Miramonte High's Tyler Hanson defended his Ed Sias Invitational small school boys cross country title Saturday, but he's enjoying the win this year much more than last year's victory.

Hours after he won in 2011, Hanson felt unusually sore. The pain intensified over the next two days, and he ended up being admitted to Children's Hospital in Oakland with appendicitis. He had surgery to remove the appendix and missed weeks of practice.

"It was a serious detriment to my season," Hanson said.

This year, he is feeling great after the big win at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez.

Hanson moved into the top three in the first half-mile Saturday. By the mile mark, it became a duel for first place between Hanson and Northgate's Danny Stalters, who beat Hanson in the Monte Vista Invitational boys senior race Sept. 4. Stalters won the race and Hanson was fourth.

"Every time I came up to match him, he would push (the pace) a little bit," said Hanson about Stalters' race at Ed Sias. "If a race can come down to how I want it to, I want it to come down to a kick every time."

Hanson passed Stalters at the beginning of the final hill, Hanson said, and kicked to victory with a time of 10 minutes, 4.5 seconds for the two-mile course. Stalters was second in 10:17.3.

Girls volleyball

Since Head-Royce lost key seniors from last season's team that went 21-8 and reached the North Coast Section Division V quarterfinals, some may have expected the Jayhawks to fall off a little bit this season.

But Head-Royce is 4-0 and again looks like a force in the Bay Counties League-East as it heads into a key early season matchup with Valley Christian on Thursday night.

"We may not be as tall or as experienced, but what we lack in height we make up for in speed, defense, and a never-say-die attitude," Head-Royce coach Scott Tay said.

"We feel that our league is strong, but we feel that we can beat every team in any format on any day. I don't think any team in our league plays remotely close to our effort level. My kids play hard. That is the bottom line. They play hard and don't quit."

What makes Head-Royce so strong and a favorite in the BCL-East is a good mix of experience with three solid freshman that could lead the program to great things over the next four years.

Freshman Emma Scanlan (outside hitter/libero) Maia So-Holloway (setter/outside) and Natasha Skov (middle/outside) have the Jayhawks program excited for this year and beyond.

-- Matt Smith, correspondent

Boys soccer

Rory Gentry has resigned as Clayton Valley Charter's coach after four years. Gentry, the Bay Area News Group East Bay Coach of the Year for 2010-11, went 65-16-23 with the Eagles. That record included two Diablo Valley Athletic League titles and three NCS playoff appearances.

In the season before Gentry's arrival, the Eagles managed just one win in 22 matches.

"I'm very proud of what we were able to accomplish in our four years at CV," Gentry said. "I think I am most proud of restoring the pride into the boys soccer program. I'm also proud of the fact that the boys team was finally recognized as one of the elite teams in the Bay Area."

After becoming a charter school and bringing in a new athletic director, Clayton Valley reopened the head coaching position after concerns were voiced about the coaching staff. The staff was rehired on a probationary period, but with uncertain terms and an unclear future, Gentry felt resigning was his only move.

"You know, even with success, there is no way to please everyone," Gentry said. "During my time at Clayton Valley, there have been some complaints, usually mostly about playing time and players roles changing year to year. I would answer to these and do things to be better in the future."

Eagles athletic director Greg Fister chose not to comment on the reasons behind reopening the position and putting the staff on a probationary period, but he did thank Gentry for his time at Clayton Valley.

"They did an excellent job of coaching the boys soccer team at Clayton Valley," Fister said. "The last four years the program enjoyed a large amount of winning and success. Our most important element of athletics is academics. We will always do what is best for our students and student athletes."

-- Matt Smith, correspondent