PDPreps Insider: Former Empire star lights up Big East softball

Brittney Veler (PD File).

Brittney Veler (PD File).

Maria Carrillo grad and 2013-14 All-Empire large-school softball player of the year Brittany Veler has seen her college career start with a bang at Providence.

After starting the season as a backup, Veler broke into the Friars’ starting lineup in late February. She lined an RBI single in her first at-bat as a starter and didn’t stop there. Moving into a full-time starting role in left field in April, Veler has amassed a slugging percentage of .619, third-best on the team, and is hitting .333. She has three home runs and two doubles.

Last weekend against Georgetown she went 6 for 10 and was named Big East Conference player of the week. Veler was also named East Coast Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week as well.

Legislation to cheer for?

Competitive cheerleading requires strength, balance, coordination and courage. But is it a sport?

Wednesday, California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez will present AB 949, a bill that would designate competitive cheerleading as an official CIF sport, to the Assembly Education Committee at the state capitol in Sacramento. Her goal is to develop rules and safety standards for cheer, similar to those for other high school sports.

According to a press release announcing the presentation, cheerleading is recognized as a sport in 35 states, and results in 37,000 emergency room visits each year.

Vikings set to tee off

Montgomery golf coach Jess Stimak wasn’t overly upset his team finished second in the North Bay League Tournament Monday at Rooster Run. The Vikings had already won the league regular season title and with it an invitation to the Tournament of Champions on May 11 in San Leandro.

“The guys knew they had already qualified for the TOC and weren’t as focused as usual,” Stimak said.

Maria Carrillo won the postseason tournament with a score of 419 while Montgomery came in at 423.

On the Vikings team are: Casey Hughes, Carson Wyatt, Devan Becker, Jared Friday and Nick Bautista.

Montgomery has won the regular season championship five years in a row.

Rancho alumni game

The annual Rancho Cotate alumni baseball game and year-end barbecue is set for May 16. If attending, please contact coach John Morrow by May 9. His e-mail is ranchobaseball@live.com.

Morrow is beaming these days after the way his son, Brandon Morrow, has started the season with San Diego. The starting pitcher and former Rancho player boasts a 2.67 ERA and allowed the Dodgers only one run Sunday in a Padres win.

Easy come, easy go

The Maria Carrillo baseball team scored a major coup late last week, appearing in MaxPreps’ national rankings for medium-sized schools. The Pumas, 13-2 at the time, landed at No. 16 in the rankings, one of just three California teams in the top 25 (another being Redwood High of Larkspur).

Alas, the past week has showed just how difficult it is to sustain success in the NBL. Carrillo dropped three games in a row, against Cardinal Newman and Casa Grande, and then a tournament game against Davis. The good news for the Pumas: They’re still 6-2 in league, one game behind the Gauchos.

Mountain bike news

Healdsburg High’s mountain bike team was the top local finisher in the NorCal High School Cycling League north conference after taking 11th place in Division II at the NorCal Championships at Boggs Mountain demonstration forest near Cobb last weekend. Maria Carrillo finished seventh to clinch 14th place in the conference. El Molino and Casa Grande finished 17th and 18th in conference standings and a composite team made up of students from Santa Rosa and Montgomery and other campuses finished 20th.

Maria Carrillo’s Jack Henderson led all local varsity with a sixth place finish in league. Michael Beard of Healdsburg High finished in 10th place, followed by Ezra Acker and Cassidy Mountjoy, both of El Molino, in 11th and 12th place respectively. Casa Grande’s Nicholas Tribble took 14th place. Among varsity Division II girls, Juliet Daniel of Healdsburg High tops the list in seventh place.

The state championship are May 16-17 in Los Olivos.

New coaches at El Mo

Kirsten Beseda has been named the new head volleyball coach at El Molino High School and David Rosales takes over the head coaching job for the boys soccer team. The Lions are looking for applicants to take over their cheerleading program. Qualified applicants are asked to contact El Molino athletic director Mike Roan at 824-6563 or mroan.ehs@wscuhsd.k12.ca.us

Kerry Benefield, Phil Barber and Howard Senzell contributed to this report.