ALL-NORTH COAST SECTION
Player of the Year
KARLEE SPARACINO, ALHAMBRA
By NATE SMITH
Despite having been an Oregon commit since her freshman season, Karlee Sparacino had always been a little in the shadow of other players within the powerhouse Alhambra program. First,
it was her sister, Hailey, who just finished her sophomore season at Saint Mary’s College, and Hailey’s classmate, Kylee Perez, who just did the same playing for UCLA.
Last season, as Karlee and Kylee’s younger sister, Bri, moved from the outfield to the infield, Bri garnered a lot of attention during a phenomenal season in which she hit 14 home runs.
This season, however, the younger Sparacino exploded offensively, while continuing to form Northern California’s most formidable middle infield duo with Perez.
Karlee hit a career-high .620 in 2016, with seven home runs and an amazing 57 runs batted in, which was tops in the North Coast Section. Hitting in the third spot in the Bulldogs’
batting order, Sparacino also scored 51 runs and stole 22 bases.
“Karlee really just had a pretty incredible season,” said Alhambra coach Paul Buccellato, who has guided the team to three straight section titles. “She was a major force both
offensively and defensively, and will definitely be an impact player at the next level.”
The numbers at the plate also represent the hard work put in by Sparacino, who gained tremendous power in her junior campaign, after hitting three home runs in her first two high school seasons combined.
“She works her butt off every day in practice,” Buccellato said. “She’s constantly seeking more ways to improve, and she got a lot stronger going into this year. She’s a true leader by example.”
As the Bulldogs raced to a 24-2 overall record, they also finished the final season of the Diablo Foothill Athletic League on a 73-game league winning streak. In the post-season,
Alhambra faced challenges from Concord, Carondelet, and Newark Memorial, but came out on top once again. In the championship game against Newark, Sparacino went 3-for-3 with a double,
two RBI, and two runs scored.
In the field, the former outfielder has become one of the best second baseman. Consider that she turned seven double plays this season while committing just two errors all year. The
junior was also a clutch hitter, leaving just 17 runners on base in 26 games played. And a lot of her skill is combined with that work ethic.
“We only practice for an hour and a half, maybe two hours on a long day,” Buccellato said. “But it’s not uncommon for Karlee to ask me to hit her extra ground balls after practice, or to
isolate a specific skill for extra work, such as her backhand.”
Buccellato’s sentiments regarding his second baseman’s work ethic are echoed by the player herself. Asked about her approach to the season and each game, Sparacino kept things very simple.
“I just want to keep working and finding things to improve on and grow as a player every game,” Sparacino said. “Part of that approach is setting goals each season and each game, so I
have something to strive for.”
Despite the individual accolades and success, however, the junior standout still prefers to focus on the success of her team.
“Winning three straight titles has given us a lot to be proud of as a team,” Sparacino said. “We have gained a lot of humble confidence in each other and in this program.”
Her standout junior campaign has not gone unnoticed on a larger level, either. Sparacino was not only named the Most Valuable Player of the DFAL, but was also recently named as a
finalist for Cal-Hi Sports’ Ms. Softball award, given out annually to the best player in the state. And, of course, she is our Prep2Prep North Coast Section Player of the Year.
Coach of the Year
MIKE COBB, BISHOP O'DOWD
Mike Cobb led Bishop O'Dowd to a second straight NCS Division III championship.
By NATE SMITH
After winning North Coast Section titles in his first two seasons at the helm of the Bishop O’Dowd program – 2009 and 2010 – Cobb saw the cyclical nature of high school athletics affect his team.
The Dragons reached one final in the next four seasons, but otherwise faced a road block in the section quarterfinals each year.
O’Dowd broke through again last season, winning 25 games and capturing the 2015 Division III championship. This year, with all eyes on his program, Cobb challenged them with a more
difficult schedule, and his maturing squad responded, going 22-4 and winning back-to-back titles section titles. Reaching the title game against San Marin, which the Dragons won 8-0,
ensured that O’Dowd will move up divisions next season under the new competitive equity bylaws. For now, however, the school is simply enjoying a return to elite softball status.
“This year was just a great experience,” Cobb said. “I like to refer to them as an extended family. These girls really took it upon themselves to build the culture this season.
We had great success (in 2015), but that team didn’t come together the way this team did.”
Cobb pointed to the team’s get-away weekend as a turning point with their chemistry and team bonding. After he replaced the cancelled Standley Cup with a non-league game against
Division I powerhouse Amador Valley, Cobb continued to challenge his team by taking them to Chico to play in the Pleasant Valley Tournament. Weather was not exactly cooperative,
but it seemed to do wonders for his team.
“Friday was rained out, so the girls decided to do everything together, killing time,” Cobb said. “We had a great time, and really saw some great senior leadership, and a relaxed
atmosphere, where everyone on the team was comfortable with each other, regardless of background or other interests in their lives.”
The Dragons also responded on the field at Pleasant Valley, sweeping three games in one day, and doing so against top-notch competition. O’Dowd shut out Butte View League champion
and Northern Section Division IV runner-up Sutter in the first game, beat TCAL-Rock tournament champion and NCS Division IV finalist St. Patrick-St. Vincent in the second game, and
finally blanked Sierra Foothill League champion Woodcreek-Roseville in the final game.
When the Dragons entered the Division III playoffs, they became dominant. O’Dowd outscored its playoff opponents 21-3 in the three games, and continued to enjoy its run to the championship.
“Coach (Cobb) obviously loves to win,” said sophomore Frankie Hammoude, the Player of the Year in the WACC-Foothill division. “But he’s also actually a really funny guy, and
truly loves each of us on his team.”
With a 14-player roster featuring just six upperclassmen (three seniors, three juniors), Cobb has obviously put together a team also intent on competing for championships in the near future.
The Dragons will no doubt be a team to watch for the Division II title in 2017, but for now they will enjoy their 2016 championship. For our part, we will enjoy recognizing Cobb as
the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Coach of the Year.
Senior of the Year
MARICELA MATOS, NEWARK MEMORIAL
The San Jose State commit was named the Mission Valley Athletic League Player of the Year after leading the Cougars to their second straight league title. Matos hit .545 with six home runs and
19 total extra-base hits for an astounding 1.588 OPS. She also stole 15 bases and scored 42 runs this year.
Over Matos’ final two seasons, Newark Memorial did not lose a league game, finishing her career on a 31-game league winning streak. She also earned first-team all-league honors in 2015 and 2015,
and averaged 11 points per game for the Cougars’ basketball team.
Junior of the Year
BRI PEREZ, ALHAMBRA
Perez showed why she is considered one of the top prospects on the West Coast, hitting .613 with six home runs, 40 RBI, and 21 stolen bases. Her 1.777 OPS was among the best in the North Coast Section,
and her play at shortstop anchored the middle of the Bulldogs’ defense.
The UCLA commit has helped lead Alhambra to three straight section titles, and she has never lost a league game.
Sophomore of the Year
DANIELLE WILLIAMS, AMADOR VALLEY
Williams continued to dominate across the state and the section in her second season for the Dons. The Missouri commit struck out 245 batters in 144 innings pitched, and tossed three no-hitters,
including back-to-back no-no’s against California and Bishop O’Dowd.
The sophomore left-hander also made her presence felt at the plate, hitting .456 with two home runs, and was named the EBAL’s Most Valuable Player.
Freshman of the Year
DEIJAH PANGILINAN, ST. PATRICK-ST. VINCENT
Pangilinan, an early Oregon commit, was instrumental in getting the Bruins to the Division IV title game, as well as capturing the TCAL-Rock tournament title. The infielder hit .468 with eight home runs and 35 RBI, while striking out just once all season.
Her biggest game of the year at the plate came in the TCAL-Rock title game against regular season champ Pinole Valley, when she had two home runs, seven RBI, four runs scored, and a stolen base in the 16-4 win over the Spartans.
FIRST TEAM ALL-NCS
Nalani Scates, Foothill
Scates led the Falcons to an EBAL co-championship, pitching all but 19 innings during the season. For the year, the first-team All-EBAL selection posted a 1.46 ERA, and had 163 strikeouts
in 153 innings pitched. The Chapman commit was even more impressive in the playoffs, allowing just one earned run in 28 innings for a 0.25 post-season ERA, as Foothill reached the NCS Division I title game.
Vanessa Strong, Freedom
The BVAL MVP allowed just 10 earned runs in her final 14 starts, a stretch that included the Falcons’ run to their eighth softball section title. Strong threw a perfect game in the Reno
Tournament, and a no-hitter in league play against Pittsburg. The sophomore registered double-digit strikeout totals six times in the final 12 games, and allowed just three hits in the
eight-inning shutout against Foothill in the NCS championship game.
Sierra Blair, Carondelet
The first-team All-EBAL selection and Arizona State bound senior anchored the Cougars’ run to the section semifinals, hitting .377 with 12 extra-base hits, and dominating behind the plate.
During a late-season six-game stretch, Blair had only one runner attempt to steal, and that runner was thrown out on the attempt.
Jessica Rogers, Pinole Valley
Easily one of the top dual-sport athletes in the section, Rogers led Pinole Valley to a regular season TCAL-Rock championship, and to the Division III semifinals. She may be headed to
Menlo College to play basketball, as a guard, but Rogers is dangerous on the diamond. She was named the TCAL-Rock MVP, and hit .538 with five home runs for the Spartans. In the playoffs,
she went 5-for-6 with three extra-base hits.
Sierra Mello, James Logan
The Nevada-bound Mello was named first-team All-MVAL for the second straight year, and it was the fourth year in a row she received first-team all-league honors (first two years in the WACC,
while at Tennyson). She batted .518 with six home runs, 15 stolen bases, and 41 runs scored.
Traci Shaw, Castro Valley
The Sacramento State-bound Shaw was a unanimous first-team all-league selection in the WACC after hitting .452 with six home runs and 26 RBI. And her big hits did not come cheaply.
Her blast against Freedom nearly rallied the Trojans in the section quarterfinals, and she also homered in games against Heritage and Amador Valley, becoming the only player this year
to go deep against both Strong and Williams.
Kimiko Zapanta, Alhambra
After moving to Martinez and joining the powerhouse Alhambra team, Zapanta injected an extra threat to the top of the Bulldogs’ lineup, not to mention adding terrific coverage in the outfield.
The Saint Mary’s commit batted .481 with 38 stolen bases and 42 runs scored. Playing centerfield, she registered 42 put-outs, displaying amazing range.
Jenna Crawford, Foothill
The UCLA bound Crawford earned first-team All-EBAL honors after batting .367 with 14 stolen bases. Against the elite pitching of the EBAL, Crawford was even better, hitting .411 in league play.
She committed just one error all season in the outfield.
Julia Rabbitt, Marin Catholic
The UC San Diego-bound Rabbitt did everything needed for the Wildcats, ensuring their second straight NCS Division IV title. At the plate, she hit .529 with two home runs, 16 total extra-base
hits, 26 RBI, and 42 runs scored. In the playoffs, she was 8-for-11 offensively, with seven runs scored. The first-team all-MCAL selection was also productive in limited time in the circle,
going 3-1 with a 1.21 ERA. All three wins were complete-game shutouts, including a no-hitter against Miramonte.
Megan Bower, Miramonte
Position: Designated Hitter
The Santa Clara commit showed no signs of slowing down in her second high school season. Selected first-team All-DFAL, Bower hit .707 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI, while posting a ridiculous 2.412 OPS.
She now has 23 home runs and 91 RBI in her first two high school seasons, and even stole 12 bases this season, just for good measure.
Frankie Hammoude, Bishop O’Dowd
Hammoude was named the WACC-Foothill division Player of the Year, after leading the Dragons to back-to-back Division III section titles. The Oregon State commit did not commit an error behind the
plate, threw out 75 percent of would-be base stealers, and batted .400 with five home runs and 28 RBI.
SECOND TEAM ALL-NCS
Carly Slack, Marin Catholic
When she was on, Slack was nearly unhittable, allowing just 62 hits in 145 innings pitched, and leading Marin Catholic to its second straight NCS Division IV title. In the title game against
a powerful St. Pat’s lineup, Slack struck out seven in a complete-game, four-hit shutout. She finished the season 19-3 with a 1.45 ERA and 206 strikeouts, and was named the MCAL Pitcher of the Year.
Slack’s season totals included six complete game shutouts, and a no-hitter against Sonoma Valley.
Hailey Dolcini, Fortuna
The UC Riverside commit was named the Most Valauble Player of the HDN after another dominant season in the circle. Dolcini struck out 273 batters in 164 innings pitched, while compiling a
21-5 record with a 0.98 ERA. The junior also led the Huskies at the plate, batting .452 with three home runs and 23 RBI. Her pitching totals included eight complete-game shutouts, and three no-hitters.
Cara Dimercurio, Alhambra
Moving from the outfield to catcher this season, Dimercurio became a weapon offensively and defensively for the Bulldogs. The Saint Mary’s commit hit .386 with five home runs and 31 RBI.
Behind the plate, she allowed just two stolen bases all season. Dimercurio also earned the distinction of homering in three straight section title games when she went deep against
Newark Memorial this year.
Sabrina Nunez, Redwood
Nunez continued to provide at the top of Redwood’s lineup this season, hitting .446 with 10 stolen bases. The Cal commit made just three errors all season at shortstop, and did not
commit a single error in the first 24 games of the year. The junior received first-team All-MCAL honors.
Megan Shackley, Foothill
The first-team All-EBAL selection was the glue in the middle of Foothill’s outstanding defense, committing just three errors all season at shortstop, and only one error in EBAL and NCS play
combined. She was equally clutch at the plate, where her season-long .342 batting average became .395 in league play and .454 in the post-season.
Anyssia Ramirez, Heritage
Known for her powerful arm and bat, Ramirez earned her first-team All-BVAL selection after batting .529 with nine doubles and 19 RBI. She also had a team-high 11 walks, for a .598 on-base
percentage, and committed just one error in the outfield.
Morgyn Wynne, Concord
The Kansas commit was named the DVAL’s Most Valuable Pitcher, but did much more than that for the Minutemen. Wynne hit .526 with 20 extra-base hits, including six home runs. In the circle,
she posted 11 wins, including three complete-game shutouts. In Concord’s first-round playoff win over Alameda, Wynne went 4-for-4 at the plate, and tossed a complete game on the mound.
Teanne Edens, Cloverdale
Edens was the overall leader for the Eagles, who finished as the Division V runner-up. Headed to Northeast Community College-Nebraska for softball next season, Edens went 18-4 with a 0.63 ERA in
the circle, striking out 237 batters and pitching five no-hitters, two of them perfect games. At the plate, she hit .506 with six home runs and 33 RBI.
Bella Vick, Alanna Reyes
Samantha Whitworth, Lindsey Osmer, Miranda Nilson
Jessica Emde, Jillian Pluschkell, Ashley Balestreri
Hannah Hillman, Alexis Palmon
Saja Spearman-Weaver, Carson Rasmussen, Jayde Hill
Ayanna Sanchez, Julia Odom
Brittany McCarty, Kaylie McCracken
Kayla Ching, Katelyn Sturm
Alexis Scalzo, Michael Edwards-Gonzales, Nicole Hammoude
JoAna Mullins, Rachel Marchuk
Lexie Raasch, Haley Titone
Keleva Salt, Sofia Earle, Giovy Webb
Krystyna Allman, Delaney Heller, Leilani Huey
Sophie Wheeler, Tyce Miranda, Tammy Mason
Sophie Damianakes, Emma Wigren
Lili Campos, Miranda Moreno
Abby Arzaga, Desttany Parker
Payten Healy, Regin Loftin
Riley Siegel, Sona Halajian
Hannah Goldstein, Teagan Ballentine
Lily Krauss, Risa Scott-Smith
Kendra Miranda, Taylor Watkins
Maddie Warren, Alana Mendez, Ragan Lacy
Jenna Christensen, Taylor Murray, Karlie Murray
Kalissa Heihn, Faith Derby, Allyson McBroom, Bri Ibarra
Jessica Johnston, Tatum Hayes, Sue Vi
Mia Yuen, Dierra Mize
Alyssa Kirk, Riley Ehlen, Kat Hall, Tamia Lee
Hallee Colegrove, Taylor McCovey
Julissa Patino, Cassie Wenn, Aliyah Yates
Katie Michelon, Mel Corona
Holly Gonzales, Mallory Ussery
Ashley Gardenal, Mary Locher
Jessie Jones, Michaela Foisy, Kyra Gallego
Madison Kahwaty, Hannah Bennett, Emily Trask
LIVERMORE VALLEY CHARTER:
Katie Lucas, Allie Sauer
Kristen Celli, Ashlynn Mock
Hannah Chew, Lily Maksim
Nicole Marino, Julia Scardina, Destiny Buckhanan
Madison Acres, Jaycee Morais
Natalie Parker, Jordan Maddox
Anna Zoia-Buescher, Sierra Shanoff, Ashley Baker
Erin Hogan, Janessa Khamseh
Yolanda Campos, Vanessa Tungui
Jiana Rojo, Savina Gonzales, Desiree Herrera
Lucy Decker, Morgan Batesole, Hannah Brajkovich
OAKLAND MILITARY INSTITUTE:
Emily O’Keefe, Ava Chabot, Alexis Silinonte
Camille Creighton, Nicole Shoptaugh
Hana Suppus, Jonelle Bolduc
Brittany Martinez, Summer White, Madison Pozzi
Bria Horace, Madisyn Leffle
Reilani Peleti, Alexis Gumanday, Kaitlyn Hager
Kayla Rose, Mandy Weitenhagen
Janai Denard, Taylor McCracken
Dyemond Dye, Yaewa Asabi, Brianna Morris
Leilani Kim, Abigail Lopez
Dixie Thompson, Samantha Tong, Rebecca Simonetti
SAN RAMON VALLEY:
Riley Salvo, Casey Overfield
Allisa Orr, Hayden Pearce
Erika Silvers, Makenna Schoenhofer, Ally Del Grande
ST. JOSEPH NOTRE DAME:
Tyesen Gordon, Samantha Shaffer
ST. PATRICK-ST. VINCENT:
Cecily Kaluza, Olivia Soley, Neenah Pangilinan
Melika Ofoia, Kaitlyn Lourenco
Ashley Bottomley, Savannah Jones
Mykala Ramsey, Rylee Rickel