Coach complaints, Redlands' tennis, REV baseball and bikes

Team California rides in the Redlands Independence Day parade on July 4 in Sylvan Park.  Redlands Bicycle Classic organizers had booths at Sylvan Park and in Ted Runner Stadium before the fireworks.

Let me lead off with this parent story: A mom complained to former Redlands East Valley Principal John Maloney about her daughter’s basketball coach.

Not getting enough minutes. Mean in practice. Disrespectful. Whatever. Who knows?

The principal called the coach in for a chat.

The player, mom and situation were all identified.

Coach, confused, asked Maloney, “are we talking about the same person?”

Maloney backgrounded the whole thing: Turns out the coach had supplied this kid with at least two pairs of basketball shoes, cash for drug store products (notice we didn’t say cash for drugs) and lunch money — because the mom couldn’t. And didn’t.

Truth is, the coach picked up roughly a $3,000 stipend for a season. In reality, he probably spent $6,000 on various team-related expenses.

Who’s next up to complain about a coach?

***

There was a heavy Redlands High influence in the University of Redlands men’s tennis match against Pomona-Pitzer back on May 3.

Redlands freshman Jansen Comadena and Pomona-Pitzer sophomore Brysl Libao, former Terrier teammates, were going at each other in the SCIAC men’s tennis semifinals.

Though they didn’t actually play each other — that would’ve probably been way too much for anyone’s heart condition — both captured their respective matches.

Truth is, Comadena and Libao were teammates on a pair of Redlands High CIF championship teams — back-to-back title wins over Laguna Beach in 2016 and 2017. Libao, an NCAA Division III All-American this past season, graduated from RHS while Comadena played on a 2018 CIF title squad.

That’s a pair of CIF Division 4 titles, plus a Division 2 championship for anyone counting.

In one hearty coincidence, Jansen’s dad, Sean — the longtime boys and girls coach at Redlands High — is a U of R assistant coach to Geoff Roche, a 20-year man.

***

In rebuilding a championship tennis team, Redlands East Valley’s boys squad has assistant coaches Terry Forrester and Richard Blackey, both teaching pros, plus head coach Ed Stark, a social studies teacher who has been a teaching tennis pro.

They’re all lifers in tennis. Stark likes the differences in each man’s approach, perhaps leading to the construction of a singles lineup and a philosophy on building up doubles teams.

Throw in David Braxton, who has the private gig on Tyler and Brandon Davis. There will be a story on Tyler Davis later this summer. In fact, it’s already completed. Y’all can just wait.

***

Any behind-the-scenes look at organizing the 35-year-old Redlands Bicycle Classic would reveal massive workloads, intense expertise and full devotion to pull that thing off each year.

Their meetings are like mini-City Council sessions, checking on money, developing projects, past projects, assignments, goals and ambitions.

Most people see the riders. Most people don’t see the workload just getting this race on the roads.

Part of that workload, incidentally, was organizing the Classic’s Fourth of July booth — both for Sylvan Park and inside the University of Redlands’ Ted Runner Stadium.

Starting from the top, President Marc Shaw, emails were dispensed to one committee member after another — Melissa Valdez, Lisa Purcell-Rorick, Eric Reiser, Julie Waite, Craig Kundig, Eddie Evans, Daney Baichu and a bunch of people that help organize the race each year.

It’s the committee’s continuing goal to keep the Redlands event in the public eye, especially on behalf of its name sponsor, San Manuel.

***

For the first time in well over a decade, Redlands East Valley failed to reach the baseball playoffs in Division 1. Citrus Belt League champion Yucaipa coach Ralph Grajeda took issue with that outcome.

He noted the Wildcats’ record was seven games over .500.

San Clemente, which made the field, was one game over .500 at 14-13-2.

Grejada, whose T-Birds saw a lot of strong teams this season, said REV (17-10) deserved a post-season berth.

“Those REV kids battle and they play hard,” said Grejada, who went out of his way to laud REV. “I’d have put them in ahead of San Clemente. I’ve seen what D-1 teams are like. REV was just as good.”

Part of the problem, of course, is that there aren’t CIF committee members from this area. It’s a thorny issue because a heavy confluence of influence is felt around Orange County pollsters and, maybe, a few in the Los Angeles County area.

“We’re out in the sticks,” said Grejada.

San Clemente was bracketed against top-seeded Orange Lutheran, losing 3-0 in the opening round. Grajeda was certain REV should’ve been in that spot.

***

Speaking of baseball: C’mon, that Tyler Chatwood double off Matt Andriese? Late April showdown. Extra innings. A couple of former REV players? Both pitchers. Chatwood’s a Cub. Andriese is a Diamondback.

Wonder if either one will square off against Jacob Nottingham, the catcher-in-waiting for the Milwaukee Brewers? Nottingham’s a Redlands High product.

Someone should notify Brewers’ announcer Bob Uecker about this possible connection.

Or Diamondbacks’ color man Bob Brenly.

Or even Cubs’ tandem Len Kasper and Pat Hughes.

It’d make for a better broadcast.

Go on, someone, get it done. Then let me in on it.

Got a sports tip, some rumblings, or just chat about sports? Hit me up at obrown@redlandscommunitynews.com.