Sheldon Softball diamond

The Sheldon Huskies' softball booster club has always been successful in raising monies for the program. Large posters with photos of the seniors were hung on the backstop this season, the outfield fence is lined with sponsor placards and championship recognitions. And, a personalized pop-up cover shades the scorekeeper and scoreboard operator, all paid for by the boosters.

A story that has almost gone unnoticed in area sports news has been the announcement May 23 by the Stockton Heat. The American Hockey League franchise of the NHL’s Calgary Flames announced that after seven years in Stockton, they’ll relocate to Calgary in the 2022-2023 season.

It doesn’t exactly leave the Stockton Arena empty because the G-League Stockton Kings, affiliated with the Sacramento Kings, do play there. It’s also been a good venue for concerts and the like.

Heat officials didn’t exactly say why they decided to move its AHL franchise north of the border. The Heat was drawing about 2,700 fans a game before the pandemic, according to media sources. Since then, COVID-19 protocols have forced the Heat to change its processing of fans entering the Arena. Plus this year’s success of the team on the ice has led to some larger crowds.

As of this writing, the Heat was in the Pacific Division finals of the Calder Cup.

Local Booster Clubs

I’ve been looking at facilities and the equipment our local schools have for our athletes the past couple weeks and wonder if Elk Grove Unified (and other local agencies, such as Cosumnes CSD and the City of Elk Grove) are providing the student/athlete something comparable (or even better than) what is provided by other school districts/cities in the region?

To their credit, EGUSD has over the past 10 years installed FieldTurf football/soccer fields and Mondo running tracks at all nine of their high schools. In fact, in the past couple years, the turf and track originally installed in 2009 at Elk Grove, Sheldon, Cosumnes Oaks and Monterey Trail were replaced and updated. Now, as facilities superintendent Susan Bell told us a week ago, they are going through the process to install lights at the other five high schools, as well.

But, go around Elk Grove Unified and there are still some facilities, some sports that have more “stuff” than others. That may be more equipment, a bigger facility, a bigger scoreboard, etc. Or what kind of uniforms, jackets, and the like are they wearing?

This is where booster clubs come into to the discussion. Just about every high school has an athletic booster club. If a coach wants more money that what is allocated him/her through ASB monies by the school, they must fundraise on their own.

But, there are guidelines and rules that must be followed.

EGUSD Athletic Director Rod Edmiston told me recently that booster club monies cannot be mixed with Associated Student Body (ASB) monies at a school.

“They are completely separate, and must be kept completely separate,” Edmiston explained. 

Booster Clubs, he added, must have elected officers, be bonded and have guidelines and those guidelines have to be approved by the administration of the District.”

He said that these booster clubs just can’t go on their own and, say, run a fireworks booth.

“They have to turn in the proper paperwork to the administration of the school, be approved by the administration of the school, even though they are a separate entity, they still represent that school to fund raise for the betterment of the program,” he said.

The booster clubs have to have their own tax i.d. numbers and file tax paperwork, Edmiston added, yet they are supposed to operate only by the approval of the school and the District.

Yet, around EGUSD, Edmiston admits, there isn’t much equity because there are some schools that have one booster club for all sports, some schools where a few of their sports has a booster club and even with a couple schools, there are no booster clubs.

That may explain why some EGUSD sports facilities and teams may have more “stuff” than others, i.e. more uniforms/warm-ups, practice equipment, bigger dugouts, larger scoreboards, etc. But, prior to any planned improvement in the district to any facility, there is a long approval process the school must go through before anything can be purchased or built, according to Edmiston.

“Once all the paperwork is done and everything is approved then they can do upgrades on facilities with booster club money,” he said.

This will explain why some fields around Elk Grove nine-inning scoreboards and others have don’t. 

Mate Finishes 9th at State Golf

Zach Mate, the first EGUSD student to qualify for the CIF State Golf Championships in 20 years, placed in a tie for ninth Wednesday at the San Gabriel Country Club. 

Mate matched par with a 71, five strokes behind the individual champion, Brandon Knight of Foothill in Pleasanton. 

DeLaSalle won the team State Championship with an amazing three-under-par score of 352, 11 strokes better than runners-up Torrey Pines High School.

The last EGUSD golfer to qualify for the CIF State Championships was Elk Grove's Spencer Levin in 2000 and 2002.

CIF State Track Meet

The 102nd CIF State Track and Field Championships got underway last Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis. 

Laguna Creek's Mixed 400-meter relay Unified team placed second behind the team from Oak Hills High School in a time of 50.59 seconds. Halim Tholley placed second and Alex Rosales eighth in the Boys 100-meter dash in the Unified division. Tholley's time was 11.36 seconds, just .12 seconds out of first place.

In Friday's preliminary competition Cosumnes Oaks' 4x100 meter relay team had the 18th best time and did not qualify for Saturday's finals. Their time was 42.57 seconds. The best mark on Friday was by Central Fresno in a time of 40.92.

Pleasant Grove hurdler Stephen Dahdouh had the 13th best time in the 300-meter hurdles with a mark of 39.77 seconds. He did not qualify for Saturday's finals.

Axel Verdoorn just missed qualifying for the finals in the pole vault. His best effort was 14 feet, five inches. Verdoorn, from Pleasant Grove, was the Section Masters champion in the event.

Freitas goes 4-for-4

The Scranton Railriders, the Triple-A franchise of the New York Yankees, really like former Elk Grove High School player David Freitas. Back on May 22, Freitas went 4-for-4 with two home runs. The team noted the next day, “This is Freitas’ 843rd career minor league game. He has three 4+ hit games (he had a 5-hit game back on 6/6/2012).”


email -

Twitter @JohnHullEG 

Citizen Sports @EGCSports

Sports Editor

John Hull has been a part of the sports scene in Elk Grove since moving to the city in 1999. Hull originally came on board the sports staff of the Citizen in 2007, retired in 2019, but returned as the Citizen's sports editor in 2021.