Los Angeles Preps: Griffen Kramer

Man charged in death of Kramer

January, 20, 2012
David Michael Nernberg of Agoura Hills was charged Thursday with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Griffen Kramer, the son of NFL quarterback Erik Kramer and a quarterback on the Thousand Oaks High School football team.

Kramer was found dead in a friend's home on Oct. 30, 2011. It was later determined Kramer died of a heroin overdose.

Nernberg, 19, a football teammate of Kramer's at Agoura High School, was one of four people arrested by Los Angeles Sheriff's investigators in the wake of Kramer's death. Corey Robert Baumann, 19, of Agoura Hills was charged with possession for sale of methamphetamine, heroin, Ecstasy and marijuana.

Two 17-year-old juveniles were also arrested in connection with the death of Kramer.

L.A. North: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
Westlake and Sierra Canyon reached the CIF State Bowl Games. The Trailblazers from Chatsworth rallied to beat Le Grand in the Division IV bowl game and capped an undefeated season.

The Warriors from Westlake lost to perennial powerhouse Concord De La Salle in the Open Division bowl game.

Despite the loss, Westlake remains the No. 1 team in the L.A. North top 10 rankings.

Here’s a look at the top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (14-1) – Concord De La Salle shut out Westlake, 35-0, in the Open Division bowl game. It was the only loss of the season for Westlake. The Warriors lose Colorado-bound defensive ends Justin Solis and Johnny Stuart and most of the offensive line to graduation, but the team will be in good hands. Quarterback Justin Moore and Dashon Hunt, who’s already committed to UCLA, are juniors.
  2. (2) Oaks Christian (11-3) – Oaks Christian reached the Southern Section Northern Division championship for the second year in a row. That’s 2-for-2 since moving up to the Northern Division last year. Oaks Christian’s only three losses came against Bellevue from Washington in the first week and twice to Westlake. Record-breaking quarterback Brandon Dawkins is only a sophomore.
  3. (3) St. Bonaventure (10-3) – What a crazy season for St. Bonaventure. The Seraphs opened the season with a two-point win over Corona Centennial. They lost to Oaks Christian in a game in which the lights went out in at the stadium in the fourth quarter. They lost to Oaks Christian again in the semifinals of the Northern Division playoffs. Because of injuries, St. Bonaventure was able to show off a little freshman gem in Marcus Chambers at the end of the season. The running back rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown in two playoff games.
  4. (4) Sierra Canyon (15-0) – The Trailblazers grew up fast. They won their first CIF state bowl game in their short football history. Sierra Canyon only started playing 11-man football three years ago. The seniors on this team remember when Sierra Canyon was an eight-man team. Coach Jon Ellinghouse said after his team won the Division IV bowl game that he wanted to make Sierra Canyon a yearly bowl contender. He’s on the right track.
  5. (5) Chaminade (10-3) – The Eagles stumbled at the end of the season after posting some impressive wins early in the year. They lost to Gardena Serra and consequently loss the Mission League championship. They had two tough road games in the Western Division playoffs and ultimately lost to eventual champion Arroyo Grande. The good news is running back Terrell Newby is only a junior. He, his 2,117 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns are expected back for his senior season.

(Read full post)

Moorpark, Thousand Oaks prepare for another tight game

November, 23, 2011
The first time Thousand Oaks and Moorpark met, a last-second field goal decided the outcome in Week 2. It was that close. Thousand Oaks kicker Jamie Sutcliffe made a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give the Lancers a 27-24 win.

The two teams meet again on Friday night in the Southern Section Northern Division quarterfinals at Thousand Oaks High School with much more on the line.

“I’m expecting a very intense game,” Moorpark coach Tim Lins said. “They’re always well-prepared.”

These two teams know each other very well. They meet every year in Marmonte League play. The previous two games went into overtime. Moorpark won in 2009, 28-21. Thousand Oaks won last year’s game, 29-28.

Thousand Oaks coach Mike Leibin says his team was probably the better of the two in 2009. Moorpark had the better team in 2010. When the two teams played on Sept. 16, Leibin said both teams were so evenly matched, he didn’t know what to expect.

“I was expecting Moorpark to be good,” Leibin said. “We knew it was going to be a battle. A lot has changed in 10 weeks.”

Both teams have changed, and not necessarily for the better. Thousand Oaks quarterback, junior Clark Abourisk, has developed into an experienced play-caller and a team leader, Leibin said. Moorpark has an NCAA Division I college quarterback in Grant Rohach, who also has the benefit of nine games since their last meeting.

But an unexpected tragedy struck the Thousand Oaks football team. Quarterback Griffen Kramer was found dead in a friend’s home over Halloween weekend. It was later determined by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department investigators that Kramer died of a heroin overdose.

The Thousand Oaks players are still recovering from the sudden death of their teammate.

“It’s a process,” Leibin said. “The kids have done a great job of supporting his family and each other.”

The Thousand Oaks players are wearing Kramer’s initials on their helmets and presented Kramer’s family with an autographed jersey before the Marmonte League finale. Leibin said his team is doing its best to find some sort of normalcy since Kramer’s death.

“Is it OK to be moving on?” Leibin said. “I think it’s what he would want. We’re doing a good job of not forgetting him in a lot of areas.”

As much as the two teams have changed since their first meeting, Leibin said there are plenty of things that are still the same.

“We have programs that have foundations that don’t change,” he said.

All five teams from the Marmonte League that entered the Northern Division playoffs are still alive. By comparison, three teams from the Bay League were in the first round of the Northern Division playoffs. None advanced. Three teams from the Golden League qualified for playoffs and only one, Highland, made it to the quarterfinals.

Moorpark and Thousand Oaks are coming off dramatic first-round wins in the playoffs. Moorpark (7-4) eliminated No. 4 seeded Valencia, 17-10, scoring a touchdown in the final minutes to take the lead and win the game.

Thousand Oaks (7-4) traveled to Quartz Hill in the Antelope Valley to take on the co-champion of the Golden League. Trailing 7-0, Thousand Oaks scored 20 straight points and knocked the Rebels out of the playoffs.

Thousand Oaks running back Nathan DeBeikes leads the Lancers in rushing with 1,096 yards and eight touchdowns. He rushed for 148 yards and scored a touchdown against Quartz Hill.

Moorpark, much like Thousand Oaks, likes to control the ball and the game on the ground. Aaron Stanton leads Moorpark in rushing with 778 yards and 11 touchdowns in 10 games.

Rohach, Moorpark’s quarterback, is a bit of a dual threat with 1,638 yards passing and 15 touchdowns to go with 452 yards on the ground and four rushing touchdowns.

Rohach, who committed to Iowa State, threw for 187 yards and a touchdown against Valencia. Kenny Feyh caught the game-winning touchdown from Rohach with 7:12 to play in the fourth quarter. Lins said Rohach has stepped up his game after slipping some midseason.

“He struggled a little bit,” Lins said. “He was pressured Friday against Valencia. But he made some good decisions. It’s not easy to play that position. Guys look to him to make on-the-field adjustments. I think that’s a little bit tougher and he’s responded.”

Lins said several players on his team have improved over the season. Stanton is one who might be the difference in the game against Thousand Oaks.

“He’s a factor for us,” Lins said.

Stanton rushed for 141 yards, but was kept out of the end zone in the first meeting between the two teams. He also caught a 23-yard pass.

Abourisk passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns against Moorpark in Week 2. Blake Howell came up with a couple big plays for Thousand Oaks. He caught a 73-yard touchdown pass from Abourisk and returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

This game could go down to the final second again.

“If history has any say in it, it will be a tight one,” Leibin said.

Four suspects charged with involuntary manslaughter in death of Griffen Kramer

November, 19, 2011
All four suspects arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday in connection with the death of Griffen Kramer, a senior at Thousand Oaks High School, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, Capt. Mike Parker said in a release by the Sheriff’s Department.

David Nernberg, 19, of Agoura Hills and Corey Baumann, 19, of Agoura Hills were arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance by Sheriff's investigators. Baumann was charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale in addition to involuntary manslaughter.

Two 17-year-old juveniles were arrested by Sheriff’s deputies and charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance. One of the juveniles, a boy from Oak Park, is being held at Sylmar Juvenile Hall without bail.

The other 17-year-old suspect is a girl from Westlake Village. She was taken into protective custody by the Department of Family and Child Services Response Team because of deplorable living conditions.

Sheriff’s investigators conducted searches and collected evidence directly related to the death of Kramer at each of the suspects’ residences, according to Parker.

A fifth suspect, a 17-year-old boy from Agoura Hills, was also arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was released to the custody of his parents.

Five children from the home of the 17-year-old boy from Oak Park were taken into custody by the Department of Family and Child Services.

Nernberg and Baumann were held in lieu of $125,000 bail. Each were released on bond on Thursday.

Kramer was a quarterback on the Thousand Oaks High School football team. He was found dead in Nernberg’s home on Oct. 30. Sheriff’s investigators believe Kramer died of a heroin overdose. Nernberg and one of the 17-year-old suspects were with Kramer when he died, Sgt. Barry Hall of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau said.

Kramer was the son of former NFL quarterback Erik Kramer.

Report: Kramer report could take months

November, 2, 2011
An autopsy report from the death of Thousand Oaks quarterback Griffen Kramer could take up to 12 weeks to complete, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office told the Ventura County Star.

Kramer, 18, was found dead at a friend's home in Agoura Hills on Sunday. Thousand Oaks High School released a statement on Monday stating that although the cause of death was not official, alcohol poisoning was a possibility.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators have indicated that no foul play is suspected in Kramer's death.

Kramer's father, Erik Kramer, played in the NFL for 13 seasons, mainly with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.

Funeral services for Kramer will be conducted at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Pierce Brothers Memorial Mortuary. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Griffen Kramer memorial fund, 5521 Rainbow Crest Dr, Agoura Hills, CA 91301.

Thousand Oaks QB Kramer dies

October, 31, 2011
Griffen Kramer, son of former NFL quarterback Erik Kramer and a backup quarterback on the Thousand Oaks High School football team, died on Sunday, according to a release from the school.

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