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Two Vacaville High grads set to play baseball for Cal

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Vacaville High grad Cole Elivs takes a swing for the California Golden Bears during an exhibition game against St. Mary's at Evans Diamond in Berkeley on November 2, 2019. Elvis, now a junior, is a catcher for Cal. (Robert Edwards -- KLC fotos)

UC Berkeley head baseball coach Mike Neu starred for Vintage High School in Napa and coached at Diablo Valley College and the University of the Pacific. So when it comes to recruiting players for his Golden Bears, he knows the Northern California neck of the woods as well as anyone.

“We have as good or better network of people than almost anyone in the country in this area,” said Neu. “A lot of our best players have been from Northern California.”

Two of those players are Vacaville high grads Cole Elvis and Brian McClellin. Elvis, a junior at Cal, is the starting catcher. McClellin, a versatile infielder, is a freshman.

Elvis caught in 10 of the 16 games Cal got under its belt last spring until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season. As a freshman he caught games once a week, as Korey Lee, who was drafted in the first round by the Houston Astros, was the starting catcher. Elvis hit five home runs in just 51 at-bats that season.

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Football: Hendrickson was a 4-year varsity star for Napa High

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It was getting very late into the 1981 football season, one of the best in school history for Napa High.

Injuries were beginning to take a toll on the defense, forcing head coach Les Franco and his staff to make key decisions about starting personnel.

With only two games to go in the regular season and the playoffs just around the corner, they were in need of a left outside linebacker.

The staff turned to Steve Hendrickson, a 15-year-old who was in the ninth grade at Ridgeview Junior High and a member of the Napa High junior varsity team at the time. It was a “unanimous choice” of the coaching staff, Franco recalled, to promote Hendrickson.

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Vacaville’s hockey team becoming part of the community

in News/Sports 342 views
From The Reporter(contributed photo - Ice Raiders)

Vacaville’s NorCal Ice Raiders hockey team has come a long way.

The Ice Raiders play in the Mountain West Hockey League (MWHL), a Senior A minor league consisting of clubs from across the western United States. The MWHL, founded in 2012, serves as a stepping stone for many players to European leagues and upper-level professional minor leagues across North America.

It also serves as a venue for former professional, collegiate and junior hockey players who love the game and just want to keep playing it.

The Raiders were almost unknown when they were founded by Weston Nash and Nick Harris in 2015.

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Vacaville Christian High’s Kendall Allen turns weaknesses into strengths

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Kendall Allen could have let the coronavirus pandemic get him down.

The Vacaville Christian High School student-athlete, who will be a junior in the fall, was all set to compete in track and field for his school when COVID-19 shut down the schools and his season.

He received an invitation from 365 Sports on behalf of FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball) to represent the United States as a member of Team California in a special international tournament this summer. Then the tournament was canceled because of the pandemic.

He would have been playing AAU basketball for his travel team this summer, journeying to Los Angeles, Arizona, Portland, Texas and Las Vegas. But the virus closed down that opportunity as well.

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Vacaville grad Mykal Walker picked in 4th round by Falcons

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(Courtesy photo/Fresno State Athletics file)

VACAVILLE — Seeing one of his players get drafted into the NFL never gets old for Vacaville High football coach Mike Papadopoulos, though it had been eight years since the last one.

The latest Bulldog to get picked is Mykal Walker, who after two stellar seasons at linebacker for Fresno State, was taken in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons with the 119th overall pick, Saturday.

Walker is the fourth Vacaville player to be drafted by an NFL team following Vince Newsome in 1983 (Los Angeles Rams, fourth round), Thomas Williams in 2008 (Jacksonville, fifth round) and Josh Kaddu in 2012 (Miami, fifth round).

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Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin Talks Roles, Would Love to be a Closer One Day

in Sports 216 views
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tony Gonsolin made his debut for the Dodgers in 2019 and, outside of one rough outing (his debut), he was better than advertised in his first go-round in the show.

The rookie right-hander appeared in 11 games last season — 6 starts, 5 out of the bullpen — and excelled in both roles. After spending his first two pro seasons in the ‘pen, Gonsolin showed the poise of a closer, even if he mostly pitched middle relief.

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Vacaville Olympics hopeful finds silver lining as quest for gold postponed

in Sports/Vacaville 181 views
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VACAVILLE — When the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee issued a joint statement postponing the Tokyo Olympic Games due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Games likely taking place in the summer of 2021, it put the Olympic dreams of thousands of competitors on hold.

Among those are Vacaville native Robyn Stevens, a strong Olympics race walk hopeful.

Stevens is among the top U.S. competitors in the 1-mile distance and, while there are no guarantees during Olympic Trials, she was among the favorites to make the U.S. Olympic team and compete in the Tokyo Games this summer.

The Covid-19 pandemic changed that – as it did most things – and Olympics hopefuls like Stevens have been forced to delay their dreams and aspirations.

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Vacaville beats Davis in home baseball opener

in Sports/Vacaville 147 views

The recipe was a bit different but the basic ingredients were the same. And when those ingredients are Vacaville High baseball players, the end product is often the same as well — a lot of runs and a win.

Two years ago, Vacaville beat Davis twice on Memorial Day at Sacramento City College to win the Division 1 baseball title. Last year they beat the Blue Devils 15-8 in a regular-season contest.

If Davis was looking for revenge on Wednesday in Vacaville’s home opener, it wasn’t going to happen, as the Bulldogs downed the Blue Devils, 10-2.

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