A trio of high school seniors — 6-foot-5 twin brothers Garrett and Zack Selby — are headed for some major college. So is their Redlands East Valley High water polo teammate, Kyle Lamegh.
“Ivy League … Brown University … MIT,” were a couple of college campuses that came out of their Redlands East Valley water polo coach’s mouth.
“These guys are brilliant.”
Ryan Williams, who coached REV to CIF prominence with a largely freshman squad in 2015, notched a Southern Section Division 5 championship that season. Once the CIF, as expected, move them to a higher division, REV’s growth in polo was, well, either sink or swim — pun intended.
Williams, whose teams have reached a couple of CIF semifinals at higher divisions in subsequent seasons, seems to be inferring that it’s their intellectual capacity as well as their academic success that’s led to brilliant years in REV’s pool.
During an Oct. 17 chat on polo, Williams kept referring to his squad — “great guys,” “amazing kids,” or “awesome players” — and other such references during a 20-minute chat.
There was a reason for such reverence.
“These guys are going to be my bosses someday,” said Williams, “and maybe yours, too.”
My advice was to steer them away from a career in newspaper work. “There’s no money there,” I said.
“Or,” he said, “on a coach’s salary, either.”
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Make note of this fact: Golf may not necessarily be top priority in this whole outcome of duels between Redlands High and Citrus Valley High.
Mackenzie Farmer, who teaches chemistry at Redlands while coaching Lady Terrier golfers, noted she has players that participate in Associated Student Body, yearbook and Kimberly Juniors.
The top priority is grades and sportsmanship.
Team GPA is 3.78, said Farmer. “They beat the boys’ (golf team’s GPA), so they were happy.”
Patalano noted his team’s GPA is above 3.5. “We battle it out with badminton for the best (GPA) on the campus.”
Citrus Valley coach Meredith Day — who is Farmer’s sister, incidentally — has a squad that’s nearly as high on the GPA charts.
They told Highland Community News reporter-photographer Jason Miller — who showed up at Arrowhead Golf Club in San Bernardino to shoot a photo of them back on Oct. 9 — “they’re in it for the sportsmanship.
“Tell Obrey,” they told Miller. They were, perhaps, worried that I was presenting a story that the Horton sisters — Meredith and Mackensey grew up as siblings in a home presided over by Shirley and Greg Horton — were at each other’s throats.
Nothing would’ve been greater, by the way, to discover that these were unrelenting, overly competitive, in-your-face type coaches that might lead to a remarkable story.
Instead, they’re promoting grades and sportsmanship. Folks, that’s golf in a nutshell.
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I really thought that, someday, USA cycling star Taylor Phinney would land on a team at the 36-year-old Redlands Bicycle Classic. His dad, Davis, not only showed up here as part of legendary Team 7-Eleven, back in the 1980s, but he won convincingly in 1986.
Taylor, meanwhile, retired last month at age 29.
“I think his best years were ahead,” said Redlands Bicycle Classic official Scott Welsh.
“He is a phenomenal talent.” You must have an “insane drive to stay at the top.”
Said Welsh: “And I think he is wired a little differently than the typical pro.” Phinney, the son of 1984 U.S. Olympic medal-winning cyclists — Davis, his dad, plus his mother, Connie Carpenter — won the Dubai Tour, won a solo victory at the Tour of California, even won a U.S. time trial championship.
In 2012, he scored a major victory at Giro d’Italia.
There was a 2014 crash, however, that rocked his world. Compound fracture. Left tibia and fibula. Severed patellar tendon. Busted kneecap. Doctors doubted he’d ever return. Re-learned to ride a bike.
Finally returned, won a USA spot at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Top 10 at Paris Roubaix. Finally, after years as a rising star — stumbling due to the crash — he got his first Tour de France spot in 2017, even winning King of the Mountain jersey for awhile.
“Sad,” said Redlands Classic official Craig Kundig. “Pretty beat up.”
Even before Phinney rode in his first professional race, he was signed, sight-unseen, by Jonathan Vaughters, team manager for Slipstream Cycling. Age 16.
Vaughters won at Redlands, 1998.
Thought we’d see him here, folks.
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Redlands High distance runners on a downward spiral? That’s what we were spinning last week, noting that Rod Anzai, the longtime Lady Terriers’ distance-running coach, had left the program a couple years earlier.
The guy was tough, a stern disciplinarian in fact, which probably led to his departure.
Despite the top 10 finish of Serena Plumb, an All-CIF qualifier, and Chelsey Romo at the CBL finals back on Nov. 2, the Lady Terriers had some presence in an otherwise all-Yucaipa team title.
Blowback on that spin followed.
Numbers are down, says one coach. Plumb and Romo should not be related to that “downward spiral?” (Did Anzai coach them, one wonders?)
Anzai made a difference, said another coach. Only if he “connected” with those kids.
A third point was simple: Not a single CBL team has taken down Yucaipa in recent years — minus, of course, Redlands East Valley’s sensational boys this season.
Bottom line on the downward portion wasn’t to target Plumb, a two-level athlete who will likely swim and run track this spring, or Romo — the CBL’s defending 800 champion.
Why this matters: Redlands has long been a distance-runners’ haven. It’s targeting the future.
All high school campuses need cross country runners to mount up.
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