41st Lions Game: North should benefit from having Manteca duo side-by-side on offensive line

   The 41st Lions All-Star Football Game is still a few months away – kickoff is at 7 p.m. on June 14 at Tracy High – but the teams were debuted Saturday night during the banquet at the Italian Athletic Club in northeast Stockton.

    The Baltimore Colts’ Matt Overton was the guest speaker, which makes sense since he’s a Tracy High grad. The coaches for the game will be Tokay’s Louis Franklin for the North and Merced’s Ron Scheidt for the South.

   The South All-Stars break camp June 9 at Stanislaus State in Turlock, while the North All-Stars start June 9 at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The Lions Game is the fourth-oldest in California, played annually since 1974.

    Here’s a look at some of the kids on the North roster (We posted our first look earlier, and we’ll be back with a look at DBs, LBs and a few fullbacksJ

    ** There will be plenty of beef up front with Manteca’s tandem of 6-foot-1, 300-pound Billy Sharmoug, aka Captain Chaos, and 6-3, 300-pound Isaac McClain. They played alongside one another at guard and tackle last fall, and you gotta love that sort of relationship going into an all-star game. Both were first-team linemen on our all-Black Hat Football Team last fall.

    ** The Manteca duo isn’t the biggest side of the beef, though: Argonaut’s Tyler Clays (6-5, 330) was an all-Black Hat Second Teamer last fall. Other linemen include Tracy’s Clayton Fegett (6-0, 275) and George Obinna (6-2, 226), Escalon’s Collin Strasser (6-1, 215) and Tokay’s Eric Stipe (5-10, 180).

    We’re also looking forward to seeing Edison’s Anthony Baker, and all-Black Hat D-lineman and the Tri-City Athletic League Defensive Player of he Year. The 6-3, 240-pound defensive end should do well in the all-star format.

     ** You know we love tape, and we ran across this fun clip of Strasser chasing down QBs and punishing RBs last fall. Lovin’ the hit  at 48 seconds into the tape – you will, too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1iYCtEMRKI

    Here was out first look at the North roster, with an emphasis on high-profile skill players http://www.blackhatfootball.com/2014/04/14/41st-lions-game-black-hat-player-of-the-year-alex-laurel-stagg-stars-top-north-roster/

41st Lions Game: Black Hat Player of the Year Alex Laurel, Stagg stars top North roster

   The 41st Lions All-Star Football Game is still a few months away – kickoff is at 7 p.m. on June 14 at Tracy High – but the teams were debuted Saturday night during the banquet at the Italian Athletic Club in northeast Stockton.

    The Baltimore Colts’ Matt Overton was the guest speaker, which makes sense since he’s a Tracy High grad. The coaches for the game will be Tokay’s Louis Franklin for the North and Merced’s Ron Scheidt for the South.

   The South All-Stars break camp June 9 at Stanislaus State in Turlock, while the North All-Stars start June 9 at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The Lions Game is the fourth-oldest in California, played annually since 1974.

    Here’s a look at some of the kids on the North roster:

    ** Manteca running back Alex Laurel, Black Hat Football’s 2013 Player of the Year, leads a talented group of skill players. A breakaway runner, Laurel  had 2,316 yards offense and 49 TDs while leading the Buffaloes to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 title and the Northern California D2 Bowl.

    ** Stagg has a couple of stars in RB Daniel Ruffin (Black Hat’s San Joaquin County Player of the Year) and second-team Black Hat QB Wayne Brooks, and the Delta Kings also have WR/DB Jamarius Harris. Ruffin was electric last fall – playing QB and RB, when he wasn’t starring in the secondary.

    We saw the Delta Kings three times last season, and there wasn’t a dull moment in any of the games. Brooks was dynamic with his arm and his legs, and we’re hoping he displays those skills again in the summer all-star game.

    ** Folks in the Southern half of The 209 didn’t get to see much of Chavez WR Darin Gentry, but he’s a real treat. He caught 61 balls for 1,093 yards and 13 TDs in just 10 games – even though defenses knew he was coming. The big question is whether prolific playmaking transfers onto the field during an all-star game? With just five days of practice, and an offensive line that is still learning each other’s names, passing offenses often struggle in this format.

    ** The receivers include St. Mary’s duo of Bryan Pascual and David Juarez, as well as 6-3 Lucas Widmer of Sierra  and Linden’s Bailey Wright.  Tokay slot Travis Dart has the benefit of playing this game with his QB, Kelse Depauli-Wiltse, and Edison’s Malik McKenzie will be another familiar receiver.

    ** Calaveras’ Mike Seawell – Black Hat’s Sierra Foothill Player of the Year – will be entertaining for the Stockton and Tracy folks who never had the opportunity to see Mother Lode League games, while Kimball RB Gaige Allen was one of the city of Tracy’s top players last fall.

    Well check back in with a few looks at the linemen, defense and other skill players, don’t worry.

   For right now, check out Black Hat’s from Stagg’s stunning win over St. Mary’s – stay to the end, to get a great look at Ruffin’s win-sealing interception.

Lions All-Stars: Versatility of Pitman’s Logan Wolfley, strong D-line assets for South

       The 41st Lions All-Star Football Game is still a few months away – kickoff is at 7 p.m. on June 14 at Tracy High – but the teams were debuted Saturday night during the banquet at the Italian Athletic Club in northeast Stockton.

    The Baltimore Colts’ Matt Overton was the guest speaker, which makes sense since he’s a Tracy High grad. The coaches for the game will be Tokay’s Louis Franklin for the North and Merced’s Ron Scheidt for the South.

   The South All-Stars break camp June 9 at Stanislaus State in Turlock, while the North All-Stars start June 9 at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The Lions Game is the fourth-oldest in California, played annually since 1974.

    Here’s our third and final look at some of the kids on the South roster:

    ** As good as the skill players might be, all-star games are usually decided by the play of the linemen. The South defensive line includes Merced’s Jamell Bedford, Black Hat’s Merced County Player of the Year, and Black Hat first-teamer Armando Gauger of Atwater. … You throw in Los Banos’ Josh Priest, Atwater’s 6-2, 290-pound Ivan Martinez and Modesto Christian’s 6-3, 280-pound Dillon Tarvin and you’ve got lots of beef up front. …

    Enochs’ talented Niles Graham is expected to focus his time on the offensive line, along with all-Black Hat selection Aaron Lusher of Pitman, Buhach Colony’s Marquez Harris and Golden Valley’s TJ Moore.

    ** Though Pitman’s Logan Wolfley is listed as a defensive back, he has the running ability to get snaps on offense, as well. The South’s secondary also has Patterson’s Brandon Williams, the Collins twins, and Turlock’s Jevan Hogan … Don’t be surprised to see Golden Valley’s Jashaan Wright in the secondary, too. He’s on the roster as a receiver, but he was one of Black Hat’s four first-team defensive backs last fall.

    ** Also on the roster is Hilmar’s Joseph Bello, Black Hat’s Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Yellowjackets to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 final. Bello suffered a serious back injury during an excursion to Pismo Beach earlier this year. He lost control of his ATV and flipped forward, with the ATV hitting him and fracturing his back.

    It was a thoughtful decision to include Bello on the roster, and it also a reminder that as much as we admire these kids for the performances they produce on the field, there’s much more to our lives than the game.

     Here is Black Hat’s video on our Player of the Year finalists and yes, Black Hat Player of the Year Alex Laurel is playing for the North squad this summer.

     ** Here is our look at the South’s QBs, RBs and TEs …

    And here was our look at the South WRs and LBs … 

Lions All-Stars: The South Take 2, with Hilmar’s big-play WR and the coach’s kid at LB

       The 41st Lions All-Star Football Game is still a few months away – kickoff is at 7 p.m. on June 14 at Tracy High – but the teams were debuted Saturday night during the banquet at the Italian Athletic Club in northeast Stockton.

    The Baltimore Colts’ Matt Overton was the guest speaker, which makes sense since he’s a Tracy High grad. The coaches for the game will be Tokay’s Louis Franklin for the North and Merced’s Ron Scheidt for the South.

   The South All-Stars break camp June 9 at Stanislaus State in Turlock, while the North All-Stars start June 9 at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The Lions Game is the fourth-oldest in California, played annually since 1974.

    Here’s our second look at some of the kids on the South roster (Here was our earlier look at the South’s QBs, RBs and TEs:)

    ** Hilmar WR Tyler Robinson was one of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s top small-school players, with big-play ability on both sides of the ball, so it will be interesting to see how he does against big-schools competition from the North squad … Merced’s Trevante Richard was the Central California Conference MVP and of Black Hat’s three-first team receivers – he was our Punter of the Year in 2012. …

   Richard is joined by a crosstown rival, Golden Valley’s Jashaan Wright – it’s been a while since the city had two receivers this talented. … Downey’s 6-foot-3 Tristan Best, a second-team all-Black Hat pick, provides size downfield …

    No surprise the South roster includes Modesto High’s Collins twins: Lovell and Lesean were Black Hat’s Utility Players of the Year. They helped turn around a program that was 1-9 in 2012, leading the Panthers to the Modesto Metro Conference co-title. Lovell returned three kickoffs for TDs – always a possibility in an all-star games, since there’s scant time to work on kickoff coverage during five days of practice – and both kids can catch the ball.

    ** The coach’s kid is part of the linebacking crew, as Merced’s Sam Scheidt gets to play his final game under his dad’s watchful eye. … Central Catholic’s Reggie Bland, who played his way onto Black Hat’s first-team defense with his outstanding postseason performance, is another small-school player who gets to show he can play against big-school kids from the Tri-City Athletic League, the San Joaquin Athletic Association and the Valley Oak League. …

    While Pitman’s Jorge Pena and Scheidt are known for their LB skills, Patterson’s Jordan Levu and Turlock’s Patrick Green are tight ends who also could get plays as standup defensive ends. … Atwater’s JoJo Ochoa is also an RB/LB combination, and a load at 5-foot-9, 220 pounds. …

   We’ll provide one more snapshot of the South All-Stars, taking a look at the secondary and linemen tomorrow. For now, here’s some fun video from Hilmar’s win over Ripon – with Robinson providing some big plays

41st Lions All-Star Game: A look at some of South’s best, including the Ja’Quan Express

   The 41st Lions All-Star Football Game is still a few months away – kickoff is at 7 p.m. on June 14 at Tracy High – but the teams were debuted Saturday night during the banquet at the Italian Athletic Club in northeast Stockton.

    The Baltimore Colts’ Matt Overton was the guest speaker, which makes sense since he’s a Tracy High grad. The coaches for the game will be Tokay’s Louis Franklin for the North and Merced’s Ron Scheidt for the South.

   The South All-Stars break camp June 9 at Stanislaus State in Turlock, while the North All-Stars start June 9 at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The Lions Game is the fourth-oldest in California, played annually since 1974.

    Here’s a look at some of the kids on the South roster:

   ** If you’re looking for an oddity, it’s the number of running backs selected – there are only three pure backs. The good news for the South is that one of them is Ja’Quan Gardner, Black Hat Football’s 2013 Offensive Player of the Year after piling up 2,467 yards and 27 TDs in just 11 games.

   The other RBs are Turlock’s Jevan Hogan, Atwater’s JoJo Ochoa and Modesto’s Lesean Collins. With a small cast of RBs, Gardner should get lots of carries, and he’s the sort of back who is a threat every time he touches the ball.

    ** The quarterbacks are Turlock’s Sean Downs, Modesto Christian’s Anthony Brooks and Central Valley’s Kendel Johnson. All three are good on their feet, but there’s not a pure passer in the group – especially compared to Downey’s Aaron Zwahlen, who led the South to a 17-14 win last summer.

    Zwahlen threw for 286 yards, hitting 18 of 32 passes, stunning efficiency for a QB in an all-star game. That was the exception – passers often struggle in here – so it will be interesting to see how a trio of run-first QBs fare.

    Johnson had the most successful senior year of the three, rushing for 1,011 yards and 11 TDs – averaging 10.9 yards a carry. He had a staggering 221 yards on 17 carries in a 69-55 loss to Manteca in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, and one of his three TD runs went for 73 yards.

    He could be as fast as any QB who has played in the Lions’ game.

    ** There are two physical tight ends, Patterson’s Jordan Levu and Turlock’s Patrick Green, and they’ll likely be called on more often for their blocking skills rather then their good hands. Levu was our All-Black Hat tight end last fall, and is a matchup nightmare due to his size and speed, and Green

    We’ll come back a bit later and look at the receivers, lineman and defense … but for now, check out our video from that CV/Manteca playoff game https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csiwskejM6k

    

Old-School: Mike Parsons back at Modesto Chr. & a glimpse at the section’s best-ever FB team

   Mike Parsons is back for his second run leading Modesto Christian High’s program, and his Crusaders are going to have their hands full with a couple of new teams on the schedule. After playing Calaveras and McNair to open the season, the Crusaders host Vanden and Edison (Fresno)  — top-notch programs.

   Vanden was 8-4 a year ago and consistently one of the most athletic medium-school programs in the Sac-Joaquin Section. Edison, meanwhile, has become a large-school power in the Central Section and was 9-2 a year ago. Those are nice visitors to be coming on campus – nice from an entertainment standpoint.

    The lone holdover is Calaveras, and it’s been a good rivalry for both teams. Be a shame to see that series end – folks in San Andreas love to see the Crusaders  roll into town on a Friday night, that whole private-school challenge, ya know. The game usually produces lots of points and plenty of fun fourth quarters.

   Parsons won the State Small School Bowl while at MC in 2009, and parlayed that title into he head coach’s job at prestigious Clovis West. He won a Central Section title with CW in 2010, having taken over a talented team, but an 8-2 record over the last three seasons cost Parsons his position a Clovis West.

   His last team at MC went 15-0, features QB Isaiah Burse and was the most exciting team to take the field in The 209 since Merced’s overall state champion squad in 1990 – still the best team to ever play in the section. Ya, we said it, best in the section: 14-0, CalHiSports’ overall state champ, tons of talent and the Bears did their damage in an era before expansion spread the talent thin.

   Sure, arguments can be made that the SJS has produced better teams than Merced, and I’ll listen. Coaches Mark Speckman, Kevin Swartood, Larry Nigro and a cast of talented assistants on the sidelines, great RBs, The Fly in its infancy in the San Joaquin Valley … anyway, different topic for a different day.

 Since we’re talkin’ old school, we ran across some tape of Merced RB Stephen Jackson, a bull of a runner with stunning quickness for his size. Dr. Sweet teamed with Jhay Roland to form a dynamic backfield while the Bears were going 28-0 with back-to-back section titles in 1989-90.

   Jackson was gunned down in cold blood, as the local newspaper put it, in Merced in 2007 – the gunman was later entenced to 75 years in prison.

2014 Storyline: Pacheco tears up its old schedule, and new lineup features ‘big boy’ Buhach Colony

Pacheco High (Los Banos), the preseason favorite in the Western Athletic Conference now that Central Catholic (Modesto), has torn up its preseason schedule for 2014. Wiped from the slate are Selma, Escalon and McNair (Stockton) – only Dos Palos remains. Those four schools had a combined record of 15-27 last season.

The Panthers, who boast a bevy of talented RBs returning for 2014, open the season in Week Zero with a trip to Bear River (Lake of the Pines). Then they host Heritage (Brentwood) and Dos Palos, before going on the road for their first-ever meeting with Buhach Colony (Atwater) – a landmark game for Pacheco.

One thing we need resolved before the season begins: Who’s gonna create a new trophy for the series featuring Dos Palos and the two Los Banos schools? The West Side War has long featured Los Banos and Dos Palos and the Cat Fight (Panthers vs. Tigers) began a few years ago. With both Los Banos schools playing Dos Palos, needs to be something special that goes to a team if it goes 2-0 this season to win the series.

Pacheco features RBs Frank Ginda and Moffat Teneng, and also expects to have Kalama Kamoku back after a knee injury forced him to miss his junior season. The key? QB Juwan Epperson and his improved passing – here’s a look at his play last season.

Oh yeah, the Tigers in Patterson will have plenty to say about who celebrates the WAC title this fall. QB Damien Paulo is back for the Tigers – and he’ll have All-Black Hat Football DB Demarrio Hammonds catching balls this season.

2014 Storyline: Buhach Colony’s offensive guru exits, but explosive RB Aundre Sherman will return

** BUHACH COLONY says farewell to Coach Kevin Swartwood, one of the finest offensive minds in the 209 for nearly three decades. Going back to his days with Merced High and head coach Mark Speckman, when the Bears boasted one of the most successful programs in the state, Swartwood has created prolific offenses.

Over a four-year stretch from 2009-2012, BC’s Thunder average 36, 41, 41 and 42 points a game – and played in three Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 semifinals. Personnel played a role in piling up the points each Friday night and the wins each season, but it takes a dynamic mind to put those parts in play and exploit opportunities.

Kevin Navarra, named co-head coach last year in anticipation of taking over the program, has been BC’s defensive coordinator the last four years. He provides continuity on that side of the ball, but how will his perspective impact the program’s offensive philosophy?

We won’t know until next fall, in the second half of tight games, when spur-of-the-moment play-calling decides the outcome. With Swartwood’s decades of work with the ‘fly’ offense, there was no situation he had not been faced with dozens of times – a big part of play-calling is experience, but equally importance is confidence.

Knowing a play worked in the past, and that it will work again, allows a coach to call for a long pass on third-and-1, a draw play on 2nd-and-20 or an onsides kick early in the game. Swartwood had the confidence to call any play at any moment, and the track record to shut down second-guessing fans in this football-driven community.

Of course, Buhach could evolve under new offensive coordinator Jerry Dietz. We know this: 2014 should be a big offensive year for the Thunder and RB Aundre Sherman – he averaged 9 yards a carry and 19 yards a catch, with 11 TDs in 2013 He had 96 touches, fewer than 10 a game, and that number needs to exceed 15 this fall.

Got some great video on Sherman’s junior year, including a special catch-and-run at 2:15 into the tape. Got a fun game to see this season, too, with Buhach facing Merced County rival Pacheco – and the Panthers’ bruising senior running back, Frank Ginda.

Swartwood or not, the Thunder have another list of impressive foes lined up for 2014: Central Section runner-up Clovis North, Pacheco and St. Mary’s-Stockton follow after a season opener in Week 1 vs. Enochs in Modesto.

15 scholar-athletes from The 209 earning $600 scholarships from Sac-Joaquin’s Lacky fund

The Sac-Joaquin Section is putting its money where its mouth is, awarding $35,600 in scholarships to 51 winners of the A. Dale Lacky/CSEA Scholarships for outstanding athletic performance, community service and academic success during their high school careers.

The award, named after former Section and State CIF President A. Dale Lacky, honors

the top male and female student-athletes. The committee has selected four male and four female students as the recipients of a $1,000 scholarship. The remaining nominees are awarded a $600 scholarship. There are also two $1,500 winners.

All schools are allowed to play an extra volleyball game and an extra boys and girls

basketball game, with 50 percent of the gate going toward the scholarship fund. More than $25,000 was generated through the foundation games.

The winners will be recognized at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Breakfast Awards Ceremony, which will take place Thursday (April 3, 2014) at Hutchins Street Square in Lodi. The program will start at 9 a.m. The Section will also be honoring three male and three female model coach winners at this breakfast as well. Section Hall of Famer and former Olympian Suzy Powell is the keynote speaker.

There were five scholar-athltetes from The 209 who earned $1,000 scholarships (They’re listed on our previous post on the Black Hat Football site), and 15 more who earned $600 awards. Here are those 15 kids who pocketed $600 for college expenses:

ANNA CARDENAS (Sierra-Manteca) – Anna played tennis for four years, competed on the track and field team for three years and played basketball once. In tennis, she’s earned Rookie of the Year honors, Most Improved honors, was named all-league twice, was team captain twice, team MVP once and in her senior year was named the Manteca Bulletin Area Tennis Player of the Year. She’s a member of the Debate Club, helped found Journalism Tech – a club that helps revitalize journalism in high schools – she participated in the Stanford Education Program for Gifted Youth with a focus on legal studies and creative writing and she participated in the National Youth Leadership Forum on medicine. She received the AP Scholar Award, Kiwanis Academic Excellence Award and she’s been awarded Lobo Gold for all four years. Anna has a 4.28 GPA, which is No. 2 in her class of 365. She is undecided in her college choice, and will major in communications, computer science or biology with future goals of becoming a journalist, veterinarian or computer scientist.

MAGGIE CASTEEL (Escalon) – Maggie played basketball for four years and played tennis and ran cross country for three years each. All three of her tennis teams won league titles, she was a team captain in basketball her senior year, and she won scholar athlete honors in each of her seasons. She’s won several first-place medals in Academic Decathlon, won the Escalon Sunrise Rotary Speech Contest and she’s won academic excellence awards for both AP Calculus and AP Physics. She volunteers with the Park Fete Cleanup, Santa Cruz Beach Cleanup, Van Allen Harvest Festival, the Escalon Unified elementary school races and the El Portal Middle School Super Bowl Run. Maggie has a 4.26 GPA, which is No. 1 in her class of 193. She will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and major in aerospace engineering with the future goal of going into that field.

BREEANA HERNANDEZ (Stagg-Stockton) – Breeana played soccer for all four years and she played golf her senior year. She was the soccer team MVP twice and named to the all-league team once. Her senior year is ongoing. She’s received the Principal’s Award her first three years of high school. She’s a member of the National Honors Society, California Scholarship Federation and the Interact Club, which puts on a lot of community service events. She volunteers at the St. Mary’s Dining Hall as well as at special events at St. Michael’s Church. Breeana has a 4.46 GPA, which ranks her No. 1 in her class of 351. She will attend UC San Diego, where she will major in biological sciences or pre-medicine with the future goal of becoming a surgeon.

KAITLIN MORGAN (Lincoln-Stockton) – Kaitlin played basketball for four years, soccer for three years, volleyball for two and golf and tennis for one year apiece. She’s seen her basketball teams win three league titles and was named all-league her junior year. She’s a four-time scholar-athlete award winner and a member of Link Crew, Every 15 Minutes and the Homecoming Court. She volunteers as a youth coach for the YMCA and as a mentor for the COVE program. Kaitlin has a 3.88 GPA and is undecided on her school of choice, although she has been accepted to several schools in the CSU system. She is undecided on her college major, but plans on going into the pharmacy business.

ANAIYA RELIFORD (Hughes Academy-Stockton) – Anaiya played basketball and volleyball two years each and competed for the track and field team once. She is a member of Hughes Academy student government, the Prom Committee, the Black Student Union and was named to the Principal’s List. She competes for her school’s Academic Decathlon and Mock Trial. She volunteers at the local book fair, at a local Herbalife distributor and during her junior year she helped paint a mural at Franklin High. Anaiya has a 4.2 GPA. She will attend Yale University after also being accepted to Hampton University. She is undecided on her major, but has future aspirations of becoming a Supreme Court Justice, astrophysicist or chemical engineer.

SHEA WILLIAMS (Mariposa) – Shea played volleyball, basketball and softball for all four years, earning 11 varsity letters. In volleyball, she won the Most Improved Award once and was named all-league once. In basketball, she was named all-league all four years and was the team MVP once. In softball, she’s received the team top offensive award three times, been all-league three times and was named to the Merced Sun-Star all-Area team twice. Her senior season is ongoing. She is the school’s athletic commissioner, secretary for CSF and also for the Frisbee Club. She was a representative at the Rotary RYLA Camp and volunteers with the Community Service Club, the local senior center and with her church’s vacation Bible school. Shea has a 4.33 GPA, which ranks her No. 5 in her class of 148. She will attend Baylor University, where she will play softball and will major in athletic training with the future goal of becoming a personal trainer or physical therapist for an athletic team.

MICHALA WYRSCH (Gregori-Modesto) – Michala has played volleyball and competed for the track and field team for all four years at Gregori. In volleyball, she’s been named all-league three times and was a team captain for three years. She won the Coach’s Award her freshman and senior years. She received the team Most Inspirational award once each in volleyball and track and field. She’s a lifetime member of CSF, won the JAG award and participates in Science Olympiad, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Mock Trial. She’s the Modesto City Schools Board of Education student representative, Inner-High Student Council representative and volunteers for Delta Blood Bank, Stanislaus County Bike Camp and her high school. Michala has a 4.55 GPA, which ranks her No. 1 in her class of 401. She is undecided on her college choice and plans on going into environmental engineering as a career.

DEREK BRESHEARS (Enochs-Modesto) – Derek played golf for four years, tennis and basketball for two years each and soccer for one season. In golf, he received all-league honors once and in tennis, he was the rookie of the year his junior year. He is a lifetime member of CSF, as well as a member of Link Crew, the Science Bowl team, Forensics and Biotechnology Club, Italian American Club, Future Political Leaders of America and the Young Republican Club. He won the President’s Modesto Junior Lions Club) as well as the Italian American Club. Derek has a 4.11 GPA and will attend Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He’ll major in biological sciences with the future goal of being a pharmacist.

NICHOLAS CARNIGLIA (Lodi) – Nicholas played water polo and swam for all four years. In water polo, he was the league MVP twice, named to the All-American team twice and has been a member of the youth national team for the last two years. He’s received all-league honors for all four years with water polo. He’s an academic all-American who is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, was the sophomore class president, is the senior rally commissioner and he volunteers as a tutor with special education classes. Nicholas has a 4.1 GPA and will attend UC Berkeley. At Cal, he will continue his water polo career while majoring in business or economics with the future goal of working in business.

PATRICK CUNNINGHAM (Tokay-Lodi) – Patrick played water polo and competed on the swimming team for all four years each. In water polo, he was the team captain twice, team MVP once and received all-league honors twice. He was also named a USA Water Polo Outstanding Academic All-American. He’s the president of the National Honor Society, president of the Junior Statesmen of America, president of the Lifeline Christian Club and a member of the Interact Club, CSF and Link Crew. He won a Rotary Youth Leadership Award, is an AP scholar with honors and was a Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winner. He volunteers for youth Mexico mission trips, as a water polo coach for youth teams and for community holiday food drives. Patrick has a 4.31 GPA, which is No. 11 in his class of 479. He is undecided on his college choice, where he will major in engineering physics with the future goal of becoming an imagineer, engineer or a civil engineer.

STEVEN GROLLE (Sonora) – Steven ran for the cross country and track and field teams for all four years. He was a four-time qualifier for the state cross country championships, placing eighth in the Division IV race his senior year. In track and field, he was a four-time league champion and qualified for the state meet in the 1,600 his sophomore year. He’s a Link Crew leader, CSF member, Foothill Gold Track Club member, Boys State delegate, AP Scholar and the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce student of the year. He volunteers as a CORE Youth Group Leader at St. Patrick’s Parish. Steven has a 4.23 GPA, which is No. 3 in his class of 218. He is undecided in his college choice, where he will major in neuroscience, biopsychology, neurobiology or biomedical engineering with the future goal of working in cognitive research or neuroscience.

BEN HOOD (Escalon) – Ben played football, basketball and baseball for four years each. In football, he was a team captain three times, received the coach’s award twice and was all-league once. In basketball, he received the coach’s award and was a team captain twice. He’s played for three league champion baseball teams and his senior season is ongoing. He’s the student body vice president and is a member of Friends Helping Friends, Homecoming Float committee, Senior Prom committee and FFA. He volunteers for Walton Special Center, Waverly Elementary School, Alan Short Center for adults with disabilities, Cougar Youth Wing-T football camp, Bob Loureiro Baseball Tournament, Toni Largent Memorial Golf Classic and as an Outlaw football announcer. Ben has a 3.74 GPA and will attend either Truman State or Oregon State. He’ll majorin psychology and athletic training with the future goal of becoming a sports psychologist, athletic trainer or athletic director.

RYAN MARTINEZ (Le Grand) – Ryan played football and basketball for four years and baseball was a part of three league and Section championship teams and, his senior year, was the Merced Sun-Star football player of the year. In basketball, he received all-league honors twice. He’s a member of student body government, CSF, FFA, the Athletic Student Council and the Student Mentor Club. He volunteers with the local youth football and basketball teams, Planada Community Day, Planada Elementary Summer Youth Program and the Vera H. Salcedo Scholarship Foundation. Ryan has a 4.11 GPA, which is No. 1 in his class of 111. He is undecided on his college choice, and will major in exercise science with the future goal of becoming a physical therapist or working in orthopedics.

JESUS RODRIGUEZ III (Hughes Academy-Stockton) – Jesus played basketball for all four years, soccer for three years, golf and cross country for two seasons each and he ran track once. He has 12 varsity letters. He was the team MVP in cross country twice, track and field once and basketball once. He made the Principal’s List for all four high school years. He helps organize and coordinate many of the senior activities, including senior trip, senior ditch day, senior prank, prom and graduation. He volunteers as his little brother’s basketball and soccer coach at the YMCA and he also volunteers with United Way and as a counselor at science camp. Jesus has a 4.27 GPA, and is undecided on his college choice. He has the future goal of becoming a cosmetic surgeon.

SPENCER STARK (Central Catholic-Modesto) – Spencer played football and competed for the track and field team for all four years; he played basketball for one season. The football lineman has led his team to two straight CIF State championships in the small school division where he was named all-State two years in a row and, his senior year, was the MaxPreps Division IV state player of the year. He was the Section champion in the shot put as a junior. His senior year for track and field is ongoing. He is the student body rally commissioner, a senior ministry team member and was a Golden Scholar athlete. He volunteers with local elementary schools, cleaning up graffiti, helping out with Slam N Jam youth basketball and feeding the homeless. Spencer has a 4.2 GPA and is undecided on his college. He plans on majoring in psychology or pre-medicine with the future goal of becoming a psychiatrist.

 

5 scholar-athletes from Black Hat’s 209 earn $1,000 grants from Sac-Joaquin/Lacky scholarships

The Sac-Joaquin Section is putting its money where its mouth is, awarding $35,600 in scholarships to 51 winners of the A. Dale Lacky/CSEA Scholarships for outstanding athletic performance, community service and academic success during their high school careers.

The award, named after former Section and State CIF President A. Dale Lacky, honors

the top male and female student-athletes. The committee has selected four male and four female students as the recipients of a $1,000 scholarship. The remaining nominees are awarded a $600 scholarship. There are also two $1,500 winners.

All schools are allowed to play an extra volleyball game and an extra boys and girls

basketball game, with 50 percent of the gate going toward the scholarship fund. More than $25,000 was generated through the foundation games.

The winners will be recognized at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Breakfast Awards Ceremony, which will take place Thursday (April 3, 2014) at Hutchins Street Square in Lodi. The program will start at 9 a.m. The Section will also be honoring three male and three female model coach winners at this breakfast as well. Section Hall of Famer and former Olympian Suzy Powell is the keynote speaker.

There are five scholar-athltetes from The 209 who earned $1,000 scholarships, and more who earned $600 awards (we’ll list the the latter winners shortly, but right now we’re going to focus on those who are taking home a grand for college):

GURLEEN CHAHAL (Livingston) – Gurleen wrestled and competed for the track and field team for four years each and played volleyball and ran cross country for two years apiece. In wrestling, she was the team MVP three times, she was a Section champion twice and she medaled in the State meet three times. She was a team captain twice in cross country. She’s a member of the Key Club, FFA, Chess Club, Punjabi Club, Link Crew and CSF. She’s won Victory with Honor and Character Counts awards and she’s had perfect attendance for all four years. Gurleen has a 4.09 GPA, which is No. 5 in her class of 250. She will attend UC Davis, where she hopes to continue her wrestling career while majoring in chemistry to become a pharmacist.

AUDREY DE BARD (Golden Valley) – Audrey played water polo and swam for four years while playing basketball for three seasons. She was the starting goalie for water polo for all four years, earning all-league honors three times and team MVP honors twice. She was named the Most Improved Player once each for water polo and basketball. She’s won the Golden Valley Character Counts award, is a band section leader and is a student leader for the jazz band. She participates with the Golden Valley marching band, jazz band, concert band, the Captain’s Club, CSF and competitive Polynesian dance. She volunteers with the Merced City Arts Center (both backstage help and with the gallery) and local Polynesian and South Pacific Dance Clubs. Audrey has a 4.30 GPA, which ranks her No. 10 in her class of 491. She will attend the University of the Pacific, where she plans on continuing her water polo career while majoring in kinesiology/sport science with the goal of becoming an athletic trainer.

 KOBIE PETTIS (Argonaut) – Kobie played softball for four years and basketball for three seasons. She was the Mother Lode League softball MVP as a freshman and a sophomore, and was named Most Inspirational her junior year. Her sophomore year, she was the Stockton Record softball player of the year. Her senior season is ongoing. She was named all-league in basketball twice. She’s her school’s rally commissioner, is a Link Crew leader, member of CSF and is a varsity football trainer and statistician. She’s a Girls State and Camp RYLA delegate. She volunteers as a rec league basketball official and coach, Christmas to Remember and Mokelumne River Clean Up. Kobie has a 4.19 GPA, which is No. 9 in her class of 139. She will attend UC Berkeley, where she will play softball and plans on majoring in criminal psychology with the hopes of becoming an FBI agent.

 KEVIN HOLTBERG (Linden) – Kevin played football and wrestled for four years apiece, he played golf for three years and swam once. In football, he’s been named all-league twice and was the defensive team captain twice. He was the league champion in wrestling his senior year. He was a class officer for all four years and a member of CSF, the Block Letter Society, FFA and the Design and Build Club. He volunteers for Linden Booster Club functions, St. Michael’s Church Festival, Linden Cherry Festival, Linden Youth Football and Wrestling, the annual tree lighting ceremony and the Linden Veterans Day ceremony. Kevin has a 4.07 GPA and will attend Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, where he will major in civil engineering with the hopes of going into that field.

 HANS van WARMERDAM (Atwater) – Hans played water polo and swam for four years apiece and played basketball for three years. In water polo, he won the Hardest Worker Award, was named all-league three times and was team MVP once. In basketball, he was team MVP once. In swimming, he was team MVP three times; his senior year is ongoing. He’s the senior class president, enrolled in ag leadership and a member of CSF, Biology Club, Interact Club, FFA Dairy Product Judging Team and FFA Dairy Show Team. He has traveled to Africa on a medical mission, feeds the homeless and participates in canned food drives. Hans has a 4.25 GPA, which is No. 10 in his class of 412. He will attend Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and plans on majoring in business, economics or agriculture systems management.