Sunday, May 29, 2022

YMCA Basketball and LOTS off EuroBall Action


Mon.-Sat., May 23-28, 2022

The BIG deal of the week in Camarillo was grandson Jacob's basketball at the local YMCA.

Let's get right to it . . .

Was it a shot or was it a pass?

Jacob is primarily a defensive specialist usually assigned to guard the opposition's best player. Here, I think he was attempting a shot, you can hear Laurie expressing her thought that it was a pass.

Chime in if you care to.

Cut off the other club's top scorer

On him yet again


Helping out on a crafty ball handler

A little late to disrupt her shot


The Fast Break is on!

Back to defense

No doubt about it,
this one was a shot

Post game, at our house, after
a burger, a Mr. Softee ice cream
and a trip to the First Up Sports
trading card store

The joys of being a new found NFL fan.

Lots of news from EuroBall this weekend.

Spain's Serie A Championship Game
resumed after a week on Saturday

You may recall that the game was
suspended late last Saturday night
due to an electrical storm with ten
minutes to play in the Fourth Quarter

The Osos, who I helped coach in 2016, are based in a Madrid suburb and were leading 28-12 when the lightning started striking last week.

Ricardo Martín is the Osos Head Coach and a good friend.
No more scoring on this Saturday

With the win, the Osos won their second Serie A Championship in their program's history.

In 2001, the Osos defeated the Zaragoza Lions 21-7 for their first National Championship. Ventura County legend Chris Pagliaro and his son were the coaches of that club.

The Osos have also been to three other title games but came up short each time losing to the Badalona Dracs 52-12 in 1999 and 14-8 in 2002. In 2012, the L'Hospitalet Pioners beat the Osos 47-24 in the championship contest.

As for the Las Rozas Black Demons, this was their third straight Serie A Championship Game loss. Their other two losses were both to the Badalona Dracs, 47-6 in 2019 and 31-21 in 2021.

The Italian DII Playoffs
started on Saturday

The 5-1 Varese Skorpions were
hosting the 3-3 Padova Saints

This was a Quarter-Final game between the #2 seeded Skorpions and the #7 seeded Saints.

I enjoyed both the excellent live
stream of the game and the
Mercy Rule at this point on the game

It's a WRAP!

Here are the complete Quarter-Final DII results:

#1 Torino Giaguari (7-0) 36 - #8 Torino Reapers (2-5) 22
#4 Bergamo Lions (6-1) 36 - #5 Cernusco Daemons (3-4) 21

#2 Varese Skorpions (6-1) 42 - #7 Padova Saints (3-4) 6
#3 Savona Pirates (5-2) 43 - #6 Ferrara Aquile (3-4) 0

The Semi-Finals will be played on the weekend of June 11-12, with these match-ups:

#4 Bergamo Lions (5-1) at #1 Torino Giaguari (7-0)
#3 Savona Pirates (5-2) at #2 Varese Skorpions (6-1)

It should be a tough one for the Skorpions as the Pirates are on a five game winning streak.

The Skorpions Ricky Crosta
was the top rated QB during the
DII six game regular season

Ricky threw a whopping FIVE TD passes against the Saints in Saturday's playoff game.

USA Colleges are becoming more
and more aware of the talent to
be found in EuroBall

We shipped three boxes like
this one to a club in Lithuania,
the Klaipėda Corunians

They will soon receive 23 shoulder pads and 20 game jerseys to help get their team off the ground.

Reading Is FUNdamental!

The body count could have been higher

Crime in Italy always
makes for a good read

Life continues to supply us with lots of smiles.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Jacob and the 2022 Hap Rapp Memorial Track Meet

Fri.-Sun., May 20-22, 2022

On Saturday, Laurie and I joined Michael and Jacob for a loooooooong day in the warm California sun.

The reason for our meeting was a good one as Jacob was participating in the 61st edition of the Hap Rapp Memorial Track Meet sponsored by the Camarillo Rotary Club. Since 1960 Rotary has brought together the city of Camarillo's elementary and middle school athletes at Camarillo H.S. for a fun filled day of running, jumping and shot putting.

Due to the Covid pandemic, it was the first Hap Rapp Memorial Track Meet since 2019.

Jacob's father, our son Michael, had run in this same meet as an eighth grader back in 1990 representing Monte Vista Middle School.

Jacob was entered into the long jump, the 100 meter dash and would be part of the Tierra Linda Hawks' fourth grade, 4 x 100 meter relay team.

The competitions were all divided into ten divisions, five boys and five girls, as well as by grades, four through eight. Thus, in Jacob's first ever track meet, he was vying against other fourth grade boys in all of his events.

It was a good day for track

Jacob's first event would start at
about 8:00 a.m. in the area to the right

Jacob airborne in his first event,
the Long Jump

Here is Jacob's final, and I
think, best attempt

No distance's were posted but we thought that he was having fun.

His next event was the 100 meters dash which started about three hours later.

Jacob is in Lane #1 in his
100 meters dash, Heat #4

He tied for second in his Heat

We were all excited to see his name in lights.

In about four more hours, his 4 x 100 meters relay team ran their race.

Jacob is in Lane #9, next to the fence,
running the third leg of the relay

I thought that he ran a solid leg in catching up to the runner in Lane #8 who was way in front of him when he got the baton.

I think that Jacob had a
great time today

We finally left Camarillo H.S. a little over eight hours after we first arrived. How we've missed these fast moving, well organized Saturday track meets.

We both missed seeing
Miss Mary this week

As for the EuroBall front . . .

The Spanish Serie A Championship
game kicked off on Saturday in Madrid

It just didn't end this weekend.

With about ten minutes to play in the Fourth Quarter and the Osos Rivas leading 28-12, the game was first stopped for 30 minutes due to light strikes in the area. With the torrential conditions not abating and it getting late into the night, the game was eventually suspended.

They'll being finishing the game some time next weekend.

Only in España . . .

The Catania Elephants win over
the Cagliari Crusaders puts them
into the Italian DIII playoffs

I'm led to believe that our favorite DIII club, the 2-2 Elephants (#2 in Girone A), will now open the playoffs on the road against the 3-1 Bologna Doves (#2 Girone I).

The DIII playoffs start in two weeks.

As for our Varese Skorpions,
they will start their playoff run
next weekend

2022 Italian DII Playoffs
#1 Torino Giaguari (6-0) - Girone A #1*
#8 Torino Reapers (2-4) - Girone A #3

#4 Bergamo Lions (5-1) - Girone B #2*
#5 Cernusco Daemons (3-3) - Girone C #2

#3 Savonna Pirates (4-2) - Girone C #1*
#6 Ferrara Aquile (3-3) - Girone A #2

#2 Varese Skorpions (5-1) - Girone B #1*
#7 Padova Saints (3-3) - Girone C #3

* Home Team in First Round Games

It was yet another great weekend to be alive!

Friday, May 20, 2022

A Wonderful Weekend in the Carmel Valley


Fri.-Thurs., May 13-19, 2002

A great road trip to report along with lots from the world of American football in this post.

The journey started last Friday with Laurie and I riding in the comfort of our car North along the California coastline to the beautiful new Carmel Valley home of our long time friends Helen and Rod Fujita.

They had moved from their home in Camarillo about a year ago to be closer to their three granddaughters. That coupled with the pandemic meant that we had not seen them for a long, long time. It would be good to see them again.

First, we had to travel the 285 miles from Camarillo to Carmel Valley. There was simply no way that we could travel that far without stopping for sustenance.

But where?

Laurie used Yelp to find this
hidden Central California gem

Cubanissimo is located in a strip mall in the tiny city of Orcutt just South of Santa Maria. Of course, there just had to be a cigar store next door.

Besides Cuban serving Cuban coffee and food, they hold free salsa dancing classes on Tuesdays nights, just saying . . .

Cool Cuban signs

Conga drums for bar stools

Good idea.

The map of Cuba was a good touch
but would their food be at all authentic?


This is now our go-to stop on any future trips North towards San Francisco.

A couple more hours of driving and we were in Carmel Valley.

The view from their new digs

The Bunk Room

This room featuring four built in bunk beds really caught my attention.

Their son Scott is also our Godson
and had a splendid NFL career as a LB

He was the 5th round draft pick, pick #143 overall, of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2002 draft.

He spent three seasons (2002-2004) with Kansas City before going to the Dallas Cowboys for the 2005 campaign.

Scott was also played for these
two NFL clubs

As a starting LB for the New Orleans Saints (2006-2009), he experienced the ultimate NFL experience when the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, 31-17, over the Indianapolis Colts in Miami's Hard Rock Stadium on February 7, 2010.

He ended his 11 year NFL career with a three year stint as a Cleveland Brown (2010-2012).

Scott's replica of the Super Bowl XLIV
Vince Lombardi Trophy

On Saturday, Laurie and Helen
strolled along the beach in

Laurie liked this artsy photo
that she snapped

While the ladies were strolling,
Rod and I attended a youth track
meet at Seaside H.S.

The Fujita's grand-daughters were all involved.

Their son Scott holds the position of Head of School at All Saints School. From all that we saw this weekend, he is doing an outstanding job!

An excellent choice for a Saturday
brunch in quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea

Yes, this village does draw a
somewhat of a Bohemian crowd

Has our old Varese Skorpion friend
Enzo Petrillo opened a ristorante
in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

If so, he is definitely NOT
charging Italian prices

Yet another Italian dining spot

Famous for their scones, we had
all enjoyed the Tuck Box years ago

NEWS FLASH from Camarillo

Jacob's team won their game on Saturday,

Saturday's sunset

Sunday Mass at Monterey's
San Carlos Borromeo Cathedral

Built between 1791-94, it is the oldest continuously operating parish and the oldest stone building in California.

This Cathedral wall is ancient
by California standards

The Paris Bakery in Monterey
was the perfect spot for a post-Mass
pain au chocolat

The backside of Monterey's
old Golden State Theatre . . .

. . . and its front side

The Golden Poppy is
California's State Flower

While walking along the coast in
Pacific Grove we saw this interesting
home that has this . . .

. . . peaceful view of Monterey Bay

Part of a long mural depicting the
history of the people who lived in
and settled the Monterey area

After our nice walk, we decided
that it was time for sustenance

A bowl of Swiss onion soup
hit the spot!

Another morning, another
gorgeous view from the Fujita's patio

The Carmelite Monastery

I thought they were chairs for short
legged people but they were actually
kneelers inside the Monastery's church

I liked it but, which Pope is it?

An ornate baptismal fount

I like the look of this bush

After four fun filled days, we started the long trip home via the scenic backroad between Carmel Village and the bustling community of Greenfield on Highway 101.

An old barn in the middle of nowhere

A random cow watching me take
that photo of the barn

The Paso Robles Public Library
just before we ate lunch

Paso Robles artists . . .

. . . seem to like butterflies

We both loved this piece of art
dedicated to Paso Robles' music scene

On Wednesday night, out in Las Vegas,
the soccer team that our son Andrew
coaches and includes our grandson Kevin,
played their last game of the Spring season

They finished in second place in this season's 12U Boys AYSO Region 1258 league.

While Laurie liked this one . . .

. . . I was partial to this sign

News from the world-wide American football front . . .

The 2022 Los Angeles Rams
schedule was announced this week
Now if I could just raise enough money to afford a ticket . . .

Early Saturday morning I had to watch
the Oxford Lancers at Cambridge Pythons
game from the United Kingdom

I was interested in this game because one of the Cambridge coaches, Steve Guy, had contacted me a few months ago about sending the Pythons a set of used, high end Under Armour jerseys courtesy of Agoura H.S. which I gladly did.

Entering the Fourth Quarter, the Lancers held a seemingly commanding 12-0 lead.

Not so fast my friend!

A furious Fourth Quarter rally by the Pythons made for a most improbable ending between these long time British rival universities.

Historically, the American football series between these two institutions is relatively new but is still intense. 

I watched the live streaming of
Sunday's game from Bergamo, Italy

It was the last game of the regular season for both the Bergamo Lions (5-0) and your favorite Italian DII squad, the Varese Skorpions (4-1).

This contest was chock full of both Girone (Conference) B championship and DII Playoff seeding implications.

If the Skorpions were to claim a Girone B Co-Championship, then they had to beat the Lions. If they wanted to be the Tirone's top seed going into the playoffs, then they would have to win by a minimum of four points as the Lions had won the first game between these two high flying clubs, 31-28.

If the Skorpions could pull off the 4+ points victory, they should also be no worse than the #2 seed in the upcoming FIDAF DII Playoffs.

Mission Accomplished!

According to this FIDAF chart,
the 5-1 Skorpions will indeed be the
playoffs #2 seed

The #1 seeded Torino Giaguari are the Champions of Girone A with the only 6-0 record in DII this season. The Savona Pirates (4-2) are the Girone C Champions and will be seeded third because of that championship that trumps the fourth seeded Bergamo Lions (5-1) better season record.

There is one make-up game left in the DII season that will be played this weekend that has huge bearing in the final Girone A standings. The Reggio-Emilia Hogs (1-4) will visit the Ferrara Aquile (2-3). The Hogs won last weekend's game over the Aquile, 12-0.

If the Hogs win again this Sunday, then we would have a three-way tie for second in Girone A. The Hogs, Aquile and Torino Reapers would then all be knotted with 2-4 records.

It would be much simpler if the Aquile won this game to improve to 3-3 and gain sole possession of second place in Girone A.

The DII playoffs will be finalized after the Hogs-Aquile game with the quarter-final games being played on the weekend of May 28-29.
The Italian DI Championship will
be played in Bologna on July 2nd

The DII Championship will be
contested in Milano on June 25th

I found out that the DIII Championship will kickoff on July 24th at a yet unknown site.

I liked it much better the way FIDAF held the Championship Weekend back in 2019 with all three games being held in the same stadium on the same weekend. That year, the DII game was played on a Friday night in Milano with the DII and DI games played as a doubleheader on Saturday. It was a great way to unite all of the Italians with a passion for American football, in my opinion.

The Spanish Serie A Championship
Game will be live streamed this Saturday

One of our former teams, the 9-0 Osos Rivas will, for the third time this year, take on the Las Rozas Black Demons (6-3) having beaten them twice during the regular season.

Finally, our first ever EuroBall
club, the 1-2 Catania Elephants
will host the 2-1 Cagliari Crusaders
on Saturday

The Elephants need to win this regular season ending game to make the DIII playoffs which start the weekend of June 4-5. DIII features 36 teams divided into nine girones which each play a ridiculously short four game regular season.

Now, after this fascinating week, what will the coming few days bring . . .