Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

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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DV boys volleyball team falls one win shy of NorCal throne

Friday, May 31st, 2013
DV goes up for the block 1024x682 DV boys volleyball team falls one win shy of NorCal throne

DV goes up for the block in their game against Archbishop Mitty. by Ronald Rivera

By Luke Johnson

After dominating the competition all season long, the Deer Valley High School boys’ volleyball team came up short Saturday at Dublin High School for the CIF NorCal Division I regional final against Archbishop Mitty High School.

This was Deer Valley’s most successful season as the team went 42-2 and the deepest into the postseason in school history.

Nationally top ranked basketball recruit Marcus Lee had the most dominating presence on the floor. The 6-foot-10 high-flying senior soared across the court averaging 3.6 kills and a block per set.

Even with Lee’s impressive pedigree the biggest leader for the Wolverines was sophomore Jordan Ewert. Head Coach Lou Panzella believes there is no better sophomore in the state than Ewert.

Without a doubt!” Lee exclaimed when he heard about Panzella’s statement. “He’s a sophomore and he pushes me in practice, and I’m the one that’s supposed to be pushing everybody.”

Ewert averaged 4.8 kills and 1.9 digs per set. The 6-foot-4 sophomore is also one of the most experienced players on the squad despite being an underclassman.

Here is what Ewert had to say about playing with Lee, “When we go to tournaments everyone wants to take pictures with him… He’s not this big scary guy, he’s a nice little teddy bear. He’s funny and I love being around him. I’m gonna miss him next year.”

Following the final whistle Saturday the Wolverines came together to embrace each other in one big huddle. That is when the tears began to shed, and not a single player could hold it in.

The team’s motto is “together forever.”

It is not cliché to say these players have a relationship that goes beyond teammates, but a connection much stronger than that.

This loss is way above basketball’s loss,” Lee said. “These are all of my best friends, this has been pretty much my family.”

DV Boys Volleyball team 1024x682 DV boys volleyball team falls one win shy of NorCal throne

Deer Valley Boys 2013 Varsity volleyball team. by Ronald Rivera

Lee along with Jeff Brown and Muhammed Ali also took Deer Valley’s basketball team further than it has ever gone before earlier in the school year, before losing in the CIF NorCal Championship as well.

I’m leaving [behind] a legacy of champions,” Lee said. “As long as you work hard, you are going to get somewhere. We are not some random school in Antioch that nobody knows of, but a place where you can be the best that you can be as long as you work.”

Panzella says Lee is the ultimate team player and that he would give up all the glory to help the team win. He emphasizes that when Lee is sitting down during his rotation on the bench that he is always cheering louder than anyone in the gym.

This has been a fabulous season,” Panzella said. “I couldn’t be happier because of this group of players that we have… I’m fortunate that they allow me to come to the games and watch. They make me look smart.”

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Deer Valley Baseball team are champs despite roller coaster season

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

By Luke Johnson

After discipline problems nearly squandered their postseason dreams, Deer Valley High School baseball went on a 7-1 run to claim their second consecutive Bay Valley Athletic League Championship.

The Wolverines ended up losing 7-1 in a second round playoff game, on Friday, May 24, to the power house Granada High School Matadors from Livermore, who are currently ranked fourth in the nation. But in order for the Wolverines reach this point they had to buckle up for a bumpy roller coaster ride.

According to a variety of sources, four players were caught mid-season posting pictures, on the social network Instagram, of themselves using alcohol or marijuana. According to one parent, three players were suspended for alcohol use and one for marijuana, violating team rules. Two seniors and two sophomores were suspended a combined total of 30 games as punishment from the administration and the athletic program.

According to sources, who chose to remain anonymous, some of the parents of players who were upset their sons weren’t being played enough, complained about the other players’ photos, which resulted in the suspensions.

Among those four athletes was one of Deer Valley’s premier players along with another being an everyday starter batting over .300. The absence of those key competitors wreaked havoc on the Wolverines as they lost five straight and found themselves at fourth place in the BVAL.

My reaction was just complete shock,” Pitcher Tyler Vistalli said. “Kids always say ‘it’s never going to happen to me.’ And we never think it can happen to us… [But] no matter how slim that chance is it happened to us, and for us to overcome it was just huge.”

Vistalli was also a tremendous contributor to the Wolverines early in the season before suffering an elbow injury in early April that has sidelined him since. The ace was sporting a 5-0 record and a 0.88 ERA with 38 strike outs in 31 2/3 innings. Vistalli was unable to play in the playoffs.

This is the first year for Dan Peters as Deer Valley’s head coach, and only the second in school history after former Head Coach Dennis Luquet’s departure to Diablo Valley College. It was quite a roller coaster ride for Peters. After jumping to a 7-0 start the team began to have attitude issues.

We had some players become selfish and jealous of other players’ success,” Peter said. “When we had a little adversity the worst came out in a player or two, [but] not all. Some players [complained] about things like, ‘Why am I hitting sixth [and] not fourth?’ A player or two were actually hoping that a teammate at their own position would do poorly in a game so that it would make them look better.”

During the ensuing five-game slide Peters gathered the coaches and players for a serious team meeting to set things straight. He instilled in the the minds of the players’ that they needed to encourage one another to be successful.

We do not ever play against Deer Valley, we play against the other teams and against the game of baseball itself,” Peters told the varsity squad.

The Deer Valley coaching staff emphasized those kind of things over and over, and it appears to have paid off.

When asked how the four players involved in the scandal could have allowed this whole ordeal to happen, utility player Devante Boyd said, “That’s a tough one.”

Boyd was originally thought to be part of the situation, but further investigation discovered that he had nothing to do with it.

Deer Valley finished with a 7-3 conference and 16-8 overall record. Coincidentally Liberty High School and Heritage High School were equal in both facets to make it a three-way tie in the BVAL standings. But Deer Valley was the successor in the tie-breaker due its victories over the other teams in their most recent match ups.

Having kids work hard in practice and games, showing much improvement along with winning the league made it a very rewarding season,” Peters said. “We have many strong, young players coming up that should keep the program going strong. We can build upon the work ethic established this season.”

Deer Valley had four players selected All-BVAL First Team for the 2013 campaign. Utility player Jordan Gough batted .469 with 26 RBI’s, while center fielder Marcus Wise set a school record with 46 stolen bases capturing 26 of them this season without being caught. With great defense in the infield Tony Self also batted .393, and pitcher Spencer Vincent went 3-2 spotting a 1.50 ERA.

Allen Payton contributed to this article.

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Breaking News – Accident during Amgen Tour bicycle race shuts down part of Marsh Creek Road

Saturday, May 18th, 2013
049 1024x685 Breaking News   Accident during Amgen Tour bicycle race shuts down part of Marsh Creek Road

A car hit a CHP Motorcycle officer, today on Marsh Creek Road, during the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race. – by Bradley Bennett

BREAKING NEWS

By Bradley Bennett

A portion of Marsh Creek Road is down to one lane and under traffic control as a CHP officer was hit by motorist during the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race, today, Saturday, May 18, 2013. The officer was stopped and directing traffic for the race, when he was struck by a silver Mercedes.

The officer was transported to Round Valley Regional Park and airlifted to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

It was reported that he was off of his motorcycle when hit and evidently does not remember what had happened.

The race is currently under way, during Stage 7 of 8 stages, which began at 11:30 a.m., taking bicyclists from Livermore and to the top of Mt. Diablo.

For more information about the race and today’s stage, click here.

042 1024x685 Breaking News   Accident during Amgen Tour bicycle race shuts down part of Marsh Creek Road

Cyclists race down Marsh Creek Road during Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California race, today near Mt. Diablo. – by Bradley Bennett

AMgen Stage 7 Breaking News   Accident during Amgen Tour bicycle race shuts down part of Marsh Creek Road

Amgen Stage 7 route, May 18, 2013

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Antioch Sports Legends Alumni Hall of Fame Baseball Clinic this Sunday

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Sunday May 19, 2013, 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM

Babe Ruth Fields
902 Auto Center Dr., Antioch

sports legends clinic Antioch Sports Legends Alumni Hall of Fame Baseball Clinic this Sunday

http://www.antiochsportslegends.com

ASLAlumni@antiochsportslegends.com

Inviting all baseball players ages 9 to 15 to the “The First Annual Hall of Fame Baseball Clinic”

Come join former Chicago White Sox Pitcher Butch Rounsaville and World Series Champion Aaron Miles for a fun filled day of instruction and demonstration on the finer points of baseball fundamentals.

Key areas of focus will include:
Hitting | Pitching | Catching | Base Running | Infield Play | Outfield Play

$25 Registration Fee includes:
Admission to Clinic | Hall of Fame T-Shirt | Barbecue Hot Dog Lunch | Tour of Antioch Sports Legends Museum

Plenty of spots still available. Walk in registration welcome. Registration begins at 9am at the fields.

Pre-Registration is recommended to guarantee T-Shirt availability.

Click here for registration form.

For more information call Steve Parks at (925) 550-3819.

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Deer Valley’s Ray White throws school’s first perfect game

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Ray White Deer Valley’s Ray White throws schools first perfect game

Article & photo by Luke Johnson

Freshman lefty Ray White achieved a milestone Friday, April 26 when he became the first pitcher to throw a perfect game in Deer Valley High School history.

Twenty-one came up and 21 went down for the Deer Valley freshman squad’s 11-0 win over the Freedom Falcons. The 15-year-old White only needed 75 pitches and five strike outs to complete the challenging feat. Immediately after the last out of the seventh inning the Wolverines swarmed the mound in celebration of White’s accomplishment.

“I have to hand it to my defense,” White said. “They even made the more difficult plays look easy.”

White was referring to center fielder Devin Gould’s sliding catch in the second inning to keep the perfect game intact. White also went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored to help the team offensively and put one in the win column.

Even with history on the line Deer Valley Head Coach Darren Machado substituted everyone off the bench due to the team’s significant lead.

“The other coaches were excited and were trying to keep the same players in to save the perfect game,” Machado said. “But I was like ‘I know this game is for Ray, but I gotta get players in.’”

Machado and the coaching staff stuck to their superstitious beliefs during the game and did not blurt out the word “perfect” in hopes to keep this opportunity from being jinxed.

“They were making sure I didn’t say anything,” Machado said while chuckling.

One thing that sticks out about White is his maturity and poise on the mound. Even when it gets rough out there he stays calm and levels his emotions. His coaches notice his proficient knowledge for how the game is played along with advance leadership skills.

“Nobody works harder than him,” Assistant Coach A.J. McNally said. “He’s at every practice, and is always helping his other teammates step-by-step at their positions.”

After high school White has strong ambitions to play for a Division I college.

“My wife and I look forward to more great moments,” White’s father Ray White Sr. said. “We are proud of him and are very supportive of him in baseball, and hope he plays until he doesn’t want to play any more.”

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Deer Valley Basketball’s Marcus Lee is All-American

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Marcus Lee photo by Blue Devil Motion Deer Valley Basketballs Marcus Lee is All American

Marcus Lee – photo by Blue Devil Motion

By Luke Johnson

Deer Valley High School’s stand-out basketball player Marcus Lee has been selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American game on April 3.

Since this game’s foundation, many of the NBA greats have passed through; from Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. In October, Lee signed a full ride scholarship with the NCAA defending champions, the University of Kentucky Wildcats, and will be joining four of his future teammates in Chicago for the All-American scrimmage.

With these five high school athletes placing among the top 18 seniors across the nation by ESPN, many have speculated that this recruiting class could the best in history.

“I think it’s a really high statement,” said Lee. “It just gives us a barrier to break down, and we love barriers. It just makes basketball so much more fun.”

Lee calls Antioch his hometown, and his biggest mentor growing up has been his older brother Brian. A young Marcus would emulate Brian by following him around to every practice and game.

“I was pretty much his little mini-person,” said Lee.

Now standing at a staggering 6’9” Lee is averaging nearly 20 rebounds and 7 blocks a game and leading the Wolverines through the playoffs. Lee says he thrives in the loud post-season environment and is motivated when the crowd gets behind him.

He just led his team to Deer Valley’s first ever North Coast Section Championship on Friday, March 1st. The team was preparing for the California Interscholastic Federation Northern Regional playoffs at press time.

Lee says he is going to wait until he arrives at Kentucky and will “let nature take its course” before he makes any decisions about playing professionally. If he does indeed earn a spot in the NBA, he will be the first individual out of Antioch to do so.

“It means everything to me just being the big role model of Antioch,” said Lee. “It’s saying you can do what ever you want even if you come from Antioch.”

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Deer Valley’s magical season ends

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

By Luke Johnson

Deer Valley High School played in its first Northern California Division I boys basketball regional championship on Saturday, March 16, but ended up falling to the Pleasant Grove Eagles, 73-60, at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

After the loss, Deer Valley’s UNLV-bound point guard Kendall Smith was brought to tears when he realized his high school career with his long-time friend and teammate, Kentucky-bound power forward Marcus Lee, was over.

“This has been my family, my cousin. I did everything with him. He’s been my point guard since day one,” said Lee. “Knowing this is probably my last game with him… it hurts. We’ve been through a lot and conquered a lot.”

Throughout the postseason, Smith averaged nearly 22 points and six assists per game, while Lee put up nearly 18 points, 19 rebounds and 9 blocks per game.

“One thing you can take to the bank is that you’re going to hear from both of these guys again. I promise you,” said Deer Valley Head Coach Lachet Phillips.

In the previous game, Smith suffered an ankle sprain against Bellarmine. In that game, Smith drove past three defenders to make a clutch layup that put the Wolverines up by two with only 10 seconds left in regulation. Then on the next possession he stole the ball in transition to secure a trip to Sacramento.

Smith said he felt about 65 percent healthy in the championship game, as he was unable to display his explosiveness. Clearly hobbling up and down the court, Smith still played all but about two and a half minutes of the game.

Pleasant Grove put constant pressure on the 6-foot-10 Lee by double-teaming him every time he touched the ball. The Eagle’s defensive strategy limited Lee to only 10 points in the contest.

“I saw a man in front of me and a man behind me,” said Lee. “They did a good job on us.”

The Eagles’ resiliency from the free throw line was one of the key components to their victory. Pleasant Grove was successful on 27-of-28 attempts.

“We really stress free throws in practice and shoot a lot of free throws over and over,” said Eagles Head Coach John DePonte. “Once we got on a roll, I think everyone just fed off the success.”

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