Matt Sartori, an ex-Wildcat runner who’s been coaching Redlands East Valley’s track & field/cross country teams since 2014, isn’t calling it completely quits on his own athletic career.
Last winter, for instance, Sartori showed up for the Houston Marathon.
That’s not all.
“I want to see if I can make the Olympic Trials,” said Sartori, whose REV cross-country team took fifth in last year’s California championships.
“I need back-to-back 2:16s (that’s two hours, 16 minutes) to get into that (Olympic) range,” said Sartori, who works anywhere between 20 and 100 miles a week on his own.
At Houston, Plantar Fasciitis kicked in at around the 20-mile mark, forcing Sartori to radically slow that pace needed.
Plantar Fasciitis is what’s slowed plenty of pro athletes, including the Angels’ Albert Pujols.
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I’m amazed to see curious college connections between Citrus Valley High football and, say, Lake Erie College, of Plainsville, Ohio. They’ve been in touch with the Blackhawks’ QB-receiver tandem of Dylan Wheatley and Ty’Jhon Bolton.
The Storm brings ’em in from everywhere — Florida, Texas, Washington and plenty of spots up and down California, like Oakland, Victorville and Fontana.
Those guys put the ball in the air, too, averaging close to 300 yards a game. Seems to be able to fit the skills of Wheatley and Bolton.
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In case no one’s monitored this, longtime San Gorgonio High baseball coach Bill Eatinger called it quits a few weeks back.
He retired as both a teacher and as Spartans’ coach. It was, he said, that online distance learning that drove him nuts. Here’s a guy who showed up to teach P.E. — he was a science teacher, originally — and put 175 kids a day through a routine.
How do you do that effectively online?
“Distance learning isn’t working,” said Eatinger, “but I don’t know what the answer is.”
Eatinger’s connections in the coaching world are immense. Seems like a lot of them connect with Redlands.
Eatinger could start mentioning names like ex-Terrier Scott Russell, the brilliant tactician and discipline-style coach long ago from Rialto High — followed there by Darren Espinoza, who’s now teaching at REV after a coaching stint at Citrus Valley.
Steve Hernandez put REV baseball on the map, having also coached Pacific and Fontana.
Hernandez, incidentally, is the one who pegged Eatinger for the California Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“Obrey,” Eatinger told me one day, “I sure hope you haven’t written anything yet. I left out Leon Baham as one of my favorite coaching buddies.”
He hates to leave anyone out, but there was also Mike Reh (Colton), Jon Austin (Cajon, Citrus Valley) and Redlands’ Estevan Valencia.
FYI: Baham lives in Redlands.
FYI II: Eatinger’s daughters went to REV, I believe.
Here’s a note on baseball coaches: Those 25 to 30 games their teams play each spring is nothing when compared to a similar number of games played during a Fall Ball schedule.
Coaches aren’t typically paid for Fall Ball. It’s just that if you don’t do Fall Ball, you’re not going to have many high hopes for the spring.
Thirty years for Eatinger? That’s 60 seasons, counting fall and spring. Throw in a few summers, too.
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Still hard to get over watching a highly successful softball coach like Brandon Ford move from Redlands to Redlands East Valley.
Geographically, it’s just a straight shot from the Lady Terriers’ diamond along Citrus Avenue to that back gate at REV, where the Lady Wildcats’ softball field sits.
It’s only a few miles, but it’s even further on that path of wearing Terrier blue to REV red.
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It wasn’t all that many years ago that a volleyball game between Redlands and Yucaipa unveiled a remarkable on-court duel.
Boys volleyball, that is.
Yucaipa’s Kyle Taylor, a senior, and Redlands High junior Cal Mende were the spotlight players on the court. The year, 2013.
Taylor, sporting a vicious right arm with a 6-foot-4 frame attacking Redlands’ defenses, would often spot a 6-foot-10 Mende on the opposite side.
In years ahead, Taylor would wind up, among other places, at USC while Mende played a strong career at Penn State.
Yes, the two squared off against each other in the college ranks.
Taylor, meanwhile, not only played at USC, California Baptist University-Riverside, plus a couple of junior colleges — slowed by injury — also played four seasons on the pro Beach Volleyball circuit.
In fact, he’s running a beach volleyball camp these days.
More on that in coming weeks.
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Tyler Harp is a rarity for these waters.
Which waters? We’re talking about swimming pools at both Redlands High and the local university.
Dude swam the third leg of the CIF Division 1 championship 4 x 50 freestyle relay back in 2008 for the Terriers — 1:34.21 with Nolan Brown, Austin Brown and anchor Joey Hale pitching into that mix.
Four years later at the University of Redlands, Hale captured the NCAA Division III title in the 200-freestyle in 1:37.51.
I don’t think it’s been done — ever — that a local swimmer has won a CIF title for the local high school and an NCAA title for the local university.
Harp will join a handful of others in the Bulldogs’ athletic Hall of Fame next year.