September 13, 2013
Capital Christian lineman says he plans to attend Stanford

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Nifae Lealao expressed equal parts pride and relief Friday afternoon. He's going to be a Stanford Cardinal. Someone fit the young man with the largest red sweat top to be found.

A 6-foot-6, 290-pound national recruit lineman for Capital Christian High School, Lealao announced that he will head to The Farm via scholarship in fall 2014. It will become a binding agreement in February with a national letter of intent signature, but the verbal pledge adds a sense of finality and normalcy, Lealao said.

"It's more so a big stress reliever, a lot off my shoulders, a breath of fresh air," Lealao said of his decision. "It's not set in stone (until the letter of intent signature), but I'm at the point where I know the recruiting mail will stop and I don't have to worry about all the calls."

February 5, 2013
10 Jesuit athletes to participate in morning signing ceremony

Ten Jesuit athletes will participate in an NCAA letter of intent signing ceremony 8 a.m. Wednesday in the Carmichael school's gymnasium.

They are:

• Kaba Alkebulan, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, soccer
• Jimmy Boras, Pacific, baseball
• Andre Gregory, Sacramento State, baseball
• Niko Hansen, New Mexico, soccer
• Sina Javidan Nejad, Stanford, track and field
• Riley Harbour, UC San Diego, soccer
• Austin Mitsch, Colorado, track and field
• Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State, football
• Garrett Strohmaier, Dartmouth, football
• Austin White, Oregon, track and field

September 18, 2012
SureWest Sports has highlights galore, including Holy Bowl

Mike Finnerty of the SureWest Sports Show offers a full menu of footbll, volleyball and soccer highlights in this week's show, plus an interview with St. Francis volleyball coach Alynn Wright. Finnerty and I also break down Week 4 of the prep football season - what happened and what it all means long term as we break down a lot of the Top 20 teams.

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Game highlights include:

* Burbank at Del Oro (football)
* Jesuit vs. Christian Brothers (football)
* Davis at Rio Americano (football)
* Mesa Verde at El Camino (football)
* St. Francis at El Camino (volleyball)
* Vista Del Lago at Rocklin (volleyball)
* Bear River at Oakmont (volleyball)
* Grant at Bella Vista (soccer)
* Christian Brothers at Rocklin (soccer)

For more, go here...

Bee photo by Scott Lorenzo: Jesuit's Jason Elenberger makes a reception near the goal line then steps in for the touchdown early in the second quarter of the Holy Bowl - Jesuit vs Christian Brothers High School - at Hughes Stadium on Sept. 15, 2012. Jesuit won 28-23.

February 2, 2012
Signing day: Complete coverage
February 2, 2012
Chat live with Joe: National letter-of-intent signing day

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
jdavidson@sacbee.com

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.
*Realignment.
* 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
jdavidson@sacbee.com

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
jdavidson@sacbee.com

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
jdavidson@sacbee.com

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 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...


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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
jdavidson@sacbee.com

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.

February 2, 2011
Folsom has school-record six scholarship football players sign; two off to Air Force Academy

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Turns out the crowning moment for the Folsom Bulldogs wasn't in December, in the mud and muck of Carson at the Home Depot Center after sloshing to a state championship.

It was Wednesday afternoon, on campus, in a sun-drenched library with six anchor talents, pens in hand, hovering over a table anchored by balloons.

Folsom officially capped its record season with National Signing Day as six seniors signed letters of intent to continue their student-athlete lives.

The fitting angle here was the signees were players who contributed all over the field as Folsom put forth a team-wide effort to stage a 14-1 season.

Two players are headed to the Air Force Academy in Bee Player of the Year Dano Graves, the record-setting passer, and still-growing, unlimited-upside tight end Marcus Hendricks. Two are off to the Pacific-10 Conference, perhaps to some day oppose each other head-to-head, with defensive back Jordan Richards headed to Stanford and receiver Tyler Trosin off to Oregon State.

One is bound for Nevada to play linebacker in Burton DeKoning, who soon could be chasing down Graves in the open field as a rival and trying to ward off blocks from Hendricks. And Stephen Sippel emerged as a late recruit as the center will go to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to study at a school that matches his 4.0 grade-point average.

All in all, it was a record run for the Bulldogs, who have never sent so many scholarship kids in one season.

"This is the culmination of our high school dreams," said Richards, donning a "Fear the Tree" red T-shirt.

Parents, coaches, media and administrators packed the library to witness the moment. There was relief in the voices of parents, pride in the expressions of players.

Hendricks' father, Don, a senior business representative for PG&E, recalled how injuries derailed his college football ambitions. He marvels at his son's maturity and opportunity, and cracked that he may be finally ready to tone down his lectures a bit.

"This is so great for him and he's worked so hard," Don said of his son. "He's heard me belly ache about how cruel the world is when right now for him, it's pretty good."

Graves looked as if the weight of the region had been lifted from his shoulders. He agonized over what to do in the 11th hour - Sacramento State or Air Force. Both schools presented tantalizing offers and challenges. He elected for Air Force but raved about Sac State, too.

"It's all over," Graves said of the signing madness. "I feel like it's a big relief. We can all be happy."

DeKoning was sporting a pink cast on his left arm, not normally the color for such a ferocious linebacker. He played the entire season with a broken bone in his wrist, not electing to hold off surgery as to not leave his teammates shorthanded.

He joked that some day he'll have that cast back on to pursue Graves in a game.

Graves countered that he'd never catch him. Fun and games again.

February 2, 2011
Boise State's Chris Petersen talks about Rocklin recruit Jimmy Laughrea

By Bill Paterson
bpaterson@sacbee.com

When Rocklin High School quarterback Jimmy Laughrea verbally committed to Boise State before his senior season, it wasn't only because the Broncos are one of the nation's top football programs.

Laughrea believed that head coach Chris Petersen was a man of his word when told he would be the Broncos' only Class of 2011 quarterback scholarship recruit.

So despite a challenging senior season in which he suffered two concussions, Laughrea is the only quarterback listed among Boise State's 19 recruits announced today.

In discussing the recruiting class with the Idaho Statesmen's Chadd Cripe, Petersen had this to say about Laughrea:

"He was one of those guys when he committed...(that) I ever worried was going to do something different because he felt so right for Boise State, and I think he feels that as well."

Boise State had three players de-commit.

On the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Laughrea's head injuries Petersen said: "He's an athletic guy who will run around, a tough guy. Some of that's got to be on him to learn how not to take some of those hits because they will only be more vicious and ferocious at the college level."

February 2, 2011
Cosumnes Oaks coach Scooter Gomes all grins as two players sign football deals

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Scooter Gomes wasn't afraid to get sappy, soft and emotional.

Yes, football coaches do this, too, not just bark and berate.

Gomes is the coach at fast-rising Cosumnes Oaks High School, the newest school in the Elk Grove Unified School District.

Two players that helped usher in the program are defensive end Robert Ash and defensive back/athlete Maurice Talley. They became the school's first scholarship athletes today, signing national letters of intent to play for Boise State and Weber State, respectively.

For Gomes, a star player during his prep run at tiny Delta High in Clarksburg and a former assistant coach at Laguna Creek, today was the crowning moment. His players were flanked by families, administrators and friends in the school's culinary arts academy.

"I teared up when talking about these kids," Gomes said. "How these kids are carrying the torch for our program. It's amazing how close you get with these kids and their families. They will never forget this day."

February 2, 2011
Rocklin QB is sole SFL player to sign, going with Boise State

37.highlight.prod_affiliate.4.jpgBy Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

The Sierra Foothill League has long been one of the elite prep football conferences in the state.

Some would argue that it is annually the best collection of teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section with Del Oro, Granite Bay, Nevada Union, Roseville, Woodcreek and Rocklin.

But only one player in the power-packed league signed a national letter of intent today, though a number of other SFL players are expected to advance as walk-ons or play at smaller four-year programs.

For now, the spotlight returns to Jimmy Laughrea (above).

February 2, 2011
Outgoing CBS football coach gets nice parting gift with signings

By Bill Paterson
bpaterson@sacbee.com

Andre Johansen, who recently stepped down as Christian Brothers football coach after turning around what had been a struggling program in his six years at the school, got a nice parting gift today on National Signing Day.

Three of his players are moving on to play in college. Tight end Bryan Lane is headed for Nevada, defensive back Ade' Jackson to Penn and wide receiver/tight end Robby Templeton to Princeton.

"That's the biggest thing I'm going to miss about Christian Brothers," Johansen said. "There are so many quality kids."

Lane, Jackson and Templeton were all versatile performers on a CBS team that went 6-5 overall and 3-2 in the Capital Valley Conference last fall.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Lane played tight end, fullback, linebacker and safety; 5-11, 180-pound Jackson was a wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner; 6-1, 180-pound Templeton a receiver, safety and placekicker.

Said Johansen of each:

• Bryan Lane: "He's got a huge upside. He just turned 17. He's a phenomenal athlete, a super kid, one of my all-time favorites. He's going to blossom nicely at Nevada." Lane caught 15 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns and had a team-high 78 tackles.

• Ade' Jackson: "Great player, great scholar who had a lot of college options because he's also an outstanding student. He had offers from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where his brother (Asa Jackson) plays, and UC Davis.Jackson rushed 15 times for 123 yards and a touchdown, caught six passes for 99 yards and a touchdown; had 66 tackles and averaged better than 44 yards on kickoff returns.

• Robby Templeton: "Another great kid and student. Would do anything you asked of him. Very versatile." Templeton caught nine passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, had 36 tackles and kicked 29 PATs.

Jackson and Templeton also were Christian Brothers co-Scholar Athletes of the Year.

"They're going to be our second and third kids to play in the Ivy League, joining Matt McCarthy (Class of 2008) of Harvard," Johansen said. "They're both going to be very successful."

Johansen said that three other CBS athletes might be late signees - team MVP running back-defensive back Aaron Terrell-Byrd; wide receiver-defensive back Dondre Butler and quarterback-defensive back Jeremiah Sims.

February 2, 2011
Cal Poly assistant coach/recruiter Jamar Cain of Sacramento beams about local haul; lands players from Burbank, Sheldon, Folsom, Oak Ridge

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Jamar Cain is a happy man today.

He is an assistant coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo whose recruiting base is in Sacramento, his hometown.

The former Valley High School standout in his second season on staff with the Mustangs on the Central Coast was beaming about landing four area prospects, each of whom he courted in recent weeks and landed.

And recruiting the Sacramento valley is a labor of love because it's a two-fold experience. He gets to pitch his Poly product - the academic standing of the school, the location. And he gets to see family.

"Love it," Cain said today. "When I recruit Sacramento, I stay at my mom's house (Joshalyn Cain), and when I'm in the hills near Sacramento recruiting I stay at my mother-in-law's house (Dolores Daniels). It's great."

So is his recruiting haul. Those who signed letters of intent today with Cal Poly from the region:

* Athlete Tu'uta Inoke of Burbank, a skilled, physical and fast quarterback/defensive back prospect with superb grades and leadership qualities.

* Receiver Willie Tucker of Oak Ridge, a fast, prolific receiver with size and terrific upside who overcame an injury-shortened junior season to catch 1,254 yards worth of passes and 14 touchdowns.

* Defensive tackle Marcus Paige-Allen of Sheldon, a brutish run-stopper with the ability to pursue the play.

* Center Stephen Sippel of Folsom will formally sign his letter of intent with the Mustangs later today.

"I feel like we hit a home run in Sacramento," Cain said by phone from his Cal Poly office. "We're thrilled. When Willie came down for a visit, he just loved the place.

"Marcus has a great first step off the line of scrimmage. He's physical, he's nasty, and he had a chip on his shoulder this season because people kept saying he was too short to play at this level. He can play. They all can."

February 2, 2011
Signing day has special meaning for Burbank football coach

By Bill Paterson
bpaterson@sacbee.com

Today is one of the most enjoyable of the year for Burbank High School football coach John Heffernan.

It's National Signing Day.

So even though Heffernan has won his share of games and a couple of Metro Conference titles - the Titans beat Grant in 2007 to win the school's first league championship in 40 years - and righted what once was a struggling football program, the biggest victory for the nine-year head coach comes when his players land college athletic scholarships. That opens doors to a world beyond their sometimes troubled South Sacramento neighborhoods.

"The championships are great, the wins are great, the rings are nice but as long as we can play football the right way and get kids out of here, then we feel we're doing our job," said Heffernan whose Titan teams have gone 46-25 over the last six seasons and 26-4 in their last five seasons in the Metro.

At 3:30 p.m. today in the library at Burbank, multi-position standout Tu'uta Inoke and defensive tackle T.J. Poloai will sign NCAA national letters of intent in front of family, friends, teammates and faculty.

Inoke, who can play quarterback, fullback or linebacker, will sign with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Poloai will try to help Washington State rebuild in the powerful Pac-10.

"This is huge for us," Heffernan said. "We really like acknowledging their accomplishments. More importantly, it lets the young kids see that this can happen at Burbank, that it's just not kids at Grant or Folsom getting scholarships."

Inoke, who who rushed for 1,653 yards and 19 touchdowns and passed for 1,097 yards and eight touchdowns, was the Metro Conference Most Valuable Player and a Bee All-Metro second team selection this season.

He maintains a 3.5 grade-point average and is an outgoing, personable leader who likely will get a shot at playing quarterback at Cal Poly despite playing the position for little more than two seasons in high school. But Cal Poly also has a similar run-oriented option-style veer attack to that of Burbank.

"His big advantage is that he's done all the triple option reads," Heffernan said. "His biggest weakness is his accuracy throwing the ball."

Heffernan said the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Inoke could be a better fit and likely get on the field quicker as a fullback.

"He's a heck of a runner," Heffernan said.

Poloai may have an even better chance of getting on the field right away at Washington State. The Metro Conference Lineman of the Year and Bee All-Metro first team selectee is college strong at 6-foot-1 and 275 pounds. But it's his quickness makes his special, Heffernan said.

"He's the most explosive kid we've had for his size in a long time," Heffernan said. "He's got a tremendous burst off the ball."

Poloai, who had 73 tackles and eight sacks last fall, took his recruiting trip to Pullman, Wash., with Grant linebacker Darryl Paulo, who signed this morning with the Cougars.

They knew each other from before but quickly developed a close bond, Heffernan said. It helps that former Burbank assistant Dave Lose is on the Washington State staff as a student assistant coach.

"They hung out together the whole time on the trip," Heffernan said. "That's going to make the transition a little easier. T.J. also liked that the team had a real close-knit family-type feel."

Inoke and Poloai are the latest among at least 12 Burbank players that have gone on to play at four-year schools in the past six years, with several first taking the community college route at the College of San Mateo, Heffernan's former school.

Among the other college Titans: Defensive back Terrance Mitchell at Oregon; defensive end Anthony Larry at Eastern Washington; safety Eddie Elder at Arizona State; safety Terrence Simien at Louisville; and wide receiver-punter returner Kiare Thompson of Grambling State, who recently completed his senior season and played in the HBCU All-Star Game.

Others who have played or are still playing are wide receiver Francisco Ragsdale (C.W. Post, now coaching at Burbank), defensive linemen Tony Finau and Raymond Lewis (New Mexico Highlands), and tackle Kameron Edwards (Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas).

Heffernan expects two others, quarterback Miles Freeman and defensive back Lucky Dozier of San Mateo, to move on to four-year schools.

February 2, 2011
Kasner of Granite Bay to walk-on at Stanford, Brehm to do same at Boise State

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

A streak of sorts was broken at Granite Bay High School today, but there were no long faces to be found on the coaches.

Though no Grizzlies signed formal letters of intent on National Signing Day to play scholarship football, two players will play at the next level, coach Ernie Cooper said.

Matt Kasner, a powerful tight end, will be a preferred walk-on at Stanford. He's a scholar, a 4.0 student who had Ivy League interest, and he follows in the footsteps of former Rocklin rival Jackson Cummings last season when the tailback weighed Ivy League interest and walked on at Stanford with a chance to earn a scholarship.

Granite Bay all-purpose star Cory Brehm will be a preferred walk-on at Boise State to play safety. Cooper raved about Brehm's ability this past season to impact games on offense, defense and special teams.

A preferred walk-on means an athlete will have a roster spot and will have every chance to earn a scholarship with performance.

In Brehm's case, Boise State coach Chris Petersen, he of the Yuba City and UC Davis roots, stopped by the Granite Bay campus recently to talk up his program. Brehm was most impressed.

"I think Cory will really flourish there," Cooper said. "What Boise State does better than anyone else is find the niche guy and say, 'Yep, he fits perfect for us right here.'"

Cooper on Kasner, "He's very deserving. He's our first football kid to go to Stanford. He's such a smart kid, a great football player. It's a great opportunity for him."

Cooper said linebacker Andrew Wright remains undecided. He has garnered significant interest from Azusa Pacific.

All told, Granite Bay has had 26 full scholarship football players in the last 11 seasons. The first one was Chad Gardner, off the unbeaten 1999 Grizzlies team, who played linebacker at Colorado.

"Chad really opened the flood gates for us because every program was coming by to visit him and after that," Cooper said.

Next season, Granite Bay expects to have two scholarship players in quarterback Brendan Keeney and offensive lineman Gavin Andres.

February 2, 2011
Oak Ridge has three football players sign scholarship deals; one more may come later

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Oak Ridge football coach Eric Cavaliere is beaming today, for good reason.

He has three of his anchor talents heading off to the college ranks via scholarship. They are:

- Receiver Willie Tucker, who rebounded from an injury-shortened junior season to sparkle as a senior and will play at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Tucker caught 55 passes for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns.

- Tailback Jordan Matanane, a hard-running, durable talent who will head to Sacramento State.

Matanane rushed for 1,379 yards and 10 touchdowns.

- Quarterback Will Tostenson, who waited his turn, patiently, as a reserve as a junior and then flourished as a senior in wowing opponents, will play for Azusa Pacific. The school offered an 85-percent scholarship, Cavaliere said.

Tostenson passed for 2,616 yards and 32 touchdowns this season with just six interceptions.

Meanwhile, tailback/linebacker Ryan Adams is undecided at the moment. He has an offer from NAIA Concordia in Nebraska, Cavaliere said, and also some walk-on chances at larger schools. He is expected to make a decision this week.

Adams rushed for five scores and had 52 tackles.

February 2, 2011
Washington State lands three area football recruits; Sheldon's Simmons decommits from Portland State to accept WSU offer

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Suddenly, Washington State is looking like it has made an impressive haul of football talent today, National Signing Day.

Coach Paul Wulff, he of the Davis High School roots, vowed to mine the Sacramento region hard in terms of recruiting, and he has.

WSU received three letters of intent from Sacramento-area players today, a sure boost to a Cougars program that has been short on talent and short on wins in the power-packed Pacific-10 Conference.

WSU's local pipeline today includes:

Darryl Paulo of Grant, a tackling machine who led the Pacers feared defense with 158 stops.

T.J. Poloai of Burbank, the dominant lineman nephew of former Burbank basketball great Peni Vaefaga

Mansel Simmons of Sheldon, a superb blocking tight end with good hands who de-committed with Portland State to accept the WSU deal. Simmons had given a verbal commitment to Portland State over the weekend, but verbals are not legally binding. It is entirely legal for programs to still recruit players until he formally signs an offer.

Simmons deemed the chance to compete in the Pac-10 too good a challenge to pass up, Sheldon coach Josh Crabtree said.

February 2, 2011
Pride, poise, power at Grant football scholarship signing party

siginingday.jpgBy Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

When it was time for the Pack of Pacers - Grant High School's football contingent set for the college scholarship challenge - to take a seat this morning in a standing-room only room near the front office, there was a sudden problem.

No Pacers. The players were nowhere to be found.

"They're walking the school grounds," a parent informed above the buzz of family, community, faculty, coaches, students and media.

In other words, a victory lap before the official moment of signing - their last moment in the spotlight as high school performers.

Before long, the Pacers filed in, filling out their sweat tops like the regal blockers and tacklers that they are. They took a seat in front of portrait shots, equal parts humbled, proud, determined to do their school, families and region proud.

National Signing Day has become something of a annual treasure in Del Paso Heights, with coach Mike Alberghini having at least one - generally many more - sign a letter of intent in each of his 20 seasons as head coach.

Today, it was an impressive lot, captured by a throng of family and media:

* Puka Lopa - An explosive and relentless defensive end/linebacker who had 21 sacks is headed to Cal.

* Vei Moala - The Bee's co-Defensive Player of the Year with buddy Lopa, the All-American defensive tackle is also off to Cal.

* James Sample - A two-time Bee All-Metro pick and a prep All-American safety will suit up for Washington.

* Darryl Paulo - The Pacers leading tackler with 158 stops who caught winning touchdowns as a tight will head to Washington State.

* Filipo Sau - Enormous left tackle who is as shy as he is dominant is off to Snow College in Utah, a launching pad for Division I scholarship players.

Grant very well may have more players sign but these are the ones who inked their paper work on the first day athletes can formally accept scholarships. These are binding contracts and Alberghini immediate faxed them to the schools as they wanted them by 8:30 this morning.

Expect a lot of tailgating in Berkeley following today's big moment. Parents said that their families share a close bond, affection for football, their kids and food. For Lopa and Moala in particular, the two families that feel like one will continue their union in the Pacific-10 Conference.

"For families like us, this is everything, and we're so proud," said Tiamu Lopa, father of Puka. "We can't wait to watch them, to bring the barbeque down there."

"It's great day for these kids, this school and this community," Alberghini said. "This is their moment. In my 42 years of coaching here, I can't think of a better senior group of leaders who had such great character, how they respected their school, how they were leaders, how they were players.

"They were all 3.0 students, and as students and as players, they have been stellar. In great victories and in our toughest defeats, these kids stood tall. This is a very proud moment."

Photo caption: Grant player Puka Lopa with his family at Grant High School Wednesday morning. Lopa and co-captain Vei Moala signed with Cal. Photo by Randy Pench

February 2, 2011
Grant football tradition continues this morning: scholarship signing party

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Football coach Mike Alberghini has done this 20 consecutive seasons now, organizing a scholarship signing party at Grant High School and welcoming proud - and often emotional - parents in to witness a bit of history.

National Signing Day is a special day for prep football players across the country, and it certainly carries special meaning in Del Paso Heights, a community that follows its football players from youth ball, into the high school ranks and often into the scholarship four-year level.

This morning, Grant will usher off another impressive crop of players as they take a seat to sign letters of intent, and then watch their beloved coach feed them into a nearby fax machine to awaiting coaches. Normally when this many Grant players and their parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, there's a grand feed to be hand on Grand Avenue. No one football program parties it up with a spread than this one.

"You won't see the smoke of a bar-b-que going, but you will see knives and forks in action," Alberghini cracked. "We'll find a way to eat pastries and breakfast things."

Mostly, it'll be a morning to celebrate achievement. Alberghini has raved for months about the core senior leadership of his team, which was state-ranked No. 1 for 12 weeks before a playoff setback to Folsom.

Co-captains and buddies Vei Moala and Puka Lopa - The Bee's co-Defensive Players of the Year - will sign with Cal, giving the Bears two terrific defensive linemen, scholars and leaders.

In addition, safety James Sample will sign with Washington and linebacker Darryl Paulo with Washington State. Mammoth offensive tackle Filipo Sau will sign with Snow College in Utah, a two-year scholarship program that has historically been a launching pad to four-year programs.

Defensive back Ference Lang could also be in the mix, though he may not sign today. Today is the first day athletes can sign football letters, not the last.

"They're all going places where they can graduate, play good football, that transition from teenager, to growing up, a chance of becoming men," Alberghini said.

Alberghini said Cal is gaining two well-rounded young men in Lopa and Moala. They were a force together for three years at Grant. Alberghini can only imagine how dominant they can be as they grow together at Cal. They were national recruits and chose Cal for its academic standing, football reputation and proximity to home. Berkeley isn't so far from Sacramento to zip home for a Sunday family feed.

"It's the best of both worlds for them," Alberghini said. "They're very good friends. They're going to school together, playing big-time football. They're close enough for family and friends to see."

Alberghini said the signing ceremony will be brief - there is school, after all.

"And then we get on with the real world, time to go about life," he said.

February 2, 2011
Christian Brothers will send as many as five football players to four-year schools, including non-scholarship Ivy League programs

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Christian Brothers has five scholars who will play football at the next level. One of them - Bryan Lane - will sign a formal letter of intent today with Nevada to play linebacker or tight end.

The others are an impressive lot of academic achievers who will play. They include:

* Corner/athlete Ade' Jackson to Penn.

* Receiver/defensive back Robby Templeton to Princeton.

* Athlete Dondre Butler (perhaps Air Force)

* Athlete Jeremiah Sims, who is deciding between Arizona, Sacramento State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Nevada.

Jackson, the CBS co-Scholar Athlete of the Year with his fellow 4.0 student/buddy Templeton he head scholar, chose Penn over a walk-on chance at Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, UC Davis, Northwestern, Boston College and Army at West Point.

February 1, 2011
Grant's Puka Lopa to play on scholarship at Cal; joins teammate Vei Moala

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

The union will indeed continue in Berkeley.

Puka Lopa announced today that he will sign a letter of intent Wednesday morning with Cal, scribbling his name at the same time his Grant High School teammate and pal Vei Moala does the same with the Bears of Berkeley.

Lopa, a ferocious rush end who may convert to linebacker, was also considering UCLA. The senior went to Cal on a recruiting trip over the weekend and decided late Tuesday that he would be a Bear, continuing a legacy of Pacers who have flourished as students and players at Cal.

Defensive cornerstones Syd Thompson and Worrell Williams were four-year starters for Cal. Thompson just finished his rookie season as a defensive back with the Denver Broncos and Williams played the last two seasons at linebacker in the UFL.

Lopa had 21 sacks and 128 tackles in a show of dominance this past season. He and Moala, a defensive tackle, were The Bee's co-Defensive Players of the Year. They had said it would be a dream to play college ball together.

Now they will, and not to far from home, either.

Lopa and Moala are very close with their families, and they wanted to attend a school known for his academics and football standing - and be close enough to home to throw in a load of laundry or engage in a family feast.

Lopa and Moala, as menacing in pads as they are jovial and polite otherwise, could emerge as a terrific tandem at Cal. Lopa, with his familiar shock of long hair jetting out of the back of his helmet, was "the best sideline-to-sideline pursuit guy I've ever seen," Folsom coach Kris Richardson said.

Lopa and Moala will be joined by three other teammates who will sign tomorrow morning at Grant, and possibly a third.

Darryl Paulo, Grant's leading tackler, will play linebacker or tight end at Washington State. Filipo Sau, a mammoth left tackle, will sign with Snow College in Utah, a two-year program that offers full room and board and is a launching pad to four-year programs. James Sample, a hard-hitting safety, will sign with Washington.

Ference Lange, a superb defensive back, special teams player and runner, could also sign, though that remains up in the air at this hour.

Devontae Butler, Grant's record-setting rusher from 2009, will sign a letter with Fresno State. He had planned to attend WSU but was not an academic qualifier. He is now.

February 1, 2011
List grows as letter of intent signing approaches

Bee Sports staff

Wednesday is national letter of intent signing day for high school athletes planning to pursue college athletic careers.

The Bee will provide ongoing coverage from signing ceremonies and post updates online throughout Wednesday morning and afternoon. You can find stories from Joe Davidson here as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also check out our previous recruiting stories and features.

January 31, 2011
Bee Player of the Year Dano Graves of Folsom commits to Air Force Academy

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

In the end, it came down to the challenges out of state - and someday, up in the air.

Dano Graves, statistically the most outrageously impressive quarterback to march through the Sacramento region and equally as impressive skill and desire wise, has given a verbal commitment to play scholarship football at the Air Force Academy, he told The Bee tonight.

The Bee Player of the Year who also landed the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Football State Player of the Year and MaxPreps National Player of the Year was deciding between Air Force and Sacramento State. He took a recruiting trip to Air Force in Colorado Springs last month and visited Sac State over this past weekend.

January 31, 2011
Sheldon's Mansel Simmons to sign scholarship deal with Portland State

Mansel Simmons of Sheldon High School has given a verbal commitment to play scholarship football at Portland State.

A physical and fast 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Simmons is a superb blocker with good hands. He will play for coach Nigel Burton, the former Jesuit High star from the early 1990s.

January 31, 2011
Franklin's Anthony King gives verbal commitment to Eastern Washington

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Bee All-Metro receiver Anthony King of Franklin High School has given a verbal commitment to play scholarship football at Eastern Washington, a Big Sky Conference program that just won a national championship.

One of the top athletes in school history, King had 59 receptions for 1,256 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Wildcats, who reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.

King is a leader on Franklin's ranked basketball team.

January 31, 2011
Oak Ridge football stars Tucker, Matanane to sign letters of intent

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Two Oak Ridge High School football stars will sign football letters of intent on National Signing Day on Wednesday with a third hoping to join the mix.

Tailback Jordan Matanane is off to Sacramento State after rushing for 1,379 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Receiver Willie Tucker rebounded from an injury-shortened junior season to flourish as a senior with 55 receptions, 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns - and a scholarship to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Quarterback Will Tostenson, who passed for 2,616 yards and 32 touchdowns, could also sign on Wednesday with a four-year scholarship program.

January 31, 2011
Grant's Darryl Paulo gives verbal to play scholarship football at WSU

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

Darryl Paulo of Grant High School has given a verbal commitment to play scholarship football for Washington State, Grant coach Mike Alberghini confirmed today.

Paulo, a powerfully built 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker/tight end with speed and strength, led the Pacers this past season with 150 tackles.

He also caught two touchdown passes from his tight end spot, including the game winner in the closing moments against Monterey Trail.

Paulo will sign his formal letter of intent on National Signing Day, on Wednesday at Grant to play for coach Paul Wulff, a standout lineman at Davis High in the early 1980s who played on scholarship at WSU.

Grant teammates Vei Moala (Cal) and Puka Lopa (still deciding) will also sign Wednesday. They were The Bee's co-Defensive Players of the Year on the defensive line.

Offensive lineman Filipo Sau will sign with Snow College in Utah, a two-year program that offers full scholarships.

Hoping to sign Wednesday is defensive back Ference Lang.

The Bee will have updates on-line throughout signing day and a full chart and stories in Thursday's print editions.

January 11, 2011
Folsom Bulldogs players weigh offers

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com


The good news continues to pour in for the Folsom Bulldogs.

Senior linebacker star Burton DeKoning has given a verbal commitment to play on scholarship for the Nevada Wolf Pack, fresh off a school-record 13-1 season.

DeKoning could remain at linebacker or switch to strong safety, but wherever he plays, he anticipates a lot of contact.

"I love to hit," he said.

DeKoning was in on 54 tackles, seven sacks and was a leader on a defense that helped key a 14-1 season. He gutted out a season in which he had a broken bone in his right hand, preferring to continue the season as opposed to having surgery. He said he wanted to do it to remain loyal to his team, to win a championship and to secure a scholarship.
Thumbnail image for ha_folsom15592.standalone.prod_affiliate.4.JPG
He ran a complete and full sweep.

DeKoning joins several of his teammates on the scholarship front. Receiver/defensive back Jordan Richards earlier this season made a verbal commitment to play for Stanford. Jim Harbaugh saw Richards play the game of his life against Grant in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship game in front of 20,200 at Sacramento State, and he even shook his hand after the game. Though Harbaugh has since been named the 49ers coach, the scholarship offer still stands for Richards.

Receiver Tyler Trosin announced at midseason that he will attend Oregon State after setting Northern California records. Fellow receiver Kori Babineaux is weighing offers and has upcoming recruiting trips to San Diego State and Iowa State. Center Stephen Sippel is suddenly on the radar after producing his best games in the final weeks of the season, against Grant and Serra-Gardena in the State Division II title game, won by Folsom 48-20.

Folsom defensive end Marcus Hendricks has serious interest from Air Force.

And there's Bee and State Player of the Year Dano Graves, the record-setting passer with several offers, including Sacramento State.

Athletes can sign letters of intent next month.

January 8, 2011
Two Grant football stars make verbal commitments

By Joe Davidson
jdavidson@sacbee.com

veimoala.jpgWith national letter-of-intent day less than a month away, the verbal commitments are starting to trickle in.

This is especially true in Del Paso Heights, where two Grant Pacers All-Americans announced Saturday where they plan to attend college and make tackles.

Defensive tackle Vei Moala, a two-time Bee Defensive Player of the Year, will play for Cal, the latest local coup for coach Jeff Tedford.

Safety James Sample said he has made a verbal commitment to Washington.

Sample and Moala played for the West team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Saturday, won by the East 13-10. Moala, 6-foot-3 and 330 pounds, was strong in the middle Saturday and showcased his athletic ability by blocking a kick in the third quarter. Sample, known for his hard-hitting ability and closing speed, flattened an East receiver.

"They played great," Grant defensive coordinator and athletic director Reggie Harris said from San Antonio.

Moala is rated as a five-star recruit, the highest one can have, and the No. 14 overall prospect in the country and second at his position. If he makes it official by signing with Cal - verbal commitments are not binding - he will follow in the Pacers footsteps of linebacker Worrell Williams, a four-year starter who played this past season for the Sacramento Mountain Lions, and cornerback Syd Thompson, a four-year starter who is with the Denver Broncos.

jamessample.jpgIf Sample goes to Washington, he will follow former Grant star safety C.J. Wallace, who played one season with the Seahawks and last fall with the Las Vegas Locomotives, who won the UFL championship.

Grant was state-ranked No. 1 all season until falling to eventual Division II state champion Folsom in the Sac-Joaquin Section finals. The Pacers also expect to see linebacker/tight end Darryl Paulo, all-purpose star Ference Lang and linebacker Vidal Davis, among others, sign on letter-of-intent day.

Folsom also has a host of players expecting to move on, including running back/safety Jordan Richards, who has given a verbal commitment to Stanford, and receiver Tyler Trosin, who is headed to Oregon State. Receiver Kori Babineaux, linebackers/defensive ends Burton DeKoning and Marcus Hendricks and freshly named State Player of the Year quarterback Dano Graves are also being recruited.

Top photo: Grant defensive tackle Vei Moala, who has committed to Cal, makes tackles and pounces on fumbles. (Randal Benton/rbenton@sacbee.com)

Bottom photo: Grant safety James Sample, right, was a team captain and leader for the Pacers, known for his speed and ability to hit. He is headed to the Washington Huskies. (Bryan Patrick/bpatrick@sacbee.com)

January 4, 2011
Grant's Moala may be leaning toward Cal verbal commit

By Bill Paterson
bpaterson@sacbee.com

Cal appears to have the inside track to Grant defensive tackle Vei Moala.

Rivals.com's Gerard Martinez reports that Moala plans to announce his college decision on national television during Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Moala and Grant teammate James Sample are playing in the all-star game.

Moala told Martinez he still plans to take official visits to Oregon and Oregon State later this month even with his announcement.

"Even if I commit, it's a verbal commitment," Moala told Martinez. "I will announce where I'm strongly considering, but if anything changes, I still have signing day. It's not over until I sign."

Moala said his top five in order are Cal, Oregon State, Oregon, Washington and USC.

He likes Cal because it's close enough to home that his mother and other family members can watch him play. He also likes Cal defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi.

Martinez, though, says Lupoi is a hot coaching propsect who could be lured to another program.

December 28, 2010
Graves, Grant foursome set recruiting trips; also make all-state

By Bill Paterson
bpaterson@sacbee.com

Folsom High School quarterback Dano Graves and Grant's fearsome foursome of Vei Moala, Puka Lopa, James Sample and Darryl Paulo have several football recruiting trips scheduled for January.

Lopa said that he and his fellow Pacers will trip together Jan. 21 to Oregon State and Jan. 28 to Washington State. Lopa also will take a trip Jan. 14 to UCLA.

The foursome all were recently named to the Section Sports All-State first team defense.

Graves said he will take recruiting trips Jan. 14 to Air Force and Jan. 21 to Portland State. He also plans to take an official trip to Hawaii, where is older brother David is a reserve scholarship quarterback.

He said the Warriors are recruiting him as a wide receiver.

Graves was named Section Sports' first team quarterback (Concord's Ricky Lloyd made second team).

Rosemont tight end Jaovonni Roofener made second team.

November 10, 2010
Five Bradshaw Christian athletes sign NCAA letters of intent

By Bill Paterson
bpaterson@sacbee.com

One of the area's smallest schools had one of the area's largest college signing hauls today.

Five Bradshaw Christian athletes signed letters of intent to play at the next level.

Leading the way is three-sport standout Brady Dragmire, who will attend Nevada on a baseball scholarship. Dragmire also plays football and basketball for the Pride.

Others to sign full-ride letters, according to Bradshaw Christian Athletic Director Mike Ruble:

• Lauren Beyer, women's basketball, UC Davis.

• Lynn Tay, swimming, Wagner College in New York.

• Macy Chase, softball, Felician College, a Division II school in Lodi, N.J.

• Jordie Smith, women's basketball, Vanguard University, an NAIA school in Costa Mesa.

The school of 225 students plans a celebration rally for them on Friday.

"I think this is tremendous for any school let alone a small school who has been able to compete at a high level and has been very successful over the past several years and with such a young history," Ruble wrote in an e-mail announcing the signings. "We also have at least five more kids that will sign in the late period, one being our quarterback (senior Daniel Lewis) who is on the short list for Notre Dame, Arizona, UCLA, Air Force Academy, among a few others..."



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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