Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
By Allen Payton
In the works since the end of last season, as reported by Luke Johnson (see article, here), the high school, varsity football game between the Antioch High Panthers and the De La Salle Spartans, in Concord, Friday night, will appear on ESPN’s university sports channel, ESPNU.
The game begins at 8:00 p.m. and is the first rematch of the two schools, since 2006 when De La Salle beat Antioch 62-0. But, this year, things are different. With the number one, high school running back in America, Najee Harris and the rest of the winning Panthers’ team on the field, the Spartans should expect a different outcome.
Last year, Antioch was undefeated in regular season play, but lost 55-54 in the semifinals of the playoffs, keeping them from facing De La Salle in the North Coast championship game. However, the Spartans are coming off their first loss at home since 2008, when they were defeated 23-21 by East High School of Salt Lake City, last week. So, they have something to prove and probably can’t imagine losing two games in a row – especially on their home turf.
For those who want to watch it in person, De La Salle is located at 1130 Winton Drive at the corner of Treat Blvd. in Concord.
ESPNU can be seen on channels 420 and 788 for HD on Comcast Xfinity in Antioch. For other providers, check your local listings.
By Don Martin, II
Antioch, CA…September 17…Another loaded six division All Star Series racing program entertained the crowd at Antioch Speedway Saturday night, and there were several new faces in the winner’s circle. Carl Berendsen II made sure he would not be the first driver in track history to win two championships without a Main Event victory as he won the 20 lap A Modified feature. The Winged 360 Sprint Car division saw its 11th 20 lap Main Event winner in fourth generation racer Colby Johnson, while Jeff Decker fell just short in his bid to repeat as DIRTcar Late Model champion despite his second 20 lap feature win of the season. Nick DeCarlo was doing double duty this week, and he climbed into the Lloyd Cline B Modified for a 20 lap Main Event win. Rookie Guy Ahlwardt used his fourth 20 lap Hobby Stock feature win to clinch the track championship, while Josh Miller won his first 20 lap Dwarf Car Main Event.
With four time champion Troy Foulger back in the Bill Bowers owned car and Duane Cleveland back to go for his second win, Carl Berendsen II picked a great night to get his fist career A Modified Main Event victory. The win had further significance for the second generation racer as he clinched his second A Modified championship in the last three years. Cleveland’s bid for victory came up just short in second, but he managed to hold off Foulger, who is still looking for his first win of the season. Two time reigning Petaluma champion Nick DeCarlo and Trent Wentworth rounded out the Top 5.
Troy Foulger was doing double duty in the Bowers Racing DIRTcar Late Model, and he joined Richard Papenhausen as a heat race winner. Papenhausen’s Main Event ended early, but he had enough of a point lead that he still clinched his second championship in the last three seasons. 2015 champion Jeff Decker had Foulger giving chase, but he would prevail for his second win of the season. He gained significant ground on Papenhausen, but it wasn’t quite enough to get him the track championship. Shawn DeForest drove the House Car to a solid third place finish ahead of past champion Andy Obertello and Terry Kuntz, who was piloting the Paul Guglielmoni owned entry.
Each generation of the family that has followed Hardtop Legend Johnny Franklin has had at least one racer among them. On Saturday night, great grandson Colby Johnson came to town with his Winged 360 Sprint Car to make a run for the money. Johnson won a heat race along with recent Southern Oregon Speedway winner Aaron Miller. Johnson had his hands full with point leader Billy Aton, but he drove a great race to earn his first career feature victory. Second place finisher Aton added a few points to his slim lead over Art McCarthy in the hotly contested championship battle. McCarthy finsihed fourth behind another newcomer, Cody Hodgson. Jenna Frazier completed the Top 5.
Nick DeCarlo got to do double duty and had a strong night of his own in the B Modifieds. After joining point leader Trevor Clymens in the heat winner’s column, DeCarlo had to contend with Clymens in a good Main Event battle. DeCarlo would score a well earned victory, but Clymens came that much closer to the track championship with his second place finish. Marysville star Phillip Shelby returned to town in the hopes of winning his second Main Event, but he settled for a third a place finish ahead of two time winner K.C. Keller. For the first time, the three Brown brothers competed against each other. Two time Limited Late Model champion Ron Brown finished fifth ahead of brothers Randy Brown and Kevin Brown.
Continuing the trend of heat race winners doing well in the Main Event, Guy Ahlwardt and Frank Furtado won their heat races and battled at the front of the Hobby Stock Main Event. Ahlwardt recently announced that he is planning a move up to the B Modified division, and he celebrated his new track championship with his fifth win of the season. Furtado ran strong in second ahead of 2010 champion Chris Sorensen. It’s looking more likely that Lindsey Buirch will rank second in the standings following a fourth place finish ahead of Jordan Swank.
Rounding out the program were the Dwarf Cars, where one of the heat winners didn’t do so well in the Main Event. David Rosa hit the wall in the Main Event in what was a hard crash. Fortunately, he walked away unscathed. Josh Miller has done some traveling this season, but he returned to end the point season with an impressive victory. Chuck Connover had a solid night with a second place finish, following his heat race victory. Kevin Miraglio wrapped up his championship season with a third place finish. Second generation racer Preston Humphrey returned to his Dwarf Car roots and finished fourth as Buddy Kniss wrapped up his “Rookie Of The Year” season with a fifth place finish. Like Ahlwardt, Kniss will be moving up to B Modifieds next season.
Point racing concludes next week with an exciting program of Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modifieds, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models and Hobby Stocks. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
Unofficial Race Results
DIRTcar Late Models
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Troy Foulger, Richard Papenhausen. Main Event (20 Laps)-Jeff Decker, Troy Foulger, Shawn DeForest, Andy Obertello, Terry Kuntz, Dennis Souza, Travis Meyerhoff, Papenhausen, Rob Norris, Mike Hynes.
Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Aaron Miller, Colby Johnson. Main Event (20 Laps)-Johnson, Billy Aton, Cody Hodgson, Art McCarthy, Jenna Frazier, Miller, Wayne Katen, Craig Frandsen, Jesse Colwell.
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Trevor Clymens, Nick DeCarlo, Main Event (20 Laps)-DeCarlo, Clymens, Phillip Shelby, K.C. Keller, Ron Brown, Randy Brown, Kevin Brown, Chuck Golden, Al Johnson, Mike Mates, Shane DeVolder.
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Troy Foulger, Mike Salazar. Main Event (20 Laps)-Carl Berendsen II, Duane Cleveland, Foulger, Nick DeCarlo, Trent Wentworth, Salazar, Aaron Crowell, Sean O’Gara, Bobby Motts Jr., Bobby Montalvo, Scott Busby, Anthony Slaney, Josh Combs.
Heat Winners (6 Laps)-Chuck Connover, David Rosa. Main Event (20 Laps)-Josh Miller, Conover, Kevin Miraglio, Preston Humphrey, Buddy Kniss, Charlie Correia, Devan Kammermann, Chris Becker, Tim Reeder, Toby Brown, David Rosa, David Michael Rosa, Timmy Ryan, Mike Corsaro (DQ).
Heat Winners (6 Lps)-Guy Ahlwardt, Frank Furtado. Main Event (20 Laps)-Ahlwardt, Furtado, Chris Sorensen, Lindsey Buirch, Jordan Swank, Joe Ridgeway, Gene Haney, Anthony Vigna, Michael Cooper, Cameron Swank, Tobi Madden.
By Luke Johnson
One of the greatest prides in the City of Antioch is high school football and the 2016 season began Friday, August 29. Antioch High School has gained a lot of attention and is expected to be one of the best teams in California, while Deer Valley High School aims to recover after going winless against the Bay Valley Athletic League the past two years.
Antioch had a miracle season in 2015 under head coach John Lucido, considering the Panthers finished a mere 1-9 two years prior. The campaign was capped off by the black and gold defeating arch-rival Pittsburg for the first time in years in a 44-42 shootout. Antioch won a league championship for the first time in 31 years and went undefeated (10-0) for the first time in 38 years.
All eyes are on Alabama-bound senior Najee “The Mayor” Harris, who is the number one running back in the country, ranked unanimously by every scouting website. The 6-foot-3, 226-pound freight train already holds every school rushing and scoring record, including 2,744 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns from last season.
Although the Panthers graduated key components to last year’s success, such as linebacker Kobie Beltram and playmaker Ryan Payne, the team returns six players with college offers alongside Harris: seniors Isaiah Dunn (CB/WR), Antoine Tanner (WR/DB), Issac Freytes (WR/DB), juniors Omair Harris (LB/RB), Iuni Mauga (TE) and sophomore Gaudie Campbell (WR).
Special Education Teacher Robert Hubbard enters his second year at the helm of Deer Valley’s football program. It was a bit of bumpy road during his season year due to a controversy with Pittsburg’s band preluding game seven. Hubbard missed two of the final three games, but was able to return after an investigation found no wrongdoing on his behalf.
The Wolverines finished 3-7 in 2015, and Hubbard said the biggest difference this year is the players’ knowledge and understanding of the system. The team’s top returner is 6-foot-4, 270-pound lineman Jamaar Hardy, who has offers from San Diego State University and the University of Hawai’i. Surrounding him are seniors safety Ronald Preston, linebacker Abe Weinert, wide receiver Daniel Lado, juniors quarterback Dior Walker and kicker Ryan Redman.
Antioch opened up the season hosting Lincoln of Stockton, beating them 67-38, with 44 of the Panthers’ points scored in the first quarter. Harris scored four of the touchdowns that quarter.
Deer Valley traveled to Danville to take on Monte Vista, in their non-conference, season opener. The Wolverines lost 49-7.
On Friday, September 2, Antioch lost Milpitas 49-28, while Deer Valley beat the visiting Amador Dons of Pleasanton 34-21.
Conference play begins Friday, September 23.
As in the past decade, the Antioch Historical Sports Legends Museum’s Hall of Fame class is amazingly full of talented athletes, a spectacular team, an exceptional coach and a community leader dedicated to bettering our city through sports.
The 10th Anniversary, 2016 Hall of Fame Gala induction class is no exception. They will be honored at the annual Gala on Saturday, October 8th.
This Hall of Fame class has many accomplishments to be honored. We begin with Antioch High’s legendary Golf Coach Joe Gambetta, who’s unparalleled coaching success enjoyed at least 15 league championships in 31 years of coaching.
Then, Bob Beswick, a community leader dedicated to improving our city by helping start, Antioch Little League, our Sutter Delta hospital, the Antioch Community Investment Fund and more. Also being honored will be the 1979 Track & Field Team, believed by Hall of Fame Coach Mike Hurd, as the greatest Antioch High Track & Field Team of all time.
As in so many previous Hall of Fame classes the Antioch Sports Legends is inducting a professional athlete and this year it’s, former NFL Chicago Bear, two-time BYU All-American and Antioch High linemen class of 1990′s, Evan Pilgrim. Also representing the NFL is AHS class of 1972′s Rich Hall. Besides having a high school football career as one of Northern Cal’s best linemen and championship years at University of Arizona, Rich is now in his 13 year as an NFL Umpire. Rounding off the football inductees will be Antioch High’s 1950’s, All-Northern California defensive tackle, 6′ 185 pound Ray Salazar.
The 2016 Class will also be remembered as the night of the Wolverine, as two Deer Valley High athletes will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, high school All-American Volleyball player and Cal Bear Pac 10 honorable mention, Gabrielle Abernathy and 2000 North Coast “Player of the Year” by Sports Focus, and St Mary’s soccer player, Niles Almarinez.
Many like to think Antioch’s a football town. Just don’t tell the 13 AA and above Antioch natives who played baseball in the bigs or chased the dream. Continuing Antioch’s baseball legacy are three outstanding ball players; 1992 All-California Interscholastic Federation softball pitcher Stephanie Andrews; three-time All-BVAL and AHS class of 1990′s, UC San Diego’s catcher, Al Del Favero and wrapping it up with Steve Ochoa who put on the burners after AHS and was first team- Junior College All-State in ’84, first-team All Pacific Coast Athletic Association at San Jose State and Philadelphia Philly’s free agent pick.
A wrestler will also be honored. Bill Dupree, of Antioch High’s Class of 1979, was the two-time North Coast Section wrestling medalist, and who as a freshman at Park qualified for North Coast, placing fourth.
Larry Lentz II, the 1995 volleyball “All North Coast Section MVP” and “AHS Male Athlete of the Year,” will be honored with the high flying pole vaulter, Mitch Mikula of the AHS Class of 1984, who jumped 15’ 6” at the 1984 California Interscholastic State meet and set the school record that still stands, today.
In the Hall of Fame’s special category of their own, are the All- Around Athletes, those amazing female athletes that varsity lettered in at least two sports at high levels, and male athletes in three. This year’s Female All-Around is, AHS 1994 “Athlete of the Year” Christine Brockett. Whether it was basketball, track or volleyball, Brockett rocked it. A two-time, first team All-BVAL and team MVP in basketball, Brockett also held the long jump and triple jump records as the team MVP in Track and was 1993’s “Most Outstanding Defensive Player” in volleyball during her junior year.
The Male All-Around honoree is AHS Class of 1981 Doug Snyder, the two-time All- DVAL and team MVP outfielder in baseball and first team All- DVAL and honorable mention All East-Bay in football. While at LMC he received the 1983 All-State honors, and was the Major League Baseball 37th round draft choice by the Astros.
The Alumni Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, October 7, at the Lone Tree Golf & Event Center 4800 Golf Course Road in Antioch. Call Alumni Chair Steve Parks 925-550-3819 for details. 10:00 AM start followed by Alumni and new Inductees social from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM.
The Gala is October 8 from 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM, also at the Lone Tree Golf Course & Event Center. For Gala dinner tickets at $65.00, mail your check payable to Antioch Sports Legends to Joanne Bilbo by mail at 234 Flagstone Drive Antioch, CA 94509 by September 19. Tickets will be mailed to you. You can also pay online at www.antiochsportslegends.com by the September 19th deadline. A convenience fee will apply. Or call Antioch Sports Legends Coordinator Tom Lamothe at 925-639-2536 by October 1.
Don’t wait this event has sold out for nine years.
The Antioch Sports Legends Museum is inside the Antioch Historical Society Museum at 1500 West 4th Street in Antioch. It’s open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.