Highly touted De La Salle High pitcher Justin Hooper announced on just before the Major League Baseball draft that he plans on attending UCLA rather than signing a professional contract.
Hooper, a 6-foot-7 left-hander whose fastball has been clocked at 97 mph, is considered one of the top 25 or so prospects available in the MLB draft that begins Monday morning.
De La Salle reached the North Coast Section Division I championship game Saturday, where the Spartans were beaten 5-2 by College Park.
A.J. Kuhle has been hired as De La Salle High’s new basketball coach, the school announced this afternoon.
A 2000 graduate of De La Salle, Kuhle spent the past eight seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Denver. The squad had an overall record of 146-132 during that span.
Prior to that, he spent three years as an assistant coach at Air Force. A 2004 graduate of the Academy, he was a four-year letter-winner and a three-year starter at Air Force.
Kuhle was named the team’s Most Valuable Player as a senior co-captain after helping the Falcons to 22 victories and its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 42 years. He was named second-team all-conference that season. Prior to his senior season, the Falcons had not had a winning season in 25 years.
“If you look at A.J’s pedigree … he’s been a true student athlete in every way during his playing days. He is a high-level Division I coach with experience,” De La Salle Athletic Director Leo Lopoz said. “We are blessed to get someone with his experience and caliber.”
At De La Salle, Kuhle replaces Frank Allocco, who is now the associate head men’s basketball coach at USF.
Allocco had a record of 487-71 at De La Salle in 18 seasons, and won CIF Division I state championships in 2000 and 2006 with the Spartans. Kuhle played on Allocco’s 2000 state championship team. Overall, Allocco had a 654-99 record in 24 seasons and three state championships.
College Park High star Joe DeMers was named Gatorade California Baseball Player of the Year today.
The senior, who has signed with Washington and is projected as an early-round selection in next month’s Major League Baseball draft, is a force both on the mound and at the plate.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound DeMers has a 10-1 pitching record this season with an earned run average of 0.44 and 84 strikeouts in 79 innings pitched with only seven walks. He has allowed only five earned runs.
At the plate, DeMers is batting .477 with six home runs, 41 RBIs and 25 runs scored.
DeMers is the first Bay Area selection for Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year since Alhambra’s Robert Stephenson in 2011.
College Park (23-4) hosts Liberty on Friday in the quarterfinals of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs.
A pair of East Bay Athletic League softball teams were selected as No. 1 seeds at the North Coast Section at-large and seeding meeting Sunday.
Amador Valley (21-3 overall), which has won 11 straight games and the EBAL title, was picked as the No. 1 seed in Division I. Livermore (15-9), which finished the regular season tied for fourth in the EBAL with Carondelet, is the No. 1 seed in Division II. Foothill (17-7) and Monte Vista (16-8), which finished second and third respectively in the EBAL, are the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds respectively in Division I.
Bishop O’Dowd (22-4), which won 14 of its last 16 regular-season games, is the No. 1 seed in the Division III softball playoffs. The Dragons’ only losses during that span were to Castro Valley (21-5), the No. 4 seed in Division I. Bishop O’Dowd beat Castro Valley 5-1 in the West Alameda County Conference championship game on May 21.
Other top-seeded squads in the NCS softball playoffs include Marin Catholic (21-3) in Division IV, Clear Lake (17-6) in Division V and Laytonville (12-9) in Division VI.
Here’s a link to all the first-round NCS baseball and softball playoff matchups:
De La Salle, Acalanes and Saint Mary’s High earned No. 1 seeds in the North Coast Section at-large and seeding meeting Sunday.
The Spartans (16-8 overall), who are the No. 1 seed in Division I, were co-East Bay Athletic League champions with No. 3 seed Monte Vista (16-8). College Park (22-4), the No. 2 seed in Division I, may have played a big part in the seeding of the top three teams — De La Salle beat College Park 3-0 on May 9 and College Park defeated Monte Vista 9-0 on March 10.
Acalanes, the No. 1 seed in Division III, clinched the Diablo Foothill Athletic League title with a 3-2 victory over Campolindo on Saturday. Saint Mary’s College (17-7), the No. 1 seed in Division IV, won the Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division playoffs.
The other top seeds include Redwood (23-3) in Division II, Clear Lake (24-0) in Division V and Rincon Valley Christian (17-4) in Division VI.
In Division I, Bishop O’Dowd was not selected to the 16-team bracket despite a 16-10 overall record (11-5 in the West Alameda County Conference) and advancing to the WACC-Foothill League playoffs championship game.
“The committee just felt that they had some bad losses,” said NCS Associate Commissioner Karen Smith, who also mentioned overall strength of schedule.
“I’m really frustrated right now,” said Bishop O’Dowd coach Chris Kyriacou early Sunday afternoon. “You would think a team that won 10 of their last 13 and got to the league championship would be considered over a 12-12 team.”
There are a pair of 12-12 teams (No. 10 Granada and No. 12 Freedom) in the Division I bracket.
Here’s a link to all the first-round matchups:
Longtime San Leandro High baseball coach Cas Munoz will be inducted into the California Baseball Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame on June 13.
The induction will take place during the second game of the North South Series at Santa Clara University between top high school juniors from Northern and Southern California.
Munoz, 83, coached at San Leandro from 1961 through 1989, then coached at Summerville-Tuolumne. He finished with an overall record of 552-294. Munoz confirmed that he won more than 10 league titles at San Leandro and coached the runner-up team in the 1981 North Coast Section 3A playoffs and the 1973 Tournament of Champions. There were no NCS baseball championships between 1932 and 1975. His teams also made its league playoffs 18 of the last 19 years he coached at San Leandro.
“I didn’t win these games. The kids did it and this is their honor. They did it all,” Munoz said. “It was a great thrill to be part of their lives.”
Munoz also gives credit to Chuck Fiannaca, his pitching coach from 1980-1989, and his junior varsity coach Mike Tedeschi, who coached for more than 20 years at San Leandro, starting in 1961. Munoz also thanks his wife Barbara and children Linda, Dave, Cindy and Scott “for being patient.”
“When you coach baseball for 40 years, and football for 30 years, and officiate college basketball … for 32 years, you are out of the house quite a bit,” Munoz said.
He also coached junior varsity and frosh-soph football at San Leandro and Summerville
The Foothill High boys golf team, Amador Valley’s Noah Woolsey, Monte Vista’s Christian Banke and Dublin’s Jacob Solomon all qualified for the state tournament out of Monday’s NorCal championship at Coral De Tierra Country Club near Salinas.
Cimran Virdi was honored in the May 18 Sports Illustrated section “Faces In The Crowd.” The Las Lomas High graduate, now a junior at MIT, broke the Division III national women’s pole vault record with a mark 0f 14-0 to help the Engineers win their second straight New England D-III title. Virdi ranks among the top 40 women in the world this year in the pole vault, according to the article.
Some tough decisions were made in these rankings. What do you think?
East Bay Baseball Rankings
Rank, school Rec. LW
1. De La Salle 14-7 3
2. College Park 19-4 1
3. Heritage 19-4 4
4. Monte Vista 13-7 5
5. Livermore 13-7 6
6. Amador V. 13-8 9
7. Arroyo 18-5 7
8. San Ramon V. 14-6 2
9. California 11-9 8
10. Kennedy-Fre. 20-1 11
11. Foothill 11-9 10
12. Campolindo 14-8 15
13. Clayton Valley C. 15-9 13
14. Acalanes 13-8 NR
15. Liberty 14-9 12
On the bubble: Berkeley (13-8-2), Redwood Christian (18-5). East Bay rankings are compiled by the Bay Area News Group, selected from high schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Records are through Tuesday.
Moreau Catholic High girls basketball coach Jack Kennedy announced his retirement from coaching on Monday after leading the Mariners for 18 seasons.
“I guess you just reach a point in your career when it’s time to step away, let someone else step up and take the helm,” Kennedy said today. “I thought about it a couple years ago, but talked myself out of it.”
The 68-year-old Kennedy has been Moreau’s head girls basketball coach since 1997, and was a varsity assistant six seasons before that, including in 1992 when the Mariners won the California Interscholastic Federation Division II girls basketball state title. During his head-coaching career, Kennedy’s squads won eight league titles and the 2004 North Coast Section Division III championship. His teams also were section runners-up in 2003 (Division III) and 2005 (Division IV).
Kennedy said that what he thinks he enjoyed most about coaching was watching the players’ games develop from their freshmen seasons to their senior seasons.
“You see the dramatic change in their physicality and their understanding of the game,” he said.