Remkus and Gladiators undefeated; Los Altos No. 1 over South Hills in Div. III MaxPreps Rankings

Coach Remkus’ son Tom is having a terrific start to his senior season after taking his junior year off because he was burned out. This is a kid who started as a freshman. How coach Remkus handled it as a coach and parent is one of the most impressive explanations I’ve heard in a while.

“He told me, `Dad, I don’t have the motivation,’ ” Remkus said. “I gave him time to think about it and he gave his answer. As a coach, it was very disappointing. But as a father it would have been wrong to push him and not fair to the team if his heart wasn’t in it. And I felt he was doing well in school and that was most important. As it turns out, it was very good for him. He realized how much he missed baseball, so it’s all worked out.”

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
The only undefeated high school baseball team in the Valley isn’t Bishop Amat, South Hills, Glendora or Damien as some might expect. With the Montview League beginning this week, Gladstone is 7-0 with doubleheader sweeps over Keppel and Bassett and notable nonleague victories over Rosemead (6-3) and San Marino (19-4). Gladiators coach Rich Remkus has been at the school for 26 years and owns more than 500 victories. He is pleased with the quick start, but he’s not fooled by it either.


“Some of the teams we thought would be better when we put this schedule together were actually worse,” Remkus said. “I’m very happy with our record, but it’s not indicative of being good. We will find that out in the next two weeks.”

“He told me, `Dad, I don’t have the motivation,’ ” Remkus said. “I gave him time to think about it and he gave his answer. As a coach, it was very disappointing. But as a father it would have been wrong to push him and not fair to the team if his heart wasn’t in it. And I felt he was doing well in school and that was most important. As it turns out, it was very good for him. He realized how much he missed baseball, so it’s all worked out.”

The Gladiators face La Puente twice this week (Wednesday at home and Friday at La Puente) and defending league champ Sierra Vista twice next week.

One of this season’s key additions has been Remkus’ son Tom, a senior who is hitting .417 with 10 RBIs and nine stolen bases.

The first baseman played well his freshman year and struggled as a sophomore, then chose to not play as a junior.

“He told me, `Dad, I don’t have the motivation,’ ” Remkus said. “I gave him time to think about it and he gave his answer. As a coach, it was very disappointing.

“But as a father it would have been wrong to push him and not fair to the team if his heart wasn’t in it. And I felt he was doing well in school and that was most important.

“As it turns out, it was very good for him. He realized how much he missed baseball, so it’s all worked out.”

With returning all-league pitcher Luis Martinez off to a 3-0 start and hitting .542, and Joe Herrera batting .522 with 15 RBIs, the Gladiators are doing a little of everything well.

“Those numbers are inflated,” Remkus said. “If we can continue to swing and pitch like that against La Puente and Sierra Vista, then we can talk about what it means.”

Los Altos No. 1

Los Altos baseball coach Andrew Formano was somewhat surprised to see the Conquerors atop MaxPreps’ CIF-SS Division III poll with a 6-1 record, just ahead of No. 2 South Hills, also 6-1 and reigning Division III champion.

Los Altos’ lone loss came to Los Osos, a team the Huskies beat in the season opener, but regardless of whether the Conquerors deserve the top spot they’re a team to be reckoned with.

The Conquerors are at home today against defending Miramonte League champion Bonita at 3:15 p.m.

“I don’t know what that (MaxPreps ranking) means,” Formano said. “It’s cool and all, but like I told the guys, that’s where you want to finish. Where you’re ranked now really doesn’t matter.”

The Conquerors were 14-12 last year, but they won six consecutive at the end of the season before losing to Corona del Mar in the Division III quarterfinals.

The Conquerors won a wild-card game, then knocked off Orange and Santa Monica, respectively, in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

“The little run at the end of the year helped with our confidence and we had a solid core coming back. We have seven seniors on the team,” Formano said. “We feel like we can play with anyone in league, but you still have to go out and do it.”

Knights playing well

After losing its opening game to Covina, the Arroyo softball team came back to win the consolation title in its own Arroyo tournament over the weekend by beating Walnut and Rowland on Saturday to improve to 7-1.

“We’re definitely playing well,” Knights coach Laura Purcell said. “This is the most talented team in my five years here.

“The wins weren’t easy. We had to pull off three wins in the sixth and seventh innings. But it’s also nice to know that mentally your team is ready to fight back and win those games that you might have lost a year ago.”

fred.robledo@sgvn.com

626-962-8811, ext. 2161

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