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James Barnes resigns as Berkeley football coach

James Barnes has resigned as Berkeley High School’s football coach, he confirmed today.
Barnes said that it was by mutual decision. Mark Coplan, Public Information Officer for Berkeley Unified School District, confirmed today in an e-mail to the Bay Area News Group that Barnes resigned from his position last week.
The Yellowjackets finished the 2014 season with a 2-8 overall record and 2-3 mark in the West Alameda County Conference-Foothill League. In 2013, Barnes’ first season as Berkeley coach, the Yellowjackets were 3-7 overall and 1-4 in the WACC-Foothill league.
“Berkeley High needs to go in a different direction. The past two years, the success I was looking for didn’t happen,” Barnes said. “They needed new leadership, a new voice.
“I enjoyed my time there. I think I learned a lot. … You learn the ins and outs of being a head coach in a large program like that.”
Barnes, who has also coached at Arroyo and Castlemont, announced his resignation via Twitter on Friday evening. He said today that he has been contacted by “a few junior colleges” about assistant positions. Barnes said he was a graduate assistant at Grand Valley State University in 2003.
“I think I will try the college level. It’s time to move up,” he said.

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Campolindo’s Tyler Petite now committed to USC

On the eve of his team’s Northern California Division III regional title game, Campolindo High tight end Tyler Petite announced that he’s switched his college commitment to USC. Petite, a four-star recruit and Under Armour All-American, originally committed to Duke over the summer.

Petite has had a big season for Campolindo, which is 14-0 and playing Sutter on Saturday in the NorCal Division III final. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound senior has 30 receptions for 867 yards and nine touchdowns.

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Honoring Rodney Frazier at the Vontoure Spartan Classic

The local basketball community continues to make sure that Rodney Frazier, the slain Richmond High point guard,  is not forgotten. Last week, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and some of his players attended the Oilers’ home opener and offered encouraging words to Rodney’s teammates beforehand.

On Thursday, there will be a brief ceremony to honor Rodney and show support for the Richmond team and coaches before a game with Fairfield at the Vontoure Spartan Classic at De La Salle. “We can’t let Rodney become ‘just another statistic.’ We truly are all in this together,” wrote De La Salle coach Frank Allocco in an email. Allocco was a speaker at a peace rally  in Richmond  to honor Frazier last month. Several local basketball teams showed attended the rally.

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Fremont High football star chooses UC Davis

Fremont High football star Tyshone Gaines orally committed to UC Davis this morning.
The 6-foot-2 Gaines was a first-team all-City defensive back this past season for the Tigers, who reached the Silver Bowl and finished with an 8-4 record. He had 31 tackles, four interceptions, 18 passes defended, three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns this past season.
On offense, he caught 38 passes for 700 yards and 15 touchdowns this past season. Gaines said that he was recruited as a defensive back to UC Davis, but may be used on offense as well.
Gaines is interested in a career in politics.
“Davis is close to the state assembly office in Sacramento,” said Gaines, who also said he has known Davis’ coaching staff for about a year. “The program is up and coming.”
Gaines, who has a 4.0 grade point average, said that he also considered Harvard and Yale, but “the support group is back home,” he said. “Staying home is great.”

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Two East Bay runners headed to Foot Locker Nationals

Campolindo High’s Toni Finnane and Bishop O’Dowd’s Colin Burke finished in the top 10 of the Foot Locker West Regional girls and boys seeded races respectively today and have qualified for the Foot Locker national championships.

Finnane was fifth in the girls seeded race with a time of 18 minutes, 15 seconds for the 3.1 mile course at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut. There were only two California runners that finished ahead of Finnane.

Burke was 10th in the boys seeded race with a time of 16:00. There were only three California runners that finished ahead of Burke.

The Foot Locker National Championships are Dec. 13 at Balboa Park in San Diego. The girls race is at 9:15 a.m. and the boys race is at 10 a.m.

Finnane, a first-year cross country runner as a senior, said in a telephone interview that she was probably in the top 15 at the first mile, then moved up to seventh in the second mile.
“As the race went on, I took advantage of the hills to power through,” said Finnane, who likes hills.
“It’s incredible,” said Finnane about qualifying for the national meet. “It’s definitely going to be an amazing experience.”

In a telephone interview, Burke said that he was probably 25th during the first mile, but made his major moves in the second mile
“Going up the switchbacks, I made up some ground on a lot of guys,” Burke said.
He said that he was around 15th place at the two-mile mark and that he had advanced up to 10th place going down the final hill of the course with about 1200 meters to the finish.
“I was just extremely thankful I had a chance to qualify and extend my season for one more week,” said Burke about his placing.

At the Nike Cross Nationals on Saturday at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Or., Las Lomas’ Chloe Hansel was 51st with a time of 18:40 for the 3.1 mile course.