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Countdown to Kickoff: Enough with the movie, how is the real De La Salle football team looking this year?

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If you’ve watched much TV over the last couple months, you’ve seen plenty of the De La Salle football team coached by Jim Caviezel and Michael Chiklis. You can find out Friday what happens to the movie version of the Spartans. That’s the release date for “When the Game Stands Tall,” a Hollywood film based on the end of the Spartans’ 151-game winning streak and the 2004 season.

Q: But what about the De La Salle football team coached by Justin Alumbaugh, Terry Eidson, Bob Ladouceur and company? How does the 2014 version of the Spartans look? Are they feeling more scrutanized with the movie coming out? And can they win another Open Division state championship?

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Countdown to Kickoff Question #2: Is Campolindo still the team to beat in the DFAL?

Today we continue our look at the East Bay high school football scene as the season inches closer. Here’s the second of 10 daily posts. For this one, we head to central Contra Costa County to check in with a Division III power and its league foes.

Q: Is Campolindo still the team to beat in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League?

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Ivan Rabb named to U17 national team

Bishop O’Dowd High’s Ivan Rabb has made his second USA men’s basketball squad in as many years.

Rabb was named to the U17 national team on Tuesday and will compete at the FIBA World Championships in Dubai from Aug. 8-16. He is one of nine players on the 12-man roster that also made last year’s U16 squad. That team captured the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

 

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De La Salle to hold benefit premiere of “When the Game Stands Tall”

Jim Caviezel;Michael Chiklis;Matthew Daddario

De La Salle High will host a special premiere of “When the Game Stands Tall” to benefit the Terrance Kelly `04 Endowed Memorial Fund for Financial Aid. The special event will be held at the Century Blackhawk Plaza in Danville on Aug. 17 — five days before the major motion picture about legendary coach Bob Ladouceur and the football program’s national record 151-game winning streak will be released nationwide. The movie is based on the book by Neil Hayes.

A red carpet premiere in Los Angeles is scheduled for early August, but the Blackhawk event will serve as the local premiere. The film will be shown on all seven screens at the theater with staggered 1 p.m, 1:20 and 1:40 start times and will be followed by a “5th Quarter” reception onsite.

Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel in the film) and De La Salle assistant coach Terry Eidson (played by Michael Chiklis) as well as current members of the Spartans team are expected to attend the local benefit premiere, though no actors have been confirmed as of now.

Tickets aren’t cheap — it’s $50 for the movie and another $45 for the reception — but $35 of the movie ticket and $20 of the reception charge will go directly to the financial aid fund in Terrance Kelly’s name. Kelly was a two-way standout for De La Salle who was murdered just before he was set to leave for Oregon to begin his college football career. His tragic death is a major storyline in the film.

Tickets to the showings and separate tickets to the reception may be purchased online only at the De La Salle High School website www.dlshs.org. Questions can be directed to Chief Advancement Officer Heather Pastorini at 925-288-8106 or by e-mail at pastorinih@dlshs.org.

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DeMers, Hooper selected to Perfect Game All-American Classic

Rising seniors Joe DeMers (College Park High) and Justin Hooper (De La Salle) will show off their arms at the Perfect Game All-American Classic later this summer. The two standout pitchers were among 54 high school baseball players from across the nation invited to the all-star showcase, which will be played at the San Diego Padres’ PETCO Park on Aug. 10. The 5 p.m. game will be televised on MLB Network.

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Amador Valley softball named mythical national champion

After finishing the season a perfect 27-0, Amador Valley High’s softball team has earned a mythical national championship by MaxPreps.com.

Led by a stellar senior class, the Dons won the North Coast Section Division I title for the second time in four years. Their national recognition grew after winning the prestigious Michelle Carew Classic against some of Southern California’s top teams in early April.

Amador Valley beat out unbeaten North Carolina state champion Alexander Central for the top national ranking.

Dons pitcher Johanna Grauer has also been piling up the awards. Besides being a finalist for MaxPrep.com’s national player of the year, she was recently named Ms. Softball state player of the year by Cal-Hi Sports. Grauer is just the second East Bay player to be named Ms. Softball, joining Freedom’s Amanda Williams (2006).

Our All-East Bay softball selections will be published in tomorrow’s paper. Will Amador Valley have a few more honors to add?

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Kahlil McKenzie transferring from De La Salle

Kahlil McKenzie announced Monday night that he’s planning to transfer from De La Salle and enroll at Clayton Valley Charter for his senior year.

McKenzie couldn’t be reached for comment but posted to his Twitter account: “Transferring from De La Salle going to Clayton Valley Charter family decision not answering any questions about it but I’m a Ugly Eagle.”

De La Salle football coach Justin Alumbaugh confirmed that McKenzie, a 6-foot-4, 330 pound defensive tackle, is leaving the school.

“Kahlil has withdrawn from De La Salle,” Alumbaugh said. “And I do mean this — Kahlil is a really good kid and will have a great future. We wish him the best.”

The five-star recruit is the son of Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and has offers from colleges from across the country. He recently said he has narrowed down his college decision to Tennessee or Arizona and will announce his pick at The Opening, a prestigious Nike football camp, on July 10.

McKenzie played only one season for De La Salle, registering 74 tackles and a team-high 12 sacks after moving to the Bay Area from Wisconsin before his junior year.

Clayton Valley Charter coach Tim Murphy couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Eagles have been one of the top Division II schools in the North Coast Section since Murphy took over before the 2012 season.

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Final 2014 East Bay softball poll

With an unbeaten season, Amador Valley completes a perfect run as our No. 1 ranked East Bay team.

Team Record Points Last poll
1. Amador Valley (5) 27-0 75 1
2. Alhambra 25-2 70 2
3. Granada 19-9 65 6
4. Foothill 16-11 58 4
5. James Logan 23-2 57 3
6. Salesian 18-1 50 9
7. Carondelet 15-13 41 12
8. San Ramon Valley 17-9 38 7
9. Heritage 19-5 37 5
10. Arroyo 19-8 34 15
11. Newark Memorial 19-7 23 10
12. Castro Valley 18-10 22 8
13. Redwood Christian 20-2 12 NR
14. Encinal 14-8 10 NR
t15. Concord 16-10 3 13
t15. Dougherty Valley 12-10 3 NR

Also receiving votes: Freedom (13-6-2, 2 votes), California (7-14, 1). The East Bay Softball Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay.

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NCS baseball: Upsets aplenty as tournament begins

What a crazy stat to the North Coast Section baseball playoffs. We got an 18-inning thriller that lasted two days, saw the defending champions in Division I and II eliminated in the first round and had the No. 16 seed beat the No. 1 in two brackets. This is the kind of excitement we get with single-elimination tournaments on the diamond.

The highlights of the opening round:

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