It’s a great day for local athletes in many sports


It was a great day for a lot of athletes who made names for themselves in the Inland Empire and continued to do so on a bigger stage.

First, there was the NFL draft where two locals were chosen in the seventh round. Southern Utah quarterback Brad Sorensen (Colton HS/SBVC) was chosen by the San Diego Chargers with the 221st overall pick.

He played on some great teams at Colton with the likes of Allan Bradford and Shareece Wright, who is also with the Chargers.

Going later in the round, Nebraska safety Daimion Stafford (Norco HS/Chaffey College). Stafford was second on the team with 96 tackles, including 51 solo stops. He made at least seven tackles in 10 of 14 games, including a season-high 11 stops at Michigan State. Stafford racked up 176 tackles in his two seasons with the Cornhuskers, the fourth-best total in school history among two-year players.

In baseball, third baseman Jermaine Curtis (Miller HS/UCLA) made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance.

In 17 games at Triple-A Memphis Redbirds (Pacific Coast League) this season he hit .292 with 17 RBI.

Then there’s one of the fastest-rising stars in the United States when it comes to track. Brenda Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga HS/UC Riverside) participated in the Penn Relays, running a leg for the victorious Red team in the 4×800 USA vs. the World Relay. Martinez ran a second leg of 2:00.6. The only faster leg was that of Alysia Montano who ran a 1:58.6 anchor for the same quartet.

In NBA action, Ivan Johnson (Cal State San Bernardino) helped the Atlanta Hawks to a 90-69 playoff win over the Indiana Pacers. In 26 minutes off the bench Johnson, who played for the Coyotes in 2007, contributed 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot.


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