Chasing down Dave Aranda last week was a problem.

You can’t blame any of those surrounding circumstances. Guy’s a busy man. Little did I know.

On my texting cycle to him: “Obrey here,” I wrote, “wondering when you might have some time to chat.”

It’s a typical greeting/request for someone that’s just finished helping coach his LSU team win the NCAA major college football championship.

Sure. There’s lots going on. Then all the news really started crashing in.

From Highland reader Mike Murphy: “Saw in the paper that Dave Aranda got the job at Baylor.”

“The job,” incidentally, was as the Bears’ head coach.

Baylor, known in recent years for some real shenanigans. Ethical problems. Firings. Women’s rights issues.

But … Power 5 conference. Second place in this year’s Big 12 Conference race, 11-3 overall. Sugar Bowl champion. Crawling out of those dilemmas.

Truth be told, it was many more people than Mike coming through on this.

This is big news, folks. Sometimes, your humble correspondent is the last to hear the “big news,” so I appreciate all the reach-outs.

As predicted a few weeks earlier, Sports Illustrated writer Ross Dellenger came through with an article on — who else? — Aranda.

It wasn’t just on the Baylor news, either, but a smallish feature on the young man. His roots. Redlands. Quotes from Miguel Olmedo, his Redlands High defensive coach. How he loves Christmas tamales. All those high school injuries. Turns out it was six surgeries, not four.

How his parents, Paul and Marguerite, raised two boys — Dave and Mike.

After all that, I’m still looking for him. His hometown newspaper has some questions for him. Right?

If that wasn’t enough, on Friday I was standing at Yucaipa-based Pep Boys waiting to log in my wife’s car for service. On the overhead TV — tuned in, naturally, to a sports station — there it was, along the crawl.

“LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda accepts the job at Baylor.”

It got even worse.

At that very moment, LSU was visiting the White House. So much for getting hold of a suddenly very un-holdable guy.

I’d promised my Redlands Community News editor that we’d have something this week on Aranda. Turns out his success will lead to my demise.

* * *

Story to come on Autumn D’Arcy, one of this area’s prime time swimmers, who’s now at Cal State Bakersfield. One story that won’t make the piece is about her Ken Hubbs Award, so we’ll share it here:

The Redlands East Valley graduate, 2018, copped the coveted award that spring. It was a nice graduation gift, for sure. The Hubbs Award, around since the late 1960s, is this area’s most prominent prep award.

Her coaches — REV’s Brad Terwilliger and private coach Martin Gregoire, a French-Canadian who has coached Canada’s Olympic teams in the past — were on hand to watch D’Arcy’s name get called that night.

“It’s super heavy. I offered to give it to the school,” she said.

She said that Athletic Director Rhonda Fouch told her to keep it.

“All the names,” she said of the other Hubbs nominees, “and their accomplishments. Incredible. I never thought I’d have a chance to win. There were so many people that participated in so many sports.

“I only competed in swimming.”

As for Fouch’s directive to D’Arcy to keep her Hubbs, it was simple: “Another person had won the Hubbs Award … and it got vandalized.”

It was either the trophy from Ronnie Fouch, her son, or Jaelen Phillips — the only other REV winners of the Hubbs.

There was, at the 2018 Hubbs ceremony, a standing ovation for D’Arcy. “Fun and crazy,” she said. In fact, that’s the word in D’Arcy’s piece: Find a way to have fun.

* * *

Hoping for the best on Matt Andriese’s trade from Arizona to the Angels last week. The Anaheim-based team says the ex-Redlands East Valley fireballer will have a shot at a starting rotation this season.

Imagine being a teammate of Mike Trout.

* * *

Can’t believe it’s taken this long for that inevitable uprising about Redlands East Valley going without a sports stadium. Ever since 1997. School board meeting, last week. Parents on the attack.

For openers, how many club-connected soccer players have chosen not to play for their high school team because of field issues? Most campuses have a few.

Think about it: Wildcat athletes — soccer, track & field and football — have managed to win, win and win over those two-plus decades.

REV’s girls have reached the CIF soccer finals, not to mention what the amazing boys’ program has done — much of it at AYSO Park, of course, away from the REV non-stadium. (REV can now play the remainder of this season over there.)

Track & field: Let’s top that list with Elias Opsahl, a state metric mile champ, having trained on that REV dirt track.

Football? Try 15 straight playoff seasons, plus that 2014 state title — playing all its games on the road.

Believe this: Throughout the years, many people have tried to stir up district forces to get that stadium built. There’s even been talk of the Band of San Manuel Indians ready to help out that cause.

Much more to come on this, but REV parents — taxpayers, school supporters, active participants in their kids’ educations — always have to squeeze in somewhere on a hill to watch their kids play.

Terrier and Blackhawk parents get an entire stadium to themselves.

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