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Antioch girl places third in nation at NFL Punt, Pass & Kick contest during Pro Bowl weekend

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Kori Margain with her Third Place trophy in the national 2016 NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition.

By Allen Payton

Antioch nine-year old, Kori Margain brought home the bronze by placing third at the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition during the Pro Bowl weekend in Florida, on Saturday, January 27, 2017. She was one of four girls to represent the Oakland Raiders nationally, but one of only four girls in the eight- and nine-year-old age group to make it to the finals.

According to their website, NFL Punt, Pass & Kick is “the oldest grassroots initiative at the NFL” and allows children ages 6-15 “to experience the fun of learning football fundamentals in an engaging and supportive non-contact environment.”

“Kori, a fourth-grader, started last November in a local competition,” said her mother Melissa Margain, a former field representative for County Supervisor Mary Piepho. “She won first place, there and moved up to sectionals and team competition, which was held in the Oakland Coliseum before the Raiders game in December.”

Since she was the winner of that competition, Kori earned the right to go the Raiders game, later that day and of course, Mom went with her.

The scores from that day from all the sectionals across the country were then sent to the NFL for comparison.

“They took only the top four scores from each of the 32 teams for each age group to determine who would go to the national finals,” Melissa explained.

Kori competed in the competition for eight- and nine-year-old girls and was one of the top four competitors from the Raiders.

The NFL selected the top four scores in the nation for each age category and Kori’s score was one of them, earning her a spot in the final competition.

During the competition on Saturday, “she placed third in the nation for her scores,” Melissa stated

“They sent the competitors to the Pro Bowl weekend for four days, including a trip to Disney World, interviews by the football players during a media day, and they got to attend the Pro Bowl,” said Melissa.

Asked if Mom got to attend, as well, Melissa responded with a laugh, “I did.”

This was Kori’s second year competing in the contest.

“I participated, last year, too,” Kori said.

Kori with some of her friends from the competition.

She made it to the team competition but not to the finals, the first time. Then, for this year’s competition, she said “I practiced with my family” to improve her skills.

“I competed on Friday and went to Disneyworld on Saturday,” Kori shared. Then they went to the Pro Bowl

game on Sunday.

The most fun Kori said she had was hanging out with her new friends from the competition.

“One from the Oakland Raiders, one from the Chicago Bears, one from the Seattle Seahawks and one from the Chargers,” she said.

Asked if she thinks other kids should participate in the competition, Kori responded, “Yes, it’s fun, you make good friends.”

Her favorite subjects in school are math and reading, and when asked if she wants to play on the high school football team, Kori replied, “No. I’m more into basketball.” She wants to be a WNBA player when she grows up.

A message was posted on the Antioch Unified School District’s Facebook page congratulating Kori for her success in the competition.

“Congratulations to Kori Morgain, 4th grade student at John Muir Elementary, who recently competed in the National NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick competition where she placed third in The United States. Prior to the national completion, Kori beat out thousands of other children in her age category and placed first in her local, sectional, and team competitions. More than 300,000 children throughout The United States participated in the event where they represented a professional football team. Kori represented The Raiders who recognized her at a recent game. Congratulations Kori!”

For more information on the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition, visit www.nflppk.com.

 

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Watch UFC 208 Holm vs De Randamie at Tailgaters, Saturday night, Feb. 11

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Tailgaters UFC 02-11-17

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Deer Valley High retains Mayor’s Cup after tying Antioch High in annual soccer match

Friday, February 3rd, 2017
Deer Valley High boys soccer team celebrates retaining the Mayor's Cup following the match with Antioch High, Tuesday night, Jan. 31, 2017. photo by Jesus Cano

Deer Valley High boys soccer team celebrates retaining the Mayor’s Cup following the match with Antioch High, Tuesday night, Jan. 31, 2017. photo by Jesus Cano

By Jesus Cano

The City of Antioch Mayor’s Cup means a lot for crosstown rivals Deer Valley High and Antioch High, and Tuesday night’s soccer match painted the picture for everyone as they ended up tying 5-5 in a wild shootout.

The Deer Valley Wolverines started off strong by scoring three consecutive goals. The first, coming from Diego Ruiz, after converting a penalty kick just two minutes into the match. Isaiah Moreira followed, right after as his teammate Rudy Saucedo sent him a pass sharp as a blade. The third goal found the back of the net on a header from Luke Fernandes, and was crossed to him by Edgard Morazan, setting Deer Valley to a comfortable 3-0 lead.

“Even after scoring the first three goals we still wanted more,” Deer Valley JV coach John Delaney said, who was filling in for the absence of head coach Juan Tannus. “Antioch is a great team so you never know what to expect with them.”

Antioch pounded the net on multiple occasions to end the half. Carlos Lopez began it all for the Panthers, as the senior perfectly executed a free kick. 10 minutes later, Abraham Torres took a corner kick that had Bernardo Mendoza’s name written all over it, as Mendoza got a head on the a ball that cut their deficit to 3-2. With less than one minute remaining, Josue Lopez tied up the game at 3-3, that sent the Antioch crowd into a frenzy.

“Our motto is to never give up,” said Antioch head coach Conrad Diaz. “We have to play every minute like it’s 0-0.”

The second half was no different from the first, as in identical fashion Ruiz once again claimed a goal that originated from a penalty kick.

Sophomore Omar Curiel finished a strike from a very difficult angle to tie up the game at 4-4.

After assisting earlier in the match, Morazan came up this time to finish the ball that was just out of the reach of the Antioch goalkeeper. With only seven minutes left in the match, the Wolverines preserved a 5-4 lead.

“Anytime I can help my team improve it’s a blessing,” Ruiz said. “This game is totally different from any other because you only get it once in our lifetime.”

They were had the taste of victory in their mouths with the game coming to a close, but Torres stole a ball and dribble it through defenders before hitting a right foot shot that put the game into a tie.

“Being back on the pitch was a blessing,” Torres explained, after missing most of the season due to personal issue.”Scoring the tying goal was just even better,”

While the game ended in a tie, the cup remains at Deer Valley, as a result of the Wolverines having possession of the award for the last two years.

“Keeping the Cup in my last year here means the world to me,” senior defender Fabian Wence said. “I really hope it (The Cup) never heads to the other side of town.”

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Tickets available for, Antioch teen to sing National Anthem at African American Heritage Night at the Warriors game, Feb. 1st

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Black History Nite

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Watch the Super Bowl at Tailgaters, pick the score and win $1,000

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Tailgaters Super Bowl promo

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Antioch Little League begins 60th year with sign-ups Saturday, next week

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Little_League_Baseball_-_LogoAntioch Little League has a deep rich history in our community with this being the 60th year. We have had local legendary names that have came through playing, coaching and helping over the years. Our Little League has been fortunate to have family lineages for decades involved. Families like the Martins, Mayjoffos, Pearson, Felix just to name a few and not to slight any for their time and dedication.

The next wave of support and involvement is now needed to keep this great organization teaching the love of baseball to our youth. The town has grown into a City with many opportunities for our children to participate in, it is still the simple joy of baseball in the spring and a parent playing catch with their in the yard that brings many of us back every year.

If this same excitement and love is shared the opportunity is there for everyone. Antioch Little League is in need of Coaches, don’t worry if you have never Coached before there are Coaching classes and assistance available. As any league the more children that sign up the better the league. The more that sign up the more Coaches that are needed.

Here are the upcoming dates and locations for sign ups:

January 14th

Antioch Youth Sports Complex 10am-2pm

Apollo Ct off Wilbur

January 18th

Straw Hat Pizza 6pm-9pm

3001 Delta Fair Blvd

January 21st

Antioch Youth Sports Complex 10am-2pm

Apollo Ct off Wilbur

For more information please visit our website at www.antiochlittleleauge.com.

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Antioch High running back, top national recruit Najee Harris picks Alabama over Michigan

Monday, January 9th, 2017
Najee Harris with his Antioch High School varsity football coach John Lucido before Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. source: John Lucido's Facebook page.

Najee Harris with his Antioch High School varsity football coach John Lucido before Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. source: John Lucido’s Facebook page.

By Luke Johnson

The number one high school football recruit in the country, Najee Harris of Antioch High in Antioch, California is sticking with his commitment to the University of Alabama and will not decommit and attend the University of Michigan.

According to his trainer Marcus Malu, owner of Malu Fitness, Harris arrived on campus Sunday and will enroll Monday as spring semester classes begin Wednesday. Harris graduated from Antioch High School Dec. 22 — a semester earlier than most students in the Class of 2017 — to get a head start on practicing with his college team during spring ball.

Antioch High running back Najee Harris on his way to breaking the school record for rushing yards on Friday, September 4, 2015. file photo by Luns Louie

Antioch High running back Najee Harris on his way to breaking the school record for rushing yards on Friday, September 4, 2015. file photo by Luns Louie

He committed to Alabama as a sophomore in April 2015, but kept his recruitment status open and strongly considered Michigan. Many people thought Harris would change his decision based on the rapport developed with head coach Jim Harbaugh, who visited Antioch three times last year — most notably at Antioch’s Homecoming Game on Oct. 23, where he announced the Homecoming Queen winner.

However, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban also made a visit to Antioch to meet with Harris in mid-December, which must have helped solidify five-star running back’s decision.

Harris rushed for the most career yards in Northern California history with 7,948 on top of scoring 99 touchdowns. But Harris has gone on record saying his proudest accomplishment was leading Antioch to its first league championship in 31 years in his junior year as the team finished the regular season undefeated (10-0).

He became the first Antioch student to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He represented the West, whose offense struggled and only scored 10 points in a 27-17 defeat to the East in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. After the game Saturday, Harris told reporters he was still undecided. However, he was seen arriving at Birmingham International Airport in Alabama the next morning.

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Reports: Nation’s #1 recruit, Najee Harris of Antioch High to just show up at college of choice

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
Antioch High running back Najee Harris practices for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, January 3, 2016. photo by OregonLive.com

Antioch High running back Najee Harris practices for Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, January 3, 2016. photo by OregonLive.com

No. 1 by three different rankings, five-star running back won’t announce publicly; insiders say he’s flying to Alabama, Oakland on Sunday

Najee Harris ranked #1 recruit in the nation. source: 247Sports.com

Najee Harris ranked #1 recruit in the nation. Source: 247Sports.com

By Allen Payton

According to national news reports including by NBC Sports, which showed up on Yahoo! News, Antioch High running back Najee Harris will not announce his college of choice publicly, but will just show up on campus.

Making national news as the nation’s number one high school football recruit, this year, Harris was in San Antonio, Texas at the second day of training, Tuesday for Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He was being watched by media from across the country, but wouldn’t give any interviews. He did however speak with 247Sports on Monday and said, although he’s committed to the University of Alabama, Harris is still “undecided” and considering the University of Michigan, as well as U.C. Berkeley.

The website reported that Antioch High Varsity Football Coach John Lucido said Harris will simply fly to his college of choice after the game to enroll in school early, without notifying the media. Only his “circle of trust” will know.

Both Alabama head coach Nick Saban and former offensive coach Lane Kiffin visited Harris in Antioch, this past year, as well as Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, the former coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

According to 247Sports, Harris is “ranked by the industry-generated 247Sports Composite as the nation’s No. 1 prospect,” and that “the five-star Harris has been a verbal to Alabama since April of 2015, but Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have created doubt about the future for the ballyhooed recruit who took his official to Ann Arbor in mid-December and has been there a few times.” (Harris is also ranked the nation’s No. 1 high school football recruit by Scout and Rivals).

Najee Harris at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl practice field. Source: AL.com

Najee Harris at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl practice field. Source: AL.com

The article further stated that “Alabama quarterback commit Tua Tagovailoa has told BamaOnLine insider Hank South this week that he is planning to room with Harris in Tuscaloosa. Nick Saban and Alabama don’t generally lose recruits they want like Harris, but Harbaugh and Michigan have done all they can to make the West Coast talent think otherwise.”

According to MLive.com, “Harbaugh hosted a satellite camp at Antioch in June and even announced the homecoming queen while watching Harris play in October. Harris visited Michigan in August for the BBQ at the Big House annual recruiting event and took an official visit to Ann Arbor in December.”

According to AL.com, when Harris was “asked if he’d just duck interviews after the game and head to the airport and to his school of choice, he said that’s what he plans on doing. So, there will be no announcement.”

UPDATE 1/5/17: However, according to 247Sports, on WednesdayAlabama quarterback commit Tua Tagovailoa told 247Sports that he would be on the same flight as…Najee Harris to Birmingham at the completion of the Army Bowl. That news seemed to indicate Harris’ intention to enroll at Alabama in January, effectively ending his recruitment.”

The article further states Tagovailoa has also said this week that Harris is also his scheduled roommate in Tuscaloosa. Tracked down for confirmation in the hallways of the Grand Hyatt hotel, Harris playfully said, “What flight? I don’t even know my flight.”

Yet, on Thursday, 247Sports reported they have “since learned from two sources that Harris’ departing flight from San Antonio actually has Oakland — his hometown (airport) — as its final destination.”

Then, a further report by 247Sports Thursday morning, has Harris heading to Alabma. “As part of the invitation to play in the Army Bowl, travel is paid for, with a departing flight from San Antonio to anywhere of the player’s choice. Those flights can be changed — and Thursday afternoon, after practice No. 3, Harris made use of the flexible nature of the Army Bowl’s travel capabilities. It is unclear,  but assumed, that Harris’ travel request will be accommodated.

A non-Bama bound player on the West squad told 247Sports on Thursday he had heard Harris would stick with his Alabama commitment, too. Classes start Jan. 11 at Alabama.”

Watch Harris play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 7th at 10:00 AM on NBC.  For more information about the game visit www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com. To learn more about Najee Harris and his high school career playing for the Antioch Panthers, visit his Wikipedia page, his page on MaxPreps, or search his name on this website.

 

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