Sports Chatter

Golden Eagle Pony opener Saturday
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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Baseball is just around the corner for the teams in the Golden Eagle Pony Baseball program. This season there will be 33 youth teams participating in the GEPB's five different age divisions of play. The official Opening Day for Golden Eagle Pony is this Saturday, April 5. Activities will begin at 8 a.m. at Loomis Park. One of the fun aspects of GEPB are the nicknames used by some of the younger age group teams playing in the Shetland and Pinto divisions. The traditional A's and Cardinals monikers have been replaced by the likes of the Ironbirds, Sand Gnats, Muckdogs, Grass Hoppers, Sidewinders and Raptors. CIF grid playoffs moving? It appears that the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section high school football playoffs will be saying farewell to the University of Pacific's ancient Stagg Memorial Stadium as one of its championship game sites. According to Sac-Joaquin Section commissioner Pete Saco, there's a good chance that one of the title games will be moved this season from UOP to UC Davis and the others will be placed in a rotation that will include a doubleheader at UC Davis and one division to be played at a neutral high school site. UC Davis is in the middle of submitting a bid to host championship games, said Saco. I think you are going to see the championship games played there either this coming season or in the next two years. Since UOP dropped football following the 1995 season, Stagg Memorial Stadium has fallen into a state of disrepair. The press box was condemned a few years ago and the section was forced to bring in portable rest room facilities last year. The field at UOP is not the problem, said Saco. We have had a great working relationship with UOP and plan to hold some of are other sports there. Last season, UOP, in Stockton, hosted football championship games in Div. I, IV and V. Folsom was used for the Div. II championship game between Del Oro and Granite Bay while the Div. III game was played at Oakmont. Speaking of football ... Seven sites have submitted bids to host next year's five CIF state championship bowl football games. According to the state CIF Web site, the Home Depot Center in Carson, the Los Angeles Coliseum, Memorial Stadium in Bakersfield, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, San Jose State, Stanford and UC Davis have all thrown their hats into the ring. In next year's format, an open division game, which will match the best team from the south versus the best team from the north regardless of division, will highlight the games. The other four games will be based on enrollment. Those enrollment divisions are yet still to be determined by the state.