I’m hitting the snooze button to pursue my next dream.

Above: Just another day in the office interviewing Rose Bowl MVP Andy Dalton.

I don’t know if my career in journalism has come to an end. What I do know is I’m getting off this amazing roller coaster ride I’ve been on for nearly 12 years. It’s time to get in line for the next ride.

Today is my last day at the Pasadena Star-News, and I leave a dream job as a sportswriter in pursuit of my childhood dream of one day going to law school. The road there is long and filled with challenges, but I overcame a similar path when I started my career in journalism at 17.

The dream started in high school, and it wouldn’t have been realized without the help of a lot of people I’m thankful to this very day.

I was 15 when my math teacher, Dr. Roz Collier at Alhambra High, asked why I always asked for her L.A. Times. I told her I loved reading the sports section and that I one day wanted to be a sportswriter. From that day forward until my senior year she saved the sports section for me every day.

I was 16 when TJ Simers at the L.A. Times replied to my email seeking advice, and he did more than send back a short message. He offered his home phone number and a plan on how best to break into the business. It was his advice that led to an interview with Art Wilson, my first editor who I can’t thank enough for hiring me fresh out of high school.

Doug Spoon, my first sports editor at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, was encouraging as I learned the ropes and was always up front with me, a quality I always admired. Like the time I was offered a plush freelance gig at the L.A. Times. He said he couldn’t pay me as much as The Times but would do everything he could to give me more writing assignments and more shifts on the sports desk to help make up the difference.

It was that mix of experience that undoubtedly helped me land my first big boy job at The Orange County Register where David Bean hired me at 20, and I knew how lucky I was when my colleagues there were surprised to hear how young I was to be a staff writer at what was then the 34th largest newspaper in the nation. Greg Gibson and Todd Harmonson became two of the best editors any writer could ask for. They partnered me with seasoned writers at the Register to polish my writing and ultimately fulfilled my dream of helping cover the Angels and Lakers, among other plush assignments they threw my way.

In March when I informed Steve Hunt, my managing editor, about my plan to leave in June he presented a couple options for me to stay. I was moved by the appreciation shown towards me, and it proved what I knew all along: that I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by great people who cared and found a way to show it.

My life in one word?


In what world would an 11-year-old kid have his favorite watch stolen at knife point while on his way to a corner market in Lincoln Heights also have the chance to one day cover a press conference for The Boston Globe.That’s my claim to fame, when I camped out Scott Boras’ office in Newport Beach as negotiations intensified between the Red Sox brass and Boras’ new client,Daisuke Matsuzaka. I was transcribing a long press conference with a tight East Coast deadline. I wasn’t sure how to spell Daisuke, so to save time I spelled it “Dice-K”. I filed the story forgetting to change Dice-K to Daisuke.The next day, there was a poll on the Boston Globe’s website asking readers to weigh in on what Daisuke Matsuzaka’s nickname should be, and “Dice-K” was one of options. Sure enough, that’s how Matsuzaka was referred to on ESPN, too.

You’re welcome, Boston.

When I came here in 2008 I was excited to be back where it all started. I’ve known and worked with Fred J. Robledo, Aram Tolegian, Steve Ramirez and Keith Lair since I was 17. Believe me when I say this group is passionate about covering preps. They continue to bring you the best coverage despite uncertainty and challenges along the way.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with great high school coaches, athletic directors, players, parents and teachers.

The best part about covering high school sports is seeing kids you’ve covered succeed at the next level.

I covered Matt Barkley as a freshman quarterback at Mater Dei High back in my Register days, and now he might be leading USC to a preseason No. 1 ranking.

I covered Steve Johnson as a talented freshman tennis player at Orange High. He’s now a two-time NCAA singles national champion at USC.

There are some seniors I’ve covered here at the Star-News since their freshman year, and I’m excited to see how they’ll do in college, maybe even the pro’s.I’m talking to Bowdien Derby and Ellis McCarthy, among others.

When I look back at my career and tell my friends about the places I’ve visited and teams I’ve covered they wonder why on earth I would leave a dream job. The answer is simple, I’m selfish and want to chase another dream.

If my path somehow takes a detour ahead and merges with journalism I hope I still recognize this industry I love and owe so much to. A lot has changed in 12 years. I’ve seen my friends fall victims to layoffs and buyouts, many of whom continue to work outside of journalism.

That being said,this decision is my own, and I leave with a bank full of fond memories and experiences I could only dream about as a homeless kid.

That I came to this decision ina seemingly bed-ridden economy, well, you can see now why I feel so lucky.

I don’t know what I’ll do Monday when I wake up and have nowhere to go, no phone calls to make and no interviews to conduct. I’m not scared about the uncertainty that lies in the short-term. In junior high I was held at gun point for simply witnessing a car theft.

That was scary.

This is exciting.


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Boys Volleyball: Public vs. Private All-Star Game set for Saturday at Cal Tech. Juniors game at 2, seniors at 3:30.

Saturday at Cal Tech
Juniors Game, 2 p.m.
Seniors Game, 3:30 p.m.

Coach: Simon Yu, San Gabriel
Daniel Jacobs, Burroughs
Daniel Marbach, Burroughs
BJ Lagmay, Burroughs
Andy Yu, Gabrielino
John Sullivan, La Canada
Charlie Diep, San Gabriel
Tyler Bui, San Gabriel
Richard Zheng, San Gabriel
Howard Wong, San Marino
Vincent Ma, San Marino
Andrew Boon, San Marino
Jason Qiu, South Pasadena
Robert, Adamson, South Pasadena
David Barker, South Pasadena
Brian Tang, Temple City

Coach: Sean Beattie, Flintridge Prep
Donovan Gonzales, Bosco Tech
Kareem Ismail, Flintridge Prep
Ben Dalgarn, La Salle
Dennis Grover, Pasadena Poly
Cody Hirdo, Rio Hondo Prep
Kevin Horton, Rio Hondo Prep
Luis Aranda, Salesian
Charles McCarthy, St. Francis
Christopher Thompson, St. Francis
Will Frankian, Village Christian
Will Pryburn, Village Christian
Robbie Robles, Village Christian
Brandon, Sao, Village Christian

Coach: Chris Kwan, San Gabriel
Dake Ying, Arcadia
Ike Nwachi, Burroughs
Robbie Rutecki, Burroughs
Hugo Ayala, Burroughs
Ling Wang, Gabrielino
Peter Gilmour, La Canada
Stanley Young, San Gabriel
Timmothy Luu, San Gabriel
John Silk, San Marino
Dean Ohashi, San Marino
Ali Jabalameli, South Pasadena
Ben Hillman, South Pasadena
Thomas Adamson, South Pasadena
Josh Chan, Temple City
Victor Hsieh, Temple City

Coach: Mark Mina, Pasadena Poly
Alex Schuster, La Salle
Peter Nuguid, La Salle
Rob Flewelling, Maranatha
Colin Woolway, Pasadena Poly
Michael Saeta, Pasadena Poly
Jackson Saldana, Providence
Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, Salesian
David Sanchez, Salesian
Mark Villaroel, Salesian
Shane Whittington, San Gabriel Academy
Michael Bacall, St. Francis
Wes Coffey, St. Francis
Thomas Banks, St. Francis

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Good news: Public vs. Private All-Star Softball Game is set for June 14 at Live Oak Park in Temple City.

Practice and Game at Live Oak Park, Temple City
Wednesday, June 13 (Private 5-6:30 p.m.; Public 6:30-8 p.m.)
Game: Thursday, June 14, 6:30 p.m.

If your name is on the list, all you have to do is show up to practice on the date/time above. I want to thank the coaches who are on board to help coach the teams and conduct practice. Also want to thank those who helped me put together rosters for both teams. Couldn’t have done it without your help.

Coaches: Dave Guzman (Monrovia) and Bob Ellingsworth (Temple City)
Lauren Cox, La Canada
Catherine Horner, La Canada
Alashanee Medina, Keppel
Vanessa Mendez, Keppel
Brianna Becerra, Keppel
Denise Gonzales, Alhambra
Kristin Hudak, Temple City
Sami Jakeway, Temple City
Nikki Guzman, Monrovia, Sr.
Alexis Watanabe, San Marino
Elizabeth Shelburne, San Marino
Cierra Newton, Marshall
Ruth Kamm, Marshall
Mikayla Tickey, Duarte
Kaysie Gatlin, Duarte
Marissa Baca, South Pasadena
Lisa Rosas, Arcadia

Coach: Jennifer Moulden and staff, Mayfield
Colleen McWilliams, La Salle
Victoria Baltazar, La Salle
Karlie Buller, La Salle
Madison Worley, La Salle
Katelyn Thordarson, Maranatha
Ellie Manriquez, Ramona Convent
Melissa Cendejas, Ramona Convent
Juliana Zovak, Mayfield
Heather Choi, Pasadena Poly
Julia Tsai, Pasadena Poly
Brenda Soto, Westridge
Jensen Barret, Rio Hondo Prep
Karah Kirby, Rio Hondo Prep
Nicole Holguin, San Gabriel Mission
Angela Preciado, San Gabriel Mission
Rachel Simon, Flintridge Prep
Lauren Torres, Flintridge Sacred Heart

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Baseball: Alhambra’s title bid falls short.

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES — It had been 85 years since Alhambra High School
played for a CIF-Southern Section baseball championship.

It’s going to be a little longer before the Moors bring home the top

Senior Justin Garza pitched a three-hitter and top seed Bonita took
advantage of four Alhambra errors to score its first CIF-SS title
since 1951 with a 5-1 victory over the Moors Friday in the Division 3
championship game at Dodger Stadium.

The Bearcats, also getting two hits and a RBI from Thomas Castro,
finished 32-2 to win the title after losing in the championship game
against Ocean View in 2010.

Alhambra, which got a steady four innings from Marco Briones,
finished 24-4. The Moors were seeking the school’s first CIF-SS title
and playing in a section championship game for the first time since

“Twenty four wins is a school record,” Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke
said. “We have a lot to be proud of.

“We’re going to walk out of here with our heads held high.There’s no
doubt about it. It stings today. But we still had a great season.”

But it good have been better, and the Moors might likely dwell on a
third inning that proved to be decisive for the Bearcats, who after
the teams traded scoring runs in the first and second innings, took a
5-1 lead, scoring four runs on five hits and two errors.

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Track & Field: Area athletes take talents to Fresno

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

South Pasadena High School’s Claire Kieffer-Wright jumped 5 feet, 10 inches in a Rio Hondo League dual meet in March. Temple City’s Philippe Ueng cleared 15-8 in the pole vault at the Rosemead Invitational, also in March.

Neither has hit that mark since. But the pair are hoping their fortunes change starting today. The jumpers are among 13 San Gabriel Valley and Whittier area athletes who have qualified for the CIF State meet at Buchanan High School in Clovis. It is one of the largest contingents of area athletes competing in the two-day meet in a decade.

Ueng showed what he is capable of doing in a practice session on Wednesday at Mt. SAC. He cleared 16 feet for the first time.

“He’s hot right now,” Temple City jumping coach Chris Branson said. “He’s been breaking new ground, and getting 16 feet with a stiffer pole and a 16-foot pole. That is a good sign.”

Ueng and Kieffer-Wright, if they piece together masterful performances, have legitimate shots at winning state titles.

“It has not been a rut thing,” South Pasadena jumps coach C.B. Richards said of Kieffer-Wright’s season of late. “She’s been doing a lot of different things. Now she is focusing on the high jump. We know what she has in her. She just has to put all the pieces together and have a good day.”

A handful of other area athletes have a shot at a state title.

Damien’s Jarrett Gonzales enters the meet with the state’s fastest time in the 300-meter hurdles. Cantwell Sacred Heart’s Adam Aguirre is making his second consecutive appearance in the meet.

“I know what I have to do already,” Aguirre said. “I’m just going to prepare the same.”

Arcadia’s Alex McElwee, La Serna’s German Fabela and San Marino’s Kyle Ezold are all among the state leaders in the 400, and Rowland’s Nick Rivera and La Salle’s Daniel De La Torre are among the state leaders in the 1,600.

“I’ve been waiting for so long,” Rivera said of making it to state. “I finally get my chance that I always dreamed of. At one point I thought I would never actually go out and do it.”

De La Torre will be the lone area athlete attempting a double. He will also run in Saturday’s 3,200, and will be joined by Arcadia’s Sergio Gonzalez, who qualified in both events, but opted to concentrate on just the 3,200. He won the CIF State Division I cross country championship just a few miles west of Saturday’s meet six months ago.

Maranatha’s Ebony Crear has lowered her own school-record 100 hurdles time in the last three races, running a time of 14.09 seconds in the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet. Nikki Wheatley of Bonita qualified in the triple jump. Both are among the state leaders. Diamond Ranch’s Andrew Fischer has one of the top times in the 300 hurdles.

Kieffer-Wright has focused only on high jumping for the last month, and returns to the city were she went 5-8 in the indoor state championships in January.

“I do better when the pressure is on,” the sophomore said.

She will likely have to clear 5-5, which she did at the CIF-SS Masters Meet, in today’s qualifying session.

Ueng is finally over the ankle injury that created devastating results last year.

“He’s jumping well again,” Branson said. “He could go 16-6 and win it.”

Qualifying for all but the 3,200 is today, starting at 3p.m. In the running events, the heat winners and the fastest other competitors will round out the nine-athlete final. In field events, 12 athletes could advance if there are ties.

Saturday’s meet is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

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Softball: La Canada’s Catherine Horner a driving force.


La Canada vs. Beaumont at Deanna Manning Stadium, 12:30 p.m.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

LA CANADA-FLINTRIDGE – It was a bribe that made Catherine Horner the player that she is today.

The La Canada High School senior was set to be a pitcher. Until older sister Kelly began pitching when Catherine was 10 years old.

“She was a very fast pitcher,” Horner recalled. “But she was not the most accurate. None of my other sisters or my dad wanted to catch her. He said he would pay me $5 to catch her.”

Horner, who will play at the University of Tulsa next year, is arguably the best catcher in the San Gabriel Valley this year. She has helped propel the Spartans to their second consecutive CIF-Southern Section Division 5 championship game.

They will play Beaumont on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. for the second consecutive year at Irvine’s Deanna Manning Stadium at Barber Park. Last year the Spartans scored a 1-0 victory.

“No, at first I did not want to catch,” Horner recalled. “But after my dad kind of bribed me a little bit, he gradually encouraged me to stay with it.

“I ended up loving it. Absolutely.”

In a 1-0 semifinal victory over Nipomo on Tuesday, Horner threw out four Titans baserunners.

“It’s not one season,” La Canada coach KC Mathews said of his catcher. “She’s been a force since her freshman year. We’ve counted on her each year.”

Horner said she was just doing her job in throwing out those Nipomo baserunners.

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Baseball: Temple City’s journey started long before the season started; Alhambra greeted by rousing ovation, throng of alumni.

Above: Temple City’s Jonah Jarrard (above) and Corey Copping (below) are one of seven seniors who have played on the same team since they were 7-years-old.

It was around this time last year when Temple City assistant coach Mike Gonzales made the drive with eight of his players to watch Bishop Amat and Palm Desert in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 championship game at Dodger Stadium.

When the final out was recorded, the Lancers celebrated a dominating 7-0 victory. As that was happening, Gonzales turned to his contingent of players and had one question for them.

“They watched Bishop Amat celebrate and I looked at all the kids and said, `If that’s what you want to be doing, we start working tomorrow,’ ” Temple City coach Barry Bacon recalled. “That’s the effort I’ve gotten.”

Temple City went to work. It started in the Elks Tournament and then in Rio Hondo League play. It’s all added up to an impressive season with one final chapter left to be written before a storybook ending as the Rams take on Palm Desert for the Division 4 title Saturday night at 7:30 at UC Riverside.

Among the Rams players who attended last year’s title game were seven seniors: Christian Li, Jonah Jarrard, Benji Sanderson, Calvin Copping, Ben Arrue, Kyle Starling and Corey Copping. That group made a commitment to reach the finals this season and make their senior year a special one.

But what makes that particular group so special is how far back this journey goes as 7-year-olds playing on the same Little League team and moving up the ranks.

They’re the epitome of what high school sports is all about: a group of youths who grew up in the same community and now are representing more than just their uniform. They’re representing a city that’s proved supportive throughout the playoffs.

That’s been evident by the fans who have followed Temple City (24-3-1) on the road, including Tuesday’s semifinal game against St. Bonaventure in Ventura.

That sense of belonging to a community has inspired the team to become more close-knit, and it’s evident in everything they set out to do.

“Every night before a game they eat dinner together,” Bacon said. “They talk about being in class together, they eat lunch together.”

On Memorial Day, the Rams took part in practice and observed the day as well. Rams assistant coach Rob Nelson planted the American flag on the field. When practice was over, the team held a barbecue at a teammates’ house where a potluck was in order.

It’s probably what makes this run so special, that it’s being driven by a group that genuinely cares for each other on and off the field.

“Playing ball with these guys my entire life there’s no better feeling than knowing we’re in the finals now,” said Kyle Starling, a standout first baseman and integral part of the pitching rotation. “We played Little League together, Pony, juniors, everything together. It’s just so special.”

Show of support

Temple City was greeted by a warm reception when the team returned to campus on Wednesday following its 2-0 win over St. Bonaventure.

There are brackets posted in the administrative office, and each Temple City win was highlighted as the Rams inched closer to the title game.

Teachers greeted Bacon with congratulatory hugs, and many plan on making the trip to Riverside. The Rams celebrated their semifinal victory with a dogpile that was modest. It was such a competitive game even St. Bonaventure fans had some nice words for Temple City as the team walked to its bus.

“They were awesome,” Bacon said. “They were very congratulatory and wishing us good luck on our way out, and they were complimenting our pitcher. It was just really nice to see and hear.”

Alhambra making history

Alhambra’s first semifinal trip since 1947 helped pack Moor Field to capacity. Moors coach Steve Gewecke said he’s never seen the place as crowded as it was on Tuesday against Beckman.

Moor Field, which features a large grandstand behind home plate that serves as the home and visiting stands, was filled 20 minutes before the game got under way, meaning a place to see the game was in high demand.

“We opened up right field and that was packed,” Gewecke said. “We opened up the gate on Eighth Street so they can look down the right-field line. There wasn’t a seat in the house by 3 o’clock. It was an electric atmosphere, that’s for sure.”

Alhambra (24-3) stormed back from a 4-0 deficit and beat Beckman, 6-4, to reach its first finals since 1927. The Moors will face Bonita on Friday at 1:30 at Dodger Stadium.

The celebration continued well after the game ended.

“The crowd stayed forever,” Gewecke said. “They got on the field, and there must have been 60 or more former players. It was like a big reunion.”

Gewecke even had former players he coached while at Mountain View.

“That’s what makes it so special when they come back to support you,” Gewecke said.

“You meet their children or you hear what they’re doing and they’re all doing well, and that’s how you know the people coming out of your program are quality people.”

Flip of the coin

Alhambra lost the coin flip and will be the designated visiting team on Friday while Temple City is the home team on Saturday.

Gewecke is now 1 for 9 in coin flips.

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Softball: Tough schedule has La Canada well prepared.

It only makes good sense when teams beef up their nonleague schedules. Add that to an already competitive schedule in league, and there are the makings of a team that is hopeful of being well-prepared for the playoffs.

That’s exactly the scenario La Canada finds itself in this season. The Spartans (25-4-1) are top-seeded in CIF-Southern Section Division 5 and are back in the postseason final where they’ll meet Beaumont on Saturday at 12:30 at Irvine’s Deanna Manning Stadium.

La Canada has been unchallenged during the playoffs, but then came Nipomo earlier this week and the Spartans were in a dogfight. Lauren Cox walked seven batters, and the Spartans didn’t score until the sixth inning in a 1-0 victory in the semifinals.

But thanks to a revamped schedule, La Canada has had what it takes to overcome adversity.

“This team has been able to take the challenges and learn from them and apply those lessons to games in the future,” La Canada coach KC Mathews said.

It started early in the season with key wins against division opponents such as San Dimas (3-2) and Arroyo (11-5). The Spartans also faced Fountain Valley and earned a 1-0 victory. There also were wins and losses in Orange County, where La Canada got past Marina (13-11) but came up short against Edison (3-0). Taking part in the Thousand Oaks tournament in the middle of the Rio Hondo League season also paid dividends. Sure, the Spartans lost to Dos Pueblos (1-0) and Thousand Oaks (4-1), but lessons were learned.

“This group really was capable of not focusing on wins and losses, but what we can learn from each game,” Mathews said. “They’ve done a great job of doing that this year and it’s helped us tremendously.”

It prepared La Canada for what turned out to be a strong league season in which La Canada and Monrovia played to a 14-inning scoreless tie and the Spartans lost to San Marino 3-2 at home.

“The Rio Hondo League does a great job of getting us prepared,” Mathews said. “When you’re facing (Monrovia pitcher) Adrienne (Guerra) and (San Marino’s) Michelle (Floyd) it can only help you get ready for the playoffs.

“We saw some of the best pitching around and it helped us prepare for this part of our season.”

They’re back

The consensus among Division 5 coaches was the Spartans would be back to the finals. La Canada is back to defend its title, but that never was a given for the Spartans.

“They’re excited and feel fortunate to be back there,” Mathews said. “They’re seeing their rewards for working hard, but we didn’t spend all year talking about getting back to the finals. That’s the result of all the work they’ve put in.”

And thanks to that tough schedule, the Spartans weren’t just waiting around getting ready for the title game. They didn’t have that luxury.

“The schedule that we played we didn’t have the luxury of looking past an Edison or a Hart or a Thousand Oaks or any of those teams,” Mathews said.

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Baseball: Alhambra headed to first finals since 1927.


Beckman comes up short in semifinals (The Orange County Register)

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer

ALHAMBRA – After falling behind visiting Beckman by four runs early in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 semifinal, Dodger Stadium had to seem like it was a million miles away for the Alhambra High School baseball team.

Now, however, it’s the very first thing on the Moors’ radar.

Alhambra used a five-run rally in the fourth inning to post a 6-4 victory against Beckman and will play in the school’s first championship game since 1927. The Moors (24-3) will take on Bonita (31-2) and ace pitcher Justin Garza at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Dodger Stadium.

“This is for all the Moors,” Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke said. “It feels outstanding. Just look at all the people here.”

True, Alhambra couldn’t have asked for better fan support and the baseball gods obliged after making it seem early on that luck wasn’t on the Moors’ side.

Beckman used three seeing-eye singles, an error and a double to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Patriots added two run-scoring singles in the third to go up 4-0.

“The idea was don’t let them score anymore,” Gewecke said. “Because I knew if they got a couple more it was going to be tough, especially with (James) Kaprielian waiting in the ‘pen.”

Alhambra scored once in the


third, then unleashed a display of small ball to put the Orange County visitors in big trouble. The Moors got five singles and used an error and a sacrifice fly to take a 6-4 lead.
“We got out of the inning (in the third), got one (in the third) and then we had our big inning and held on,” Gewecke said.

Beckman never unveiled ace Kaprielian, who is one of the top pitchers in the state and plans to play next season at UCLA. Instead, the Patriots went with starter Connor Deneen and two relievers. Kaprielian had pitched a complete game in last Friday’s win over Los Altos.

Alhambra’s pitching situation was a bit more settled. San Jose State-bound starter Gary Acuna started the game, then gave way to sophomore Marco Briones with two outs in the top of the fourth. Briones got out of the inning, then put the clamps on Beckman by shutting down the Patriots over the final three innings.

Briones struck out the first hitter of the seventh, then made things a bit uneasy by giving up a single to Torin Goldstein. Briones got the next two hitters to fly out and the celebration was on.

“They never give up,” Gewecke said of his team. “They never quit. They play seven innings. They believe in themselves. We’ve won games in a variety of ways this year. It didn’t surprise me that they came back.”

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Baseball: The dream continues for Temple City Rams.


St. Bonaventure shut out in Division 4 semis (Ventura County Star)

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

VENTURA – The mantra during these playoffs for the Temple City High School baseball team has been a succinct yet paramount message delivered after every game from Rams coach Barry Bacon.

“Dare to dream to win one more.”

And with that in mind, no need to reach out and hit the snooze button.

Temple City kept its dream alive with a 2-0 semifinal victory against St. Bonaventure on Tuesday afternoon to send the Rams to their first appearance in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 championship game.

Temple City (24-3-1) will face Palm Desert in Saturday’s final at 7:30 p.m. at UC Riverside. Regardless of the outcome, this certainly has been the Rams’ best playoff run in school history. Temple City previously reached the semifinals in 2007 and 1989 when they lost to Bishop Amat and El Segundo, respectively.

The long trips and inclement weather they’ve encountered during these playoffs haven’t derailed the Rams, and they proved it again after their second consecutive two-hour plus road game.

“I asked them for three more days of this effort,” Bacon said. “I told them to dare to dream here (in Ventura) and one more time (on Saturday).”

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