Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog

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

Five Ways to Enjoy Your Passion for Sports Online

With the digital revolution, enjoying your passion for sports has become easier and more exciting than ever. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a casual observer, the internet offers a multitude of ways to engage with your favorite sports. From catching live games to connecting with fellow enthusiasts, here are five fantastic ways to immerse yourself in the world of sports online.

Live Streaming and Highlights

The convenience of live streaming and highlight videos can’t be overstated. With platforms like YouTube and dedicated sports streaming services, you can watch your favorite teams and athletes in action.

These platforms offer a wide range of options, from full game broadcasts to condensed highlights, making it easy to stay updated and relive memorable moments. It’s like having a front-row seat to the most thrilling sports events worldwide.

Sports Betting

As an example of how the online world can complement your sports passion, let’s consider the world of sports betting. While it’s important to gamble responsibly, sports betting can add an extra thrill to the games you follow. Many reputable online sportsbooks offer a variety of betting options, including match outcomes, player statistics, and more.

If you have a keen interest, you might want to explore the top online casino to elevate your sports betting enjoyment. However, always exercise caution and ensure that you never wager more than your budget allows.

Gaming and Esports

Esports or electronic sports, have gained immense popularity in recent years. Online gaming platforms allow you to not only play sports-themed video games but also watch professional esports tournaments. You can follow your favorite teams and players as they compete in games like FIFA, NBA 2K, and Rocket League. This unique fusion of sports and technology offers a fresh and entertaining way to enjoy your passion.

Additionally, it introduces you to a new dimension of sports entertainment, where the boundaries between traditional athletics and digital prowess blur. Whether you’re competing in virtual matches or cheering for esports superstars, it’s a captivating realm that adds a modern twist to your sports enthusiasm.

Engage with Online Communities

The internet is home to countless sports forums, social media groups, and fan websites where you can interact with fellow sports enthusiasts like those through Cal-Hi Sports. Share your insights, discuss game strategies, or simply banter with like-minded fans. These online communities are a great way to stay connected and exchange views on your favorite sports, making it a more immersive experience.

Moreover, they offer a platform for staying updated with the latest news, rumors, and behind-the-scenes stories, fostering a sense of belonging within the global sports community. Whether you’re celebrating victories or commiserating over losses, these online forums provide a sense of camaraderie that enhances your sports passion.

Fantasy Sports Leagues

For those seeking a more hands-on experience, fantasy sports leagues are a great option. You can create your own virtual team, draft real-life players, and compete against others based on their actual performance. Websites and apps dedicated to fantasy sports make it easy to manage your team and track player statistics, adding a new layer of excitement to every game.

This unique blend of strategy and sports knowledge allows you to step into the shoes of a team manager, making decisions on player selections, trades, and tactics to outwit your opponents. It’s not only an engaging way to follow your favorite sports but also a way to test your sports acumen against fellow enthusiasts.

Boys BB: 2023-24 Transfer Rundown

Here’s a quick-hitting list of transfers that will impact this year’s boys basketball state rankings. It’s been a hectic off-season and we offer a rundown of where some of California’s elite players ended up, including some who left the state, and some who just transferred as recently as the past week. Look for our preseason Cal-Hi Sports state rankings on November 9. The 2023-24 season officially begins November 13. The CIF state basketball championships are scheduled to take place March 8-9, 2024. Read more…

Boys BB: Preseason FAB 50 Show

Our Managing Editor Ronnie Flores, who takes the lead on our boys basketball content as well, was an analyst and producer for the recently-released “Preseason FAB 50 Show” by The hour and a half long show broke down the boys basketball preseason FAB 50 National Team Rankings Flores produces each year (CLICK HERE to view rankings). This is the 37th consecutive season for the FAB 50, which started as the National Prep Poll by high school hall of fame journalist Doug Huff of West Virginia in 1987-88. Cal-Hi Sports Editor Mark Tennis combined forces with Huff to create the FAB 50 for the 1999-2000 season and the trio worked on it together until the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season.

The show’s other analyst is Texas scout Ani Umana and it’s hosted by former San Diego State standout and WNBA player Chelsea Hopkins.

The California teams in the preseason FAB 50 this year are defending CIF open champ North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake at No. 11, Bellflower St. John Bosco at No. 19, Santa Ana Mater Dei at No. 42, Eastvale Roosevelt at No. 44, and Chatsworth Sierra Canyon at No. 46.

Look for Flores’ Region-By-Region Top 20 Rankings (including the West Region) on November 7 and for our preseason state rankings by November 9. The 2023-24 season will be the 44th consecutive season that Cal-Hi Sports/ will provide state rankings in boys hoops.

What to Know About the Connection Between Sports Enthusiasts and Online Gambling

In a world where entertainment options are endless, the relationship between sports enthusiasts and online gambling has emerged as a fascinating and intertwined phenomenon. While the ethics of gambling remain a subject of debate, there’s no denying that these two realms share a close bond, driven by mutual benefits and ever-evolving trends.

A Thrilling Partnership: Sports and Gambling

The marriage between sports and gambling has deep historical roots, with both entities often seen as kindred spirits in the world of entertainment. This enduring connection is evident in the way many websites seamlessly integrate sports betting and casino gaming. When one delves into the world of online casinos and sportsbooks, it becomes apparent that enthusiasts have a plethora of options to choose from.

Sponsorship Synergy: A Global Example

Sports events often require substantial financial backing, and this is where sponsors step in to provide the necessary support. Securing sponsors is crucial for the financial health of sports events, and casinos have emerged as prime candidates. These gambling establishments boast a vast audience of sports aficionados who frequently engage in sports betting, making them ideal partners for sporting ventures.

For instance, let’s consider top rated Australian online casinos as an example. They can successfully leverage their brand by sponsoring various sports events, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. When sports fans place bets on their favorite teams or players at these online casinos, they not only contribute to the excitement of the game but also engage more deeply with the casino brand, opening doors to a world of entertainment beyond sports.

A Profitable Fusion: Joining Forces

The convergence of casino gaming and sports betting into a unified market has proven to be a lucrative endeavor. This combination allows individuals to use real money for sports wagers, slot machines, poker, and more, all from a single online platform.

Moreover, online casinos often entice new players with generous promotions, such as depositing $1 and receiving 100 free spins in a matter of seconds, even without prior experience. Accessibility is another key advantage – anyone with an internet-connected device can partake in online casino games, allowing for flexible and convenient gameplay.

The Influence of Sports on Casino Games

Sports-themed online casinos take the gaming experience a step further, offering more immersive gameplay than traditional online venues. Players can choose from a range of options, including basketball-themed slots, roulette with a sports twist, or even blackjack adorned with their favorite team’s logo. These games allow sports fans to relish the atmosphere of a stadium while enjoying the thrill of betting from the comfort of their own homes.

Accessibility and User-Friendliness

One of the most significant advantages of online gambling is its accessibility and ease of use. Whether it’s poker, sports betting, or slot machines, these activities can be pursued from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. Unlike traditional casinos, there’s no need to dress up or adhere to specific hours of operation – online gambling is available 24/7, making it a convenient choice for enthusiasts.

Safety and Security

One of the most critical aspects of online gambling is the assurance of safety and security. Reputable online casinos employ robust encryption and security measures, subjecting themselves to regular audits by independent third parties to ensure the integrity of their platforms. This focus on data protection and fair play instills confidence in players, knowing their funds and personal information are secure.

In Conclusion

The relationship between sports enthusiasts and online gambling is a complex and evolving one. Both worlds benefit from their interconnection, with casinos finding sponsorship opportunities in the sports industry, and sports events attracting a more engaged audience through gambling affiliations. While the ethics of gambling remain a subject of debate, it’s clear that these two entertainment domains will continue to share an intriguing synergy, offering enthusiasts a diverse array of entertainment options.

An Insight into the Intersection of Online Gaming and Sports

Two colossal realms of entertainment — online gaming and traditional sports — have been converging in remarkable ways. As technology reshapes people’s lives, these once disparate worlds are now merging, creating a fascinating crossroads of experiences. Explore the exciting intersection of online gaming and sports, uncovering their synergies, their shared fan base, and the potential impact on both industries.

Esports: The New Arena

Esports, the realm of competitive video gaming, has emerged as a global sensation. Esports tournaments are filling massive stadiums and drawing millions of online viewers. What makes this phenomenon even more captivating is the overlap between esports and traditional sports. Numerous professional athletes, spanning from soccer to basketball, are avid gamers, establishing a bridge between these two worlds. This synergy has given rise to thrilling collaborations, such as NBA 2K leagues and partnerships between esports organizations and major sports franchises.

Gamification of Sports

The gamification of sports has elevated the fan experience to unprecedented heights. Sports apps and websites offer real-time updates, fantasy leagues, and interactive content that fully immerse fans in the game. This gamified approach blurs the lines between online gaming and traditional sports, cultivating a more engaged and interactive fan base. As fans craft their fantasy teams or predict match outcomes, they are, in essence, participating in a form of gaming that deepens their connection to the sport. There are even sports-themed games on sites like Real money casino online USA, which offers a wide variety of games, including slots, online blackjack, and online poker.

Betting on the Action

Within the realm of sports betting, the convergence of online gaming and traditional sports becomes notably evident. Some gaming sites, known for their diverse gaming options, have now ventured into the world of sports betting. This seamless integration combines the excitement of sports with the thrill of gaming, drawing in traditional sports enthusiasts and gamers alike. Many websites now provide online platforms where fans can place bets on their favorite teams and athletes, adding an extra layer of engagement that enriches the overall experience.

Virtual Reality (VR) Spectacles

Virtual reality is revolutionizing how you experience sports and gaming. VR headsets transport fans to the very heart of the action, allowing them to witness games from the best seats in the house or even step into the shoes of their favorite athletes within virtual environments. This remarkable technology bridges the gap between gaming and sports, creating immersive experiences that captivate a broader audience. Esports tournaments held in VR and sports training applications further underscore this convergence, promising endless possibilities at this captivating crossroads.

Bottom Line

The intersection of online gaming and sports is a dynamic fusion of two cultural phenomena that continue to shape leisure activities. Esports, gamified sports experiences, sports betting, and virtual reality spectacles are at the forefront of this convergence.

This trend enriches the fan experience, attracts a wider audience, and unleashes new opportunities for innovation in both industries. As technology evolves, you can only anticipate this fusion becoming more intricate, offering fans exciting new ways to engage with their favorite sports and games. The future holds boundless possibilities at this thrilling crossroads of online gaming and sports, including the
seamless integration of online casinos in the USA that offer real money gaming, enhancing the overall entertainment experience.

On The OLu Sidelines With A Neighbor

Donna and Doug Sherman are shown with their sons Rod and Ron. They live in Stockton across the street from Cal-Hi Sports. Ron lives in Stockton as well. Rod is in his third season as head football coach at Orange Lutheran. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Our unique connection to the Orange Lutheran football program comes from being neighbors with the head coach’s parents.


The offensive coordinator at Orange Lutheran when the school won the CIF D2 state title in 2006 was Rod Sherman, who left the school in 2007 to help build a similar program at Valor Christian in Highlands Ranch, Colo. The goal at Valor was the same at California Christian-based schools like Oaks Christian, Valley Christian (San Jose) and OLu. They were all schools that started small but wanted to go big.

The school in Colorado didn’t want Sherman to be athletic director and head coach so his best friend, Brent Vieselmeyer, came with him to be head football coach. Brent was the defensive coordinator at OLu in 2006 under head coach Jim Kunau. They won their first state title there in 2009 in a lower division and were quickly moved up to the state’s highest class. Valor won state titles in 2010 and 2011 and kept winning them in 2012 when Rod took over as head football coach while continuing as athletic director. Valor Christian later won state titles under Sherman in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

Rod Sherman wasn’t sure about one call during the Orange Lutheran-De La Salle game but very rarely questioned the officials. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Starting not long after 2007, updates on how Rod was doing in Colorado became easy to come by. His parents, Doug and Donna Sherman, had retired and moved from Southern California to Stockton where their other son, Ron, lives. They both also are Stockton natives and are graduates of Stagg High in Stockton. It just so happened they bought a house across the street from where yours truly, the longtime editor of Cal-Hi Sports, has been living since 1997.

Doug and Donna are often seen riding their bikes through the neighborhood and Doug still happily mows his own lawn. They almost made it a yearly tradition to head to Colorado during the state championship weeks there as Valor Christian often went to them and almost always won.

One of the players that Rod and Brent coached at Valor was running back Christian McCaffrey, the son of former Denver Broncos’ standout Ed McCaffrey, who is now playing for the San Francisco 49ers and was earlier runner-up for the Heisman Trophy at Stanford. After the 2017 season and despite an 11-1 record, Rod had to leave Valor Christian. Ed then became head coach (although he only stayed for two years before going to Northern Colorado University). Rod had become the head coach at Arapahoe High in Littleton, which was the school he was at when he took the OLu job in 2020. Brent is now on the staff of the NFL’s Washington Commanders and previously was a head coach at Santa Margarita.

Since 2021, almost every weekend during the season, Doug and Donna have traveled from Stockton to Orange County to see Rod’s teams play. Their most recent trip was just last weekend to see the Lancers defeat Serra of Gardena and also to see the first freshman game of their grandson, Deacon, who is one of Rod and wife Kristin’s four children. This week’s game for OLu at De La Salle is the first time they’ve seen one of Rod’s teams play and then be able to sleep in their own beds afterward in more than 15 years.

It was a busy time for the Shermans after the game last Friday as well. Rod and Kristin were planning to take one of their daughters to college two days later in Arizona. Kristin will have to come back to Orange County to coach a football team just like Rod since she has taken on the role of being the OLu flag football coach. Doug and Donna took off in their RV for one night on Saturday near Sequoia National Park and were then going to be in Southern California for OLu’s home game next week vs Eastside Catholic of Washington. They are then going to head to Arizona for OLu’s fourth game against Chandler High. Kristin’s parents live there so all four grandparents will be there for that game.

Doug was on the sidelines for the game vs De La Salle and likes to get a sideline pass for all of his son’s games. It was a different experience for us from the usual as well, watching a lot of plays with someone you see frequently all the time so close to home.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle:

Boys BB: Major Showcase Schedules

In November, we will begin the release of our preseason 2023-24 Cal-Hi Sports boys basketball state rankings. As a preview to how things could shake out, here is a list of the major 2023-24 tournaments and classics involving California teams that figure to be ranked. The 2023-24 season officially begins November 13. The CIF state basketball championships are scheduled to take place March 8-9, 2024. 

Read more…

Preseason State Football Hub

A lot of the players celebrating St. John Bosco’s No. 1 finish in the state last year have moved on, but the Braves stay No. 1 to start this season for the same reason Mater Dei of Santa Ana was No. 1 to start last season: the winning team between those two stays higher until they play again. Photo: Scott Kurtz / Cal-Hi Sports.

Here’s a simple one-stop place to find links to all of the preseason football content for 2023 on the web site. This is the 45th season in which we’ve covered the entire state.


CIF Northern Section | CIF Sac-Joaquin Section | CIFSS Inland Empire | CIF Central Section | CIF San Diego Section | CIF NCS East Bay | CIFSS San Fernando/Ventura | CIF L.A. City Section | CIFSS San Gabriel Valley | CIFSS Long Beach/South Bay | CIF NCS Redwood Empire | CIF Central Coast Section | CIF/SS Orange County

Preseason All-State Football Teams

All State Records Ready for 2023 Season

Preseason State TOP 50 FB Rankings (1-10)
Preseason State TOP 50 FB Rankings (11-30)
Preseason State TOP 50 FB Rankings (31-50)

We hope you consider a Gold Club membership on to view all the preseason all section teams. All regular season State TOP 50 rankings also will be Gold Club posts. You can sign up today to get all of our Gold Club content for just $3.99 for one month. A three-month sub, which by the way will carry you through almost all of the upcoming season, is just $9.99. For details, CLICK HERE.

Special national title for Kinnebrew & Cal Sparks girls

Cal Sparks founder and director Elbert Kinnebrew led the charge to a crown in Chicago in July despite an ongoing fight against cancer.


Because it was not possible to be in Orange County and Nevada at the same time for the annual Cal-Hi Sports Girls of Summer tour, we were unable to see the Etiwanda duo of State Junior of the Year Kennedy Smith and State Sophomore of the Year Aliyahna “Puff” Morris, or any of the other Cal Sparks Gold 17U EYBL stars in action at the Ballin in the Ballroom at the Westin Lake Las Vegas in Henderson.

Elbert Kinnebrew and wife Karen celebrate after top team in Cal Sparks program won national title. Photo:

We do, however, want to give a shout out to the players of the Nike EYBL national champion Cal Sparks 17U EYBL, and its founder and Ballin in the Ballroom tournament director Elbert Kinnebrew.

Cal Sparks has had some very talented players since Kinnebrew founded the club in 1996, and they have been one of the top teams since joining the Nike EYBL (Elite Youth Basketball League) circuit 11 years ago. However, this was the first EYBL national championship for the club, and came as a reward not only for the players, but Kinnebrew as well.

Joining Smith and Morris as starters at the national championships in Chicago in the first half of the viewing period were Tajianna Avant-Roberts, a 2024 and All-State First Team Juniors selection last season from La Jolla Country Day, Jenessa Cotton, a 2024 post from Mater Dei (Santa Ana), who was also an All-State First Team Juniors last season, and Ryann Bennett, a 2024 from Long Beach St. Anthony.

The remaining Cal Sparks players that competed in Chicago were Taylor Gerard, a 2025 from Windward of Los Angeles; Grace Knox, a 2025 from Centennial of Las Vegas; Bella Harmon, a 2026 from Buena Park, and Alana White, a 2026 from Buena Park.

According to Kinnebrew, the 17U team added Harmon and White for depth, but the starters “played a ton of minutes.”

It’s not a surprise that Smith was the big star. “If there was an MVP it would have been Kennedy,” Kinnebrew remarked.

To win the national championship, the Sparks had to beat the two other top teams in the field, All Iowa Attack, and the Cal Stars 17 EYBL. In fact, the Sparks beat All Iowa twice, 82-72, and then two days later they won the championship game over the Iowans, 68-55. Sandwiched in the middle was a 69-61 victory over the Cal Stars.

Kinnebrew has a great group of coaches, including James Anderson, who won back-to-back CIF state championship in 2000-01 at Harbor City Narbonne, Ray Bennett, the current head coach at St. Anthony, veterans William Hailey and Dominic Freeman, and Sparks alumni Caila Hailey and Candace Evans, but it’s Kinnebrew and his wife Karen Kinnebrew, who are the orchestrators, all the while with Elbert fighting cancer.

“I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2020 and my biopsy scale was 10, and 10 being the worst possible level,” Kinnebrew said. “So with my wife at my side at my first post biopsy the doctor told me to get my affairs in order. We thought my end was around the corner.”

Now, three years later, Kinnebrew is still fighting. After 40 years in Southern California he and Karen moved back to the Sacramento area where they both are from, initially because they wanted to be near family if Elbert’s days were numbered.

Because the cancer was not in his spine, doctors were able to treat him with surgeries, radiation and chemo and he went into remission, however in 2022 he was out of remission when the cancer moved into his rib cage.

“Now it is chemo in pill form and close watch on possible spread,” Kinnebrew said.

So why on earth does he still continue Cal Sparks given he’s also still a CPA with clients?

“Why do I keep going with Cal Sparks given my health status?”

“Karen and I love helping the girls via basketball,” answered Kinnebrew. “This is our fourth decade of service and we’ve helped over 300 girls attend college via the program and that’s gratifying given the importance of advanced education in their coming adult lives.”

“Now, every year it’s a renewal decision,” Kinnebrew continued. “We’ve decided we’ll be back for the 2024 club season. Lord knows when this will end but for now we don’t.”

On behalf of the girls basketball community, we can only hope Elbert wins the battle and he and Karen can help hundreds of more girls in the future.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

All-State Softball Patch List

All-State softball patches for any player named to any of our annual all-state teams can order a souvenir patch with certificate of recognition through our partners at

For those just interested in seeing the names of players who are on the Gold Club post for this year’s All-State 2nd and 3rd teams for softball 2023 without having to sign up as a subscriber, here is a simple alphabetical list. If you want the full presentation and are not Gold Club, please check out getting a membership today.
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