Live Blog from Oracle Arena Saturday

You didn’t think we were going to leave you hanging on Saturday did ya!? We will be blogging all of the games (including updates from the Division III games at St. Mary’s College)  right here at Prep Corner starting at 11 a.m. Make sure to comment, because if you don’t I will just turn it off and stop the updates!

By the way, wrestling fans should be over at our sister blog right now and Saturday! Ben Enos is running the live blog from the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield. Man, we just got you guys covered for everything! If you’re really cool, you will just open both screens and continue to hit refresh.


CIF State Wrestling: Day One

10 pm: Alright ya’ll. I finished my two stories and I’m going to go back to my hotel and sleep. Match of the night, without a doubt, was Tito Pica’s 11-9 win over Clovis’ Tommy Burriel. It was a rematch of the Mission San Jose final and Pica made it through two injury timeouts for a hurt right knee, scored a takedown with six seconds left, and scored the win. Unbeliveable. Tomorrow, we’ll have Jason Welch, Tito Pica and David Klingsheim all in semifinal matches. You better believe I’ll be here bright and early for Klingsheim’s match at 112 pounds. I’m glad everyone enjoyed the blog and, if I get some strength, I’ll post final reflections on day one later tonight. If not, see you tomorrow! 

7:30 pm: We’re still waiting for the next championship round to begin. I swear we’re getting close.  

6:10 pm: We’ve started the third consolation round and we have to clear it before we get to the championship quarterfinals. Locally, we have David Klingsheim, David Rios, Stephan De La Cruz, Tyler Sheridan, Aaron Drake, Jason Welch and Tito Pica left. I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll get to do, as I have to focus on getting interviews with all those guys. See you in a while.

5:50 pm: I’ve returned from interviewing Central Catholic’s Louis Bland. Great kid. He’s headed to Washington State next year to play football. 

5:30 pm: I’ll take a break for a few minutes while I go try to track down Central Catholic’s Louis Bland. Be back in a few. 

5:15 pm: Welch is up against Gilroy’s Ethan Ogle. Welch is up 2-0 near the end of the first period. Took him a while to score his first points. End one and it’s still close. 2-0 Welch. Welch on bottom to start the period. Escapes easily and it’s 3-0. Welch is getting aggressive now. Ogle wants no part of Welch and he continues to back up constantly. Meanwhile, Pica just won across the arena. Welch takes Ogle down but rolls out and doesn’t get the points. Welch takedown and it’s 5-0. This is not a fun match to watch. Welch lets Ogle escape. 5-1. Welch takedown, 7-1. End of two periods, 7-1. Welch reversal to start the period. 9-1. Takedown 11-1. Escape, 11-2. David Yi is arguing an extra point being given to Ogle. Everyone is frustrated right now. Ogle trips Welch but Welch gets out of it. 54 seconds and this one’s in the books. Takedown and escape. 13-4 Welch. Takedown, 15-4. Escape, 15-5. So, it won’t be a tech fall but Welch with a takedown to make it 17-5. That’s the final.

5 pm: Welch will be the next local up. Be right back. 

4:55 pm: End of one period, 0-0 between Webb and Drake. Webb warned for stalling one minute into the second period. Still tied at zero. End of two periods, 0-0. Webb gets two and it’s 2-0 Webb. Webb called for stalling and Drake gets a point. 30 seconds left and 2-1 Webb. Webb gets called for stalling again and its 2-2. Lets go OT! Drake rolls Webb over anad PINS him. Wow. What a big win for Drake. Unbelievable finish.

4:55 pm: Cal’s Aaron Drake is about to wrestle on Mat 5 against La Costa Canyon’s TJ Webb. Should start in a second.  

4:40 pm: Sheridan snuck up on me. He’s up 2-0 early in his match. Sheridan went for a near-fall and his opponent escaped. 2-1. He’s facing Lemoore’s Vincent Rubio. End one, 2-1 Sheridan. Rubio escapes and it’s 2-2. Sheridan with a takedown. 4-2 Sheridan. Two more points and it’s 6-2. Near-fall near the boundary and it’s now 9-2. End of 2 periods, 9-2. Rubio scores four points and it’s a match again, 10-6 Sheridan. Rubio takes an injury timeout and they resume with the score 11-6 Sheridan. Sheridan a takedown and that gives him some more room. 13-6. Rubio escapes. 13-7. Sheridan a takedown and two-point nearfall and that’s all she wrote. 17-7 the final.

4:35 pm: The next local to wrestle will be De La Salle’s Tyler Sheridan at 145 pounds. That won’t be for a little while though. Hang tight. 

4:30 pm: Today’s first day video from Jose Carlos Fajardo is up on our web site. Check it out here. 

4:20 pm: Vinny Maraj defaulted out of his consolation match, confirming my suspicion that he’s hurt. Anyway, De La Cruz is trailing 2-0 early in his match. He escapes to start the second and it’s 2-1. Takedown for Miller but a reversal by De La Cruz and it’s 4-3 Miller. Takedown by Miller and it’s 6-3. The scorekeeper is doing something funky as DLC now has two points. He’s definitely got more than that. They’ll conference to figure it out. Consensus is the score is 6-6.  The scorekeeper is really bad. It’s now 7-7 and I have no idea how. DLC allows Miller up and he gets an escape point. 8-7 Miller. DLC scores a takedown and is up 9-8. Less than a minute left. Stalemate called. DLC warned for stalling and now there’s 11 seconds left with DLC still up 9-8. DLC warned again for stalling and now it’s down to six seconds left. Miller escapes with one second left. Wow. We go to OT, 9-9. De La Cruz with a takedown and this thing is over. 11-9 DLC and he moves on to face Clovis West’s Nick Fisher.

4:20 pm: West and Rios each won their divisions at the Tim Brown Invitational earlier this year. West was at 135s and Rios at 145s then. Next match is Livermore’s Stephan De La Cruz against Natomas’ Jerin Miller.  

4:05 pm: Here we go, Rios vs. Kapler. They’re on Mat 7, so I can watch (woo hoo). Rios starts by looking to turn Kapler. Not successful so far. Stalemate called and they’ll reset at neutral. Kapler looked like he might have something and Rios turned it into a takedown of his own. 2-0 Rios. End of one period. 2-0 Rios. Rios on bottom to start the second. Kapler’s looking to turn Rios but it isn’t happening. Rios reverses the hold and scores two. 4-0 Rios. End of two periods, Rios leads 4-0. Rios with top position this time and now assistant coach Rudy Dizon is imploring him to circle left.  It worked and Rios scores two. 6-0 Rios. Rios scores two for a near-fall and Kapler gets warned for stalling. 8-0 Rios. Rios is your winner, 8-0. He moves on to tonight’s quarterfinal round where he’ll likely see Oak Ridge’s Kyle West.  

4 pm: Next match on tap is Liberty’s David Rios against Liberty’s (Central Section) Greg Kapler. Should start in a few. By the way, if anyone with the CIF is reading this, everyone on press row would love it if you could fix the wireless.

3:50 pm: Some guy just got thrown down the stairs. That was crazy. Someone seems a bit confused that the fighting is supposed to be happening on the mats and not in the stands. The testosterone is flowing freely on this end of the building. In other news, Logan’s Ruben Baca is wrestling. He’s down 9-4 currently. Baca loses and will try the outbrackets later this afternoon.  

3:45 pm: Something I haven’t updated today is College Park’s Gerson Nkunku is through to the third round. Hey, a fight broke out in the stands. One guy lost his shirt. Bad vibes all around. 

3:35 pm: Good luck strikes as Aura and Orona will wrestle on Mat 6, right in front of us. This is a tough one for Aura, as Orona is No. 4 in the state. Orona scores the first takedown. 2-0 Orona. End of one period. 2-0 Orona. Orona with a slick reversal to start the second period and he’s now up 4-0. That was impressive. Aura with an escape and it’s 4-1. Orona another takedown and it’s 6-1. Orona is pouring it on now and it’s 8-1. End of two periods, 8-1 Orona. Aura an escape to start the period and it’s 8-2. Orona takedown makes it 10-2. Orona wins 10-2.  

3:30 pm: The next local who will take the mat will be Foothill’s Chase Aura. He’s got Santa Fe’s Marcus Orona. I think people are still trying to digest Acosta’s win, that was way too close for the state’s No. 2. 

3:25 pm: Klingsheim with the first points on a takedown. 2-0 Klingsheim. Klingsheim riding on top. Klingsheim with a pin. The bigger story is Acosta, who just scored a takedown with 11 seconds left to go up 5-4. A stalling call on Acosta. Wow. 5-5. Let’s go overtime! Acosta with a takedown and this baby is over. What a close call for Markjay Acosta, beating Canyon Springs’ Estevan Cabanas 7-5 in OT.

3:15 pm: The next match I’ll be keeping my eye on is Liberty’s David Klingsheim vs. Hogan’s Terry Allen. Should start in a few minutes. San Leandro’s Markjay Acosta is about to take the mat across the arena. 

3 pm: The fun is beginning again. The first match of the next championship round is Temecula Valley’s Eric Reyes against Liberty’s Paul Gomez. Here we go. Reyes with a takedown and a near-fall. Looking for the pin. Only got the near-fall. End of one period, Gomez is down 5-0. Not much action so far in the second period. Reyes scored a takedown and that’s it. 7-0 end 2. Gomez scores a reversal to make it 7-2 but there’s only 45 seconds left. Unless he can turn it into a pin, this one’s pretty much over. Reyes wins 7-2.

2:35 pm: Not much going on right now for us. Consolation matches are in full swing. It’s only 2:35 and I’ve got a handle on our notebook for tomorrow so I feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride (yeah, right). Our snack tray has been consumed though, so we may need to go get more snacks. Jimmy is impressed with the bold colors that the Oakland Athletic League schools rock. I agree. Go big, go bold. That’s how you’re supposed to roll in Bakersfield. 

1:25 pm: In thumbing through the brackets, I’ve figured out that Clovis’ Scott Sakaguchi and Sultana’s Cody Bollinger, two big time names at 140 pounds, lost in the first round. Does that make Arcata’s Trent Stevenson the favorite? We’ll see. 

 1:20 pm: So, we’re nearing the end of the first championship round and things are officially dragging a bit. I don’t have too many kids from our area in the upper weights so we’ve taken to brainstorming ideas for our stories tonight.

1:15 pm: I’m done messing with the photo. Yes, there are 10 mats in play here. We’ll try to get some more photos later. No pizza yet. I’m banking on that for dinner. It was burgers and various salads for lunch. We have a snack tray here, courtesy of Hoose.

1 pm: Welcome to our world (picture credit: Steve “The Beast” Waterhouse):

Day one

12:55 pm: What up Bower. Hoose says Crosby Ben is “on the brink of elimination”. And yeah, that’s true. He lost to Kingsburg’s Bryan Eskew 11-2 in a pigtail this morning. Mighty Kingsburg, I might add. Also, Acosta lost this morning. Nah, just kidding. Acosta beat Jordan Elmer of Redwood 5-0. And, for the record, we already hit the hospitality room. What do you take us for?

12:50 p.m.: Welch officially won 20-5. Tito Pica is wrestling on Mat 9 and from the looks of things, is up 8-3. College Park’s Gerson Nkunku is getting set to take the mat also. Pica a takedown and a near fall, 13-3. Reversal and out of bounds. 13-5.  

12:35 p.m.: Alright, Welch is up on Mat 6 and that means I can see it since Mat 6 is the one right under us. Ramirez is trying some motion early but that only serves to allow Welch to tie him up. Ramirez sweeps Welch and takes him down. Whoa. 2-0 Ramirez. Welch escapes, 2-1. Welch is gonna get nasty here. Welch takedown after grabbing the left leg. 3-2 Welch. Welch with a near fall and it’s 6-2 Welch after 1. Welch takedown to start the period 8-2. Escape, 8-3. Welch drops down on Ramirez and now goes to the crossface. The score is now 13-3 after that exchange. Another near fall and it’s 16-4 with the escape. Welch takedown. 18-4. Takedown 20-4. It’s ovah.

12:30 pm: Welch should be up soon. He’ll face Bakersfield’s Jose Ramirez after beating his pigtail opponent this morning 21-6. 

12:20 pm: Drake and Maraj are up on Mat 5. Maraj has a sleeve on his right shoulder, which can’t be good. Maraj tried a shot and Drake defensed it well. Drake tried to hook the right leg and missed. Maraj a takedown and he’s got Drake on his back. They go out of bounds and Maraj is up 2-0. Reset with Drake on bottom. Drake gets out and scores the escape point. 2-1 Maraj. End of one period, 2-1 Maraj. Drake on bottom to start the period and Maraj gets warned for stalling. Drake escapes and it’s 2-2. Maraj with a really sloppy shot and Drake locks him up as a result. They go out of bounds and will restart at neutral. Drake caught Maraj sleeping and scored a big takedown. 4-2 Drake at the end of two periods. Drake has top position to start. He’s grinding Maraj into the mat, trying to avoid the escape. Maraj looks lifeles at the moment. Drake scores a point for stalling on Maraj. 5-2 with 44 seconds left. Drake looks like he’s gonna do this. 20 seconds left and still 5-2. And there it is, the first big NCS win of the day, Cal’s Aaron Drake beats Yucca Valley’s Vinny Maraj, No. 2 in the state, 5-2.

12:20 p.m.: I’m waiting for bout 249 to come up. Yucca Valley’s Vinny Maraj against Cal’s Aaron Drake. Should be a good one at 152 pounds. Granada update: Both Nick Hernandez and John Banke lost their first matches. Hernandez dropped a pigtail and Banke lost in the first round.

12:15 pm: Tyler Sheridan is in complete control of his 145-pound match aagainst Casa Roble’s Aaron Pickard. It’s across the arena so I’m straining to watch. And there it is, Sheridan wins. Granada’s John Banke is trailing 6-4 in the second period in the mat in front of us. Also, bad new for Alhambra fans. Aaron Westphal lost an 11-9 decision to Kernan’s Kevin Rojas.

12 p.m.: Good news for Miramonte fans. Sam Worth is giving it a go today, as his match was just announced. He’ll face Oakdale’s Trevor Machado-Ching, the Sac-Joaquin champ. 

12 p.m.: The CIF people are giving us updated brackets weight-by-weight now. Foothill’s Chase Aura is through to the second round and he’ll face Santa Fe’s Marcus Orona in the next round. I saw Aura trolling around the merchandise table earlier, so the day is rolling along smoothly I suppose. Also through to the next round, Liberty’s Paul Gomez and David Klingsheim. Gomez has won two matches already today and next faces Eric Reyes of Temecula Valley, the Southern Section champion.

11:30 a.m.: One of the kindred souls in California wrestling, Al Fontes, strolled through the box and let me know that the NCS hasn’t had any big suprises so far. Westphal is tied early in his match and Liberty’s David Rios is about to take Mat 6. 

11:30 am: The first local casualty of the day is Logan’s Lawrence Blanco. He lost his pigtail against Central Catholic’s Andrew Perez 10-6. Raphael is down 8-1 to Arredondo in the second period and Alhambra’s Aaron Westphal is taking the mat. 

And we’ve reached the Rabobank Arena. We’re looking down on 10 mats and the PA announced just announced Albany’s Taylor Raphael is taking the mat against Buchanan’s Justin Arredondo. So, action is well underway and we’re in the middle of the first championship round. I’ll go scan the brackets and make sure no pigtail surprises happened this morning and I’ll be back.


Prep Corner Pick’em Final Round

Below I have every final game, boys and girls, divisions 1 through 5. Picks are due by 11 a.m. Saturday, March 1. This is for all the marbles. Check out the standings below. We have quite the race going.



Copy the list of games below, paste it in a new comment to this post. Erase the team you think is going to lose. If you don’t pick a game you will automatically lose that game. Each correct pick is worth 1 point (other rounds will be scored the same). If you want to tell us why you picked your games, feel free. If you win (any division), you will automatically be granted eternal glory.


BOYS: De La Salle/Newark Memorial. GIRLS: Deer Valley/Berkeley.


BOYS: Hayward/Las Lomas. GIRLS: Carondelet/Northgate.


BOYS: Campolindo/Dublin. GIRLS: Miramonte/Hercules.


BOYS: St. Mary’s/Kennedy. GIRLS: Justin Siena/St. Patrick-St. Vincent.


BOYS:Branson/Lick Wilmerding. GIRLS: Branson/Head-Royce.

Overall Standings through 3 Rounds

Name Total
Hoop Fan 85
Coleman 84
High School Sports Junkie 84
Coach Brown 79
Ryan Rodriguez 75
Don 71
Mustang Madness* 39
Stanfordin2010 37
Spartan 1 37
Abby 30
NCAA football ref 28
Hoosiers Hoop* 18
DJ Broome #1 Fan* 16
NM Cougar 16
DonFan 12

*Just boys games.


Pick’em Round 3 Point Totals

Division-I Boys

Name Total
Donfan DLS Newark Memorial 2
NM Cougar DLS Newark Memorial 2
Don DLS Castro Valley 1
High School Sports Junkie DLS Newark Memorial 2
Coleman DLS Newark Memorial 2
Hoop Fan MV Castro Valley 0
MustangMadness DLS Newark Memorial 2
Coach Brown DLS Newark Memorial 2
Ryan Rodriguez DLS Newark Memorial 2

Division-II Boys

Name Total
Donfan Windsor Casa Grande 0
NM Cougar Hayward Casa Grande 1
Don Hayward Las Lomas 2
High School Sports Junkie Hayward Las Lomas 2
Coleman Windsor Las Lomas 1
Hoop Fan Hayward Las Lomas 2
MustangMadness Hayward Las Lomas 2
Coach Brown Hayward Las Lomas 2
Ryan Rodriguez Haywad Las Lomas 2

Division-III Boys

Name Total
Donfan Campolindo Bishop O’Dowd 1
NM Cougar Campolindo Dublin 2
Don Campolindo Dublin 2
High School Sports Junkie Campolindo Bishop O’Dowd 1
Coleman Campolindo Dublin 2
Hoop Fan Campolindo Bishop O’Dowd 1
MustangMadness Campolindo Dublin 2
Coach Brown Campolindo Bishop O’Dowd 1
Ryan Rodriguez Campolindo Bishop O’Dowd 1

Division-IV Boys

Name Total
Donfan St. Mary’s Kennedy 2
NM Cougar St. Mary’s Kennedy 2
Don St. Mary’s Kennedy 2
High School Sports Junkie St. Mary’s Kennedy 2
Coleman St. Mary’s Kennedy 2
Hoop Fan St. Mary’s Kennedy 2
MustangMadness St. Mary’s Salesian 1
Coach Brown St. Mary’s Kennedy 2
Ryan Rodriguez St. Mary’s Kennedy 2

Division-V Boys

Name Total
Donfan SF University St. Liz 0
NM Cougar Branson St. Liz 1
Don Branson St. Liz 1
High School Sports Junkie Branson St. Liz 1
Coleman Branson St. Liz 1
Hoop Fan Branson St. Liz 1
MustangMadness Branson St. Liz 1
Coach Brown Branson St. Liz 1
Ryan Rodriguez Branson St. Liz 1

Division-I Girls

Name Total
Donfan Deer Valley Monte Vista 1
NM Cougar Washington Berkeley 1
Don Deer Valley Berkeley 2
High School Sports Junkie Washington Berkeley 1
Coleman Washington Berkeley 1
Hoop Fan Deer Valley Berkeley 2
Coach Brown Washington Berkeley 1
Ryan Rodriguez Washington Berkeley 1

Division-II Girls

Name Total
Donfan Carondelet Northgate 2
NM Cougar Carondelet Northgate 2
Don Carondelet Northgate 2
High School Sports Junkie Carondelet Maria Carrillo 1
Coleman Carondelet Maria Carrillo 1
Hoop Fan Carondelet Maria Carrillo 1
Coach Brown Carondelet Maria Carrillo 1
Ryan Rodriguez Carondelet Maria Carrillo 1

Division-III Girls

Name Total
Donfan Miramonte Bishop O’Dowd 1
NM Cougar Miramonte Hercules 2
Don Miramonte Bishop O’Dowd 1
High School Sports Junkie  Miramonte Hercules 2
Coleman Miramonte Hercules 2
Hoop Fan Miramonte Hercules 2
Coach Brown Miramonte Hercules 2
Ryan Rodriguez Miramonte Hercules 2

Division-IV Girls

Name Total
Donfan St. Mary’s Moreau Catholic 0
NM Cougar Justin Siena Moreau Catholic 1
Don St. Mary’s Moreau Catholic 0
High School Sports Junkie Justin Siena St. Patrick-St.Vincent 2
Coleman Justin Siena Moreau Catholic 1
Hoop Fan Justin Siena St. Patrick-St. Vincent 2
Coach Brown St. Mary’s Moreau Catholic 0
Ryan Rodriguez St. Mary’s Moreau Catholic 0

Division-V Girls

Name Total
Donfan Branson Head-Royce 2
NM Cougar Branson Head-Royce 2
Don Branson Head-Royce 2
High School Sports Junkie Branson Head-Royce 2
Coleman Branson Head-Royce 2
Hoop Fan Branson Head-Royce 2
Coach Brown Branson Head-Royce 2
Ryan Rodriguez Branson Head-Royce 2

Waterhouse is Back!!!!

That’s right. I’m back. Some of you may have seen my story today (Argus/Daily Review) on the GREAT Newark-Castro Valley boys hoops game. Wow, what a game!

I’m currently shacked up at the Extended Stay in Bakersfield for state wrestling.

Tough week with that Jury Duty. I thank all of you for hanging in there with me. I was dismissed from Jury Duty for some reason Wednesday afternoon. I don’t think some of the defense attorneys liked when I answered a question with a question. Or how I told one attorney that “you started to ask a question and then ended with a statement, so what is your question? And try not to be so wordy this time.”

 Anyway I’m here if anyone has some questions about the Newark-Castro Valley game or about state wrestling. I’ll be up for the next couple of hours doing research.


CIF State Wrestling: The Day Before

Well, the CCT crew has reached Bakersfield. We made our way over to Rabobank Arena and picked up credentials for tomorrow and had a nice conversation with CIF media guru Emmy Zack. She might be the busiest person in California tomorrow. For those who followed the blog last year when we were down here, yes, we passed Wasco State Prison and no, I don’t have any witty comments about the golf course across the street (though the grass wasn’t too green…).

As a means of previewing tomorrow’s first day, I figured I’d throw out some first day matches I’m looking forward to seeing.

103 – Gilberto Camacho (Washington Union-Fresno) vs. Lawrence Blanco (James Logan): Camacho is the defending state champion and Blanco defeated Liberty’s Paul Gomez to win the NCS title. The two could meet in the quarterfinals tomorrow and I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner ends up seeing Bella Vista’s Bryden Lazaro in Saturday’s semifinal.
112 – David Klingsheim (Liberty) vs. Chris Martinez (Clovis West-Clovis): This is a great matchup and it could happen in the second round. In the latest rankings from thecaliforniawrestler.com, Klingsheim is No. 3 in the state and Martinez is No. 4. To make this happen, Klingsheim needs to first beat Calvary Chapel-Santa Ana’s Zane O’Bourke, who is in the honorable mention category in the rankings.
119 – Chase Aura (Foothill) vs. Marcus Orona (Santa Fe): To be the best you have to beat the best and a potential second-round matchup against Orona, ranked No. 4 in the state, looms for Aura. If he beats Orona, he gets to look forward to a possible match against Union Mine-El Dorado’s Cody Tow, the Sac-Joaquin Section champion.
125 – Ruben Baca (James Logan) vs. Angel Garcia (San Dimas): Call me a sucker for seeing the best in the state but Baca is a solid wrestler and Garcia is ranked third in the state. This could be a potential quarterfinal matchup.
130 – Aaron Westphal (Alhambra) vs. Derek Dixson (Vista-San Diego): This potential second-round matchup will tell Westphal all he needs to know about his hopes of medaling. Dixson is ranked No. 7 in the state and was the San Diego Section runner-up to Poway’s Henry Yorba.
135 – David Rios (Liberty) vs. Kyle West (Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills): Rios wasn’t seriously challenged at the NCS tournament. He’ll get all the challenge he wants with this potential quarterfinal match against West, who is ranked No. 2 in the state. Rios is ranked No. 8.
140 – Trent Stevenson (Arcata) vs. Nikko Cataline (Roosevelt): Yes, I know, neither of these guys is local. I just love watching Stevenson wrestle. He’s technically sound and has a ton of energy. Cataline is ranked No. 8 and Stevenson is No. 4.
145 – Tyler Sheridan (De La Salle) vs. Brad Robinson (Poway) or Vincent Rubio (Lemoore): Robinson and Rubio have to face each other in the first round but whoever wins will likely be the first real test for Sheridan.  Sheridan has a pigtail match, so he will have to win two matches to get to this potential second-round showdown.
152 – Aaron Drake (California) vs. Vinny Maraj (Yucca Valley): This could be the best first round match of the day. Drake is the NCS champion and Maraj is ranked second in the state despite finishing sixth at last weekend’s Southern Section meet. You know you’re good when you finish sixth and the ranking doesn’t take a hit.
160 – Jason Welch (Las Lomas) vs. Anthony Duarte (Fountain Valley): Welch begins his quest for a third state title with this pigtail match. Not much to say other than everyone will be watching.
171 –  Tito Pica (De La Salle) vs. Tommy Burriel (Clovis): Pica dominated when these two met at Mission San Jose and you have to figure Burriel will be ready for this potential quarterfinal rematch. It will be up to Pica to avoid looking ahead to a possible semifinal showdown with Temecula Valley’s Jake Meredith.
189 – Louis Bland (Central Catholic-Modesto) vs. Wade Jackson (Kingsburg): For all the attention I give Welch, you should know that Bland is looking to win his third state title at the same time. He lost to Ponderosa-Shingle Springs’ Justin Danz last year but I’d be shocked if he gets beat again this year.
215 – Drew Meulman (St. Francis-Mountain View) vs. Brett Sanchez (Clovis): No. 5 (Meulman) vs. No. 3 in the state could meet in the quarters. That’s a lot of talent.
285 – Dominic Galas (Central Catholic-Modesto) vs. Luis Barragan (Gilroy): Galas, who will play football at Cal next year, is the No. 3-ranked heavyweight in the state. Barragan, though unranked, won a Central Coast Section title last weekend and is more than a formidable challenge. In  a traditional low-scoring heavyweight bout, this could go either way.

Alright, now you’re ready for tomorrow. I’ll set the blog up tomorrow morning and I’ll try to keep up with all of our locals and with most of the NCS (since I know I’ve got some readers up north). See you in the morning.


NCS Basketball Finals Predictions


Division I

Selector No. 1 De La Salle vs. No. 2 Newark Memorial
Michael Bower De La Salle
Steve R. Waterhouse De La Salle
Jimmy Durkin De La Salle
Dennis Miller De La Salle
Kyle Bonagura De La Salle

Division II

Selector No. 1 Hayward vs. No. 3 Las Lomas
Michael Bower Hayward
Steve R. Waterhouse Hayward
Jimmy Durkin Hayward
Dennis Miller Hayward
Kyle Bonagura Hayward

Division III

Selector No. 1 Campolindo vs. No. 6 Dublin
Michael Bower Campolindo
Steve R. Waterhouse Campolindo
Jimmy Durkin Dublin
Dennis Miller Campolindo
Kyle Bonagura Campolindo

Division IV

Selector No. 1 St. Mary’s vs. No. 2 Kennedy-Richmond
Michael Bower St. Mary’s
Steve R. Waterhouse St. Mary’s
Jimmy Durkin St. Mary’s
Dennis Miller St. Mary’s
Kyle Bonagura St. Mary’s

Division V

Selector No. 1 Branson vs. No. 6 Lick-Wilmerding
Michael Bower Branson
Steve R. Waterhouse Branson
Jimmy Durkin Branson
Dennis Miller Branson
Kyle Bonagura Branson


Division I

Selector No. 1 Deer Valley vs. No. 2 Berkeley
Michael Bower Berkeley
Steve R. Waterhouse Berkeley
Jimmy Durkin Berkeley
Dennis Miller Berkeley
Kyle Bonagura Deer Valley

Division II

Selector No. 1 Carondelet vs. No. 2 Northgate
Michael Bower Carondelet
Steve R. Waterhouse Carondelet
Jimmy Durkin Carondelet
Dennis Miller Carondelet
Kyle Bonagura Carondelet

Division III

Selector No. 1 Miramonte vs. No. 2 Hercules
Michael Bower Hercules
Steve R. Waterhouse Hercules
Jimmy Durkin Miramonte
Dennis Miller Hercules
Kyle Bonagura Miramonte

Division IV

Selector No. 1 Justin-Siena vs. No. 3 St. Patrick-St. Vincent
Michael Bower St. Patrick-St.Vincent
Steve R. Waterhouse St. Patrick-St. Vincent
Jimmy Durkin St. Patrick-St. Vincent
Dennis Miller St. Patrick-St.Vincent
Kyle Bonagura St. Patrick-St. Vincent

Division V

Selector No. 1 Branson vs. No. 2 Head-Royce
Michael Bower Branson
Steve R. Waterhouse Branson
Jimmy Durkin Branson
Dennis Miller Branson
Kyle Bonagura Branson

Final Girls Winter Soccer Rankings

These are the final rankings submitted by Dennis Miller.

Team Record Last week
1. San Ramon Valley 16-5-6
2. Foothill 15-4-4
3. Monte Vista 18-3-5
4. Castro Valley 22-2-1
5. Carondelet 17-2-5
6. Miramonte 20-1-3
7. California 16-6-3
8. Clayton Valley 19-3-4
9. Piedmont 21-2-1
10. Campolindo 15-4-5

Other receiving consideration: Amador Valley, Newark Memorial, Liberty, Berkeley, Northgate, Bishop O’Dowd and Acalanes.


Final Boys Soccer Winter Rankings

These are the final rankings submitted by Dennis Miller.

Team Record Last week
1. Pittsburg 22-1-4
2. Amador Valley 19-4-4
3. San Ramon Valley 14-5-7
4. Richmond 19-3-3
5. De La Salle 15-3-8
6. Campolindo 17-5-4
7. Piedmont 21-3-2
8. Miramonte 18-3-5
9. Deer Valley 16-9-2
10. Hayward 15-4-4

Other receiving consideration: James Logan, Washington, Newark Memorial, California, Tennyson, College Park, Monte Vista, Northgate.


Heart and soul

Granted, the talent level doesn’t approach that of the pros and colleges, but for an entertaining sporting experience the form of basketball played in the high schools can’t be beaten. On Wednesday (Feb. 27), I was at St. Elizabeth High in Oakland for its NCS Division V boys semifinal with visiting Lick-Wilmerding – – but it could have been any other school gym here or elsewhere. Yes, the gym was small, but the atmosphere was great, with plenty of fans of both teams packing the seats and cheering their teams. In larger venues, something gets lost. The NBA has the best players, but that league also is a big business enterprise. A long regular season and bloated playoffs make a lot of those games seem like contrivances. The college game is OK, but games work best in smaller venues. The higher levels might have the names and the talented players. But with school spirit overflowing, high school basketball is the heart and soul  of the game.