Jose Canseco returns to Bay Area to play for Pittsburg Diamonds

Jose Canseco with a young fan during an autograph signing at Winter Chevrolet on Friday, June 23, 2017.

By Jesus Cano

America’s favorite pastime is alive and well in Eastern Contra Costa County. The Pittsburg Diamonds have played at City Park since 2014, and this week welcomed back to the Bay Area, former Major League slugger Jose Canseco, as he spent the weekend of June 23rd with the independent professional baseball team.

Canseco is best known for his tenure with the Oakland Athletics from 1982-1992, where nailed 209 homeruns and 647 RBIs. He and Athletic’s first baseman Mark McGwire formed the Bash Brothers. Along with that, he captured a World Series ring in the 1989 Battle of the Bay that was overshadowed by the infamous Loma Prieta Earthquake.

Canseco is no stranger to the city of Pittsburg, as this is his third year suiting up for the Diamonds. He states that his favorite part of being back in the East Bay is being able to be around the young players the Diamonds house.

“I try to help them out with all aspects of the game,” Canseco said. “A lot of players actually recommend coming out to Pittsburg to play so I’m really excited for this weekend.”

The Diamonds have been part of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs since their inaugural season in 2014 when they were named the Pittsburg Mettle. In 2015 when ownership switched to hands of Khurram Shah, they commenced under the Diamonds brand paying homage to the team that played in the same area back in the 60s.

Shah wants everyone to be aware that Pittsburg is home to a minor league baseball team. Even if he brings Canseco out for a couple games, he hopes to generate life-long fans after this unique experience.

“We’re trying to build a fan base,” Shah said. “We want to see a repeat of people coming to ballpark consistently.”

Pittsburg took two out of the three game series against the Vallejo Admirals during Canseco’s weekend with the team, where the Diamonds improved to 11-9 on the season.

Shah highlights infielder Vinny Guglietti to be one of the top guys on the team. The Connecticut native is batting .420 with five homeruns and 27 RBIs. Wes Wallace is another player that makes a huge impact according to Shah as he is hitting .364 and five homeruns. Shah states Tyler Stirewalt is starting to showcase his pitching ability. Stirewalt has 1.92 ERA so far, this season.

The Diamonds’ next home game is Tuesday night, June 27 at 6:30 p.m., to begin another three-game series also against the Admirals. To learn more about the Diamonds visit

BART issues Rider Guide and route for Warriors Victory Parade on Thursday

Warriors Victory Parade route for Thursday, June 15th.

The Warriors have taken care of business by bringing home another NBA championship and now it’s BART’s turn. We’re gearing up for an epic day Thursday when Oakland hosts a victory celebration starting at 10 a.m. We’ve put together some tips to help make your championship parade day safe and enjoyable.

Ten tips for riding BART to the victory celebration in Oakland

  1. Be patient, it’s going to get crowded; our busiest hours in 2015 were 8am-10am
  2. Use 19th Street Station, avoid the much smaller Lake Merritt Station
  3. Buy a Clipper card ( in advance to avoid extremely long lines at ticket machines
  4. Look for tables with cash only $15 Clipper card sales at 10 of our busiest stations
  5. Parking will be packed; think about taking the bus or walking to BART or getting dropped off
  6. “Permit” spaces in parking lots are for permit holders only, a citation will ruin the fun day
  7. When boarding trains, move to the center of the car so more can fit, remove backpacks
  8. Don’t jam a train door- it will take the whole train out of service and everyone will boo you
  9. Some trains may not stop at Lake Merritt if the Rally Zone has reached capacity or crowding
  10. Our service will not match the published schedule so listen and pay attention

The Details

First, know that BART is going to be crowded like you’ve never seen it before. On the day of the 2015 Warriors parade, BART carried 548,076 people – second only to the 568,061 people who rode BART when the Giants held a victory parade on Halloween 2012. If you’re not going to the celebration and will be taking BART to work or elsewhere, we suggest leaving home early – maybe even before 7 a.m.

Getting to the Station

If you must drive and park at a BART station, consider getting there very early. Parking will be packed so instead, if you can, we suggest taking the bus or walking to BART or getting someone to drop you off at your station. 

If you do drive and park, remember that “Permit” spaces are for passengers who have paid for monthly and single day permits in advance.  Those without a Permit may only park in the “Fee” areas, which are First-Come/First-Serve.  If you park in the “Permit” area without a permit, you are subject to citation.

The Lake Merritt Station permit parking lot (located near Laney College) will be CLOSED all day.

Overflow Parking (NEW!)

BART staff is working to gain permission from parking lots located near BART stations that can be used as overflow parking. We will continue to update this information.

Fremont Station- Riders can use the upper lot of the City of Fremont parking garage located at 39701 Civic Center Drive in Fremont at no cost. Please use upper lot only; not library or police parking. Map:

San Francisco Stations- SFMTA has several public parking garages in San Francisco that are located within walking distance to BART stations.

From Antioch Park and Ride to Pittsburg/Bay Point BART Station- Lots A & C (lot B is still under construction) of the Antioch Park and Ride have 400 spaces available for use. Address: 1474 Slatten Ranch Road, Antioch, CA (this address drops the pin on the road that gives access to the lots for map apps) Enter the lot at Sunset Drive & Hillcrest OR take SR-4 Map:  

From there, take a Tri-Delta Transit bus to Pittsburg/Bay Point station. Routes that will take you to the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station: 300 (express), 380, 388, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394

Tri-Delta Transit System Map

Map of bus stops at Pittsburg/Bay Point (for return trip)

Tri-Delta Bus Schedules 

Purchasing Fares

Don’t be the person stuck in a line for the ticket vending machine while Steph and KD are waving to the crowd. We suggest you buy a Clipper card or ticket at least a day or two in advance.

Go to and find a retail location closest to you. 

If for some reason you don’t, BART will be selling $15 Clipper cards at special cash-only ticket tables at the stations listed below.  We picked these stations because they had long lines in 2015.  Be sure to keep these Clipper cards and register them. They work on other Bay Area transit.  

Stations with $15 cash only Clipper card table sales


·         Fremont

·         Warm Springs

·         Dublin/Pleasanton

·         El Cerrito del Norte

·         Coliseum

·         Bay Fair

·         Millbrae


·         12th Street

·         19th street

·         Lake Merritt

Heading to Downtown Oakland

We are doing extra maintenance now so we can put every available train out to carry passengers, but you’ll be joining a half million or more fellow riders. 

The Lake Merritt BART Station will be in the epicenter of the celebration so it’s best to avoid it. We strongly suggest taking BART to either 12th Street or 19th Street stations in Oakland. They are bigger and they’re right along the parade route so you’ll have more elbow room. They will also be your best options for starting your trip home.

Trains coming from Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont Warm Springs towards Oakland may skip Lake Merritt after 8:30am if the rally zone has reached capacity and has closed or if the station becomes too crowded.  Listen to announcements and use 12th or 19th street instead. 

Service changes to be aware of

The Pittsburg/Bay Point morning service WILL NOT match the regular published schedule. Some trains will be rerouted to other crowded areas in the system.


The following trains that originate at North Concord in the morning will be redistributed to other areas and will not run on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line: 6:59 a.m., 7:14 a.m., 7:29 a.m

The following trains that originate at Pleasant Hill in the morning will be redistributed to other areas and will not run on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line: 8:12 a.m., 8:27 a.m., 8:42 a.m. 

After 8 am every other train from the Warm Springs to Daly City line will not go to San Francisco and instead go to Downtown Oakland to serve the parade route. These trains will terminate at MacArthur Station.

At any time, we may need to skip a station due to crowding, or hold riders outside the fare gates and wait until the platform clears to allow riders to enter the paid area.  Listen to instructions from BART workers- we’re here to help.

What we’re doing to prepare

Besides getting all the train cars ready, we are staffing up to make sure we can quickly respond to any issues that pop up. We will have extra paramedics on standby and extra police officers on patrol including the Transportation Security Administration’s Vipr team.

We’ll have extra escalator and elevator technicians in our stations, and train technicians ready to respond to an equipment problem on a train. 

Code of Conduct

Finally, it probably goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway: smile and have fun. We at BART enjoy serving you on what should be a joyous and memorable day. We only ask that you show common courtesy to your fellow riders, follow our simple rules and -if you start to get a little impatient- think about the folks in Cleveland who wish they had a parade.  

Antioch Speedway to remember local legend Larry Damitz during season opener, Saturday night

Larry Damitz #15 after one of his Limited Late Model wins last season. Photo by Paul Gould

By Don Martin, II

When Antioch Speedway opens for its 57th season of All Star Series racing this Saturday night, they will do so without Larry Damitz. During the offseason, we learned that he passed away.  On March 11th, many of his friends and family came to remember him at a special memorial service.  His three race cars were on display.

Larry started his racing career back in 1953 and competed or helped others at the race track every year since.

“I’m really not sure what got me started in racing,” Larry shared in an older interview. “I’ve always liked cars and I started working on cars when I was nine.  I’ve always been interested in automobiles.  Another guy and I knew of a Hardtop that was halfway completed, so we went over and finished it off and started racing.”

He was hooked.  He continued to race his Hardtop at the old Vallejo Speedway and Contra Costa Speedway in Pacheco.  The competition was much tougher than it is today.

“They had one class, and they had enough cars that they had a C Race,” Larry recalled. “Every car in the Main Event could win.  There were always some Main Event cars in the B Main.”

Winning seemed to come easy for Larry in Limited Late Models at Antioch.  At 87-years-old, he was still winning and was track champion for the fifth time in six seasons.  However, he paid his dues to get that first win.

“I didn’t win a Main Event until 1963,” said Larry. “Everybody that comes out here and they think in their first year they’re supposed to clean house and win a Main Event.  They race all year, two years, don’t win a main and they quit.”

By the time Larry was done with Hardtops In the mid 1970’s, his resume included three track championships and a win in the Chet Thomson Memorial 100 lap race.  He was second to Gene Dudley by just 8 points at Vallejo in the 1960’s.  The highly competitive Super Stock division awaited.  He was Vallejo champion in 1978 and Petaluma champion in 1980 and 1981.  For good measure, he raced on Friday nights in Chico when he could make the tow and won 11 times in 1977.

It was 30 years into his career when he started racing at Antioch Speedway.  He won his first Late Model feature there in 1984.  He broke a shoulder blade in a crash there in 1985.  After recovery time, he returned and won 10 Main Events in 1986, finishing second to Ed Sans Jr. in points.

“Back then, the configuration of this track was altogether different than any other track,” Damitz recalled.  “It was fun to drive.  It was a lot of fun.  They had it banked right up to the wall, and you had to run right around the wall.  I just wanted to come back and run on that track some more.”

Larry ushered in Late Models at Petaluma in 1987 by winning the first championship.  He then took on the role of crew chief for his nephew, Milt McGinnis, who won the next two championships.  He started racing and winning again after that, but he again took on a helper role with Jim Pettit II.  He let Jim drive his car at times in 1991 as Pettit won that Antioch championship.

“Winning the championship definitely wouldn’t have been possible without Larry Damitz and everybody’s involvement in the the whole Sundrop Racing Team,” Pettit recalled.  “I mean, there were no balks or anything about me driving their car.”

After that, Larry won another three Late Model championships at Petaluma.  Track statistician Harlan Osborne counted 58 wins just in a 20-year span at Petaluma from 1987 to 2007, and there were more than that.  As the current decade came around, Larry entered his 80’s with no signs of slowing down.  Why was he doing it?  He loved cars, he loved the sport and he loved people.  Winning was just the icing on the cake.

After finishing second to Mitch Machado in 2010, Damitz won five of the next six championships and two more at Merced.  Jim Freethy bears the distinction of being the only driver during that run to beat him for a championship.  He wasn’t planning to quit.  He would have turned 88 in May and had every intention of competing in his familiar blue and orange Limited Late Model once again.  He had over 60 wins just at Antioch, and estimates are that he won over 150 Main Events in his career along with 17 track championships.

The loss of Damitz hit the people at Antioch Speedway pretty hard.  Promoter John M. Soares raced with Larry for many years.  As Soares enters his 20th season as Speedway Promoter, he had a crew put a special monument to Larry where he used to park.  He was an inspiration to many.  It wasn’t just that he could still win races at that age, but because he was a genuinely nice and down to earth guy.

On My 13th, Antioch Speedway will hold the Larry Damitz Memorial Race in Limited Late Models.  This Saturday night, there will be a special Memorial Lap as Antioch Speedway opens with DIRTcar Late Models, Limited Late Models, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.  For further information, go to

Antioch girl places third in nation at NFL Punt, Pass & Kick contest during Pro Bowl weekend

Kori Margain with her Third Place trophy in the national 2016 NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition.

By Allen Payton

Antioch nine-year old, Kori Margain brought home the bronze by placing third at the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition during the Pro Bowl weekend in Florida, on Saturday, January 27, 2017. She was one of four girls to represent the Oakland Raiders nationally, but one of only four girls in the eight- and nine-year-old age group to make it to the finals.

According to their website, NFL Punt, Pass & Kick is “the oldest grassroots initiative at the NFL” and allows children ages 6-15 “to experience the fun of learning football fundamentals in an engaging and supportive non-contact environment.”

“Kori, a fourth-grader, started last November in a local competition,” said her mother Melissa Margain, a former field representative for County Supervisor Mary Piepho. “She won first place, there and moved up to sectionals and team competition, which was held in the Oakland Coliseum before the Raiders game in December.”

Since she was the winner of that competition, Kori earned the right to go the Raiders game, later that day and of course, Mom went with her.

The scores from that day from all the sectionals across the country were then sent to the NFL for comparison.

“They took only the top four scores from each of the 32 teams for each age group to determine who would go to the national finals,” Melissa explained.

Kori competed in the competition for eight- and nine-year-old girls and was one of the top four competitors from the Raiders.

The NFL selected the top four scores in the nation for each age category and Kori’s score was one of them, earning her a spot in the final competition.

During the competition on Saturday, “she placed third in the nation for her scores,” Melissa stated

“They sent the competitors to the Pro Bowl weekend for four days, including a trip to Disney World, interviews by the football players during a media day, and they got to attend the Pro Bowl,” said Melissa.

Asked if Mom got to attend, as well, Melissa responded with a laugh, “I did.”

This was Kori’s second year competing in the contest.

“I participated, last year, too,” Kori said. She made it to the team competition but not to the finals, the first time. Then, for this year’s competition, she said “I practiced with my family” to improve her skills.

“I competed on Friday and went to Disneyworld on Saturday,” Kori shared. Then they went to the game on Sunday.

The most fun Kori said she had was hanging out with her new friends from the competition.

“One from the Oakland Raiders, one from the Chicago Bears, one from the Seattle Seahawks and one from the Chargers,” she said.

Asked if she thinks other kids should participate in the competition, Kori responded, “Yes, it’s fun, you make good friends.”

Kori with some of her new friends from the competition.

Her favorite subjects in school are math and reading, and when asked if she wants to play on the high school football team, Kori replied, “No. I’m more into basketball.” She wants to be a WNBA player when she grows up.

A message was posted on the Antioch Unified School District’s Facebook page congratulating Kori for her success in the competition.

“Congratulations to Kori Morgain, 4th grade student at John Muir Elementary, who recently competed in the National NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick competition where she placed third in The United States. Prior to the national completion, Kori beat out thousands of other children in her age category and placed first in her local, sectional, and team competitions. More than 300,000 children throughout The United States participated in the event where they represented a professional football team. Kori represented The Raiders who recognized her at a recent game. Congratulations Kori!”

For more information on the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition, visit


Pro wrestling offers Saturday night excitement in Pacheco

Tony Vargas celebrates retaining his EBPW championship belt after defeating Jody Kristofferson. photos by Jesus Cano

By Jesus Cano

You don’t have to travel far to witness pro wrestling, as East Bay Pro Wrestling (EBPW) operates in Pacheco and houses bi-monthly shows as part of the independent wrestling circuit. On February 11th they held their Saturday Night Showcase, where every single one of their championships were on the line.

The EBPW Championship was at stake in the main event. Tony Vargas came into the match with the championship around his waist and left with it under his possession, as he forced Jody Kristofferson to tap out by utilizing the Cloverleaf submission hold. Kristofferson is a former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar who competed in WWE’s developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling, which has now been rebranded to NXT.

Shotzi Blackheart uses the ropes to her advantage against Kimberly Diamond.

Women’s action came alive as Shotzi Blackheart defeated Kimberly Diamond via knockout, as Blackheart had Diamond in a gruesome submission that made her become unresponsive to the referee’s drop counts. Blackheart walked away, still the EBPW Ladies Champion.

After winning the gold in the previous show, the team of Sensationally Dangerous defended their tag team titles against Fight Club, where they successfully retained the championship in their first title defense.

During the show, it was announced that EBPW will have their first ever steel cage match, where Perry Von Vicious will clash with former best friend Levi Shapiro. This all coming after Shapiro attacked Von Vicious after his victory against Buddy Royal, where wrestlers in the locker-room had to storm out separate. The steel cage match will be held on February 25th, 2017 where owner Maynard Skynard expects a sellout crowd.

The rest of the card saw Mr. East Bay Pro, Leon Ikusa, defeat Shoop Shellhammer by delivering a heckuva kick after Shellhammer was distracted by disputing with the referee about his officiating.

Shapiro was in action as well, where he stole a victory against Steven Tresario as he pinned him with a fist full of tights. He had a little help from Royal, who was a nuisance to the official while he was at ringside and obnoxiously streamed the match via Facebook live.

EBPW was established on May 16th, 2016, and is family friendly according to Skynard. General Admission is $10.00 while kids 12 and under pay $8.00.

“My main intention is to put on quality wrestling match,” Skynard said. “Come on down Saturday night and have a good time screaming and yelling.”

While EBPW offers live action, it also has its own wrestling academy where Anton Voorhees is the head trainer but Skynard also helps out with training young talent. Of course they offer pro wrestling training, but also provide help with those seeking to become referees, valets and ring announcers. Products of the academy eventually wrestle on the main roster and other promotions in the country.

To learn more about East Bay Pro Wrestling, visit their page on Facebook. They are located on 110 2nd Avenue South #B9 in Pacheco. Their next show is February 25th.

Antioch High running back, top national recruit Najee Harris picks Alabama over Michigan

Najee Harris with his Antioch High School varsity football coach John Lucido before Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Source: John Lucido’s Facebook page

By Luke Johnson

The number one high school football recruit in the country, Najee Harris of Antioch High in Antioch, California is sticking with his commitment to the University of Alabama and will not decommit and attend the University of Michigan.

According to his trainer Marcus Malu, owner of Malu Fitness, Harris arrived on campus Sunday and will enroll Monday as spring semester classes begin Wednesday. Harris graduated from Antioch High School Dec. 22 — a semester earlier than most students in the Class of 2017 — to get a head start on practicing with his college team during spring ball.

He committed to Alabama as a sophomore in April 2015, but kept his recruitment status open and strongly considered Michigan. Many people thought Harris would change his decision based on the rapport developed with head coach Jim Harbaugh, who visited Antioch three times last year — most notably at Antioch’s Homecoming Game on Oct. 23, where he announced the Homecoming Queen winner.

However, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban also made a visit to Antioch to meet with Harris in mid-December, which might have helped solidify the five-star running back’s decision.

Harris rushed for the most career yards in Northern California history with 7,948 on top of scoring 99 touchdowns. But Harris has gone on record saying his proudest accomplishment was leading Antioch to its first league championship in 31 years in his junior year as the team finished the regular season undefeated (10-0).

He became the first Antioch student to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He represented the West, whose offense struggled and only scored 10 points in a 27-17 defeat to the East in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. After the game Saturday, Harris told reporters he was still undecided. However, he was seen arriving at Birmingham International Airport in Alabama the next morning.

Reports: Nation’s #1 recruit, Najee Harris of Antioch High to just show up at college of choice

Najee Harris during practice for Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Source:

No. 1 by three different rankings, five-star running back won’t announce publicly; insiders say he’s flying to Alabama, Oakland on Sunday

By Allen Payton

According to national news reports including by NBCSports, which showed up on Yahoo! News, Antioch High running back Najee Harris will not announce his college of choice, publicly but will just show up on campus.

Najee Harris ranked #1 recruit in the nation. Source:

Making national news as the nation’s number one high school football recruit, this year, Harris was in San Antonio, Texas at the second day of training, Tuesday for Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He was being watched by media from across the country, but wouldn’t give any interviews. He did however speak with 247Sports on Monday and said, although he’s committed to the University of Alabama, Harris is still “undecided” and considering the University of Michigan, as well as U.C. Berkeley.

The website reported that Antioch High Varsity Football Coach John Lucido said Harris will simply fly to his college of choice after the game to enroll in school early, without notifying the media. Only his “circle of trust” will know.

Both Alabama head coach Nick Saban and former offensive coach Lane Kiffin visited Harris in Antioch, this past year, as well as Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, the former coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Najee Harris at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl practice field. Source:

According to 247Sports Harris is “ranked by the industry-generated 247Sports Composite as the nation’s No. 1 prospect,” and that “the five-star Harris has been a verbal to Alabama since April of 2015, but Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have created doubt about the future for the ballyhooed recruit who took his official to Ann Arbor in mid-December and has been there a few times.” (Harris is also ranked the nation’s No. 1 high school football recruit by Scout and Rivals).

The article further stated that “Alabama quarterback commit Tua Tagovailoa has told BamaOnLine insider Hank South this week that he is planning to room with Harris in Tuscaloosa. Nick Saban and Alabama don’t generally lose recruits they want like Harris, but Harbaugh and Michigan have done all they can to make the West Coast talent think otherwise.”

According to, “Harbaugh hosted a satellite camp at Antioch in June and even announced the homecoming queen while watching Harris play in October. Harris visited Michigan in August for the BBQ at the Big House annual recruiting event and took an official visit to Ann Arbor in December.”

According to, when Harris was “asked if he’d just duck interviews after the game and head to the airport and to his school of choice, he said that’s what he plans on doing. So, there will be no announcement.”

However, according to 247Sports, on WednesdayAlabama quarterback commit Tua Tagovailoa told 247Sports that he would be on the same flight as…Najee Harris to Birmingham at the completion of the Army Bowl. That news seemed to indicate Harris’ intention to enroll at Alabama in January, effectively ending his recruitment.”

The article further states Tagovailoa has also said this week that Harris is also his scheduled roommate in Tuscaloosa. Tracked down for confirmation in the hallways of the Grand Hyatt hotel, Harris playfully said, “What flight? I don’t even know my flight.”

Yet, on Thursday, 247Sports reported they have “since learned from two sources that Harris’ departing flight from San Antonio actually has Oakland — his hometown (airport) — as its final destination.”

Then, a further report by 247Sports Thursday morning, has Harris heading to Alabma. “As part of the invitation to play in the Army Bowl, travel is paid for, with a departing flight from San Antonio to anywhere of the player’s choice. Those flights can be changed — and Thursday afternoon, after practice No. 3, Harris made use of the flexible nature of the Army Bowl’s travel capabilities. It is unclear,  but assumed, that Harris’ travel request will be accommodated.

A non-Bama bound player on the West squad told 247Sports on Thursday he had heard Harris would stick with his Alabama commitment, too. Classes start Jan. 11 at Alabama.”

So the mystery continues and we’ll have to just wait until after we watch Harris play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl this Saturday, Jan. 7th at 10:00 AM on NBC. For more information about the game visit To learn more about Najee Harris and his high school career playing for the Antioch Panthers, visit his Wikipedia page, his page on MaxPreps, or search his name on

Antioch High’s Najee Harris selected to play in U.S. Army All-American Bowl, this Saturday, Jan. 7

Antioch High running back Najee Harris wearing the jersey as a U.S. Army All American, with representatives of the U.S. Army, following a ceremony in the school’s gymnasium on October 7, 2016.

Five-star running back, top recruit in the nation

By Tyler Vistalli

Najee Harris, the number one high school football recruit in America and one of the best up and coming football stars this area has ever seen, has been honored as a U.S. Army All-American and selected to play in the bowl game of the on January 7th in San Antonio, Texas.

At 6’3”, 226 lbs, Harris, Antioch High’s star running back, has rare physical skills that allow him to run with great balance and patience, as well as being able to fight through tackles and take it to the end zone. He finishes his high school career with the most rushing yards in Bay Area history (7,945 yards), which also ranks fourth all-time in California, plus 99 touchdowns and an incredible 9.5 yards per carry.

During their stop in Antioch, the U.S. Army Selection Tour held a ceremony in the Antioch High School gym on October 7th, and presented Harris with his All-American jersey. The tour traveled to schools across the country to personally give each of the team’s players their jerseys and hold a small ceremony in their honor. Harris’ mother, Tiana Hicks, was also presented with the American Insurance Dream Champion Award. This award is given at each event to recognize family members that play an important role in the All-American’s success.

Being selected as a U.S. Army All-American is a very prestigious honor as they only select 90 of the country’s top high school football seniors for the class of 2017. Previous participants of this game include NFL stars Ezekiel Elliot, Odell Beckham Jr., and Andrew Luck to name a few. The players are divided into two teams, East and West, and play a game to showcase their talent to the world. More than just a game, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is a week-long event that consists of awards ceremonies, coaching from college and NFL coaches and a national combine for the top underclassmen football players. Harris attended this combine for underclassmen when he was a junior and his experience fueled his commitment to play in the game his senior year.

Having not signed a letter of intent, his college destination is still undetermined, as of press time. Harris has a firm verbal commitment to the University of Alabama, but Michigan and USC have made their way into the mix. Being an early enrollee to start college courses in January, his decision will need to be made in the next few weeks.

Watch Najee Harris play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan.7. The game will be nationally televised on NBC at 10am.

Busby wins John Soares, Sr. Memorial Race at Antioch Speedway, Saturday night

Scott Busby's #73 division record 65th career A Modified feature win was worth $1,500. Busby now has 71 career wins, which leaves him one win behind speedway legend J.D. Willis for the lead on the all time list. Photo by Paul Gould

Scott Busby’s #73 division record 65th career A Modified feature win was worth $1,500. Busby now has 71 career wins, which leaves him one win behind speedway legend J.D. Willis for the lead on the all time list. Photo by Paul Gould

By Don Martin II

When Scott Busby began his racing career at Antioch Speedway in 1979, he ran a Street Stock, and the track was promoted by it’s founder, John Soares Sr.  On Saturday night, Scott scored one of the biggest wins of his career in the John Soares Sr. Memorial Top Dog Shoot Out.  Busby won his heat race earlier in the evening to set the stage for his big $1,500 30 lap Main Event win.

Busby was the early Main Event leader, but the race changed after a yellow flag for a Turn 4 wreck involving Troy Foulger and Duane Cleveland on lap nine.  Busby lost the lead as another A Modified legend, Randy McDaniel, moved by.  McDaniel won the Jerry Hetrick Memorial Race earlier this year.  Busby settled back into third behind three time winner Brian Cass, but the three cars ran in close formation up front.  Busby made an inside move in Turn 4 of the 23rd lap to take second from Cass, and a spin in Turn 1 forced a lap 26 caution flag.  Two false starts by the leaders followed and could have resulted in the first two rows being swapped.  However, track officials wanted to let the two battle it out for the $1,500 win.  McDaniel ran the inside line, and Busby got a good run on the outside.  As they headed down the back stretch, Busby pulled ahead, and he carried that momentum through Turns 3 and 4 to take the lead.  From there, Busby went on to a hard fought victory ahead of McDaniel, Cass, Michael Paul Jr. and Bobby Motts Jr.

Richard Papenhausen #4p scored his third $1,500 DIRTcar Late Model win of the season, and he appears to be headed for his second championship in three seasons. Photo by Paul Gould

Richard Papenhausen #4p scored his third $1,500 DIRTcar Late Model win of the season, and he appears to be headed for his second championship in three seasons. Photo by Paul Gould

Richard Papenhausen took an emphatic step towards the DIRTcar Late Model championship with an impressive 20 lap Main Event victory.  With mechanial issues striking fellow heat winner Troy Foulger early, the anticipated battle with Papenhausen never materialized.  Papenhausen grabbed the lead early and steadily pulled away from the competition for what is surely a championship clinching $1,500 victory.  Terry Kuntz and Dennis Souza were season best second and third place finishers, both on the lead lap.  Danny Malfati returned and finished fourth ahead of Shawn DeForest.

Reigning B Modified champion Fred Ryland returned to Antioch Speedway and won the $850 first prize in the 20 lap B Modified Main Event.  Brian Pearce was running strong and won his heat race by a straightaway.  Pearce led the early goings of the Main Event, but F. Ryland was quickly into second and shadowing Pearce.  Chuck Golden stalled at the Turn 1 exit midway through the race for a yellow flag.  Ryland managed to grab the lead from Pearce on the restart, but one more yellow slowed the pace three laps from the finish.  The “psyche game” saw Ryland jump a start that was called back.  Pearce did the same thing the next time.  On the third attempt, Fred Ryland maintained his pace and held off Pearce for the big victory.  Many time Merced and Hanford A Modified champion Paul Stone drove the Tim Hammett car to a third place finish as heat winner Patti Ryland and Mitch Enos rounded out the Top 5.

Fred Ryland #7j returned to his home track and scored an $850 victory in the B Modified Main Event. It was the fourth win of the season for the reigning track champion. Photo by Paul Gould

Fred Ryland #7j returned to his home track and scored an $850 victory in the B Modified Main Event. It was the fourth win of the season for the reigning track champion. Photo by Paul Gould

Three time reigning Hobby Stock champion Kimo Oreta returned for only the the second time and once again won the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event.  Oreta, who is the division’s all time Main Event win leader with 23 wins, could not resist the lure of the $850 payday.  The early goings of the Main Event were just a bit rough, and one incident saw Frank Furtado lose a wheel to end his race.  Oreta had to bring his A Game to this race as point leader Guy Ahlwardt and recent winner Melissa Myers were running closely behind him.  However, Oreta was just a bit faster and grabbed Bob Kempf’s checkered flag ahead of Ahlwardt and Myers.  John McClendon got the opportunity to drive the Bob Brown owned car for the first time and piloted it to a fourth place finish ahead of Fred Ryland.

The championship season wraps up on October 22nd with a loaded seven division program that includes A Modifieds, DIRTcar Late Models, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars.  For further information, go to

Unofficial Race Results
Hobby Stocks
Heat 1-Guy Ahlwardt, Chris Sorensen, Kimo Oreta.  Heat 2-Natalie Perry, Cameron Swank, Fred Ryland.  Main Event-Oreta, Ahlwardt, Melissa Myers, John McClendon, Ryland.
B Modifieds
Heat 1-Patti Ryland, Fred Ryland, Chuck Golden.  Heat 2-Brian Pearce, Mike Salazar, Al Johnson.  Main Event-F. Ryland, Pearce, Paul Stone, P. Ryland, Mitch Enos.
A Modifieds
Heat 1-Richard Papenhausen, Carl Berendsen II, Bobby Motts Jr.  Heat 2-Bobby Montalvo, Randy McDaniel, Troy Foulger.  Heat 3-Scott Busby, Sean O’Gara, Darrell Hughes II.  Main Event-Busby, McDaniel, Cass, Michael Paul Jr, Motts.
DIRTcar Late Models
Heat 1-Troy Foulger, Shawn DeForest, Danny Malfati.  Heat 2-Richard Papenhausen, Kimo Oreta, Terry Kuntz  Main Event-Papenhausen, Kuntz, Dennis Souza, Malfati, DeForest.