Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Week in Review

WOW! This was a busy week as we crisscrossed southern California a couple of times.


The first big event of the week was the C.I.F. Water Polo Semi-Final Playoff match between our #1 seeded Rio Mesa Spartans, the Pacific View League champions, and the #4 seeded Walnut Mustangs, the San Antonio League champions.

The game was played at a neutral site in Orange County, the William Woolett Aquatics Center in the city of Irvine located about 100 miles south of Rio Mesa.

Rio Mesa's Danny White about to score on a penalty shot.

Among the fans who made the trek to the O.C. were Brian and Koreen FitzGerald

Koreen absolutely HATES seafood but promised the team to eat an ENTIRE skewer of BBQ shrimp if they won.  They came through with a stirring, come from behind 8-7 victory so we drove to the famous Crab Cooker in Newport Beach to meet our friends Loren and Sandy Brucker so that she could uphold her end of the bargain... WHAT A TEAM PLAYER!!!

Don DiDomizio, who lives in the O.C., was a GREAT option QB for Rio Mesa H.S. in the early 1990's.

Danny White, R.M.'s star player, is Don's cousin so he came to the pool to watch us win.


Ann Marostica is a Science teacher at Rio Mesa by day but loves to dance in her spare time.  On Wednesday night, in beautiful Santa Barbara, she and seven of her dance troupe friends put on a dance show at the SoHo Restaurant.  About 50 members of the Rio Mesa Spartan family made the 40 mile drive north to support Ann.

They danced extremely well and a good time was had by everyone in the packed house that wound up being a "Standing Room Only" affair!!!

The vivacious Shi Young Kim, an R.M. Art teacher, joined Brian FitzGerald for dinner before the performance started. 

One of the funniest and brightest new faculty members at R.M., Yen Lam, a Math teacher for the Spartans, and her friend Justin made it to Santa Barbara too!


Back to the O.C. for the C.I.F. Water Polo Championship Game starting at 10:45 a.m.  This required us to leave Camarillo by 8:15 to make the drive allowing for possible but unlikely traffic problems on a Saturday morning.

Seattle's Best Coffee and the La Quinta Baby

We arrived in Irvine at about 9:50 after an easy drive, so we stopped for coffee at this shop just a few blocks from the pool.

We were treated to this bagel chomping baby whose mother is a teacher at nearby Garden Grove's La Quinta H.S.

The coffee was pretty good too! 

Terry Henigan

I first met Terry in 1980 in the parking lot of Cerritos College at the Southern California Interscholastic Football Coaches Association Clinic.  I was the Head Coach at Westlake H.S. at the time and there had been an article on our league championship team's running the Delaware Wing-T offense which was virtually unheard of in California.  Terry had seen the article and was a Wing-T coach himself along with his friend Dick Shelko at Morreno Valley H.S.

For the first time all three of us had someone to talk to DIRECTLY about our offense as opposed to reading about it in books and magazines.  It was a start of a good friendship and we even flew back together to watch spring practice at the University of Delaware!
The pool our team was playing in today was right next door to Irvine H.S.  We had to walk by their football office to get into the pool and lo and behold, out pops Terry when he saw me through the window!  They have a first round play-off game tonight vs. Westminster.

Irvine's Football History

It is safe to say that Terry and his staff know how to coach football!!!

The William Woollett Aquatics Center

Pictured are just some of the U.S. Olympians who have trained in this three pool complex.

The Venue for the 2008 C.I.F. Division VI Water Polo Championship Game

#1 seeded Rio Mesa vs. #2 seeded Crescenta Valley, just like the experts thought it would turn out.

My wife, Laurie, graduated from Crescenta Valley but today she was a Spartan!

R.M. Coach Derrick Timmons cheering the Spartans on a fast break after the Falcons missed a shot.

The Rio Mesa Fan Base travelled well!

That is the Oxnard Union High School District's Athletic Director, Tony Diaz, in the front row left, talking with Rio Mesa Principal, Ray Gonzales, sporting the dashing mustache.

We lost a heartbreaker 9-10.  It is hard to take now but what a GREAT job the team did this year representing our school!


Nothing can bring my spirits up after a tough loss like a good meal so we drove north about 10 minutes to Anaheim to visit the Downtown Disney area of Disneyland.

Mickey can just take away all of your sadness without trying too hard!

First decision, which restaurant to eat in?...

... LOTS of good choices...

In Italy we used a large Margherita pizza as our standard to judge if a ristorante was overpriced or a good deal.  The rule of thumb was 5 Euros, about $7.50, was a fair price for this delicious but relatively plain pizza.

How about paying $25.50 for a large Margherita pizza?

No wonder Mickey has that big grin on his face!  Sell a few of these babies and he is taking Minnie on a six month cruise around the world!!! 

How big would the "Family Size" have to be to make it a deal at $37.50?

We opted for the ESPN Zone

Good food at a FAIR market value AND a bazillion TV screens all showing college football games!

The Black and Blue Burger, which includes Gorgonzola cheese, was AWESOME!

The House of Blues would have been a good choice too.

People promenading through
"The Happiest Place on Earth"


I even got to dream about being a World War I fighter pilot.

Brandon Bennett's Willamette University team improved their record to 11-0 by handing Occidental College, 9-1, their first loss of the season by a score of 48-33.  They will play the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater next Saturday in Oregon in an NCAA Division III second round playoff game.

My Washington Huskies (0-10) went to Pullman for the Apple Cup Game vs. cross state rival Washington State (1-10).  It marked the first time in college football history that an 0-10 team was favored to win by 7 points on the road!!!  The Cougars had, after all, given up over 60 points four times this season and their only win was vs. Division I-AA (I know they changed this division's name to something else but remember I still call San Diego's Stadium "The Murph")  Portland State.

We LOST 13-16 in DOUBLE OVERTIME after WSU kicked a field goal to tie the game at 10-10 with no time left in regulation!  We have one more game in two weeks at the University of California.  If we lose that one to finish the 2008 season at 0-12, then I will have witnessed two perfect season's in my lifetime by the Huskies.  The other one was the 12-0 1991 National Championship season... such symmetry to one's life experiences!  Stay tuned...


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you watched the Toilet Bowl, er, Apple Cup like I did coach! It's nice to see the Huskies snatch the 'worst team in the Pac-10' title from the Cougars grasp! ;-)

Go Cougs


DPLassen said...

Run, don't walk, to the phone and see if you can get the Huskies on Catania's schedule this coming season.

George said...


I see the Cougars get a reward for winning the Apple Cup with their trip to Hawaii this weekend.

Dawg fans must wait another two weeks to put 2008 to bed in Berkeley. The masochist in me says to go to the game, I just don't know anymore...