MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Tag: California Sac-Joaquin Section Football

  • Photo by Louis Lopez

    St. John Bosco's Ivan Martinez attempts to tackle De La Salle's Chris Williams during the 2013 California state championship game.

    California is the latest state to implement rules for high school football geared toward limiting the possibility of concussions and other injuries.

    The California Assembly voted Thursday to limit high school athletes to two full-contact practices per week, according to Jeremy B. White of The Sacramento Bee.

    Assemblyman Ken Cooley, who introduced the bill, hopes that the new guidelines will help ensure the safety of the athletes while still allowing them to reach their potential.

    "There's plenty of opportunities to work on skills, drills, conditioning, all kinds of things," Cooley said.

    Critics of the bill argue that limits on full-contact practice may put California high school athletes at a disadvantage when compared to athletes in states with less stringent rules.

    "I want our student athletes to excel as much as they can," said Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, arguing that decisions about practice should rest at the local level.

    High school coaches are predictably upset, as some feel the lack of full-contact practices will leave the kids less prepared for games.

    "I just think whenever you don’t allow a school to prepare how they think they need to prepare, you hurt the kids because things that are not taught will come back and haunt you during the season," Grant (Sacramento) head coach Mike Alberghini told Fox 40.

    The measure, which received 42 yes votes — one more than the necessary 41, will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.

  • File photo by John Shores

    Brandin Cooks (4) did it all for Lincoln-Stockton in 2009. On Thursday, after earning All-American honors at Oregon State, the wide receiver was the No. 20 pick in the NFL Draft.

    California, like Texas and Florida, is known for its football. And products from the Golden State are plentiful throughout the NFL.

    So when three players from one of its 10 sections were drafted in the first round of Thursday's draft, it wasn't a huge surprise.

    File photo by Sean Moffett

    Deone Bucannon at Vanden in 2008.

    However, the section those blue chippers came from — the Sac-Joaquin Section — was somewhat of a shocker.

    For the first time in SJS history, according to the Cal-Hi Sports record book, three of its players were picked before the second round: wide receiver Brandin Cooks (Lincoln of Stockton), cornerback Jason Verrett (Rodriguez of Fairfield) and strong safety Deone Bucannon (Vanden of Fairfield).

    All came in the final 12 picks of the 3.5-hour event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

    Cooks, from Oregon State, was the No. 20 selection of the Saints, Verrett (TCU) went to the Chargers at No. 25 and Bucannon (Washington State) was selected No. 27 by the Cardinals.

    Three former players from the 567-school member Southern Section, located in Los Angeles and Orange counties, isn't so unusual. But from the 174-member SJS, located in the northeastern part of the San Francisco Bay Area along with Sacramento and the northern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, was landmark.

    Section commissioner Pete Saco and his staff congratulated the trio via Twitter Thursday night.

    Over the previous 20 years, before Thursday, only four players from the SJS had even been first-round selections. In 1983, the section claimed two first-round quarterbacks, Ken O'Brien (Jesuit-Carmichael) and Tony Eason (Delta-Clarksburg).
    File photo by Sean Moffett

    Jason Verrett at Rodriguez in 2008.

  • Elk Grove (Calif.) overcame an early Temecula Valley (Temecula, Calif.) lead by scoring six runs in the fifth inning Saturday en route to a 6-1 victory in the second-annual Boras Classic championship game at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.

    File photo by Ralph Thompson

    Dylan Carlson, Elk Grove

    Elk Grove and Temecula Valley met for the Boras Classic title after each team won its half of the tournament bracket. Temecula Valley won the South Division championship in early April while Elk Grove won the North Division title two weeks later.

    Elk Grove sent 10 players to the plate in the fifth inning to rally from a 1-0 deficit. With one out, Landon Gastelum was hit by a pitch. An Austin Del Chiaro hit put two runners on base and a passed ball moved both runners along. An intentional walk to Nick Madrigal loaded the bases.

    Carlos Moseley singled to drive in one run, but a strikeout gave Temecula Valley two outs in the inning. Dylan Carlson kept the rally going, however, with an RBI hit on which Madrigal also scored to make it 3-1. Brooks Day added a two-run double and Carlson scored on Ty Madrigal's base hit.

    Del Chiaro pitched the final four innings and got the win. He gave up one run on four hits with one strikeout and one walk. Chris Martin started the game and gave up no runs on one hit with a strikeout.

    Ty Madrigal, Day and Carlson all went 2-for-3 in the win for Elk Grove (20-4). David Maldonado and Alec Garrett each went 2-for-3 for Temecula Valley with Garrett driving in the only run for the Bears.

  • A showdown of four national powers it is not. But the two games between Northern California teams proposed for Aug. 29 will surely gain interest because of where they will be played.

    Levi's Stadium, the new billion-dollar home of the San Francisco 49ers, appears to be venue of a double dip pitting perennial national power De La Salle (Concord) (14-1 last season) against Jesuit (Carmichael) (9-4), along with Wilcox (Santa Clara) (9-2) versus Manteca (13-2).

    Wilcox defeated host Manteca 28-27 last season.

    The two games are already scheduled but whether all the paperwork and documents get signed to get the games played at the spanking new, plush NFL stadium is another matter.

    A big hurdle was cleared Wednesday when the Central Coast Section's Board of Managers OK'd Wilcox's request to play a game one week earlier than other CCS schools.

    "That was, I think, definitely the biggest hurdle," Wilcox coach Woody Freitas told the San Jose Mercury News.

    De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh confirmed the doubleheader deal is in its final stages.

    "We're still trying to get everything signed," he said.

    Jesuit and Manteca are powers from the Sac-Joaquin Section, while De La Salle (North Coast Section) and Wilcox are from the Bay Area.

    The 49ers have two exhibition games scheduled at Levi's Stadium before the proposed Aug. 29 date — Aug. 17 versus Denver and Aug. 24 against San Diego. Their first regular-season game in the state-of-the-art stadium is scheduled 5:30 p.m. (PDT) on Sept. 14 against the Bears.

    The premier of Hollywood movie "When the Game Stands Tall" — based on the Neil Hayes book about De La Salle's football program — is scheduled for Aug. 22.
    Photo by Dennis Lee

    Kahlil McKenzie (left), the nation's No. 47 recruit from the class of 2015, hopes to lead De La Salle in Levi's Stadium on Aug. 29.

  • A third recent movie — and second documentary — featuring high school football will premiere next week, this one called "Give Us This Day."

    The movie centers around the 2012 season of perennial Northern California power Grant (Sacramento, Calif.), which is centered in the rough neighborhood of Del Paso Heights.

    The team, which won a CIF State Division I championship in 2008 and is coached by one of the state's most successful coaches in Mike Alberghini, was on course to miss the playoffs in 2012 before tragedy struck, the alleged murder by assistant coach Ed Coleman of his girlfriend and his own alleged suicide.

    The movie was gritty enough, featuring the pitfalls and obstacles many inner-city schools and teams face. But the act of violence took the documentary into an entirely different path. Much like Grant's season.

    Especially so because the filmmakers had befriended Coleman, who they said was a role model to many of the players before his death. 

    "We knew this could change the trajectory of the story of the season in a big way," co-director D.L. Stern told the Sacramento Bee. "The people who knew Ed could not believe that could ever happen, because they knew what kind of person he was. We were filmmakers – we had to stay objective – but we had grown to love him, and could not imagine it."

    The documentary, which is also co-directed by Adam Stern (the brother of D.L.) and Milton Boyd, premieres Monday at the Newport Beach Film Festival and Wednesday as part of the Sacramento International Film Festival.

    See feature on Grant coach Mike Alberghini

    It comes on the heels of a trailer and release date of Aug. 22 for the Hollywood production of "When the Game Stands Tall" — the De La Salle football movie. Earlier this week and 12 days following the De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) movie news, came the announcement of another prep football release, a documentary called "We Could Be King," the story of two rival schools from Philadelphia — Germantown and Martin Luther King — merging together due to budget cuts.

    "We Could Be King" will premiere Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival.
    File photo by Anthony Brunsman

    Grant huddles during a game against Burbank in 2012.

    File photo by Anthony Brunsman

    Grant coach Mike Alberghini didn't keep any secrets during the 2012 season.

    Read more here:

  • Every pitcher does it. You've probably seen it a million times.

    A ball goes up the middle behind the pitcher's back, and he wildly flings his glove at it hoping to stop it.

    Luckily for Granite Bay (Calif.) pitcher Kevin Baranowski, his prayer was answered. The 5-foot-11 junior hurler made a behind-the-back stop to cut off a run at home plate in Thursday's Boras Classic game against De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) in Sacramento.

    The stop may have been somewhat lucky, but afterwards Baranowski had the presence of mind to throw the ball home rather than to first base, making the play even more impressive.

    Although Granite Bay lost the game, 11-1, Baranowski gave the Grizzlies a moment to remember.

    VIDEO: High school pitcher makes behind-the-back stop to cut ... on Twitpic
  • Elk Grove (Calif.) advanced to the championship game of the Boras Classic North Division for the second straight season, knocking off nationally-ranked Buchanan in the process.

    File photo by Ralph Thompson

    Nick Madrigal, Elk Grove

    Chris Martin went seven innings and allowed just one run on four hits with four strikeouts to lift the Thundering Herd to the 3-1 victory. Elk Grove scored all of its runs in the first inning, taking advantage of two base hits and a pair of Buchanan errors to build the early 3-0 lead.

    Elk Grove (10-4) will face St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.) in the championship game at 7 p.m. tonight at McAuliffe Field. St. Francis edged past Clovis West (Fresno) 3-0 in the other semifinal game behind John Gavin's 14-strikeout performance.

    Elk Grove, the host of the tournament, reached the championship game last year, but fell to Pleasant Grove. The Thundering Herd opened the tournament with an 8-7 win over Rio Americano and then topped Granite Bay 9-4 in the quarterfinals.

    Against Buchanan, Nick Madrigal opened the game with a single, advanced to third on an error and eventually scored on the play. Dylan Carlson, who reached base on an error, scored on an error on Ty Madrigal's ground ball to shortstop. Madrigal later scored on Ryan Robards' double to center field.

    For St. Francis (16-2), Gavin gave up just two hits and walked two in shutting out Clovis West. Blake Billinger drove in a run with a double while Conor Thane also drove in a run for the Lancers. Daniel Lu added a double to the St. Francis offensive.

    The Lancers, ranked No. 15 in the Xcellent 50 National Baseball Rankings, opened with a 2-0 win over Yuba City and then defeated defending champion Pleasant Grove 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

    Buchanan (18-3), ranked No. 6 in the nation, will face fellow Tri-Rivers Athletic Conference member Clovis West for third place at 7 p.m. at McAuliffe Field No. 2.

    In other games, Granite Bay faces Pleasant Grove at 4 p.m. for fifth place while Oakridge and Davis will play for seventh place at 1 p.m.
  • The Orestimba (Newman, Calif.) baseball team is off to one of its best starts in over a decade, and senior pitcher Tanner Pruett is a major reason why.

    Photo courtesy of David Clark of the Westside Index in Newman, Ca

    Tanner Pruett, Orestimba

    With a 10-3 overall record, Orestimba sits atop the Trans Valley League standings with a 6-2 record. Pruett has been responsible for four of those wins, throwing a pair of no-hitters and a near-perfect game for three of the wins. However the most impressive performance might have been a six-hitter against Escalon, the five-time defending league champions and winners of four section championships in the past five seasons.

    "So far he has been virtually untouchable," said Orestimba coach Matt Candelario. "He lost a perfect game in the bottom of the seventh on an infield dribbler and he beat perennial state powerhouse Escalon for a complete-game victory. I expect this to continue as we go along in league and tournament play."

    Pruett's first no-hitter was a five-inning 10-0 win over Modesto Christian in which he struck out 11 and walked just one. He went seven innings in his next start (Pruett pitched in relief and gave up a hit in between starts) and lost a perfect game in the seventh on an infield hit. Pruett struck out nine and walked none for the win.

    Against Escalon, Pruett allowed six hits, but gave up just one earned run in a 3-1 victory, striking out 12.

    Pruett followed that effort with a seven-inning no-hitter against Hilmar in a 5-0 win that included 14 strikeouts and just one walk.

    For the season, Pruett is 5-0 with four earned runs allowed and 62 strikeouts in 41.2 innings pitched.
  • File photo by Ed Anderson

    Brendan Rodegerdts, Woodland Christian

    Usually not a pitcher for Woodland Christian (Calif.), sophomore Brendan Rodegerdts took the mound for the first time in a makeup game with Sacramento Waldorf on Thursday.

    Don't expect it to be the last.

    In a five-inning game cut short by the mercy rule, Rodegerdts threw a perfect game, striking out all 15 batters he faced in a 12-0 win. The effort was similar to that of Carle Place pitcher Mike Delio, who struck out all 21 batters for a perfect game in his first varsity outing.

    "We brought him up to the varsity because we were short of some healthy throwing arms," said Woodland Christian coach Jerry Miller. "It was pretty special."

    The perfect game by Rodegerdts wasn't the only highlight of the day for Woodland Christian, however. In the first game of the doubleheader, Robbie Miller had a perfect game into the fifth before an error ended it. Miller finished with a no-hitter and 10 strikeouts in a five-inning 19-0 win.
  • Photo by Ralph Thompson

    Jake Browning, Folsom

    The Golden State's most prolific single-season passer – very soon to become its career leader as well — is headed North.

    Jake Browning, who has racked up pinball numbers with pinpoint accuracy and a quick release at Folsom (Calif.), has committed to Washington, according to Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee.

    See feature on Jake Browning

    Numerous other reports have confirmed the commitment for the 6-foot-2, 193-pound junior, who last year passed for state-record 5,768 yards and 75 touchdowns leading Folsom to a second straight 14-1 season.

    According to the record book, he needs just 46 yards and eight touchdowns to break career California records.

    New Washington head coach Chris Petersen began recruiting Browning while at Boise State and continued pursuit after switching jobs. Browning is the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the country for the Class of 2015 according to 247Sports.

    Among other schools Browning was considering were Alabama, Boise State, Colorado and Oklahoma State.