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.

Boys BB: Cancer claims Redondo star

Former Redondo Union of Redondo Beach all-stater Ryse Williams dies on eve of his high school graduation and the 2017 NBA Draft. Williams was 18 years old.
Read more…


More State Baseball Coaches of Year

In addition to overall State Coach of the Year Mike Gonzales of El Toro, we have additional state coaching honors for the 2017 season going to Rich Henning from Christian Brothers of Sacramento and Jim Cleveland from Redwood Christian of San Lorenzo.
Read more…


More State Softball Coaches of Year

In addition to overall State Coach of the Year Mike Noel of Clovis, we have additional state coaching honors for the 2017 season going to J.J. Vaivao from Buena of Ventura and Flo Galindo from Village Christian of Sun Valley.
Read more…


State’s Teams in Final Flo50 Ranks

Cal-Hi Sports partnered each week with FloSports channels in softball and boys volleyball this spring 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. Last week, final rankings ran in boys vollayball and this week it’s softball.
Read more…


Get Strong, Stay Strong Hoop Training

Top Offseason Strength and Conditioning
Exercises for Basketball Players

As a competitive basketball player, you undoubtedly know how important it is to stay in shape during the offseason. For today’s elite athletes, next year’s training begins as soon as the buzzer sounds on the final play of this season. Staying strong in the offseason is just as important as during the basketball season.

Explosiveness is measured by many coaches using vertical leap. Photo: Elite Training Academy of California.


A proper strength and conditioning regimen in the offseason is integral to preventing injury while building speed, agility, and muscle.

Let’s take a look at a couple of programs that you can follow during the offseason that will take your game to new heights and guarantee that you can form your own version of a dream starting five basketball team.

This first program will whip you into excellent offseason shape and set a fine baseline for more advanced workouts. Follow this schedule for four weeks:

Day One: do three sets of 12 to 15 reps of back squats, lunges, Romanian deadlifts, and reverse hyperextensions. Perform 10 vertical jumps and standing long jumps. Run 10 5-yard sprints, five 5-yard shuffles each way, and five 5-yard backpedals.
Day Two: do three sets of 12 to 15 reps of bench presses, military presses, and biceps/triceps presses. Go for your max in pull-ups.
Day Four: do two sets of 12 to 15 reps of back squats on each leg, step-ups on each leg, good mornings, and back raises. Follow this up with 10 vertical jumps and standing long jumps. Run 10 5-yard sprints, five 5-yard shuffles each way, and five 5-yard backpedals.
It’s all about strength on Day Five. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps of incline presses, bent-over rows, dumbbell shoulder presses, and biceps/triceps presses.
Day Six offers an explosive conditioning circuit that will have your metabolism soaring. Do each exercise in the listed order for thirty seconds with minimal rest in between. Repeat the entire circuit twice. The exercises are kettlebell swings, prone holds, heavy jump rope, right side planks, jumping jacks, left side planks, kettlebell swings, crunches, heaving rope woodchoppers, and burpees. You’re verifiably superhuman if you’re not dripping after this circuit.
Days Three and Seven are off days.

If you’re looking for a more generalized offseason strength and conditioning regimen, follow this three-day-a-week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) template that allows you to customize to specific exercises of your choice. Simply pick an exercise of the recommended type and get to work. For example, you can do frog squat jumps for a speed/plyometric exercise and forward-backward sprints for an agility exercise. You get the idea.

Here’s how the schedule plays out:

On Monday, do a low volume of a high-intensity speed/plyometric exercise. Follow it up with moderate amounts of high-intensity metabolic conditioning and power/strength training.
After resting on Tuesday, start Wednesday with low doses of a high-intensity agility/plyometric exercise, a high-intensity metabolic conditioning exercise, and a low-intensity strength training exercise.
Thursday is another recovery day. On Friday, it’s time for a moderate volume of a high-intensity agility exercise followed by a high amount of strenuous metabolic conditioning and a moderate volume of mid-level intensity power/strength training.

There are no excuses for lounging this offseason. Hit the gym hard with one of these strength and conditioning programs to stay strong. You’ll make your next season as successful as a slam dunk.


Lions FB: All-Time Stat Stars

We at Cal-Hi Sports are proud to continue to help out with the local all-star football game in our Stockton/Modesto community. We’ll post similar summer all-star football updates, but can only spend the time helping out our local game. Other games would need to send us the stories directly to markjtennis@gmail.com. This story is part of that support.

The 44th Lions All-Star Football Classic will be played on Saturday, June 17 at Wayne Schneider Stadium in Tracy. CLICK HERE to see the rosters of the two teams.

This list was inspired by the inclusion of Jake Dunniway (St. Mary’s) and Cutrell Haywood (Stagg) for the North team this year and also Will Semone (Oakdale) for the South. Unfortunately, Will withdrew from the South team two weeks ago.

St. Mary’s QB Jake Dunniway hopes to lead North team to victory in upcoming Lions All-Star Game. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Jake Dunniway Notes

Without question, Dunniway is the only quarterback ever selected for the Lions Game who has thrown for more than 4,000 yards for the previous season. To be exact, the recent graduate of St. Mary’s passed for 4,066 yards and 46 touchdowns while leading the Rams to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title and then in a heart-breaking overtime loss to San Diego-Cathedral Catholic in the CIF Division I state championship.

The only other quarterback in the history of the Lions Game who had totals as a senior close to what Dunniway had last season was Aaron Zwahen of Modesto-Downey. He was the MVP of the 2013 all-star game at Modesto Junior College and in his senior season for the Knights he passed for 3,852 yards and 49 touchdowns. The highest previous total for a participating North QB was Osai Brown of McNair, who played in last year’s game. Brown passed for 3,383 yards and 50 scores during the 2015 season.

Cutrell Haywood Notes

Haywood and his teammates at Stagg didn’t face Dunniway and St. Mary’s last season, but as juniors in 2015 it was the Rams who ended the Delta Kings’ season in the Division I section playoffs with a 65-35 triumph.

As a senior, Haywood became even more of a focus in Stagg’s offense and he wound up with 100 catches for 1,644 yards and 22 touchdowns. In the history of the Lions game, there’s never been another incoming receiver with that many yards from the previous season or one with that many touchdown catches. The only receiver who’s been in the game with more catches is Javon Kelly of Modesto-Downey. He played in the 2010 Lions game and had 105 catches for 1,565 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2009.

South note: The top stat star player from this year’s most current South roster is receiver Marcellus Boykins of Ceres. He caught 78 passes for 1,145 yards and nine TDs last season.

Based on going through year-by-year rosters, the state record book and other reported stat leader lists, here are some other players from the North and South squads who’ve been in the Lions All-Star Game after posting impressive senior season totals:

Wayne Brooks (Stagg) – As a junior for Delta Kings in 2011, he had 2,920 yards passing and 36 touchdowns. He added 2,012 more yards in 2012, then was in the Lions game in 2013.

Kevin Brown (Franklin) – During the 2004 season, Brown turned heads by catching 20 touchdown passes. He played in 2005 all-star game.

Aaron Zwahlen was MVP of 2013 Lions Game. Photo: Mark Tennis.


Anthony Cota (Sierra) – He piled up 1,966 yards rushing and scored 38 touchdowns during 2012 season. Cota later played in 2013 Lions game.

Justin Cox (St. Mary’s) – He shined for the Rams in 2010 and caught 54 passes for 1,153 yards and 13 scores. Cox played in the Lions game in 2011.

Jarrod Daniels (Sierra) – To go with 32 TDs, Daniels also rushed for 1,813 yards for the Timberwolves in 2009. He played in 2010 game.

Orlando Evans (Brookside Christian) – He played in the 1999 Lions game and in 1998 he had 38 touchdown passes.

JaQuan Gardner (Central Valley, Ceres) – Since Will Semone of Oakdale dropped (he had 2,851 yards rushing last season), Gardner is the one running back who’s played in the game for the South with the most yards. He had 2,467 yards and scored 27 TDs in 2012.

Demarrio Hammonds (Patterson) – The Tigers only lost one game in 2013 and Hammonds was sensational. He ended with 65 catches for 1,164 yards and 18 TDs. He also scored as a running back and on kick returns.

Javon Kelly (Downey, Modesto) – It was a zany year throwing the ball for the Knights in 2009 and Kelly was the team’s Lions Game rep. He had 105 catches for 1,565 yards and 20 TDs and oh by the way that was regular season only. No playoffs.

Brandon Labry (Gustine)
– He played mostly at another position in last year’s game for the South, but the previous fall for Gustine he rushed for 2,199 yards and scored 24 TDs.

Richard Lopez (Downey, Modesto) — Another WR for this school, Lopez played in the Lions Game after catching 18 TD passes during 2011 season.

Zach Moreno (LeGrand) – A star player on LeGrand’s 2010 team that played in the CIF small schools state bowl game, Moreno had 71 catches that season for 1,453 yards and 21 TDs.

Bryan Morris (Weston Ranch) – Talented receiver was among the section leaders in 2007 with 21 touchdown catches and played in 2008 all-star game.

Jeremy Powers (Linden) – Prior to appearing in the 2012 Lions game, Powers had 1,962 yards rushing and 16 TDs for Linden in 2011.

Zach Roberson (Summerville) – He passed for 2,893 yards and 37 TDs as a junior in 2009 and then had 2,552 yards and 22 TDs as a senior in 2010.

P.J. Wilson (Downey, Modesto) – Yet another of the prolific recent QBs at Downey, Wilson passed for 2,901 yards and 34 TDs during 2013 season.

Aaron Zwahlen (Downey, Modesto) – As mentioned earlier, the MVP for the 2013 Lions Game went nuts as a QB for the Knights in 2012 with 3,852 yards passing and 49 TDs.


NCAA Softball MOPs from California

Shay Knighten’s sensational hitting, including a grand slam in one game and three-run double in another, paved the way for Oklahoma to repeat this week as NCAA champions at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. She was named the Most Outstanding Player. Here is a list of ladies from California high schools who’ve been MOP at the WCWS:
Read more…


More Baseball State Teams of Year

In addition to overall No. 1 and Division I No. 1 Eastlake of Chula Vista, others that can say they are mythical state champions for 2017 are Etiwanda (Division II), Christian Brothers of Sacramento (Division III), Wasco (D4) and Winters (D5).
Read more…


More Softball State Teams of Year

In addition to overall No. 1 Los Alamitos, others that can claim they are mythical state champions for 2017 are Camarillo (Division II), Buena of Ventura (D3), South of Torrance (D4) and Village Christian of Sun Valley (D5). We do try to look for teams outside of the CIF Southern Section, but couldn’t choose one again this season.

For State Team of the Year announcement recognizing state’s No. 1 overall team for season, CLICK HERE.

Division I
Los Alamitos

Last year, the No. 1 overall team in the state actually came from Division II since Mission Viejo was classified as D2 both for the CIFSS and for our state divisions. This is the first time Los Al has been No. 1 in the state and nation in softball, but the school did it once before in girls soccer in 2005. Griffin girls also won CIF D1 state titles in volleyball in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Division II
Camarillo

Like the CIFSS D1 battle between Los Al and Norco, the D2 title game between the Scorpions and Riverside Poly also was a winner-take-all affair for this division. Camarillo won 4-0 behind the pitching of freshman Eryka Gonzales. The only non-CIFSS team before the playoffs that looked like it had a shot was Elk Grove (won NorCal Classic tourney) but the Thundering Herd lost in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 playoffs. Camarillo is finishing No. 1 in a state division for the first time, although in 1991 the Scorpions won the CIFSS D1 title and in that season were third overall in the final state rankings behind Lincoln of Stockton and an Irvine team that won the CIFSS D2 title but was second overall.
“We have a great tradition and it’s been great to represent that,” said head coach Nichole Pinedo, who took over for longtime former coach Jack Willard in 2014. “We have a great feeder system and great alumni. It’s nice to have a luxury like that.”

Division III
Buena (Ventura)

For the fourth time this season, the Bulldogs took on their Channel League rival San Marcos of Santa Barbara but last Saturday it was for a section championship as they ended the season undefeated with a 5-0 win in the CIFSS D4 finals. Before the offense broke through with a five-run sixth inning, it was a pitcher’s duel with Bulldogs’ pitcher Brooke Yanez leading the way in the circle. Headed to UC Davis, Yanez arrived to the ballpark without her glove and cleats and had to use new ones bought right before the game but it didn’t slow her down as she pitched a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts. It was Buena’s first CIF Final in 27 years and first section championship since 1989. Buena wasn’t considered strongly for a final No. 1 ranking despite ending 26-0-1, but the Bulldogs needed to be that strong. If they had even one loss, it’s likely that CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D3 champ Benicia (28-2-1) would be getting this honor.

Division IV
South (Torrance)

It was a history-making season for the Spartans (23-7-1) as they captured their first section championship in program history with a 6-2 win over Heritage Christian of Northridge in the CIFSS Division V championship game. Maddy Stockslager allowed just three hits and two unearned runs while striking out 14, including the final batter of the game who represented the tying run. Maisie Weishoff also hit a three-run home run in the third inning to make it 5-0. This also is South’s first No. 1 state ranking finish. The girls moved up to No. 1 in D4 when Fortuna was upset in an early-round game in the CIF North Coast Section.

Division V
Village Christian (Sun Valley)

If the Crusaders had not won the CIFSS D7 title and instead a bigger school like Century of Santa Ana or Santa Ynez did, we’re not sure what we were going to do. Village Christian (20-10) got it done, though, by topping Santa Ynez 7-4 to capture the championship. Despite having a roster with just 10 players, the Crusaders captured their first section title since 2003. They also may not have to wait too long for another as they started six freshmen and one sophomore, making them a team to beat for years to come although moving up in class is a definite possibility. Village Christian hit two of its three home runs in the first inning to take a 3-2 lead as Kaylani Miller and pitcher Ally Melgar hit back-to-back home runs. Melgar would give up four runs in the first two innings before pitching five scoreless innings to get the win.


State Softball No. 1 Scenarios

Since we did our second set of divisional state softball rankings just over previous weekend, we don’t have new rankings this week but do have a rundown of which teams are line to be No. 1 in this year’s final divisional state rankings. Here’s how each division stacks up entering the final weekend of the 2017 season:

Division I – State and national No. 1 Norco (34-0) plays Los Alamitos (27-3) for the CIF Southern Section Division I title. The winner will end No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in the FloSoftball national rankings.

Division II — Right before Norco and Los Al play on Saturday, it will be Camarillo (25-3) vs. Riverside Poly (27-6) for the CIFSS D2 title. Results around the state also have favored both of those teams and like the D1 final it will be a winner-take-all matchup for final No. 1 D2 state ranking.

Division III — It more complicated for the final No. 1 spot among these teams. Buena of Ventura (26-0-1) may be D4 in the CIFSS playoffs, but would be ahead of even the CIFSS D2 champ (no matter which team wins) in the final rankings. If the Bulldogs are upset by San Marcos of Santa Barbara, the final No. 1 ranking for our D3 goes to Benicia of the Sac-Joaquin Section. Benicia’s season is complete. In the CIFSS D3 final, it will be Murrieta Mesa (23-10) playing Hart of Newhall (20-12).

Division IV
— South of Torrance was No. 1 heading into the week and got past West of Torrance in Tuesday’s semifinal to improve to 23-7-1. The Spartans play Heritage Christian of Northridge (24-4) in the CIFSS D5 final. If they lose, the No. 1 ranking may go to Heritage, but could also go to Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (25-5-2), which is playing St. Anthony of Long Beach (23-8) for CIFSS D6 title.

Division V — The CIFSS D7 final is between Village Christian of Sun Valley (19-10) and Santa Ynez (21-7). If Village Christian wins, it would be No. 1 in this state division. Santa Ynez, however, is ineligible for our D5 (school size too large and is D4) so if it wins the final No. 1 ranking becomes an evaluation that involves Northern Section champion Colusa, perhaps the CIF North Coast Section D5 champ or even a team that lost earlier in the CIFSS D7 or D6 playoffs that is eligible for our D5.


  • Latest News

  • Featured Articles

  • Cal-Hi Sports Insider

  • Cal-Hi Sports On Twitter