Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Antioch’s Marcus Lee helps Kentucky into the Final Four on Saturday

Friday, April 4th, 2014
Marcus Lee Antiochs Marcus Lee helps Kentucky into the Final Four on Saturday

Marcus Lee from his Facebook page.

By Luke Johnson

Antioch native Marcus Lee burst into the national spotlight, Sunday when he propelled Kentucky past Michigan into the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Deer Valley High Class of ’13 graduate scored 10 points, with 5-of-5 shooting all coming in the first half, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots in the Wildcats’ 75-72 victory over the Wolverines in the Midwest Regional Final.

In Lee’s senior year, he was named Bay Valley Athletic League MVP, and was ranked the 19th top prospect in the country on Rivals.com. He took DVHS to new heights by reaching the Division I State Semifinal. But for most of this year, Lee had become a forgone conclusion. 

Since Christmas, he had only collaborated for a combined total of nine points before Sunday’s contest. When it came to game time, Michigan’s coaching staff had made few preparations against Lee.

“We had very little on him (in the scouting report),” said Michigan coach John Beilein. “But he does one thing really, really well, and that’s he plays way above the rim. You can see the size disadvantage was obvious out there.”

He entered the game in the middle of the first half, and provided an immediate spark by blocking a shot and going to the other end of the court and slamming it down. Lee produced two more powerful dunks to score six points in just nearly two minutes of play.

“I just tried to stay ready, no matter what the time was and contribute to the team,” Lee said during the postgame press conference while sitting next to Kentucky coach John Calipari.

“Tell them what I told you for two days before this game,” Calipari said to Lee.

“Y’all know Cal’s always right?” Lee said, causing members of the media to laugh. “So… He told the team I was going to have a big day.”

Kentucky continues its path in the tournament Saturday at 5:49 p.m. on TBS network in Arlington, Texas. The Wildcats will take on Wisconsin for shot at competing in the NCAA Final on Monday night.

Lee already has a page on both Wikipedia and ESPN’s websites. To read more about him, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Lee or http://espn.go.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/126077/marcus-lee.

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Your Pro’s Corner: Want to score better? “Keep the target in your mind’s eye”

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Your Pros Corner Your Pro’s Corner: Want to score better?  “Keep the target in your minds eye”By Ron Parish, PGA, General Manager/Director of Golf, Lone Tree Golf Course

Whatever part of the game, putting, chipping, sand, approach irons, or long game, when you hit your best shots I would venture to say you have your target in your minds eye. It doesn’t really matter what mechanics you are keying on, good golf shots require you to have your target in mind. I am more and more of the belief that keeping your target in mind is something that can be practiced, encouraged, and additionally supported through routine.

Other activities that practice “visualization”. Visualization, or keeping the target in mind is an exercise in itself. I would encourage other activities that involve visualization to help develop this skill. Playing basketball and shooting baskets, playing darts, pool, ping pong, tennis, or playing catch with a baseball or football are all activities that sharpen the minds visualization skills and the bodies skills in working with the mind. Remember Kareem Abdul Jabbar before shooting a sky hook? He was usually looking away from the target before the shot but his minds eye knew where that basket was.

Get the wedge out. Another way to practice visualization is to get the wedge out and play chipping games. Chip to the same hole from the same location with three balls. Hit the first ball with a low trajectory that runs just landing it on the green. Hit the second with a medium trajectory that flies a little farther on the green and runs a little less. Hit the third shot with a high trajectory that floats in farthest and stops quickly by the hole. Switch to another hole and do the same thing. Then go to the putting green and putt to the same hole from the same spot hitting the first putt firm and fast with little break, the second medium speed with a little more break, and the third lagging just right with the greatest amount of break. Just the mere way in which you are now practicing, hitting every shot differently with a different target or line, is getting you to practice your visualization. Ultimately, that is what you are doing when you play on the course hitting one shot at a time, each shot being different. It makes a lot of sense to practice that way if you want to improve your game. \

With routine, develop a process to help encourage and support visualization. Follow these steps in your pre-shot routine and I bet it will help:

  1. Look at the lie of the golf ball. It will tell you what you can or can’t do. If the ball is sitting down in a hard pan lie, trying a flop shot where you slide the club under the ball is ruled out. So start with your lie and the options is allows.
  2. Stand behind the ball and look at the target and determine the specific spot you are going to aim. Make a decision and commit to it! Remember to pick the spot that gives you a good percentage of success; so essentially play to the fat of the green or fairway.
  3. As you walk forward and approach the ball, be sure to use your eyes and look back and forth from the ball to that decided upon target repeatedly. Your eyes will help program the “athelete” and see the shot you are trying to make as well as tell the body what it has to do. If you lose sight of the image at anytime, back off and start again, if you don’t a poor shot will happen.
  4. As you set up to the ball, stay with your routine that you are familiar with and keep the target in mind. Some people take longer then others over the ball, but just be familiair with how long you take and try and stay consistent with it. There is comfort for you as a player in taking the same amount of time over a shot and that helps you feel confident and keep the target in mind. Feel yourself taking too long? Red flag! Doubt and uncertainty are creeping in and I bet the target is not in your mind’s eye. Back off and start again. Be fully committed to that target and stick to your routine.
  5. Pull the trigger and keep the target in mind as you swing.

I can talk about it all day in this article but to get good at this you are going to have to go out and practice and understand what it is to visualize the shot and keep it in your minds eye. If you become proficient, this is the best way to play golf and I promise you your scores will only improve! Good luck!

Thank you for all you do for Golf and for Lone Tree Golf Course and Event Center. I hope 2013 was a great year and may 2014 find you golfing often and happily (and while you are out there, bring a buddy to the game, golf needs that).

Your Pro,

Ron Parish, PGA

If you are interested in reviewing other articles from Coach Ron go to www.lonetreegolfcourse.com under “The Course” tab.

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Antioch High grad Shamawn Wright shines through adversity

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Shamawn Wright Antioch High grad Shamawn Wright shines through adversityBy Luke Johnson

When Shamawn Wright graduated from Antioch High School in 2011, he became the first alum to play collegiate Division 1 football in eight years. Now after his redshirt sophomore season at UC Davis, he has earned All-Conference honors at cornerback. 

But the road to Wright’s success was not so smooth. By the time he was 15 years old, and the only sophomore on Antioch High’s varsity football team, he had been homeless for over half his life. Wright had been bouncing around homeless shelters since he was seven years old, after his biological father ran out on his family.

Growing up in Oakland, Wright was a witness to some horrible sights. When he was 10 years old, he saw his cousin shot to death in front of his own eyes.

Wright moved to the East Bay to another shelter about a year later, and shortly after, his mother was sent to jail for child abuse. Wright and his two brothers were under child protective services, and did not see their mother for two years.

Toward the end of his sophomore year in high school, Wright and his mother were not getting along, and she kicked him out of the group home where they were staying. He then called Antioch High’s defensive back coach Wilson Pica to ask for some help. Pica told Wright he could stay at his house for a coupe of days. But gradually, days turned into weeks, and weeks turned months, and Wright has been living there ever since.

When I first walked in there, it felt like home. I was happy I had my own room, bed [and] food every night,” Wright said. “I wasn’t homeless anymore. I just didn’t want to leave.”

This past season at UC Davis, Wright helped the Aggies become the best defense in the Big Sky Conference, only allowing 200 passing yards per game. He was also 24th in the nation in kickoff returns.

Wright is determined to reach the NFL one day, and hopes to become the first Antioch High alum to do so since 1999.

This article first appeared in the February, 2014 issue of the Antioch Herald.

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Antioch High baseball coaches on administrative leave following allegations of inappropriate conduct

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

By Luke Johnson

Antioch High principal Louie Rocha placed five baseball coaches, including seven-year varsity head coach Ben Juarez, on administrative leave last Wednesday, while the Antioch Unified School District investigates allegations of “inappropriate conduct.”

First-year Antioch High P.E. teacher and junior varsity head coach Carlos Gonzales has been appointed as interim varsity coach.

I received written statements by a number of people about some of the serious allegations that were being made,” Rocha said. “Based on that, we decided to place the coaches on administrative leave.”

The allegations are about a situation that happened during last baseball season, and AUSD’s Superintendant of Human Resources Keith Rogenski is investigating the matter.

JasonSparkyBray Tweet Antioch High baseball coaches on administrative leave following allegations of inappropriate conductOne returning Antioch High Senior varsity and All-BVAL baseball player posted a message on Twitter about the issue.

“Tbh [To be honest] those coaches have taught me everything I know for the last 6 years, and these ‘allegations’ being brought up are completely false,” said Jason “Sparky” Bray.

Juarez’s wife took to Facebook to express her thoughts on the matter.

These allegations are false and are all brought about by a crazy parent whose son was being threatened to be cut from the team because he was suspended for sexual harassment and threatening to blow up the school,” Kristen Hammer Juarez stated in a post.

Kristen Hammer Juarez FB comment Antioch High baseball coaches on administrative leave following allegations of inappropriate conduct

In the meantime, teachers at Antioch High with baseball experience along with alum and former World Series Champion Aaron Miles have stepped up as assistant coaches.

The Antioch community is just so supportive,” Gonzales said. “For an ex-Major Leaguer to come back to his alma mater and help out and give his time, just to have him on the field, is a joy and a blessing.”

Rocha and Gonzales would not elaborate on the details, only saying the matter is under investigation.

In Juarez’s seven-year tenure at Antioch High he has posted a 61-106 record, without any playoff appearances or a single season with a winning record.

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Deer Valley High football team in hot contention, Antioch continues to struggle

Friday, October 25th, 2013

By Luke Johnson

It is now close to the end of the 2013-14 football season and Deer Valley High School is shining bright with a 7-0 record, while injuries have plagued Antioch High School to 1-6 entering for the season.

In their cross-town game, last Friday night, the Deer Valley Wolverines outscored the Antioch Panthers 49-7.

Wolverine Head Coach Rich Woods is on pace to lead his team to its third undefeated season in an eight-year span. He has been the most prosperous football coach at Deer Valley with a 67-28 regular season record since his inaugural year in 2004. Along with his impressive winning percentage, Woods has also coached the first two players from Deer Valley to reach the NFL.

We’ve just had some good players and some good assistant coaches,” Woods explained for the reason behind his success. “I’ve surround myself with some good people, and I’ve been real fortunate.”

One of the key components this season for Deer Valley has been quarterback Nsimba Webster. Not only is Webster leading the team through the air with nine passing touchdowns without an interception, but is the Wolverines’ top rusher with 107 yards per game and 12 touchdowns coming on the ground.

Webster has been contacted by multiple Division-I colleges, but has not completely committed to football quite yet. He also has proven his talents on the hardwood, and had a starting role on the record-breaking basketball team last school year. When it is all said and done, Webster wants to leave behind a legacy that marks him as Deer Valley’s top competitor.

I just wanna be the best athlete ever at Deer Valley… And make a name for myself,“ Webster said.

The Antioch Panther’s football program was once a dominate force in the Bay Area, but has been in a drought since the 1990’s. Head Coach John Lucido is on a mission to revive the team, and has already made two postseason appearances in his three-year tenure.

This year the squad has been halted by wounded players and a small cast of seniors. The roster consists of only 12 seniors with 31 underclassmen that include five sophomores and one freshman. That one freshman is running back and linebacker Najee Harris, who transferred from a high school in Seattle, WA approximately a month ago. After playing for frosh and junior varsity, Harris will be making his varsity debut in Friday night’s match up at Liberty High School.

The Bay Valley Athletic League is as tough as it has ever been this year with a variety of teams posing major threats. Pittsburg High is ranked among the top 100 teams in the state, with running back Harris Ross tearing up the field for 254.2 rushing yards per game and 17 touchdowns. Meanwhile Freedom High possesses one of the nation’s most touted recruits, running back Joe Mixon, who has attained nearly 50 Division-I scholarship offers.

There have always been top athletes in our league,” Lucido said.

But, Deer Valley dominated Freedom 35-7.

Antioch plays at the winless Heritage High, tonight, while 4-3 Liberty will visit Deer Valley.

For more information on local high school sports, visit www.maxpreps.com/search/school.aspx

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Antioch Babe Ruth All-Stars win four straight to reign supreme

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Babe Ruth champions Antioch Babe Ruth All Stars win four straight to reign supreme

Babe Ruth All Star A-Team champions

By Luke Johnson

Antioch Babe Ruth’s 15-year-old All-Star A-Team became NorCal-District 3 Tournament Champions after defeating the Northern Solano’s All-Stars, 9-4, on Monday, July 1, in a late night contest at Antioch Babe Ruth Fields.

Antioch fell short the first game of the tournament, in a double-elimination format, to its bitter rival Vallejo in a fierce battle that consisted of four lead changes. This forced Antioch into a situation where the team had to four straight games in the next two days in order to capture the district title.

I think it was a good shock for them knowing they are not untouchable or unstoppable,” Antioch Assistant Coach Garret Tamborski said. “It definitely brought them back to earth, and I think it actually helped us out in the long run.”

Antioch’s pitching prevailed in those fours games with Nasser Issa pitching a complete game shut out in the team’s second meeting with Vallejo. Issa spent 11 total innings on the mound in the tournament only allowing two earned runs, while his teammate Salvador Lopez went 13 innings with four earned runs.

It was a great team effort, [with] great defense,” Issa said. “I’m one of those players that like to get everybody up, ready to play, ready score and ready to win.”

In game two Antioch’s A-Team faced Antioch’s B-Team. With Lopez on the mound, the A-Team only need six innings before defeating the B-Team in a 10-run mercy rule. Later that day Antioch took on Vallejo in a grudge match where Issa threw his shut out, only allowing three hits in seven innings.

Since day one I knew we were deep in pitching,” Antioch Manager A.J. McNally said. “I put them in the positions they had to play, and they are the ones that made the plays.”

Antioch eased past Northern Solano in game four, 9-5, to ensure an all-or-nothing game 5. But due to field arrangements, the game was delayed an hour and a half.

Vallejo and Northern Solano’s 13-year-old All-Stars had an ongoing game on Burke Field with the sun setting. That caused them to switch to Regoli Field due to it is the only Antioch Babe Ruth park with lights.

Once the deciding game finally began between the 15-year-olds All-Stars, Antioch again easily succeeded Northern Solano finishing them off, 9-4, to clinch the NorCal-District 3 trophy in a bout that went until 11:24 in the evening.

This means everything,” Tamborski said. “After losing the first game, coming back, [and] winning four straight. [I’m] just so proud of the kids and all the work they put in.”

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Antioch Little League Senior Girls softball team in the Western Regionals, seek community’s help – today!

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

The Senior Girls Softball Team from Antioch Little League has made it to the Western Regionals. They and and their families need your help. The players and families are responsible for their own hotel and travel expenses to the tournament. The league has received a number of monetary donations and is a great start of getting everyone there.

Do you know of any companies or if you are interested in helping the families and players, donations have to be made to the league by this afternoon. (Tuesday, July 22)

They were featured on KTVU Channel 2 news, which you can watch by clicking here.

There’s a link on the league’s Pay Pal Account on their website at www.antiochlittleleague.com or feel free to contact Dennis Felix at questions@antiochlittleleague.com

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Antioch Sports Legends Alumni to hold Second Annual Hall of Fame fast-pitch softball clinic in August

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

SportsLegendslogo 300x256 Antioch Sports Legends Alumni to hold Second Annual Hall of Fame fast pitch softball clinic in AugustThe Antioch Sports Legends Alumni is again gathering a roster of Hall of Fame softball players and outstanding coachesto conduct the Second Annual Hall of Fame Fast-Pitch Softball Clinic Saturday, August 17th at the Antioch Babe Ruth League complex in Antioch, 902 Auto Center Drive.

The clinic will draw from Antioch’s own great players, including Hall of Famers Debbie Nelson and Rachelle Manning. They will join a host of other former Hall of Fame players and college and high school coaches from 10 am to 3 pm to provide instruction, demonstration and practice in all areas of softball play.

The clinic is only $30 and is designed for players 8 to 18 years of age. Players will receive expert instruction in hitting, pitching, catching and defensive skills for the recreational and travel ball/high school player. In addition to instruction, players will receive a barbecue hot dog lunch, a clinic t-shirt and a tour of the Antioch Sports Legends Museum, located next door to the Babe Ruth fields.

The Antioch Sports Legends Alumni are committed to providing opportunities for local youth to receiveFast pitch softball Antioch Sports Legends Alumni to hold Second Annual Hall of Fame fast pitch softball clinic in August the very best athletic instruction. Last year’s clinic was a great success. This is the Legends Alumni’s fourth sports clinic in the past year. In addition to the Fast-Pitch Softball clinic last August, the Alumni hosted a baseball coaches’ clinic in December and a Hall of Fame Baseball clinic for the area youth in May.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn from the best! Players may pre-register online at allamericansportscademy.net. For more information, contact Debbie Nelson at (209) 612-8984 or email her at dnelson@allamericansportsacademy.net.

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