Archive for August, 2009



SportsForce co-founder Tony Garcia a former Park View Little Leaguer helps the Parkview team by getting support from the San Diego Padres and ESPN Radio 710 AM in Los Angeles.

San Diego Padres Players Send Best Wishes to Parkview Little All Stars

ESPN Radio 710 Interview

Park View Little League Coach Ricky Ramirez the father of Little League all-star player Luke Ramirez gets interviewed by ESPN Radio 710 AM.

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By Alex Lontayo – SportsForce co-founder

Baseball is an amazing game. For as long as I can remember, it has been an integral part of my life. I’m reminded of all that is has done for me everyday. I have pics of myself holding a ball before I was able to sit up unassisted or pics of myself dragging a bat before I was able to walk. The game was taught to me at an early age and helped me grow as a person. With the buzz about Parkview Little League’s run at the World Series (http://www.parkviewlittleleague.com/), I’ve found myself really looking back at my days back in little league and all the game offered me throughout my life. All of the opportunities I have been blessed with were through baseball. I see the passion that they play with and the camaraderie they have and it really hits home. That’s what you’d expect when they’ve been a TEAM for over 7 years. For most of those kids that’s half of their life. That’s when I really reflect on my life and what baseball brought me.

You see back in the day (no I won’t mention the long walks to school 10 miles away in the snow as most stories seem to go when sentences start that way), we were that team. Our team had been together for years and we were finally coming into our own. The problem with us was we didn’t complete the journey as they did. What we did do, was STAY friends from that time forward. Our group of guys went onto to play Pony, High School, College, Professional, even had a guy reach the big leagues. Those times directed us along the paths that we took. Each of us still live in the same area and, of course, still remain close friends. In fact, most of us would take a friend label as a slap in the face, since we’re all more like brothers.  Having brothers like that because of a game we loved is special. I’m sure there are stories all over the world about the friendships that were created from amateur sports. You never seem to let those times go. With all of the great people that I have been blessed with in my life because of baseball, there’s a deep reflection of what these kids will face in the coming years.

Teammates possibly going to different schools, guys not making the jump to the next level, whatever the circumstances, there will come a time when the next level will not be realistic. That is something that no player who loves the game ever wants to hear. The reality of the game is a tough pill to swallow. I truly believe that is a driving factor in the minds of all the SportsForce team. We’ve all been faced with that reality whether it was the high school to college process or the AA to AAA jump in professional baseball. There are times in your life that having the insight and experience there to help you, can drive your decision making in a manner that will better suit your long term goals. I know looking back; I wish I had more information about the process by friends who had been there. I’m not saying that my career would have turned out any differently, but I know the journey could have.

I can only hope that these young ballplayers will be guided the right way. I am a firm believer that you “always have a chance, when you put the uniform on.” You just never know. I’ve played against the David Eckstein’s of the world who wouldn’t let their size be a roadblock to their long term goals. I see a lot of that in these kids. I’m actually motivated more in my life because of what they’re doing. I look back at all my brothers, even sisters that I’ve played against and truly thank them for all of the memories. I hope every player in every sport that aspires for something greater gets that opportunity. Watching these kids play the game with passion and without a care in the world is special. I know there’s a great community rallying behind their every pitch and every swing. I know I am. Win or lose, these kids have succeeded. I hope they go on with their lives and keep these friendships to reflect upon when they’re my age, but give back to the game in any way they can. That way someday, the next group will experience it all again, with all of it made possible because baseball is an amazing game…

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High School Softball Pitching Distance to Increase to 43 Feet in 2010-11

The 2010-11 Softball season will be marked by new rule revisions, among these, one that will have the most impact on high school varsity softball will be the increase in pitching distance from 40 to 43 feet. Although the new pitching distance will be mandatory with the 2010-11 school year, state high school associations may adopt the 43 feet distance in 2009-10 if desired. After 10 years of debate and experimentation in two state associations, rule 1-1-2b was finally revised by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Softball Rules Committee and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. The rule revision is said to create a better balance between offense and defense because more balls will be batted into play. “When more balls are batted into play, the defense is more involved in the game, thus enhancing skill development,” said Mary Struckhoff, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Softball Rules Committee. The rule is also said to create a smoother transition for high school players with hopes to play in college. This change eliminates one of the few major rule differences between high school and collegiate sports.

High School Softball Rule Revisions

There have been four high school softball rule revisions made for the upcoming season including the pitching distance increase from 40 to 43 feet. The second rule revision concerns bat specifications, which is primarily an editorial change from the existing rule in order to give manufacturers, coaches, players and umpires more guidance on what is and is not permissible. The third rule revision deals with hair devices worn by players. It provides an exception to the original rule that permits “hard, unadorned devices, such as bobby pins, barrettes and clips, no longer than 2 inches, to be worn to control a player’s hair.” Lastly the final rule revision concerns how a winning pitcher is determined and was changed in order to better reflect the culture of the sport. The altered rule changes the required number of innings pitched for a starting pitcher to be credited with a win to “half of the total number of innings played in the game.” The new language gives the starting pitcher the ability to earn a win even if she leaves the pitching position for another defensive position and returns to the pitching position later in the game.

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Sportsforce was at the Aflac All-American Game at Petco Park this last weekend, where the country’s best baseball players showcased there skills before a busy crowd of parents, fans, and professional and college scouts. Broken into two teams, the East team and the West team, the roster was composed of the Top 40 high school baseball players in the country. The competition was fierce and the incredible talent at the event performed impressively.

Some of the event’s top talent included Jameson Taillon, the 6′ 7″ fireballer from Woodlands, Texas, Yordy Cabrera, the powerful slugger from Lakeland, Florida, and Bryce Harper of Las Vegas, Nevada, the most acclaimed prep-level athlete in the country and the player who has been called the future “Lebron James of baseball.” Taillon was dominant, throwing 2 shutout innings with 4 strikeouts, Cabrera won the Aflac Homerun Derby, hitting 8 bombs in the first round, and Harper displayed an impressive all-around skill set and made an amazing defensive play throwing out Chevez Clarke at second base for an inning ending double play.

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This past weekend SportsForce partnered with 16th Annual San Diego Premier Classic . The tournament was held at several different fields throughout San Diego. Over 200 teams turned out for the tournament which offered play for both Boys and Girls U9-19 in Silver and Gold levels.

SportsForce filmed some of the top Mens U18 teams including the Del Mar Sharks 92 Premier, Arsenal FC, PQ Premier Red, SE Cosmos (Texas) and the United FC Black. SportsForce also caught the top action out of the Girls Division, where the SoCal Blues Defeated the San Diego United FC 3-0 in the finals of the U16 Gold Division.

Below is a list of the games we filmed and links to purchase professionally shot and edited games for $30 + tax & S / H.

If you are interested in having SportsForce cover your tournament games please contact us directly here.

Girls Games:

8/16/09 Girls U16 Championship: SC Blues vs. San Diego United

Boys Games:

8/16/09 Boys U18 Semifinals: Del Mar Sharks 92 vs. SEFC Cosmos

8/15/09 Boys U18-S: San Diego United vs. Carlsbad Lightning

8/15/09 Boys U18-G: Del Mar Sharks 92 vs. Arsenal FC

8/15/09 Boys U18-S: Del Mar Sharks 92 vs. PQ Premier Red

8/15/09 Boys U18-G: PQ Premier Red vs. Arsenal FC

8/15/09 Boys U18-G: PQ Premier Red vs. SEFC Cosmos

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SportsForce Website Launch Plan in Final Phase

The SportsForce Blog has been a little MIA lately as the team has been putting all of our efforts into getting the main site up and running to increase our reach to athletes everywhere and help drive their sports careers forward.

The SportsForce team has been working around the clock adding athletes to the site. Almost every athlete has a full profile including athletic and academic information, and a video –which is no easy task to add over one hundred athletes in a short period of time, but the team was up for the challenge.

Here’s a recent girls basketball profile we completed for a rising senior that is getting actively recruited a few different colleges on the west coast.

Ariana Elegado – Guard – Class of 2010 – La Jolla Country Day School – San Diego, CA

Here are some more feature athlete profiles per sport to check out:

Boys Basketball- Jvonte Brooks

Baseball – Geoff Rocha

Girls Basketball – Ariana Elegado

Football – John Stephens

Boys Lacrosse – Alex Pardieu

Girls Lacrosse – Tarrah Lynch

Softball – Alex Miller

Girls Volleyball – Laura Plumb

The team has also been working hard making all the pages look the best, be helpful and of course fix some little bugs that may be there. Stay tuned for the site to be fully launched very, very soon!

SportsForce Partners With Premier Classic Soccer Tournament

This past weekend SportsForce partnered with 16th Annual San Diego Premiere Classic . The tournament was held at several different fields throughout San Diego. Over 200 teams turned out for the tournament which offered play for both Boys and Girls U9-19 in Silver and Gold levels.

SportsForce filmed some of the top Men’s U18 teams including the Del Mar Sharks 92 Premier, Arsenal FC, PQ Premier Red, SE Cosmos (Texas) and the United FC Black. SportsForce also caught the top action out of the Girls Division, where the SoCal Blues Defeated the San Diego United FC 3-0 in the finals of the U16 Gold Division.

For complete results of the tournament, visit https://www.gotsport.com/events/?EventID=5583.

SportsForce Set to Conduct Baseball Combine Workout For Rising Seniors in San Diego

SportsForce will be conducting a baseball combine this coming weekend at East Lake High School in Chula Vista, CA. The combine video workout is ideal for student-athletes that are interested in putting together a skills video to market themselves to colleges around the country.

The SportsForce combine model allows an athlete to be professionally video taped and measure while performing sports specific skills that college coaches require to better evaluate potential prospects .  The SportsForce baseball combine workout includes the 60-yard sprint, pitching, catching, hitting and fielding stations.

Here’s an example of a combine workout video that has been integrated with our new SportsForce athlete profile system.

Geoff Rocha – Catcher – Class of 2009 – Cathedral Catholic

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College coaches from top programs around the country including Cal, Stanford, Harvard, Florida, and Boston College descended on Del Mar’s Polo Fields this past weekend to witness the top soccer players from around the country and beyond compete in the 2009 Surf Cup. The Surf Cup is the premier location for college soccer recruiting all year.  While coaches aren’t allowed to talk to players or parents at the tournament and vice versa, the athletes do all the talking with their play on the field.

College Coach Communication

It is a standard procedure for athletes who are going to be playing Surf Cup to send an email to their prospective school’s coach ,complete with their Surf Cup schedule, schedule for the remainder of the summer, and a video, if they have one.  The coach is allowed to respond to this initial communication at will, but is banned from talking to the athlete or their parents at the event itself.  If the coach likes what they see, they will follow up with the player.  If the coach views the athlete as a potential recruit, they might ask for transcripts for review, ask for further game video, or ask them to make a visit to the school.  It is important to note that none of the follow up will happen unless the athlete makes the effort to contact those coaches of those schools they are interested in attending.

Coach’s Presence

Everywhere you turned at the 2009 Surf Cup you ran into a different college coach, each one decked out head to toe in their school’s gear.  A stroll in between fields would seem to reveal that there were more coaches than players.  At any one time, there might have been 25 coaches watching one game.  Can you imagine the pressure?  The coach from your dream school sits there scrutinizing your every move.  If you’re not the first one to a loose ball or you miss a pass even by just a couple inches, that coach does not hesitate to furiously write some sort of comment next to your name.

The worst part?  They all sit in a neat little row armed with their easy flip, portable chairs, drawstring backpacks, and yellow notepads.  The Duke coach who is sitting directly adjacent to the Georgia coach is looking very quizzical.   The UCLA coach who sits in between the Michigan and Cal coaches is sneaking a peek of his rival’s notes.  The Syracuse coach is minding her own business but scribing what seems to be a novel on one of her players of interest.  All of this is going on while these 16-18 year old kids are trying to make a play for their team.

While it seems impossible for any one of these players to focus on the field, JP Scatterday of the U19 Mustang Ajax told me that it is easy for him to zone in.  Because the field is so big and the action is so intense, he finds it easy to stay focused and is usually surprised when he finds out the number of coaches that were watching his game.  The amount of composure these teenagers are able to display despite such overwhelming pressure is impressive.

The Action

Accompanying the perennial powerhouse club teams of Southern California (San Diego Surf, So Cal Blues, So Cal Real, West Coast FC, Irvine Strikers, So Cal United, and Slammers FC) were teams from all over the country and all over the world.  Aside from the continued dominance of the Southern California teams across the board, the Northern California teams had the next best showing.  While Southern California teams won 3 of the divisions and had a presence in 8 of the 12 finals, Northern California teams won 4 of the 5 divisions in which they had teams in the finals.  The best international showing goes to the Vancouver Whitecaps of Canada.  Their Girl’s U19 team made it to the finals of the super division while their Men’s U19 team was able to advance to the semifinals.

XKSanDiego.com

For more on this weekend’s Surf Cup including results, pictures, articles and more, visit San Diego’s one stop shop for soccer news at www.xksandiego.com.  Complete coverage of events, tournaments, and teams from around the San Diego area year round can be found at xksandiego.com.

SportsForce was able to capture some awesome footage, get plenty of quality interviews, and increase awareness of our brand throughout the soccer community.  All in all it was a great event and one that SportsForce hopes to do more with in the future.

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SportsForce Set to Host Website Launch Party

SportsForce is hosting a launch party August 6th at The Local, sports bar and eatery – in downtown San Diego. We’ve invited friends, family, coaches and sports enthusiasts that are interested in getting a sneak peek at the new website and some of its key features.

Everyone in the office and some out of office are busy getting the site ready to launch. In order to get the site ready to launch we are busy polishing up and uploading videos, finalizing copy for different sections of the site and implementing HTML designs for different pages. I’m not sure the average person understands how much goes into preparing to launch a sports portal where you are combining professionally produced video, certified profiles, editorial content, events and more.

If you happen to read this before we launch you will be able to see our landing page with our demo video at www.sportsforceonline.com.

San Diego Surf Cup Offers College Soccer Coaches a Recruiting Paradise

The second weekend of the San Diego Surf Cup Soccer Tournament saw some of the top U15 – U19 Boys and Girls teams in the world. SportsForce was in attendance to talk to club team coaches, college coaches, film some of the game action and enjoy world class level soccer. It was Surf Cup’s 29th year which had 650 teams apply to play with only 350 available slots. The tournament was held at the San Diego Polo Fields which is arguably the best venue in the nation for aspiring soccer players to garner attention from colleges and gain tremendous exposure to hundreds of coaches at one event.

The Surf Cup tournament is split into two levels of skill within each age division. The Super and Gold, with the Super bracket offering a slightly higher caliber of play.

The previous weekend of Surf Cup play was dedicated for U15 and below age groups and was dominated by Southern California teams. This weekend was a different story as many teams from all over the country ended up winning their respective divisions.

Girls Results:

Winning the Girls U16 Super division was the Mustang SC Rampage team out of Danville, CA and Oregon Rush Nike team won the Gold division for the U16 division. In the U17 Girls Super division, the SoCal Blues took top honors. The Neusport FC Green from Las Vegas finished at the top for the U17 Girls Gold division. Southern California team, Real SoCal White won the U19 Super Division. The Sonoma County Alliance took first for the U19 Gold.

Boys Results:

For the Boys, the CDA Academy from Sacramento, CA won the championship for the U16 Super division. Players SC of Las Vegas won the U16 Gold division. Real SoCal White dominated again, this time for the boys U17 Super. The Gilbert Arsenal premier team of Gilbert, AZ took the top honors for the U17 Gold division. Pachuca USA international, from Chevy Chase Maryland, won the championships for the U19 Super division, while the Santa Clara Sporting 91 took the honors for the U19 Gold division.

The Surf Cup showcased an extremely high level of soccer and Congratulations to all the winners and those invited to play!

The Starz Cup Wraps Up A Busy Summer of Lacrosse

SportsForce was at the Starz Cup Lacrosse Finals this weekend in San Diego, CA. We had the opportunity to film parts of both the girls and boys elite championship games. The Laxdawgs Brown won the Boys Elite Cup, while the Quad City Elite took top honors for the Girls Elite division.

The Starz Lacrosse Club is an elite program created to provide additional instruction and competition to select players.  Designed to compliment local middle and high school programs, Starz takes the best players, male and female, and provides the opportunity to compete at the elite level with some of the best coaches in the sport today!  The Starz look for players who have a passion for the game, want to compete at a higher level, and/or have thoughts of continuing their lacrosse careers beyond high school.

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