Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog

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

CIF Names 13 Top Model Coaches

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – The CIF State office today (March 21) announced the 2018-19 Eastbay Model Coach Award winners. Now in its 18th year, the CIF Model Coach Award program is designed to recognize coaches who have served as positive role models in their schools and communities, and who have exhibited the traits apparent in the 16 principles of Pursuing Victory with Honor.
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A History of Baseball In California

Clayton Valley of Concord players celebrate after winning a game played several years ago at the Oakland Coliseum. Photo by David Chin.

Legend has it that a man named Abner Doubleday invented the sport of baseball sometime in the summer of 1839 while living in Cooperstown, New York. The story goes that Doubleday later became a hero of the American Civil War, leaving a double legacy of a veteran and the inventor of one of America’s most loved sports.

But this isn’t true. While a man by the name Abner Doubleday existed, he never claimed to have invented baseball or, in fact, have anything to do with the sport. That didn’t stop Major League Baseball from using the story in the 1903s as a promotion, with the old saying “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story” ringing true here.

The Real Beginnings of Baseball
Historians have been able to trace games that resemble baseball back to the 18th century in the United States, but its history goes back even further than that. Two similar games, both of which involved a small ball with a bat, existed in the British Isles. The first of which is a sport called cricket, a game that is still popular in England, India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand today. Cricket involves hitting a ball with a flat-edged bat and running in between two sets of “stumps.”

The second is “rounders,” a game still played by school children in the United Kingdom, which has much similar rules to baseball than cricket. Rounders involves hitting a ball with a bat and running between four “bases,” all guarded by “fielding” players. The early colonists brought this game to New England, and it quickly spread across the country.

The First Baseball Club
The first baseball club, was known as the Knickerbocker Baseball Club, founded in 1845 in New York City. A member of the club, Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr., then began writing the rules bespoke to the game of baseball, using a diamond shape with three bases (as opposed to the four bases in a square used in rounders), the three-strike rule and foul lines. The new game of baseball also dropped the rule from rounders that saw runners tagged by throwing balls at them, a decision made on safety grounds. These rule changes helped to make the game faster and more challenging.

The team’s first officially recorded game of baseball was on June 19, 1846, and played in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The National League and American League
The oldest surviving national baseball league, the National League, was founded in 1876, with its counterpart, the American League, forming in 1901. After a few years of fighting, the two leagues came to an agreement in 1903, which saw the first World Series of baseball played, pitting the winners of each of the leagues against each other in a champion of champions game.
Now, in its 143rd year, Major League Baseball’s National League is the top tier of baseball in the United States. Eleven teams have won the National League since 2000, so competition is strong. For the 2019 season, odds comparison website Oddschecker shows several teams considered contenders, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.

First Baseball in California: Angels
The first professional baseball team to form in the state of California was the Los Angeles Angels, who played in the Pacific Coast League between 1903 and 1957. Despite the same name, this team had no connection to the Los Angeles Angels, who played in the American League in 1961. Since 1958, several Major League Baseball teams have dominated baseball in California. The Angels have had their home in Anaheim for many years and in 2002 beat the San Francisco Giants in a seven-game series to win their first world championship.

The San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants started life on the other side of the country and were originally known as the New York Gothams. This National League team was founded in 1883 but changed its name to the New York Giants before the end of their debut season. The team’s home remained on the East Coast until the 1958 season when they moved to San Francisco to follow their arch rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, who were also in the process of moving to California.

The Los Angeles Dodgers
The Brooklyn Dodgers moved westward from the East Coast in 1958, making their new home in Los Angeles. The team dominated the National League during the 1950s, with two World Series victories, including one in 1959, the year after their relocation, and five National League pennants. The move to Los Angeles, spurred on by the team struggling to find a suitable stadium in New York, can be seen from the fact that the team had six different locations between 1884 and 1957, but has called Dodger Stadium its home since 1962.
The relocation of the Giants and the Dodgers was part of a wider trend in Major League Baseball in the 1950s and 1960s where teams moved west and south to broaden the reach of the sport. Before these moves, there had been no Major League Baseball teams west of St. Louis or more southern than Washington, D.C. The Giants and the Dodgers provided the test case for other teams, with many more following in the 1960s, including 10 relocations of baseball teams in two decades.

The Oakland Athletics
This American League team that calls Oakland its home started its life in 1901 in Philadelphia. Known as the Philadelphia Athletics until 1955, the team won the American League pennant in its second year of competing, and its first World Series eight years later. The team was then bought in 1955 and moved to Kansas City where it was known as the Kansas City Athletics until 1968 when the team moved again. This time, the team made Oakland its home where it has remained since.

The San Diego Padres
Like the Giants, who play at Oracle Park on San Francisco Bay, the Padres have a beautiful newer stadium they play in, Petco Park, which opened in 2004. They were still at their previous stadium, Qualcomm Stadium, when they were in their only World Series in 1984. They lost to the Detroit Tigers.

The Final Word
Although the teams were not founded in California, the state has since become very successful in both the American League and the National League. Collectively the Giants, Dodgers and Athletics have won 23 World Series titles, 46 National League pennants, 15 American League pennants and 41 West Division titles. While they secured many before their relocations, a significant proportion of these titles came about since the teams moved into California.

Sierra Canyon sweep inspires combo state record update

Sierra Canyon’s CIF Open Division state title sweep included great plays from junior Vanessa DeJesus (left) and freshman Amari Bailey. Photos: Willie Eashman.

Since the CIF Open Division format was adopted in 2013, there hadn’t been a school to sweep the Open Division state titles in boys and girls basketball until Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth did it last weekend in Sacramento. That accomplishment, plus the Trailblazer boys finishing with a 32-3 record with the girls wrapping it up at 33-1, caused us to compile updates in our on-line state record files in the boys/girls combo categories.
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CIF to have new leader for 2019-20

We have enjoyed working with CIF executive director Roger Blake for the past 21 years of his time with the statewide organization and have had some spirited conversations, especially since 2012 when he was selected for the top leadership post. Blake announced on Monday he will be retiring at the end of the current school year.
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Girls BB: CIF Open Division 1st Round Highlights

Check here for instant analysis, individual highlights and more from CIF Open Division girls games played on the night of Wednesday, Feb. 27. All information gained from Twitter reports.


Salesian (Richmond) 55, St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 47
USC-bound Angel Jackson pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked seven shots to go with 10 points as The Pride (22-8, No. 10 in state) gained separation in the final minutes. St. Joe (22-8, No. 14 in state) was down by only 39-37 entering the final quarter. Malia Mastora, a sophomore and one of several top players returning next season, had 14 points for the Pilots. Salesian will now face No. 1 seed and No. 1 in state Archbishop Mitty of San Jose (25-2) in Saturday’s regional semifinals. The Monarchs had a bye on Wednesday.
Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 79, St. Mary’s (Stockton) 47
There was no upset returned by the Rams as the Panthers played like one of the top teams in the state with an easy win. Pinewood (25-3, No. 8 in state) has upset St. Mary’s in two recent seasons, including last year in Stockton in the regional semifinals. Senior guard Kaitlyn Leung had a career-high 23 points for Pinewood while Stanford-bound Hannah Jump double-doubled with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The Panthers will now play No. 2 seed and state No. 7 Carondelet of Concord (26-4) in the next round. Carondelet, which had a bye on Wednesday, won earlier at home on the same week in which the Panthers were ranked No. 1 in the state for the first time in program history.


Clovis West (Fresno) 61, Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 55
Perhaps taking a cueue from the school’s boys team, which had a 20-point rally for a section semifinal playoff win last week, the Golden Eagles (28-3, No. 2 in state) came back from being behind 35-15 at halftime and 47-32 entering the fourth quarter to stun the Seahawks. Both Maddie Campbell and Aari Sanders knocked down 18 points in the second half to spark the resurgence. Redondo wrapped up a 24-6 season and was No. 11 in the state this week.
Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 54, Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 48
It will be the Monarchs (28-4, No. 6 in state) taking the trip on Saturday to play Clovis West in Saturday’s regional semifinals. The Orange County Register gave great credit to the play of role player DeJanae Perry (12 points) in keying the victory. The team’s top scorer was sophomore Brooke Demetre with 13 points. The host Knights, playing the game at El Camino College, ended 23-7 and will have to drop from their No. 5 state ranking.
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 59, Clovis North (Fresno) 41
Alexis Mark topped the Trailblazers (30-1, No. 4 in state) as they took control after only leading by 12-10 at the first quarter break. Both teams should be among the state’s very best next season with a lot of returning players. Clovis North finished 24-5 and was No. 12 in the state this week.
Windward (Los Angeles) 54, Etiwanda 42
The Wildcats (26-5), who moved up to No. 3 in the state this week, did their part to set up the third game of the season with league rival Sierra Canyon in the regional semifinals on Saturday. It will be the rubber match as the Trailblazers won in the league showdown, but it was Windward that prevailed in last Saturday’s CIFSS Open Division championship. Etiwanda capped off its season at 26-6. The Eagles were No. 9 in the state this week and likely will stay in the 8 to 10 range all the way through the final rankings.

Boys BB: CIF Open Division 1st Round Highlights

Check here for instant analysis, individual highlights and more from CIF Open Division boys games played on the night of Wednesday, Feb. 27. All information gained from Twitter reports.


Modesto Christian 66, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 48
The Crusaders (24-9, No. 17 in state) got rolling in the first half against the out-matched Monarchs (18-9), who were put into the NorCal Open Division even though they didn’t win the CCS Open Division title. Earvin Knox canned a 40-foot bomb at the first quarter buzzer to ignite the home crowd in Modesto. Aaron Murphy also had 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the winners. MC advanced to the regional semifinals where it plays 31-0 and state No. 1 Salesian of Richmond. The Pride had a bye on Wednesday.
De La Salle (Concord) 48, Weston Ranch (Stockton) 42
Even though the Cougars had won 30 games in a row, they were heading into uncharted waters playing this game in Concord. They fell behind 23-10 in the first quarter and by all accounts looked like a fish out of water. For the rest of the game, though, head coach Chris Teevan’s team played better, not enough to beat the battle-hardened Spartans but proving that being in the Open Division was not far-fetched. Thomas Gregorios led De La Salle (29-3, No. 20 in state) with 16 points and made key free throws late in the fourth quarter. Junior Gavin Wilburn had 15 points for Weston Ranch, which ended 31-2 and will drop from its No. 15 state rankings. The Spartans advanced to the next round where they will meet No. 2 seed Sheldon of Sacramento (26-6* & No. 6 in state). The Huskies, like top seed Salesian of Richmond, had a bye on Wednesday.


Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 82, Torrey Pines (San Diego) 38
The lesson hopefully learned by the CIF with this game is that just because a section has an Open Division does not mean the winner of that section’s Open Division is actually that strong of a team and perhaps shouldn’t be put in a SoCal Open Division. Yes, that would mean another CIF Southern Section team going in, but in many years that’s just reality. Either that, or give the CIFSS Open Division champion a bye. Leading the Trailblazers (29-3, No. 2 in state) were Cassius Stanley with 19 points, K.J. Martin with 16 and Terren Frank with 11. Torrey Pines ended 25-7.
Westchester (Los Angeles) 74, Rancho Christian (Temecula) 57
The margin of this score and knowing that Rancho Christian just a couple of weeks ago was riding high after a win over Sierra Canyon in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the state matchup that for one week anyway had the Eagles ranked No. 1 in the state is a bit of a head-scratcher. The Comets (24-7, No. 5 in the state) raced out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back. Jordan Brinson had 13 points in the first half and some more big plays in the second half. Westchester will now play Sierra Canyon in the regional semifinals. Rancho Christian wrapped it up at 25-6* and will drop from its current No. 4 in the state position.
Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 68, Bishop Montgomery (Santa Ana) 53
Aidan Prukop had a great week when the Monarchs (28-4, No. 8 in state) beat Corona Centennial and St. John Bosco in their final CIFSS pool play games and stayed hot with 18 points to help them beat the Knights (24-7, No. 7) in a game played at El Camino College. Emerging State Sophomore Player of the Year candidate Devin Askew also had another strong showing for Mater Dei with 23 points and eight assists.
Centennial (Corona) 76, Fairfax (Los Angeles) 75
Jaylen Clark put the Huskies in front with 17.5 seconds left with a lay-up and then it was Dennis Cash with some hands-in-the-face defense on a possible game-winning shot at the buzzer by Fairfax’s Justyn Hunter that decided this one. Fairfax came into the night at 27-1 and was No. 3 in the state, but will end 27-2 and 0-2 vs. Centennial. Head coach Josh Giles’ squad (27-5, No. 9 in state) showed what a fifth team in the SoCal Open Division from the CIF Southern Section can do and that a sixth might be justified next year.

Girls BB: Tuesday Regional Playoff Breakdowns

Here’s one place to check for the statewide angle for each of the CIF’s divisional girls basketball brackets from Division 1 to Division 5.
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Boys BB: Tuesday Regional Playoff Breakdowns

Here’s one place to check for the statewide angle for each of the CIF’s divisional boys basketball brackets from Division 1 to Division 5.
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Baseball Scoreless Innings Streak Record Update

Alameda High’s Max Nyrop pitches in team’s first game of 2019 season and sees consecutive scoreless innings streak end at 57 1/3 innings. Hornets later defeated Tokay of Lodi 7-5 in a Tracy tourney contest.

After pitching around errors in both the first and second innings, Alameda senior pitcher Max Nyrop couldn’t do it in the third so his consecutive scoreless innings streak was halted at 57 1/3 innings in a game against Tokay of Lodi on Saturday morning that was part of the annual Tracy tourney.

Nyrop had two playoff shutouts last season in Alameda’s march to the CIF North Coast Section 2A championship. That put his streak at 55 innings coming into 2019, but it wasn’t known until two days earlier that head coach Ken Arnerich was planning to start him on Saturday against the Tigers in the first game of the Hornets’ season.

Alameda was the visiting team in the game and started off with a four-run rally in the top the first inning. Nyrop himself plated the first two runs on a single with runners at second and third.

Tokay had runners on base in both the first and second innings due to errors, but no hits. In the bottom of the third, after one out, Ryan Lew rapped a sharp single to right field. Nyrop attempted to pick him off, but threw the ball in the dirt that squirted away from first base and allowed Lew to get all the way to third. After a bunt that didn’t score the runner from third but no out was recorded and then a walk, the bases were loaded with one out. The next batter, Colby Baker, hit a grounder to second base. No attempt was made to get the runner at home, but the throw was errant (Alameda’s fourth error of the game) and that allowed two runs to score for Nyrop’s streak to be snapped.

The Tigers later scored two more times in the third inning to tie the score and led 5-4 after another run in the top of the fifth. Alameda, however, came back to win the contest 7-5.

“He had a great run, whether he got (the record) or not it was just phenomenal,” Arnerich said. “I played the infield in with that runner on third because of the record, but otherwise we played it straight. To have a streak like that you’ve got to be good, you’ve got to play defense and you’ve got to be lucky.”

Nyrop’s total of 57 1/3 scoreless innings in a row will go into the Cal-Hi Sports state records at No. 3 on the all-time list. The record of 59 1/3 was set last season by junior Dawson Netz from Maranatha of Pasadena. Netz, whose streak was snapped in a CIF Southern Section D3 playoff game, was given the record when it was determined that the total of 59 innings by Jerry Jordan of Avenal in 1970 was established in his senior year and was at the end of the season (meaning it was over due to his graduation). That’s the same situation for the 57-inning streak set in 2011 by Steven Perry of Maxwell. In fact, Perry didn’t give up a run at all that entire season (according to articles by Northern Section historian Kevin Askeland). We would have listed Nyrop in a tie with Perry at 57 innings (Nyrop’s total reverting to the previous inning) but in this case we know for sure that the 1/3 inning is accurate and can stand.

Here is the updated all-time state list for this category:

Most Consecutive Scoreless Innings
59 1/3 – Dawson Netz, Pasadena Maranatha, 2018 (Jr.)
59 – Jerry Jordan, Avenal, 1970
57 1/3 – Max Nyrop, Alameda, 2018-19
57 – Steven Perry, Maxwell, 2010-2011
55 – Wayne Nix, Sepulveda Monroe, 1995
54 2/3 – Joe Magrisi, San Diego Torrey Pines, 2018
54 – Mike Welker, Chico Pleasant Valley, 1967
53 – Denny LeMaster, Oxnard, 1958
52 – Scott McGregor, El Segundo, 1972
52 – Jason Codiroli, San Jose Archbishop Mitty, 2005
44 – Wayne Qualls, Exeter, 1967
42 – David Wells, San Diego Point Loma, 1982

Blake: Arms Race of HS Sports

Op-Ed column sent out to the state’s high school sports media from CIF executive director Roger Blake takes aim at schools doing elaborate college signing ceremonies and hopes for leading high school administrators to stay focused on the overall, general principles of education-based athletics.

By Roger Blake
Executive Director of the California Interscholastic Federation

High school sports relies on administrators’ good faith to ensure coaches, parents, students and boosters follow rules and bylaws. Not just the letter of the rule, but the spirit of the rule. It is the spirit of the rule that separates and differentiates education-based athletics from club and travel ball organizations. To many observers of high school sports in California, that significant difference is closing.

In California, education-based athletics have been assembled this past century by school administrators who identified the endless value for their students in teaching life-long, positive character traits and skills through sport and activities participation. Through this engagement, schools played an active role in teaching positive character skills such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness and loyalty. These are traits that every parent and guardian desires from their child’s coaches and schools to teach and reinforce each day they send their kids off to school.

I fear a handful of school administrators have lost sight of that trusted duty, enforcing the spirit of the rule and that high school sports must be more than the “final score.” I fear they have been blinded by the 3 B’s; Banners, Business & Boosters. What lessons are being taught to our students and their school community when administrators are blinded by the 3 B’s?

Unfortunately, this extremely small minority of schools seem to be in the headlines a disproportionate amount of the time as they appear to turn a blind eye to the true meaning of education-based athletics and forgo those lessons to capture another “W” believing that is what their school community desires. I call this phenomenon The Arms Race of High School Sports where unfortunately talented student-athletes are used by adults to accomplish their fleeting goal of a “W” and sports news headlines. Many of our school leaders were challenged at our recent InSideOut Initiative trainings to ensure that the adults on their campuses transform the lives of their students, not simply treat them as transactions in this arms race.

On February 6, we witnessed the increasing exploitation of the national letter of intent signing day by high schools. While it’s a joyous day and families should rightfully celebrate, why are schools bragging about who had the most signees? Why are our schools holding lavish signing ceremonies during class time, inviting the press, televising it on the Internet and boasting through all means of social media?
What’s the educational purpose of these ceremonies? Is it to celebrate a great achievement or is it to influence future students and parents on what school they should attend or perhaps transfer?

It used to be that colleges proudly announced whom they have offered and signed to an athletic scholarship. This was to help promote their athletic teams and encourage their financial boosters to continue to raise funds to support their school. Now we see some misguided high schools using that same business model. The optics appear to be the same, self-serving promotion and influence.

Some will claim it’s to celebrate great achievement by their students. I hope those same schools that make that claim will take time out of their school day, invite the media, televise on the Internet, and use social media, in the spring when they have their senior awards day that celebrates a much larger population of students on their campuses that have received academic, community and service-oriented scholarships for college.

The overwhelming majority of school administrators place great importance in their hollowed duty to help all of their students to grow into adults who will become positive contributors to society. They take pride in the lessons learned on and off the field and courts and the role that school sports and activities play in the development of young people. We can’t lose sight that those few who may have sold out and jumped into the arms race losing perspective of the true purpose of education-based athletics, developed over 100 years ago, for the 3 B’s are NOT THE MAJORITY of our school leaders.

If high school sports are going to continue to thrive and help produce successful and positive adults, school administrators must continue to take a stand when their schools are being encouraged by their boosters or coaches that are involved in the arms race. Recognize that when your school has a steady flow of new transfer students to participate in sports, your school has become part of the arms race for a championship. Think about these families when they show up at your school to register. What is the impact on those students and families that have been part of your school community since they were freshman, whose loyalty and commitment will now be pushed aside by the extremely talented arms race transfer?

I do recognize that as school and district administrators many of you have outside pressures to win that come from your adult community, including some school board members, who lack the understanding of the true purpose of education-based athletics. Too many in society equate successful athletic programs with winning and championship banners and the result has been the arms race of talented adolescent kids. Al Davis, the late owner of the Oakland Raiders, is often quoted as saying “Just Win Baby.” That is the business model; that is the AAU model; that is the club sports model; where the values of education-based athletics that have been taught for 100 years don’t appear to matter much. It is a business, it is not education.

School leaders must remember that 98% of our daughters and sons are NOT going to receive athletic scholarships and their scholastic athletic careers will end upon graduation from high school. School leaders must remember that you are not alone, that the majority of school administrators across our great state stand with you and have not succumbed to the arms race.

You must continue to say “not at our school, we stand for and teach more than just winning a game.” Don’t buy into the “Just Win Baby” philosophy. Don’t buy into your coaches who say, “I just coach the kids who show up, transfers or not.” Don’t buy into coaches who say “this is what we have to do to compete.” Question why transfer students keep showing up at your school. Question what are we teaching the 98% of students on our campus when the transfers keep coming. Question what happens to our students who have been part of our school community when the arms race transfers show up on our campus. Question the educational purpose of the National Letter of Intent signing ceremonies and the subsequent media blasts. Ask yourself, how my school’s sports and activities program actions help fulfill our school’s educational mission and vision?

In sports, you hear people say “keep your eye on the ball.” In high school education-based athletics and activities we must keep our eyes on the “mission and purpose.” As school administrators, when you question anything to do with your sports or activities programs (and PLEASE start asking questions), look back at your mission and purpose to guide you. I can guarantee you there is not a school in California that has winning championships and placing banners up on the wall as part of their school’s educational mission be it a public, private or charter school.