De La Salle High football player Kevin Griffin took an unofficial visit to Washington State three weeks ago. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback was so impressed that, after a talk with his family this past weekend and Cougars assistant head coach Eric Russell, Griffin decided Tuesday night to orally commit to Washington State.
“I really loved the campus, I loved the coaches and I loved the team,” said Griffin, who will be a senior this fall for the Spartans. “I listened to my heart, and my heart told me it was the right time to make that decision.”
Griffin said he was told by defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Mike Breske that he would have a good opportunity to start his freshman year at Washington State. Griffin was a second-team all-East Bay Athletic League pick at defensive back as a junior.
Griffin said that Cal, UCLA, Arizona State and Nevada all showed interest in him, but his mind is made up. “I’m sure that I will stay with Washington State,” Griffin said. “I don’t believe in de-committing.”
Jason Maratsos, who helped put the Livermore High girls soccer program on solid footing, is stepping down from his position as Cowboys head coach. Maratsos said on Tuesday he is moving to Marietta, Ga., on July 13 to accept a job promotion.
The Cal State East Bay men’s basketball team has added Tyler Ojanen to the staff of new head coach Gus Argenal. Ojanen had been director of men’s basketball operations at Saint Mary’s College since 2009.
Cal-Hi Sports announced their state baseball players of the year on Monday, and College Park High’s Joe DeMers was named Sophomore of the Year. DeMers was a standout pitcher and also one of the Falcons’ top hitters. He went 10-0 with an ERA of 1.00 and 63 strikeouts in 63 innings, helping College Park reach the NCS Division II semifinals. As a hitter, he posted a .373 batting average with 25 RBIs. DeMers is a Washington commit with a 95 mph fastball.
Former Cal and Alameda High star Emily Childs experienced a thrill qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open. She was also wowed by the efforts of upstart Elizabeth Schultz, a senior-to-be at Acalanes High who also qualified for the major tournament, which will begin Thursday at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
Amador Valley High pitcher Johanna Grauer and Campolindo infielder Zoe Marrott each earned state honors from Cal-Hi Sports on Friday. Grauer was named the state junior of the year while Marrott was tabbed the state’s top freshman this season.
Here’s the full story from Cal-Hi Sports.
Grauer, who was the state sophomore of the year last season, was dominant throughout the year and a state player of the year candidate. But her season was cut short by an ankle injury suffered just before the start of the NCS playoffs. Marrott helped underdog Campolindo win the NCS Division III title. Both players have committed to Arizona State, according to Cal-Hi Sports.
Norco’s Kylie Reed, who will play at Cal next year, was given the Ms. Softball award, honoring the state’s top player.
Sasha Wallace, who starred for Castro Valley High in this past high school track and field season, won the 100-meter hurdles title today at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Top athletes between 16 and 19-years-old, including collegiate athletes, are eligible to compete in the meet. The winner of each event qualifies to represent the USA at the Pan American Junior Championships Aug. 23-25 in Medellin, Colombia.
Wallace’s winning time of 13.84 seconds was run against a very strong 4.2 meter per second headwind.
“It was fairly windy, but I was just thinking … to keep it sharp and clean,” texted Wallace to the Bay Area News Group about that race.
Wallace competed for her club team, East Oakland Youth Development Center. Alexis Perry of North Carolina State was second (13.86). The Oregon-bound Wallace was the top qualifier in the preliminaries (13.86 wind-legal).
MVP: Derrico Kwa, Deer Valley
Coach of the Year: Dave Chen, Campolindo
CalHiSports.com released its California top 25 all-time best high school baseball teams today, and an East Bay squad was ranked No. 7. The 1983 El Cerrito High team, coached by Larry Quirico, went 27-1 and seven of the nine regular players would eventually sign pro contracts. One of them was current El Cerrito coach Brian Nichols, who led the team in hitting with a .432 average and drove in 36 runs.
Here’s the link for the top 12 teams:
De La Salle has announced the newest inductees into its athletic Hall of Fame. Here’s a little more on the latest class, which will be honored Oct. 27 at the school. For more information on the ceremony or to register, go to dlshs.org.
- Mark Viera: The basketball and track and field standout was the school’s athlete of the year in 1971.
- Pat Oswald: The school’s 1983 athlete of the year starred in baseball, football and wrestling.
- Antonio Vernon: Excelled in football and baseball. He was named athlete of the year in 1986.
- Doug Brien: The 1989 graduate went on to kick in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl with the 49ers in 1995. He played soccer and football at DLS.
- Tom Coughlan: A star water polo player, Coughlan was an All-American at UC Santa Barbara and went on to coach internationally. He graduated in 1997.
- 1989 soccer team: Won the school’s first North Coast Section title in soccer.
- 2000 basketball team: Won the school’s first CIF state championship in basketball.
- Tom Baldacci (Alumnus of the Year): The 1977 graduate sent his four sons to the school. He has been an active part of of the community.
- Kenneth H. Hofmann: For over 25 years, he has been a devoted supporter of the school’s athletic programs and academic mission.