Archive for October, 2009



Position: Outside hitter Height: 5’8″ Class: 2010 School: USC commit

Natalie Hagglund is a standout outside hitter for the No. 2 ranked La Costa Canyon Mavericks. Hagglund played a huge part in the team’s defeat of No. 1 ranked Torrey Pines this week. All hopes for redemption by Torrey Pines were quickly dashed as the Mavericks, lead by Hagglund were defeated in 3 matches. Hagglund had a team high 10 kills for the La Costa Canyon.

The Mavericks are the six time defending section champions, and have defeated Torrey Pines in ten consecutive meetings, but with Torrey Pines ranked No. 1 this year, it was though this may be their year to reverse that. Hagglund and the Mavericks thought different, “I think we’re better than they thought,” said Hagglund told the NC Times. “That first game took all their momentum away in an instant. They’ve been waiting almost a year to get us again in their gym.”

Natalie Hagglund was also the sole nominee from La Costa Canyon to the All Tournament Team at the California Challenge, where the Mavericks finished in 5th place.

Learn more about Natatlie at her SportsForce profile.

Full match write up at North County Times

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Ricky Seale continues to dominate the opposition.  The 5’10” 190lb senior running back out of Escondido rushed 25 times for 162 yards, including a 60-yard TD run, in a 21-21 tie with Torrey Pines last week.  Seale, who now has 5,600 career rushing yards, is looking to become the all time rushing leader in San Diego-CIF Section history.  He needs only 50 yards against #2 ranked La Costa Canyon to break the all-time rushing mark set by Demetrius Sumier of Cathedral Catholic.  PAC-10 powerhouses including, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, and Washington are heavily recruiting Seale for next years college football season.

Check out Ricky’s SportsForce Profile HERE

www.sportsforceonline.com

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SportsForce began coverage of a new sport this week: Field Hockey. We can’t deny the popularity of this sport and want to offer our athletes and audience all access. We recently covered the Scripps Ranch vs. Cathedral Catholic, check out the highlights below.

Though Field Hockey is now high on the SportsForce radar, there are still limited opportunities for Division I play in our home state of California. The North County Times recently covered the lack of opportunities and the start up Division I program at UC Davis. The program has in-state athletes, and more specifically, athletes from San Diego and North County flocking to it.

The North County Times writes:

“…when Vianney Campos was named head coach and put in charge of starting a program at UC Davis, there was no doubt about her first recruiting stop.

‘I played at Eastlake, so I knew where to go to get players,’ Campos said.

When the recruiting process was over, Campos had 27 players for her first-year program —- 15 from San Diego, including 11 from North County.”

The article explains the increased level of play on the West Coast in recent years and in increase in talent,

“Since 2002, 72 field hockey players from North County high schools have gone on to play in college.

‘There are so many more opportunities now than when we all played a decade ago,’ said Kelli Gannon, now the head coach at San Pasqual. ‘When we played, you had to go east if you wanted to play collegiately.’

‘The West Coast teams have become very competitive over the last few years, and that’s good for the West Coast kids.'”

The creation of UC Davis’s program brings the number of Division I field hockey programs to four in the state. Though as the NC Times reports, there are other level of opportunities in the state,

“Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, USC and UC San Diego have club programs. Cal Poly is said to be considering adding field hockey to its varsity roster.”

You can read the full article here.

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SportsForce athlete, Alysha Isaacson recently committed to the University of Dayton to play softball for the Flyers. Alysha went on an official visit to the school in September and decided to commit after “falling in love with it” according to her mother. The signing period for softball starts November 11th and Alysha will officially sign with Dayton then. Alysha currently plays club ball for Case Batbusters and High School for Hilltop High School. Visit Alysha’s profile on the SportsForce site to see what helped to propel the recruiting process.

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Katie Dutchman is  a senior outside hitter for Torrey Pines. She was named to the California Challenge all-tournament team after getting six kills in a 25-15, 25-22, 25-21 loss to Goleta Dos Pueblos in the finals of the tournament.

Torrey Pines who hosted the annual California Challenge Girls Volleyball tournament advanced to the final match of the 16th annual tournament for the first time since 2001, wasn’t about to hang its head after failing to keep the championship trophy in the Falcons’ own awards case.

“We hoped we could win, be in the finals,” said senior outside hitter Katie Dutchman. “It was amazing that we actually got there.”

Harrah was especially pleased with the effort of Dutchman, who stepped into the role of outside hitter at the start of the year. Not only has she adapted, but it has allowed for 6-2 middle hitter Katelyn Cuff to find a home in the starting lineup, too.

To view Katie’s highlight video and online profile visit – http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/kdutchman

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Sam Hoekstra is an explosive running back/ defensive back out of Santa Fe Christian High School in California.  Sam was simply unstoppable when his Santa Fe Christian Eagles took on the Coronado Islanders last week.  Sam scored 2 touchdowns while amassing 226 rushing yards on only 13 carries, including an impressive 75 yard punt return touchdown.  Sam now has 865 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in only 6 games this season while averaging a staggering 16.32 yards per carry.  Sam and his 6-0 Eagles look to extend their unbeaten streak when they faceoff this week against their conference rival, the 5-2 Christian Patriots.


Learn more about Sam at his
SportsForce profile.

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SportsForce athlete and Christian High School place-kicker, Michael Gruber was recently featured by the San Diego Union-Tribune in an article highlighting the superior abilities of Christian’s special teams. Gruber is a talented athlete all around as the Union-Tribune reports:

“Gruber, a starting catcher for the Christian baseball team, never thought about football until the beginning of his junior year. His place-kicking career began by chance after his father, Curt Gruber, and former football coach and now Christian athletic director David Beezer watched him play goalkeeper for the Patriots soccer team.”

“I knew he was raw, but I got a bag of balls just to see what he could do as a possible kicker,” Beezer said. “I kept it simple, and he’s gotten better and better.”

Gruber’s accuracy is especially impressive: “Gruber has placed 21 of his 25 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. In the past two seasons, Gruber and the Patriots are 16-for-16 in recovering onside kicks.”

Gruber is an extremely dedicated athlete and has taken many measures to ensure his success as a place-kicker: When the kicking carrot was dangled in front of him, Gruber went after it. He attended a San Diego summer combine with 50 kickers and won the field goal kicking competition. He has connected on 4-of-6 field goal attempts this season with a long of 47 yards for Christian (5-2), which plays at Santa Fe Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday.”

John Matich, is a former NFL and NCAA kicker and now owner and director of The Kicking System, which offers Camps & Private Kicking Lessons in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

For the complete article, click here.

To view Michael’s complete profile and his 2008 season highlight video click here.

To view Michael’s complete profile and his 2008 season highlight video click here

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SportsForce athletes haven been recognized over the past few weeks for their stand out performances. Previous Athlete of the Week, running back and USC commit Dillon Baxter has been the talk of many news outlets with an explosive start to his season. 619Sports.net wrote of Baxter and Missions Bay’s 49-27 win over Point Loma:

“ He ran the ball 22 times for 133 yards and four scores; breaking through tackles and embarrassing defenders along the way.  Through the air he totaled 170 yards with 2 touchdowns and only one interception.

“All week we’ve been preparing,” said Baxter after the game.  Our wide receivers just had to execute, the O-line had to buckle down because we knew they have a strong front.  We just came out and matched their intensity and took it over.”

Full article here

Baxter had another amazing performance two weeks back against the Lincoln High Hornets, with the San Diego Union-Tribune reporting:

Baxter rushed for 268 yards and two touchdown in addition to passing for another 277 yards and four TDs while coming ever so close to 600 total yards after returning a crucial interception 41 yards to lead the Buccaneers to a 41-34 non-league victory, spoiling Lincoln’s homecoming.

Full article here or View Dillon’s Full SportsForce Profile


Kenny Stills, Jr, has also had a very impressive season thus far, and the Union-Tribune recently published a feature on the La Costa Canyon receiver. The Union-Tribune highlighted how Stills relationship with his father has helped to nurture his sports career. Stills father is Kenny Stills Sr, former NFL player and current USD defensive backs coach. The U-T writes:

Stills Sr. knew his son had talent and drive, but he has surpassed his expectations.

“Honestly, Kenny has developed more than I ever dreamed,” Stills Sr. said. “I’ve been a coach at the high school, college and pro ranks, and I can tell you I am totally impressed with the way he has developed into a complete player.”

Stills said his son has had one big motivating factor driving him his entire career as a football player.

“He’s always wanted to be better than his dad,” Stills Sr. said.

Full article here

This past weekend, the senior receiver continued his dominance and had nine catches for 130 yards, threw a 29-yard touchdown pass, returned an interception 75 yards interception and finished a 56-7 win over Mission Hills with 311 all-purpose yards.

View Kenny’s Full SportsForce Profile

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Part II: Questions 4-6

4. Does My Senior Year Really Matter?

Yes, yes and yes! While many student-athletes have “committed” to schools, there are plenty of scholarships up for grabs. Often athletes that have committed to colleges play their way OUT of a scholarship. Even if your dream school is done recruiting for the upcoming season, keep recruiting them. If there are changes in their signing class, you may have a chance to slide in. Senior film will make or break a scholarship offer.

5. What happens in September and how important is that month for recruiting?

September 1st is the first day that a college can officially call a senior prospect on the phone. If you get a call at midnight on the first, then that school REALLY wants you! However don’t take it personally if you do not hear from a school immediately. Coaches all have different philosophies when it comes to the September phone call. However if September comes and goes and you have not heard from the recruiter, then it is time to drop that school because you are not part of their future plans. Don’t be shy on these calls. Write down questions that you may have for the coach. Ask him every question you can.

September also marks the beginning of official visits. Schools will begin setting weekend trips for the fall and winter. If the coach is not offering you an official visit, then he doesn’t love you as much as you thought.

6. How do I handle the pressure?

I remember standing on various sidelines watching prospects play in games. I watched how they played when the ball came in their direction, as well when they were not involved in the outcome. I studied how they spoke to teammates and coaches alike. However, nothing is more impressive than production and winning. Do not let a recruiter’s presence change they way you play or act. Recruiters can tell when an athlete is “pressing” to make a play. These coaches liked the way you played enough to come and watch in person. There is no pressure in that situation,  just another face in the crowd. Continue doing what got you this far. Work hard, play fast and ALWAYS show good sportsmanship.

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Kendall Polan is an exceptional setter with a dominant serve out of La Costa Canyon High School (Carlsbad, CA). Kendall is a natural leader with soft hands, great ball handling skills, and fires a devastating topspin jump serve. Already committed to Yale University, Kendall has already led her team to two CIF Division I titles and a California state championship.

Polan has won several individual awards including: Durango Tournament MVP, CIF State Championship Match MVP, All-Avocado League First team and San Diego Union-Tribune All-San Diego Section first team. Currently ranked the number one on the ESPN RISE FAB 50 national volleyball rankings, Kendall and her teammates hope to carry this season’s success into another state title.

Visit Kendall’s SportsForce profile to learn more.

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