that span under coach Vic Pitton. St. Francis attacks with waves of players who wear on opponents. Sheldon went 1-9 in league play last season amid a rash of injuries. The Huskies have welcomed back leading scorer Brianna Burgos, a guard.

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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