Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog

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

NFL Draft Recap: It was a bad year

After one of the best years for ex-California high school football players in the NFL Draft in 2018, this year’s pickings held last week in Nashville were scarce.
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CIF Scholar-Athletes of the Year 2019

Grace Bailey from Soquel High School and Parker Boswell from El Diamante High School (Visalia) were selected Monday as the 2019 CIF Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Since 1982, the scholarship award identifies student-athletes who excel in the classroom, athletics, and are strong contributors to their schools and communities.
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All-State Underclass Girls BB List

Patches like this one for every player named to every list of the 2019 All-State Boys and Girls Basketball Teams will be available to order through our partners at A certificate to accompany each all-state patch also is part of the package.

For those just interested in seeing the names of players who are on the Gold Club post for this year’s All-State Underclass Team for girls hoops 2019, here is a simple alphabetical list. If you want the full presentation and are not Gold Club, please check out getting a membership today. If you just want to know the name of someone listed, it’s never been our intention to force someone to become a subscriber. Users who are not subscribers but just have a question about any of our content are welcome to email at any time. To order a commemorative patch that comes with a certificate, families of those listed below can do so through THIS LINK from our partners at A separate link to order the basketball patch has been added to the football patch.

Haylee Aiden (Granada Hills Charter)
Clarice Akunwafo (Rolling Hills Prep)
Jazzy Andusinh (La Jolla Country Day)
Asia Avinger (Rosary)
Mya Blake (Bear Creek, Stockton)
Amaya Bonner (Bishop O’Dowd)
Teagan Brown (Oak Ridge, El Dorado Hills)
Kalaya Buggs (Long Beach Poly)
Isuneh Brady (Cathedral Catholic)
Kayla Chang (Laguna Hills)
Kaitlyn Chen (Flintridge Prep)
Ashley Chevalier (Sierra Canyon)
Anya Choice (Cardinal Newman)
Renee Chong (Bishop’s)
Allie Carreon (Christian, EC)
Jayda Curry (Centennial, Corona)
Annika Decker (Pinewood)
Vanessa DeJesus (Sierra Canyon)
Brooke Demetre (Mater Dei, SA)
Liz Elliott (St. Mary’s Academy)
Alyssa Frescas (Mater Dei, SA)
Paige Gerhart (San Ramon Valley)
Jzayia Harriel (Antelope)
Rowan Hein (Clovis North)
Hunter Hernandez (Archbishop Mitty)
Kiki Iriafen (Harvard-Westlake)
Avery Lee (Menlo School)
Ashlee Lewis (Long Beach Poly)
Jyah LoVett (Providence)
Junae Mahan (Bear Creek, Stockton)
Leah Manning (Capistrano Valley)
Lydia Manu (Aragon)
Alyssa Marin (Camarillo)
Alexis Mark (Sierra Canyon)
Rayah Marshall (Lynwood)
Malia Mastora (St. Joseph Notre Dame)
Mia Mastrov (Miramonte)
Aly Maxey (Rolling Hills Prep)
DeMariyah McGee (Rancho Verde)
Alexis Mead (M.L. King)
Audrey Moulton (California, San Ramon)
Alyssa Munn (Redondo Union)
Abigail Muse (Heritage, Brentwood)
Jane Nwaba (Palisades)
Stephanie Okwi (Oakland Tech)
Amaya Oliver (St. Mary’s, Stockton)
Ugenne Onyiah (Roosevelt, Eastvale)
Nnenna Orji (Etiwanda)
Te-hina Paopao (La Jolla Country Day)
Khylie Pepe (Bishop Montgomery)
Madison Perry (Del Oro)
Sylena Peterson (Mt. Miguel)
Angie Robles (Bishop’s)
Gabby Rones (West Campus)
Tai Sherman (St. Mary’s, Stockton)
Calli Stokes (Redondo)
Hannah Stines (Troy)
Erin Tarasov (Miramonte)
Courtni Thompson (Pinewood)
Nikki Tom (Clovis West)
Savannah Tucker (Clovis North)
Anaiya Tuiua (Troy)
Rebecca Welsh (Miramonte)
Alexis Whitfield (Chaminade)
Chloe Williams (St. Mary’s Academy)
McKayla Williams (Windward)

All-State Underclass Boys BB List

Patches like this one for every player named to every list of the 2019 All-State Boys and Girls Basketball Teams will be available to order through our partners at A certificate to accompany each all-state patch also is part of the package.

For those just interested in seeing the names of players who are on the Gold Club post for this year’s All-State Underclass Team for boys hoops 2019, here is a simple alphabetical list. If you want the full presentation and are not Gold Club, please check out getting a membership today. If you just want to know the name of someone listed, it’s never been our intention to force someone to become a subscriber. Users who are not subscribers but just have a question about any of our content are welcome to email at any time. To order a commemorative patch that comes with a certificate, families of those listed below can do so through THIS LINK from our partners at A separate link to order the basketball patch has been added to the football patch.

Henri Adiassa (Crossroads)
Chibuzo Agbo (St. Augustine)
Amound Anderson (Leuzinger)
Cole Anderson (Clovis West)
Dylan Andrews (Windward, L.A.)
Obinna Anyanwu (Cathedral Catholic)
Devin Askew (Mater Dei)
Marcus Bagley (Sheldon, Sac.)
Amari Bailey (Sierra Canyon)
Robby Beasley (Dublin)
Shane Bell (Salesian, R)
Wilhelm Breidenbach (Mater Dei)
Judah Brown (Pacifica Christian)
Xavion Brown (Sheldon, Sac.)
Nigel Burris (Stuart Hall, S.F.)
Lamont Butler (Riverside Poly)
David Cheatom (University, LA)
Josh Christopher (Mayfair)
Jaylen Clark (Centennial, Corona)
Je’Lani Clark (Riordan, S.F.)
Skyy Clark (Heritage Christian)
Corey Cofield (Birmingham)
Boubacar Coulibaly (San Gabriel Ac.)
D.J. Davis (Centennial, Corona)
Devin Day (Modesto Christian)
Keith Dinwiddie (Fairfax)
Reese Dixon (Dorsey)
Travis Dowdell (Manual Arts)
D.J. Dudley (San Ysidro)
Ryan Evans (Mater Dei)
Mikey Ficher (Tulare Western)
Terren Frank (Sierra Canyon)
Yassine Gharram (Foothills Christian)
Jalen Green (San Joaquin Memorial)
Dominick Harris (Rancho Christian)
Jason Hart Jr. (Dorsey)
Andre Henry (St. Francis, LC)
Mason Hooks (Harvard-Westlake)
Chris Howell (San Marcos)
Dishon Jackson (St. Patrick-St. Vincent)
Johnny Juzang (Harvard-Westlake)
Brenton Knapper (Colony)
Donjae’ Lindsay (Weston Ranch)
Ramel Lloyd (Calabasas)
Aidan Mahaney (Campolindo)
Ian Martinez (JSerra)
Jahmei Mashack (Etiwanda)
Craig McMillan (Sweetwater)
Mike Mitchell (Archbishop Mitty)
Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian)
Christian Moore (Brentwood)
Thomas Notarainni (Cathedral Catholic)
Michael Pearson (Modesto Christian)
Jaden Phillips (Foothill, Bak.)
Camren Pierce (Etiwanda)
Tyler Powell (Ribet Academy)
Aidan Prukop (Mater Dei)
Devan Sapp (Archbishop Mitty)
Te’jon Sawyer (Salesian, R)
Isa Silva (Jesuit)
Kenneth Simpson (Chaminade)
Clark Slajchert (Oak Park)
Brah’jon Thompson (Logan)
Luke Turner (Rancho Christian)
Kenneth Simpson (Chaminade)
Malik Thomas (Damien)
Tsalta Wainwright (Santa Monica)
Gavin Wilburn (Weston Ranch)
Ziaire Williams (Notre Dame, SO)
Atin Wright (Fairmont Prep)
Davion Wright (Franklin, Elk Grove)
Kijani Wright (Windward, L.A.)
Corey Yerger (Grant, Sac.)

Woodland pitcher close to state no-hitters record

Senior Oregon State-bound Cooper Hjerpe racked up his third straight no-hitter earlier this week to set up some amazing possibilities. One of those is that he needs one more to tie the Cal-Hi Sports state record first set in 1963 by a pitcher from Winters, which is just 20 miles away and also in Yolo County.
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Baseball History & Its Impact On The Game Today

For more than a century, baseball has been a major part of the American sporting culture. Though it’s hard to trace its exact origin, it has grown to be one of the most watched games in the Unitd States. Today, millions of fans watch the game on television, and it’s now part of the American identity, with online final 4 betting at sites like mad betting contributing to its popularity.

The History of Baseball

According to legend, baseball was invented in the summer of 1839 by a man named Abner Doubleday from Cooperstown, New York. However, the story has been debunked as a myth used to promote the game back in the early 1900s when Abraham Mills was commissioned to
trace its origin. While Abner existed, he never claimed the invention of baseball or to have anything to do with the game.

Though it’s not clear the exact year that baseball was invented, historians trace its origin back to the 18th century. Nonetheless, the emergence of professional baseball in America is credited to
Alexander Cartwright, a bank clerk in New York. Alexander wrote the first constitution for the organized American baseball club, the Knickerbockers of New York in 1845.

The Development Of Professional Baseball

The Knickerbockers are widely known as the forefathers of modern day baseball, and most of their rules still apply to date. The team played their first official game under these rules on 19th June 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey. However, baseball was highly overshadowed by cricket until it started gaining popularity during the American civil war.

Throughout the 1850s and early 1860s, baseball remained an amateur sport in America until the launch of the first professional league in 1871. With the establishment of a professional league and a burst in popularity, baseball started taking over the country. That saw the rise of other minority professional leagues across the country in the 1880s, including the so-called “Negro Baseball Leagues.”

The Game Changer

Throughout the 19th century and early 20th century, professional baseball leagues were problematic for various reasons. Racial segregation was one of the major issues that barred talented players from participating in major and minor baseball teams in the league. The sport was also highly corrupt, partly due to low wages for the players. That resulted in game throwing as sports bettors frequently bribed players.

Over the century, some of the issues began to change as a baseball league known as the American League started challenging the National League’s dominance. The two would later merge to form Major League Baseball, empowering players to negotiate for fair wages. However, it wasn’t until 1947 that the racial barrier was broken when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie (from California’s Muir High of Pasadena) was the first African American Player in American baseball, and he helped draw a record of 21 million fans in his first year.

Baseball Today

Today, baseball remains among the top sports in America, with millions of fans across the country. Players receive exceptionally high salaries, and some of the most successful players are from minority ethnic groups. This “stick and ball” game has grown from humble beginnings to become a major part of the American identity.

CIF State Winter & Spring Spirit of Sport Honorees

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Lauren McDonnell (Menlo-Atherton High School), Thomas Moorehead (Mesa Verde High School), Payton Fuller (West Valley High School), and Samantha Matlock (Mariposa County High School) were named the recipients of the prestigious CIF Spirit of Sport Award for 2019 Winter and Spring respectively. The four statewide winners, along with the two Fall recipients, will receive an award, a patch, a $1,000 scholarship and be recognized at the year-end CIF Federated Council dinner on April 12, in Burlingame.

The CIF Spirit of Sport Award recognizes student-athletes who have demonstrated the 16 principles of Pursuing Victory with Honor, are active in school and community service and exhibit leadership qualities. The principles of Pursuing Victory with Honor are the operating principles of the CIF and have been adopted by the 1,606-member high schools throughout the state.

“These recipients have exemplified the Spirit of Sport and reflect the positive elements of Pursuing Victory with Honor, reinforcing the value of education-based athletics,” said CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake.

Additionally, the CIF selected a boy and girl winner for each CIF section, in each of the 10 sections for each season of sport, from all submitted applications to receive $500. A list of all winter and spring 2019 section recipients follows.

Lauren McDonnell co-founded the girls wrestling team at Menlo-Atherton of Atherton in her freshman year and has served as the team captain for the past three years. She is also a member of the debate team, is a volunteer tutor at her school and has served as the chapter president for Buildon Global Literacy Development non-profit. Additionally, she co-founded the Menlo-Atherton Wrestling Education Corporation non-profit which provides scholarships to wrestlers in need.

“Helping my teammates navigate their hardships has been the biggest challenge and inspiration of my life,” says McDonnell. “We’ve succeeded and grown in so many ways despite the obstacles we’ve faced together. Without realizing it, they pushed me past my confining ideology and by doing so forever expanded my perspective. Because of their incredible resilience and example, my point of view and attitudes have completely changed – I discovered that compassion is better than stoicism, that patience is not inefficient but creates impact, that listening is the foundation of effective change.”

Thomas Moorehead is a member of the basketball and baseball teams at Mesa Verde of Citrus Heights and also a member of AVID, Key Club and the California Scholarship Federation. Additionally, he has volunteered more than 140 hours in his community.

“Years of hard work have not only developed me as an athlete but as a person as well,” states Moorehead. “I’m very grateful for who I’ve become and how sportsmanship through basketball has developed me. It’s a necessity to develop yourself as a person, before development as a player.”

Payton Fuller is a two-sport athlete at West Valley High School of Cottonwood participating in Track and Swim. He is actively involved in school leadership currently serving as ASB Treasurer and is also involved in several clubs and associations. Additionally, Fuller contributes to his community and has led fundraising efforts for several charitable causes.

“Sportsmanship to me is intentionally behaving in a way that encourages all athletes on a field of play to have their best day ever,” states Fuller. “I try to live this. Every day can be better than the last. Sportsmanship requires effort. Sportsmanship drives personal accountability and excellence on and off the field.”

Samantha Matlock is a four-year varsity softball and volleyball player at Mariposa County High School in Mariposa, as well as an established musician. She is also an ASB Officer, an MCHS representative to the Juvenile Justice Commission and is involved in many other activities and clubs on campus. Additionally, she volunteers her time with her local Parks and Rec., Rotary Interact and serves as an assistant volleyball coach.

“For me, the ‘spirit of sport’ is the culmination of every lesson, every coach, and every friendship I have made on the field that has given me the confidence, respect and drive to be successful in the next stage of life,” states Matlock.

2019 CIF Winter Spirit of Sport SECTION Winners

Central Section
Lilian Svetich – Basketball, San Luis Obispo High School

Central Coast Section
D’Von Lang – Basketball, Valley Christian High School (San Jose)
Rachel Bakke – Basketball, Saratoga High School

Los Angeles City Section
Mariah Williams – Basketball, Animo Watts High School

North Coast Section
Dylan Joyce – Basketball, Marin Catholic
Patricia McCleery – Traditional Competitive Cheer, Lower Lake High School

Sac-Joaquin Section
Juliana Taylor – Basketball, Center High School
Noah Mirelez – Wrestling, Patterson High School

San Diego Section
Jacob Jovien – Basketball, Francis Parker
Kaylee Stiffler – Basketball, Cathedral Catholic

San Francisco Section
Jessica Mari Castaneda – Basketball, ICA Cristo Rey Academy

Southern Section
Allison Reed – Basketball, Crean Lutheran High School
Seth Hoskins – Basketball, Whittier Christian High School

2019 CIF Spring Spirit of Sport SECTION Winners

Central Section
Blair Abril – Swim & Dive, Bakersfield Christian High School
Kaylee Melendez – Softball, Mission Oak High School

Central Coast Section
Michael Leahy – Baseball, Saint Francis High School
Grace Tramack – Swimming, Henry M. Gunn High School

Los Angeles City Section
Djamal Lylecyrus – Boys Volleyball, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

North Coast Section
Trey Turner – Baseball, Pittsburg High School
Margo Donahue – Track & Field, Piedmont High School

Northern Section
Bailey Dakota Jones – Track & Field, West Valley High School

Oakland Section
Darious Howard – Baseball, Oakland High School
Millie Caroline Garrett – Track & Field, Oakland Technical High School

Sac-Joaquin Section
Gabriel Whitecotton – Baseball, Western Sierra Collegiate Academy
Alayssia Townsell – Track & Field, Ronald E. McNair High School

San Diego Section
Adam Nussbaum – Volleyball, Francis Parker School
Gillian Folk – Swim, Academy of Our Lady of Peace

San Francisco Section
Connor James Pino – Baseball, Mission High School
Leanna Lam – Track & Field, Raul Wallenberg High School

Southern Section
Chase Pinkerton – Boys Volleyball, Mira Costa High School
Angela Gagnon – Track & Field, Oxford Academy

Even Unranked Teams Find Success in NCAA Tourney

Since the NCAA expanded its tournament to 64 teams in 1985, only four out of 34 national champions were unranked at the beginning of the season. That’s an average of one team in every eight years. However, it does happen, and it can be very lucrative for anyone betting on the NCAA tournament at college ball betting or other online bookies.
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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.