Around the TRAC: Summer edition

Contributed photo – The Clovis West girls’ basketball team participated in the San Diego Classic from June 30-July 3, a massive tournament with 125 total teams, making it to the championship game of their bracket before losing to La Jolla County Day.

By Paul Meadors Sports Editor

What, you thought high school athletes took the summer off? No way Jose. While most of us (well, at least me) will be sunnin’ and funnin’, our Clovis kids were grinding it out in every sport possible. There were elite tournaments all around the state and Valley including the 5th Annual Buchanan Summer Elite Tournament which featured some of the best baseball programs in California on six fields, a super girls’ basketball tournament in San Diego for the Clovis West program, and numerous football passing league tournaments and camps. Read below for just a taste of what’s going on Around the TRAC.

Clovis West girls take on the best

Coach Craig Campbell is never one to duck top-notch competition and with a loaded team for the 2016-17 season and fresh of a fourth consecutive D-1 Valley title, the Golden Eagles headed down south for the massive 125-team San Diego Classic. Not only did they bring the core team from last year which includes six players with Division 1 offers, but they brought the next generation of Clovis West ballers called their “Gold” team, made up of the younger players in the program. And wouldn’t you know it – the Gold team marched through their 1A bracket and won the whole thing.

The Black team was placed in a bracket that featured three State Champions, two nationally ranked teams, five of the top 10 in the state, and several D-1 players. After opening up with two wins they took on and beat Chaminade and Brea Orlinda, both state powers, advancing to the championship game where they fell to an extremely talented La Jolla County Day team.

With such a deep run in such a prestigious tournament for the two teams, the Golden Eagles not only gained some valuable experience but turned some heads in the process. Looks good for the future and beyond.

Cameron DeLaere wins big golf tournament

Imagine a No. 14 seed winning the NCAA National Basketball Championship or a dark horse winning the Kentucky Derby.

Well, Clovis West’s Cameron DeLaere accomplished long odds when he won five matches en route to the championship of the Junior Golf Association of Northern California Match Play Championship at Spring Creek GCC in Ripon.

DeLaere was seeded 14th out of 32 players in the 14-18-year-old bracket and grinded his way to the championship with a 2-and-1 win over Max Meltzer.

We caught up with DeLaere to talk about his breakout performance.

Roundup: What were your emotions after winning such a great event?

DeLaere: To be honest, I was kind of overcome with emotion, pure joy. I didn’t really want to do anything but congratulate a fantastic opponent, walk off of 17 green, and give my family a hug. I was full of joy because it felt like the biggest drought in the world was finally over. After months of frustration and at times struggling to break 80, it finally all came together and just brought a warm feeling to my heart. At times, I didn’t believe all the work I put in with my coach Mike Schy would pay off because of the struggles early in the year, but I am glad I was wrong.

Roundup: What was working on the course and why do you think you played so well?

DeLaere: As far as the course goes, everything was clicking at the right time. But if there were an outlier in this occasion, it would definitely have been my putting. Whenever I would get on the green, I just felt like the ball was going to roll in the hole. It really gave me an edge against all of my opponents because it would force the pressure onto them. The sensation that week was that if I was ever stuck in a situation, the flat stick would come in handy when I needed it to.

Roundup: When did it all sink in what you had accomplished?

DeLaere: It didn’t sink in until a day or two later when Mike Schy would talk to me about the rewards that would come from it. Also, once I had hung the scoreboard in my room, it kind of all hit me as I said to myself, “Wow.”

Roundup: What is next for you and how much confidence does it give you moving forward? What are your future goals?

DeLaere: What’s next for me is to stick to the plan and process that Mike and I have set for this summer. This was all a part of the plan to make the Hogan Cup or Jr Americas Cup. It gives me a lot of confidence moving forward with my game because I proved to myself that I can compete with some of the best players in Northern California. As far as future goals, I’m looking to earn a scholarship to play golf at a school with a good health science program and one that will provide me with the tools I need to become the best player I possibly can.

Buchanan summer tournament draws the best

As if finishing the season ranked No. 1 in the state and nation wasn’t enough, the Buchanan baseball program continued their winning ways in their own Buchanan Summer Elite Tournament, a massive three-day event held at all the TRAC school’s home fields and Fresno City College.

Along with the six TRAC schools, the tournament featured JSerra, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita from the powerhouse Trinity League in Southern California, as well as De La Salle of Concord and defending Nevada state champion Basic High.

Oh yeah, and Buchanan won all four of their games which included JSerra and Basic High.

Clovis North pitcher leads North Coast Reds

Chase Compolongo saw a great opportunity to enhance his pitching skills over the summer and in the process took the bull by the horns.

The soon-to-be senior from Clovis North pitched a gem of a game for the North Coast Underclass Reds 17U in beating West Coast Marucci 5-0 in an Arizona tournament. Compolongo threw 5 2/3 innings giving up only two hits, two walks with six strikeouts.

“(The game) was one of my best performances this year,” said Compolongo. “My changeup was working very well and I was able to spot up my fastball and throw them off with my curveball.”

He was helped out by a home run by Buchanan catcher Zach Presno.

The non-profit team is based out of Martinez and features a bunch of local talent on the roster. And through this experience Compolongo cherished the friendships that was formed.

“One of my favorite memories was bonding with some of the players at the house I was staying at and playing volleyball in the pool the house,” said Compolongo.

Passing leagues take center stage

Football passing leagues and 7-on-7 is all the rage these days in the summertime, and Clovis West is right smack dab in the middle of it.

There’s a lot of buzz going around about the current Golden Eagle team and they performed admirably at the Fresno State camp beating such teams as TRAC foes Clovis East, Clovis High and Downy and McLane.

But they got knocked out in the round of eight, an experience that can only make them stronger according to quarterback Adrian Martinez.

“The best part about the 7-7 games is that we haven’t even reached our potential in any of them,” said Martinez, ranked a four-star quarterback and only a junior. “It gives us a baseline on what we need to improve on and it fuels our competitive fire to continue to fight and compete.”

Believe it or not, the first high school football game is set for August 26 and we can’t wait.

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