Breaking News: Damien fires baseball coach Al Leyva prompting immediate speculation that former Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto could take over

Thursday update: A day after Al Leyva was fired at Damien, Mt. SAC and former South Hills coach Kevin Smith added Leyva to his staff at Mt. SAC as an assistant ….. The speculation that former Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto could take over at Damien just multiplied following today’s news that, Long Beach State Baseball Hall of Famer, Don Barbara, has been hired as the new head coach at St. John Bosco. Nieto was finalist for St. John Bosco, but who knows, maybe he pulled out of the running now that Damien position is available. Stay tuned.

alleyvaWednesday’s Breaking News: Damien athletic director Jeff Grant said the school has parted ways with baseball coach Al Leyva and that an immediate search for a new coach has started. Damien will accept applications through June 27.
Leyva was 107-61 in six seasons at Damien, but never won a league championship. His best year was his first in 2009 when Damien finished 21-9 and advanced to the CIF-SS Division 2 semifinals. Damien was 17-10 this past season, finished in a tie for third in the Sierra League and was ousted in the first round of the playoffs.
“There wasn’t a single incident or something that led to this,” Grant said. “It’s a combination of small things and at the end of the day we wanted to move in a different direction.”
andynieto1That different direction could be former Bishop Amat baseball coach Andy Nieto, who resigned at Bishop Amat last week after winning his fourth championship in eight years. Nieto has a close relationship with Damien principal Dr. Merritt Hemenway, who was previously the principal at Bishop Amat and who hired Nieto to take over the Amat baseball program.
Nieto has been rumored to be interested in St. John Bosco, but with Damien becoming available it could change things.
Grant admitted that Nieto and Hemenway are close, and Nieto always has said he has a lot of respect and admiration for his former principal.
“We’re opening the job for any and all applicants,” Grant said. “Obviously coach Nieto is no longer employed and he’s more than welcome to apply. But this is not a situation where the jobs already been promised to anyone.”

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  • HSBaseballFan

    A great day for Damien baseball and for the boys who have tried to play and those who do and have played baseball at Damien with Leyva at the helm. Bozo The Clown could have done a better job than Leyva. At the very least the boys would have been having fun with Bozo running the team. The associated factor with Leyva being gone is that Bast will also be gone. Another “coach”who had no idea how to positively and effectively coach high school age young men in the great pastime of baseball. Leyva and Bast “two peas in a pod” who should have been picked, packaged and gone a long before now. But they are gone and that is the good news. Damien baseball will be much better off with a new coach at the wheel. To the future success of Damien baseball. The boys now have a real chance to succeed as individuals and as a team with Leyva being replaced.

    • Sports watcher

      I agree. I hope Skip is gone too. We left with a bad taste for the baseball program. This should’ve been done soon after Skip manipulated the program to benefit his grandson who btw, can’t make a play to save his life yet he started. I’m happy this circus is shut down!

      • FredJ

        Don’t start singling out certain kids ….man, I don’t like how this thread has started

        • Sports watcher

          OK. No more kid mentioning. I know a few families there in the program. The parents run in & out of the dugout, some parents coaching from the sidelines, others arguing with umpire calls. These parents always trying to talk to the coaches during the game. Its a joke. These parents ran the program too. It became a team of parents who did favors, a team of neptosim, and parents kissing butt. Players were playing in wrong positions, players not being able to hit good pitching or throw a ball from the OF and yet they were starting. I heard JV was the same way and the lineup came from the top. This exit was long overdue. The boys deserve better than that. How do you explain a Grant Hockin talent and the rotation and you can’t win league? Not to mention every school within a 3 mile radius wins league and Damien does not? The coaches do not prepare the boys for real competition. Al always played down to inflate his standings. Damien doesn’t participate in the Boras Tourney. Wonder Why? He is always out coached too. If that doesn’t speak volumes of the Baseball circus at Damien, what does? You can’t be upset Fred. The preseason teams he plays and his league record speak loud and clear. It was time.

          • TheCloser

            All the BS at Amat and everyone wants a Nieto, like I said I’d send my kid to a war with a General like Nieto any day over what’s out there……. sorry to see him leave but if it doesn’t work out at Amat the transfer rule is only 30 days now so that makes its easy!!!

          • baseballsgv

            No Amat player
            Will follow
            Mr. Nieto

          • Patriot 25

            Damien was in a much tougher league compared to the schools in the 3 mile radius that you mentioned. In addition, those schools are also in lower divisions.

          • Sports watcher

            We had Grant Hockin. Enough said.

        • TheCloser

          You can’t start a thread with a headline about a coach losing his job and be remorse about it and not expect frustrated Damien parents who just saw a guy on their team sign for $1.1 million and question the coaching they got. Chris Kohler was a 3rd round pick at Los Osos and carried that team to a better result. Hopefully, Damien breaks outs the checkbook and treats Nieto with respect he deserved.

          • Hopingforbetter

            Perfectly stated, TheCloser.

  • FredJ

    Show some respect, a coach lost his job, not a time to celebrate. If you weren’t happy with the way someone coached, there are better ways of writing it than to call someone a clown. I will not let this become the coach Leyva punching thread.

    • Sports watcher

      Come on Fred! You let a Bishop Amat thread a month ago speak their minds about a specific 3B kid. However, you are right. No kids bashing, but Al Leyva is fair game. This dismissal was along overdue.

    • Hopingforbetter

      Fred, I don’t think the below thread can necessarily be called a “Leyva Punching Thread.” I understand you have been a Leyva supporter–and at first blush, he is likeable. But, when you become part of his program you experience things that you cannot believe you are living through. So, give these posters a break–in reality, anyone familiar with the program over the last six years would say that comparing Leyva to “Bozo the Clown” is actually using a polite term (BTW HSBaseballFan doesn’t call him that). You need to keep in mind that Leyva rarely treated the boys fairly, nor garnered the respect you would expect an adult authority figure to impress upon these young athletes. Until you became a part of the program, you do not understand the dysfunction and hurt that he intstilled in so many of these boys. And, it goes further than the boys, a whole family is affected. So, please give thiese posters a break. Yes, a coach lost his job today. However, you must not lose sight that he lost his part-time coaching job FOR A REASON. So, Fred, please do not undermine the satisfaction/hope that MANY Damien families are feeling right now. There is much gratitude to the higher-ups that have made change possible. So, of course, people are elated and hopeful. I don’t remember you protecting any other coach that was recently “let go” by admonishing the writers to “not celebrate.”

      By the way, you make it sound like all of us have to be “respectful” to Leyva when YOU are the one with the dramatice headline stating that Leyva was fired. The AD, in your article, stated that Leyva and DHS “parted ways.” Your headline stated he was FIRED! Now, come on, Fred, you can’t have it both ways!

      • Sports watcher

        Hopingforbetter is absolutely correct. Until you live through the nightmare, you have no reason to not allow to express our views. He wasn’t what he appeared to be. It was long overdue. I hope Damien can get back on track with the sports program because they are a top knotch private school.

      • FredJ

        I knew with coach Leyva being fired the comments could get ugly quick, so I hoped by asking early that people show some respect and restraint in their opinions was not asking much.

        • Stealthyrobert

          How we know he was fired ? Why did they wait so long after the season and school were over ? Maybe because they had no plans on getting rid of him until Hemingways boy Nieto became available???

    • coachbilly


      Sometimes change is needed to refresh the direction of a program. It’s really no news at Damien with all the past issues. Right or wrong!

      The decision was made by the powers to be and some are happy and some are sad. If you really look at the records, Leyva hasn’t won the big one and either did Skip at Citrus. Do they have knowledge of the game? Sure, but it takes a lot more to coach in today’s HS market. It appears the relationship didn’t work out and it was time for a change according to the boss!

      Time will tell…

    • StatMan

      Any more news on the Nieto front Fred?

      • D Snitch

        Nieto will go to Damien. They’ll announce probably on Friday June 27th. Worse case Monday. Gonna make big bank.

        • staelthyrobert

          I thought they were going to announce Nieto at Damien>????

  • Patriot 25

    I wish Leyva the best. I was always appreciated how he reached out to the community promoting this great game of baseball by allowing local travel ball teams to practice on the field and utilize the facilities. He was always so welcoming and willing to help players from the community. He will be missed. These parents from this thread need to quit being rude and mean and follow the same Christian values that they sent their sons to follow and learn at Damien.

    • Hopingforbetter

      Oh, my gosh–really?

    • Sports watcher

      Patriot25, you must be a parent who helps run the program from the sidelines. Smh

      • Patriot 25

        Sorry. I have no connection to Damien. I’m a public school parent.

        • Sports watcher

          Then your opinion is invalid. You don’t live the nightmare, your son doesn’t play for him. How would you know? Hearsay? Come on. It was long over due.

  • reality

    Someone would have to be crazy to want to coach at Damien in any sport. No matter who is coaching at almost any sport at this bastion of Catholicism they are slammed hard by the adherents. I’am not sure what this crusade speaks to about the athletic programs when folks so readily attack even after the fact but coaches beware you have been warned, you are next.

  • Leyva Support

    Coach Al Leyva deserves better. The guy was a great coach and sent many of his players off to great division 1 programs where they are successful. He has a great resume of high school coaching, college coaching, and he also coached in the New England Summer League where he mentored college baseball players. The people on this thread who are happy about his dismissal are probably the parents of kids who DIDN’T PLAY or WHO WEREN’T SUCCESSFUL. Grow up he is a great teacher and mentor. The generations at Damien are getting softer and softer and softer each year. I say this as one of his former players who wouldn’t have been successful in college without Coach Leyva.

    • Sports watcher

      There is nothing soft about me. Our son played for him and is playing at the next level. Many boys transferred and had a lot of success elsewhere including Grant Hockin’s older brother. Soft? Soft is playing down against scrappy talent in preseason to improve your record and not playing where real talent plays like the Boras Tourney. How does playing down prepare anyone? It’s no wonder he couldn’t win league. Al doesn’t touch Nietos ankles with DI players he’s developed. I hope Nieto is the next in charge. Damien will see a league title and playoff. Soft will be exposed the next few years. You will see. And you know that or you’re living under a rock. Frankly, Al didn’t send those boys to play D1, they got there most likely because of a travel team and they were given a chance to play in High School.

      • Drummer Boy

        Actually you are soft if you let a blog rattle you. And you can’t just join the Boras tourney, you have t be invited. There have too many “I” guys on Damien. Nieto will change that if he indeed is the next coach.

        • Sports watcher

          Damien isn’t invited to the Boras for a reason. If Nieto goes to Damien, I would expect an invite. He’s a respected coach and Damien families should welcome him.

      • Stealthyrobert

        The same was said about Nieto about sending kids on to the next level. These kids would have gone on to the next level anyway Im sorry but you cant teach talent and thats what all these schools get is good talent if your talented enough youll get noticed thats the bottom line.

  • OuttaYourMindTrib

    This is the type of thing that happens when JV level kids (at best) are sent up to Varsity and are starting because mommy and daddy can write a big check.

  • bball7

    Coach Leyva is the man!!!!!!!!!! I played for coach Leyva in 2010 was on the baseball team and started for him and I’m still playing ball. Its sad to see how parents are when there kids aren’t playing or when they are losing they can’t handle failure. but hey kids now in days kids are flat out SOFT(THEY ARE SOFTER THEN BABY SHIT)…and the funny thing is that Leyva knows what he is doing he gets people ready for the next level.. thats the way damien parents are lol

    • bball7

      please feel free to comment

      • HSBaseballFan

        Interesting comments “Guest.” You have not been around for four years but you are so sure Leyva is the same guy you played for. I very seriously doubt that! I suspect many of the current Damien players could take your “soft” and make you cry at the thought of soft and playing for the current Leyva. I have played HS baseball and college BB and have not crossed paths with a coach who treats kids/young men in the negative, demeaning way Leyva did. In fact I keep in close contact with my HS coach who gave me many life lessons on how to lead, treat people and be a dad and your description of Al Leyva does not even come close! And, my road in life has offered me a great deal of success. be it luck, smarts or good fortune. When you wear the mantle of being a dad then you can postulate on the toughness your child learns on the pathway of life, but not until then can you call any kid at Damien “soft.” Many of us who sit in the stands know as much, if not more, than Al Leyva, on the fundementals of baseball. That is how we can sit in judgement of Leyva’s ability to manage a high school team. The bag on Skip in relationship to his grandson is not deserved. Both are fine individuals, people of character, who do not complain or how they find the Damien baseball team being mismanaged.

  • Stealthyrobert

    Kinda funny how all this is working out. Like we all are not stupid this whole circus of these coaches getting fired and hired. There’s no surprises its all been in the works for some time. In as little as a few weeks, maybe two everything that has been said about Amat and Damien will come true.If Nieto would not have gone then Leyva would remain. As soon as Nieto was gone at Amat Leyva was let go.Why was he let go two weeks after the school year ended. There summer school started Monday. Sounds kinda fishy. Its because if Damien wanted a shot at Nieto they had to get Leyva out. Be careful what you wish for.Likewise if Nieto wasn’t pushed out at Amat why were insiders at Amat already leaking info about some Random coach from El Rancho. If this guy has never run a program how could he even come up in conversation. It is quite apparent that the Amat scandal was all set up and made to look like a surprise what made it so intriguing and unbelievable was because Amat wion the championship. How could any program justify getting rid of a coach after winning a championship. I think Nieto was already on is way out. Would you stay somewhere you were not wanted. So in the the end they said all the right things and went on there separate ways. Do you ?? Amat needs a new coach right how can you hire a coach after the previous coach was let go after a championship?? What would that say to the commitment of the school to the next coach? And Nieto did not want create a fuss he now needs to get another job so how would it look if he said anything negative about his leaving Amat. Come on people

  • Spartan’13

    In response to everyone with negative things to say, if you think Leyva is a bad coach you don’t know what happens at the next level. I’m playing college ball now after just graduating from Damien last year and I can tell you there’s much more that goes on with those coaches. You can be soft if you want and hate Leyva, but the truth as I see it now is that he’s preparing everyone for the next level. And, by the way, he has clearly proven he can send kids to college programs, if they choose to continue playing. As far as Skip, I don’t know how you could say anything bad about that name and especially his grandson as all these accusations being made against him are false (take it from someone that actually played on the team, not a spectator on the sidelines). He’s a Hall of Fame coach with lots of knowledge, how could you not want that in your program? As for parents running the program, there are a few that help out but everyone playing on the field earned their spot. A lot hate on Leyva but you can’t argue with the success he had. My final year we had the roster to win and we ended up fighting just to get into playoffs. Once again, Leyva and the coaches got us together and we made another playoff run. The way some talk about it you’d think we’d have a loosing record every year. Let’s be honest, the bad things being said are probably excuses to protect your kids that were in the program

    • Sports watcher

      Al plays schools in preseason with no talent to inflate his record. Why did you play at the Boras Tourney where the real ball players play? Soft? He makes the boys soft by playing schools that aren’t competition. When you have Grant Hockin on the mound, one expects more than a wild card. Or am I wrong? Skip and Al we at odds from what I understand. Al has never won a league title. Explain it? If you think Al helped in the next level process, you’re sadly mistaken. So you know, most of those players who went off to play at the next level were because of their travel teams, not Al Leyva. It’s not hard to get better when you actually play every inning.

      • Spartan’13

        My senior year, and if I remeber right before that, we always played in the Dicks Sporting Goods Preseason Tournament. What’s wrong with that? That was the main tournament in the area. As great as Grant is, one player does not make a team. Sure, we went into games that he started with a lot of confidence. But you can’t argue that more than a wild card is expected with a league of good teams. Besides, despite getting the wild card Leyvas teams always made a run once they were in.
        And most kids make it to college through travel teams and what not nowadays, but that’s not my point. My point was at the next level there’s no parents crying on the sidelines like there was at Damien and you all of a sudden realize what you went through there only prepared you for what you will deal with in the future. There’s been stuff about Leyva almost every year but in the end you realize its not that bad and it helped. Most young high school kids just don’t realize that and still get hurt when they’re on the bench or getting yelled at

  • Chingas

    Well there goes another rumor that has been proven correct. Good luck to Damien if they land Nieto. You will then really see the type of program he runs.

  • Spartan’13

    To add to my previous comments, you also need to realize the expectations everyone had for Leyva were extreme. We had one of the best teams on paper without a doubt my senior year, but in the game of baseball it takes a lot more than that. Maybe we didn’t win every year like people expected us to, but that happens. Again, it’s not like we were never in the playoffs. We had a good run with Leyva, but maybe the school just decided it was time to bring in a new voice. No way it was a firing due to lack of success

    • Sports watcher

      Extreme? Really? So you’re saying winning a league title isn’t an expectation we should desire? D3 & D4 schools have great talent too, don’t get confused. Guess what? Being thrown into the baseline league was the nail in the coffin for Al, Skip & Bast. That’s a tougher league. Damien didn’t have a choice if they wanted to compete. It was time to make changes.

      • Spartan’13

        No way the Baseline league was better, second place was almost .500 this year. Winning league was obviously a desire everyone had, but the pressure he was put under each year and the crap he took from the sidelines started going to far. You can’t argue with his success but the sideline drama will take a toll on you

        • frank

          Oh, man, you’re saying that Leyva couldn’t handle the sideline drama and “the pressure he was put under each year”? I guess, the “soft” person in this whole drama was Leyva himself–not the boys like “Guest” from 2010 (above) suggested. Just saying . . .

          • Spartan’13

            It’s due to the fact that those parents would go to the Athletic Department to complain about nonsense. Of course he could deal with it if it’s just talk in the stands. We had an incident once before and he handled it fine. But when the parents want to protect the kids and don’t know what else to do but go to the top and complain about stuff that isn’t necessarily true, that’s where it gets tough. He got forced out of his spot by parents, not because of anything to do with coaching. Also, I wouldn’t be shocked if this was more of a mutual agreement to leave rather than a firing. And the fact he’s at Mt. Sac now doesn’t surprise me one bit

          • Sports watcher

            It was no mutual agreement. According to sources, he left mad after packing his belongings in front of the Summer Team. Get your facts right.

          • Sports watcher

            Guest from 2010 pitched at DHS?

  • CTS

    I agree this shouldn’t be about a kid but let’s be honest, it is. Coach Skip has been manipulating player’s positions and lineups to make sure his grandson and few select others had the greatest advantages. Clear examples where he moved corner men to the outfield or PO so to water down the competition at 1B. He selected lineups where the chosen ones hit against the B pitching and the people he was trying to make examples of got opportunities against the Garza’s of the valley. This is so the stat master can use the numbers to help drive Coach Leyva to poor decision making. Coach Skip did not care about anyone who was not part of his agenda therefore there was no harmony on the team. In Coach Skip’s tenure there has always been locker room issues with players quitting or transferring. Heck a few years ago a starting senior walked out right before the playoffs and there have several now D1 players who left for their senior years to finish their sucessfull high school careers elsewhere. Many of the transfers out have been people who were actually playing but very disappointed in the program with good reason. With all this said Coach Leyva did nothing to address the issues instead he got hostel with players driving a bigger wedge between him and the team. Damien has had no summer program to speak of with Coach Leyva off hiding from his issues, enabling Coach Skip to create more issues while he was off coaching in a college development league. We all know there isn’t a winning program in the valley that did not have any form of high school team summer program to complement the travel ball. Coach Leyva lost site that his players are high school kids and not college or pros. Yes, parents are frustrated but for good reason, the situation got out of control. This is not new and has nothing to do with Coach Nieto. Did Coach Nieto’s availability influence the timing, of course but change was coming regardless. Thankfully the principal took action to improve the situation. I’m not a hater my kid has graduated and enjoyed his experience at Damien making the most of his athletic opportunity. I am just trying to be honest about what is going on. Good luck to Coach Leyva, the players, the parents and Damien High School and their coaching search.

    • frank

      CTS is right. The chasm that the coaching staff created in pitting each other against one another was so large that, in the end, the only thing keeping the boys together was their collective distrust for Leyva. Maybe the team atmosphere was different in Leyva’s earlier Damien years, but the last couple of years were generally toxic.

  • inside the dugout

    Be careful what you wish for, Damien parents. The ” Nieto way of coaching” is not for everyone. Ask the parents of those kids (from top travel ball teams) that transferred out of Amat because:
    * they were not starting on Varsity
    * they were forced to play on one of the lower level teams (2 freshmen teams, soph/frosh team, JV)
    * Not playing a position they have always played
    * could not play football and baseball
    * or maybe because they just could not stand the man

    I don’t think any of his Amat player will follow him to Damien, But if Nieto take over the Damien program, I warranty he will get his type of players there sooner then later. You will get his famous speech at the first meeting ” his job is to win championships with your kid or with another kid. His job is not to get your kid notice by scouts or get your kid a scholarship at the next level”. But if you play for him those pro and college scouts will come.

    So your little Johnny baseball might play next year but that might be short lived when he gets his freshmen or transfer enroll at Damien.

    Get ready because he will create a winning program but your kid might not be part of that team. So be careful what you wish for.

    • Stealthyrobert

      I believe at Damien it will be much tougher to win like he did at Amat. Damien and Amat are very different schools I don’t believe he will get away with his “style” of coaching at Damien. Maybe SJB definatly not at Servite. Amat had a quasi summer program Nieto was very rarely at games and was run by non baseball group of coaches it was more of a for profit than anything else. He may start off with some new life but for some reason some coaches have an expiration date I believe Nieto is one of these coaches he eventually rubs people the wrong way. And its really never because of what he does on the field its what pulls him away from the field. Hes been having administration issues for the last 3 or 4 seasons.

    • Valley Athletics

      A lot of players have played both football and baseball at Amat . So that statement is false . Isaac archer is a recent example .following a coach to another school will make a player ineligible for the season . So you are correct , no players would follow . Maybe incoming freshman who where planning to go play baseball at Amat because of Nieto would follow .

      • NHC

        Issac Archer quite football mysteriously this past offseason.

        • baseballsgv

          No answer Valley Athletics
          NHC made a correct statement
          Name another baseball/football player
          P.S. no incoming freshman will leave Amat Blue
          To play at Damien green
          No one

          • Valley Athletics

            Dj daniels , Rio Ruiz . Everybody else who plays are just strictly baseball players . 2 sport players are rare and that is why you don’t see it . Not because Nieto did not allow it .

        • Valley Athletics

          He did not quit because of Nieto though . Nieto is gone now . He played just past football season and missed all league games with ankle injury . Dj daniels the year before played football and was never told not to .

          • NHC

            Why did archer quite then. Why did alcantari, xavier chavez, and a star RB 4 years ago not play his senior year.

          • Valley Athletics

            Not because of Nieto . Alcantara got hurt and did not want to risk his chances on getting a baseball scholarship, all these players see there chance in getting offers better in baseball and make that decision with parents . Mcalahan and wallace gonzalez also played both sports . The difference is these guys had early offers for baseball so it made there decision easier to play both .

  • Stealthyrobert

    When is Mt SAC going to stop hiring retreads and get Nieto on staff there. Hes been there and knows how to run a top college program

  • jcaz

    On a lighter note, NPR’s morning edition posted that the US patent office canceled the Washington Redskins trade mark registration because of it’s “offensive” name. Here’s what a reader had to say about this:
    Here are some other politically correctness to consider:
    I agree with our Native American population . I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as fine warriors, but nay, nay. We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward.
    Let’s ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns. The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of militant Blacks from the 60’s alive. Gone. It’s offensive to us white folk.
    The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! There is no room for any reference to that tragic war that cost this country so many young men’s lives.
    I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports team names. Totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres.
    Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged. We are talking about the horrible Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!
    Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children. The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible fighting or even spending habits. Wrong message to our children .
    The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic . Wrong message to our children.
    The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates . Wrong message to our children.
    The Milwaukee Brewers—well that goes without saying. Wrong message to our children.
    So, there you go. We need to support any legislation that comes out to rectify this travesty, because the government will likely become involved with this issue, as they should.
    Just the kind of thing the do-nothing congress loves.
    As a die hard Oregon State fan, my wife and I, with all of this in mind, it might also make some sense to change the name of the Oregon State women’s athletic teams to something other than “the Beavers”.

    • Nomoredrama

      That’s priceles! Lol

    • The stands

      Thank you, jcaz, that went well with my morning coffee. The fact that your post has nothing to do with this thread adds a certain levity and balance to the discussion.

    • How can you leave the”fighting Irish” out?

    • Tan K Solot

      Now Congress really has their work cut out for them.

  • Stealthyrobert

    Fred why do you always stir the pot about Nieto if he would have played his cards right he would have been at Amat for life. Amat is a better job than Damien

    • spartans fan

      Damien is a better job than Damien, Damien is D-2 which almost went up to D-1 if it went to the Catholic League, Amat was D-4 and just recently went to D-3

      • I’m pretty certain what you wrote is not what you meant to say. Try again. FYI Sparty, had Damien had the courage to stay in the Catholic League – they would have been in Amat’s League for football & baseball.

        • spartans fan

          Don’t talk about courage, Damien could compete, but parents would struggle to make their kids games if Damien and St. Lucys had to play all those catholic schools in the valley, it wouldnt be fair to the parents who pay tuition and sports fees. Its not all about sports, parents still want to watch their kids play, and Damien students would always have to leave school super early, expect for football.

          • I guess when Damien played Verbum Dei and the like in the 70s…traffic wasn’t an issue….

          • Theblueandgold

            Cry me a river. Damien is maybe a 10 minute driver farther then the drive that the Amat parents have to make to each of these other schools that would have been in our league. When you consider that getting to the freeway from Damien is much quicker then getting to the freeway from Amat, the actual drive might be even less that that of Amat. On top of that, the afternoon traffic would be moving in the opposite direction. Face it SF, Damien parents are just SOFT.

          • Sports watcher

            Theblueandgold: you can go ahead and call spartan parents what you want. Our baseball squad probably has a higher GPA than the Amat squad because we choose an education over having our boys leave early causing some to miss an AP Labs in Physics or Chemistry. Some of the boys my son played with a few year ago were well over 4.0 and went off to great colleges. Damien has it’s priorities right and it’s the reason they fought it. Funny thing, it cost CIF millions to fight us and we paid pennies on the dollar thanks to a Damien Alumni who’s a great attorney. Education is a priority at Damien, and now they are working to be competitive with sports. Parents support the decision based on we are getting a quality education and the boys have a bond that only an all-male private school can have. It’s a brotherhood for life.

          • baseballsgv

            Easy Sports Watcher
            Amat boys are just as talented in there academics
            Take it easy there Spartan

          • Jastrab

            Sports watcher,

            The GPA academic thing just does not wash. My older brothers went to Damien and it is was not not better than Amat and certainly not today. That is why your admin changed. Compare your best graduates to Amats and Amat has put folks in higher academic settings than Damien. Damien is a great school, but you are not Loyola. What are Damien’s priorities? The argument that we have always played in a public league makes no sense. Damien’s best years were probably pre 1980 from an academic/athletic perspective. You can do both!

          • Sports watcher

            I disagree. Have you seen Amat’s grammar when they sent out things? Come on. Take a look at their recruiting materials and class syllabuses. Some of the materials that go out are written as though a 6th grader wrote it. Damien is not Loyola, but Amat is no where near Damien. At the end of the day, It depends on the student. If the students are on the Damien regular track, they shouldn’t waste their money and same goes with Amat. The rigorous track at Damien is very very good. More APS than most schools.

          • Jastrab

            Sorry, but dream on! I will agree Garey HS to Los Osos you will find kinds who will always push themselves regardless of academic setting, but Damien is no different. My older brothers were top of their class at Damien and we compared work, text and at the end of the day it was not that much different. The days of Al Misteri (sp) at Damien are gone!

          • Not the Coach

            Sports Watcher

            Three months ago you said “academics has nothing to do with sports” now all of a sudden you don’t want your boys leaving early to travel to a sports game so they can get a better education.

            Make a decision and stick with it. Don’t bother explaining because I’m sure it’ll a load of doodoo.

            Otherwise I think I actually agree with 98% of what you say.

          • Not the Coach

            It sucks when you have to check spell check. What is it really good for? “IT’S. not it’ll “

          • The 20 players on this years Amat baseball team had a team GPA of 3.24

          • Spartan’13

            They are most definitely not soft. Traveling was one of the biggest issues. In addition, we have always played public schools in the area and wanted to continue to do that. If you forgot, we live in Southern California. It’s not exactly like there’s a shortage of baseball talent and you don’t need to join a catholic league to be “tough”

        • CTS

          Let’s be clear about one thing when Damien decided to fight their placement in the Catholic the CAA declared the league alignment was for all sports. So what that means is the football league was going to be the same league for all sports. Unlike Bishop who plays in a lower more local league for non-football sports. Most sensible people agree driving to Sherman Oaks for a 3:00 pm water polo or baseball game makes little sense. However since Damien winning their case the CAA decided to stay with the split format that exists today. Had that been the case from the beginning Damien may have not fought but we will never know if that is true.

          • CTS,

            You are unequivocally 100% incorrect. It kills me when people come on here and post as if they are sure of the facts and an authority on the subject – disagreeing with those of us that actually are. (Just joking. Sort of.)

            Damien/St Lucy’s began the appeals process when initially being removed from the Mt Sac Area and placed in the Parochial Area for the purpose of relegating. This step occurs months before leagues are even formally presented for vote.

            The Mt Sac Area contains the public schools that spartanfan admits Damien is so used to playing against while the Parochial Area is other schools more similar to Damien. Of course Damien is comfortable playing the very schools in the same area they are able to attract players from. I wonder why those public schools aren’t kicking and screaming to remove Damien (like the OC schools did with Mater Dei and Servite when they tried a similar tactic). Therein may lie spartanfans “competitive” answer.

            Fred has archived articles covering the whole process. I’ve pasted some below that show Damien would have been in an “association” of multiple leagues in all sports but football as well as a football only league.

            Now you can go back and come up with a different argument, but we all know the real reason.


            Breaking News: Damien and St. Lucy’s lose appeal, will join Parochial league in 2014-15 season
            Posted on March 20, 2013 by Fred Robledo

            Damien and St. Lucy’s lost appeals with the CIF-Southern Section on Wednesday in hopes of remaining in the Sierra League. Damien lost by a vote of 14-6 and St. Lucy’s lost 13-7. Damien and St. Lucy’s are expected to be placed in Parochial Leagues (beginning 2014-15) barring the outcome of a legal fight in the courts, which is expected next. CIF sent a memo to athletic directors in November with recommendations for Area Placement for the 2014-18 cycle. One of those recommendations included moving Damien and St. Lucy’s, part of the Sierra League and Mt. SAC area, under the Parochial umbrella. That could pair Damien/St. Lucy’s with Bishop Amat, St. Paul, St. Francis or a number of different scenarios when new leagues are configurated.
            Bishop Amat, Damien, St. Lucy’s, St. Paul, La Salle, Pomona Catholic, Bosco Tech all grouped together in CAA league proposal
            Posted on April 24, 2013 by Fred Robledo

            The Catholic Athletic Association voted to approve a releaguing proposal for all sports except football that was submitted by Bishop Amat, Bishop Montgomery, Cantwell Sacred Heart, Cathedral, Don Bosco Tech, La
            Salle, Mary Star of the Sea, Serra, St. Bernard, Saint Joseph, St. Monica, and St. Paul. Barring lawsuits, the new league approved by the CAA will begin in the 2014-15 cycle. I’m posting only the league that directly affects the San Gabriel Valley area, with Damien, Bishop Amat, St. Lucy’s, La Salle, St. Paul and Pomona Catholic all grouped in the 16-team Co-Ed Association league. The CAA will next vote on a football only proposal.

            CO-ED ASSOCIATION A (16 SCHOOLS): Bishop Amat, Bishop Montgomery, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Cathedral, Damien, Bosco Tech, La Salle, Mary Star of the Sea, Pomona Catholic, Serra, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph, St. Lucy’s, St. Monica, St. Paul.

            How it works: With 16 teams in the association, it is now up to the association to group teams into League A and League B by sports, taking into consideration geographic proximity and competitive equity. Chances are, Damien/St. Lucy’s, Bishop Amat, Bosco Tech/Pomona Catholic, St. Paul, Cantwell Sacred Heart, La Salle, Cathedral/St. Joseph and Mary Star will be grouped together in most sports because of geography.
            BREAKING NEWS: Damien headed to the Pac-5 and will be in the same league with Bishop Amat
            Posted on May 7, 2013 by Fred Robledo

            STORY: The Serra League football proposal passed at Tuesday’s Catholic Athletic Association meeting, which puts Bishop Amat and Damien in the same league and both in the Pac-5. What are your thoughts?

            Serra football proposal that passed and will begin in 2014.
            League 1: Alemany, St. Bonaventure, Chaminade, Crespi, Oaks Christian.
            League 2: Bishop Amat, Damien, Loyola, Notre Dame, Serra.
            League 3: Cathedral, Harvard-Westlake, St. Francis, St. Paul
            League 4: Bishop Montgomery, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, La Salle, Salesian, St. Bernard, Verbum Dei.
            League 5: Bell-Jeff, Bosco Tech, Mary Star, St. Anthony, St. Genevieve, St. Monica.

            (Wow! I haven’t cranked out one of those posts in a long, long time. Freddy, it’s like the olden days! Consider it a wedding present. Congrats. You clearly “outkicked the coverage” if you know what I mean)

          • CTS

            Sorry Joe but your hanging on the incorrect word. Nowhere did I say appeal. They decided to FIGHT in court base on the statements within my post. It’s not open for interpataion as its clearly stated in the court documents specifically in the final rulling. I stand by my comments.

          • Dear Sir or Ma’am,

            And I stand by the statement you are unequivocally 100% incorrect. I’m sure you are more privy to “court documents” at this time than I am, but I can assure you I am more certain of CIF procedures than you.

            It’s pretty simple to understand. If you follow the timeline and understand the history of Damien HS, as I’m sure you do ( and I do a bit as well). If you really know that history, you know that as soon as that appeals process began, legal action was going to follow. The last time CIF tried to move Damien a suit was filed as well. I find it interesting you used water polo in your example, as that sport was at the epicenter of the previous suit.

            So here’s how it went. Damien gets moved to the Parochial Area, which groups them with other private schools. Damien loses the appeal to CIF in March of 2013. In April 2013 the proposal for all sports EXCEPT for football is presented (most likely geographic matches Damien/St. Lucy’s, Bishop Amat, Bosco Tech/Pomona Catholic, St. Paul, Cantwell Sacred Heart, La Salle, Cathedral/St. Joseph and Mary Star). In May 2013 the FOOTBALL ONLY proposal was formulated (Bishop Amat, Damien, Loyola, Notre Dame, Serra) . With those TWO proposals on the table, in June 2013 the lawsuit to “FIGHT”, as you say, was filed was filed (you can see the article below)

            Bottom line is, as with many of the schools in the CAA, football only leagues are common and other sports are aligned in Associations or Conferences made up of a couple few leagues so competitive equity can balance quicker than waiting for the next realignment process and schools that play multiple times/week may be closer in proximity. The crux is Damien did not want to compete with the Parochial schools – regardless of what they want to hide behind

            Damien, St. Lucy’s, Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure file federal lawsuit against CIF …
            Posted on June 20, 2013 by Aram Tolegian

            Four Southland parochial high schools are claiming religious bias and lack of due process in a federal lawsuit fighting a California Interscholastic Federation decision to pull their sports teams from mixed public-private school leagues and place them in new leagues made up of predominantly religious schools.

            Lawyers representing Damien, Oaks Christian, St. Bonaventure and St. Lucy’s high schools filed federal lawsuits Thursday against the CIF State office, CIF-Southern Section and Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod in hopes of reversing a decision that would place the schools’ athletic teams in playoff divisions and leagues comprised of parochial schools beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

            The move is an escalation by the schools after they lost their appeals hearing with a Southern Section executive committee in March. At that hearing, attorneys argued from a range points, including religious bias in the case of Damien and St. Lucy’s, to lack of due process for all four schools during their appeals.

            Both Damien and St. Lucy’s are currently in the Sierra League and in the Mt. SAC Area for playoff groupings. Under the new placements, Damien, St. Lucy’s and Pomona Catholic would be moved to the parochial area for playoff and league placement. Pomona Catholic is not part of the lawsuit.

            “They did an area placement and moved three schools from the Mt. SAC Area,” said Los Angeles-based attorney Robert Prata, who represents Damien and St. Lucy’s. “The only three schools they moved from the area are the Catholic schools.

            “They contend they did it on the basis of competitive equity, but no other schools, no matter how good they are, have been moved.”

            In recent years, the Southern Section has gotten a push to separate private and public schools and form leagues consisting solely of private schools. The Southern Section office declined to comment on the lawsuits per office policy during matters of litigation.

            All four schools will begin the final year of the current league and playoff division cycle this fall. The Southern Section holds re-leaguing meetings every four years.

            Although three separate lawsuits were filed on Thursday, an underlying theme in all of them was that the schools did not get proper due process during the appeals phase.

            At the March appeals hearing before Southern Section executive committee, lawyers contend that the schools did not get a fair shake because the committee was not unbiased.

            “Nowhere in American jurisprudence is the entity that hears the appeal the same entity that already decided the matter from which the appeal has been taken,” Prata said. “CIF is mandated under the education code to provide a neutral appeals process. They never did. It was not a legitimate appeals panel.”

      • Stealthyrobert

        Its a better job I never said anything about what division there in we all know that Amat should be in D1

  • Spartan’13

    Everyone on the outside of the dugout here is talking about the same negative stuff most of the parents said. The two that were inside both are in his defense. Who do you think knows more about the truth?…just saying

    • CTS

      Spartan’13 it’s great that you had a good experience and I am genuinely happy you had a good experience as did my son. However there are plenty of players who did not which is the real issue. You say the program is successful…on what level. Wins and loses…ah No battling for 3rd year in and year out doesn’t cut it. Championships..ah No. one year to the semi will only get you so far and Coach Leyva got all the miles he could get out of some of his playoff wins. Program structure…ah No there is no harmony at any level of the program as Coach Skip quickly pigeon hold kids that were threats to the chosen ones. Development ah No…there were kids in the program that have been pushed aside and forgotten about or labeled. Leadership ah…No. every coach on the team is a lightning rod to say the least each playing favorites and often putting their own egos first. Player satisfaction….ah No. at least 10-12 transfers out of players of all types in my sons 4 years. So will all do respect young man your myopic views of your experiences are not enough to measure success of the entire program. Good luck to you.

  • Annonymos

    I love how these parents all complain about the coaching, but they’re not doing anything about it. There is a new rule in favor of the players, it’s called the 30 day rule. All you need to do is transfer! I sat back and complained about my son’s prior school’s baseball program just like most of you and I finally said, “I need to make a change if I want my son to get more time on that field!” I knew he was good enough to be a starter but the coach didn’t see it. His grades were average and I wanted those to be better also. I told his coach a few times that he played different positions and he pitched, the coach said “Yea, I know” and made him start against their rivals and he did great, but he was done at that point and he asked to be transferred, so we did. So many people told me I was nuts for transferring my son from a big school to go to a small school with, at that time, was a subpar baseball team. At that point there wasn’t a 30 day rule, it was a one year sit out and he accepted the suspension. Now, fast forward 3 years and he has a great scholarship, he has been on the All CIF first team 2 years in a row. I’m sure a few of you know who my son is and know our story, and that’s fine, moral of this story is, don’t settle for what one coach, or program thinks of your son. There are a lot of schools out there that want and need your son’s talent. Don’t be afraid to make the change it will benefit him in the long run. And let’s face it, high school baseball doesn’t get you to the next level, travel and scout ball does. It’s what you do outside of high school that gets your name out there. It’s a lot of hard work on parents as well as kids. I do not know Leyva, but coaching isn’t an easy job, if it was, most of you would be doing it. Dealing with parents is not an easy thing to do, believe me, I’ve dealt with it, just read some of the posts on here.

    So, long story short, if you’re not doing something about the problem, you’re part of the problem. It’s very easy to complain and point fingers’ it’s a lot more difficult to do something about it. If enough people leave and speak to administration something will get done. It’s your child, fight for his best interest and his future.


    A parent who’s been through it and got his kid through it better than when he started.

    Good luck!

  • staelthyrobert

    You all want to talk about “Bozo the Clown” Gabe Lopez was at Amat baseball class today. The Admin telling the kids its part of the interview process to see a couch run a practice.Lets see who gets a chance to run practice tomorrow. Not only is the admin lying to themselves there lying to the kids and the parents.They fired Nieto and had this all set up. The program is in shambles