Thursday, September 04, 2008


This blog has moved!

For all the new high school blog posts, head on over to THE PREPS BOX.

Erick has been posting new topics there and would appreciate some feedback.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Say Hello to Erick Smith

Alright, since high school and college sports are officially over for the summer, it's time for some summer cleaning.

Starting next fall, not only will this blog be getting a new look — a makeover — but your author is changing as well.

The tentative plan (plans are always tentative in the newspaper business) is for staff writer Erick Smith to take over the high school duties in the fall.

That's him up at the top of this post. Doesn't working with me look like such a blast?

I'm preparing to try and fill Brian Milne's shoes on the college beat come football season.

In my two plus years so far in SLO County, one of my favorite parts of the job has been watching this blog grow.

I appreciate every reader out there who takes the time to visit and post comments. Our interaction has made The Tribune's sports coverage much stronger and has really helped me do a better job.

I don't plan on stepping completely away from high school sports, and I'll help Erick out where I can, but I'm also looking forward to the different challenge of covering Cal Poly and Cuesta athletics.

I lay this gauntlet out for Central Coast prep sports fans: This blog had better not wane.

We've gone through some slow times, but the spirited debates, the comments, the polls and the general traffic have all opened up some eyes in The Tribune newsroom. High school sports has a fervent following, and I expect it to continue to show.

Check back for the new web addresses of both sports blogs in the future. And thanks for the time.

Leftovers from the year in sports

Since I'm going to be shifting over to another blog on another beat, I thought I'd empty my cache on this one.

The past year has brought some great behind the scenes sights and sounds. Here are a couple I didn't share from San Luis Obispo High.

Here's Tigers boys tennis singles player Charlie Fox's team picture. That team had a lot of seniors a lot of success and — as you can see — a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see how they do next year.

Going all the way back to football season, here's a shot of linebacker Nate Egan and his smashed up nose. I remember writing about it in a story, but the photo was kept hidden... until now!

And here is a pretty cool music video, my last on the prep beat, from behind the scenes at the Baseball/Softball Players of the Year photoshoot at Paso Robles High. Michelle Moses, John Brehm and photographer Joe Johnson star.

Paso Players of the Year: Photo Shoot

Apologies to John for the lyrics. It's the only photo shoot song I know. For those interested, the artist is Embassy Music Board and the song is aptly titled Pose. You can download it for free HERE.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SLO High baseball trio get scholarships

Word from the "Bloggin' with..." pipeline is that San Luis Obispo High seniors Darren Mullen, Dan Howell and Robby Nadalsky have all inked letters of intent to play baseball at NCAA Division I schools next year.

Nadalsky wasn't a surprise. He'd announced his verbal commitment to Cal State Northridge long ago. Howell's late commitment was somewhat expected. He took a visit to Hawaii when I was going through All-County team stuff a couple weeks ago. Now, he's inked with the Warriors, said a source.

Mullen, the PAC 7 MVP and single-season Tigers record-holder for RBI, seemed resigned to attend either Palomar or Cuesta College next year.

Not so, in the end.

Out of the blue, Northridge made an offer after finding some newfound holes in its catching depth chart. So, Mullen will join Nadalsky and become a Matador.

Three guys from one team signing with D-I schools? When's the last time that happened around here? I know San Luis has had some talented teams in the past. Anybody recall three from one team making it big?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ryan Overland, Atascadero's CWS hero

That up there is Ryan Overland. He's shown in an Athlete of the Week photo taken in 2004, when Overland was a senior at Atascadero High.

Overland's now a senior at Fresno State. He homered in Tuesday's College World Series win over North Carolina, and I had a cell phone interview with him on Thursday talking about that feat and the Bulldogs' chances at a National Championship.

If Fresno State continues its Cinderella run and wins it all, that would put former San Luis Obispo County athletes on both the College World Series and Women's College World Series champs.

Arizona State's Katie Burkhart, a former SLO High star, pitched the Sun Devils to the softball title in the past month.

The unseeded Bulldogs winning the CWS would be a major coup few would have thought possible before the season or — heck — even two weeks ago. There are probably still doubters out there.

But Overland said his team is now getting a whif of what it would be like.

"The way we got here has given us a lot of confidence," the former Greyhound said. "We were in the toughest regional a lot of people were saying. Long Beach, San Diego and Cal. To go beat those teams and then go beat Arizona State, we already feel like we’ve beaten some of the best teams in the country."

To read more of what Overland had to say, CLICK HERE.

And if you didn't see it, here's the video of Overland's homer against the Tar Heels.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekly Derrick Jasper update: It's UNLV

Word broke Monday that former Paso Robles High standout Derrick Jasper has committed to transfer to UNLV.

I talked to Jasper today. You can read all about it in the Tuesday edition of The Tribune. But I wanted to give blog readers an early shot at responding to the news.

So have at it. He didn't visit any other schools. In the end, UCLA and Cal Poly, the two winners of our informal blog poll, didn't seem to have much of a chance. Here's your chance to debate or support Derrick's decision.

Or have at our choices for baseball and softball players of the year or the All-County team, which came out on Sunday.

It won't be long before this blog takes a little bit of a hiatus for the summer. We've got Jordan Hasay and the Olympic Trials to talk about, but things will get kind of quiet leading up to football season.

In a small piece of slocohighschoolsportsblog news: The blog is expected to get a new address before the fall and stay tuned for another major announcement.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Where would you like to see Derrick Jasper?

Talking to former Paso Robles basketball star Derrick Jasper yesterday, it seemed pretty clear he was carefully weighing his options since deciding to transfer from Kentucky.

He'll have to sit out a year if he transfers to an NCAA Division I university, but he'll also have two additional years of eligibility (and a redshirt year if necessary) once he sits out.

When word first spread about the potential for Jasper to leave the Wildcats, the school I originally thought of — and I'm just being honest here — was UCLA. Bruins coach Ben Howland is a noted defensive guru, and with Jasper's above-average size at point guard, defense and rebounding has been the former Bearcat's specialty in college.

As it turns out, there's been some interest from UCLA and Westwood could be a likely destination for Jasper. But it's not the only school that fits his criteria of wanting to get closer to home. Jasper also has several other schools he's considering, including San Diego State, UNLV, USC and Long Beach State among others.

He never mentioned Cal Poly, which is as close to home as you can get, but Jasper didn't sound as if he was ruling much out either at this early stage. He got his official release from Kentucky on Monday and said he expects to take as much time as needed to make the right decision.

Where would you like to see Jasper end up? Comment here and vote in the new poll.

CIF State Track: The Video

After reviewing the raw footage I took at this past weekend's track meet, I decided most of it was pretty boring. So instead of posting it all, I spruced it up with some music and production value.

The video stars Nipomo throwers Korben Boaz and Jeanette DeWitt as well as Templeton's Justin Cutler. It was completely shot and edited by yours truly. It's pretty rad, but just a warning for those who might suffer from kinetosis, there's lots of spinning.

I also took this nice photo of Tonie Williams standing with her CIF State medal (She placed sixth in the 400). Enjoy!

2008 CIF Track and Field Championships

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sights From the CIF State Track and Field Meet

I'm down here in Norwalk covering the state track meet. Read all the results of your favorite SLO County athletes in the Tribune or at
Blog readers will get all the extra stuff.

I'm armed and dangerous with my camera and hope to be posting videos of the action within the weekend.

Until those get up, here's an update.

I saw two stud high school basketball players at the meet. UCLA-bound senior Drew Gordon qualified fourth in the discus for tomorrow's final with a 180-foot, 2-inch throw. He's one spot behind Nipomo's Korben Boaz, who popped a personal-best 181-10.

I also ran by Compton basketball star Demar DeRozan, who was not competing but was watching in the stands, on my way out to interview SLO star Tonie Williams. I didn't have the time to ask if he was really going to renege on his commitment to USC.

Nipomo coach Matt Soenksen let me in on a superstition. His Titans caravan of throwers Boaz and Jeanette DeWitt stayed at the same Hilton and ate at the same meals at the same Mimi's Cafe as they did for last week's CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, which was also at Cerritos College. He didn't say if they were bummed not to get the same parking spot at the stadium.

Now would be a good time to mention that the starting pistol scares the crap out of me every time it goes off. Come to a meet. I challenge you. Come to a meet, whip out a computer, type some stuff and just try to keep the solids in when the deafening POW! rattles your innards.

It'll be a surprise if the Central Coast athletes don't do well on Saturday. The weather conditions were vintage SLO County. The temperature was in the low 70s. It was sunny. And the wind was just strong enough to notice you didn't like it.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more.