Earlier this year, we were remiss not to acknowledge a milestone of one of our old friends. De La Salle head varsity basketball coach Frank Allocco celebrated his 600th career coaching victory on February 8. The win came as the Spartans used their trademark defense to defeat Livermore, 64-29.
The 59-year-old Allocco is only the twenty-ninth boy’s basketball coach in California prep history to reach 600 victories and the ninth from the Bay Area. Overall, his career record on that magical night stood at 600-83 (.878) in a combined 22-year career at DLS and Northgate (167 wins). Congratulations coach!
Steve Ward Back on the Diamond
Steve Ward, very familiar to the landscape at Diablo Valley College (DVC) for over two decades, has announced he will return to the baseball diamond and coach the Vikings for an unprecedented third stint in 2014. Some 25 years ago, Ward was first hired as head baseball coach at DVC, where he led the team for 14 seasons. In 1995, he added the title of athletic director to his resume. In 2000, following six years of performing in both roles, he resigned from coaching baseball collegiately and focused on his son’s travel team. “I am excited about getting to finish my last five years at DVC as the baseball coach,” Ward said.
Ward has 30 years of experience coaching baseball at JC, Division I, and high school levels. In 2002, he was inducted into the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame. Ward’s career record is 382-290-2 (.568). His teams have made ten state playoff appearances, and the 1989 club won the only Golden Gate Conference title in school history. In addition, Ward founded (in 2006) and is Executive Chairman of the DVC Athletic Hall of Fame.
John Cardinale, 47 and a resident of Martinez, passed away after a two-year battle with stomach cancer in March. Cardinale was the director of communications and media relations at Raceway Sonoma since 1998. Cardinale was a native of San Francisco’s North Beach and a graduate of Sacred Heart High School. The Raceway honored him by naming the media center in his memory. In addition, Cardinale’s face will be permanently etched in a plaque, which resides on the track’s wall of fame. Cardinale was a kind-hearted man who was a friend to so many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cardinale’s wife Andrea and daughters Lauren and Emma.
Pygeorge Says Goodbye
Head athletic trainer and teacher Scott Pygeorge has announced that he is leaving Alhambra after being at the school for nearly ten years and will be heading east to work and teach at Pittsburg High School. Pygeorge grew up in the Bay Area and attended Chico State and then went on to pursue a graduate degree at Old Dominion University in Virginia. While at ODU, Scott worked the clinical portion of his training at nearby Norfolk State University.
DeMers Earns Several Elite Honors
Baseball star Joe DeMers, who just completed his sophomore year at College Park, was selected as a First-Team All-American choice to the Louisville Slugger Bat Company's 2013 national prep team. At the same time, DeMers was also named the Cal-Hi Sports state sophomore “Player of the Year” and the DVAL's Co-Most Valuable Player.
The talented shortstop and pitcher was a perfect 10-0 in eleven games started this past season with a 1.00 ERA, had 5 complete games (2 shutouts) and 63 strikeouts. (Just 2 walks). At the plate, he had an impressive .373 batting average with 2 home runs and 25 RBIs.
In 2012, DeMers also had a sensational season and was league Most Valuable Pitcher as a freshman. Overall, in his Falcon career, he now boasts a pitching record of 19-2 with a 1.01 ERA. The 6-2, 230-pounder, who has hit 95 miles-per-hour on the radar gun has reportedly given a verbal commitment to the University of Washington.
Davis Leaves Hawaii
Former Alhambra football star Trevor Davis has requested and been granted a release from his scholarship from the University of Hawaii. Davis, who played two seasons for the Warriors, has not indentified a new school as of yet, although reports have surfaced that Wisconsin, Texas Tech, Texas State and Cal have shown interest. Davis hauled-in 17 receptions last season for 235 yards and scored two touchdowns. Overall, he nabbed 45 catches and five touchdowns in 15 career games for Hawaii.
Raciti Back on Line for Spartans
College football fans can expect to see a lot of local boy Travis Raciti this year on television and in print. The 6-8, 306 pound nose tackle from College Park enjoyed an excellent 2012 season along with being a key element in helping San Jose State (SJSU) to football resurgence. The Spartans enjoyed an 11-2 overall record (5-1 in Western Athletic Conference) last season. In addition SJSU was the 2012 Military Bowl champions with their 29-20 victory over Bowling Green in Washington D.C.
The 2103 season sees SJSU moving to the Mountain West Conference (MWC) where the competition will again be formidable. Raciti, a rugged junior, has been selected as a consensus 2013 pre-season First-Team All-MWC defensive linemen by a multitude of publications. Raciti has also been noted by many as one of the top five players to watch for first-year coach Ron Caragher’s squad. He is one of six returning starters on defense. In 2012, Raciti notched 42 tackles (12 for loss) and 8.5 sacks.
In 2011 Raciti was the WAC's Defensive Freshman of the Year. At College Park in 2009, Raciti was a Second-Team Cal-HiSports.com All-State pick and Chronicle All-Metro selection and the Co-Most Valuable Player of the DFAL.
The Spartans open their season on Thursday, August 29, as they host Sacramento State and travel to Palo Alto the following week to face traditional rival Stanford. Raciti will be joined by Martinez resident and Alhambra grad Jared Leaf, a transfer from Hawaii.
Jake Floethe, a graduate of Acalanes, has been promoted to Double-A Montgomery of the Southern League. The Biscuits are an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Flothe started 2013 at Charlotte (High-A) of the Florida State League. There he posted a 4-3 record with an ERA of 3.56 in 10 games. The 24-year-old attended both Fresno State and Cal-State Fullerton, where he was 10-5 during his collegiate career. The 2012 season saw the Martinez resident have a banner year with a 10-3 record at Bowling Green in 24 games (all starts).
Lisa Ward Glides Through Water
Martinez’s Lisa Ward won two gold medals on June 1 as she won both the one and two-mile distance races at the 31st-Annual Lake Berryessa Davis Aquatic Masters Open Water Swim races. Ward has also seen a successful start to the 2013 season with her team, the Walnut Creek Masters where she swims in the 45-49 year-old age group and has placed in the top-three in 21 races.