Sacramento football notes: UC Davis coach extended; ESPN to televise UCD/Sac State games

·3 min read
Xavier Mascareñas/xmascarenas@sacbee.com

UC Davis has extended football coach Dan Hawkins through the 2027 season, the school announced Thursday, a no-brainer as Hawk has proven to be the right coach at the right time. He’s also an Aggie to the core, having played fullback for coach Jim Sochor in 1981 and ‘82, when UCD towered in Division I-A. Hawkins wore his old Aggies letterman’s jacket for his introductory news conference before the 2017 season and donned his Aggies helmet when he mowed the grass at his house during COVID-19.

In his five seasons as UCD’s coach, Hawkins led the Aggies to their first 10-win season since 2001, its first FCS playoff appearance and first playoff win since 2002. UCD won a share of the Big Sky Conference in 2018 and reached the FCS playoffs last fall.

ESPN to air local games: Big Sky teams have received national exposure through ESPN’s platform of networks and that will continue this fall. UCD’s game at Montana State on Oct. 1 will be aired on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. Both are preseason ranked in FCS polls. Sacramento State’s Oct. 22 home game against Montana will be on ESPN2. Both are preseason ranked in the top 10. Sac State beat Montana 28-21 in Missoula on its way to a Big Sky championship repeat.

Passing league assessment: So, what’s the deal with these 7-on-7 passing leagues that dot the summer schedule for high school teams? Football is rooted in blocking and tackling, but you’ll see none of that in passing leagues, and that’s OK because the real intent is getting teams together, getting some work in, and breaking up the monotony of weightlifting and conditioning. In other words, some fun amid the sweat.

That was the theme Wednesday at Sheldon High, where coach Josh Crabtree led his Pleasant Grove group, Chris Nixon his Sheldon bunch and Joe Cattolico his Granite Bay squad. Each coach has called Sheldon its home field, and the large roster numbers suggest football is alive and well at each program. There also wasn’t an ounce of bad blood among the players, which isn’t always the case in Southern California where emotions and fists fly too often in such activities.

Fasani Part II: Randy Fasani was the nation’s No. 1 quarterback prospect when he was a senior at Del Oro in 1995, and he starred at Stanford and had a tour through the NFL. Now here comes his son. Trey Fasani plays at Ripon Christian High, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder who fielded perfect grades last year as a junior. He participated in the recent Stanford quarterback camp, where proud pop said it was “a blast” watching him on the “same practice field I spent countless hours on.”

Coaching change at Sacramento Charter High: Justin Reber boosted Sacramento football in his second run at the program, mowing and grooming the field before unleashing his Dragons to the tune of a 9-3 season last year. Reber is now the athletic director at Inderkum, and his righthand man at Sac High takes over the Dragons in Kimbbie Drayton, an alum of the school, a longtime assistant and a beloved figure in Oak Park. Said Reber, “I’m excited for my good friend.”

New coach at Colfax: Colfax has a new basketball coach in Devin Gintry, a familiar face for the Falcons. He was a star guard for Colfax and later excelled at the University of San Diego, once squaring off against Washington State’s Klay Thompson before playing professionally overseas.

Kolton the giver: Kolton Miller credits his Roseville High roots for where he is now: a starting tackle for the Las Vegas Raiders as a first-round pick out of UCLA in 2018, and he continues to give back. He recently donated $65,000 worth of weight-room equipment for the Tigers. At Grant in recent years, NFL players Shaq Thompson and Devontae Booker also donated equipment to their alma mater.

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