Stephen Piscotty is a rock star.
The Amador Valley High School product and current right-fielder for the Oakland Athletics seems to be everywhere this offseason.
Before last season, Piscotty was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals when his mother Gretchen was diagnosed with ALS. The Cardinals have long been considered one of the greatest organizations in all professional sports, and they again showed why when they traded Piscotty to the A's so he could be close to his mother.
After Gretchen passed in May, Stephen returned to the team a few days later in Boston and promptly homered on his first at bat. From there, he went on and produced a career-best number with 27 home runs, a key contributor to the A's during their surprise run to the playoffs last season.
Recently he was awarded the Tony Conigliaro Award, named in memory for the former Boston Red Sox outfielder. Presented every year since 1990, the award honors a major leaguer who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage.
At the end of the season, Piscotty was also awarded the Bill Rigney Good Guy Award from the local Baseball Writers' Association of America chapter because of his patience and accommodation of the media.
And earlier this month, Piscotty was one of the featured speakers at a Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce luncheon, along with A's chief operating officer Chris Giles and David Rinetti, the VP of stadium operations for the A's. All three are Pleasanton residents.
When asked about last season, Piscotty became emotional when talking with the packed room.
"There were so many memories," he said of the season. "It was difficult to start. To be able to play in front of my Mom was special, although I wasn't playing very good at the time. It was a very challenging year and the support of the A's organization was incredible. "
He was like a magnet to the fans, both before and after the program. Fans were lining up to have their picture taken with Piscotty -- and he was happy to oblige.
I also had a chance to visit with Piscotty at Pebble Beach recently when we were down at the course for a USGA media preview for the 2019 U.S. Open. Piscotty was a celebrity guest along with former San Jose Sharks Owen Nolan, Douglas Murray and Dan Boyle.
The reaction was the same -- people were drawn to Piscotty.
You can make a strong case that he is the face of the A's franchise at this point. He's battled through the tragedy of losing his mother, well before he should have been faced with the tragedy.
In a time of pampered pro athletes who often don't do much to interact with fans, Piscotty is a breath of fresh air -- and a rock star.
Amador girls soccer
The Dons opened their home season with a 3-0 win over Dublin last week.
Kennedy Mayo, Allison Jones and Leah Allari scored the goals for Amador Valley. Baille Alvarez Walls got the shutout in the goal.
In their second game of the week, the Dons went to Brentwood and beat Liberty 4-2.
Liberty scored first in the game, but the Dons rallied with goals from Mayo and Maille Smith for a 2-1 halftime lead. Liberty tied it 2-2, but Amador turned it back on again, getting goals from Sofia Griffen and Smith for the final margin.
Foothill girls basketball
Foothill dropped a pair of games last week.
In their first game, Falcons fell 53-20 to James Logan. Reese Lombardi had 6 points, with Mariah Gragg adding 4.
Later in the week, the Falcons lost 53-43 to Freedom. Lombardi had 12 points to lead the way with Abby Miller adding 10.
BUSC's 2006 Select Gold
The Ballistic United Soccer Club's 2006 Select Gold Team defeated the Prospector Soccer Club Tsunami in penalty kicks to secure the State Cup for the Bronze Division.
Aarnav Kannu saved two shots in the shootout and then turned around and scored the game winning penalty kick.
The Tsunami had beaten BUSC 6-0 in a qualifying game just three weeks earlier.
The BUSC champion players were Jalen Alami, Ethan Zheng, Brady McMillin, Vicente Valdez, Owen Heck, Braden O'Donnell, Mason Lyions, Henry Wanis, Aarnav Kannu, Tyler Varela, Corman Herbert, Coleson Franklin, Adam Castro, Matteo Gervasoni and Dhruv Bisla.