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High school sports: Director sees bright future for prep football showcase

While The Honor Bowl (formerly Battle for Veterans) will continue as a mega, multiple-game football showcase in Southern California, only one local team will participate this year.

Del Oro will meet Union City’s James Logan at 8 p.m. on Aug. 30 in Loomis.

It’s a rematch of last year’s nonleague game in which Del Oro beat the Colts 20-13. It was Logan’s only loss until a 52-7 defeat in the North Coast Section title game to De La Salle, the CIF State Open Division winner.

The Del Oro-Logan game will be preceded by a 5 p.m. game between the sheriff’s departments from Placer and Nevada counties.

The event continues the following weekend in Oceanside in San Diego County, where four games will be played in two days at Oceanside High School, including Del Oro against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks at noon on Sept. 7.

Other teams include state powers Serra of Gardena, Oceanside, Upland, Oaks Christian, Centennial of Corona and St. Bonaventure of Ventura.

Centennial lost to De La Salle of Concord in last year’s State Open final, and Serra beat Oakdale in the D-II state bowl.

“We’re sorry Sacramento had to suffer,” said Mark Soto, the event organizer and a former Granite Bay and Del Oro assistant coach. “Last year doing two large football events on back-to-back weeks almost killed us. It’s amazingly hard to do these, and we wanted to be sure to do it right.”

Last year’s event was played over four days and two weekends and brought large crowds to Del Oro and Westlake of Westlake Village.

The Del Oro event, an offshoot of the Battle at the Capital showcase that started in 2009 at Folsom High, featured three Sacramento-area vs. SoCal high school matchups – Franklin against Thousand Oaks; Del Oro against Westlake and Granite Bay vs. Oaks Christian.

The Southern California event had eight teams, including Del Oro and Granite Bay, the eventual Division I state bowl champion.

Soto has big plans for the future of this event. Next year’s goal is to hold multiple-game Honor Bowls in Southern California, Northern California and Allen, Texas, where the suburban Dallas community opened a $60 million, 18,000-seat high school stadium last year.

“It would be a dream to match a California team against a Texas team,” Soto said. “Our goal is eventually to have Honor Bowls across the United States.”

Aguilar is All-State – Editor Mark Tennis said he took heavy criticism when he selected Casa Roble’s Ali Aguilar as the Cal-Hi State Softball Freshman of the Year four years ago over talented players from the Bay Area and Southern California.

But Aguilar, a University of Washington scholarship signee and the only area player to make Cal-Hi’s All-State first team this season, made Tennis look prophetic.

The Bee Player of the Year finished her senior season by batting .500 with eight home runs while helping the Rams to their third Sac-Joaquin Section championship in four seasons.

Aguilar also helped the USA Under-19 team go 9-1 and win the silver medal at the International Softball Federation Junior Women’s World Championships last week in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Aguilar was the only 2013 high school graduate on the team.

Officials sought – The Northern California Officials Association is looking for high school football and volleyball officials for the fall season.

The NCOA, which covers games in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, Solano, Napa and Sutter counties, provides training and certification.

Those interested can visit www.ncoa.arbitersports.com, the NCOA’s website, or can email NCOA director Brian Moore at BMoore6486@aol.com.

Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.

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