The stress of the recruiting process is over for Kennedy-Richmond football star Takkarist McKinley, who signed with Cal this morning.
“It’s been stressful, real stressful. I’m so glad signing day is done with, but it was worth it in the end,” said the 6-foot-3, 230-pound McKinley, who also said that the new Cal coaching staff is looking at him as a defensive end. He also played linebacker at Kennedy.
McKinley orally committed to Cal last summer, but after Cal fired head coach Jeff Tedford, he decided to officially visit Washington State. That visit took place in January.
“It turned out pretty good, but I still thought that the best decision for me was to stay close to home and be a Golden Bear,” McKinley said.
When asked about his chance of playing next season, McKinley said “When I get to Cal, I will practice hard, be there every day and hopefully I will get moved up to the starting position. … Nothing will be handed to me. You have to work for everything you can get.”
McKinley is unique in that he was one of the fastest high school sprinters in California last year. He produced a time of 10.58 seconds wind-legal for 100 meters in the California Interscholastic Federation state track and field championship preliminaries on June 1, and finished seventh in the boys final the next day (10.76 wind-aided).
James Logan High’s Jeffrey Prothro Jr. and San Leandro’s Nijae Jones have signed letters-of-intent with Texas A & M and Cal respectively.
In November, Prothro orally committed to UCLA, but he changed his mind and decommitted in early January. He committed to Texas A & M about a week-and-a-half later, he said.
“I’m happy with my decision. I felt like a big weight is off my shoulders. I don’t have to worry about the whole recruiting process anymore, I can just compete and do well in school,” Prothro said.
What impressed Prothro when he visited College Station in early October was “the support around the school,” he said.
“Everybody is very friendly. You know the Southern hospitality thing you hear? I really felt that there,” Prothro said.
Prothro placed fourth in the boys triple jump at the 2012 California Interscholastic Federation state track and field championships. His mark of 48 feet, 10 1/4 inches was ranked 21st in the nation last season. He said that Texas A & M is interested in using the 6-foot-2 Prothro in the triple jump and long jump.
Jones placed sixth in the 2012 CIF state championships in the girls 800 meter final with a great time of 2 minutes, 10.39 seconds. She said Cal is mostly interested in using her in the 800, but she may also compete in the 1,500 and 400 in certain meets.
“I’m so excited, considering Cal is like a dream school,” said Jones about her decision. “It’s like a dream come true.”
Castro Valley High girls track and field star Sasha Wallace took a very analytical approach to choosing a university.
“I went through all the pros and cons of all the schools, and it pretty much came down to Oregon,” said Wallace, who won two state individual track and field titles last June. She transferred to Castro Valley from Holy Names over the summer.
Wallace signed with the Ducks this morning at a ceremony at Castro Valley High.
“It was pretty much just me wanting to be part of a rich program,” said Wallace about her decision. “It’s TrackTown. It’s the best of the best as far as resources.”
Wallace took visits to Oregon, Kansas State, Kentucky, Arizona and Central Florida before choosing the Ducks.
“I’m going to be close to home and my family can be accessible to me,” she said.
She also had a valuable resource in the recruiting process in her father Joaquin, who has been the head women’s basketball coach at San Francisco State for eight seasons.
At the 2012 California Interscholastic Federation state championships in June, Wallace won the girls triple jump by nearly 17 inches with a mark of 41 feet, 5 3/4 inches. She also was first in the 100-meter hurdles with the fastest wind-legal time in the nation (13.33 seconds) last season.
She was also the national leader during the 2012 high school season in the triple jump with a mark of 42-4 3/4 (wind-legal). Her best marks in both the 100 hurdles and triple jump were among the 10 best in California high school history for the events.
Wallace was named the Bay Area News Group East Bay Female Athlete of the Year in June.
Here’s this week’s East Bay high school girls basketball poll:
|1. Bishop O’Dowd (5)
|5. St. Mary’s
|7. Monte Vista
|8. Deer Valley
|11. Clayton Valley
|15. Oakland Tech
Also receiving votes: Dublin (16-6, 1 vote). The East Bay Girls Basketball Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group-East Bay. Records are through Saturday.
Tickets will be pre-sold online for the St. Mary’s-Stockton at Bishop O’Dowd girls basketball game on Saturday, which is an anticipated sellout. Tickets will not be available at the door.
The junior varsity tipoff is at 1:30 p.m. followed by the varsity game at 3:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $6, with student/child/senior tickets costing $4. Passes will not be accepted at the game.
Tickets will be available starting on Wednesday at the following link:
James Logan High’s Jeffrey Prothro Jr. confirmed to me tonight that he has decommitted from UCLA and will be signing with Texas A & M on Wednesday.
“Myself and my family felt this would be a better opportunity for me as far as the coaching, the talent in the program, the future of the program and the business (department of the school),” said Prothro, who placed fourth in the boys triple jump at the 2012 state championships with a mark of 48 feet, 10 1/4 inches. That mark was ranked 21st in the nation last season. “I like the structure there (of the business program)
“I like the foundation of the team, everybody there is really comforting. I think I’ll fit right in.”
Texas A & M won the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field men’s team titles in 2009-2011.
Prothro said that football was not involved in any way in his decision. Prothro quarterbacked the Colts to the North Coast Section Division I championship game in December, throwing for 2,100 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushing for 900 yards and 14 touchdowns in James Logan’s 12-2 season.
Greetings, East Bay soccer aficionados. You are witnessing some of the country’s very best in girls high school soccer, judging by the more than 50 local players who will be signing with colleges this week.
The Oakland Section has revised its playoff system for this season, creating a new way to determine which two teams earn the section’s bids to the NorCal playoffs.
The teams from the Oakland Athletic League will still compete under the same format. No. 3 will play No. 6 and No. 4 will play No. 5 in the first round of the playoffs. The 3/6 winner advances to face No. 2 and the 4/5 winner plays No. 1 in the semifinals and those winners meet in the championship game.
The tweak comes in that the loser of the OAL championship game will then meet the champion of the Bay Area Charter School Athletic Conference. The winner of that game earns the Oakland Section’s second NorCal berth. The BACSAC is a league made up of school East Bay charter schools that a few years ago were added to the Oakland Section. For more info on the league, visit www.bacsac.org.
The dates for all of these games are: First round — Saturday, Feb. 23; Semifinals — Tuesday, Feb. 26; OAL championship — Thursday, Feb. 28; BACSAC champ vs. OAL runner-up — Saturday, March 2
The playoff races in Division I and Division II are starting to sort themselves out. There are still things to be sorted out in the last week, but here is how it looks right now.
Here’s an amazing list of Mustang Soccer players who are moving on to college play.