Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog

Quick-hitting, behind-the-scenes news and notes from the CalHiSports.com staff, including previews of upcoming content and events.

Super 8 Baseball State Ranks Update

Harvard-Westlake has to drop all the way out after playoff loss, which creates room for La Costa Canyon and Stockdale of Bakersfield to go up into this week’s Super 8. Too bad LCC has to play No. 2 Rancho Bernardo right away in San Diego Open Division.

NOTE: Our updated State Top 20 with lists of many other teams on the bubble will be posted each week but will require Gold Club membership to see for the rest of the season. Our breakdowns and analysis of what’s coming up and what’s already happened can’t be matched anywhere else because we’ve been following the statewide scene years and years longer than any other media source. For sign up info, CLICK HERE.

(Through games of Saturday, May 20; Results from Monday, May 22 not included; Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Huntington Beach 27-4
It was an impressive first playoff game for the Oilers when they beat Redondo 11-1 to start their quest for the CIF Southern Section D1 title. Hagen Danner pitched five innings to go to 11-0 and also had two hits and three RBI.

La Costa Canyon has done very well this season even though the Mavericks no longer have No. 1 MLB Draft pick Mickey Moniak. Photo: CSNPhilly.com.


2. (2) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 28-3
After blanking Poway 6-0 to end regular season, the Broncos only got a No. 4 seed in the CIF San Diego Open Division (don’t get us started on their goofy power rankings) and have very tough first playoff game Wednesday vs. state-ranked La Costa Canyon.

3. (3) Eastlake (Chula Vista) 27-3
This is is the top seeded team in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division. Whether it was the Titans or Rancho Bernardo, no problem with that. They could face an ace in Madison’s Kevin Abel in first game on Wednesday who is similar to the ace from Dana Hills (Hans Crouse) who basically knocked out previous state No. 5 Harvard-westlake last week.

4. (4) Buchanan (Clovis) 27-3
Brady Hormel got the go-ahead RBI and then added an RBI single to lead the Bears past Centennial of Bakersfield 6-2 in the CIF Central Section Division I quarterfinals.

5. (7) St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 25-7-1
For this week’s rankings, we decided to match to CIFSS D2 seedings and flipped Bosco into the No. 5 position instead of moving up Moorpark. The Braves won their first playoff game 3-2 vs. M.L. King of Riverside.

6. (6) Moorpark 25-3
There were six one-run games in the opening round of the CIFSS Division II playoffs and the Musketeers also were involved in one of them as they defeated Oaks Christian of Westlake Village 3-2.

7. (9) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 24-5
Big 6-5 win over Torrey Pines (which was No. 10 in last week’s state rankings) gives Mavericks some momentum in CIF San Diego Open Division. And they’ll need it since their first game has to be against state No. 2 Rancho Bernardo.

8. (11) Stockdale (Bakersfield) 26-3
This is the No. 2 seed behind Buchanan in the CIF Central Section Division I playoffs and advanced to this week’s semifinals vs. Clovis after pounding Bullard of Fresno 10-1.


Super 8 Softball State Ranks Update

With Amador Valley of Pleasanton taking a loss, Mission Viejo gets bumped up to No. 5 in this week’s state rankings. Sheldon of Sacramento also gets to move from No. 9 to No. 8.

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All-Time Best NY Yanks from California

With Aaron Judge of Linden making such a huge splash this season hitting homers and captivating the national media in New York by how he’s been playing for the New York Yankees, we thought we’d come up with a list of the 10 greatest Yankees who are from California high schools. Will Aaron one day be on this list?
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How Will Calif NFL Teams Do in 2017?

California is one of the best places to live in the world and is a well-known tourist destination. The most populous state in the USA, California also currently has four NFL teams, which will drop by one when the Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas. None of the four has done particularly great in recent seasons, other than the Raiders last year, but could things change in the 2017 campaign? We now look at the four California-based teams and explore how they could fare this season.
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Super 8 Baseball State Ranks Update

Huntington Beach doesn’t drop after a large margin loss since it can still finish with a better resume than any other team if it wins CIFSS Division I title. There are other teams shuffled around in this week’s rankings, including Clayton Valley of Concord being uplifted back into the top eight.
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Super 8 Softball State Ranks Update

Orange Lutheran holds off Mater Dei 5-3 in the biggest game of the week among the state’s top-ranked teams. The Lancers also remained No. 4 in this week’s rankings, which in addition to them didn’t change for any others who were in the Super 8 last week.
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Mental Training: Free with Lucid app

Aaron Gordon as All-American. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Former San Jose Archbishop Mitty CIF state champion Aaron Gordon only one of a growing list of professional athletes who are using mental training app launched earlier this year by Lucid. The Mission of San Francisco Bears also have used it. Now, any high school athletes in all sports can use this app for FREE.

Note: To check out this absolutely free app that can greatly enhance the mental skills of any high school athlete, CLICK HERE.

As many will remember, when the NBA’s Aaron Gordon was developing into a two-time Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year at Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, he had difficulty at the free throw line. Gordon would fidget at the line and had free throw shooting percentages that hovered around 50 percent.

Today, playing for the Orlando Magic, Gordon is making approximately 70 percent of his free throws. So was it just a question of practice, practice, practice?

Actually, the answer to that question is no. It was more of a mental aspect of training that Gordon has welcomed and it’s that mental training in the form of the Lucid phone app that all California basketball players — boys or girls — and all athletes in any sports really can benefit from and at no cost.

Graham Betchart of Lucid spent time on the phone with Cal-Hi Sports this week to discuss Lucid and how the system works.

“It’s all about next play speed,” said Betchart, who in addition to working with Gordon has worked with other NBA players, NFL players such as Brandon Marshall of the New York Giants. “It’s how fast you can think about and focus on the next play. Aaron had to buy into it. I don’t care if you’ve made 80 mistakes in a row, it’s all about the next play.”

Download the Lucid app on your phone today.


“Buy in. Buy in,” Gordon says on the GetLucid.com web site. “More than anything you need to be mentally strong. Training with Lucid gives me the mental strength I need to perform in the NBA.”

Betchart and Lucid have broken down the mental training program into a five-minute daily listening session that they call MVP.

“M stands for meditation, V stands for visualization and P is for positive self talk,” said Betchart, who also has helped coach the boys team at Mission of San Francisco, which on Friday won the CIF Division III state title. “Most young kids want to be MVPs. What I will see after someone consistently uses the program is a resilient person who has the ability to fail but will not get caught up in failure.”

When you think about it, this mental strength to play in the moment, maintain focus from play to play and remain calm carries over into all sports. Examples include quarterbacks who have just thrown an interception, a golfer who has hooked a tee shot into the trees and a baseball player who has struck out multiple times in row.

When the mental training program is operating on the app, after a brief time of meditation (breathing is present and centered), Betchart leads the athlete in visualizing himself or herself succeeding in difficult circumstances.

“The brain doesn’t know the difference when you are doing in your mind and when you are doing it for real,” he said. “It’s about imagining yourself put in situations and then overcoming them.”

The five-minute program ends with a series of positive self-talk statements. This would be similar before smart phones to taping up self-affirming words on a mirror so you see them every morning. Examples could be: “I will not miss a free throw tonight. I will ace that test.”

This mental training isn’t just for athletes, but the early focus of the app’s launch is on younger student-athletes and making everything easy and free.

“You simply download it onto your phone, for free, and then choose the workout you want,” Betchart said. “It’s mind-blowing how this mental training can improve anybody’s game.”


Super 8 Baseball State Ranks Update

With the top three re-shuffled to Huntington Beach, Buchanan and Rancho Bernardo, the rest of the Super 8 also sees some movement. St. John Bosco and Harvard-Westlake are up and in while Clayton Valley and Bellarmine have to slide.

NOTE: Our updated State Top 20 with lists of many other teams on the bubble will be posted each week but will require Gold Club membership to see for the rest of the season. Our breakdowns and analysis of what’s coming up and what’s already happened can’t be matched anywhere else because we’ve been following the statewide scene years and years longer than any other media source. For sign up info, CLICK HERE.

(Through games of Saturday, May 6; Results from Monday, May 8 not included; Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Huntington Beach 25-3
Hagen Danner took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before finishing with a three-hitter when the Oilers topped Bellarmine Prep of San Jose 4-1 last Saturday in the state title game of the Boras Classic.

Jamal O’Guinn is headed for USC and last year helped Buchanan finish No. 1 in two national polls. Photo: Mark Tennis.


2. (3) Buchanan (Clovis) 25-2
The Bears have now beaten Clovis four times this season after getting a two-game sweep of the Cougars last week. They’ll need help to be No. 1 in the state again, but if Huntington Beach doesn’t win the CIF Southern Section D1 title then they’re right there in a strong position to move up.

3. (2) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 24-3
Calvin Mitchell continued to heat up toward the end of the season with two homers in a 10-7 win over Westview of San Diego. Mitchell also now has 10 homers himself this season.

4. (4) Eastlake (Chula Vista) 24-3
For the second time this season, the Titans have won 10 straight games after they defeated Otay Ranch of Chula Vista 8-1 and 3-1 in their two games last week.

5. (11) St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 23-5
This ranking was done after the Braves had their three-game sweep last week of Anaheim Servite, but does not include a loss on Monday of this week to JSerra. They need to win one of the final two games this week vs. the Lions to secure Trinity League title.

6. (15) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood) 20-4-2
Harvard-Westlake’s more outstanding regular season including games outside of league puts the team higher than Mission League champion Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks not just in our rankings but in the L.A. Times’ Top 25 as well.

7. (10) Moorpark 22-3
Tyger Goslin, Moorpark’s starting quarterback in football last fall, drove in three runs in a 10-7 win last week against King of Riverside that went to eight innings.

8. (9) Gregori (Modesto) 26-0
The Jaguars could be the team to beat in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 South playoffs, but will have to get past Bear Creek of Stockton in a non-league game on Wednesday to make their case for being top seed.


Super 8 Softball Rankings Update

The only change in this group is Mission Viejo going up to No. 8 as a replacement for previous No. 8 Rio Mesa of Oxnard. The big news of the week is just that No. 1 Norco was behind after an inning for the first time all season and responded strongly. NOTE: Our updated State…

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State’s Teams in Flo50 National Ranks

Cal-Hi Sports partners each week with FloSports channels in softball and boys volleyball to compile a national ranking of high school teams. These rankings are known as the Flo50 and are similar to the FAB 50 national rankings that were directed for many years by Cal-Hi Sports editor Mark Tennis when he was an executive editor with Student Sports and ESPN.
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