Sacred Heart Prep coach Pete Lavorato pumped up linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven all season long, saying on several occasions he was the best player he has ever coached. Apparently, however, not many colleges have shown a lot of interest.
But after Burr-Kirven’s performance in the Division III state championship game, college coaches should start blowing up Lavorato’s phone. With the game against Corona Del Mar broadcast on Comcast Sports Net-California, Burr-Kirven put on a show. Burr-Kirven finished with, by my count, 25 tackles — 15 of which were solo tackles. The announcers were definitely impressed with Burr-Kirven’s game, as several times they said, “And guess who made the tackle?”
Burr-Kirven, a junior, has one more season left with the Gators. Barring injury, he should be getting plenty of recruiting letters in the months to come.
It was tough weekend for Northern California teams in the four state championship games. Central Catholic-Modesto was the only Nor Cal winner, beating Bakersfield Christian 36-23 in the Division IV championship game.
The Open, Division I, II and III games, however, all went to teams from Southern California. St. John Bosco ended De La Salle’s four-year reign as state champs, beating the Spartans, 20-14. The win not only denied De La Salle its fifth straight state title, but it also ended the Spartans’ 40-game winning streak.
Guess who has the longest winning streak in the state now? Corona Del Mar, which, after beating Sacred Heart Prep in the Division III game, now has won 26 games in a row.
In the Division I title game, Del Oro-Loomis, which beat Serra in the Nor Cal title game, was buried by Bakersfield, 56-26. In the Division II championship game, Chaminade-West Hills crushed Enterprise-Redding, 41-9.
If you’re looking for something to do in the days after Christmas, check out the Steve Geramoni Basketball Tournament, hosted by Notre Dame-Belmont. This is an eight-team girls’ tournament that runs Friday and Saturday, with the championship game scheduled for Monday.
In the tournament opener Friday, Hillsdale will play Burbank-Sacramento at 3 p.m.; Menlo School faces off against Northgate-Walnut Creek at 4:30 p.m.; Sequoia takes on Moreau Catholic-Hayward at 6 p.m; and host Notre Dame-Belmont closes the first day of action against Mercy-Burlingame at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for general admission, students/seniors cost $3 and fans 12 and under are free.
The College of San Mateo women’s basketball team won the consolation championship at the Tom Martinez Invitational the Bulldogs hosted last week.
The Bulldogs were in three, extremely close games, going 2-1 in the process. They suffered their first loss in five games in the first round, falling to eventual tournament champion Butte, 85-81. In their second game, they edged Merritt and the state’s leading scorer, Kurtona Milum, 70-69, and only secured the victory when a Merritt layup attempt with one second left rimmed out. In the consolation final, CSM held off Shasta, 63-60.
The two wins improved CSM’s preseason record to 7-4. The Bulldogs’ Kay Cooper was named to the all-tournament team.
Menlo College student-athletes got into the holiday spirit with a number of campaigns to help those in need at this time of the year.
A November blood drive produced 78 pints of blood, 67 percent of which were donated by student-athletes. The wrestling team “won” the team challenge, donating 23 percent of the total. Football players were right behind, at 20 percent.
The school’s competitive cheer squad “won” the athletic department’s canned food drive, collecting more than 700 cans of food.
The softball team, through the Samaritan House’s Family Share Program, “adopted” a family of five — a single mother and her four children — and made sure they had a merry Christmas by purchasing gifts to give them for the holiday season.
Just a reminder that not all athletes think the world revolves around them.