Maybe it’s crossing the line in labor negotiations, but one person after another kept roiling me over the battle between Redlands Unified and its servants, the teachers and certified staff.
It’s the classic ploy — union versus management. Lots of tension building.
Longtime Redlands coach Coy Glass pulled me aside, blood boiling, just before last week’s San Gorgonio-at-Redlands kickoff, saying, “Do you have a minute to talk?”
For an old story tipster? You bet. I’ve gotten loads of story tips from this guy over the years. Go ahead.
“You’ve got to do something on this,” he said angrily. “We’re not getting what we deserve.
They’re giving raises to administration, but their offer to us isn’t anywhere close to what we deserve.”
Moments earlier, a couple security guards manning the gate were up in arms over negotiations. It’s at impasse. Both men were saying the contract is up again next year.
One security guard predicted, “They’ll probably give us three percent this year and three percent next year.That’s six percent.”
Bottom line: Who’s really responsible for the district’s success? All but one of 32 neighboring districts, according to data, are getting paid more than Redlands educators.
The scary part is simple: Suppose Redlands adopts the same method as Bloomington’s district? Educators, coaches apparently included, went home at the final school bell, not participating in extra-curriculars.
That apparently led to a resolution. In Redlands, it’s frightening to think about coaches walking off the job. Citrus Valley, Redlands East Valley and Redlands comprise half of the Citrus Belt League.
All those football and volleyball games, cross country meets and water polo duels could be headed down the drain.
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Hat’s off to handfuls of Redlands readers who’ve contributed some fairly significant story ideas in the first few months of this new publication. Trust me on this: Without them, it doesn’t work.
Steve Chapman, past president of Redlands Baseball For Youth, plus varied roles in the major breadwinner of sports fundraising, the Redlands Benchwarmers, among his other participation, might serve as the perfect tipster for anyone in media.
Rachel Roche — more on her in weeks ahead — probably doesn’t get enough recognition as sports information director at the local university. One chat with her is worth, maybe, a couple dozen story ideas.
Former Redlands East Valley principal John Maloney — who’s subbing at Grand Terrace High in the same role, incidentally — has some interesting commentary on campus sports. What’s needed is chats with other high school principals.
Significant chat with onetime major college footballer Sam Trad, a past Benchwarmer president, who has insight into lots of prominent history on this city.
These are all breadwinning tipsters. If I just hung around folks like that, this publication would never cease to have good stories.
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Ralph Perez, who serves as a media contributor for the L.A. Galaxy with a lifetime of soccer-coaching expertise, is back to coach the University of Redlands.
Expectations are always high for a Bulldog squad that’s two victories away from giving Perez his 200th career win at Redlands (198-62-18).
It’s grind away in that SCIAC, where there are very few easy matches.
Just take the Bulldogs’ final four games of 2018 — a 2-1 overtime win at La Verne, a 1-0 triumph at Claremont-Mudd, a 2-1 overtime win against visiting California Lutheran, capped by a SCIAC Tournament loss to Occidental, 1-0.
There are no “gimmes” at the Farquhar Field complex, which has become a spotlight of entertaining, hard-nosed soccer play every season since 2000. Catch a match sometime. You’ll have a hard time finding any better soccer action in this city.
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Two retiring athletic trainers — Mike Sola from San Bernardino Valley College and Redlands East Valley High’s Skip Hill — certainly crossed paths on many occasions.
Said Hill: “There plenty of times I’d fill in for Mike over at Valley.”
These guys hang together, speak the same language, solve the same injuries, suffering through similar issues.
Speaking of Hill: When the story of his “retirement” hit these pages a few weeks ago, I don’t think I’ve received as many social media “hits” on anything I’ve written — ever.
The guy’s about as popular as anyone on a high school campus could be — coach, teacher, principal, counselor, you name it — and those people all favor kids.
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I like to comment on current motion pictures that are sports-related.
This being a sports section, we’re sort of obligated to alert readership. Right?
Thumbs up to films like “McFarlane, USA,” “Creed,” “42,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Coach Carter,” “The Wrestler,” “Invictus,” thumbs down to “Moneyball,” “Secretariat” (nowhere close to the real story), “Blind Side” (same complaint) and “Seabiscuit,” which destroyed Laura Hillenbrand’s marvelous book.
So we have “Overcomer,” which isn’t even based on a true story. That’s OK, isn’t it?
“Overcomer” is showing at Harkins in Redlands, much more than a film about a dire situation for a high school cross country team.
We all know that fictional Hannah Scott will somehow rise to win the “state” championship — that’s a given in these types of movies, right? — but the way she goes about pulling it off is pretty enlightening.
Lots of up and down moments, plus a few chuckles. Example:
“Dad, you said cross country wasn’t a real sport.”
Let’s call it faith-based, PTA type entertainment.
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Redlands: A baseball community that nearly died a few decades ago. Honestly.
There were a few men that stepped up to zap this city into modern times on the diamond.
More on that in coming weeks.
Got a sports tip, some rumblings, or just chat about sports? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.