Highlighting four TRAC athletes, taking no shortcuts on the road to success
By Paul Meadors
For most high school students summer means a much needed break from homework, numerous trips to the beach (Splash Cafe in Pismo anyone?) and catching up on DVR’d shows like The Cake Boss. But in this day and age of hectic athletic summer schedules many Clovis athletes take their talents all over California and beyond. From all-star teams traveling to Virginia to attending prestigious camps to visiting college campuses many of our electrifying TRAC performers have had quite the summer so far. Below are the happenings of some special athletes who are primed for big 2015-16 seasons.
Bre’yanna Sanders and Megan Anderson, Clovis West basketball
When I was 15-years old my summer consisted of playing Babe Ruth baseball for the Dinuba Rotary Lions, stacking boxes in a packing shed and trying to beat Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo. Bre’yanna Sanders and Megan Anderson of the Clovis West basketball program spent their age 15 summer traveling with their Cal-Stars 15U Nike Elite team to Oregon, Virginia, Tennessee, Santa Ana and the Bay Area with trips to Minneapolis, Minnesota and Georgia before school starts up. Their Golden Eagle high school team played in tournaments in Oak Ridge, Stockton and San Diego.
That’s a lot of miles and a lot of basketball. One of Clovis West’s mantras is “The Best Never Rests” and it certainly rings true for these two.
For both girls it was an opportunity to play against the best competition in the nation but also a time to develop and start new friendships. Sanders states that she created friendships on her Cal Stars team that will continue for years to come and Anderson says that the bonding time with her Clovis West teammates is invaluable.
“Traveling and practicing with my high school team In the summer brings us closer together and makes us become a better team,” said Anderson, the TRAC most valuable player last season as a sophomore. “My favorite memory of the summer is San Diego with my high school team because it is always a fun tournament and we go up against some really good teams.”
Let’s back up a little. Sanders and Anderson’s Cal Stars 15U team roared through their own tournament bracket in the Nike End of the Trail Tournament in Oregon City and in an unprecedented scenario faced the Cal Star Elite team in the overall championship game. Despite the Elite team winning the championship game over their younger counterparts it was a great experience for everyone. This wasn’t your little run-of-the-mill tournament either – there were a total of 266 teams.
And staying in Clovis proved valuable too. In late June, Anderson and many of her Clovis West teammates were active in Clovis West’s Xtreme Hoop Camp, helping instruct over 100 potential future Golden Eagles.
Head coach Craig Campbell is a firm believer in playing throughout the summer and their trip to San Diego against the best is no exception. Though they lost a couple of tough games, including one against St. Mary’s of Stockton—the No. 1 ranked high school team in the nation next season—the trip was well worth it in more ways than one.
Topping off the San Diego trip where the Eagles finished fifth out of 122 teams, Campbell treated his players to ice cream sandwiches at the world famous ice cream shop Cream for, you know, more team bonding.
Tanner Rice, Clovis football
Tanner Rice plays linebacker for Clovis High. He’s a bruising six-foot, 215-pound monster who loves to hit, a coaches dream and an opposition’s nightmare, a freight train on a collision course with any ball carrier in his way.
His summer started off with a bang with two high profile camps held at Roosevelt High, the second one being the Michigan camp which was coached by none other than new head coach Jim Harbaugh, followed by the Fresno State football camp led by Coach Tim DeRuyter. Rice was especially excited to meet Harbaugh and show off his ability in his home town.
“It was awesome to meet Coach Harbaugh and have the opportunity to work with his staff,” said Rice. “And the Fresno State camp was a great camp put on by the staff. It was awesome to be able to compete and show my skills in front of my hometown college.”
Fresno State is close to Rice’s heart as he also attended their Junior Day, where they let prospective players watch a spring practice followed by a talk from Coach DeRuyter on what it takes to be a Bulldog. Rice was inspired. “We then toured the facilities, which I was very impressed by. I believe Fresno State would be a great college to attend and play football.”
The Rice Summer Tour didn’t end there. He also visited the campuses of Nevada, Cal Berkley, Cal Poly, UC Davis and Sacramento State. But the highlight of the summer was sharing an experience with his Clovis boys, his teammates for the upcoming season.
“The greatest thing and best memory was the Cal camp. Four of my teammates from Clovis High that also went to this camp were lucky enough to be put on the same team, so being able to experience a college camp and ball out with my friends and teammates and show everybody what Clovis boys are made of was really fun.”
Hanging out and playing football with your bros – sounds like a summer to remember.
Matt Frazier, Clovis North baseball
Baseball, baseball, and more baseball for Matt Fraizer, the all-state and all TRAC outfielder. He comes from good pedigree and knows what it takes to succeed—his father is former Fresno State star and pro player Terrance Frazier.
Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of Matt Frazier’s summer: June 22-27 USA Nationals in Arizona, July 3-10 World Wood bat championships in Georgia, July 16 Area Code in Stockton, CA, July 17-21 Perfect Game National Showcase in Florida, July 24-31 Wood Bat tournament in San Diego and July 31-August 4 Under Armor Championship in Azusa. And there’s more to come before school starts.
Matt is multi-talented, no doubts there, possessing all five tools it takes to play at the next level and beyond. But one thing Frazier learned this summer is that the game is not all peaches and cream. His year-long goal of making the Area Code team based in Stockton ended with disappointment as he didn’t make the team, but his attitude shined bright.
“Baseball is a very humbling sport,” said Frazier. “That proved to be true after the tryout. I was disappointed with my performance as I didn’t play to my best ability. It was still a good experience and I had a lot of exposure to college and pro scouts.”
Disappointment quickly turned to elation as Frazier traveled to Florida for the Perfect Game National Showcase, the biggest showcase in the nation for high school players. The talent on display was amazing, which also included Buchanan pitcher Grant Gambrell.
“It was a good experience seeing all the talent from around the nation,” said Frazier. “It gave me a good perspective on where I stand nationally.”
A Clovis kid in the National spotlight – our own shining star on the West coast.