Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By From page B1 | April 18, 2014

From the If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em Department:

Josh Fox, a 6-foot-6 swingman from City College of San Francisco, is headed to UC Davis — hopefully adding some much-needed defense to the Aggie basketball lineup.

Fox played his freshman season at UC Riverside before returning to the junior college ranks this past winter.

With the former Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep standout helping shut off opponents’ paths to the hoop, the Rams went 29-2 before being shocked by Chabot in the state tournament quarterfinals. To that point, CCSF had a 28-game win streak as California’s No. 1-ranked JC.

“Josh is a versatile and skilled front-court player,” explains Aggie coach Jim Les. “He can score from the perimeter as well as inside. (He) is an excellent rebounder, can guard multiple positions and possesses a high basketball IQ.

“We look forward to Josh making an immediate impact on our team next season.”

Fox averaged 9 points and five rebounds a game, while shooting 46 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc.

Les hopes Fox can add some stoppage for an Aggie squad that went 9-22, allowed almost 80 points a game and missed the Big West Conference tournament.

Curiously, Fox’s best game at UCR came on Jan. 26, 2013, in a seven-point Aggie victory at The Pavilion.

That day, Fox scored a career-high 22 points, grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and made life miserable for UCD when he was on defense.

At Sacred Heart, Fox led the Irish to four Central Coast Section titles and two California Division III crowns.

Fox joins Elyria High (Ohio) gunner Isaiah Walton in UCD’s 2014 recruiting class.

Expect more good news from the Aggies (who are looking for big men) as the collegiate signing period continues through May 21.

El Macero’s loss: Rich Riffle, the popular and accomplished general manager of the El Macero Country Club, is heading to Florida.

Riffle told me Thursday that he, wife Trish, daughter Shelby and son Noah will move across the country, where he will become the GM at Tampa Palms Country Club. Son Ted, a senior baseball and basketball player at Davis High, will stay behind and attend Sonoma State.

Rich leaves in two weeks. His family follows when the school year ends.

“It’s to be closer to my (parents). My father (Bob) has had a rough time,” Riffle explained. “I’ll miss it around here.”

The senior Riffles live six months a year in St. Augustine.

David Knox becomes the new El Macero general manager while the club looks for a new director of golf (a position Knox continues to hold until a replacement is found).

Not just another race: Davis resident Stephen Andrews is among almost 30 local runners who are headed to the Boston Marathon.

Andrews, who ran in last year’s tragic outing, considered himself and his family fortunate to be out of harm’s way when the terrorists struck — killing three and wounding 264 others.

“Fortunately, I finished the race and we all left the finish line before the bombs went off,” says Andrews, whose wife Heather, then six months pregnant, and father were on hand to cheer him on.

“But it’s still frightening to think what could have happened.”

Andrews, a water resources engineer, will be accompanied again by Heather — and 9-month-old son Cameron for Monday’s run.

“I’m hoping that having a great experience this year will help me get beyond the events of last year,” he says.

Andrews is a member of the Golden Valley Harriers and says having the opportunity “to train for the race with a great group of people in our running club” is part of the motivation for going back. (He also ran in 2010.)

Another reason for competing again?

“It’s simply a great race,” he adds. “It’s historic, the qualifying standards make it an achievement in itself just to compete, it’s well-organized and the whole city comes out to cheer and support the runners.

“It’s just a great race to be part of.”

Andrews hopes to nibble away at his best 26-mile time of 2:42 — run last year in Boston.

Minor league update: A couple of former Blue Devils are finding professional baseball an early challenge.

Outfielder Cody Keefer (2009 DHS grad) and pitcher Ben Eckels (2012) are trying to get their footing in single-A assignments.

Keefer, an outfielder at UCLA before signing with the Marlins for $100,000 in 2012, is hitting .220 for the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League. The ‘Heads are 6-7, a fourth-place position in the circuit’s South Division.

Keefer is 9-for-41 with four runs scored and an RBI.

Arizona Diamondback hopeful Eckels had a good start for the South Bend Silverhawks (four innings, three earned runs) before getting laced in a recent relief appearance. The ex-Devil right-hander is 0-2 with a 10.80 earned run average in 6 2/3 innings.

An 11th-round draft choice, Eckels signed for $125,000. Also at 6-7, the ‘Hawks sit in fourth place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.

Bruce Gallaudet

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