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49ers advance to NFC Championship after defeating the Vikings 27-10

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The road to the Super Bowl continues for the 49ers, the confidence of this team is unwavering.  Their first appearance in the playoffs since 2013 and the they did not disappoint.  Tevin Coleman recorded two touchdowns while Richard Sherman notched his first playoff interception with the team that led to a touchdown.

“First playoff game of my career, to get the win and keep playing to extend our season.  It was a crazy game and the atmosphere was wild, I’m excited to be apart of it,” said Arik Armstead.  “We were playing good the whole game, they got us early with a touchdown.  We just locked in.  We knew they wanted to do which was run the ball.  It starts with that, stopping the run.  We did a good job of that, I saw they had twenty something rushing yards.”

San Francisco’s 27-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings advanced them to the NFC Championship game next Sunday.  One game away from the Super Bowl and this young team is ready.  On opening drive, Jimmy Garoppolo found Emmanuel Sanders for 22, 11 and 11 yards.  Then Garoppolo connected with George Kittle for another 11 yards, that setup Garoppolo’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne for a 7-0 lead.  

On the next drive a pass interference call gave Minnesota an easy first down.  Kirk Cousins went deep to Stefon Diggs for a 41-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.  After that play, it became a defensive game leaving both teams with one touchdown each to start the second quarter.   A crucial error by the 49ers came in the second.  

Deebo Samuel got tackled and fumbled the ball in the process.  After further review, the call was overturned when the replay showed his knee was down.  Garoppolo connected with Samuel for 18 yards, to setup Coleman’s 1 yard touchdown to extend their lead 14-7.  Coleman rushed for 102 yards with 22 attempts and two touchdowns for the day.

“We’re one game away from getting to the Super Bowl and two games away from being the Champs, the only thing on my mind is to keep stacking these wins” Sanders said.  “We were able to run the ball, we ran it 47 times and to be able to do that and be successful feels good.”

The Vikings unable to contain San Francisco’s offense, got lucky when Garoppolo’s pass intended for Samuel was intercepted by Eric Kendricks.  Minnesota struggled to get into the end zone, therefore settled for Dan Bailey’s 39-yard field goal to make it a 17-10 game to end the half.  Cousins was sacked a total of six times by the 49ers defense.

“We were beating ourselves,” said DT Jaleel Johnson.  “We just weren’t getting to the ball and once we got there, we had too many missed tackles.

His knee was down (regarding Samuel’s fumble), so if anything it gave us another opportunity.  We had some momentum after something like that.  When you’re on the road and it was so close to being a turnover, we needed to capitalize on that and suck the air out of the building.  We didn’t and they were able to convert and keep the ball going.”

By the third, the 49ers took over the game by forcing more turnovers for Minnesota.  Robbie Gould kicked a 35-yard field goal to extend their lead 17-10.  Cousins pass intended for Adam Thielen was intercepted by Richard Sherman.  There was a flag on the play for unnecessary roughness and that pushed San Francisco back 15 yards.  No worries, Coleman rushed into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown making it a 24-10 game. 

“It was completely my fault,” Thielen said.  “I didn’t cross his face and obviously Cousins trusted me to win on that route and make a play on the ball.  I didn’t do that.”

Another crucial error proved costly for the Vikings.  Mitch Wishnowsky punted 54 yards to the Vikings 20.  Marcus Sherels muffed the catch and Raheem Mostert recovered the ball to end the third quarter.  That was a huge break for the 49ers who dominated on both sides of the ball in the second half.  Gould kicked a 21-yard field goal to extend their lead 27-10.

“I think the emotion is probably the same for the fans as it is for the players,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said.  “When you get guys back (DL Dee Ford, LB Kwon Alexander, and S Jaquiski Tartt) who are really good players and made an impact all year, everyone is a lot more excited.  The more players you have out there, the better chance you have.  Starting with the rush with Dee Ford out there, just getting off the ball, whether he’s doing it or the other guys do it, the speed.  Having Kwon out there.  The times I’m looking up watching him, the way he flew around, made some plays on the screens.  Even when he flew and missed the guy on the screen, he makes the back have to come to a complete stop and cut back the other way, then our pass rushers can get there.  Tartt back there.  Tartt has been great for us when he’s been out there.  I knew it took him some time to get back with the injury that he had, but from what I saw, he played very well today.  I’m pumped to have him next week playing.

“The Bye Week helped the most.  None of those guys would have been available last week.  So, it was perfect to give them the week that they had, so their first game back was now.  I think they all got out of it, from what I know of, pretty clean and should be ready to go again next week.”

San Francisco improved to 5-1 against Minnesota in postseason play, with each game coming in the Divisional Round.  The 49ers also advanced to their 14th Conference Championship game since 1980.  The defense held the Vikings to 147 total net yards, which are the fewest allowed in a postseason game in franchise history.  The 21 rushing yards allowed by the 49ers defense is the fewest allowed in postseason game in franchise history.

“I mean, honestly on defense you just keep going next play,” said Sherman.  “I don’t know if it broke them or not.  Our team, we’ve got a good offense. [Head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] calls a heck of a game.  We just try to worry about things we can control on defense.  Going out there, getting another shot.  Honestly it was nice to get the touchdown, but we’re just ready for our next snap.”

“Yes, really exciting,” T Joe Staley said.  “Today was a big step.  We had a great plan coming in, we executed it really well.  I am excited to have the opportunity to play in the NFC Championship game.  I was excited coming into the locker room after the game, because the guys were excited that we won, but no one was really celebrating.  We realize how special this team is and what we can to do this year.  Guys are really excited and focused and we are moving on.”

The NFC Championship game will be held at Levi’s Stadium next Sunday, January 19th at 3:40 pm PST.

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Bay Area

Parade Planned to Honor Historic Pinole Valley High School Football Season

The Spartans football team captured its first ever state title last fall, defeating Mendota High 34-21 in the Division 7-AA California State Championship. The victory marks the first time a West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) school has earned a high school state football title.

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Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.
Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

By Mike Kinney

A parade is being planned to celebrate the Pinole Valley High School football team’s historic championship season, Principal Kibby Kleiman said. School officials are considering holding the parade on Feb. 4, 2023, although an official date has not yet been confirmed.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

The parade will start at the Pinole Valley Park and will proceed to the Pinole Valley High School football field. The high school’s marching band, cheerleading squad and color guard will participate, along with clubs and service organizations connected to the school.

“It will almost be like a mini homecoming event,” Kleiman said.

The Spartans football team captured its first ever state title last fall, defeating Mendota High 34-21 in the Division 7-AA California State Championship. The victory marks the first time a West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) school has earned a high school state football title.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

The Spartans earned their bid to play in the state championship after defeating Justin-Siena (Napa) 7-0 on Nov. 25, 2022, capturing their first North Coast Section title in 43 years.

Kleiman noted the team will also be recognized in a ceremony at Pinole City Council in February.

“We could not be prouder of the level of support coming from the community and the school,” he said. “It is wonderful to feel valued and honored. We are extremely proud of our Spartan football team!”

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Bay Area

City Council Committee Hears Report on Economic Impact of Oakland A’s Howard Terminal Proposal

Outgoing Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administrative team argues that an economic analysis of the impact of the Oakland A’s $20 billion real estate development at the Port of Oakland is impossible to analyze until behind-closed-door negotiations between City staff and A’s owner John Fisher’s team are completed, and there is a final deal.

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John Fisher, Oakland A’s owner and real estate developer
John Fisher, Oakland A’s owner and real estate developer

Report says A’s proposal “underestimates” costs and “overestimates” revenue projections

By Post Staff

Dr. Nola Agha, a nationally recognized sports economist and University of San Francisco professor of Sport Management, this week presented findings of her study on the revenues, costs, and economic impacts of the A’s proposed development at Howard Terminal to the Oakland City Council’s Community & Economic Development (CED) Committee.

Agha’s independent study was commissioned when the city failed to provide the independent economic analysis of the project’s proposed development agreement and financing framework requested by City Council in April.

Agha’s report at Tuesday’s CED meeting was based on information about the proposal available to the public, provided by the Oakland A’s, Oakland City Administrator Ed Reiskin, and the City Council’s July 2021 non-binding term sheet, and includes updated projections based on the current economic forecast.

Outgoing Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administrative team argues that an economic analysis of the impact of the Oakland A’s $20 billion real estate development at the Port of Oakland is impossible to analyze until behind-closed-door negotiations between City staff and A’s owner John Fisher’s team are completed, and there is a final deal.

The danger, however, is that once a final deal is completed, there would likely be a rush to pass it without looking at the details and economic analysis behind it.

The report was commissioned by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which has significant concerns about the impact the proposed project would have on the survivability of the Oakland Port.

The report focused on three primary concerns with the A’ proposal:

  • Revenue projections are overestimated;
  • Direct cost projections are underestimated;
  • Indirect, unanticipated, and often inconspicuous costs have not been accounted for.

Summarizing her findings,  Agha said, “Both the team and the City have made a lot of assumptions in designing the financing framework for this project, all of which put the City and taxpayers at greater risk down the line.

“A close look at the available information reveals that the project requires a historically large and growing public subsidy to be financially feasible. Publicly funded stadiums typically don’t pay off, and this one is unlikely to be any different.”

To read the full report, go to: https://assets.nationbuilder.com/oaklandstadiumalliance/pages/109/attachments/original/1664404798/Evaluation_of_the_revenues_costs_and_impacts_of_Howard_Terminal_-_Sept_21_2022.pdf?1664404798

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#NNPA BlackPress

Jack Nicklaus Once Again Surprises Military Veterans with a Golf Lesson in Honor of Veterans Day and the PGA National Day of HOPE

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The PGA of America reaches out to Veterans, they reach out to all different people,” explained Jack Nicklaus, who is the only sportsman and just the fourth person in history to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005), the Congressional Gold Medal (2015) and the Lincoln Medal (2018). “It is a great organization. PGA HOPE is impactful on its own, but they also collaborate with other organizations, such as partnering with Folds of Honor for Patriot Golf Days.

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Jack Nicklaus coaches PGA HOPE Veteran, Homer Watts, during the Jack Nicklaus PGA HOPE Veterans Lessons at the Bear’s Club on November 7, 2022 in Jupiter, FL. (Photo by Sarah Kenney/PGA of America)
Jack Nicklaus coaches PGA HOPE Veteran, Homer Watts, during the Jack Nicklaus PGA HOPE Veterans Lessons at the Bear’s Club on November 7, 2022 in Jupiter, FL. (Photo by Sarah Kenney/PGA of America)

Special to NNPA Newswire

Imagine being invited to play a round of golf at Jack Nicklaus’ Florida home club and getting a surprise lesson from none other than the 18-time major champion himself.

For the third straight year, Nicklaus gave some hometown military heroes who participate in the South Florida PGA Section PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program a memory for a lifetime at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida.

In celebration of both Veterans Day and the PGA National Day of HOPE, Nicklaus thanked the playing group of Veterans for their service and shared instructional tips, before inviting them out as his guests for a day on the championship golf course that he designed and is played regularly by up to 30 PGA TOUR pros who are members.

As the military pillar of PGA REACH, PGA HOPE is designed to introduce golf to Veterans and Active-Duty Military to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being.

PGA REACH and PGA HOPE aspire to create a physically and emotionally healthier Veteran community through a six- to eight-week curriculum led by PGA Professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency.

U.S. Army Veteran First Lt. (Ret.) Robert Truckenmiller received a Purple Heart after being shot in the Vietnam War.

Other than hearing from other Veterans from time to time, he said that when he got a call from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) inviting him to take part in the PGA HOPE program, it was the first real “welcome home” feeling he ever received for his service.

“The PGA of America reaches out to Veterans, they reach out to all different people,” explained Nicklaus, who is the only sportsman and just the fourth person in history to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005), the Congressional Gold Medal (2015) and the Lincoln Medal (2018).

“It is a great organization. PGA HOPE is impactful on its own, but they also collaborate with other organizations, such as partnering with Folds of Honor for Patriot Golf Days.

“I have great admiration and respect for the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country’s freedom, and try to get behind efforts to help our Veterans, as well as their families. For me to do my little part—even to a small group—I am delighted to do so, especially for the PGA HOPE program.”

PGA HOPE has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the VA, which enables Recreational Therapists to refer Veterans to PGA HOPE as a form of therapy.

Truckenmiller was quite surprised when Nicklaus stepped out on the driving range.

“I’m a little bit awestruck,” said Truckenmiller.

“He’s probably the best golfer ever, and he was most gracious. He helped me with my putting, on lining my ball up, and to stop moving my head. He told me to stare at it when I hit it.

“I lost my wife of 54 years three months ago. This is a remedy for some of the loneliness.”

U.S. Air Force Sgt. (Ret.) Pamela Carter, of Wellington, Florida, lost her brother, Bruce, in the Vietnam War. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously, and the VA Medical Center in Miami is named after him.

When Nicklaus approached Pamela and gave her a lesson, she quickly reached in her pocket and handed him a challenge coin with her brother’s photo on it.

“I was just shocked he was here,” said Carter. “I stumbled on PGA HOPE and signed up for it. Meeting true war heroes who are now being respected puts a new spin on it. PGA HOPE reaches out and makes us feel welcome.”

U.S. Army/Air Force Reserves Sgt. (Ret.) Homer Watts Jr. had the thrill of a lifetime.

“Oh my goodness,” Watts said. “He’s a legend. It was a total shock. I was very surprised. PGA HOPE is such an amazing program. It gets people out of the hospital and into other activities. You meet great instructors who take their time with you. It’s almost like family. Actually, it’s just like family.”

Joining them for instruction and the round of golf was 2022 South Florida PGA Section Patriot Award recipient Jerry Impellittiere, PGA Director of Instruction at Monarch Country Club in Palm City.

Impellittiere originally learned the game from PGA Professionals at West Point Golf Course and now pays it forward by teaching two PGA HOPE Programs.

He is known as “The Collector,” as he collects donated golf clubs to give to Veterans for them to learn and play the game. Ironically, Impellittiere once played in a grouping with Nicklaus and Dave Stockton at the B.C. Open, two players renowned for their putting.

“I didn’t make the cut, but I led the PGA TOUR in putting stats that year,” said Impellittiere.

Nicklaus has a long-held fondness for the nation’s military and the incredible sacrifices made by service members.

“These people have earned the help of all Americans,” said Nicklaus. “I enjoy doing this. I want to be a part of it, especially if it makes a difference. I am very honored.”

This year, PGA HOPE aims to impact the lives of over 7,500 Veterans through its transformational program led by PGA Professionals, and has set a goal of 36,000 annually by 2026.

In its sixth year, PGA National Day of HOPE is a month-long campaign running through Veterans Day. The campaign celebrates our nation’s heroes who protect our freedom, while raising awareness and support for PGA HOPE.

To support the 2022 National Day of HOPE Campaign, please visit the Official Fundraising Page.

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