Monday, September 18, 2017

Of Warriors, Flashes, Cardinals, Ninja Sharks, Redskins, Rams and a Night on the Town

It was another fun week in Southern California . . .

It started with the arrival
of a new sign for our . . .

 . . . EuroBall collection

Eleven EuroBall experiences with nine clubs in ten years of retirement has been a GREAT thing.

Where to next?

Of course, 45 years of coaching
at five Ventura County High Schools
has been rewarding too

Tuesday and Wednesday would be dedicated to interviewing the coaches and observing the practices of this week's Ventura County Star Game-of-the-Week podcast teams.

It will be the 107th renewal of Southern California's longest standing rivalry between the Santa Paula Cardinals and the Fillmore Flashes.

This rivalry started in 1924 and Santa Paula will enter Friday's contest leading the series 60-39-1.

 First up, interviewing
Coach Mike Montoya
of the Santa Paula Cardinals

This is SPHS mascot Joe Cardinal, not Coach Montoya.

Santa Paula is the bigger of the two schools playing this Friday with an enrollment of 1,650 students. Fillmore only has 950 students. These schools representing two agriculturally rich communities are separated by only ten miles of nothing but orange and lemon orchards.

A rare pass at the SPHS practice

The Cardinals rely
heavily on the run

These stands should be packed on
Friday for this HUGE rivalry game

Tackling Drill

Double Team Block Practice

Flash Man

On Thursday I interviewed Fillmore's Corey Cole who is Ventura County's youngest Head Football Coach at 24 years of age.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day to
practiceKickoff Returns at FHS

 Lots of Kickoff Returns it turned out

On Thursday night, many retired Rio Mesa H.S. teachers and their spouses gathered at the Vintura Wine Rack to hear one of our own's debut as a performing artist.

A small part of the crowd
backstage at the Vintura Wine Rack

Karen Pecht performing

The former RMHS English teacher was AWESOME!

We all enjoyed a great night out on the town listening to her previously unknown talents.

 Friday Night Lights Time!

The 0-2 Fillmore Flashes

The 1-2 Santa Paula Cardinals

These were the SPHS stands at
4:30 p.m. for the JV game!

All the fans from both schools sit on this side of the field as there are no stands on the visiting side.

It is the same set-up when they play this game at Fillmore H.S.

 Mike Contreras joined us at
the game and for a pre-game meal

 Mike sporting a Fundo Bianco
t-shirt during pre-game warm-ups

The Fundo Bianco was the Catania Elephants' team bar when we coached in Sicily in 2008 and 2009.

The Cardinals' #28 Tim Luna
rushed for 197 yards and two TDs

 Fillmore's #60 Marshal Martinez
pressuring SPHS QB Anthony Cancino

Cancino throwing a strike

Fillmore's Angel Segovia picking
up some tough yards

Overall, it was a sloppy game with lots of penalties including a bizarre one on Santa Paula for Unsportsmanlike Conduct as they broke the offensive huddle.

There were seven turnovers as well but the Santa Paula Cardinals prevailed in the end 28-0. 

On Saturday the Ninja Sharks took on the Thunderbolts in a titanic AYSO contest!

Young Jacob seemed ready for
a battle in this fuzzy photo

Coach Mike Contreras
getting his players into position

Jacob during one of the periods
when he was out of the game

 Team bonding

OK, he IS only five years old

 Last instructions before the
start of the second half

 Jacob in the action

Wrong sport Jacob but . . .


Proud Grandparents
after the game

 Coach/Dad and Mom
were proud too as Jacob
played hard and scored a goal

Sunday was Game Day of a far
different sort!

It was the 0-1 Washington Redskins visiting our 1-0 Los Angeles Rams.

At the Expo/Sepulveda
Metro Station

It was only $3 for parking as opposed to lots around the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum charging $50, $80 and even $100 to park!

The 15-20 minute tram ride was smooth and much more peaceful than fighting the traffic near the Coliseum.

Jacob and Mike
both die-hard L.A. Rams fans

That being said we all die often as Rams fans.

Lots of Washington Redskins
fans were in attendance

Picnicking before the game
with, thankfully, friendly
Redskins fans

 Jacob with a cut out of
Jesus Clemente

Jesus wore Rams gear to a Rams game last year when he was visiting us but is a big Redskins fan.

Thus we brought him to the game with us in spirit at least.

Laurie was concerned as even more
Redskins fans arrived

Fortunately for us it was not a scalping party.

 Jacob being recruited
away from the Rams?

HTTR is an acronym for Hail to the Redskins, Washington's Fight Song. 

 With a Todd Gurley fan

Almost there

Laurie and I took a seat under a tree for about 15 minutes while Mike and Jacob checked out the Rams Fun Zone.

Jacob said that the
Rams Cheerleaders


Tattoo Time

Jacob LOVES Police Officers

Big dogs not so much.

 His current career path
is to join the Army and
become an MP

Maybe I should get him started on Jack Reacher novels.

 We are finally inside the
venerable L.A. Coliseum

Gigi and Jacob
working their way to our seats

Jacob loving the view

We usually buy programs at the games but at $16 per program we passed.

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins
being sacked

A rare Ram tackle against a
Redskin ball carrier

The Redskins rushed 39 times for 229 yards and two TDs.

Dreadlocks . . .

. . . flying EVERYWHERE!

 The Redskins kicked . . .

. . . two Field Goals

Where is everybody?

The crowd of 56,612 was at least 50% in favor of the Redskins, disappointing if you are a Rams fan.

And we all are.

The Coliseum has a seating capacity of 93,607.

QB Jared Goff
surveying the defense

Rams RB Todd Gurley
had a good day

One of his two spectacular
hurdles in the game

 Same hurdle opposite view
ended with . . .

. . . a twisting dive for

Hurley rushed 16 times for 88 yards and a TD.

He also caught three passes for 48 yards and another TD.

Despite all of his efforts . . .

. . . the Rams dropped to 1-1

To put things into perspective,
 the Battle in the Stands was
INTENSE as well!

The post-game meal at
Bad Ass Tacos in
Thousand Oaks

Reading Is FUNdamental

Another great crime novel
from Sweden!

After a slow start, it really got rolling, a good read.

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