Practices Begin for Cordova Football

By Mike Bush  |  2017-08-08

Cordova varsity football head coach Darren Nill goes over a blocking assignment with a frosh-soph football player in Monday’s practice at Lancers Stadium. Photo by Mike Bush

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – Members of the Cordova High School football team were split into three groups in practice on Monday.

On the north end of the field at Lancers Stadium, the Lancers’ skilled players of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends were running drills in game situations. Off to the side were the linemen, who were going through blocking and technique drills.

Running laps school’s track of the field were three soon-to-be Cordova varsity football players. Missing some to all of the Lancers’ workouts that started after the 2016-17 school year ended toward the end of May, the players are putting in their time and efforts to wanting to be part of the team by running some or all of the required 45 miles to run. That is the same amount of miles that current players put in during the summer workouts.

“They are running to get caught up,” said Cordova head coach Darren Nill, who’s had that policy since he took over the program in 2015. “I’ve had kids do it in three days. Normally, kids get done with it in about a week and a half.”

Returning players, who were a part of last year’s team that won a share of the Sierra Valley Conference title with El Dorado and Liberty Ranch, plus incoming juniors and the ones putting their time on the track are preparing for a new season in which there are high hopes in the Lancer camp. Monday was the first day of practice in which this week, per the Sac-Joaquin Section bylaws, is strictly dedicated for prep football players taking part in conditioning drills, plus coaches continuing to work out on offense, defense and special teams.

Next Monday, the Lancers’ varsity and frosh-soph football squads will strap on the shoulder pads and helmets for two full weeks of practices in equipment. That leads into Friday, Aug. 18th, when Cordova scrimmages at Capital Christian High.

“We’ve always had a slow start in full contact,” Nill said. “We always just want to ease our way into it.”

At Monday’s first practice, all but two kids were present when the varsity Lancers went through their first workouts.

“Sometimes in June or July, we would have anywhere between six to seven kids (not) in practice,” Nill said. “A lot of them were away because of vacation or summer jobs. We have the benefit of a full squad going forward.”

Cordova will play its first game of the season three weeks from today, Friday, Aug. 25th, against Rio Americano. The game will be played at Del Campo High.



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Student Exchange Seeks Host Families for School Year

By Sheryl Longsworth  |  2017-08-08

You can host an Exchange Student! Photo courtesy NorthWest Student Exchange

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Responsible parents looking for ways to supplement the educational and personal growth opportunities for their children should consider hosting a teenage exchange student for an academic semester or year.  Children and adults alike, by interacting on a daily basis with a new, international family member, broaden their perspective on the world and discover new facts and ideas.  

NorthWest Student Exchange places international high school students with families all over the country, including here in our community.  Exchange students add a dimension to the family dynamic that cannot be achieved in any other way.  The benefits to the exchange student are perhaps obvious:  honing their English language skills; learning about the educational system in this country; understanding U.S. social, political, and cultural values; establishing international friendships.  Benefits to the hosts are similar:  Not only can host families learn about another culture and its values; they can view the U.S. through another’s eyes, and thereby gain a broader understanding of our own country.

And families do not need to have children at home to host!  Many childless couples, empty nesters, and single-parent families have enjoyed exchange students. NWSE places students from dozens of countries who have varied interests. I will do my best to match a student to your family’s lifestyle and interests.

Those who cannot host can earn financial incentives for referring to us families who do host. While host families are not compensated for hosting, tax deductions may be available. Check with your tax preparer.

NWSE exchange students are closely screened for appropriate motivation, academic and language skills; our students have solid emotional and practical support from NWSE professional partners abroad, and from the students’ natural parents in their own countries.  Our students come with their own spending money and health and accident insurance.  NWSE local Academic Coordinators recruit, screen and orient local host families and provide close support throughout the program.

My family has personally hosted students from France and China and we keep in touch with every student even years later! While they stayed with us, they shared games they play with us and cooked their favorite meals for my family. We also have been invited to stay at their family’s homes when we go to their country. One of our French students even calls me his “American Mom.”

It’s easy to get more information about hosting. Potential hosts can call me, Sheryl Longsworth, Area Coordinator at 916-833-1218 or; or by contacting NWSE at 877-850-3312 or  Or, you can visit the NWSE web page at and click on Host an Exchange Student.  Student placements for the fall must be made before 8/31/17. Spring semester-only placements will be available towards the end of this year.

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Booming for Business

By Paul Scholl  |  2017-08-08

Attendance at the annual  Business Expo continues to grow each year. Photos courtesy RCCC.

Rancho Cordova Chamber Eyes Booming Attendance for Annual Expo

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) – Listen. Learn. Lunch. The Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce is planning their annual Business Expo, which includes a free lunch for all attendees. The 7th annual Rancho Cordova Business Expo brings together over 90 businesses with a wide variety of goods and services from throughout the region.  It’s not just for businesses, this is an opportunity for local residents to come by and learn about many of the businesses that serve our community.

The event has seen a growing attendance each year, with more and more neighbors visiting to find out more about the many opportunities for improved services for their many needs. The Business-to-Community Expo is the perfect opportunity for businesses and organizations to showcase products and services to residents and businesses of Rancho Cordova.

The Expo features interactive exhibits, along with local restaurants and caterers providing food samplings throughout the event. Admission is free and so is the parking!

“This is a fantastic event to showcase our Rancho Cordova business community. We invite everyone to drop by before, during and after their lunch hour to explore Rancho Cordova’s best in business and services” said Diann Rogers, President & CEO, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce.

If you are a business and would like to participate, the Expo provides exceptional value for your marketing dollars. You can take this opportunity to get in front of your customers who attend the Expo during their work day. Exhibitors also network excitedly with fellow exhibitors throughout the show.

The event is organized by the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce. It will be held at Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive, Rancho Cordova, (Corner of White Rock just off Zinfandel and Prospect Park). The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 17th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The Chamber serves nearly 450 members and over 10,000 member employees throughout the Rancho Cordova region. Find out more at

For more information about the Expo, please contact Ani Salakian at 916-273-5700 or You may also visit

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Robinson’s Announces National Champions

By Rick Reed  |  2017-08-08

Sacramento’s Black Belt Gold Medalist Phillip El Chemali on the mat in Detroit at the USAT Nationals.  Photo courtesy Robinson’s Taekwondo.

Five National Champions Bring Gold, Silver and Bronze to Sacramento TKD Glory

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - They are outstanding young students in school and their local Taekwondo training ‘dojang’ or gym. In mat competitions with Black Belts from across the USA Sacramento’s Phillip El Chemali was triumphant in winning the Gold Medal at the USAT Nationals in Detroit, MI this July. The win places him on the United States Association of Taekwondo National Team for a second consecutive year!

Elk Grove’s Cassie Berger also won Gold in the USAT Women’s Division, as this CA State Champion won another top honor in the Korean-based martial art. Women’s Bronze came home with Black Belt student Maria Lopez from the world’s largest TKD tournament held in Detroit, MI.  Less than one week later, at the Amateur Athletic Association TKD National competition in Broward Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Maria Lopez fought again, again winning the AAU Bronze Medal this July.  

At this same Florida tournament event Robinson’s Taekwondo Black Belt student Lorenzo Ortega battled thru top national TKD fighters to win the AAU Gold Medal. The Women’s Silver Medal came back to Northern California as North Highland’s Natalie Velasquez stepped up to the podium as winner.

Rarely in history has one American city claimed so many top TKD medals and five US National Champions in its ranks.

Founded in 1975 in Sacramento, Robinson’s Taekwondo has locations throughout the region training athletes of all ages in the world’s most taught martial art – Taekwondo! To find out more visit

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Sacramento, CA (MPG) - The California State Fair created memories for the entire community this year. It reached record numbers as the one northern California event where everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the best of what California has to offer.

"The California State Fair is proud to be recognized as the largest showcase of the rich bounty and diversity of our Golden State," said Rick Pickering, CEO and General Manager of the California State Fair. We celebrated agriculture, livestock, horse racing, unique foods, events, rides, and exhibits...some of which people have never seen before.

Food sales grossed an estimated $8.5 million, and there was an estimated $4.2 million in carnival ride sales grossing over $12.7 million in sales revenue; not including hotel stays and other revenue sources for the Sacramento region.

With it being the Fair's 50th year at Cal Expo, there was a lot to celebrate. New this year was the dedication of "Best of CA: Celebrating Farm Workers' Rich Contributions to Food and Agriculture." There was the return of soccer, with the Sacramento Republic FC playing two games. Sponsored by the Tractor Supply Company, the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions raised $270,344 for youth, which was the highest amount in the past 10 years.

Despite being one of the hottest July's in 10 years, with 8 days of triple-digit weather during the weekends, 636,628 attendees enjoyed the Fair.

Out of the 17 concerts,7 completely sold out for the Gold Circle Reserved Seats. The top three attended concerts were Melissa Etheridge, Brian McKnight, and Trace Adkins.

More than 32,500 racing fans came to the Miller Lite Racetrack Grandstand for horse racing and special events including the Best of CA Brewfest, Wienerschnitzel Wiener Dog Races, Steampunk at the Races featuring Ave Rose, and the California Cornhole Championships.

Other notable numbers were; 1,488 beers entered into the Commercial Beer Competition; 2,663 wines entered into the Commercial Wine Competition; 19,662 wine slushies were served in the Save Mart Wine Garden

Overall 19,931 competitive entries were at the State Fair and 6,412 total exhibits. 5,992 free rides from Butler Amusement in support of the CA State Fair’s Read to Ride program for local children who turned in 2,996 book reports;

There were 37 corn dogs were eaten by the winner of the Milo’s Corn Dog Eating Contest - Molly Schuyler from Plumas Lake, CA. She defeated competitors that came from as far as Philadelphia to compete.75,000 total corn dogs were consumed at the fair.

9,556 livestock animals were on display; 18,100 Turkey legs were sold; 35,100 Funnel cakes were sold; 11,325 pieces of the fruit were given out through the Save Mart Supermarkets Passport Program at the Kaiser Permanente CA State Fair Farm; 1,963 #50thFairHunt SMUD bags were given out; and 2,060 Dish fireworks were shot into the night sky

Central Valley Towing helped Fair guests with 7 jump starts, 10 unlock cars, 2 tire changes and assisted in shuttling 5,832 people to and from the parking lots to entrances.

Source CA State Fair Media

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New Business Incentive to Spruce Up Your Storefront

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) - The City of Rancho Cordova is excited to announce a new business incentive, the Commercial Façade Improvement Grant Program.

The program is designed to support businesses with exterior improvements. Business can apply for grants to make improvements to signage, exterior cleaning and painting, awnings, lighting, landscaping, and more. This program aims to enhance the physical appearance and economic vitality of Rancho Cordova businesses.

Businesses with small projects can apply for a $5,000 mini grant, and businesses with larger projects can apply for a matching grant up to $70,000. The program is funded by the City's Community Enhancement Fund, which is supported by a 1/2 cent local sales tax measure. It joins the City's two other innovative business-oriented programs, the Revolving Loan Program and Business Incentive Program.

For more information and to apply now, please contact the City's Economic Development Department at (916) 851-8780 or

Source: City of Rancho Cordova

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Fab 40’s 5K Walk Celebrates Their 10th Year

By Paul Scholl  |  2017-08-07

And they are off! Photo by Paul Scholl

Benefitting Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California 

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - On Saturday, July 29, East Lawn hosted its 10th Annual Fab 40’s 5k Run/Walk benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California. A total of $250,000 in proceeds has been raised over 10 Years.

The Fab 40’s 5K Run/Walk will officially started at 8:30 a.m. inside the 112-year-old historic East Lawn Cemetery. This is the official annual City of Sacramento 5k Championship certified course, The course runs through the Fabulous Forties neighborhood with neighbors lining the streets cheering on the runners and walkers before they reach the finish line back at East Lawn.

Over 1,400 excited participants signed up to enter the race. All ages and athletic abilities entered to help end Alzheimer’s disease, which is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the 5th in California. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of this event, all participants received a commemorative finisher’s medal.

The day included family oriented activities like kids bounce house, balloon animals, face painting, photo booth, music, food, awards ceremony, raffle drawings and much more.

The event was hosted by Alan Fisher, President of East Lawn and Michelle Johnson, Regional Director of the Alzheimer’s Association

A special “Thank You” goes out to Sal Arrigo, who started the event and was the catalyst in building the program that has raised all the funds for research. Sal served as the official race starter.

East Lawn Memorial Park is located at 4300 Folsom Boulevard in Sacramento. For more information about the Fab 40’s 5k Run/Walk visit:

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