Ron Agostini

August 8, 2014

Ron Agostini: Modesto-area prep football teams ready for practice

The high school football season, which is longer than ever due to the elongated playoffs, gets under way with practice next week.

Reading time, two minutes:

• High school football practice starts Monday or, at a few schools, it kicks off with “Midnight Madness.”
• The season opens with Week Zero games on Aug. 29. A sad reality: Most of the regular season will be conducted in 90-degree heat.
• Why such an early start? Gotta make room for the monthlong playoffs.
• Also starting next week: Football practice at Modesto Junior College, which won its first road bowl game in 33 years last fall.
• The relevant takeaways from the 49ers’ first preseason game: Carlos Hyde looks like an ideal successor to Frank Gore, and Colin Kaepernick must – MUST – stay healthy.
• Other important things learned Thursday night: None.
• All those empty seats around the NFL are a silent protest to one of professional sports’ great frauds – season-ticket holders forced to pay top dollar for practice games.
• NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was skewered for going soft on Ray Rice’s punishment. This doesn’t bode well for the 49ers’ Aldon Smith.
• Goodell hopes the Raiders and 49ers can share Levi’s Stadium while the Raiders work out their stadium issues. That will happen when giraffes do the backstroke and dragonflies sack Kaepernick.
• More bad optics: All those cheers Rice received from Ravens fans.
• More encouraging: The A’s Lew Woolff has talked to an architect about building a ballpark adjacent to the Coliseum. A good beginning to the right idea.
• Anyone who thinks the Spurs’ hiring of assistant coach Becky Hammon isn’t important isn’t paying attention.
• The Modesto Nuts’ season is growing more historic with each passing day – for all the wrong reasons.
• The Nuts’ Matt Wessinger popped a three-run homer on the same night his former St. John’s double-play partner – the Giants’ Joe Panik – stroked three hits.
• Loved the description of the Oakland Athletics as “goulash.” No one is sure about all the ingredients or how it all came together, but it tastes great.
• Update from Cal: Brothers Matt and Aaron Cochran (Buhach Colony) are not atop the depth charts on the offensive line. Bet they’ll play more than a little bit this season as the Golden Bears retool.
• Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond, the M in Run TMC, must have been good. His teams lost far more games than they won.
• How I remember another Hall of Fame inductee Sarunas Marciulionis: His opponent makes his drive for the basket and – poof! – Marciulionis is racing down the court with the ball after his signature sleight-of-hand steal.
• Tim Lincecum’s desert mansion in Arizona is for sale. He’s asking for $4 million and the 8 mph he’s lost on his fastball.
• Tiger Woods couldn’t dodge the pain this week at the PGA. Same goes for those who watched him.
• Fierce 5 gymnast McKayla Maroney did a cartwheel and a flip before tossing the first pitch at a White Sox game last week. She was impressed.
• Landon Donovan will retire at the end of the MLS season. My hunch is that he won’t send a Christmas card to Jurgen Klinsmann.
• Nothing says “college football” quite like South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier needling opposing coaches before the season.
• The A’s, Giants, Dodgers and Angels all could reach the playoffs. Never happened before in the same season.
• Turlock MMA star Lewis Gonzalez (9-0) tries to stay unbeaten tonight in Las Vegas. He’s bucking tall odds. No one stays unbeaten in Vegas.
• Biogenesis boss Tony Bosch and nine others were arrested. And you thought ballplayers quit using PEDs?
• The Rams’ Michael Sam made his NFL debut Friday night. The earth kept spinning.
• Only because it’s August: Former Raider preseason star Kenny Shedd.
• Prep football players can’t wait for practice – until the running starts.

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