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Granite Bay stars shine at Optimist game

By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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There was one last hoorah before the region’s top volleyball players ship out. The Optimist All-Star Game had the area’s best crashing the nets and dazzling spectators at Capital Christian High School Friday night. The 12th Annual Jake Schales boys game lasted just three games as the Sierra Foothill League-dominated north team fell to the team from the south 25-13, 27-25, 25-23. The north squad consisted of five Granite Bay players, three from Rocklin, two Nevada Union, and one each from Woodcreek, Whitney and Placer High. Senior hitter Mason Jaynes of Granite Bay took game honors with the north player MVP award. The 6-foot-2 setter/outside hitter leaves this summer for California State University Chico. Having been part of back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship teams, Jaynes said the game was a chance to have some fun before leaving for college. “This was a fun scrimmage between the best teams from around the Sacramento area before high school is completely over,” Jaynes said. “We’re able to get together one last time. It’s cool to have so many Granite Bay players on this team, but it wasn’t just them to make this team. I’m off to Chico and pretty much done around here.” Joining Jaynes from the section-title winning Grizzlies were Tyler Towery, Tom Patterson, Garrick Monaghan and Scotty Santor. Playing alongside them were three players from the Rocklin team they beat for the section final - Braxton Drunstone, Tyler Makanin and Mark Van Camp. Cameron Deatherage of Woodcreek, Whitney’s Chris Adams and Placer’s Brenden Lewis joined the roster as well. Coaching the most talented high school team in the Sac-Joaquin Section for two years running was good preparation for his duties as the head coach of the north team for Granite Bay head man Bruce Honberger. In the Optimist game every player has the chance to get some action on the court as substitutions flow freely from both sides of the net. Honberger chose to keep rotating through his 13-player roster. “Quite honestly it’s a blast to coach all of these guys,” Honberger said “We don’t need to spend a lot of time on technique and skill so we just fine tuned some things and let it roll. This game is kind of a different animal in my opinion. It’s all about the seniors and we were fortunate to have a really good, deep group of seniors this year. It’s really about these boys and letting them do a last showcase of talent. It’s not really about winning at all.” Honberger’s toughest job in the laid-back all-star setting may have been adjusting when the three Rocklin stars left early in order to get to their graduation ceremony. The north team may have dropped three straight games, but collectively it is a group that features an all-star game MVP, five section champions and 13 players with futures at some of the best universities in the country.