Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog

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

Mater Dei: 126th State Team of Year

With the CIF Open Division state championship eliminating all rankings debate, adding the annual champion to the all-time State Team of the Year list is just one of the added bonuses. We have a feeling that CIF Southern Section teams Mater Dei and St. John Bosco might be trading this selection between each other for the next few years.
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CIF Football Finals: Pick ’em Winners

Here are the teams we are predicting to win in this weekend’s CIF state football championships. We don’t know about any injuries that may have occurred in previous game or this week in practice. These are all made with utmost respect to all teams involved. If anyone wants to add their picks in comments below, feel free. If anyone goes 13-for-13, we’ll give out prizes but not sure how many that might be.
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FINAL CIF Sac-Joaquin Sec Top 20

Once again, since the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section is the one for our home base in Stockton, we have put together a weekly Top 20 in football for that section this season. This will be the final rankings for the 2017 season since both Folsom and Placer won’t change for final rankings whether they win or lose in CIF state finals. Placer already has been given a bump for beating Salinas and beating Crenshaw of Los Angeles wouldn’t move the Hillmen up any further.
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CIF Central Sec: 2 left, Allen done

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. We are now in our second week of basketball updates as well. Bob has done phenomenal work on behalf of CIF Central Section schools, athletes and coaches for more than 40 years.
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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.
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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.
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