Posts Tagged “San Diego”




 

Junior Seau’s style of play transcended and revolutionized the linebacker position to what it is today. His illustrious 20 year career has left an unforgettable mark in NFL history, as well as San Diego. Before the NFL was what it is today, there was no player that could match the intensity, enthusiasm and larger than life presence that Junior brought.

On the field Junior terrorized opposing offenses. A highly decorated sack machine in San Diego, Seau made multiple Pro-Bowls and helped the Chargers reach its very first Super Bowl appearance in 1994. His sack celebration is one of the most memorable celebrations in NFL history, and one that quarterbacks still have nightmares about. Although many players will often imitate his intensity, no one will ever duplicate the irrepressible spirit of Junior Seau.

He was, and for some still is, the face of the San Diego Chargers. But better yet, he epitomized San Diego. Although he had a larger than life persona on the football field, off the field he humanized himself to the community. Seau dedicated his time to help the youth tackle the trials and tribulations of life, as well as mentor aspiring athletes by guiding them away from trouble. He always opened himself up, and was more interested in how others were doing. Junior was selfless and that’s what was so intriguing and likeable about him.

Junior Seau will be forever remembered as a man that gave everything to his team, his city, and for his family. On May 2nd, 2012, San Diego lost a son, leader, and legend. Selfishly we miss and want Junior back. Although now he is at peace, his smile will continue to shine bright over San Diego. Thanks for the memories, Junior.


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The San Diego Chargers found themselves with the 16th best defense in 2011 but ranked dead last on 3rd downs.  A dimension the Chargers have lacked over the years has been a consistent pass rush and with Peyton Manning joining the division the emphasis of the 2012 draft is without a doubt defense. With glaring needs at Safety and Outside Linebacker look General Manager A.J. Smith to address these needs in the first half of the draft.

Round 1 – Pick 18

Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB, Illinois –  Assuming the Chargers don’t trade up to grab Alabama safety Mark Barron or trade down for Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, I can see A.J. Smith giving another go at an outside pass rusher. Mercilus was the nation’s sack leader with 16, but may scare some teams due to his lack of productivity before his Junior year. This could hinder his chances of not being drafted higher than pick 18. He shows natural pass rush abilities, comes quick off the edge and knows how to work his way towards the QB. He will have to learn a few more pass rush moves as he won’t be able to rely strictly on speed. With the newly acquired Jarret Johnson, any OLB drafted in this spot would split time with the vet, easing his way into the starting spot over the years.

Other possible selections: LB Dont’a Hightower, S Mark Barron, S Harrison Smith

Round 2 – Pick 49

Bruce Irvin LB/DE, West Virginia – With the top 2 safeties off the board, the Chargers could be in a position to draft another highly touted sack artist, LB/DE Bruce Irvin. Much like Mercilus, Irvin comes off the edge very quick and shows natural pass rush abilities. He has a tall lengthy build, and can be a great situational rusher. He is very similar to Aldon Smith of the 49ers in the way he uses his speed and change of direction skill to get past blockers. The safety from Boise State, George Iloka, could be targeted here too. But a great pass rush can make a secondary look elite. I can’t imagine A.J. Smith being all that thrilled about being ranked dead last on 3rd down stops last season.  In order to change that, he will have to improve this unit by any means necessary.

Other possible selections: OLB Ronnell Lewis, OLB Bobby Wagner, S George Iloka

Round 3 – Pick 78

Alameda Ta’amu DT, Washington –  Antonio Garay has fit in well as the nose tackle in a rotational defensive line, but with this pick the Chargers could finally have the true NT they’ve been looking for since the release of Jamal Williams back in 2010. A mountain of a man at 6’3” and in the 320-350lbs. range, Ta’amu is the prototype nose tackle for a 3-4 defense. The majority of the time he takes up 2 blockers which frees up other rushers and it is rare to see him get pushed backwards. He has shown he can consistently take on double team blocks, and has the ability to break through them to make the tackle. He will never be a sack leader, but his strengths against the run and taking up space in the middle make him a great fit for the Chargers pass rush.

Other possible selections: S/CB Brandon Hardin, CB, Casey Hayward, RB Ronnie Hillman


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Many of the top players and teams in the baseball-rich state of California gathered at San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn Stadium last Saturday for the San Diego Section High School Baseball Championships. Four teams were able to walk away from the day with the title “San Diego Section Champions.” Major-league scouts, college coaches, recruiters, and media members were littered throughout the stands, as some of the best high school talent in the country showcased themselves in America’s Finest City.

Division IV: Coronado 7 Madison 6

The seventh seeded Islanders finished off their miracle run to the championship in stunning fashion, rallying from a five-run deficit to beat the heavily favored Warhawks. Coronado sophomore pitcher Jake Meloche overcame his team’s early defensive miscues and pitched a complete game while being charged for only two earned runs. Seven of the eight hits he allowed were singles, and the underclassman lefty showed incredible poise while holding Madison to only one run in the final six innings, allowing his team to come back. At the plate, the Islanders were paced by senior right fielder Zack Wheeler, who went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.

Division III: El Capitan 4 Cathedral Catholic 2

As, expected, the DIII Championship was dominated by a left-handed starter. But it wasn’t the left-handed started everyone thought it would be. Cathedral Catholic junior Daniel Camarena, who is expected to be selected for the Aflac All-America game, was solid, holding the Vaqueros scoreless on four hits through the first five innings. But in the fifth inning, it was evident that Camarena was wearing down and balls were being hit hard, and in the sixth inning those hard hit balls found some holes. El Capitan junior Josh Tulledge capped the four run sixth inning rally with a 2-run single that put the Vaqueros up for good.

As good as Camarena was through the first five innings, showcasing a nasty curveball and great athleticism while fielding his position, his lefty counterpart Troy Conyers was even better, going 5 1/3 innings while allowing only four hits and two runs. He allowed only one extra-base hit, a triple by Camarena in the sixth.

San Diego State commit, El Capitan shortstop Tyrone Wiggins went 1-for-4, but was robbed of a base hit twice and showed good range at short. El Capitan sophomore catcher Chuck Moormon went 2-for-3 with a powerful double and had great receiving and blocking skills behind the plate. For Cathedral, Oklahoma State-bound left fielder Casey Munoz had a rough day, going 0-for-2 and misplaying multiple balls in left field.

Division II Championship: Grossmont 8 Helix 0

This was the Joe Musgrove show, plain and simple. The junior right-hander simply overpowered Helix, pitching 2-hit shutout and needing only 68 pitches to finish off the Highlanders. The 6-foot-4 Musgrove showcased a low-90’s fastball and killer curveball along with pinpoint control and impressive mound presence. He finished with six K’s and walked three.

The Foothillers jumped on top early, scoring seven runs and sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, giving Musgrove all the lead he would need, and then some. For good measure, Musgrove also had the hardest hit ball of the day, a line drive that thundered off the left-field wall.

Grossmont shortstop Evan Potter, a San Diego State commit, went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored. Senior left fielder Steven Brault was the offensive star of the day, going 3-for-4, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and two RBI.

Division I: Rancho Bernardo 9 Poway 5

The day’s premier event, featuring two of the most prominent and historic high school baseball programs in the nation, did not disappoint, as probable draftees and college commits galore put on quite a show for the sold out crowd. The long-time rivals each got on the board in the first inning, RB getting one in the top half on a Brandon Berry RBI double and Poway touching up Arizona State commit Trevor Williams for three runs courtesy of back-to-back-to-back doubles and a single by the first four batters. But Williams showed why he is one of the top prospects in the nation, setting down 14 of the next 17 Poway hitters he faced after those first four batters. He also was mostly a two-pitch pitcher, using a low-90’s fastball and a power curve with good break to thwart Poway for the remainder of the game. Williams, who is expected to be drafted in the top 10 rounds of the MLB Draft, went the distance, allowing five runs on ten hits while striking out five and walking none. He allowed six hits and two runs over his final six innings. Leading the way at-bat for RB was Berry, who hit the only home run in the four games today, with a 370-foot blast to left-center along with a double.

Poway’s Evan Thomas lacked the mound presence of his counterpart Williams, visibly showing his frustration and struggling mightily with his control. He would finish with four earned runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work, and threw at least two balls to almost every batter faced.

The teams entered the seventh inning with RB up 5-3, but the Broncos rocked Titans reliever Keegan Yuhl for four runs in the top half of the inning, with the big blow coming on a two-run double by center fielder Anthony Vanroy.

Poway tried to stage a comeback in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs off Williams, but in the end it was too little too late for the Titans, as RB wrapped up its fifth section crown since 1999.

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Sport: Baseball Positions: CF Height: 6’0″ Class: 2010 School: St. Augustine High School San Diego, CA

Team captain and outfielder for the Saints, Connor Hofmann helped lead his team to the City Conference Tournament title.  The Saints captured the title with a 7-5 win over the equally strong Scripps Ranch. Connor was the lead-off batter and in six tournament games  went 10-for-19 (. 526) with 10 RBIs, eight runs scored, three doubles, a home run and six stolen bases.
To view Connor’s complete SportsForce profile click here –http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/chofmann

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Rylan Sankey is a pitcher for Rancho Bernardo High School and recently committed to Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. We caught up with Rylan to get his take on the recruiting process, what tips he has for getting exposure to colleges,  what he is looking forward to as he heads to Friends University and much more. Check out Rylan’s highlight video below and visit http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/rsankey for Rylan’s full SportsForce Profile.

  1. What do you enjoy about playing baseball? Baseball is my escape.  All my troubles are gone the instant I step foot on that field.  Once on the field, it’s me and my team against you.  I love the sound the glove makes when the ball strikes that sweet spot and I love that slow walk around the left side of the mound when I strike someone out.  And nothing beats the sound of a bat screaming when it launches the ball over the center field fence!  Most of all, I love facing my next opponent as he walks to the plate and I get ready to unleash all I have at him.
  2. When did you begin pitching? When I was about 13 years old in Pony League, after Little League.  I played first base in Little League.
  3. How would you describe yourself as a pitcher? A bull dog!  I’m not willing to let go and I fight for the strike until the very end.
  4. What other sports did you play growing up? A little soccer and the occasional football game in the neighborhood.  Baseball has always been my favorite sport.
  5. What type of college experience are you looking for (athletically,
    academically, socially)?
    Most importantly, I want to get my college degree.  But it’s just as important to me to excel in athletics all four years.  I can’t wait to see how much better I get with some great coaching and physical training.  I am also looking forward to making some long lasting friendships with my teammates and the students at Friends University.  The dorms should be a unique experience and I also look forward to some great relationships with the professors, which I think is very possible at a smaller sized school like Friends.
  6. How do you decide to sign with Friends University? When my family and I flew out to Wichita, we were impressed with the campus and facilities.  Everyone we met there was very nice and the coaches were so enthusiastic about having me. They had a new field this year and we met other team members.  I decided that having a more personal relationship with the professors and coaches would be ideal for me.  It just felt right.  I know I’m going to have to work hard for school and baseball, but I know I’m going to have a great experience!
  7. How did it feel to go out to Kansas and sign with the coaching staff? It was very exciting.  We explored Wichita and the campus and the coaches both made me feel so welcome and I could talk with them.  I know they’ll work me hard, but they were really great.
  8. What are you looking forward to most about being a college baseball player? I’m looking forward to the whole college experience and I’m really proud to be a college student-athlete at Friends.  It feels good to know that I’ve accomplished my goal despite the fact that there have been many people who have tried to discourage me.  But it’s ok, because it made me want success even more, it made me work harder and try harder, and I learned some valuable lessons for my life.  I AM A COLLEGE BASEBALL PLAYER!
  9. What other colleges actively recruited you? Doane College, Washburn University, Rollins College, and Harding University to name a few.
  10. What other schools did you seriously consider and why? Doane and Washburn were at the top of my list because of their campuses and science programs.
  11. What college recruiting trips did you take and how were they? I only went to Western Oregon University once and the coaches weren’t very accepting and it seemed like I just wouldn’t have fun there.
  12. What was the craziest thing that happened during the recruiting process? When I got my video done on SportsForce, it surprised me how many colleges responded within the very first week!
  13. What helped you maximize your exposure to colleges?  The online profile video and DVD video was perfect.  It was sent with college applications and/or an email indicating my interest in their school.  It really gave the coaches an idea of how I throw, even if they were out of state and couldn’t see me in person.
  14. What advice would you give to a high school athlete looking to play college sports? NEVER GIVE UP. That’s something I’ve learned.  There will always be people who encourage you and people who discourage you.  Take in the encouragement, and sift through the criticism for any useful information, but keep working at it if it’s something you love.
  15. How did your family helped in the college selection and recruiting process? I couldn’t have done it without them. Dad looked at all the colleges on a sports level and Mom made sure the colleges offered science programs that she knew I wanted to pursue.  SportsForce helped me get the video produced so we could distribute it.
  16. What is your intended college major? I plan to major in chemistry or pre-pharmacy.
  17. What is your long term career ambition? Hopefully to become a pharmaceutical chemist.
  18. What are your baseball goals over the next few years?  To raise my velocity and gain more control of my split-finger.  I also want to contribute to taking this team to a new level.  I wouldn’t mind setting some new records too.
  19. What do you do to prepare to be a successful student-athlete
    (training, practice, film review, etc.)?  Practice
    is where the sweat and the hard work are put in.  And I have regular regimen for weight training 3 times a week.  And I have a protein drink routine I follow for building strength and trimming down. Then the games are just pure fun!
  20. What hobbies or interest do you have outside of sports? I love to sing and play guitar, draw, play video games, hacky-sack, and snowboard.  And I love animals.

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La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, CA), a perennial lacrosse powerhouse in Southern California won two early season games against top contenders to prove their continued strength in California. LCC met up with De La Salle High School (Concord, CA) earlier this month. LCC took control of the game from the start and held onto the game til the very end, defeating a strong De La Salle team, 11-5. Big performances came from Senior Middie Andrew Hayden and Sophomore Attack Brendan Gaughan and Senior Attack Timmy Andrews. See below for highlights of the game and be sure to visit the Lacrosse page at SportsForce.

Highlight Video courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Sport: Wrestling Weight: 132 Class: 2011 School: Morse High School San Diego, CA

Morse High School junior, Joshua Joseph, has dominated all of his opponents this season on his way to a 25-1 overall record. This past weekend, Joshua finished out the near perfect season by dominating his opponent, Billy Reyes of LaCosta Canyon, to earn the 2010 San Diego D-2 Section Title for his respective weight class.

To view Joshua’s complete SportsForce profile click here – http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/jjoseph

Wrestling Videos on Flowrestling

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for college Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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Historically San Diego County has developed some the best running backs to ever play the game of football, with a list that includes Heisman Trophy winners: Marcus Allen, Rashaan Salaam, Ricky Williams and Reggie Bush. NFL great, Terrell Davis, one of five 2,000 yard rushers at the professional level, could also trace his roots back to the area. Even with the area’s rich history at the position, San Diego’s running back class of 2010 is arguably the most talented group ever to be coming out of any single location, let alone San Diego County.

Currently on Rivals, Dillon Baxter (6’0 205lbs), is ranked as the top overall all-purpose back in the nation and the only one with a five star rating at his respective position. As a Mission Bay Bucaneer, he led his team to a perfect season by playing both running back and quarterback. On the season, Dillon rushed for nearly 3,000 yards, scored 50 TDs rushing, 25 TDs through the air and had an impressive average of 11.4 YPC. He went over 300 yards in three different occasions and his lowest rushing mark of the year was 100 yards. As expected, Dillon was recently announced as the National Player of the Year. Dillon will be playing close to home with a commitment to USC.

Close on Dillion’s heels on the Rivals all-purpose back rankings is Brennan Clay (6’0 200lbs), who is currently holding the number two spot. During his junior year at Scripps Ranch, Brennan was a dual threat running back, surpassing 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving. He is a home run threat every time he touches the ball and is an explosive return man. Brennan recently signed with the University of Oklahoma.

Now look at Ricky Seale (5’10 190lbs), a big play back coming out of Escondido High School whose production over the last few years surely speaks for itself. His breakaway speed paired with superior vision has enabled him to amass 2,400 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns in each of the past two season. Towards the end of his senior year he became the leading rusher in CIF-San Diego Section history and first ever in the section to go over 6,000 total rushing yards. He was highly recruited within the PAC-10, and ultimately signed with Stanford.

Then, there is Damien Williams (6’0 200lbs), a newcomer to the list of star running backs leaving San Diego County this year. Everyone always knew that he had talent, but grades and changing schools prevented him from demonstrating his talent early on. During his senior year at Mira Mesa he established himself as a top-tier back by rushing for nearly 2,300 yards, 24 TDs, 9.9 YPC and closing out the season strong with a string of eight consecutive 200 yard performances. Damien is now signed with the Arizona State Sundevils.

Don’t forget about Tony Jefferson (6’1 205lbs), from Eastlake High School, he has rushed for 5 yards shy of 2,000 with a 8.95 YPC and 25 TDs on the season. The scary thing is Tony was being recruited as a Safety and not a running back, so that speaks volumes about his potential to play on both sides of the ball. After being recruited and showing high interest in playing for Michigan, Oklahoma or USC, Tony decided on Oklahoma.

These young players have history on their side; San Diego County has produced more Heisman winners than any other place in the country. Is there something in the water? Maybe it’s a little too early to be speaking about the Heisman, but each one of these players has a chance to be something special, so make sure you keep an eye out for them in the next few seasons.

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In January 2006, Drew Brees was facing shoulder surgery for a torn labrum while the city of New Orleans was still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that happened mere months before. Now, in 2010, both are looking at a revitalization, with a little help from one another. In the spring of 2006, Drew entered free agency while rehabbing his shoulder with an uncertain future and few teams interested in him other than his own Chargers and the New Orleans Saints.

Brees signed a contract with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 just months after his shoulder surgery. The Saints were in desperate need of a quarterback to turn the team around and bring life back to the city and Brees proved to do just that.  The city of New Orleans also provided the perfect opportunity for the already charitable player to expand and help a community desperately in need. The Brees Dream Foundation has donated more than $4,500,000 to charitable causes and academic institutions in the New Orleans, San Diego and West Lafayette/Purdue communities since its inception

Now, Brees, the Saints, and the city of New Orleans are onto the world stage, though many eyes have been on them all season. The Saints will take on the Indianapolis Colts in South Florida, with no doubt that many will be rooting for this comeback kid. Drew Brees has proven that resurrections can happen for athletes, teams and cities.

Watch below for Drew Brees at the 2009 San Diego Celebrity Golf Classic to see what he has to say about following your dreams and his future.

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National Signing Day for college football marks the deadline in which the nation’s top talents must make their final decisions in regards to which prestigious college programs they will grant their services to. Possibly facing the toughest decision of their lives, these young men have wisely chosen to take it down to the wire in order to explore all of their college football options. The miscalculation of playing for the wrong coaches or system could cost them a chance to play in the NFL. Due to the significance of these decisions, we at SportsForce are honored to be heavily involved with the college recruiting goals of some of the country’s top student-athletes. Our unique relationship with student-athletes and their families allows us to assist in securing the proper college recruiting exposure for them, while ultimately seeking what is most beneficial to the student-athlete during the college sports recruiting process. So far this year we’ve had the pleasure of covering some of the nation’s most elite football players such as Dillon Baxter [USC], Brennan Clay [Oklahoma], Ricky Seale [Undecided] , Damien Williams [Arizona State] and Kenny Stills [Oklahoma] just to name a few. In a year where college football has been shaken up by a multitude of coaching changes, a little recruiting guidance could go a long way.

With four of the top ten players in the nation undecided on where they will play ball, many of the top college recruiters will be working overtime this year. Plenty of big names are still up for grabs; most recognized is the massive offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson (2), who many believe is the best player in the nation and is expected to head to either Ohio State or Florida. Surely the return of Florida head coach Urban Meyer doesn’t hurt the Gators chances of landing Henderson. Keenan Allen (5), who has been compared to NFL star Ed Reed, is suspected to be a Clemson Tiger on signing day. Owamagbe Odighizuwa (8) is expected to leave Oregon in order to attend The University of Nebraska, while top ranked running back Marcus Lattimore (10) currently looks as if he’ll be staying home in South Carolina and playing for the Gamecocks. Other Notable predictions are Outside Linebacker Christian Jones (20) to stay in Florida to play for the Seminoles and Wide Receiver Markeith Ambles (24) to USC.

Wednesday February 3rd is when all the college football recruiting speculation and uncertainty will end, but the day should not expire without a few surprises. Anything is possible since this is the last chance for many teams to improve their rosters in order to make a run at next year’s championship game. National Signing Day TV specials should be airing on local channels all across the country, so don’t forget to tune in as some of the most prestigious college football programs fight to the very end for the nation’s top remaining talent.

[ x] – Committed college

(#) – National ranking based from Rivals.com

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