Memories of my dad, the Philly sports fan, a year after his passing

I have been doing this a long time, in fact more than 20 years of covering high school sports in this area.

Not surprisingly, the years, and games, frequently run together. Some games stand out because the circumstances, such as CIF playoff games, notable weather conditions or even Chino Hills’ ridiculous 121-102 win over Rancho Cucamonga in boys basketball in December.

Some of them are memorable because of what else was going on, such as last year on this date, February 13, 2013. I was covering a boys basketball playoff game that was not especially memorable. Host San Bernardino was blowing out Kaiser in the first round. 

It was in the waning seconds of the game, a San Bernardino 62-29 win, that I got the call. When I saw it was my mom calling from the east coast, I knew the news wasn’t good.

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Sunkist League Wrestling Finals results

Results from Thursday’s Sunkist League Wrestling Finals at Bloomington HS

Top 2 are CIF Individual Qualifiers for the Central Division being held at Norte Vista HS Feb. 21-22.

108: 1. -John Odenbaugh (11) Grand Terrace; 2. Ismael Carbajal (11) Bloomington; Alt-Issac Duran (10) Colton.
115: 1. Richard Lopez (12) Bloomington; 2. Christian Juarez (10) Grand Terrace; Alt-Max Morales (9) Colton
122: 1. Miles Avila-Johnson (12) Bloomington; 2. Luis Lopez (11) Fontana; Alt-Emilio Loera (10) Grand Terrace
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Etiwanda football player decides on a college

Etiwanda High School offensive lineman Zach Berdnik has committed to Division II University of Central Missouri, according to Eagles coach Brandon Rohrer.

Berdnik, a 6-foot-5, 290-pounder was a two-year starter at tackle. He is a relative newcomer to the sport, having played for the first time as a junior.

“He’s an athletic kid with a tremendous upside,” Rohrer said. “No one really knew about him he had a lot of interest coming late. With a year in a college weight program he could really develop into quote a player.”

Rohrer said his player also had planned trips to Arkansas State and Wyoming but those schools both had coaching changes so Berdnik didn’t end up making the visits.

Berdnik will join a Mules program that went 6-5 last season. The school is located in Warrensburg, Mo. and has an enrollment of 12,000. The Mules compete in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Gavin Pachot steps down at Rialto, leaving 7 football vacancies

Gavin Pachot has stepped down as head football coach at Rialto, saying, “I really feel like. the direction I was moving with the football team was not the same as the administration.”

In four seasons as head coach at Rialto, Pachot, a 1989 Fontana grad, was 24-20 with three playoff appearances. Prior to Pachot becoming the head  coach, Rialto was 11-69 in the previous eight seasons. He said he plans on coaching next season and in fact was scheduled to be interviewed for the Summit head coaching job on Wednesday.

Unless I’m missing one, here’s the updated list of San Bernardino County head football coaching changes, with old coach, (2013 record in parentheses) and new coach

  • Arroyo Valley: old coach Tony DiThomas (3-7); new coach Demetrius Stewart
  • Cajon: old coach Kim Battin (2-8), new coach Nick Rogers
  • Don Lugo: old coach Lou Randall (3-7), new coach TBA
  • Ontario: old coach Ron Stocking Jr/ interim coach Ryan Alvarez (1-9); new coach TBA
  • Rialto: old coach Gavin Pachot (6-5), new coach TBA
  • Rim of the World: old coach Bob Gradillas (8-4), new coach TBA
  • Summit: old coach Cesar Villalobos (5-6), new coach TBA

Parent of Rim of the World High alumni supports Bob Gradillas

Last week, I wrote about Rim of the World football coach Bob Gradillas stepping down after 18 successful years as head coach at the school, which included a CIF-SS title in 2012.
I quoted one parent anonymously, who said in part, “A lot of people don’t like him. I think he’s done a lot for the Rim program for so long. … I’m sad to see him go but excited for the change.”
At least one Rim supporter disagrees with the notion that “a lot of people don’t like him.” I figured it’s only fair to post here comments in support of Gradillas.
Roger Grotewold, who had four children attend Rim and all of them had either Bob, his father Frank or both as a teacher and/or coach emailed me in response to my story. He gave me permission to reprint his emailed comments on the blog. Here is the majority of his email:

“All of our children were involved with Frank and Bobby Gradillas at Rim and as a family we certainly appreciated their commitment to our children’s development into productive and contributing citizens.  Now that the Gradillas family is no longer coaching and mentoring our young Rim students, I certainly appreciated your commendable job of writing a positive article about Bobby and Frank.
One exception I need to mention is the parent you quoted in the article that began, One Rim Parent of a current and former football player said, “There’s a lot of people on the fence.  A lot of people don’t like him, etc.” That parent  certainly speaks for a small minority of the people in the Rim Of The World High School Community.  Sadly, as so often happens with things that are stated in the modern mass media today, a simple statement such as that parent’s comment can so easily be taken as a verifiable fact. It is simply not true.
 I am here to tell you, Pete, a vast majority of the parents and people associated with Rim Of The World High School express overwhelming praise and appreciation towards the Gradillas Family and their positive contribution to our youth and their development.  Sadly, my comment about this will only be heard by you in this email. 
In a world where fairness would be of the utmost importance, I would wish that all the people in The Sun community would hear the truth. You see Pete, a large majority of the folks on the mountain know and feel that Bobby and Frank Gradillas have done a wonderful job and have made a most positive contribution to the young people of our community. The parent you quoted previously certainly doesn’t speak for the majority and I wanted you to know that.”

Jurupa Hills football trying to raise money for championship rings

Win a CIF title and financial troubles for a high school football team are over?
Not hardly.
At Jurupa Hills, after winning the CIF-SS East Valley Division championship, the problem now is championship rings. Not all the players can afford their championship rings so coach Ed McMillon is seeking donations from the community.
Click here  to view Jurupa Hills’ fundraising video, with a chance to donate.

Redlands East Valley boys basketball coach Bill Berich gets belated trophy

photo (3)REV trophy

 

 

Above are two pictures, top one is of Redlands East Valley girls athletic director Rhonda Fouch and boys basketball coach Bill Berich, posing with Berich’s trophy that he received Wednesday  for reaching 300 wins and the second, of course is a closeup of the trophy.

Berich actually reached 300 wins last year. But Fouch explained that they wanted to verify some records before getting the trophy. So Wednesday’s win over Cajon was actually Berich’s 320th in his career. “You’re almost at 400 now,” Fouch said.

Michael Anderson, now at Arroyo Valley, set for Rialto return

Michael Anderson doesn’t know what kind of reception he’ll get, but he’s glad to get it out of the way early.
Anderson, who coached Rialto High girls basketball for 5 years, winning a CIF-SS title in 2011 and also becoming a state finalist that year, is now at Arroyo Valley. His first game back to Rialto is Thursday at 6 p.m.
He has some friends still at Rialto, but many administrators are no longer at the school from when Anderson started there. He knows some Rialto players and parents were upset when he left last season, to be closer to home where he can tend to his mother. It got worse when he took the job at Arroyo Valley, but that being closer to home made it a better fit.
“I’m glad it’s early, to get it out of the way,” Anderson said. “It (reaction) is going to be mixed.”
He doesn’t know what kind of a reception he will get, or if Rialto will try and get a big rowdy crowd to come in response to Anderson’s return. Having the first game between the teams at Rialto (instead of Arroyo Valley) helps Anderson. “So I can see what they do first,” he said.
He said he heard that Rialto covered up some banners or references to his CIF-SS championship team, but also said that could be part of a gym refurbishment.
His Arroyo Valleyteam  is 8-8 after losing its league opener on Tuesday to Carter and received two big blows, as Claudia Orantes tore her knee against Carter and is out for the year. In addition, junior Tamara Trigg, who was transferring  from Rialto to Arroyo Valley, was ruled out for the year by CIF-SS. Rialto is 2-9 after losing its league opener on Tuesday to San Gorgonio.

Inland Empire Football Classic Postscript

After the wild game on Saturday night at Corona High School, I needed time to recover from deadline stress and the excitement of the night.

Here are some thoughts:

  • First, I was impressed how much each coach wanted to win. It was not a win-at-all-costs mantra, nor did they take the fun out of it in order to win. But the playcalling and San Bernardino player substitutions proved how much San Bernardino wanted to win. It was also obvious in the San Bernardino goal-line stand that ended regulation and sent the game to OT.
  • Odd play that didn’t make it into my story. With the score tied 21-21 in the third quarter, Riverside lined up for a 50-yard field goal. The snap was bobbled bounced away, the holder grabbed it back and the kicker made the kick. Meanwhile, San Bernardino, thinking it was against the all-star rules to rush, stood back and watched for several seconds. It was a ridiculous moment to most observers, because had there been a rush, there’s no way the kick would have been made. After a lengthy discussion, it was determined that on field goals (but not on extra points) the defense was allowed to rush the kicker. So Riverside got to rekick. This time the snap and hold were good, but the kick was wide.
  • Even at the end of regulation, officials believed there was no overtime, even though there was overtime three years ago. But game organizers changed their mind after meeting at midfield, prompting the overtime.
  • Even in a 31-28 OT defeat, San Bernardino proved a lot. First, that the football is not so bad on this side of the county line. Also, the San Bernardino team, fans and coaches deserved respect for the way they acted. For the record, I had Riverside with 13 penalties for 111 yards, San Bernardino with four for 40 yards. I also saw some taunting from Riverside players after the game-inning kick, but as far as I could tell, San Bernardino acted with class. Stereotypes aren’t always true.
  • Some final offensive stats for San Bernardino: Tahir Rashed-Mills, 5-9 passing, 1 INT, 1 TD, 104 yards, 13 carries, 145 yards, 1 TD. Daniel Martinez, 3-5 passing, 12 yards, 5 rushes, 20 yards. Javone Morgan (A QB who didn’t play there in the game), 1 carry, minus-6 yards; 1 reception, 34 yards. Brandon Scott, 3 receptions, 67 yards, 1 TD. Isaiah Dunn, 2 receptions, 12 yards; Anthony Grayson, 1 reception, 3 yards.  Tacory Spencer, 8 carries, 19 yards, 1 TD; Ben Fitzpatrick 2 carries, 10 yards, 1 TD; Tawon Green 4 carries, 5 yards; Cruz Duke 1 carry, 2 yards.