Sports briefs: Blue Devil water polo players honored for academics

By From page B8 | December 04, 2012

With 2012 varsity squads that captured both the Sac-Joaquin Section boys and girls championships, and junior varsity squads that each posted strong seasons, the Davis High water polo program had no shortage of success in the pool.

Now comes word that the Blue Devils have been just as strong in the classroom as 10 players earned All-American recognition from USA Water Polo for their academic performance, combined with their skills in the water.

Getting the nod for Outstanding Performance (4.0 GPA or higher) were DHS boys Jack Blattner, Alexander Borowsky, Garrett Fisk and Connor Stapleton and local girls Haley Blackwell and Hailey Wright. Other Academic All-American Devils (3.6 GPA or higher) were Samuel Burke, Ben Diamant, Valente Dolcini and Graham Fullerton.

UCD baseball

Local fans will get a good introduction to the 2013 edition of Aggies as they will open the year with nine straight games at Dobbins Stadium.

The stretch, which begins with the season opener on Feb. 15, features four-game series against Pac-12 opponents Washington and Utah sandwiched around a single matchup with San Jose State.

Another single contest against Stanford, a 2012 Super Regional participant, and a road series at Oklahoma State are other nonconference highlights on the UCD schedule, which was announced recently.

After Big West play begins on March 28 at Cal Poly, the Aggies will host home series with 2012 conference champion Cal State Fullerton (April 5-7), UC Riverside (April 19-21), Cal State Northridge (May 3-5) and then end the regular season at home against UC Santa Barbara (May 23-25).

“The more challenging you can make your nonconference schedule, the more prepared you’ll be for conference play,” said second-year head coach Matt Vaughn, who begins his 26th season with the UCD program.

“The Big West is a great conference and we always look at those games as our toughest stretch of the year, so playing against some Pac-12 teams and a Big 12 opponent will help us prepare for that.”

Following the opening nine-game homestand, the Aggies take their first road trip of the year on March 1, traveling to Stillwater, Okla., to play at storied Allie P. Reynolds Stadium for their first-ever matchup against Oklahoma State, which has made 19 appearances in the College World Series.

Stanford, which ended the 2012 season as the 13th-ranked team in the country by Baseball America, visits Dobbins Stadium on March 26 for a midweek matchup.

“Over the last three or four years we have continuously played some of these perennially ranked teams and I think that speaks to our program being headed in the right direction,” Vaughn said.

In his first year at the helm, Vaughn led UCD to an overall record of 27-30 as the Aggies won their fourth consecutive Big West series to end the season, finishing 12-12 in conference play. It was the program’s highest win total since the 2008 campaign, during which UCD advanced to an NCAA regional.

UCD men’s basketball

On the heels of a successful canned food drive at the season opener that resulted in more than 300 pounds of food for the Yolo County Food Bank, the Aggie program is teaming with Toys for Tots to organize a holiday toy drive for Wednesday night’s home game against San Jose State.

Fans who donate an unwrapped new toy upon arrival at The Pavilion will have the opportunity to purchase general admission seats for the 7 p.m. contest for just $5.

“Every child deserves an enjoyable Christmas,” said UCD head coach Jim Les. “By partnering with Toys for Tots, the men’s basketball program is being provided with another opportunity to help those in need during the holiday season.”

Only one toy needs to be donated to receive reduced admission, however, those in attendance are allowed to donate as many items as they want for this worthy cause.

Youth track and field

The Davis Community Track and Field Club is launching a new program that targets junior high school students interested in the sport.

Beginning Jan. 7, students in seventh and eighth grades are invited to participate in a six-week conditioning program that will prepare them for a healthy and successful spring season.

“We decided to offer this program because so many parents came to us and said they needed something to help prepare their kids for participating safely in spring sports,” said former Davis High and UC Davis runner Drew Peterson, who coaches the program. “Too many kids get injured or discouraged because they leap into a competitive season without conditioning.”

Athletes will do conditioning to develop strength and agility, learn to safely warm up and warm down and be supported to participate in two optional all-comer meets. For more information and to register, contact coach Petersen at 530-210-7049.

Boys lacrosse swap

Buy, sell, trade or donate gear for athletes in youth leagues through high school at the third annual Boys Lacrosse Swap set for Saturday.

Admission is free for the event, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Holmes Junior High multipurpose room, 1220 Drexel Drive.

In addition to bargains on used equipment, gear and clothing, Lacrosse Fanatic will be on site selling helmets, stringing supplies and other gear. Discount starter packages also will be available.

Families should bring cash, though checks may be accepted, and Lacrosse Fanatic will take credit cards.

Donations will help support the Davis High boys lacrosse teams. Drop off donations at 1804 Titian Place before Thursday, or request pickup by emailing [email protected] or calling 530-297-5412. Otherwise, bring donations to the swap.

Enterprise staff

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