PDPreps Insider: Tomales’ star to play NAIA football

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Tomales’ Anthony Feliciano played running back and linebacker during his high school career.
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, 2011

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All-Empire small school football standout Anthony Feliciano is heading to Kansas to play for Benedictine College, an NAIA power.

A linebacker and running back at Tomales, Feliciano was recruited by programs in Idaho, Iowa and Kentucky.

Feliciano was a two-way starter who was the second-leading rusher in Tomales history, leading the Braves’ double-wing toss offense.

Playing at the next level, Feliciano joins a Benedictine program that finished eighth in the final NAIA regular season rankings. Benedictine, in Atchison, Kan., was co-champion of the Heart of America Athletic Conference and reached the NAIA playoffs.

Benedictine is a Catholic, liberal arts college on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River northwest of Kansas City.

Oh say can she sing

One of the many highlights in the great St. Vincent girls basketball season was the singing of Ellie O’Neill.

O’Neill has been singing the national anthem since joining the high school basketball ranks. She played at Petaluma before transferring to St. Vincent for her senior year, helping lead the Mustangs to the North Coast Section final and a state playoff game.

“It gets me really excited. I’m able to share that with everyone,” O’Neill said. “I actually get more nervous to sing. Then I’m ready to play.”

O’Neill wasn’t able to sing the national anthem only one time this season. Out with the flu for that home contest with Sonoma Academy, her St. Vincent teammates filled in for her. The entire Mustangs squad sang in O’Neill’s place.

Going to Disneyland

Rancho Cotate’s baseball team is spending the spring break in Southern California, where the Cougars are playing ball while also finding time for a day at Disneyland.

“We’ve been making this trip for three years,” Rancho coach John Morrow said. “We do fund-raising to pay for it. It’s becoming a tradition.”

This year, for the first time, Rancho is playing in the Rancho Cucamonga Classic. The team from Rohnert Park lost its first game Monday when Oak Hills scored two in the seventh for a 5-3 victory.

Rancho played Chaffey on Tuesday and have games Thursday against Rancho Cucamonga and Pasadena.

“Wednesday, we’re taking the boys to a Cal State Northridge baseball game,” Morrow said. “Friday, we’re going to Disneyland.”
Morrow’s son, Brandon, is a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s scheduled to start the home opener April 4 against the Yankees.

Bishop Vasa loves hoops

Bishop Robert F. Vasa of the Santa Rosa Diocese had one eye on the CIF basketball playoffs and liked what he saw. The bishop this week expressed congratulations to the girls basketball teams from Cardinal Newman and St. Vincent for their postseason.

“I’m tremendousely proud of these ladies,” he said. “It takes a lot of hours, a lot of effort to make it this far. Both teams accomplished something wonderful this season.”

Parnow sizzles for Gauchos

Casa Grande junior Eric Parnow is off to a sizzling start, as are the 6-0 baseball Gauchos. He enters their opener in the Adam Westcott Memorial tournament with a 2-0 pitching record, 20 strikeouts and three walks in 14 innings pitched. A left-hander with an 0.49 ERA, Parnow also is batting .500 with 11 hits in 22 at-bats.

Casa Grande is ranked No. 1 in the MaxPreps.com North Coast Section Division 2 rankings. Windsor is third in Division 2 with a 5-0 record.

(Michael Coit, Ted Sillanpaa and Howard Senzell contributed to this report)

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