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Dedication on Wheels: What it Takes to be a Derby Girl

Skill on wheels. That’s how I described women’s roller derby in an article written in February about Sacramento’s women’s roller derby team, the Sac City Rollers. But in meeting up with them again, I learned that being a derby girl—or derby athlete as they call themselves—requires much more than just skill. “I look for the fight, that desire, that want to be able to do this,” Motormouth, a Coach of the Sac City Rollers, said of what he looks for in his skaters. “We can eventually teach skating skills, the game, and the strategy, but if you don’t have that burning fire? You can’t teach that. The mental game is what he calls it, and it’s rooted, he says, in dedication. “It all boils down to dedication,” Motormouth said. “I tell them to look at all the time and dedication they put in week in and week out—time away from family, or the birthday party they missed, or the gas money they spent to drive to and from practice…[and] use that as a fuel.” Respect for the sport is hard earned, but they still have to fight the old school stereotype of show-pleasing, senseless-hitting antics. What we see today is the new era of derby, complete with game-play regulations and players as physically and emotionally dedicated as any athlete. Derby skaters, at least those playing […]

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Opening Night!

River Cats’ 15th Opener in Sacramento Starts Season Strong

It’s hard to believe that before 2000, professional baseball had been absent in California’s State Capitol for 23 long years. Those days of having to travel to Lodi, Stockton or Fresno to see the pros, however, are today just a bad memory for fans of the Sacramento River Cats, arguably the most successful franchise in the minor leagues. The River Cats average more than 10,000 fans a game – best in the minor leagues – and have won 11 Pacific Coast League division titles since 2000. Twice Sacramento won the Triple A Championship. With all that success in the rear view mirror, baseball returned to Raley Field last Friday night, and fans were treated to a night of quiet celebration that focused on the game. The faithful were justly rewarded with a thrilling, 8th-inning grand slam by first baseman Nate Freiman that gave the River Cats a come-from-behind 7-6 victory. The baseball gods aren’t usually so accommodating. The opener was a long one, clocking in at more than 3 ½ hours, but the 12,142 fans in attendance didn’t seem to mind, as most seemed to be thankful April was finally here, and with it, the dawn of a fresh season. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch was Sacramento native Jerry Manuel and his grandson, Malachi. Manuel graduated from Cordova High School in 1972 and was […]

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New films: Draft Day and Oculus

Draft Day Directed by Ivan Reitman OK, I’ll admit it again – I have a soft spot for Kevin Costner. Despite one or two stinkers on his resume (don’t we all?), he’s been delivering solid performances for decades and on the one occasion I interviewed him, he couldn’t have been nicer. I’m predisposed, not to like his films, but to want to like them. So it was with some trepidation that I attended “Draft Day” because Costner’s been making a bit of a comeback of late, but his last film “3 Days to Kill” was pretty awful (albeit not because of him). “Draft Day” starts a little slowly and I wasn’t quite feeling it at first, as Costner’s Sonny Weaver Jr. has an awkward morning encounter with his girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner), as they walk outside into what felt like a low budget General Motors commercial. But the movie picks up pretty nicely after that and kept me both entertained and absorbed throughout. It’s fair to say this is probably the movie that has left me with the biggest positive buzz of the year so far – which surprised me given its subject matter and style. Sonny is the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns and he’s trying to secure the team’s future on the National Football League’s draft day – the day that teams […]

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Grant Approved to Aid in North Sac Youth Soccer Club Formation

According to lead organizer, Terry Press-Dawson, the fledgling North Sac Youth Soccer Club was “approved for (a grant of) about $11,000 for soccer uniforms, a laptop and equipment.” This is in addition to $5,000 in funds Council Member Allen Warren provided as seed money for the club. Mr. Press-Dawson also advised that 3 dates have been set for registration for interested children and their parents—all are on Saturdays from 10:00am-noon. The dates are: April 26th at Johnson/Noralto Schools; May 17th at the Firehouse Community Center in Del Paso Heights; and June 7th at the SACA Center on Rio Linda Blvd. More information can be obtained by emailing him at terry.press-dawson@twinriversusd.org. Mark Dickerson, Commissioner of Cal North District 6 for the California Youth Soccer Association(CYSA), said the River City Youth Soccer League (RCYSL) “has been asked to assist Mr. Press-Dawson and his group in developing the local club.” River City will replace the Natomas United Youth Soccer League, which had been working with the North Sac group. It was determined that the new club was being formed in a part of the area delegated to RCYSL for development of youth soccer by the state organization.

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Organizing North Sacramento Youth Soccer Club and the Advancement of Agendas

The initial meeting of a group to form a North Sacramento Youth Soccer Club occurred Wednesday, March 12, at the Harmon Johnson Elementary School. It was attended by about a dozen parents and their children who were deeply interested in the creation of the Club. With assistance offered by Natomas United Youth Soccer League Vice President, John Flores, and Referee Coordinator, Antonio Ortiz, the initial planning for the creation of the North Sacramento Youth Soccer Club began. Event organizer, Terry Press-Dawson, a Twin Rivers Unified employee at Harmon Johnson Elementary, summed up the purpose of organizing the Club, “The creation of the Club based at Harmon Johnson will allow youth currently involved in soccer or wanting to become involved, the opportunity to do so in the area where they live. They and their parents won’t have to drive relatively long distances to be able to play competitive soccer. It will serve as an expansion of the limited opportunities available at Harmon Johnson.” Daniel Savala, assistant to Council Member Allen Warren, was present as both an area parent and surrogate for the Council Member. Mr. Warren himself made a brief appearance at the initial meeting to confirm his $5,000 seed money donation and to promote both this endeavor and his other “youth initiatives”. He also signaled that his office would work with the group to attract […]

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Q&A with Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson

Winter Olympic champion and South Lake Tahoe native Jamie Anderson won not only a gold medal for Women’s Slopestyle Snowboarding at Sochi, but also the attention of people worldwide with her incredible snowboarding skills and her magnetic and down-to-earth personality. One of 8 children, she grew up with the mountains at her doorstep and picked up her first snowboard at 9 years old. She fell in love with the sport instantaneously and in just a few short years worked her way up to the Winter X-Games, where she took home bronze and became the youngest athlete in the history of the sport to receive a medal. The following year, at just 16, she won gold in the Winter X-Games, making her the youngest woman to win a Winter X-Games gold medal. Since then she’s won victory after victory, including 3-time women’s TTR World Tour champion, two-time Winter Dew Tour women’s champion, six-time X-game gold medalist, and now a 2014 Olympic gold medalist for the Olympic-debut of Women’s Slopesytle Snowboarding. The influence of growing up in Tahoe instilled in her a love for the outdoors that radiates in conversations. It’s clear that nature, the mountains, and the energy she draws from them are all a part of who she is. Jamie took time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about life, snowboarding, family, […]

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Organizational Meeting for North Sac Youth Soccer Club

There will be an informational meeting on Wednesday, March 12th for parents and community members who are interested in forming a youth recreational soccer club in the North Area of Sacramento in the area composed of the old North Sacramento and Del Paso Heights School Distircts. The club would be for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 12 with sign-ups beginning in May and play beginning in August. In the past, north area youth interested in participating in recreational soccer would need to join teams from outside their local community. With guidance from the Natomas United Youth Soccer League and a $5000 contribution from Council Member Allen Warren to help pay for some of the start-up costs, there is finally a possibility of forming teams in the local community. The north area club would be affiliated with the Natomas United Youth Soccer League. The informational and planning meeting on March 12th will take place from 5:00 to 5:45 PM at Harmon Johnson Elementary School, 577 Las Palmas Ave., Sacramento 95815. It will be held in Room 1 (the school library). The meeting will focus on providing general information about the club and recruiting coaches and referees. 6 to 10 adults will need to be recruited to form a board to guide the fledgling club. Plans for fundraising to defer some of the […]

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Central California Soccer League a Sacramento Treasure

It was a beyond perfect Sunday afternoon at Southside Park as the 2014 Winter regular season of the Central California Soccer League (CCSL) wrapped up on Feb. 23. The CCSL, as the oldest and only competitive soccer league in the Sacramento area, is a unique resource for the thriving local soccer community. The league has been operating for over 70 years and is affiliated with the California Soccer Association-North, and the United States Soccer Federation. Inter Hacienda, in red, and Deportivo Indio Dixon, in green, battled on this day as friends and family watched, ate packed lunches, and sampled from the ice cream trailer. Inter Hacienda will play another day, as the team finished tied with AC Cruz Azul with 18 points for first place. To determine a champion, these two teams will play Sunday March 2, at 1 p.m. at Southside Park (O’Neil Field), 715 Broadway, Sacramento.   Photos ○ Steve Martarano

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Cal Expo Sports Facility Moves Forward with Agreement

Ovations Fanfare LLC, a food service company,  and Cal Expo came to a tentative agreement for a multi-use sports facility Wednesday. The Sacramento Republic FC would serve like a tenant in the facility, while Ovations would foot the bill and privately fund the project. The Cal Expo Board will review the agreement in their next meeting on Feb. 28 and decide whether or not to move the formal agreement forward. According to the Republic, several steps have already taken place to move the facility forward, including plotting, architectural design and engineering plans. The team also plans on making their home debut at the new facility. If the project is not finished in time, the Republic have made an agreement to host their  home matches at Sacramento City College in Hughes Stadium, according to a press release.   Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHannigan    

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Sacramento Republic FC announces player signings

Sacramento Republic FC signed two players Tuesday, pending USL Pro League approval. The team announced the signings of Major League Soccer veteran Justin Braun and 17-year-old Mawolo Gissie. Braun last played for Toronto FC in 2013. The veteran forward has appeared in 110 matches and has scored 24 goals in his five seasons in the MLS. Republic Head Coach Predrag Radosavljevic said in a press release that Braun’s “veteran experience will be leveraged not only on the field but off it, as he guides one of the sport’s most exciting young players in Gissie.” Gissie, a Liberian-born forward, made his professional debut in 2012 with New England Revolution Reserves. He led the Revolution’s U16 teams in goals (15) and assists (8) in 2011-12. Braun and Gissie will join the roster with Rodrigo Lopez and Mickey Daly, who will all report to training camp at Cosumnes River College on Feb. 17. The team is expected to announce more signings, before camp commences. Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHannigan

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