North wins in Four in Optimist Division-II game

North Pic.jpg

By Jeremy McDonald

SACRAMENTO --For 31 athletes in the Optimist Boys Volleyball All-Star game; Wednesday marked the end of their high school careers.

"It's awesome that what our coaches think are the best players, get to play together and experience other teams in the area

The South would win the first set, but the North would rally off the next three sets for the 20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18 win in the opening game of the Optimist Doubleheader.

The south won the first set 25-20, but the north responded with a 25-20 set win themselves.

"We came together as team and started playing together," said Rocklin's Vance Gregg on the second set win.  "We really powered through and played well."

The momentum of the second set help the North take sets three and four 25-21 and 25-18 respectively.

"It was really good," said Thunder's Evan Gustafson on the game.  "Coming back after losing the first game and taking it to four and winning it in four.  It was really good and fun."

Up next is college, and for Fighting Zebras Gunner Michaelson, that is trying to walk on some where collegiately.

"Right now I'm going to Sierra," said Michaelson.  "I really want to get a volleyball team started there, they don't have one there so I hope to talk to the school.  Then I'm trying to transfer to San Francisco State."

Lincoln's Kevin Avilia and Rocklin'sLenard Lomugdang also participated in the game.  Avilia for the south with Holt and Michealson and Lomugdang with teammates Gustafson and Gregg on the North squad.

Gustafson, Cole, Aidnik honored to be part of Optimist Games

By Jeremy McDonald

On Wednesday June 3, 58 high school volleyball players, they get to put on their respective high school uniforms for the very last time.

For Rocklin’s Evan Gustafson, who’s playing on the North’s Division-II squad, there is some excitement and honor in playing in the Optimist All-Star game.

“I’m excited and honored to be able to play along with some of the area’s other top players,” he said about playing on the game.  “(I) can’t wait to play and have some fun.”

As for Roseville Head Coach Jason Cole, who’s coaching the Division-I North team alongside Nevada Union Head Coach Marco Salcedp, his thoughts are the same despite being a coach.

"The optimist game is a great way to honor the Seniors and give them one last chance to play with their peers and represent their High School," said Cole.  "This will be my first time coaching an optimist team on the boys side.  I have coached girls optimist teams in the past."

Whitney’s Cole Aidnik, who played against Cole three times this past season including for the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I in 2015, hasn’t practiced with the team yet due to the Wildcats deep run in the NorCal Bracket but is looking forward on learning from Cole on the Division-I North Team.

“He coaches a very well disciplined Roseville team,” said Aidnik on Cole.  “It’s going to be a pleasure to play under him and round out my game.”

Other notables from Wednesday’s game feature the Thunders Lenard Lomugdang and Vance Gregg on the Division-II team.  Lincoln has Gunner Michealson, Mitchell Holt, Kevin Avila playing on the Division-II South team.

Aidnik is joined by Whitney teammates Cavan Stewart on Andrew Gruber, Trevor Pratt is joining Cole from Roseville on the Division-I squad.  Wesley Levins of Woodcreek is also on the Division-I team.

Come Wednesday at Capital Christian High School, Division-II game will start off the festivities at 5pm.  The Optimist Division-I game is slated afterwards at 7pm.

Below are the team rosters of all four teams participating Wednesday night.

                                                    North Team – Division 1

#  6 Andreas Lees – Del Oro High School Golden Eagles

   Position: OH                                                                                              Coach: Levi Oates

#  7 Jacob Tarabetz – Del Oro High School Golden Eagles

   Position: OPP                                                                                           Coach: Levi Oates

#10 Trevor Brake – Granite Bay High School Grizzlies

   Position: OPP                                                                                            Coach: Bruce Honberger

#20 Rob Cartwright – Granite Bay High School Grizzlies

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Bruce Honberger

#26 TJ Neiman – Granite Bay High School Grizzlies

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Bruce Honberger

#  9 Wyatt Salinas – Granite Bay High School Grizzlies

   Position: L                                                                                                 Coach: Bruce Honberger

#  2 Logan Kerley – Nevada Union High School Miners

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Marco Salcedo

#  3 Harrison McCormick – Nevada Union High School Miners

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Marco Salcedo

#12 Mason Salcedo – Nevada Union High School Miners

   Position: S                                                                                                 Coach: Marco Salcedo

#15 Steven Skaggs – Nevada Union High School Miners

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Marco Salcedo

#  1 Cole Williams – Nevada Union High School Miners

   Position: L/DS                                                                                           Coach: Marco Salcedo

#  9 Trevor Pratt – Roseville High School Tigers

   Position: OH/MH/OPP                                                                            Coach: Jason Cole

#  7 Cole Aidnik – Whitney High School Wildcats

   Position: OH/L                                                                                          Coach: Erich Means

#10 Andrew Gruber – Whitney High School Wildcats

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach Erich Means

#12 Cavan Stewart – Whitney High School Wildcats

   Position: OH/OPP                                                                                    Coach: Erich Means

#21 Wesley Levins – Woodcreek High School Timberwolves

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Brian Jew

D-1 North Head Coaches: Marco Salcedo – Nevada Union High School Jason Cole – Roseville High School

                                                       South Team – Division 1

#  2 Michael McCullough – Cosumnes Oaks High School Wolfpack

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Jade Glymph

#  9 Jose Aquino – Franklin High School Wildcats

   Position: OH                                                                                            Coach: Melody McCullough

#  7 Cameron Nunn – Grant High School Pacers

   Position: OH/MB                                                                                     Coach: Richard Faraimo

#  1 Brandon Spalding – Grant High School Pacers

   Position: OH/MB                                                                                     Coach: Richard Faraimo

#  6 Jonathan Arrow – Jesuit High School Marauders

   Position: S                                                                                                 Coach: Jason Johnson

#  3 Danny Erum – Jesuit High School Marauders

   Position: OPP                                                                                           Coach: Jason Johnson

#16 Michael Olenchuk – Jesuit High School Marauders

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Jason Johnson

#14 Jade Sotelo – Jesuit High School Marauders

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Jason Johnson

#  4 Grant Kitade – McClatchy High School Lions

   Position: S                                                                                                 Coach: Kent Kitade

#  5 Jonathan Louie – McClatchy High School Lions

   Position: S                                                                                                 Coach: Kent Kitade

#10 Charles King – Monterey Trail High School Mustangs

   Position: OH                                                                                              Coach: Marcian Evans

#  2 Sunfield Lee – Monterey Trail High School Mustangs

   Position: L                                                                                                  Coach: Marcian Evans

#  9 Chase Barri – Oak Ridge High School Trojans

   Position: OH                                                                                              Coach: Melanie Demure

#  5 Sam Greenleaf – Oak Ridge High School Trojans

   Position: S/OPP                                                                                         Coach: Melanie Demure

#12 Ben Kopania – Oak Ridge High School Trojans

   Position: OH                                                                                               Coach: Melanie Demure

Head Coaches: Kent Kitade – McClatchy High School Marcian Evans – Monterey Trail High School Jason Johnson – Jesuit High School

                                                     North Team – Division 2

#22 Noah Hedenland – Bear River High School Bruins

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Lance Mansuetti

#11 Scott Jensen – Bear River High School Bruins

   Position: DS/OH                                                                                       Coach: Lance Mansuetti

#13 Nick Mansuetti – Bear River High School Bruins

   Position: S                                                                                                 Coach: Lance Mansuetti

#21 Travis Whitehead – Bear River High School Bruins

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Lance Mansuetti

#15 Keith Makishima – Oakmont High School Vikings

   Position: S                                                                                                 Coach: Devon Quok

#16 Alex Marten – Oakmont High School Vikings

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Devon Quok

#  3 Carlos Vergara – Oakmont High School Vikings

   Position: OPP                                                                                           Coach: Devon Quok

#  8 Taylor Charron – Ponderosa High School Bruins

   Position: S                                                                                                 Coach: Mike Yates

#  4 Haward Gomes – Ponderosa High School Bruins

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Mike Yates

#13 Vance Gregg – Rocklin High School Thunder

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Daniel List

# 17 Evan Gustafson – Rocklin High School Thunder

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Daniel List

#  3 Lenard Lomugdang – Rocklin High School Thunder

   Position: L/DS                                                                                           Coach: Daniel List

#  7 Daniel Joseph – Union Mine High School Diamondbacks

   Position: L/DS                                                                                          Coach: Julie Warren

#17 Derek McCulloch – Union Mine High School Diamondbacks

   Position: MB/OH                                                                                     Coach: Julie Warren

D-2 North Head Coaches: Lance Mansuetti – Bear River High School  Devon Quok – Oakmont High School                                                         

                                                      South – Division 2

#18 Cody Nelson – Capital Christian High School Cougars

   Position: S/OPP                                                                                       Coach: Greg Grant

#2 Jacob Chelini – Christian Brothers High School Falcons

   Position: OH/OPP                                                                                    Coach: Polo Lopez

#18 Jason Rutherford – El Camino High School Eagles

   Position: L                                                                                                 Coach: Trevor Meyer

#4 Elijah Magat – El Dorado High School Cougars

   Position: S/OPP/OH                                                                                Coach: Alan Magat

#2 Cyle Ayers – Elk Grove High School Thundering Herd

   Position: S                                                                                                 Coach: Jill Smith

#9 Jacob Lamoureaux – Elk Grove High School Thundering Herd

   Position: OH                                                                                             Coach: Jill Smith

#  5 Kevin Avila – Lincoln High School Fighting Zebras

   Position: L                                                                                                 Coach: Ken Lowe

#24 Mitchell Holt – Lincoln High School Fighting Zebras

   Position: MB                                                                                            Coach: Ken Lowe

#23 Gunner Michealson – Lincoln High School Fighting Zebras

   Position: MB                                                                                            Coach: Ken Lowe

#  7 Matt Baker – Placer High School Hillmen

   Position: OPP                                                                                           Coach: Andy Klem

#33 Justin DiRuscio – Placer High School Hillmen

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Andy Klem

#36 Parker Houston – Placer High School Hillmen

   Position: S/OPP/OH                                                                                 Coach: Andy Klem

#4 Jiheng Nie – Placer High School Hillmen

   Position: L                                                                                                 Coach: Andy Klem

#25 Marc Gulchenko – Rio Americano High School Raiders

   Position: DS                                                                                              Coach: Keith Hart

#55 Nathan Thalken – Rio Americano High School Raiders

   Position: DS                                                                                              Coach: Keith Hart

#21 Erik Anderson – Rio Americano High School Raiders

   Position: MB                                                                                             Coach: Keith Hart

#15 Shawn Lee – Rio Americano High School Raiders

   Position: OPP/S                                                                                        Coach: Keith Hart

#11 Christopher Tong – Sheldon High School Huskies

   Position: S                                                                                                  Coach: Sheila Gardner

#25 Patrick Reinking – Vista del Lago High School Eagles

   Position: MH                                                                                             Coach: Jen Silva                                                                                                

Head Coaches: Alan Magat – El Dorado High School Greg Grant – Capital Christian High School Andy Klem – Placer High School.  Keith Hart – Rio Americano High School





Rocklin's Cinderella Story ends in 3-1 PK loss to DO

Rocklin's Cinderella Story Ends With Defeat 3-1 In PKs to Del Oro Saturday ( Jeremy McDonald-65 Sports)

Rocklin's Cinderella Story Ends With Defeat 3-1 In PKs to Del Oro Saturday (Jeremy McDonald-65 Sports)

By Jeremy McDonald

ELK GROVE -- Finishing 6-6 and in fifth place in the Sierra Foothill League, the Rocklin Girls Soccer team weren't expecting to go far in the playoffs in 2015.

Not just they shock the bracket, they took defending CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-II Champions the distance; forcing the Golden Eagles to try to beat them on penalty kicks.

Del Oro did just that however, winning the PK battle 3-1 after being held scoreless in the 100 minutes prior to repeat as Section Champs.

“No one thought we’d be here today to make it this for in our season,” said Lindsay Erl.  “We finished fourth in our league and made it to the championship.

“We fought to the last minute.  Played with a lot of heart, played with passion and played as a team.”

In the PK round, Slyvia Sloss nailed the first penalty kick, the Thunder's Faith Hollway tied it up in the second round.

Rachel Gensch gave Del Oro a 2-1 advantage on the next kick, the Eagles Aubrey Goodwill and Rocklin's Christina Lazar and Marisa Synder's shots all were saved.

"I honestly wasn't thinking much during the PKs," said DO's goalkeeper Alyssa Leaman.  "That's one of the situations where you have to put trust into the proper preparation in training."

But Emily Curry's shot was the deciding factor in the game as it got past Thunder goalkeeper Jamie Goodwin's fingers for the win.

“We put everything out there on the field (today),” said Goodwin.  “We did everything we could.”

Head coach Paul Morrison added to that.

“It was a hard fought game, getting to the 100 minutes and holding them to without a score against the players they have on that team.  It’s a lot to be proud of and we hit the target,” Morrison said on the game.

“It could’ve gone either way in the penalty kick shootout.  Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.”

For the 100 minutes of the regulation and extra timw that led to the penalty kicks both teams the game with the physicality.

Both teams had their runs offensively in the match but couldn't find the back of the net as a handful of shots either met with the top bar of the goal or rolled away from the goal itself.

A scary moment occurred in the opening moments of the second half when Maddy Morrison went down with an ankle injury and the Eagles answered by pressing the stunned Rocklin defense.

Despite getting shots at goal, the Thunder denied one after another Del Oros valiant attempts to score behind Synder and Goodwin's leadership.

“I tried my hardest for the people around me,” said Goodwin on her performance.  “I know it could be there last game (ever), I just tried my best.”

Morrison came back with 18 minutes to go after icing her right ankle and the intensity of the Rocklin team was restored as the midfielders on both sides struggled to slow down the long ball.

“I think that our defense played extremely well as they have done all season, especially under the pressure of the long balls Rocklin was sending forward,” said Leaman.  “As a team we remained composed for the majority of the game.”

The long balling continued into the two overtime frames, but it almost paid off in the final moments of the second overtime frame for the Eagles if it wasn't for Goodwin's hands in what looked like a  Inspector Gadget-isc stretch save as both teams entered the best-of-five penalty kicks round.

Despite's Holloway's kick being the only kick made for the Thunder, Paul Morrison will be returning all but three seniors from this year's team to next.

“The biggest thing Is that I hope the leadership from each of our seniors is carried on in the spirit of the juniors and the sophomores and the freshman who are coming up because that is the foundation of what you can do in soccer.

“Those people who are the oldest on your team who have the most respect on your team; when they set forth that type of example, it changes everything.”


Rocklin/Del Oro Division-II Section Title Game Preview

By Jeremy McDonald

Rocklin Girls Soccer have gotten over the hump and have gotten to the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-II Section Final game.

The team their facing, happens to be the team that knocked them out in the semis in 2014 and went on to win it all last year.

Del Oro.

Both team have spilt their meetings with an exact 1-0 results during the Sierra Foothill League play this season.

But it’s how both teams got here to Elk Grove that are stories in themselves.

The number one seeded Golden Eagles have dominated opponents with their youth eager to prove themselves in the field and having experience in goal with Alyssa Leaman.  Del Oro have allowed just one goal in their game against Bear Creek while scoring 11 goals.

Rachel Gensen and Pagie Martinsen of the Eagles have both recorded hat tricks in the playoffs.  Martinsen in the playoff opener versus the Bruins and Gensen against Consumes Oaks in the semi-final round.

For the Thunder, Maddy Morrison has been the key offensively from her attack position. 

Morrison, daughter of head coach Paul Morrison, scored a brace in Rocklin’s overtime thriller win over Rodriguez on May 5 and scored the game winner against Tracy a few days later.

Despite giving up two goals against the Mustangs, Rocklin’s defense have also shutout their opponents in their Cinderella run, defeating number three Tracy and number seven Folsom en route to their appearance to the Section Title game.

The key to this game is if the Eagle offense can sustain their scoring pace and strong defense and if the Thunder can also keep up their defensive stand.

JEREMY’S PREDICTION:  Rocklin by 1.  Thunder had to battle through the meat of the bracket whereas Del Oro 

Kickoff for the title is 2pm at Consumes Oaks High School.

Rocklin Softball Playoff Preview

By Jeremy McDonald

After finishing Sierra Foothill League play with a 7-5 record and a third place finish in the standings, they enter the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-II bracket play with the 11th seed.

But being the 11th-seed doesn't affect how they play the game.

"We have to play the best in order to continue on in playoffs and reach our goals," said head coach Marissa Hardy. "So having strong competition right out of the gate will hopefully mentally and physically prepare our girls for the rest of playoffs."

During their week off since they're game against Woodcreek, the Thunder have practice fundamental skills to help set them up to play at a strong level come Wednesday afternoon.

"We have been working hard, staying focused, and analyzing our competitors," said Hardy.  "We enjoy have a couple days for practice as it allows us to really round out our game."

The players to watch for are Jaclyn Amader who has anchored the outfield all season and Carli Cutler in the infield.  Both were on the team two years ago that lost to the team they're playing in round one.


The game plan will be the same as they've followed all season long against a Crusher squad that went 13-2 en route to the Monticello Empire League Title in 2015.

"Be solid, have sound fundamentals, and communicate on defense," said Hardy.  "Then, win every inning offensively. If we do those things, we will come out on top."

First pitch is at 6pm at Field Two at the Sacramento Softball Complex.

Morrison's Goal Propels Thunder Soccer to Semi-Finals

By Jeremy McDonald

TRACY-- Once again, Maddy Morrison proved herself as a hero for the Rocklin girls soccer team versus Tracy.

Her 60th minute goal was the only game in the second round CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-II matchup Thursday as the Thunder defeated the Bulldogs 1-0, putting them one game away from the Section Finals.

"Maddy jumped on a loose ball and tapped it by their last defender," Rocklin Head Coach Paul Morrison.  "(She) took it into the box on her right foot and took the shot low past the diving keeper.

It was a possession game leading up to Morrison's goal, but the last ten minutes of the game was intense described Paul Morrison.

"The last ten minutes were pretty intense as they got off some good shots and three corner kicks," said Morrison of the final moments.  "We hung in there and finished off the shutout for the win."

Next is seventh-seeded Folsom Bulldogs on Wednesday at home.  It'll be the third time both team's have played against each other this season and both teams split the series in Sierra Foothill League play.

"Folsom will be tough," said Morrison.  "We'll just try to keep playing good soccer: possession and transition on attack and committing to hard work on defense."

Kickoff for the rubber match will be at 6:30pm on Wednesday, May 13 at Thunder Stadium in Rocklin.

Rocklin Defeats Lincoln of Stockton to advance in Thriller

By Jeremy McDonald

STOCKTON--  Rocklin and Lincoln of Stockton boys tennis came down to the wire Tuesday afternoon, but the Thunder would live to fight another day with a 5-4 victory to advance to Monday’s CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I quarterfinals versus Pleasant Grove.

“Unbelievable,” said Rocklin Head Coach Dale Eckenburg on the game.  “What a great match…Going in I knew it was going to be close and it was.

The Thunder would drop the first set in four of their six singles matches, but senior Alex Aagelakopuolos won the number singles match as Rocklin went on to split the singles matches.

Senior’s Alex Prince and Matt Carter defeated Lincoln’s number one doubles team of Abirath Nakka and Kienan Clewis for the number one doubles win, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

With the number three team going down in straight sets, it came down to the number two doubles team of Kabir Chitre and Dominic Navarro for the game win.


They overcame three match points to take second set 8-6 to force a decisive third set and faced deuce point down 4-5 to take a 7-5, set win to send Rocklin to the next round.

“Down 4-5 and deuce point, they saved another match point and evened the set at 5-5,” said Eckenberg of the decisive set.  “The duo broke to go up 6-5 and finished the game, set and match with a great service game by Kabir and the Cinco De Mayo celebration was on.”



Rocklin Girls Soccer Wins OT Thriller, Advances in Playoffs

By Jeremy McDonald

If playing in the playoffs weren’t crazy enough, imagine that going to overtime and winning the game with three minutes left in overtime.

That’s what Rocklin did.

The foot of Maddie Morrison, daughter of head coach Paul Morrison scored the game winner with three minutes to play for a 3-2 victory, sending the Thunder to Tracy for the second round of the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section playoffs.

“I knew we had to come out with intensity, it’s a must win game,” said Maddie Morrison.  “It was kind of scary at the beginning, but we finished strong.”

Overtime started as a chess match, if you aren’t shooting, your playing defense. 

In the final 10 minutes of overtime however, Rocklin let the dogs out as Morrision and Christina Lazar picked up shots after shots against a physical Mustangs defense that eventually led to Morrison’s goal.

Morrison just ran back on defense as everyone bombarded her.

“I get excited, but it’s not what I do,” laughed Morrison about not joining the celebration.

Paul Morrison, on the other hand, did the excitement for her.

“I’m over here freaking out,” said Paul Morrison with a smile.  “I gave our (Junior Varsity) coach a huge hug.  So yeah, pretty exciting, pretty proud moment.”

A injured Rodriguez player led to a drop kick ball, but the shot at the goal sallied just right as time expired.

“I thought we had it,” said Paul Morrison on overtime.

“It was pretty nerve racking,” added Maddie Morrison on the frame.

Maddie Morrison got Rocklin on the board first with a 26th minute goal, her first of her two “brace” feat goals.

But the Mustangs quickly responded with a 30th minute goal, then added a Jordyn Cunningham goal in the 45th-minute that gave Rodriguez a 2-1 lead.

With 2:58 to go in regulation, after battling the Mustangs stout midfield and backline, the girl known as “Bobe” Christina Lazar, tied the game to force the two 10-minute overtime periods.

 “Last eight minutes we started pounded and I thought ‘we can do this’”  “It was exciting, so exciting that I got a headache.”

Rocklin are traveling to Tracy to play the Bulldogs Thursday.  Tracy defeated Roseville on penalty kicks, time is yet to be determined for the game.

Woodcreek Defeats Rocklin, Goes Undefeated in SFL



By Jeremy McDonald

Rocklin manage to challenge Woodcreek Tuesday afternoon and picked up six hits on a tough pitcher in Jacy Boles.

Boles would settle in late in the game as the Timberwolves completed Sierra Foothill League play a perfect 12-0 with a 5-1 victory.

“The girls played well,” said Woodcreek head coach Jeff Fischer.  “We came out with Holli (McNeil) hitting that two-run homerun which was nice, that broke the ice for us a little bit.

“It was their senior night, you know they’re going to be tough.  Everytime we play Rocklin, it’s a tough game it doesn’t matter what their record is.”

Rocklin's offense was able to force the T’Wolve's Jacy Boles to throw a high volume of pitches in the first two innings of the game.

But couldn't get a run on the board as the Woodcreek  McNeil was able to do so for Woodcreek with a two-out, two-run homerun in the top of the first for a 2-0 lead.

Emmalie Hopping would get the Thunder on the board in the bottom of the third with a single to mid center field to cut the Timberwolves lead to 2-1 entering the fourth.

After a pair of one, two, three innings in the fourth, Woodcreek would get their bats going once more as Kendall Henry drove two in on a RBI Double in the top of the fifth.

For Rocklin starter Sami Storjand, the plan was to limit the ‘big hits’.

“I was trying to say ‘no hits’, like I didn’t want any big hits over the hits,” she said.  “I mean they’re a good hitting team, they’re going to get hits, it is what it is.

That was followed by a RBI single by Henry that would ice the Timberwolves perfect Sierra Foothill League season.

“It was a hard fought game, they’re one of the better teams in the area, and their record proves it” said Rocklin head coach Marissa Hardy.  “I don’t know if (Woodcreek) played a tight game like that and faced that pressure in a while.  So I think we gave them that pressure and we feel good heading into playoffs.”


Rocklin Boys Tennis Defeats Pitman 8-1 to advance

By Jeremy McDonald

Rocklin proved dominant on the tennis courts Monday afternoon versus Pitman with an 8-1 victory over the Pride to advance to round two of the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs.

"Pitman of Turlock offered little resistance in the singles but did get a win and sets in doubles," said Thunder head coach Dale Eckenberg of the opposition.

In singles, five of six singles games resulted in clean two-game sweeps for Rocklin.

The lone one game that went the distance, Ben Bardet won that match with a 6-2 win in the third game for a complete Thunder sweep of Pitman in the singles matchup.

Rocklin would take two of three in the doubles pairing with the lone Pride win came with a 7-5, 4-6 (10-6) win in the final double pair's match of the day.

Up next for the Thunder is Lincoln of Stockton in Stockton, but their is still room for improvements heading into today's 3:30 match.

"For us to beat Lincoln," said Eckenberg. "Our doubles will need to be better.  We must do the little things to come out on top."

Grizzlies "Big Unit" One Hits Thunder For SFL Second

Granite bay's darren nelson forces Kyle Schafer to swing for strike-  jeremy mcdonald.  placer 65 sports

Granite bay's darren nelson forces Kyle Schafer to swing for strike- jeremy mcdonald.  placer 65 sports

By Jeremy McDonald

GRANITE BAY -- Rocklin baseball had a tough time against Granite Bay's version of the "Big Unit" Friday in a battle for Sierra Foothill League second place.

Standing at six-foot - five Darren Nelson held the Thunder to one hit while striking out five in the Grizzlies 6-0 win as Granite Bay takes a full game lead for second place over Rocklin.

 “I knew it was a big game with us tied for second and I had to come in and throw strikes,” said Nelson. “My curve ball was working, my change-up wasn’t working as last time against Woodcreek.  But my fast ball was good so it felt good.”

The game had all the makings of a heavyweight title bout as both teams defense held the others offense through two outs of the bottom of the fourth inning.

What changed was a Rocklin bobble at right field on a for sure out that resulted in a Jordan Vujvich RBI Triple for Granite Bay.

The next at-bat,  another RBI Triple.  This time by Peter Schofield to put the Grizzlies up 2-0 entering the fifth inning.

The Thunder couldn't find their groove on defense following three strong innings by sophomore Mitchell Secondo.

“We charged the ball at first and that we should probably field if we weren’t in too much of a hurry,” said Rocklin head coach Roc Murray.  “But we got in too much of a hurry, trying to play the game. 

“I thought the rest of the game was ok, they hit the ball pretty well and their guy pitched a great game, that’s baseball.”

They gave up four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and Granite Bay starter Darren Nelson continued his dominance on the mound.

“We knew what we had to do, but we couldn’t get it done,” said Thunder Mike Shoenberger.  “(Nelson) was pitching well, we really didn’t try our hardest and he came to play today.”

Murray points to the fact they’ve done a lot of work in the past few weeks that could’ve affected their mental state today.

 “We’ve had three incredible productive weeks and we’ve also played in several extra inning games,” he said. “We’ve played two extra inning games in the Folsom series (last week), then we came back Monday and had another extra inning game.

“So three of the six games we’ve played in the last two weeks were in extra innings.”

Rocklin have two days to recover before starting a three game series with Nevada Union next week and Shoenberger points out one thing they need to improve on for that series.

“I think we need to get more aggressive and being able to execut our bunts a lot better,” he said.

First pitch is 4pm at Nevada Union in Grass Valley.


Rocklin Wins Inangual California Stunt State Championship

By Jeremy McDonald
Rocklin went from competing in one ‘Stunt’ game in 2014 to going 10-1, and swept the competition to win the first ever California Stunt State Championship Title the next year.
“Personally I didn’t,” “Personally as a coach, you want to think the best case scenario. But we always planned for whatever happened. 
“I had a lay-out of schedule, if we lost our first game or we lost our second game, whenever that might be. In my head I knew we were going to sweep it.”
The stunt tournament, held at Leland High School in San Jose, featured the Thunder squad, Antelope, host Leland, San Jose High School and Liberty Ranch High Schools.
Rocklin proved dominant in the bracket, but the biggest challenged was against the Titans in the semi-final game by going to five overtime quarters before defeating Antelope to advance.
The trick for Berry for her team was simple enough.
“Just wanting to keep the energy going,” said Berry. “You can call timeouts in stunt, but at the point the girls were so amp’d up, you just want to keep that energy up.”
When they won, there was an eruption of cheering from Rocklin’s sideline.
“There was a big eruption of excitement because it was building up from back-to-back-to-back tying and then winning for that fifth round,” explained Berry.
Fatigue sat in during the match but, according to senior Maddie Lyle, it was nice to win that match.
“Before this tournament, we only played two games,” said Maddie Lyle. “Some of us were playing four or five games in the tournament so everyone were pushed to their limits. 
“So it was really nice to have won that game and be ready for the final match so we didn’t have to fight our way back to the final.”
The Titans would climb through the ‘losers’ bracket to reach the state championship round to face Rocklin once more.
This time, it didn’t have to go to overtime as the Thunder quiet Antelope for the title.
Ellie Lyle looks at the win as a good thing, but not without a strong knowledge of the sport added Maddie Lyle.
“As a high school, Rocklin has propel the sport forward,” said Ellie Lyle. “So that’s something.”
“It has to do a lot with our coach,” added Maddie Lyle. “She’s really amazing, she’s really, really educated in cheer and she has gone around the country with the UCA program teaching girls how to cheer.”
Maddie Lyle explained that Coach Berry’s passion motivated them and got them excited as a team to do better and believe in what they are doing en route to the state championship.
Despite losing 13 seniors from this year’s team, Rocklin will look to veterans from this year’s team and starting from the bottom with their routines.
“They get it, they understand it, they know what it takes to get there,” said Berry. “Learning all of those routines up until we get up to that skill level peak, then working on those skills through the end.”