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Casa Grande coach Trent Herzog addresses his players at a recent practice.
Credit: John Burgess / Press Democrat

Football preview: Big shoes to fill at Casa Grande

Experienced line will help ease the departure of JaJuan Lawson. Read Article →
Cardinal Newman sophomore Jordon Brookshire will lead the Cardinals offense this season as the starting quarterback. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Football preview: Cardinal Newman ready to climb back to the top

There's no shortage of varsity experience for the Cardinals this year. Read Article →
Sonoma Valley's Kyle Dunevent was the Dragons' leading receiver last season. He averaged more than 11 yards per catch last year and led the team in total receiving yards with 441.  (Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)

Football preview: Sonoma looks for its quarterback

Replacing Dan Deely is Step 1 as the Dragons seek to return to the playoffs in 2014. Read Article →
kp0818_Piner_QB.jpg

Football preview: Piner looks to extend improvement trend

New QB Tony Martignoli can throw deep passes well. Read Article →
Quarterback Brendan White prepares to pass during Petaluma High School’s football practice on Thursday. He’ll work behind an offensive line that will be bigger than last year’s group.
(CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat)

Football preview: Boost in numbers should help Petaluma

Trojans see increase in roster size, including twice as many offensive linemen Read Article →
Free safety Chris Pedroni, right, wraps up teammate Julian Lopez during practice at Healdsburg High.
Photo by John Burgess / Press Democrat

Football preview: Healdsburg has depth, renewed confidence

Healdsburg has the depth and experience to rank among the Empire’s best. Read Article →
Lonnie Gaspar fights through a tackle at El Molino preseason practice. (Beth Schlanker / The Press Democrat)

Football preview: Surge of energy at El Molino

The Lions have a strong core of upcoming juniors returning and they're eager to do better than last year's sixth-place finish in the SCL. Read Article →
Linebacker Richard DePaz (14) springs forward to deliver a blow to the blocking sled at Elsie Allen’s preseason practice. 
(JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat

Football preview: Elsie Allen taking 2014 one step at a time

Lobos' goal for season is building a foundation. Read Article →

Empire athletes awarded NCS scholarships

The North Coast Section Foundation handed out $1,000 scholarships to nine Empire athletes who averaged a minimum 3.3 GPA and were involved in other activities. Read Article →
Analy running back Ja’Narrick James says the team hasn’t really needed to rebuild.
(CRISTA JERAMIASON / The Press Democrat)

Football preview: Analy’s key playmakers return, but offensive line a question mark

Tigers coach Bourdon still deciding on two O-line starters Read Article →
Ke' Shawn Walker, left, does a plank exercise with his teammates during Montgomery's first day of football practice on Monday. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Benefield: Real work begins for Empire’s football teams

The first of football practice began on Monday. For all the football teams in the Empire, it's a clean slate; everyone's a contender. Read Article →

PD Preps Insider: Cardinal Newman signs up for early bowl game

A behind-the-scenes look at Empire high school sports. Read Article →
Montgomery quarterback RJ Flores (18) throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Etienne Ezeff against Ukiah last Friday. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

North Bay League preview: Only two squads return starting QBs

Rancho Cotate, Montgomery only NBL incumbents at quarterback this season Read Article →
Washington State has landed Casa Grande senior kicker Matt Abramo, considered to have one of the strongest legs among this season’s recruiting class. He verbally committed to the Cougars in late July. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Demorat, 2013)

Padecky: Casa’s Abramo a great kicker, better person

The Gauchos' kicker would rather talk about his leukemia fundraising efforts. Read Article →
El Molino football players, just like athletes from every other school in the area, lift weights and do conditioning drills during the summer. (Photo by John Burgess, The Press Democrat)

Summer football: More intense offseason programs pay off when practices begin

Football season officially kicks off Aug. 11 but teams are already hitting the field. Read Article →

C.J. Banaszek loses battle with leukemia

Petaluma youngster served as inspirational figure to Casa Grande football team Read Article →
Cardinal Newman graduate Keaton Dunsford will transfer to Princeton in 2015 after completing a year at Phillips Exeter Academy, a college-prep school in New Hampshire. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat, 2013)

Former Newman QB Dunsford offered spot on Princeton football team

Keaton Dunsford will spent a year at an East Coast college-prep school before transferring to Princeton in 2015. Read Article →
Piner assistant football coach Gary Cummings, left, talks with his son, Ronnie, during practice last season.
AUDRA VON GLAHN

Gary Cummings gone, but not forgotten

Piner lost more than a coach when he passed away in June Read Article →

Empire roundup: Kiwanis all-star game on July 19

41st annual football event using north-south format instead of SCL vs. NBL Read Article →

Empire roundup: Former St. Vincent hockey star named to All-America team

Capping a standout run for the Air Force Academy hockey team, Adam McKenzie was named to the Capital One Academic All-America at-large second team. Read Article →

49ers’ Harbaugh to be featured at SRJC football fundraiser

The 49ers coach will be the featured guest at the program's June 14 fundraiser at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa. Read Article →
Maria Carrillo running back Alex Netherda, right, is tackled during football practice on Aug. 22, 2013. A recently passed state bill would limit the amount of contact teams can have during practice.
(ALVIN JORNADA / For The Press Democrat, 2013)

Lawmakers aim to curb high school football injuries

State Assembly bill would limit full-contact practices, increase concussion scrutiny Read Article →
Texas Christian cornerback Jason Verrett poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the San Diego Chargers as the 25th pick of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft on Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York.
(CRAIG RUTTLE / Associated Press)

Verrett first former SRJC player taken in round 1 of NFL draft

Verrett drafted by Chargers on Thursday, spent past two seasons at TCU, graduated from Rodriguez High in Fairfield in 2009. Read Article →

PD Preps Insider: Analy swimmers make a splash

Both the Tigers girls and boys teams are undefeated in the SCL with three league meets remaining Read Article →

Empire football programs to host youth camps

Piner hosts the first flag football camp on Sunday. St. Vincent is the site for the next camp, on March 23. Read Article →
The Montgomery High School football team raise their helmets before the start of its game against Rancho Cotate on Friday, October 11, 2013.
(Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

Montgomery taps Marcello Bautista as new football coach

Marcello Bautista replaces Dean Haskins, the Montgomery athletic director and baseball coach who led the football program this past year following the retirement of Jason Franci. Read Article →

College recruiting realities

Montgomery forum Wednesday. Topics include: The school picks you; athletes must market themselves; find funding beyond the athletic scholarship. Read Article →

Empire roundup: SRJC gearing up for playoff run; Piner hosting football camp

The Bear Cub men and women are looking to improve their seeding ahead of the playoffs. The Prospectors are hosting a youth football camp Monday. Read Article →

PD Preps Insider: NFL players to visit Windsor Middle School

A behind-the-scenes-look at Empire sports. Read Article →
madison gonzalez

All-Empire Large School Football: Porchivina the most feared player on defense

Casa Grande linebacker is The Press Democrat's Defensive Player of the Year. Read Article →