Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

3rd Annual Bay Area Football Academy in Antioch Saturday, June 23

Monday, June 18th, 2018

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Bay Area Football Academy in Antioch to kick-off with celebration Friday night, June 22

Monday, June 18th, 2018

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East County Muscle presents The Novice III bodybuilding competition Saturday, April 28

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

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Student at Givans Taekwondo in Antioch wins silver at World Junior Taekwondo Championships

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

CJ Nickolas (left) and the other medal winners at the World Taekwondo Junior Championships on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Photo by Denise Nickolas.

HAMMAMET, Tunisia (April 12, 2018) — Team USA notched its second medal in as many days as the World Taekwondo Junior Championships continued in Tunisia. CJ Nickolas (Brentwood, Calif.) took the silver medal in the male -68kg division on Thursday, April 12, one day after Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Fla.) won gold in the female -52kg class. Nickolas is a student at Givans Taekwondo in Antioch, California.

CJ during a previous competition. Photo courtesy of Team USA.

Nickolas breezed through his first two matches of the day with a 29-1 win over Somalia’s Abdullah Fuad Dahir and a 23-5 victory against Italy’s Andrea Riondino to reach the round of 16. He then scored a 12-3 win over Afghanistan’s Rashid Sarwari and edged Chinese Taipei’s Cheng-Chi Wei in overtime to advance to the medal round.

In his semifinal match with Serbia’s Dusan Bozanic, Nickolas broke an 8-8 tie with a scoring kick in the final 10 seconds to prevail and move on to the final. The gold-medal match against Iran’s Mohammad Mahdi Emadi saw Nickolas fall behind 5-1 after two rounds and then 13-2 early in the third. The American would rally to pull within 13-8 in the final minute but Emadi held off the charge to win by a score of 18-10 and claim the gold medal.

“I am proud of him,” said Givans Taekwondo owner Ed Givans, who is also Nickolas’ father.

CJ has a 4.0 GPA…he also plays basketball, runs track and is on a dance team at his church called Generation of Praise. His favorite book is Infantry – Born to Fight by his dad, Edward Givans. favorite TV show is American Ninja Warrior…favorite movies are Planet of the Apes, The Incredibles and Kingsmen/Secret Service…favorite singer is Stevie Wonder…favorite foods are Korean barbeque, burrito bowls from Chipotle and Sprite…favorite athlete is Derrick Rose…favorite taekwondo athlete is Alexey Denisenko…his mother is his biggest inspiration…his proudest moment in Taekwondo to date is making the Cadet National Team for a second straight year in 2015 and competing at the World Championships…favorite quote: “Practice as if you are the worst, perform as if you are the best.” – Mahatma Gandhi. CJ was awarded the 2015 Stanford TKD Athlete of the Year. View his page on the Team USA website.

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2nd Annual Larry Damitz Memorial Race on tap at Antioch Speedway Saturday night

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Larry Damitz #15 after one of his wins in 2016. Damitz was a five-time Limited Late Model champion and was recently inducted into the Vallejo Sports Hall Of Fame. Photo by Paul Gould.

By Don Martin II

The Antioch Speedway roars back into action this Saturday night with an exciting six division All Star Series program honoring the late Larry Damitz. Featured divisions this weekend include the Wingless Spec Sprints, A Modified, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.

In recent seasons, the division of choice for Damitz, who was racing well into his 80s, was the Limited Late Models. In his final seven seasons at Antioch, he won five championships and finished second in those other two seasons. He won over 50 Main Events in his illustrious career at Antioch Speedway alone, and he was also recently inducted into the Vallejo Sports Hall Of Fame.

For The Limited Late Model racers, this event is for them. They spent many years trying to beat the orange and blue #15 car, wheeled impressively by Damitz. Last season, it was Kimo Oreta taking the wheel and making sure the Sun Drop Racing team maintained their championship status. Though he was very consistent and won multiple races, he still had to fight off the challenges of 2013 champion Jim Freethy and Mark Garner.

Freethy and Garner are both expected to contend for this year’s championship. Garner was doing double division duty last season, but he has put his B Modified up for sale in order to focus on his Limited Late Model effort. The man who has won more Main Events in this division at Antioch than anybody else, Mike Gustafson, will be another driver to watch out for. He was a two-time feature winner last season. Chris Long is anticipated in the John Keith car, and other drivers to watch for include John Evans, Lori Brown, Chad Hammer and Ryan Cherezian.

The A Modified division kicked off their 2018 season two weeks ago with Nick DeCarlo scoring the impressive victory. DeCarlo tends to bounce from track to track, but he has championships to his credit at Watsonville and Petaluma. A decision on Nick’s behalf to compete for the Antioch crown would certainly make him a top threat. Reigning champion Bobby Motts Jr notched the second place finish at the opener as he attempts a title defense. Five time division champion Scott Busby has his eyes on a track record 73 career feature wins, and other drivers to watch for this week include Sean O’Gara, rookie Buddy Kniss, hard charger Trent Wentworth, Mike Salazar and Bobby Montalvo.

Fred Ryland might have been a surprise entrant at the opener as he was the 2017 Merced Speedway champion. However, he picked up right where he left off with another Antioch win. The 2015 Antioch champion, who also has a Hobby Stock championship to his credit, is rapidly approaching 50 career feature wins. Ryland’s presence in the field makes things very interesting and helps make Antioch one of the most exciting B Modified programs in the state. Other drivers to watch for in the field include 2016 champion Trevor Clymens, 2017 champion KC Keller, past Street Stock champion Todd Gomez, past Hobby Stock champion Guy Ahlwardt and Tommy Fraser.

The Wingless Spec Sprint division enters its 20th season on the roster, and it appears as if 2004 champion Bob Newberry has his sights set on the championship. Newberry won more Main Events than anybody last season before settling for third in the standings. Another driver to keep an eye on is the only driver to have competed in all 20 seasons in this division, 2017 runnerup Rick Panfili. A competitive group of racers in this class includes Alan Miranda, Roy Fisher, Shannon Newton, Brandon Burd, Abigail Gonderman, Adam Teves, James East and Bryan Grier, who hasn’t officially said if he’s attempting a title defense this year.

The Hobby Stock division continues to have a strong presence at the speedway. In the opener, Michael Cooper looked very impressive in scoring the win, leaving the battle for second between reigning champion Cameron Swank and 2010 champion Chris Sorensen. Past Super Hobby Stock and Figure 8 champion Jim Robbins threw his hat into the ring this year and looked very fast in the opener. Likewise, Chris Bennett also figures to be in line for his first career feature win. Other drivers to watch for this week include Jordan Swank, Travis Tabucchi, Ricky Foster, Josh Leach, Russell Shearer and Haley Gomez.

There was plenty of disappointment to go around in the Dwarf Car community after the rain out canceled what was sure to be a big event last week. Regardless, Mike Corsaro enters the season as the reigning champion. Corsaro may very well be the driver to beat this year as he has become very consistent in recent seasons. David Michael Rosa is knocking on the door to his first career feature win and may be another driver to watch in the championship hunt. Other drivers to watch for this week include last season’s top rookie, Devan Kammermann, Brian Gray, David Rosa, Charlie Correia and 2016 champion Kevin Miraglio.

It looks as if the weather will open a window and allow this exciting six division program to unfold. For further information on this and other happenings, go to

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Compete for prizes in East County Muscle’s The Novice bodybuilding competition April 28

Monday, April 9th, 2018

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Antioch, Deer Valley High school baseball season preview

Friday, April 6th, 2018

By Jesus Cano

Antioch Panthers

The Panthers have not had a .500 record in league play since 2011. This year head coach Carlos Gonzalez has set the standard to break that slump, and water Antioch’s 20-year playoff drought.

“Obviously to get there we have to take it game by game and try and compete at a very high-level each game,” Gonzalez said. “Our guys are young and very hungry, they all have the same goal in mind and that is to change the culture of baseball at Antioch High School.”

Gonzalez highlights two players to be his top guys on the team, Josh Cordova and RJ McDowell.

Both teammates record 15 RBIs each for the Panthers last season and had a batting average above .300. Gonzalez also says that both these players will see a hefty time on the mound. Now, they both both over .400.

Devon Crump is a player that made an impact according to Gonzalez. This year, his numbers are steady, as he is .538.

Another player Gonzalez says is vital to the team due to his consistent bat and defensive ability is Sergio Carrillo.

Deer Valley Wolverines

Joshua Hannah has been appointed to be Deer Valley’s fifth head coach in the past five years.

“Being the new head coach for DV baseball is an honor,” Hannah said. “It presents a fun and exciting new challenge.

Hannah has an extensive baseball background. He played college baseball at Fresno State, where he batted a .293 batting average and has 51 RBIs, in addition to 13 homeruns In 1998. His numbers in college were able to catch the attention of the Minnesota Twins, as he signed with them.

The Wolverines ended with a 2-8 record in BVAL play last season and have been struggling early in the season according to Hannah, but he adds that this team has a strong willingness to work and learn.

Senior Justin Tallmier returns for his senior campaign. Last year, he led the team in batting average (.342) and had 21 RBIs, the most in the entire BVAL.

Jose Dominguez returns for his final year of baseball. With a .333 batting average and and five RBIs, it comes as no surprise Hannah says he is a top player to watch.

Keith Hogan, Jesus Hernandez and Aj Levias are also another player according to Hannah.


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Antioch, Deer Valley High girls’ softball season preview

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

By Jesus Cano

Antioch High

In the past couple of years, the Panthers have struggled to perform well when it comes to league play.

Last year, they made it into the division II playoffs, and knocked off Windsor, one of the top seeded team. Head coach Nick Wisely says his team is coming in strong and hoping to create some noise in league play.

“The goal is to get into the playoffs and at least win two games in there.” Wisely said.

Ayanna Sanchez was only a freshman when she made headlines by tossing a perfect game. Fast forward to her senior year, she has developed even more as pitcher and team leader according to Wisely. She is also committed to Chapman University.

The pitching depth continues for Antioch, as sophomore Bailee Reed has had to make appearances on the circle with the absence of Sanchez early in the season. In the teams 14-0 pre-league victory over Las Lomas, she threw a no hitter, recording 15 strikeouts. Reed is also is the team’s second baseman, where she batted a team high .381 batting average.

Freshman Haley Painter is a key batter for the Panthers according to Wisely. She leads the team in RBIs with eight and has a batting average of .375.

One obstacle Wisely notes, is that the BVAL is a tough competition with top teams like Heritage and Freedom always going back and forth for the league title. He says his team is up for the task.

Jazmine Alanís,Priscilla Self and Alissa West.

Deer Valley High

The Wolverines are coming off a tough season where they finished league play with a 3-7 record, and now face the challenge of having to play shorthanded.

“We’re adjusting to having players play positions they are not used to playing due to the fact we had players not return from last season that we were counting on returning.” said head coach Amy Tillson.

Even with the unexpected lack of returning players, Tillson says he team demonstrates a “Never Quit” mentality.

Junior Jaleah Hardy has had to showcase her versatility this year, stepping into pitch, the position for the Wolverines squad that faces the most adversity. Hardy has pitched in every single game this season, tallying up a ERA of 2.97.

Hardy’s primary position is first base, but with her having to pitch, freshman Leila Engelhard has had to step up to the plate, and takeover first base. She is batting an average of .429, the most on the team.

One of the returning players of the team is senior Desttany Parker, who is described by Tillson to be a huge leadership presence. She is also a leader on the statistics sheet, as she has the team high slugging percentage (.533).

Other notable players include Sarah Figueroa and Haley McKenna.

Both Antioch schools will clash for bragging rights to open up the BVAL season on Tuesday, April 17 at Antioch High School.

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