PREP NOTES WITH A TWIST

Ban of unbeaten team from the postseason is upheld by appeals committee.....Palma falls for first time in 105 matchups vs. teams from its county......Thanks to Mt. SAC cross country event for once again helping determine state's overall boys and girls team champion....Who's next for St. Bonnie receiver Whitney Lewis on all-time state career TD catch list?....plus more from the best prep notes column in the state.

•It was five years ago when Frank Strong, who now plays for the San Francisco 49ers, was at Franklin High of Stockton and was on an unbeaten team that was barred from the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. The best back from Stockton since Strong -- at least from a college recruiting standpoint -- is Edison's Lynell Hamilton and he too may be on an unbeaten team not able to appear in the playoffs.
The part about the playoffs was determined on Monday of this week when an appeals committee of the Sac-Joaquin Section upheld league sanctions against the Vikings. No further appeals are planned, so Edison will be left out of the section playoffs. Whether the Vikings complete their regular season at 10-0 -- like Franklin did in 1997 -- probably depends on their game this week against Lincoln.

•More on Edison of Stockton: If the Vikings do win this week vs. Lincoln, not only will the best team from the San Joaquin Athletic Association be denied a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I playoffs but probably a team that would have most likely been the south representative in the title game. That's because the Central California Conference, which is usually a strong league, appears to be way down this year. It might be hard to get too excited about a Grant or Nevada Union vs. Lincoln final if Lincoln has a loss to Edison.

•Looking through the CIF Southern Section master schedule for last week it was printed that Edison of Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley were going to play their annual rivalry game on Friday at Edison International Field.
Of course, officials at the two schools had to switch to Orange Coast College. There was a little something called Game 6 of the World Series that was going to be played on Saturday at the stadium. And after what happened in that game and in Game 7, covering the CIF Southern Section football and baseball finals at the stadium will never feel the same again.

•The 24-13 win by Salinas over Palma of Salinas was historical on many fronts. It broke a 104-game unbeaten streak by Palma against fellow schools from Monterey County. It also cast a serious doubt over whether the Chieftains will be able to win their 19th straight league title.
Palma's current mark of 18 straight league titles is the state record. The No. 2 total on that list is 17 by Dos Palos, which is another team that is in real danger of not winning its league title this season.
Travis Dozier paced the win for Salinas with four interceptions on defense, including three in the second half. Salinas principal Joseph Pawlick notes that Travis is just a sophomore.

•One of the reasons it's pretty easy in most years to choose a State Team of the Year in boys and girls cross country is because there's a Mt. SAC Invitational. It's one of the only events in which many of the state's top teams and runners -- regardless of CIF enrollment division -- go up against each other.
This year's Mt. SAC races were held last weekend and impressing on the girls side was Sultana of Hesperia. Sultana is a fairly new school and girls cross country has been it's most successful sport. Sultana won the team sweepstakes race at Mt. SAC with just 62 points, way in front of second-place Murrieta Valley (93). Kelsey Delagardelle was third overall and freshman Danielle Varela was fourth overall to give the Sultans a strong presence at the front of the lead pack.
In the boys race, Long Beach Poly was the top overall team with 113 points in front of Loyola of Los Angeles, which totaled 135. That score, though, may not be as indicative of what will happen at the CIF state finals as what the Sultana girls did.
Individual winners at Mt. SAC in the sweepstakes division were Tim Nelson from Liberty Christian of Redding and Rachel Bryan from Laguna Creek of Elk Grove.

•All-American wideout Whitney Lewis from St. Bonaventure of Ventura now ranks in the top five on the all-time state list for most receiving touchdowns for a career. Lewis enters this week's game against Dos Pueblos of Goleta with 42 career TD catches. He needs one more to tie former UCLA basketball star Matt Barnes for fourth-place. Barnes had 43 career TD catches from 1996-97 at Del Campo High of Fair Oaks.
Lewis is three away from the Ventura County mark of 46 set in 1993 by Leodes Van Buren of Newbury Park. He is six away from No. 2 John McKay (Bishop Amat, La Puente, 1968-1970) and still needs 11 for the state record of 53 set in 1999 by Earvin Johnson from Cathedral of Los Angeles.

•Correspondent Harold Abend reports that there are still those who believe that Marian Catholic (7-0) could not compete with the Div. I schools of the North County in San Diego and they may be right. However, Abend relates, a previous win over Bonita Vista -- who defeated Castle Park, who defeated Torrey Pines, who just beat Vista -- throws a wrench into that way of thinking.
Marian rolled past Hilltop 47-0 in last week's game. Who will be the first team to defeat the Crusaders? Eastlake this Friday with the section's leading rusher, Mark Whaley....or Castle Park in three weeks.

•We reported last week that Woodlake coach Leo Robinson moved into third-place on the state's list for career coaching wins. Unfortunately this week we have to report that Robinson was not on the sidelines in last Friday's game against Lindsay (a game Woodlake lost, 28-22, in overtime).
Reports from the Visalia Times-Delta say Robinson was in the hospital suffering from the aftermath of a stroke. The longtime coach at the school has been using a golf cart while coaching this season due to poor health.

•It's a Small World: Mark Tennis' son, Sean, is a first-grade student at Claudia Landeen Elementary School in Stockton. Sean's teacher is Nicole Thompson, who happens to be the wife of former San Francisco 49er punter and former Lompoc High kicker-punter Tommy Thompson.
A prep teammate of the one-and-only Napoleon Kaufman, Thompson was the first kicker in California history and only the second nationally to record 100 kicking points in a season.

•It's a Small World (Part II): Mark's wife, Kathleen Moody, has been serving jury duty on a local civil case the past several weeks. The trial ended earlier this week, so Kathleen decided to do a name search on the internet of the lawyer who won, a Mr. Richard Belardinelli. She was shocked when the 2002 Cal-Hi Sports All-State Softball Team leaped up onto the screen. It looks like Alex Belardinelli, a selection on that team from Clovis High (now graduated), is a daughter of the lawyer.


Golden State Preps Top Stories