Leading Off

Holiday Classic will feature section elite

For the second year in a row, some of the Sac-Joaquin Section's best football players will meet in the Holiday Classic all-star game. The game, featuring rosters from the northern and southern halves of the section, will be played at Sacramento's Grant High School on Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. The north team -- the Capital All-Stars -- won the inaugural game 68-21. The south team -- the Valley All-Stars -- had the longest play from scrimmage, when Orestimba's Greg Panelli hit Merced's Carlos Acosta on a 79-yard strike. Rosters have not been selected, so local coaches can send their nominations to

Modesto JC's Arroyo to sign on with Cal

Modesto Junior College sophomore pitcher Spencer Arroyo, a 2005 East Union High graduate, was expected to sign his letter of intent to attend Cal Wednesday night. "It's a great opportunity to play against the best competition in the Pac-10 and get a great education," said Arroyo. Arroyo went 7-1 his freshman season at MJC, striking out 35 and walking 23 in 48ª innings. The left-hander had the ninth-best ERA in the Central Valley Conference at 3.74. Downey's Blake Smith is a sophomore outfielder for the Bears, who finished fourth in the Pac-10 last season.

BVC honors Davis grad Laudenslayer

Mendocino College football player Jake Laudenslayer, a Davis High graduate, was named Offensive Player of the Year for the Bay Valley Conference. Laudenslayer led the Eagles to an 8-2 record, playing quarterback, receiver and running back. He ran for 618 yards on 92 carries, caught 36 passes for 378 yards and completed 46 of 91 passes for 652 yards with just two interceptions. Laudenslayer scored 18 touchdowns. Mendocino coach Tom Gang, a former player and assistant coach at Modesto JC and head coach at Ceres High from 1993-97, was named Bay Valley Coach of the Year.

Three area volleyball teams going for titles

Three Stanislaus District volleyball teams will battle for Sac-Joaquin Section Division championships today at UC Davis: Ripon (34-7) faces Christian Brothers (27-10) at 6 p.m. in a rematch of last year's Division IV final won by CB, while Ripon Christian (18-4) plays defending section champ Turlock Christian (24-12) for the Division V crown at 4 p.m. TC has been in the last four section finals, while RC was in the final the four years prior to that. Section finalists earn automatic berths to the Northern California playoffs, with section champs hosting first-round regional games Tuesday.