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Hurricanes Youth Football League Takes North Sacramento by Storm

By Linda Harper
Posted: 7/17/2015

2014 Hurricanes with Coaches Marcel Dow, Will Bradley, and Marcellus Dow
2014 Nor Cal Division Champions with coaches Marcel Dow, Will Bradley, and Marcellus Dow.
Photo courtesy of North Sacramento Hurricanes Youth Football

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Prestigious colleges or renowned trainers are typical pathways to the NFL. But a lesser-known pathway is through Calvin Broadus, also known as “Snoop Dogg,” a celebrity rapper and entertainment icon.

In 2005, Snoop decided to use his notoriety and his funds to create the Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL). He credits playing team sports as a young person for giving him the skills to succeed in his adult life, and he wanted to give today’s kids the same opportunity by teaching them the values of teamwork, good sportsmanship, discipline, and self-respect. He stresses the importance of academics in all phases of the SYFL program.

In the fall of the 2005 inaugural season, there were over 1,300 kids in the Los Angeles area who participated. In 2014, the league exploded with over 1,700 additional players. Four alumni who have participated in the league program made it to the NFL: De’Anthony Thomas, running back for the Kansas City Chiefs; Ronnie Hillman, running back for the Denver Broncos; Kam Jackson, defensive back for the Indianapolis Colts; and Greg Ducre, defensive back for the San Diego Chargers. In addition, 20 SYFL alums signed letters of intent to major college football programs, including Snoop’s own son, Cordell Broadus, who is attending UCLA. The Snoop Football League’s objective includes bringing communities together through a common interest in sports and promoting fair play, fellowship, and enjoyment through healthy competition.

The North Sacramento Hurricanes Youth Football and Cheer is a chapter of the NorCal Youth Football Division, and they are the only ones in Northern California to be included in the SYFL. Their approach to team sports has earned them the celebrated appointment. Their Mission Statement reads, “To invoke courage, passion, determination, respect and character by way of education, athletics, discipline and mentorship, one child at a time. We strive to encourage greatness, purpose and the pursuit thereof, to inspire endurance both mentally and physically. To give a piece of ourselves to be passed on.”

Coaches and support individuals work diligently to incorporate sports into the life lessons their young players learn while participating in the program. Boys are divided into six divisions, beginning at the age of five and concluding as high school freshmen. During those formidable years, integrity and accountability for their actions are instilled in the boys, principles they will practice throughout adulthood. Great, professional looking uniforms and state-of-the-art equipment are what the Hurricanes wear to games. They learn to care about and be proud of their appearance, and to respect the effort that was made in providing top notch equipment. All players wear concussion reduction helmets, and coaches are trained in the detection of concussions and other injuries that can be sustained while playing a contact sport. New to the North Sacramento Hurricanes is the use of professional sports science to help players see where they excel, and also where they can do better.

Since education is such an integral part of the Hurricane’s program, after school tutoring is available to any player who needs it at what they call “Hurricane Hall.” Forty-five minutes before practice on the benches, coaches and tutors are available to help with homework and anything else that may cause a player to fall behind in his grades. Some of the tutors are alumni players who have gone on to higher grades. Community Service is also a solid part of life as a North Sacramento Hurricane. In 2014, the league was the only youth program in Sacramento to be awarded the Gold Level Community Service Award by the Obama Community Service Committee.

The North Sacramento Hurricane Athletic League instills much more in its players than how to play the game on the field. They help to build a foundation for winning in life. If you would like more information about the league or would like to view their registration information, visit To find out more about the Snoop Youth Football League, go to Follow both leagues on Facebook.


USGA Senior Open Trophy
Golf pros will compete for the honor of having their name inscribed on the Senior Open Championship Cup. With the return of the USGA to Sacramento comes a flood of economic impacts with conservative numbers in the $20 million range—a huge influx of new monies to Sacramento County. An estimated 25,000 hotel room nights will be needed over the course of the event hosting the roughly 8,000 travelers coming and going through our various airports.
Photo by Matthew Moores

U.S. Senior Open Drives into Town in June

By Ben Barber
Posted: 5/22/2015

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It’s been over 30 years since the United States Golf Association (USGA) visited town, and with its return this June to the Del Paso Country Club (DPCC) for the 2015 U.S. Senior Open comes a variety of buzz and anticipation. This will be the first U.S. Senior Open to be conducted at the DPCC with the last USGA event being the U.S. Women’s Open back in 1982. Fans will be privileged to watch Masters Champion Fred Couples, Corey Pavin (1995 U.S. Open Champion), Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Paul Goydos, and more compete for the largest Championship title of this year’s open tour.

Director of Championships for the USGA, Matt Sawicki, announced that children 17 and under will have free entry with any ticketed adult. Ticketed adults can bring up to nine kids to enjoy the world-class event. “There’s not another professional sport out there where you can buy a general admission ticket, sit in the front row of the grandstands, be on the rope line, and be within an arm’s length of professional athletes,” said Sawicki. Although 2,500 volunteers are already registered, another 200 could be supported, a great opportunity to be a part of a world-class event.

With the return of the USGA to Sacramento comes a flood of economic impacts with conservative numbers in the $20 million range—a huge influx of new monies to Sacramento County. An estimated 25,000 hotel room nights will be needed over the course of the event hosting the roughly 8,000 travelers coming and going through our various airports. Sales tax dollars alone are estimated to be over $1 million.

The USGA has been working with the DPCC for the past three years to prepare for this mainstream event, aiming to have a minimal impact on local residents and improving roads and infrastructure to support the scale of the event, allowing for maximum ease.

The event will be broadcasted by Fox, providing 20 hours of coverage for those who might not be able to make it to the course. Coverage begins June 23rd and carries through the 28th.

Gaylord Perry Honored, 2015 Brings Big Changes for River Cats

Story and photos by Ben Barber
Posted: 5/1/2015

Gaylord Perry Talks to Reporters
Gaylord Perry talks about his career.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento River Cats season is officially underway. It is the first year of the much anticipated association with Major League Baseball’s World Champion San Francisco Giants. The River Cats spent the majority of the summer making improvements throughout Raley Field, helping both players and fans.

Season ticket holders will now have the luxury of the Legacy Club, a 5,000 square foot renovation to the suite level on the third base side. It features a full bar with a wide variety of California wines and a microbrew made specifically for the River Cats by Rubicon Brewing company called RBI IPA. If the life size LED screen casting the game isn’t impressive enough, then guests can stroll around the balcony to see a stunning view overlooking the field and the Sacramento skyline.

Fans were also treated to an appearance by Gaylord Perry, who was being honored with an induction into the Pacific Coast League (PCL) Hall of Fame. He only played four seasons before moving up to the majors, where he continued his career for 22 years. While in the minors, he achieved the Pitcher of the Year title and helped lead the Tacoma Giants to a PCL championship.

Jeff Savage and Gaylord Perry with Certificate
Jeff Savage presents Gaylord Perry with the PCL Hall of Fame Certificate.

Perry was known for his spitball and lackadaisical attitude towards having the upper hand on batters. While in the Majors, he was caught with an emery board in his back pocket to scuff up the ball. In an era before center field cameras and close ups on pitchers, baseball was a very different game.

Also as part of the new affiliation are some exciting events planned for the future, such as Star Wars Night on July 10th. The event was started by the San Francisco Giants, who celebrate the cultural phenomena of Star Wars that started in the Bay Area.

With ticket sales up 1200% in comparison to last year, Sacramento baseball fans may have a tricky time getting in to see not only the upgrades, but the world class baseball that comes along with being associated with the San Francisco Giants. Roster names include multiple world champions that’ll have the town star struck.

River Cats Set Season High with Seven Runs in Win

Posted: 4/17/2015

River Cats Logo

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento River Cats wrapped up their first series of the season with a 7-2 win last Sunday afternoon against the Bees. The offense rolled behind strong showings from Brandon Hicks and Guillermo Quiroz while Jake Dunning led the team on the mound, posting six solid innings.

The River Cats jumped ahead first, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out in the inning, Adam Duvall crushed his second home run of the season to the opposite field, giving the team a 1-0 lead. The River Cats would add on in the inning, as Hicks singled, Brett Jackson doubled, and Quiroz singled to score both runners and extend the lead to three.

The Bees would counter, however, tagging River Cats starter Jake Dunning (1-0, 3.00) for two on a two-run home run by catcher Jett Bandy. They would be the only runs the Bees would get and Dunning would end his 2015 debut throwing six two-run innings while striking out three and walking two.

The River Cats added to their lead with a two-run sixth and a two-run eighth. Hicks had his third of four hits of the afternoon in the sixth, knocking in Duvall. Jarrett Parker would score next on an RBI groundout by Brett Jackson. In the eighth, Hicks shot his fourth hit of the day into centerfield. After a passed ball, Quiroz hit his second two-RBI single of the day. Hicks ended the day 4-4 with two runs and an RBI. Quiroz went 2-4 with four RBIs.

Bees starter Alex Sanabia lasted 5.0 innings and gave up five earned runs on eight hits. The River Cats’ twelve hits were their second highest total of the season, one behind the 13 hits they complied in Saturday’s 18-inning epic. Their seven runs are a season high.

The bullpen continued to be excellent, as Juan Gutierrez and Michael Broadway combined for three shutdown innings, allowing only two hits—both singles—and striking out four. After four games, the River Cats lead the league in ERA (1.80) and innings pitched (45) and are fourth in WHIP (1.04).

Source: Sacramento River Cats

Sacramento River Cats Logo

River Cats 2015 Opening Day Roster

Posted: 4/10/2015

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento River Cats announced the 2015 Opening Day roster. The River Cats opened their 16th season in Sacramento with eight players who have spent time with the affiliate San Francisco Giants, including three with 2014 postseason experience.

The River Cats roster was headlined by local talent Andrew Susac (catcher) and John Bowker (infielder), as well as postseason contributors Juan Perez (outfielder) and Hunter Strickland (right-handed pitcher). Susac, Perez, and Strickland all made appearances in San Francisco’s 2014 World Championship run and started their seasons in Sacramento. The three players combined for 26 games played in October.

The River Cats will be led by manager Bob Mariano, who enters his fourth season as manager, although his first with Sacramento. In his previous three seasons with the Fresno Grizzlies, Mariano managed big-leaguers Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Pablo Sandoval, and others. Hitting coach Andy Skeels, pitching coach Dwight Bernard, athletic trainer James Petra, and strength and conditioning coach Brad Lawson made up the rest of Sacramento’s on-field staff.

Full 2015 Sacramento River Cats Roster

Pitchers (13 + 1 DL)
Heston, Chris
Blach, Tyson
Dunning, Jake
Turley, Nikolas
Coello, Robert
Lara, Brauli
Strickland, Hunter
Hall, Cody
Broadway, Michael
Bochy, Brett
Okert, Steven
Rapada, Clayton
Partch, Curtis
Gutierrez, JC (DL)
Catchers (2 + 1 DL)
Susac, Andrew
Quiroz, Guillermo
Brown, Trevor (DL)
Infielders (6)
Bowker, John
Duvall, Adam
Cedeno, Ronny
Triunfel, Carlos
Ciriaco, Juan
Hicks, Brandon
Outfielders (4)
Jackson, Brett
Perez, Juan
Parker, Jarret
Ford, Darren

The River Cats opened their season at home on Thursday, April 9th against the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). For more information, please call (916) 371-HITS or visit

Source: Sacramento River Cats

Derby Madness Takes Over at Sacramento State University

By Anne Stokes

Posted: 3/20/2015

Annie Reksic Blocks Blue Crush
Capitol Punisher jammer Blue Crush (#11, right in star helmet) attempts to pass Folsom Prison Bruiser blocker Annie Reksic (#10) during the exposition roller derby match at Sacramento State.
Photos by Anne Stokes

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sac City Rollers teamed up with Sacramento State University’s Women’s Resource Center and UNIQUE Programs on the evening of Thursday, March 12th, bringing their hard-hitting style of entertainment to campus. The free event featured the Capitol Punishers and Folsom Prison Bruisers competing against each other in an exposition match in celebration of March’s Women’s HerStory month.

“The reason we brought [Derby Madness] here in the first place was to expose Sac State students to these kind of events, because it’s not something usually on college campuses,” explained Zenia LaPorte, Sacramento State University Assistant Director for Programs and Marketing “It’s definitely a fun, action-packed event, and the crowd definitely gets into it. It’s a good time.”

Second-year communications student Andrea Arango, who attended Thursday night with her friends, had never seen a roller derby match before but quickly caught on to the game’s rules. “I’ve never seen something like this! I was like, a roller derby? Are we going to go and see people roller skate in circles? But it’s more than that,” she said. “I would say if you’re open to learning and seeing new things, you should definitely go. Have an open mind. I decided to go this year just to see what it’s about and I’m glad I came.”

“It’s always fun playing here at Sac State,” said Aleitha Burns, who has skated under the moniker “Aleithal Weapon” for the past seven years. “We get a lot of new fans, a lot of volunteers. It’s an opportunity for us to just play roller derby without the high pressure of sanctioning and rankings and the competitive nature. But of course we’re all athletes, so our competitiveness comes out.”

The game itself is a fast-paced, full-contact team sport in which 10 athletes at a time compete to out maneuver each other and score the most points. “There are two basic positions in women’s roller derby,” explained Burns. “There are the blockers, they make up the pack, and then the other position is the jammer. Essentially, the goal is for the jammer to get through the pack. The jammers score every time they successfully make it through the pack. So the pack is simultaneously playing offense to help their jammer through and defense to stop the opposing jammer. Jammers score points for every blocker from the opposing team they pass.”

Skater Bird Dog Works to Pass Foxy Knoxy in a Roller Derby Demonstration Match
Capitol Punisher blocker Foxy Knoxy (#777, inside right) blocks Folsom Prison Bruiser jammer Bird Dog (#415, in the star helmet) as she attempts to pass the pack and score during the exposition match at Sacramento State. Jammers score points for every opposing blocker they pass while blockers simultaneously obstruct opposing jammers while clearing the way for their own team’s jammer.

Founded in 2006, the Sac City Rollers was Sacramento’s first women’s flat track roller derby team. The team is comprised of two interleague teams, the Capitol Punishers and the Folsom Prison Bruisers, who compete together on an international level. “We play against our local teams here in California; we also have played against teams from Canada, we’ve played against teams from Scotland, [and] we’ve played against teams from Michigan,’ explained Burns. “In two weeks we have our first tournament [of the season]; it’s called the Dust Devil in Tuscan, Arizona, where we’ll be playing against a team from New Hampshire. Tournaments give us an opportunity to play teams from a larger range.”

The team is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, raising hundreds of dollars each bout for local charities, culminating in their annual Red Red Holiday Invitational tournament each December, the proceeds of which benefit the Sacramento Food Bank. “We have raised thousands of dollars over the last nine seasons for the Sacramento Food Bank,” said Burns, adding that “every game that we have, we pick a local charity to raise money for. All the proceeds from our raffle prizes all goes directly to a charity. At each bout we raise a couple hundred dollars for various charities.”

Burns, who is a middle school science teacher, is one of over 100 women and girls who make up the Sac City Rollers. Athletes come from a variety of backgrounds, from stay-at-home mothers to laboratory scientists, and range in age from as young as 18 to women in their mid-40s, who commit to working out at least three to four days a week for two to three hours at a time. According to Burns, however, the benefits reach well beyond just staying in shape: “I’ve gotten a whole group of friends that I know will always have my back no matter what happens.”

The Sac City Roller’s next match against the Auburn Outlaws is slated for March 21st at The Rink in Sacramento. If you think you may have what it takes to be a Capitol Punisher or Folsom Prison Bruiser, tryouts will be held on Sunday, June 7th. For more information, visit

Dirty Hippie Knows Stretching Before a Workout is Important
Folsom Prison Bruiser Dirty Hippie (#1LUV) stretches out pre-game at Derby Madness, the exposition match at Sacramento State’s University Union Ballroom.
Aleithal Weapon Zooms Around the Track
Capitol Punisher jammer Aleithal Weapon (#713, at left), known off the rink as teacher Aleitha Burns, scores points as she passes the pack of Folsom Bruisers during Derby Madness. “I grew up roller skating, I was a rink-rat. Every Friday, Saturday night I was at the roller skating rink. I got my first kiss on skates,” she admits. “So when I heard about roller derby, I thought ‘hey, why not?’ I like full-contact sports, I love roller skating, and try outs were happening in a few weeks. So I went to tryouts and have never looked back seven seasons later, from a rookie all the way to our All-Stars.”


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