Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Delta Valley Wolfpack Cheer squad heading to nationals

Friday, January 30th, 2015
Delta Wolfpack Cheer 1024x682 Delta Valley Wolfpack Cheer squad heading to nationals

Delta Valley Wolfpack Cheerleading squad.

By John Crowder

Delta Valley Wolfpack, an Antioch nonprofit group that provides an opportunity for local youth from ages six to fourteen to participate in high-level football and cheerleading, is once again sending four teams to the Youth National Championships. About 50 cheerleaders from the Wolfpack will compete in the event, which is to be held from January 23 through 26 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Wolfpack Cheer squad has won the national championship four times since their founding in 2009.

The all-volunteer organization, which sees over 200 young people participate in their programs, each year, was founded by Kim and Lee Scott. Today, Lee serves as President of the organization, and Kim is head of Varsity Cheer. About 60 volunteers work throughout the year to guide their young charges to success.

The program is not just focused on athletics, however. Academic and life skills are a large part of the training that the young people who participate in Wolfpack programs receive.

Tony Carter, Coaches Commissioner with the Wolfpack, created a student scholar program within the group. Students are required to turn in their report cards, and the Wolfpack has tutors on hand to help students who might struggle academically. At the end of the year, students are recognized for their academic performance, and several students on the team have attained 4.0 grade point averages.

Wolfpack volunteers also mentor their young charges in citizenship. Respect is a major focus. According to Kim, “You’ve got to have self-control, self respect, and respect for others if you are going to be successful in life.” Lee concurred, saying that he does not allow any poor sportsmanship from the members of his football teams. “There is no trash talking, no arguing, no bullying,” he said. Lee emphasized that the coaches maintained discipline, and expected the young scholar-athletes to learn and practice self-discipline. “We run it like a household,” he said.

Indeed, the entire program is very family oriented. There are no tryouts, no weight limits imposed, and nobody is cut from the team because of a lack of physical ability. “The first forty kids who apply will make a squad,” Lee said. He emphasized that he wanted any child who was interested to have a chance to compete, and by allowing all students to play, even those who might not have an innate athletic ability, it put the onus on the coaches to work hard to help each team member succeed, regardless of incoming skill level.

The Wolfpack is mostly financed through parent participation fees, with additional revenue generated by entry sales to view games, revenue from their concession stand, participant fund-raisers, and a small group of sponsors, including Mountain Mike’s Pizza, One Work Place, and Sign O Rama.

For more information about the Wolfpack, contact Kim Scott at 925-754-8668 or by email at deltavalleywolfpack@yahoo.com.

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Giants World Series trophies visit Antioch

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Go Giants 1024x729 Giants World Series trophies visit Antioch

Richard Pagano, right, owner of a State Farm Insurance agency in Antioch, and his office staff Yolanda Larios, Elisa Tavera, Serena Xavier, enjoy viewing the Giants’ three World Series trophies, during their tour stop in Antioch, on Tuesday, January 27. Richard, with his best “fear the beard” smile, is unfortunately a Dodgers fan. His staff has it right.

By Allen Payton

The San Francisco Giants baseball team’s three World Series trophies from their championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014 were in Antioch on Tuesday, January 27, as part of a tour to Northern California cities.

Antioch was included because it has a Junior Giants program. Hundreds of residents lined up to take photos with the trophies, which were on display at the Antioch Community Center at Prewett Park.

The tour lasts through April 13. For more information click here.

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Riva turns around Antioch High boys’ basketball, first league game victory in four years

Saturday, January 24th, 2015
AHS basketball 682x1024 Riva turns around Antioch High boys’ basketball, first league game victory in four years

Antioch High point guard Demauriaye Smith leaping over 6-foot-7 teammate Shane Landon in a dunk contest at a school rally. by Michael Pohl

By Luke Johnson

After three embarrassing years, Antioch High School boys’ basketball is back on track to success with an 11-6 record midway through the season.

On Friday, Jan. 16, point guard Demauriaye Smith drained a game-winning three-pointer against rivaled Pittsburg, and the Panthers won their first game against a Bay Valley Athletic League opponent since Feb. 18, 2011, which calculates to a 30-game losing streak and a 1,428-day dry spell.

When the shot left my hand it looked good, and I had all the confidence in the world it was going it,” Smith said.

After winning the BVAL Championship in 2011, Antioch had a vacant varsity head coaching position, and hired Kevin Moffett over alum and long time JV and freshman coach Andrew Riva.

In two seasons, Moffett dug the program into the ground. He posted an atrocious 2-43 record, including going winless in his final campaign. He was fired after the 2012-13 season, and Antioch approached Riva with the position again.

It really hurt. I thought I was ready,” Riva said about being denied the head coaching job. “But I told myself, ‘If it became open again, I wouldn’t hold a grudge.’”

The Panthers went through a rebuilding process last season, and finished with a 3-23 record. But this year, they have more victories than the previous three combined. The team is led by two seniors, JT Branch, who scored 30 points, and Smith, who scored 20, in the 60-57 win against Pittsburg.

The players have taken a big step from wanting to win to expecting to win,” Riva said. “This has been a dream job for me.”

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Son, father team re-open Antioch driving range

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

 Son, father team re open Antioch driving range

By Allen Payton

Golfballin’ is back at the Vineyards, now that Brandon Johnson and his father Lance have reopened the driving range on East 18th Street in Antioch.

Mobile Golf truck 300x223 Son, father team re open Antioch driving rangeAfter years with his Fore Two Your Door mobile golf truck, seen at both the Roddy Ranch Golf Club, Brentwood and other local golf courses, Brandon decided to open the range for golfers, once again. After months of renovations and improvements, golfers can practice their driving and putting from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, on the lighted range.

You won’t have to let the weather get in your way. Now known as Golfballin’ at the Vineyards, the driving range features covered stalls so you can stay dry on rainy days and in the shade on hot, sunny days. Plus, there’s a huge practice green, grass and sand bunkers, and a VIP teeing area where you can hit off real grass.

They offer sales of new and used clubs, plus they buy and trade, as well. The range includes a full repair shop with over 4,000 grips and 400 shafts in stock, and offers free basic fittings.

It’s also family friendly with a playground for kids and a snack bar, and allows for hosting events and parties, as well. Plus, they offer half-off for all local high school golf teams.

Golfballin’ is kind to your wallet, with buckets of balls from $5 to $20 and a limited number of memberships are available at $50 per month for unlimited balls.

Stop by any day and bring the kids, give Mom a break, and enjoy some practice to make your golf game better,” Brandon stated. “We’re hear every day, rain or shine.”

The driving range is located at 2901 E. 18th Street, between Hillcrest and Highway 160, next to the actual award-winning wine vineyards.

Visiting their website at www.golfballin58.com, their Facebook page or Instagram, or by calling (925) 513-5660.

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Antioch High Panthers football finishes season in historic fashion

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

By Luke Johnson

Antioch High School football has come off its most successful season in recent memory. It included three individually broken records in addition to a team feat that has not been reached in three decades.

For the first time since 1984, the Panthers won a North Coast Section Playoff game. In that contest, at San Leandro High on Nov. 14, sophomore sensation Najee Harris crushed the school record for rushing yards in a game that was set back in 1958 with 371 yards. The original record was 303 yards. In the middle of that match up, he also became the first Panther to eclipse 2,000 rushing yards in a season, and finished the campaign with a total of 2,263 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.

I had a lot of favorite moments,” Harris said. “The most memorable one was when we were winning back-to-back games, and the school had hope in us, and every game you could the crowd getting bigger and bigger.”

Harris was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the Bay Valley Athletic League, and become to first sophomore to earn that recognition since the league formed in the mid-1990s.

Senior defensive end/linebacker Michael Gray also set a single-season school record for sacks with 20. He passed the original mark (17 set back in 1999) in that same competition against San Leandro High. The final score of that game was 50-26.

Junior linebacker Kobie Beltram is also on pace to break a school record. which is currently held by his older bother Markie, for career tackles on varsity. So far, he has recorded 211 tackles through 22 games. Needing to reach 252, at the rate of tackles he has been generating, he will exceed that in the next five games.

All of these things happened ensuing one of the worst seasons at Antioch High. Last year, the Panthers had a record of 1-9, and went winless against league opponents. This year, they went 7-5, and were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs to Foothill High.

It had a lot to with the players, who were frustrated with how last year went, and put in hard work over the offseason to flip this program around,” coach John Lucido said.

NOTE: Antioch High was awarded an NCS Playoff victory back in 1997, but that was months after the game had already taken place via forfeit from the opposing team due to ineligible roster violations. This was the first time the Panthers outscored their competitor in the playoffs and advanced to the next round since 1984.

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Antioch Sports Legends Alumni hold Baseball Coaches Clinic

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

By Steve Dulas

Sports Legends staff writer

More than three dozen youth coaches were able to partake of more than a century of experience Saturday during the 2015 Antioch Sports Legends Alumni Baseball Coaches Clinic at the Antioch Historical Society building.

The staff, led by former major leaguers and Sports Legends Hall of Fame inductees Butch Rounsaville and Aaron Miles, covered aspects of catching, middle infield play, pitching, hitting, and the keys to being a successful coach.

It’s great to give back to the Hall of Fame and the Historical Society,” said Miles, who played nine years in the major leagues. “It’s a great place to dedicate your time to, and any chance I get to do something to benefit that I want to.”

The rest of the clinic staff included Bobby Rounsaville, who played one season of pro baseball in Italy after playing at UC Davis; Chris Bodishbaugh, twice drafted by the Florida Marlins and currently the pitching coach at Los Medanos College; Steve Ward, head coach at Diablo Valley College for 15 years; and Craig Chipman, who has coached high school and college baseball for 20 years.

I think it turned out great,” said Butch Rounsaville, a 2007 Hall of Fame inductee who pitched for the Chicago White Sox before an arm injury ended his career. “I think the instructors all did a good job and we had a good turnout. All the coaches seemed to get something out of it.”

During the lunch break, some of the coaches took an eye-opening tour of the Antioch Sports Legends Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the historical achievements of outstanding male and female athletes from Antioch. The display, in the Historical Society Museum, 1500 W. 4th St., is open from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. More than 100 athletes and teams have been enshrined in the hall, starting in 2007.

Miles, who helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the 2006 World Series, taught two phases of the clinic, working with Bobby Rounsaville on middle infield play and solo on hitting. He and Rounsaville, who both played second base during their careers, spent an hour breaking down the basics of middle infield play, from which type of glove to use and the proper stance to movement around the bag on double plays.

You want to know your audience,” Miles said. “You’re talking to coaches, and you don’t know if they’re coaching 9-year-olds or if they’re a college coach. All those things you know because you’ve played at a higher level, you want to still get those across without losing your audience.”

Bobby Rounsaville, part of the 1984 Antioch High baseball team inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013, also did a clinic on baserunning. Part of his presentation dealt with stealing bases and how to avoid being picked off.

You have to get the pitcher to show you his best move,” he said.

Butch, who is Bobby’s uncle, countered that later, saying no self-respecting pitcher would show his best move first.

Butch Rounsaville and Bodishbaugh represented two different generations – Butch made his major league debut in 1970, while Bodishbaugh began his professional career in 2008 after playing quarterback at San Jose State University. But their approach to pitching is the same, from the mechanics of the motion to the grip on the ball. They also stressed that they would not recommend that coaches of younger players try to teach either a curve ball or a slider.

The only time I would say it’s okay for a 12-year-old to throw a curve ball is if it’s that one-in-a-million chance that they have the perfect motion and the perfect release,” Rounsaville said. “If winning your game means your kid throwing curve balls, I say win your games later.”

Chipman, now an assistant coach at Los  Medanos College, said he is delighted and honored to participate in clinics such as Saturday’s event.

What’s most rewarding is that these guys are ambassadors of the sport,” Chipman said. “These guys are the reason I can make a living, and these guys are the future of our sport.”

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Delta Baseball & Softball League sign-ups this week for Spring T-ball, baseball and softball

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Delta Bball league logo Delta Baseball & Softball League sign ups this week for Spring T ball, baseball and softballSign-ups will be held this week for T-ball, instructional and competitive baseball and softball for boys and girls age 4 to 12, and CHAMP Baseball (for challenged youth and young adults). Open to Antioch, Pittsburg, Oakley, Brentwood, Knightsen, Bethel Island, Discovery Bay and Byron youth.

Thursday, January 22 6 pm – 8 pm at Antioch Indoor Sports Center, Sunset Lane

Saturday, January 24 10 am – 2 pm at Sports Authority, Antioch

Sunday, January 25 1 pm – 4 pm at Sports Authority, Antioch

Register online anytime at www.deltabaseballleague.com.

For more information contact Rick Hilton for information at 925-783-5399 or contactus@deltabaseballleague.com.

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See the Giants’ three World Series trophies in Antioch on Tuesday, January 27

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Giants World Series Trophies See the Giants three World Series trophies in Antioch on Tuesday, January 27

Tour began on January 7th and concludes on Opening Day in San Francisco on April 13th

This will be the third public trophy tour held in the past four years and will feature the 2014, 2012 and 2010 trophies. The focus of the San Francisco Giants World Championship Trophy Tour presented by Bank of America is to share the trophies with Giants fans in Junior Giants communities throughout northern California.

Antioch is one of those Junior Giants communities, so the trophies will be here on Tuesday, January 27th in the Antioch Community Center at Prewett Park, 4703 Lone Tree Way, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We saw in 2012 how powerful it was for us to create a trophy tour which not only allowed us to connect with our fans, but also with the more than 22,000 kids who participate in our Junior Giants baseball program. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to do so again,” said Larry Baer, Giants president and chief executive officer.

The organization is working in partnership with their Junior Giants leagues throughout northern California to create public viewing opportunities in the following cities throughout the months of January, February and March. Fans will have the chance to both have their photo taken with the trophies and support their local Junior Giants.

PERSONAL PHOTO POLICY

You will be allowed to take one (1) photo per person. If you come in a group, you can take a group photo or individual photo, but not both. Depending on volumes of fans and line control, personal camera use for photos with the trophies will be determined onsite. Fans will also have the opportunity to have a professional photo taken with the trophies and can purchase those prints onsite and online.

LINE POLICY

The Trophies will be on display for two hours during each stop. The Giants intend to accommodate as many fans as possible during the viewing time period. Fans are advised to arrive early as the line will be cut off, if needed, to allow the trophies to leave at the designated end time. A Giants representative will assess and determine a cutoff point in line. A fan who arrives during the designated viewing time is NOT automatically guaranteed a photo with the trophies. Fans are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

For the complete schedule, click here. http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/fan_forum/trophy_tour.jsp

About the trophy

In 2000, Major League Baseball commissioned Tiffany & Co. to create one of the most celebrated awards in all of sports: the World Series Trophy. The Commissioner of Baseball presents this trophy to the winning team of the annual World Series. The goal of greatness is crafted into every detail of this revered trophy:

  • The initial World Series trophy was created by Major League Baseball in 1967. The St. Louis Cardinals, who defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games in the World Series that year, were the first World Series Champions to receive the trophy.

  • Trophy’s official name is “The Commissioner’s Trophy.” Each year, one full-sized trophy is crafted by Tiffany and awarded by the Commissioner of Baseball to the championship team.

  • The trophy is created at Tiffany’s workshop in New Jersey.

  • Master artisans employ age-old techniques – spinning, silversmithing, chasing, hand engraving, and polishing – to create the trophy.

  • Design features thirty pennants representing the teams in the American and National Baseball Leagues. The pennants encircle a dome base, which is etched with latitude/longitude lines symbolizing the globe and adorned with twenty-four karat gold vermeil applied stitches representing those on a baseball. Engraved on the base are the words, “Presented by the Commissioner of Baseball” along with the commissioner’s signature.

  • Sterling silver trophy weighs approximately 20 pounds and stands 24 inches high with a diameter of 11 inches.

Tiffany & Co. also creates the World Series MVP Trophy, presented to the Most Valuable Player of the World Series; the All-Star Home Run Derby Trophy, awarded by Major League Baseball to the winner of the Home Run Derby during All-Star Week; and the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award which is awarded at the Commissioner’s discretion. Previous winners include Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn, Roger Clemens, Ichiro Suzuki and Rachel Robinson.

Tiffany & Co. creates trophies for many of the world’s greatest sporting events. These designs include the National Basketball Association Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the National Football League, and the U.S. Open Tennis Championship Trophies. Inspired by the transcendent form and energy of competition, these outstanding Tiffany designs are a lasting tribute to the athletes’ dedication and the thrill of victory.

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