Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Tickets available for Warriors Family Night Oct. 15 – must be vaccinated or test negative

Friday, September 17th, 2021

Chase Center Venue Entry Vaccination Requirements

Fans Ages 12 And Older Must Provide Proof Of Full Vaccination

Every person entering Chase Center must produce either proof of a full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that was administered within 48 hours prior to the game.

Fans who can provide proof of full vaccination do not need to produce a negative COVID-19 test, unless they are seated within 15 feet of the court. Additionally, fully-vaccinated fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in designated vaccination sections of the arena bowl.

Fans ages 18 and older who are fully vaccinated (two weeks removed from their final dose) are encouraged to download the free CLEAR app and utilize the Health Pass feature, where they can securely add their proof of vaccination in multiple ways, including scanning their SMART QR code from the California Immunization Registry, linking directly to a vaccine provider in CLEAR’s nationwide network, or by uploading their CDC-issued vaccine card. Upon arriving at Chase Center, fans will be asked to show their CLEAR Health Pass at arena entry points.

Fans ages 12 and older who have a medical or religious exemption will be asked to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, administered within 72 hours of the event start time. To show proof of a negative test, fans are asked to download CLEAR via their mobile device, where they can securely link their test result to generate a Health Pass, which they will be required to show for entry into Chase Center.

Until further notice, all guests and employees in Chase Center must adhere to the City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health mask mandate, which requires all individuals to wear a mask at all times unless actively eating or drinking.

For fans who have not already been vaccinated, the Warriors and Chase Center encourage them to do so. Fans can visit http://kp.org/covid to view a list of COVID -19 vaccination locations. For more information, fans are encouraged to visit kp.org/covidvaccine.

Fans who need to take a COVID-19 test within 48 hours prior to tip-off have three options to do so:

  • The Warriors are offering COVID-19 molecular test pick-up locations throughout the Bay Area. At no cost to the fan, those who wish can pick up their Lucira Health molecular COVID-19 test the day before any home game, at one of two locations (Chase Center or the Warriors’ Oakland Facility). For more information, fans can click here.
  • The Warriors will be providing, at no cost to the fan, on-site COVID-19 molecular tests, in collaboration with Lucira Health. Fans who wish to arrive at Chase Center early to take a self-administered on-site COVID-19 test can sign up to do so after purchasing their game tickets.
  • The Warriors and Chase Center will accept non-Lucira COVID-19 PCR-quality tests. Fans must demonstrate a negative test via their CLEAR Health Pass. Tests must be taken within 48 hours prior to the game’s tip-off time, and fans must take a test from one of the pre-approved testing providers. More information, including the list of approved testing providers, can be accessed HERE.

Per California State Department of Public Health guidelines that were announced on April 2, Chase Center can accommodate fans based on the venue’s plan to require all fans and personnel to produce either proof of a full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. The Chase Center fan capacity allowance is subject to the State’s physical distancing requirements, and the actual percentage of fan capacity that will be permitted on a per game basis may vary based on local health approval and subsequent guidance issued by the State and the County.

From www.nba.com/warriors/.

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Saturday night racing at Antioch Speedway Sept. 18

Thursday, September 16th, 2021

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Malicious Monster Track Insanity Tour at Antioch Speedway this Friday & Saturday night

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

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Saturday night races continue at Antioch Speedway May 15

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

For tickets click, here: Tickets – Antioch Speedway

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Antioch’s Isaiah Dunn gets picked up by NY Jets as undrafted free agent

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

Isaiaha Dunn signs with the New York Jets. Source: NYJ

Receives “the biggest contract ever for an undrafted rookie corner”

By Allen Payton

Isaiah Dunn in his Oregon State Beavers uniform. Source: his Facebook page.

With Najee Harris getting all the attention, this past week, as the Antioch High grad, national champion and top college running back while at Alabama was drafted in the first round by the Pittsburg Steelers, another former Panthers football player went a bit unnoticed. A May 1st post on the Antioch High School Facebook page announced, “More fantastic news! 2017 AHS grad Isaiah Dunn was signed by the New York Jets. The 6-foot, 193-pounder earned a full ride to Oregon State. The defensive back had a superb career for the Beavers starting in 26 of the 33 games he played. He had 115 career tackles, 16 pass deflections and a forced fumble in 31 games. He was also a two-time PAC-12 All-Academic selection. Big congrats and applause to Isaiah! We can’t wait to watch you play.”

According to Heavy.com, the Antioch native was one of 12 undrafted free agent signings with this year, and according to a tweet by NFL insider Aaron Wilson, the Jets struck a “big deal with priority free agent Isaiah Dunn (Oregon State), the biggest contract ever for an undrafted rookie corner, per a league source: $185,000 total guaranteed, including $160,000 of his base salary is guaranteed, plus a $25,000 signing bonus.”

“For (Jets General Manager Joe) Douglas to fork over that much dough he must’ve really wanted Dunn on the Jets,” the Heavy article added.

Isaiah Dunn in his Antioch High School Panthers jersey. Source: Instagram

According to the Oregon State Beavers website, during his high school playing days, Dunn was rated among the top 100 cornerbacks in the country and in the top 25 at the position in the West; recorded 18.9 yards per reception for his career as a wide receiver; scored eight total touchdowns as a senior, seven as a receiver; was a standout kick returner; had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as a senior in a nationally broadcasted game vs. De La Salle; he also played quarterback as a prep; the San Francisco Chronicle reported just three passes were completed against him all season in 2016; he was selected to the Chronicle’s Second Team All-Metro Team and San Jose Mercury News Second Team; and Dunn was also a sprinter on the track and field team.

On Saturday, May 1st, Antioch High Football Head Coach John Lucido wrote on his Facebook page, “Congratulations to Isaiah Dunn signing with the New York Jets.” Assistant Coach Bret Dudley wrote on his Facebook page, “Former Antioch CB Isaiah Dunn just signed with the New York Jets! So proud of you.”

The son of Jamia Dunn, Isaiah has two brothers, Jomarlon and Malik, and a sister, Temia.

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2021 California IMCA Speed Week Night #5 at Antioch Speedway Wednesday

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Get your tickets, now!

By Allen Payton

Under new ownership, the Antioch Speedway is back and open for spectators with races each week. This week, on Wednesday, May 5th, owners Chad and Tina Chadwick will be hosting the IMCA Speed Week Night #5.

Located at the Contra Costa Event Park (fairgrounds) at 1201 W. 10th Street in Antioch, the speedway will feature races including IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks.

Spectator Gate Opens at 4:00 p.m.

Tickets available at the Ticket Booth and on MyRacePass.com

Adult Ticket: $20.00

Child Ticket (Under 12): $15.00

Senior Ticket (60 and over): $15.00

Military Ticket: $15.00

Children 5 and under: Free

(Please remember that any time we are out of our seats, we must be wearing masks and follow the social distancing guidelines.)

The Mother’s Day race will be held this Saturday, May 8 and will feature Mini Vans, Wingless Sprint Cars, IMCA Stock Cars and Dwarf Cars.

View the entire season’s race schedule and watch past races on AntiochSpeedwayTV.

Antioch Speedway – Where Action is the Attraction!

 

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Pittsburgh Steelers draft Antioch’s Najee Harris at No. 24 overall

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Najee Harris wearing his new Pittsburgh Steelers hat, with family and friends at Rob Ben’s restaurant in Emeryville, CA, following the announcement of being drafted. Video screenshot

Joins “quite an elite fraternity”; local friends and fans celebrate

“I’m so proud of this guy. And he gets to stay in black and gold” – Antioch High School Principal Louie Rocha

“Najee Harris is…the kind of person the Steeler fans will embrace.” – Super Bowl champion Gordon Gravelle, Pittsburgh Steelers Tackle, 1972-76 and 2018 Antioch Citizen of the Year

“It would be great to see another Harris in the backfield” – Super Bowl champion Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers Fullback 1972-83

By Luke Jonson & Allen Payton

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces Najee Harris draft pick. Video screenshot.

Antioch High School alum Najee Harris was selected No. 24 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL Draft on Thursday.

He was the first running back picked in this year’s draft.

Many draft experts predicted Harris to go to the Steelers. They had the least running yards in the NFL last season and their leading rusher, James Conner, left the team and signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

“I understand that they did finish last in rushing last year, but I feel through practice and hard work that can be changed,” Harris said during a press conference hosted by the Steelers on Zoom following the announcement by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “I don’t feel pressure at all to be honest with you. I’ve been put in a lot of situations with that type of stuff put on me, especially in college. I mean the NFL is different, of course, but I feel it’s nothing that I can’t do in time for sure.”

Harris won two National Championships with the University of Alabama. He rushed for 1,466 yards and scored 30 touchdowns (an SEC record) in 13 games last season. He also broke Alabama’s records for career rushing yards (3,843) and touchdowns (57). Additionally, Harris only had one fumble out of 718 career touches.

Harris was asked how he felt about playing with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — who many fans expect to be a future hall of famer.

“Oh man, that’s dope!” Harris immediately responded.

Harris is the 11th person to make it to the NFL from Antioch High. He’s also the first Antioch High alum to be drafted since 1999. The last time an Antioch High alum was selected in the first round was 1969.

Harris’ Mom Thanks His Mentors, Najee Flies to Pittsburgh Friday Morning

Marcus Malu (left) waits and celebrates with Najee Harris (top center) at Rob Ben’s. Screenshot of video by Mori Suesue.

Earlier in the day Harris hosted a draft party for kids at a homeless shelter in Richmond. It was the same homeless shelter where he lived for a period of time in middle school.

It was shortly after that period of time when Harris and family moved to Antioch.

“From Antioch, God sent all those angels,” said Harris’ mom Tianna Hicks. “A whole lot of people were put in my life to give me stability.”

Hicks emphasized that Marcus Malu and Mori Suesue, Harris’ personal trainers, were the most influential “angels” on her and her family’s life.

He spent the evening waiting and then celebrating with his mom, family and friends, including his high school head football coach John Lucido, at Rob Ben’s Restaurant in Emeryville, CA, owned by Marshawn Lynch who has become Harris’ mentor. “I’m so proud of him,” Lucido wrote on his Facebook page Thursday night.

On Thursday, just seconds after the Steelers were on the clock for their draft pick, Harris received a phone call.

“I was like, ‘Oh…! They’re about to call his name!’” Hicks said.

She said it was the best day of her life.

Hicks added that Harris is reporting for duty right away and would be on a flight to Pittsburgh early Friday morning.

Antioch High School Principal Louie Rocha (grey Alabama shirt) with former Athletic Director Steve Sanchez, and other fans celebrate Najee Harris’ draft pick by the Steelers at Tailgaters in Antioch, Thursday night, April 29, 2021. Photo by Allen Payton

Locals Celebrate

Antioch High Principal Louie Rocha was joined by Steve Sanchez, the school’s athletic director when Harris played there, and other fans to watch the NFL Draft at local sports bar Tailgaters. They were excited with the anticipation and the outcome.

“Knowing Najee, he will make the best of all his opportunities. He will stay in character,” said Sanchez who was notified just a few minutes before the announcement that Najee had received the call from the Steelers.

“Excited,” he added.

“I’m so proud of him,” Lucido wrote on his Facebook page Thursday night.
“Congratulations to the hardest working man in the world,” Antioch High assistant head coach Brett Dudley wrote, also on Lucido’s Facebook page Thursday night. “The @steelers got the best player and best person in the Draft.”

“On behalf of Antioch High School and our community, I’m so proud of the guy,” Rocha said. “And he gets to stay in black and gold.”

He was referring to Harris wearing the same colors in the NFL as he did in high school, black and gold. Ironically, however, he’s playing in Pittsburgh, which is the name of his rival in high school, Antioch’s neighboring city — except without an “H.”

Super Bowl Champion Gordon Gravelle Lauds Najee

Harris joins a very small group of just two Antioch residents to play for Pittsburgh. The last one was two-time Super Bowl champion Gordon Gravelle, part of the team when Terry Bradshaw was quarterback. The community’s 2018 Citizen of the Year for Lifetime Achievement and 30-year resident shared his comments about the newest member of the Steelers fraternity.

“First of all, Najee Harris is a great, young man and he has all the tools, personality especially, to do well,” Gravelle stated. “He’s respectful, he loves his mother, he takes care of his family. When he goes back to Pittsburgh that’s the kind of person the Steeler fans will embrace.”

Franco Harris and I were drafted the same year in 1972. He was drafted in the first round I was drafted in the second,” Gravelle shared. “Franco made a comment the other day about Najee and said ‘it would be great to see another Harris in the backfield.’”

“Franco and I see each other once or twice a year and are good friends. So, to have him say something like that is really special. He knows what kind of guy Najee is. Besides that, Najee’s a great football player,” said Gravelle.

“I met Najee once, when Eddie Beaudin was having one of his crab feeds,” he shared. “He was very polite, very outgoing. I made a comment to him and asked, ‘is your head on straight?’ He said ‘yes sir, it is.’ He knew what I meant. That told me the kid will do well.”

“Fifty percent of the athletes who come into the NFL weren’t as good, physically as the guys that got cut in training camp,” Gravelle explained. “It takes so much more. I call it grit. It’s a combination of perseverance and passion. If you lose them, you have to leave the league. It’s hard work. It’s being you mentally. That’s why I asked Najee if he had his head on straight.”

Gravelle then offered some statistics about the very few players who get to play the game.

“There’s over 1.2 million high school kids playing football. That goes down to about 70,000 playing college ball and that reduces to about 1,500 players in the NFL,” he shared. “There’s only 286 picks in the draft. The average player’s lifespan for playing football is 4.2 years. Only about 25,000 people have ever played professional football and that’s over 100 years. So, it’s quite an elite fraternity. And Antioch has had some good football players to come out of here, too.”

“I don’t usually care about the draft. It’s a showtime,” Gravelle said with a laugh. “But I watched, tonight up until Najee was chosen. That’s the first time I’ve watched in 20 or 30 years.”

“What I see in Najee is what I saw in Franco, and that’s a very talented athlete who worked very hard at his craft. That’s what made Franco great and what will make Najee great, too,” Gravelle added.

Najee Harris in Progressive Insurance TV commercial and exclusive interview. Video screenshot.

Apparently already receiving endorsement contracts, Harris appeared in a Progressive Insurance TV commercial, with other players in the NFL draft, immediately following his announcement. See the complete, almost 14-minute exclusive interview entitled Up All Night, in which Harris shows his custom pajamas which are part of his Young Naj clothing line, and new “hurdling man” logo, here.

Najee Harris wears his custom pajamas as part of his new Young Naj clothing line, showing his hurdling man logo. Video screenshots.

The 2021-22 NFL schedule will be announced May 12.

Luke Johnson is an Antioch High School graduate and has been covering Najee’s football career since he played for the Panthers.

Congratulations, good luck and Godspeed, Najee!

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Najee Harris to be first NFL draftee from Antioch High since 1999

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Najee Harris hurdles a player during Alabama’s 63-48 victory over Ole Miss on Oct. 10, 2020. Photo: Univ. of Alabama Football

National champion Alabama running back expected to be picked late in first round Thursday

Najee Harris. Photo: UAF

By Luke Johnson 

Decades have gone by without the NFL Draft showing Antioch High School some love. Najee Harris is expected to change that this week.

The last time an Antioch High alum was selected in the NFL Draft was 1999 when the Dallas Cowboys picked tight end Mike Lucky. In fact, five players from Antioch High made it to the NFL in the 1990s: Lucky, Jeremy Newberry, Mark Butterfield, Frank Beede and Evan Pilgrim.

So how does a high school football program go from putting five players in the NFL in one decade to zero players for more than two decades?

We’ll get to that. But first, let’s talk more about Harris, who won the Doak Walker Trophy for being the best running back in college football last season.

He set new records at Alabama, arguably the most prestigious program in college football, for career rushing yards and touchdowns. He also shattered almost every record imaginable at Antioch High — records many experts say will never come close to being touched. For example, the previous career touchdown record at Antioch High was 32 by Brian Boccio. Harris surpassed that mark in a single season (twice!) and finished with 99 career touchdowns. His 100th was actually called back by a holding penalty.

“The kids look up to him because he’s this mythical creature to them,” said Brett Dudley, Antioch High’s assistant head coach. “He’s almost like a comic book character or an action-movie star. He’s just this larger than life character that obviously everyone knows about.”

Antioch pro wrestling legend Ferris Anthony said he knew Harris was going to be a star when he “first saw him walk on campus.”

Anthony was the freshman football head coach at the time and remembers watching campus security escort Harris to practice on a golf cart. Anthony quickly responded, “You’re taking him to the wrong team! He’s gonna hurt somebody playing over here!”

Harris was 6-foot-2 and a chiseled 185 pounds with wide shoulders and a big frame. Within just a few weeks of joining Antioch High’s football program, Harris was pulled up to varsity as a freshman.

He had a breakout performance that season against a Freedom High team led by senior running back Joe Mixon, who now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals. Not only did Harris rush for more yards than Mixon, but he scored his first varsity touchdown and also had three solo tackles on Mixon — including a forced fumble.

Almost eight years later, Harris now awaits to be the first Antioch High alum drafted in the NFL since the new millennium.

Why has it been so long? There are two key factors.

One factor, other high schools opened in the area in the mid-90s.

When Deer Valley High School began operating on the other side of town in 1996, it essentially cut Antioch High’s football team in half. Since then, Deer Valley alumni Taiwan Jones, Sterling Moore, De’Ondre Wesley and Nsimba Webster have made it to the NFL.

Freedom High School also opened in 1996 — which took away many student athletes from Antioch High who lived near the Antioch-Oakley border. The aforementioned Mixon played for Antioch Youth Football, lists his hometown as Antioch, but played at Freedom High.

Another factor, De La Salle High School established its dominance as a national powerhouse in the 90s — which compelled many star athletes from Antioch to commute to Concord for high school. This list includes three-time All-Pro Maurice Jones-Drew, Super Bowl Champ TJ Ward and many others.

Nine players from Antioch have made it to the NFL since 1999, but none of them attended the city’s oldest high school.

Antioch High head coach John Lucido said many high school teams tried recruiting Harris, but he stayed loyal to Antioch High because he believed in the school and the city when not many people did.

In his freshman year, Antioch High went 1-9. However, by his junior year, Antioch High went undefeated and won a league championship for the first time in 31 years.

“He’s very loyal. He knows he could make a difference and that’s what he wanted to do within the community and his school and his teammates,” Lucido said. “He wanted his teammates to get more exposure and go to Division-I schools and that’s what he did.”

Most NFL Draft experts project Harris to be picked in the late first round this Thursday. He is often slated to be selected No. 24 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in mock drafts, but predicted to go as high as No. 16 by the Arizona Cardinals.

Marcus Malu, Harris’ long-time personal trainer, said he thinks Harris fits best with the Cardinals, because his skillset compliments their quarterback Kyler Murray’s playing style. Lucido said he’s intrigued by the Buffalo Bills potentially selecting Harris, because he thinks Harris could be the missing piece to take the team to the Super Bowl within the next few years.

The 6-foot-2, 232 lb. national champion Alabama running back has a 6.46 draft Prospect Grade, the 16th highest ranking and is one of 58 players to participate in the draft, according to the NFL.

The only Antioch High alum to be an NFL first-round draft pick was Ron Pritchard in 1969, who was an All-American linebacker at Arizona State and inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame. The last alum to be drafted in the second round was Newberry in 1998.

Malu said this is a moment he and Harris have been getting ready and “grinding” for almost nine years.

“I told him you have to be the best in high school. Then you have to be the best in college to have a chance to play in the NFL,” Malu said. “His football IQ is off the charts. His work ethic is off the charts.”

Harris is having a draft party — with limited guests — at Marshawn Lynch’s restaurant Rob Ben’s in Emeryville on Thursday.

Just a few months ago, Harris signed with Lynch’s Beast Mode Marketing and is currently working on a deal with Nike.

He debuted his “Young Naj clothing line” earlier this week with costume-made pajamas on “Up All Night” by Progressive insurance. They featured a logo inspired by Michael Jordan’s “jumpman” which resembled a hurdling football player, because those are the type of plays by Harris that dazzle the fans the most.

The NFL Draft will be broadcast on NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes on Thursday, April 29 at 5:00 PM Pacific Time (PT), Friday, April 30 at 4:00 PM PT and Saturday, May 1 at 9:00 AM PT.

 

 

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