October 11, 2013
McClatchy to induct new hall of fame members tonight

Some 40 athletes and coaches plus five exceptional teams will be inducted at tonight's McClatchy High School Hall of Fame dinner at the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation Hall.

The 2013 class includes many outstanding athletes and coaches primarily from 1963 to 1979, six athletes from 1944-59, and women athletes who were sports pioneers at McClatchy in the 1970s.

The class also includes three of McClatchy's greatest coaches in the 1960s and 1970s: Stan Dison (basketball, soccer), Scotty Bingham (track, cross country) and Jan Olmsted, who was instrumental in starting the women's sports program at the school.

Outstanding teams chosen for induction this year include the 1954 boys basketball team that went 19-2; the 1970-71 championship baseball teams; the 1970 Girls Sports Club that established girls sports at the school; and the undefeated 1975 boys soccer Metro League title team.

For the complete list of inductees, go to www.restoretheroar.org

January 25, 2013
A closer look at the 8 Hall of Fame inductees into the Sacramento Running Association Hall of Fame

Here's a closer look at eight amazing athletes of yesteryear, some of whom are still inspiring countless runners today.

Those scheduled to be inducted into the Sacramento Running Association's first Hall of Fame at a dinner on Saturday night at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in
Sacramento are: Billy Mills, Rae Clark, Eileen Claugus, Chris Iwahashi, Helen Klein, Paul Reese, Dennis Rinde and Linda Somers Smith.

Bios written by John Schumacher:

January 25, 2013
Sacramento Running Association to induct 8 into Hall of Fame and honor others

The Sacramento Running Association will induct eight members into its inaugural Hall of Fame class Saturday at a dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.


They are legendary track and field names Rae Clark, Eileen Claugus, Chris Iwahashi, Helen Klein, Billy Mills, Paul Reese, Dennis Rinde and Linda Somers Smith.

The event also includes an Annual Achievement Awards for the area's top runners in track, road racing, cross country and ultra running.

The high school honorees include Trent Brendel and Maggie Bell of Granite Bay, Madeleine Ankhelyi of Vista del Lago, Edixon Puglisi of Oakmont and UC Santa Barbara and decades-long coaches in John DuCray of St. Francis and Bob King of Del Campo. For a complete list, go here or go to www.runsra.org for more information.

September 20, 2012
50 inducted into McClatchy's first hall of fame ceremony tonight

A 75-year anniversary celebration dinner and the first class of inductees into the McClatchy High School Athletic Hall of Fame was held tonight at the Riverside Elks Lodge in Sacramento.

The first group of inductees -- 48 athletes and two coaches -- come from those who competed in the school's first 25 years, from 1937 to 1962.

Also honored were the undefeated 1944 and 1947 McClatchy football teams; the 1951-1952 baseball teams that won 40 consecutive games; the league champion 1958 baseball team; and the Lions' section championship 1959 and 1960 cross country teams.

August 23, 2012
Oak Ridge mourns stunning death of popular coach and ex-Trojans star athlete

Rob Fairley was planning a spirited speech to go with a festive meal Thursday afternoon in El Dorado Hills to officially kick start the season.

The longtime Oak Ridge High School cross country and track coach wanted his athletes to vote for team captains, to discuss team goals. But Fairley was brought to his knees by stunning news. His assistant coach and former pupil Josh Ruff was killed moments earlier in a nearby winery accident. Ruff was 23, three weeks shy of his wedding. Ruff wasn't too much older than the runners he had mentored and grown close to this summer.

Ruff was an accomplished runner at Oak Ridge under Fairley, a key cog to the state-meet team of 2006. Ruff competed at Long Beach State, gleefully taking on brutal races such as the 10,000 meters or the 3,000 steeplechase while earning team Most Inspirational Runner honors. He graduated with a degree in history and was planning to pursue a teaching credential. He wanted to return to his Oak Ridge roots to teach and coach.

Fairley met with the runners. He broke the news and tried to comprehend it with them. He suggested a therapy run to heal. Besides, Fairley said, a good hearty workout at dusk is exactly what Ruff would have ordered.

"It's really hit me and I'm drained," an emotional Fairley said. "It's just tragic. Josh was one of those incredibly special kids. We were so lucky as teachers and coaches to have him. It's a big, big loss for our kids. This was their coach, their firend, and here we are getting ramped up for the season and he's gone. It's hit us all very hard.

"We're going to dedicate the season in his honor as we try to pull this all together. I told the kids, 'He loved you guys. We'll celebrate his life with a good season.' I know he's going to be missed by a lot of us."

Ruff was working full time at the winery when a wine press lost a wheel and fell on him. His fiance, Rachel Manasse of Huntington Beach, is a tennis instructor in Folsom. Fairley said his team will reach out to her, invite her to meets, to be a part of the team, even if just in spirit.

Not too far from Oak Ridge High there is a rock that is a popular spot for students or alums to tag. Tag in a good way, in remembrance.

"Some of Josh's best friends were there late (Wednesday night) with flashlights at The Rock, putting down memories and thoughts," Fairley said. "Very emotional."
- Joe Davidson
On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
On e-mail: jdavidson@sacbee.com
On Facebook: sacbeepreps
On cable: SureWestSports.com
On podcats: ESPN1320.net

June 3, 2011
The Bee joins SureWest Sports Radio to break down academic year in sports, the good, the great, the controversial

By Joe Davidson

Players, coaches, moments and milestones.

That's the menu Mike Finnerty and I will explore in big-picture form as we talk and debate about the academic year on Saturday's SureWest Sports Radio Show on ESPN1320 from 9-10 a.m.

It's our last program until late August as we take a summer break.

Items of interest include:

* Folsom's fabulous football ride, going 13-1 and winning the CIF Division II bowl game behind Bee Player of the Year Dano Graves, who set state quarterbacking records.
* Del Oro winning a football section title despite some fans in Loomis pleading for the removal of coach Casey Taylor after a 2-4 start. He rallied the team by removing some players, then taking it all in D-III and emerging as The Bee's Coach of the Year.
* Rocklin winning a section title in girls and boys volleyball.
* Jesuit bearing down on an astounding 100 section titles this season, with recent celebrations in soccer and National Coach of the Year Paul Rose.
* The Del Oro basketball team of class and style, headed by Belle Obert and Bee Player of the Year Madeline Campbell.
* Michele Massari willing her Sacramento Dragons to a section D-III title and earning Bee Coach of the Year honors - and SureWest Sports Coach of the Year accolades - despite graduating four starters from last season.
* The Sac High boys basketball team overcoming the sudden and controversial transfer of high profile recruit Josiah Turner at midseason and the role of meddling parents in prep sports in general.
* The rise of Antelope athletics.
* The amazing run of success for small-school Bradshaw Christian.
* The Elk Grove Unified School District power in softball.
* Transfers
* Mixed messages with recruiting
* Bill Baxter winning his 600th career game as the El Camino girls coach.
* The impact of amazing leaders such as Kris Richardson, Mike Alberghini, Max Miller, Joe Potulny, Guy Anderson and Mary Jo Truesdale.
* Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

May 25, 2011
Three area prep football stars sparkle at Stanford Combine as national profiles expand

By Joe Davidson

The recent Nike Football Training Camp at Stanford included three area athletes who looked the part and performed the part as national recruits.

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick of Whitney, deemed the No. 7 tight end prospect in the country, has good hands, runs well, likes to block and has size at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds. He has scholarship offers from Cal, UCLA, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State and others. With quarterback Jake Rodrigues at the helm, Whitney expects to have a championship team this fall under coach Mike Gimenez.

Marcus Rios of Cosumnes Oaks is a superb cornerback prospect with great feet and the ability to change directions or close the gap in an instant. He has eight offers - throughout the Pac-10 - and is a verbal commit to Boise State, where senior teammate Robert Ash is headed to play defensive line. Rios will be the focal point for Cosumnes Oaks under coach Scooter Gomes, whose team just missed on making the playoffs last season but expect to make strides this coming season.

Shaq Thompson of Grant is a 5-star prospect and clearly one of the most impressive athletes to come out of the region - ever. At nearly 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Thompson can glide, slide and explode upfield as a runner, a receiver or on returns. He's also an outstanding defensive prospect. He gave Cal a verbal commitment, the school where his brother Syd excelled, but it's too early to know if Shaq will become a Golden Bear. For now, he's one golden prospect for Grant coach Mike Alberghini, who surely expects another Sac-Joaquin Section title run.
* Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

May 23, 2011
Oak Ridge's Collie continues family tradition of catching passes for BYU; junior gives Cougars verbal commitment

By Joe Davidson

Following in a can't-miss family tradition, Dylan Collie will one day become a BYU Cougar. And catch passes and storm into the end zone.

Today, he gave BYU a verbal commitment to play for the program long known for passing and driving defenses crazy.

For now, Collie is a multi-position player for Oak Ridge High School, preparing for his senior season. He is especially dangerous as a receiver and return specialist for one of the top programs in Northern California, much like older brother Austin.

Austin was The Bee's Player of the Decade for the 2000s after powering the Trojans to Sac-Joaquin Section championship success and impacting games at receiver, on returns and on defense. He then set receiving records with BYU during an All-American career and now rates as one of the most effective receivers in the NFL, a favorite of Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts.

Dylan and his brother are close and keep in regular contact, and if there's a common trait between the two, it's work ethic, skills, attention to detail and pride. They got a lot of that from each other and from their father, Scott, who played receiver for BYU a generation ago.

Now it's Dylan's time to shine.

"Man, you have no idea (how good this feels)," Dylan said today of his BYU decision. "It's definitely the place for me. Can't wait to make a difference and keep the Collie name prevalent in Provo and throughout the nation."

Oak Ridge expects to have one of the area's top teams next season despite the loss of quarterback Will Tostenson and receiver Willie Tucker, both headed to scholarship stops. Tostenson is off to Sac State and Tucker to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

In the final game of his junior season last fall, Dylan Collie had seven catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns and he returned five kickoffs for 110 yards.

"He's an exceptional route runner and pass catcher; physical player," Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere said. "His biggest asset is his determination and competitiveness."

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson

May 23, 2011
Graves of Folsom, Nightingale of St. Francis named River Cats Athletes of the Year

By Joe Davidson

Some familiar names were honored again for all the right reasons.

Folsom High School quarterback Dano Graves was presented with the "Art Savage" award as the region's Sacramento River Cats High School Athletes of the Year. Savage was the beloved owner of the River Cats, who this season again play in his honor.

The "V" award winner is St. Francis volleyball star Zoe Nightingale, in honor of the late Vicki McDermott, wife of longtime Bee reporter and prep historian Mark McDermott, who presented Nightingale before Sunday's River Cats game at Raley Field.

Graves shattered regional and state records records for a Bulldogs team that stormed to a 14-1 record and won the State CIF Division II championship. Graves accounted for a stunning 85 total touchdowns, a state record that vaulted him to Bee Player of the Year honors and MaxPreps National Player of the Year honors.

Known for his leadership, drive and instincts, Graves is off to Air Force to play the position.

Nightingale was The Bee's volleyball Player of the Year after powering the Troubadours into the NorCal playoffs. A leader in performance and in academic standing, Nightingale was a four-year starter who now heads to UCLA on scholarship.

Per sport, the finalists for boys Athlete of the Year were:

* Chris Kigar, El Camino, cross country and track
* J.D. Davis, Elk Grove, baseball (Cal State Fullerton)
* Jake Elliott, Oakmont, wrestling
* Nick Blaser, Roseville, football, basketball and baseball

Per sport, the girls finalists:

* Ally Carda, Pleasant Grove, softball (UCLA)
* Keelie Houston, Davis, water polo (UC Davis)
* Belle Obert, Del Oro, basketball and volleyball (Butler)
* Danielle Henderson, Sheldon, softball (Cal)

May 19, 2011
Obert of Del Oro, Howarth of Granite Bay named SureWest Sports Athletes of the Year

By Joe Davidson

Belle Obert of Del Oro and Kyle Howarth of Granite Bay are the SureWest Sports Show Athletes of the Year, it was announced this week.

Show host Mike Finnerty said he based his selection criteria on impact on multiple sports, grade-point average, leadership and character. In these two, SureWest found gem winners in these seniors rooted in Placer County.

Obert was a Bee All-Metro selection in volleyball and basketball, a force at the net in the fall and a force on the boards and low block in basketball as she helped power both teams into the playoffs.

Obert has a 4.2 GPA and will attend Butler University this fall on a volleyball scholarship.
Howarth, also a 4.2 student, was a first-team All-Sierra Foothill League pick in three sports. He keyed Granite Bay's Sac-Joaquin Section Division II soccer title run. The Grizzlies finished No. 5 nationally. In basketball, his 8.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game helped lead the Grizzlies into the D-I NorCal playoffs.

And in the spring, Howarth led the SLF co-champions. He is off to UC Davis to study medicine.

Both athletes will be interviewed - with highlights of their senior seasons - on the May 24 SureWest Sports Show.

Click here for more information...

May 14, 2011
Bee joins SureWest Sports Radio Show each Saturday morning

Today and every Saturday morning on ESPN1320 with the SureWest Sports Radio Show, Mike Finnerty and I will break down the high school baseball and softball playoff brackets, interview coaches to learn who and what they are all about, offer up rankings, predictions and a general big-picture view on the regional prep world.

The show airs live from 9-10 a.m. each Saturday and will be linked to the station's website later in the day.

May 10, 2011
Bee joins SureWest Sports Show to talk big-picture preps

The latest SureWest Sports Show on surewestsports.com is now up, or click below.

This week's show includes baseball highlights from Granite Bay, Rocklin, Davis, Elk Grove, McClatchy and Sacramento; softball highlights from Oak Ridge, St. Francis, Casa Roble and Rosemont and soccer footage of Antelope and Whitney.

I join host Mike Finnerty in the weekly Sports Chat segment to talk about the profound impact of Cordova baseball coaching legend Guy Anderson and some area league races.

Finnerty also has spotlight interviews with Jesuit baseball coach Joe Potulny and Elk Grove baseball star J.D. Davis.

Click here for the show.

May 5, 2011
Bee joins SureWest Sports Show online and on radio

The SureWest Sports Show has a Bee big-picture flavor to help aid to the superb regional prep coverage online and on the radio.

Host Mike Finnerty has on this week's SureWest program on surewestsports.com game highlights of the following:

* Jesuit @ Pleasant Grove (baseball)
* Ponderosa @ Oak Ridge (baseball)
* Vista Del Lago @ Cosumnes Oaks (softball)
* Lincoln v. Clovis (softball)
* Bear River v. Merced (softball)
* Davis @ Elk Grove (girls soccer)
* Sports Chat with Joe Davidson (Sacramento Bee)
* Spotlight Interviews:* Joe Potulny - Jesuit baseball coach
* Lynda Bettencourt - Cosumnes Oaks softball coach

On the SureWest Sports Radio Show that airs each Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320, Finnerty and I will talk all things preps with live interviews with legendary Cordova baseball coach Guy Anderson, Pleasant Grove basbeall coach Rob Rinaldi and St. Francis softball coach Al LoGiudice.

Click here for a complete run down of the SureWest Sports menu...


May 4, 2011
Sheldon football player Nate Iese soaring on recruiting radar

The Sheldon Huskies have three seniors who will be on Division I college football rosters this fall, and now there's the matter of Nate Iese.

A junior prospect soaring fast on the national recruiting radar as a defensive end/tight end, Iese tonight received his first Division I scholarship offer, from San Jose State.

Iese is a 6-foot-5, 245-pound specimen who doesn't turn 17 until the end of September, so imagine the glee in the voice of Huskies coach Josh Crabtree and those recruiting him. Iese will lead the Huskies this fall as he emerges as one of the state's intrigue prospects, a two-way player with leadership skills. He is a good student with an impeccable reputation on campus and among his peers.

April 29, 2011
Prep football playoffs to expand; will include NorCal title games starting in 2012

By Joe Davidson

The high school football playoffs, already a must-see experience in this state, is about to take it a step further - and better.

Friday, the California Interscholastic Federation Federated Council and the state's member sections voted in Milpitas to introduce a Regional Championship game beginning in the 2012 season.

In short, CIF State Bowl teams will be decided on the field and not in a meeting room with stacks of papers, schedules, results and opinions. A Regional game will in effect be a Northern California or Southern California championship showdown of section winners.
As it stands now, section champions are eligible for state consideration and land one of the coveted games in Carson through section voting, which always leads to debate and sometimes controversy.

The State Bowl formula was hatched by Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner Pete Saco in 2006. He also pushed for the Regional addition as a way to better enhance the football product in general. The State concept debuted in 2007. In 2008, the Open game was introduced to go with title games in Division I, II, III and IV. The first Open contest featured the milestone breakthrough for the Sacramento region in general when Grant defeated national No. 2 Long Beach Poly.

In 2009, short-handed Rocklin took a 14-0 record to Carson and pushed national No. 3 Servite of Anaheim to the brink, losing on a last-second field goal. This past fall, Folsom capped a 14-1 season with a rout of national power Serra of Gardena in the mud and muck as quarterback Dano Graves cemented his national player of the year honor.
Starting in 2012, NorCal Regional games could include Grant vs. De La Salle - or any Sacramento-area team against the Spartans of Concord, for that matter.

On Friday, seven state sections voted in favor of the state expansion. Those opposing it were the North Coast Section, the Southern Section and the San Diego Section. It's curious to note that De La Salle - the most storied team in the state - resides in the North Coast Section and has dominated that region for more than 25 years.

Though no one will go on the record, it has widely been thought that the NCS has been against a Regional game because that section likes its chances of the state section votes to land a State Bowl more than playing it out on the field.
Come 2012, it'll be decided on the field.

The one concern about a state playoff was this: How many games are too many? Considering that California is the only state in the union that doesn't have a full playoff format, this is remarkable progress. Imagine the crowds that would attend these Regional games.

For years, California had regular seasons only. Playoffs in the Sac-Joaquin Section didn't start until the early 1970s.

Note: One rule change that will go into affect this fall is handling routs. If a team is ahead by 35 points or more, there will be a running clock. What's more, if a game has a 35-point margin at the half, coaches from both sides can agree to a running clock for the third quarter.

April 23, 2011
Former Del Oro and Sierra College basketball star Arent off to Oklahoma

By Joe Davidson

Skills, desire, effort have rewarded Casey Arent, whose scholar/athlete days will continue.

Arent of Sierra College and Del Oro High School has given a verbal commitment to play scholarship basketball at the University of Oklahoma.

A 6-foot-10 center with skills, Arent earned All-State and All-Big 8 Conference honors this past season. He averaged 19.1 points and 11.4 rebounds for coach John Fusano after leading the state in both categories the first half of the season. Arent will play for Lon Kruger at Oklahoma.

Arent also drew considerable recruiting interest from Cal, Washington State and Colorado, among others. He piled on the units this academic year - 19 - in order to obtain his AA degree.

Interestingly, it was a community college All-Star showcase last summer in Tulsa that thrust Arent onto the national radar. He was one of some 125 JC players on hand and he showcased an ability to pass, shoot, run the floor and defend.

March 15, 2011
The Bee's Joe Davidson joins Mike Finnerty on a NorCal basketball review/preview show on the SureWest Sports Show

Here's the latest SureWest Sports Show program with Mike Finnerty that includes a NorCal basketball week breakdown with yours truly.

Great highlights, insight, flavor and fun.

September 7, 2010
This week in high school football - Sept. 8, 2001

Each week, The Bee's Jeff Caraska looks at noteworthy games from past seasons:

Hawthrone's play propels Grant in opener

Three days before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, life in the United States unfolded in predictable fashion, and that included high school football season openers across the nation.

In Del Paso Heights, Grant started its season successfully with a 31-20 win over Franklin of Stockton.

Wide receiver Nick Hawthrone told his fellow Pacer captains before the game how hard he was going to play. He should have added phenomenal. The 6-foot, 185-pound senior scored two touchdowns: One on a 65-yard reception and the other on an 88-yard reverse.

C.J. Wallace rushed for 114 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown. Leo Fotofili had touchdown runs of 31 and six yards for Grant, which would head to the postseason for an 11th consecutive season.

-- Jeff Caraska

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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