Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog

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

5 Best Sports-Themed Slot Games

Slots are fun, simple, and if you are really good at them, then you can make some money playing them too.

Online casinos have become so popular there are literally tons of slots games that you can play on any of your favorite platforms. There are slots based on superheroes, countries, food delicacies, and more. However, if you are into sports, then these top 5 sports themed slot games are just for you:

1. Basketball Star

If you love basketball-themed video games, but with a casino twist, then Basketball Star from Betsafe Casino is something you are sure to enjoy.

It has a bright and nicely made indoor court background, and 5×3 reels that show big, bold symbols centered around the sport itself. The music is great, and pace optimum, and the variety of bonuses that are thrown into the game make it truly a fun game to kill the time with.

2. Football Carnival Slot

Football Carnival slot game from Playtech is a 5 reel 3 row game with 50 paylines and a Brazil backdrop.

You start with placing your line bet which can be anywhere from pennies to dollars per line. Since all the paylines are active i.e. 50, the minimum bet per spin automatically becomes £0.50. This is great because when you are betting on all the paylines, the bet per spin increases quickly.

You can hit the “Spin” button whenever you are ready to get the game started. You can also choose the “turbo” mode which speeds up the reeling.

One of the great things about Football Carnival is that it has interesting high-value symbols like the lady from the carnival, Brazilian flag, wild on football, etc. You can also play fixed jackpot by spinning 5 wilds on a payline which is also more than 3k times your line bet.

3. Golden Tour

Another brainchild of Playtech, Golden Tour is a simple yet fun gold-themed slot game. Although it offers only five paylines, you can win two ways depending on their arrangement- from left to right, and from right to left.
You play the game on the basis of the coin size you have picked, which ranges from $0.01 to $5. Expect a lot of symbols of carts, clubs, flags, etc. that you find on a golf course. So, for a fan of this sport, it’s a treat.

4. Hockey Hero

This is obviously an Ice Hockey themed slot game with 5X4 slot design where you compete against rivals Port, Tomster, and Jimbo. You get a lot of flexibility with your bet amount as all 40 paylines are always active.
Hockey Hero offers many free spins and respins so that game continuity is maintained and you can enjoy the most. An easy way to do this is to land three scatter symbols (goal nets here), which gives you 5 free spins.
The animations, graphics, and the music are also well-refined in this game if you are particular about them. In fact, background music in video games tends to improve your performance.

5. Fast Lane

Fast Lane is a racing sports-themed slots game, on the reels of which you will find symbols like spinning tire, racing flag, trophy, helmet, etc. However, there are other fun, and rewarding elements like free spins, multipliers, and even a Pit Stop bonus, which is a good touch.

There are many ways to win free spins. For instance, you can get 20, 10 or 5 free spins along with a 3x multiplier if the reels stop on 3 or more blue race cars, etc. Similarly, you can earn coins if you are able to click the correct crew member and fix the overheated car that pulls into the pit stop.

Sports Betting in the U.S.

Online sports betting in the U.S. is a tricky business. This is because it’s not completely legal in most states, and where it’s legal in some forms, there are certain regulations that impose restrictions.
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More Stat Stars of the Week

Please note that this list doesn’t include players from Top 50 ranked teams (their totals are in those team writeups) or players from the CIF Central Section. For Central Section, see separate blog post provided by Bob Barnett. We collect stat stars in support of the state record files we continue to compile in football, boys hoops, girls hoops, baseball and softball. Be sure to send stat star updates for football and now basketball to


Joseph Barnes (Gilroy): The junior RB led Mustangs to their first CIF Central Coast Section title with 35 carries for 232 yards and five TDs in 38-21 victory over Menlo School of Atherton. The title came in CCS D5 (which doesn’t go to CIF regional games) but Gilroy ended 13-0 and there is always a chance that no other team in the state will end undefeated.
Beau Barrington (Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa): In his team’s 59-56 loss to Marin Catholic in the NCS D3 final, Barrington completed 19 of 31 passes for 330 yards and three TDs and also rushed 16 times for 108 yards and two other scores. In the same game, teammate Mark Boschetti scored on a 100-yard kickoff return.
Zachary Bernard (Big Bear, Big Bear Lake): We’ll put Zach’s name into the state record book since he scored on a 99-yard run from scrimmage during Big Bear’s 37-23 victory against Santa Maria in the CIFSS D12 title game. Teammate Daniel Jett also had a big game with eight carries for 193 yards.
Spencer Petras (Marin Catholic, Kentfield): This is in the State Top 50 writeups, but including it here as well. The Oregon State commit hit on 24 of 42 passes for a whopping 502 yards and four TDs in 59-56 win over Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa in North Coast Section D3 final. The Wildcats in all had 698 yards in the game. Receiver Ben Skinner caught eight of those passes and piled up 256 yards and two TDs.
Branden Rankins (Aquinas, San Bernardino): In leading the Saints to a 14-0 record and their first CIFSS title in 12 years (this one in D9), Rankins ran for 263 yards on 39 carries and scored three times.
Tyerell Sturges-Cofer (Liberty, Brentwood): He piled up 255 yards rushing on 29 carries and scored three TDs as the Lions won the school’s first section title ever with a 37-0 romp past Freedom of Oakley. Keep in mind that Liberty started as a school in 1902.
Brock White (Rancho Verde, Moreno Valley): Similar to the Marin Catholic QB, wanted to put White’s outing onto the site in two places. He’s the sophomore QB who was 23 of 40 for 501 yards and four TDs in Rancho Verde’s 44-42 victory over St. F
Jason Wilkinson (Orange): In another historical championship, Wilkinson keyed the Panthers to their first CIFSS title since 1929. They beat Silver Valley of Yermo 30-20 in the D13 title game and in that game Wilkinson went 23 of 34 passing for 316 yards and two TDs. Jordan Schmidt also caught 10 passes for 178 yards and two TDs while Syrus Collins had 11 receptions for 128 yards.


Dylan Belquist (Los Gatos): Three-year standout has helped Wildcats get out to a 6-0 start and in the first game — a 71-64 win against Leigh of San Jose — he scored 44 points. He’s also had two 30-point games after that one.


Shyla LaTone (Bonita Vista, Chula Vista): She had an explosive season scoring the ball last year but was overshadowed a bit since Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year Destiny Littleton was leading the nation. LaTone poured in 45 points in her first game to lead the Barons past Imperial 84-45 and then in her third game she went for 49 in a 83-42 triumph over Helix.

Girls VB State TOYs (1972-2017)

Here is the official Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year list for girls volleyball with Archbishop Mitty of San Jose added on for 2017 and going back to 1972. While the Monarchs lead the state with 14 CIF state titles, they still have some catching up to do to be State Team of the Year as many times as Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach.

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NEW CIF Sac-Joaquin Sec Top 20

Once again, since the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section is the one for our home base in Stockton, we’ll put together a weekly Top 20 in football for that section this season. We will continue to post these top 20s until all games for all teams are done for the season.
Read more…

CIF Central Sec: Garcia the Great

Here’s some record updates and highlights of top players & teams from the recent week as reported to us from CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett of Fresno. This week, we are beginning to mix in some basketball updates as well. Bob has done phenomenal work on behalf of CIF Central Section schools, athletes and coaches for more than 40 years.
Read more…

CIF Regional Football Lineup Set

Lucas Dunne of Concord De La Salle looks for running room during 2010 CIF Open Division state championship game against Servite of Anaheim. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

Here is the lineup of games for this year’s CIF football regional championships as announced on Sunday, Dec. 3. The matchups were approved by a committee of CIF section commissioners through video conference call. If people are curious, we know our Cal-Hi Sports’ bowl boards (north and south) are looked at by CIF football officials, but we’re not working together on them. We’re making projections on what we think might happen and also make suggestions on matchups we’d like to see and why. In some cases, the CIF committee agrees and in some cases they don’t.

Note: To see our what our own lineup would have been and why, CLICK HERE for Gold Club post.

De La Salle (11-1) vs. Mater Dei (14-0) at Hornet Stadium, Sacramento State – Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8:00 p.m.
Comment: This will always be CIFSS D1 champion vs. DLS unless the CIFSS D1 champion were to have a loss to a team from San Diego or L.A. City or when DLS finally loses a game to a team north of Fresno. There’s no indication either instance is going to happen anytime soon.

North: Central, Fresno (12-1) at Folsom (14-0) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Helix (12-1) at Oaks Christian (12-2) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: Helix has a loss to Paraclete and will continue to be ranked behind the Spirits. Helix would only go higher if it beats Oaks Christian in this game because Oaks has a win over Paraclete. That being said, the win by Helix over Mission Hills was enough for that team to be in this game. Plus, it lined up the matchups nice and smooth in the next two divisions.

North: Pittsburg (8-2) at Granite Bay (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Paraclete (13-1) at Narbonne (10-3) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: Our own Cal-Hi Sports projections done late Saturday had these matchups as well as the same for D1-AA. Pittsburg is the only one of the three that has never won a CIF state title.

North: Serra-San Mateo (11-2) vs. Tulare Union (13-0) at Bob Mathias Stadium – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Cajon (13-1) at Rancho Verde (12-2) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: Again, this division was a match for us. Serra traveled last year to play Sanger in D2-A regional final and while Tulare this year is probably better we’re not in favor of making a team like Serra have to travel like that for two straight years.

North: St. Francis, Mountain View (9-4) at Manteca (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Aquinas (14-0) vs. Grace Brethren (12-2) at Moorpark College – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: Grace Brethren obviously was elevated to D2-A for having an OT win over Bishop Diego even though Bishop Diego won a higher CIFSS division (D6 compared to D8). Aquinas vs. Grace should be a great game, but looking across to the NorCal side looms St. Francis and Manteca. Those two are just from traditionally much stronger leagues & playoff divisions. It would be like winner of Aquinas-Grace was going to be playing a team like Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks or Loyola in the state final. It’ll be a step up for sure.

North: Marin Catholic (12-0) at Shasta (11-1) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Quartz Hill (13-1) vs. Bishop Diego (13-1) at Santa Barbara City College – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: We have liked Quartz Hill as the strongest of the CIFSS divisional champions below D6 for the last two weeks and would have had the Rebels one division higher. They have a stronger computer ranking than Aquinas and Grace Brethren as well. Quartz Hill’s only loss to Palmdale (CIFSS D5) and beat a 12-0 team from Apple Valley in semifinals. Plus, love that win over Oxnard and then Oxnard beat Westlake the next week. Marin Catholic has played and beaten Northern Section teams in this round before.

North: Sutter (12-1) at Half Moon Bay (13-0) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Steele Canyon (10-4) at El Modena (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: A lot of the SoCal teams from after Rancho Verde and Cajon were hard to split apart and evaluate. Steele Canyon actually could have been as high as D2-A since the previously unbeaten Ramona team that it beat in the San Diego Section D2 final clearly would have been in D2-A. Sutter and Half Moon Bay started looking like a possibility last week and it’s one of those matchups that gets more interesting every time you think about it. Great communities, great teams and should be a great night.

North: Placer (12-1) at Salinas (11-2) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Crenshaw (10-3) at El Camino (8-5) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: Both Placer and Salinas got key wins during the season over Aptos. As the CCS Open 1 champ, Salinas being this low may surprise some. But before upsetting Milpitas in that last game, the Cowboys had a computer ranking that wasn’t even close to Placer’s. There also was too much evidence to have Half Moon Bay higher on the NorCal board.

McClymonds head coach Michael Peters has his team looking for second straight state title. Photo: Willie Eashman.

North: Milpitas (12-1) at Campolindo (10-4) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: San Joaquin Memorial (11-2) at Southwest EC (13-0) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: Before getting upset by Salinas, Milpitas probably would have been slotted in to play in D2-A. Now, the Trojans are all the way down to D4-A. We saw the possibility of San Joaquin Memorial playing Southwest, but just assumed the CIF wouldn’t ask any team to travel from Fresno to the Imperial Valley or vice-versa so we picked a different lineup. They did ask and it will be the Panthers who have to take this questionable trip.

North: McClymonds (12-0) at East Nicolaus (13-0) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Big Bear (13-1) vs. Golden West (11-2) at Visalia Community Stadium – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: McClymonds head coach Michael Peters seemed to be lobbying to play East Nic (same team the Warriors beat in last year’s NorCal regional final) and got his wish. Getting unbeaten teams to play is always a good thing, though, and that game Friday at East Nic is the one we are going to try to attend. It’s either that or drive to Tulare (last time we tried that we got wrecked on 99) or drive to Folsom (just saw them play).

North: Bear River (10-3) at Fortuna (12-2) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Monte Vista (8-5) vs. Katella (13-1) at Western HS – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: It’s hard to get a read on these teams. Love the bracket that Bear River just navigated in the SJS, though, and this is a good spot for the Bruins. Monte Vista and Katella, however, are bigger schools in terms of demographics.

North: St. Patrick-St. Vincent (11-1) at Strathmore (14-0) – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
South: Caruthers (12-0) vs. Orange (12-2) at El Modena HS – Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Comment: These matchups were expected after all of the results came in. St. Pat-St. Vincent won the D6-A state title last year and is playing the team it beat in the state final in this year’s NorCal final on the road. Strathmore just traveled to Hilmar so it makes sense that the Spartans wouldn’t have to travel this week.

North: Galileo=San Francisco (9-2) at Rio Vista (9-3) – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
South: Huntington Park (11-3) vs. Vincent Memorial (11-2) at Calexico HS – Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Comment: These two bottom teams in both north and south brackets were fairly easy to project. The decision by Northern Section D5 champ Chester not to participate only impacted these teams. We’ll actually be in Rio Vista on Saturday, but it’ll be earlier as we’re undertaking the sad task of collecting all of the sports items that were owned by our friend Bruce McIntosh, who died last Friday at a Vacaville hospital.

More Stat Stars of the Week

All of the delays from last week prevented us from getting in big totals onto the site, so this week we’re doing an honor roll of top outings for the last two weeks. Note that this list doesn’t include players from Top 50 ranked teams (their totals are in those team writeups) or players from the CIF Central Section. For Central Section, see separate blog post provided by Bob Barnett. Be sure to send stat star updates for football and now basketball to

E.J. Ane (Silver Valley, Yermo): Powerful player rushed 36 times for 259 yards and four TDs in 49-40 win over La Quinta in CIFSS D13 semifinals. Ane, who also had eight tackles and a fumble recovery on defense, now had 2,809 yards and 33 TDs for the season.
Ash Borgeson & John Harris (Bishop Diego, Santa Barbara): Borgeson is the leader in tackles in CIFSS D6 by a lot despite two lost games due to a concussion. He had 11 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 3 hurries in a big win over Saugus last week. On offense, Harris was a monster with 16 carries for 304 yards rushing and four scores.

Manteca QB Gino Campiotti is a three-sport athlete who already has been part of several CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship teams. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Gino Campiotti (Manteca): The senior standout has rushed for five TDs and had one TD pass for two straight weeks. The first came in a Sac-Joaquin Section D3 playoff game vs. American Canyon. Campiotti did it again last week when the Buffaloes beat Christian Brothers of Sacramento 43-38 in the semifinals. In that game, he also rushed 20 times for 142 yards and completed 12 of 19 passes for 162 yards.
Jaden Casey (El Camino, Oceanside): In an avenging 49-42 win over arch-rival Oceanside in the San Diego D1 semifinals, Casey scored on a 1-yard run with 10.8 seconds left. It was his second TD of the game to go with 246 yards and three TDs passing.
Erik Cuellar (Covina): A two-pointer in OT was good to give the Colts a 57-56 win over top-seed Culver City in the CIFSS D11 semifinals. Cuellar, a sophomore, shined for Covina with 45 carries for 303 yards and five TDs. Fellow sophomore QB Nin Burns also went 14 of 16 for 250 yards and two TDs with 48 more yards rushing on nine carries.
Sean Dourseau (Citrus Hill, Perris): He didn’t have any interceptions in his team’s 30-20 loss to St. Francis of La Canada two weeks ago and therefore ended the season with 13. If Citrus Hill had kept on going, Dourseau could have threatened the single-season state record of 17.
Takahashi Drayton (Cleveland, Reseda): In another of several crazy shootouts last weekend, Drayton connected on 16 of 27 passes for 477 yards and six TDs to lead the Cavs past top-seeded Eagle Rock 55-54 in overtime in the L.A. City Section D2 semifinals. Jalne McFall caught six passes for 216 of those yards and two TDs. Isiah Adams had five catches for 197 yards and four scores.
Antonio Faaetee (Fremont, Oakland): He was just about a one-man team for the Tigers this season. In their 49-40 loss to Oakland Tech in the Oakland Section semifinals, Faaetee rampaged for 440 yards on 18 carries and score four touchdowns. For the season, Antonio had 164 carries for 2,626 yards and 31 TDs. He also had 87 tackles and nine sacks playing defense.
Jake Gookin (Sonora): In a wild-and-wacky 56-55 loss to Colfax in the SJS D5 semifinals, Gookin ran for six TDs and passed for two more. He didn’t make it on a two-point conversion, however, with 22 seconds left that would have won the game.
Miles Hastings (San Marcos): In his team’s 62-41 loss to Helix of La Mesa in the San Diego Open Division semifinals, Hastings ended with 410 yards passing and four TDs on 22 of 35 attempts. He also had 309 yards passing and three TDs when the Knights won two weeks ago 41-20 against St. Augustine.
Giles Jackson (Freedom, Oakley): His 7-yard TD run in OT gave the Falcons a 45-39 win over Antioch in the CIF North Coast Section D1 semifinals. He also capped a big night in which he rushed for 260 yards and scored four TDs. Jackson and team will now play Liberty of Brentwood in the title game and also will be trying to avenge an earlier loss. The winner of the NCS D1 playoffs does not go to a CIF bowl since the NCS puts up its Open Division runner-up instead.
Cooper Jones (El Toro, Lake Forest): In El Toro’s 37-16 win over previously unbeaten Lompoc in the CIFSS D3 playoffs, Jones hit on 13 of 18 passes for 373 yards and five TDs. He threw two TDs each to Austin Derrico and Shane McLaughlin.
Jarmar Julien (McClymonds, Oakland): Junior RB who made a name for himself as a sophomore at previous school (Oak Grove of San Jose) rambled for 221 yards on 15 carries and scored twice when the Warriors won the Oakland Section title by topping Oakland Tech last Friday 42-14.
Justin Keeling (Valley View, Moreno Valley): One of the state’s rushing leaders, Keeling had 31 carries for 264 yards and five TDs when Valley View beat Pacifica of Garden Grove 59-27 in the CIFSS D10 playoffs. Keeling also had two catches for 41 yards in the same game.
Austin Maciel (Rio Mesa, Oxnard): In a 63-28 victory over Kaiser of Fontana two weeks ago in the CIFSS D8 playoffs, Maciel connected on 16 of 23 passes and had seven TDs. He also ran for a pair of scores and helped the Spartans pile up 551 yards of offense.
Josh McCurty (Eastlake, Chula Vista): Prolific tackling star racked up a season-high of 22 tackles in 21-16 triumph over Rancho Bernardo in CIF San Diego D1 semifinals. The 6-foot, 220-pound junior has more than 150 reported tackles for the year.
Deontae McKinney (Steele Canyon, Spring Valley): He rushed for 275 yards and three TDs as Steele Canyon set a school record for points when it knocked off previously unbeaten Bishop’s of La Jolla 61-52 in the CIF SD D2 playoffs.
Theori Oliver (Encinal, Alameda): In his last game for the Jets, which was a 49-32 loss to Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa in the NCS D3 playoffs, Oliver had three TD runs and one TD pass. It was Encinal’s first loss of the season. Oliver ended the season with 49 TDs accounted for (rushing, passing). He did not score 49 TDs, which according to MaxPreps makes him one of the state leaders.
Spencer Petras (Marin Catholic, Kentfield): Before the Wildcats played Bishop O’Dowd in the NCS D3 semifinals, they had to get past Acalanes of Lafayette in the quarterfinals and they did 38-31. Petras completed 16 of 28 passes for 448 yards with five TDs and one pick for a 126.49 QB rating.
Isaac Sharp (Hilmar): He rushed for 247 yards and scored twice as the Yellowjackets won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D6 title with a 42-13 win over Modesto Christian. Hilmar, which was only 5-5 entering the postseason, won its seventh section title with the last one coming in 2011.
Emilio Simbeck (Menlo School, Atherton) – ​T​he senior quarterback completed 18 of 29 passes to six receivers for 265 yards, throwing for a pair of TDs and running for another in a 26-21 win against Scotts Valley in the CCS D5 semifinals. He also had a team-high 24 carries for 107 yards. ​Simbeck ​led the Knights 12 plays​ and 94 yards​ to their winning drive​ as the Knights returned to the CCS D5 championship game.​

NEW CIF Sac-Joaquin Sec Top 20

Once again, since the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section is the one for our home base in Stockton, we’ll put together a weekly Top 20 in football for that section this season. Watch the FOX40 Final Quarter this week on Friday at 10:45 p.m. for all the playoff highlights. Our Top 5 lists and the 11 p.m. half-hour show are done for the season.
Read more…

CIF Central Sec: Trujillo Tru-iffic

Here’s some record updates and highlights of top players & teams from the recent week as reported to us from CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett of Fresno. Bob has done phenomenal work on behalf of CIF Central Section schools, athletes and coaches for more than 40 years.
Read more…

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