Dawson drives to regional title

Sierra Scoop
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Randall Dawson’s dream to compete at the ReMax World Long Drive Championships became a reality on Saturday in Mesquite, Nev. The former Placer High golfer won the Region 8 qualifying event and will return to Mesquite in late October, where a purse of $450,000 awaits. Dawson had a big day on Saturday, crushing five drives over 400 yards, including a mammoth 432-yard blast that won the competition. The ReMax World Long Drive Championship event has become extremely competitive, with more than 10,000 individuals vying for the world finals, which will be broadcast on ESPN2. Dawson was featured in the Journal’s sports pages back on July 11. For the full story, search our archives at … Jimmy Carroll has always loved a challenge. His latest may be his most daunting. Placer High’s all-time leading boys basketball player has landed a head coaching job at John Swett High School in Crockett, just across the Carquinez Bridge. Carroll was a junior varsity coach at Woodcreek for two years and a varsity assistant at Granite Bay last season before heading west to join the Indians as a full-time teacher and coach. He’s teaching special education classes and is working on wrapping up his teaching credential this year. The true challenge will come on the basketball court. Swett, a small, public school, competes in the Bay Shore League with some of the top teams in Northern California. Salesian, St. Mary’s (Berkeley), St. Joseph’s Notre Dame and St. Patrick/St. Vincent are perennial powers in the BSL – and the Bay Area in general. Swett has had a tough time competing in recent seasons. The Indians were winless in league play last year and won just two games overall. In fact, Swett has just one in the BSL in the last four seasons. The ever-energetic Carroll welcomes the challenge. He’s living just a few blocks from the Swett campus in Crockett and can’t wait to get started with his players later this fall. … Auburn’s Brad Benedict had a rough go of it on the World Cup Downhill Mountain Bike circuit last year, but has rebounded with a stellar 2010 season. Just last week he was named to the USA team for the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont Saint Anne, Quebec. The championships will be held Sept. 1-5. Benedict, who is now riding for Specialized, was one of seven U.S. riders selected for the championships. His former teammate Duncan Riffle was also named to the team. Auburn junior rider Christian Wright would likely have landed a spot on the U.S. squad as well, but he’s still recovering from a nasty crash in Switzerland last month. Wright is hoping to be back on his bike soon as he gears up for next summer, which will be his final season as a junior rider.