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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 16): Have mercy

We begin the second half of our journey to the beginning of the season. Over the next few days, you’ll see a few posts from Ben Enos that he’s written up and scheduled to post. I say scheduled because while we’re hammering away on football previews and kids are busting their butts in two-a-days, Ben is sitting on a beach in Hawaii!! Unbelievable! I kid, have a good time Ben. Continuing on, we’re going to look at a new rule across the CIF that will certainly affect some games you see this season. Yes, football is mandating a mercy rule.
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Dougherty Valley’s Hughes headed to Cal Poly

The college commitments keep coming for local girls basketball players. Dougherty Valley’s Caroline Hughes is the latest.
Hughes, a 6-foot-2 incoming senior, made an oral commitment to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo on a campus visit over the weekend.
“I had the offer from Cal Poly back in April,” she said. “It was my first one and I kind of wanted to explore. I went down there and met girls, met coaches and it felt like perfect fit.”
She also considered Ivy League schools Princeton, Brown and Cornell as well as Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount.
Hughes said Cal Poly, a Big West program, plans to use her on the wing, where she feels most comfortable.
Hughes showed her versatility last season for Dougherty Valley, averaging 12.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
A two-time Diablo Foothill Athletic League first-team selection, she was also an All-East Bay second team pick this year and helped the Wildcats win the NCS Division II title.

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St. Mary’s sophomore Cowling commits to Cal

Mikayla Cowling, a 6-foot-1 girls basketball player from St. Mary’s High, has given an oral commitment to Cal.
An incoming sophomore who still has more than two years before she can sign her letter of intent, Cowling is a longtime fan of the program.
“I love the school,” she said. “I’ve been there many times with my family and have grown to love it. From the beginning I wanted to go to Cal.”
Cowling also spoke highly of Cal’s new coaching staff and her future teammates.
Though she also had some interest in LSU, UCLA and USC as well as Loyola Marymount, where her older sister, Alex, plays, Cowling’s decision to attend Cal was not a difficult one.
“If she was 5-foot-2 and couldn’t walk, she’d still go to Cal,” said Nate Fripp, who coaches Cowling at St. Mary’s.
Cowling averaged 8.2 points per game last year for the Panthers, who reached the Division IV state title game. She should play an even bigger role this season with the graduation of Division I-bound forwards Emily Vann and Cody Sims.
In other girls basketball recruiting news, Acalanes forward Sophie Taylor and Miramonte guard/forward Janine Loutzenhiser have made commitments to Loyola Marymount and Rider, respectively. Both will be seniors in the fall.