-Did USC’s real football troubles start the year when the Trojans reneged on their scholarship offer to Redlands East Valley’s Kylie Fitts? Just asking …
The Trojans’ coach at the time, of course, was Lane Kiffin, who graphically under-achieved. Fans, as we around Redlands understand, is that Fitts graduated at mid-year, 2012, to accept his full-ride scholarship to USC.
Wait a minute! The Trojans were in the midst of lining up a 5-star recruit from Florida. Exit Fitts. Enter 5-star recruit. Only one scholarship remaining. Fitts goes on to UCLA, eventually landing at Utah before getting drafted and, eventually, cut by the Chicago Bears.
He has landed on the practice squad for the Arizona Cardinals.
USC has been excitingly average ever since that debacle.
We’re left to just one conclusion around these parts. Fitts’ treatment has started a Trojan jinx. Not sure how to correct it, either.
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Sean Haney, a bigwig with Redlands High Hall of Fame committee, is seeking the names of all coaches at RHS before 1950. Lemme know when you come up with them, so we can pass them on to Haney …
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Which local business will be the first to pay a local athlete for advertising a product? A newly signed bill by Gov. Gavin Newsom, allowing collegiate athletes to be paid, will into effect in 2023. He signed the Fair Play for Pay Act, which can allow athletes to be paid for product endorsements — not for universities to pay its athletes.
Can an NCAA golf contender earn money from a local car lot in an advertising campaign?
How about an All-American goalkeeper, who might be partial to a local pizza hub?
Sure, the attention seems to be focused on the highest level of college athletes, but there’s always a trickle-down effect to the lower levels of NCAA. Always.
Much, much, much more to come on this. Lots of questions to be asked. The NCAA’s in an uproar over this. The NCAA, incidentally, is the ruling body for both the University of Redlands and Cal State San Bernardino. A further question: Can high school athletes participate?
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Jeff Hibbs of Highland remembers playing on the same Redlands High golf team as Dave Stockton, the son of former PGA regular Dave Stockton, way back in the 1980s.
He’s put his time in coaching high school golf teams at Redlands East Valley.
“Dave Stockton (the dad) helped me so much with my short game,” said Hibbs, who played on some strong Terrier teams.
These days, Hibbs is working the sideline chain gang at Citrus Valley football games. It’s one example of yet another local participating in sports-for-students …
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John Maloney, who is REV’s retired principal, introduced me to Citrus Valley assistant coach Phil Zelaya last Friday night. Actually, we’ve met, especially when Zelaya was coaching down Interstate 10 at Fontana Kaiser.
Zelaya and Maloney shared spots on the Bloomington High staff back in 1999 when the Bruins won a CIF football title under head coach Richard Smith, who’s now at Redlands coaching track.
Zelaya, incidentally, coached Fontana Kaiser to CIF glory. He inherited the program from Dick Bruich, who often stands in the end zone at his son, Kurt’s, games.
“This guy,” Zelaya said, referring to Maloney, “gave me some great memories.”
“I like the idea of winning CIF,” said Maloney, whose REV campus provided him with six such banners — three in girls volleyball, one in boys wrestling and water polo, plus football — before he retired.
These days, he’s subbing as Grand Terrace High’s principal.
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Great catch, readers — a thick layer of sarcasm completely intended here — on last week’s note on one of this year’s Terrier Hall of Famers, former Redlands High swim coach Erik Dahnke. No one else, apparently, caught this, except me.
I quote my own piece on Dahnke’s spectacular career … “19-year span in which he guided the Lady Terriers to 22 straight CBL titles, 19 of those coming on his watch …”
Bad editing, bad readership and, of course, bad writing.
How can a coach win 22 straight titles over a 19-year span? Maybe he coached 19 championships over 22 years, perhaps.
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The full roster of 2019 Hall of Famers: Back-to-back CIF champion tracksters, paced mainly by Juanita Webster, Margaux Jones, Claire Crowley, Karen Jacobs, Maddy Jordan, Allison Crowley, Alisha Edwards, Savanna Miller and Jillian Sanchez scored the points from those two CIF Division 2 finals team in 2014-2015 — coached by current school 400-meter record holder April Berry.
It was April’s dad, Steve, who took place in some Hall-bound relay teams from 1964, including an 8-man mile relay squad that took second at the L.A. Coliseum in an event called the Olympic Festival.
The team: Steve Huffstutler, Charles Dixon, Frank Nagy, Bob Thomas, Mike Hernandez, Rick Paxton, Gidcumb and Roger Cox. Gidcumb, Huffstutler, Cox and Hahn also scored in a 4 x 220.
These are events no longer on the books, folks.
Softball’s Narissa Marie Garcia, a 4-year stud, especially in the pitching circle — showing up at Azusa Pacific — drew plenty of praise from longtime successful coach Brandon Ford.
Joey Hale, a swimmer whose 50-yard freestyle record of 19.95 is still on the books as a CIF-Southern Section record, may well be the headliner for the entire class of 2019.
Enjoy the weekend, Hall of Famers!
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