Happy New Year, sports fans.
In fact, ‘New’ is a big theme this year with SportStars. This is technically the second of 35 planned publications for 2018, which currently includes our standard 16 NorCal issues, six SoCal issues and 13 SportStars Now (formerly SportStars Extra) issues that will feature a blend of both NorCal and SoCal coverage over the course of the year.
Our first SportStars Now debuted Jan. 10 and featured a cover story by Ike Dodson on the current strength of girls wrestling in Northern California. Which reminds me, wrestling fans should definitely be keeping tabs on SportStarsMag.com for Dodson’s bi-weekly boys team rankings and his weight-by-weight NorCal wrestler top 20 rankings.
Also, in addition to the planned issue schedule I laid out, we’re hoping to sprinkle in some web exclusive stories and videos. And we might even dip our toes into some live game stories for some of the biggest games over next five months.
In terms of our upcoming schedule, here’s a few things to be looking out for — you know, after you digest this awesome edition.
Our All-NorCal Football Awards will appear all in one edition this year — as opposed to being split into offense and defense the past two seasons. That comes your way in our Feb. 1 NorCal issue. One day later, our first SoCal issue of the year releases with stories on Damien-La Verne boys hoops and Harvard-Westlake-North Hollywood girls hoops, among other items. Our NorCal Baseball/Softball Preview is slated for Feb. 22 and our first SportStars Now focused solely on wrapping up the CIF State Wrestling Championships is set for March 7.
We hope you’ll be looking forward to those things as much as we’re looking forward to putting them together.
Now, before turning you loose to read the rest of the issue, a quick solemn note. Jim Keck, the long time College Park wrestling coach who’s been a consistent supporter of SportStars from our very first days, called us with a very heavy heart on Jan. 15.
He wanted to alert us of a tragic injury to College Park sophomore lacrosse player and wrestler, Ryan Joseph. Joseph,16, suffered a life-changing C4 spinal cord injury during a junior varsity wrestling match on Jan. 10. As of the time Keck spoke to us, Joseph was paralyzed from the neck down and was being treated at the John Muir ICU in Walnut Creek where he was still needing assistance to breathe.
Keck said Joseph is “well known by friends, teachers, and coaches for his charm, exceptional wit and humor.”
Ryan was a first-year JV wrestler at 160 pounds and was a captain on the JV lacrosse team as a freshman in 2017.
We wanted to help spread the word of a Go Fund Me account that’s been set up in Joseph’s name. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/help-our-teammate-ryan. The family can also be contacted through Ryan’s uncle, Mike Halket at firstname.lastname@example.org.