Roseville tennis player scoring holiday wins in Florida, Arizona

By: Staff reports
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Roseville 12-year-old Sam Riffice has spent his Christmas break swatting tennis balls in Florida and Arizona.

Riffice, No. 6 in the USTA national boys 12 rankings, won the consolation championship in the 50th annual Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship last week in Coral Gables, Fla.

On Thursday, he defeated Jenson Brooksby of Sacramento 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the quarterfinals of the USTA National Winter Championships in Tucson.

Riffice, seeded No. 3 in Tucson, won his first three matches 6-0, 6-0; 6-0, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-1 before beating the 22nd-seeded Brooksby.

In Florida, Riffice won his first three matches by identical 6-1, 6-1 scores and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-1 victory before losing to Noah Makarome 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Riffice went on to win the consolation final with 7-6 (4), 6-2 and 5-7, 7-5, 10-5 victories.

Keenan Mayo of Roseville, seeded 18th in Tucson, won 7-6 (3), 6-2 and 6-1, 6-1 before losing to No. 15 Ryan Seggerman 6-2, 6-1 in the round of 32.

Mayo also played in the Junior Orange Bowl. He followed a 6-2, 6-3 loss in the first round with a 6-0, 6-0 victory and a walkover before losing 6-1, 6-1 in the third round of consolation play.

Granite Bay grads sign letters of intent

Two Granite Bay High School graduates were among more than a dozen mid-year community college transfer-eligible football players at American River College to sign national letters of intent last week.

Brian Benson, a 6-foot, 200-pounder, signed with Faulkner University, an NAIA school in Montgomery, Ala., and should contend to be the starting middle linebacker next fall, American River coach Jerry Haflich said. Benson had 23 tackles for American River, which was 11-0 this season.

A.J. Herlitz will play H back and tight end at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

Herlitz had six catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns for the Beavers, who have won consecutive Mid-Empire Conference and Capital City Bowl championships.