How I met Bill Illet

I recently did a three-part series with the Santa Cruz Warriors when I traveled with them to Boise, Idaho. You can read Part I, Part II and Part III.

Anyway, I was on the bus with the team heading to shootaround on a Saturday morning. It was about 10 a.m. when the players arrived at CenturyLink Arena, where the Idaho Stampede play, and I remember sitting down courtside to watch the practice and take notes.

Already on the court at that time was an older man, on his hands and knees, scrubbing away at the minor scuffs and scratches that were on the floor. He said “hello” and appeared genuinely pleased that I was there. I was immediately impressed by the Stampede’s attention to detail, their friendliness, but also feeling as if they were working their custodial staff too hard.

It wasn’t until about an hour later, when shootaround was wrapping up, that I found out the older man, who was scrubbing away at the court, was actually Stamepede managing investor Bill Illet. In the front office, he’s at the top of the food chain.

This is what Illet does, of course. KBOI TV in Boise did a segment with Illet and his pregame ritual.


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Watsonville’s Carina Moreno spars with 2012 Olympian Marlen Esparza

Watsonville boxer and WBA flyweight champ Carina Moreno, who is returning from an injury since fighting Susi Kentikian in Germany in December, sparred in March against Marlen Esparza in San Carlos.

Esparza, of course, qualified to the 2012 Olympics in women’s boxing and was the first American female to qualify.

In the video, Moreno is wearing the white head gear.

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UFC’s Rockhold drops Earthquakes mascot with soccer ball

Santa Cruz’s Luke Rockhold — and his good friend and fellow AKA fighter Daniel Cormier — performed the ceremonial “first goal” when the San Jose Earthquakes recently hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps. Rockhold is far left in the video.

The below video catches all the magic of the night, which included a mascot groin shot. As one commenter pointed out, Rockhold should perhaps stick to kicking people instead of soccer balls.


UPDATE: The video was No. 1 in ESPN SportsCenter’s Not Top 10 for the week. It’s now up against Mark Sanchez’s Butt Fumble in a Worst of the Worst showdown. You can vote here.

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Video: New Scu, Scu Scutaro?

Apparently, Giants fans have updated the Sussudio song parody to acurately reflect Marco Scutaro’s current team. Here’s the original (?) Red Sox version. Below is the new Giants version.

Thanks to digi drums for the link. As always, enjoy.

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Video: PCS’ Morgan Green’s junior mixtape

Last week, we ran a story on Pacific Collegiate’s Morgan Green being named MVP of the Mission Trail Athletic League. You can read it here.

Anyway, when I was searching for stats online, I came across her recently released mixtape for her junior year. Figured I’d post it here.


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Video: Soquel is team to beat in SCCAL softball

Here’s a video previewing the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League softball season.


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Video: Double Coverage bloopers

Producer Tony Solis put together a blooper reel from all the Double Coverage footage we had this past fall. Needless to say, we didn’t know the camera was constantly rolling.

Well, Jim might have. How else do you explain all the flexing?


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Video: Quinn Mulhern’s UFC debut vs. Rick Story

Harbor High alum Quinn Mulhern made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut against Rick Story at UFC 158 on Saturday night in Montreal.

Mulhern lost by a TKO in the first round. Here’s the brief write-up we had in Sunday’s Sentinel. We’ll hopefully catch up with Mulhern shortly.

Here’s the video of the fight (Mulhern is in the red/black trunks):

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Pacific Collegiate’s Morgan Green named MVP of the MTAL

Here’s the All-League selections for the Mission Trail Athletic League. No surprise, Morgan Green from Pacific Collegiate School is the MVP.


Most Valuable Player — Morgan Green, Pacific Collegiate
Coach of the Year — Tito Velasco, King City
Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship Award — Christina Cobb, York School

First Team
Kayce Stachelek, Carmel
Abby Herrera, Greenfield
Jessica Davis, King City
Sarah Shepard, King City
Morgan Green, Pacific Collegiate
Irini Pateras, Pacific Collegiate
Jessica Matthews, Pacific Grove
Lucy Scattini, Santa Catalina
Tierney Hightower, Santa Catalina
Felicia Villarruel, Soledad

Honorable Mention
Meg Paraguya, Soledad
Nicole Trenka, Stevenson
Margie Howard, Pacific Collegiate
Araceli Martinez, Greenfield
Sabrina Riffle, Pacific Grove
Amber Clark, Carmel
Madelynn Whittaker, Carmel
Luzz Bugarin, Soledad
Lauren Domingos, King City
Kylie Moses, Santa Catalina

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Santa Cruz Warriors will adjust without Travis Leslie

Anytime you lose your leading scorer AND your leading rebounder, it’s going to take time to adjust.

The Santa Cruz Warriors lost Travis Leslie from their lineup on Sunday — officially, at least; he didn’t play in Friday or Saturday’s games. The 6-foot-4 guard, who was called up to the NBA by the Utah Jazz over the weekend, led the Warriors with 16.1 points and 7.4 rebounds this season.

But while Leslie’s services will be sorely missed in Santa Cruz, the team has had to adjust without him before. Leslie suffered a groin injury earlier this season and sat out eight games in which the Warriors went 5-3 — with two of those losses on the road, where Santa Cruz hasn’t played as well as it has at home.

Coupled with the two games Leslie sat out over the weekend, in which Santa Cruz went 2-0, the Warriors are actually 7-3 without their All-Star guard this season.

For the Warriors, it’s a next-guy-up mentality, which is what it has to be when playing in the D-League. They previously lost Chris Johnson to the NBA, and have seen Hilton Armstrong, Mickell Gladness and Taylor Griffin step up inside on both offense and defense (Gladness, especially, on the defensive side).

Guard Darington Hobson took Leslie’s starting spot this past weekend, and he led the team in assists one night, rebounds on the other night.

“The roster changes so much,” Santa Cruz coach Nate Bjorkgren said. “Whether it’s an assigned player or a guy gets called up, you’ve got to keep playing the system and plug the next guy in.”

“It’s something that we’re used to,” he later added.

In the 10 games without Leslie, Santa Cruz had five different leading scorers, including Cameron Jones in four of those games. Jones led the team in scoring in both games without Leslie this past weekend.

The recent addition of Scott Machado, meanwhile, could help Santa Cruz’s inside game. Bjorkgren called Machado a “big-time assist guy who will help us get into the paint and create.”

Machado, a 6-foot-2, 206-pound guard who averaged 10.3 points and 6.1 assists in 18 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, has NBA experience and D-League experience.

He was a standout at Iona College, where he led the nation in assists last season (327).

It will be interesting to see what the Warriors do, if anything, with their roster in the near future. They currently have 10 players on their roster, which is the max for the active roster. Teams are also allowed up to two spots for inactive players, though, and the Warriors don’t have anyone on their inactive list.

In other words, everyone on the roster is active — which might be the first time this season that’s happened for Santa Cruz (not sure, but I’ll look into it).

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