Sunday, March 26, 2023

A Good Week and Another Camarillo Cosmos Track Meet

Sun.-Sat., March 19-25, 2023
We were pleasantly surprised on Monday
morning when we dropped the grandkids off at their school . . .

Jacob had earned a Student of the Week
Award from his teacher Mrs. Siuta


As has been the norm for the past three months, I spent much of the week traveling to Pasadena to visit my Mother in her Skilled Nursing home.

While her overall health continues to decline slowly, Thursday's Pet Day at the nursing facility gave her an incredible boost of energy for a couple of days at least. It is amazing what cuddling with some fluffy kittens can do for the human spirit.

It was now Saturday, so we assembled at Camarillo H.S. for the third track meet of the 2023 Camarillo Cosmos season. Teams from the Gold Coast Spartans and Ojai Roadrunners would join in the fun today with the Cosmos.

Mary and her pig tails were
warming up for a big day

First up for Mary was the Long jump

Mary Airborne

Watch out for that wild pig tail!

Jacob's day started with the
third leg of the 4 x 100 Meter Relay

The Handoff was interesting

Jacob's 4 x 100 Meter Relay leg

Mary lined up to run the anchor leg
of her 4 x 100 Meter Relay

Go Mary GO!

Now it was Jacob's turn on the
Long Jump runway

Crazy hair for Jacob in the
Long Jump just like Mary

Jacob got a Personal Best in the Long Jump today.

Mary was solid in her 400 Meter Dash
She took Third Place
in this grueling event

Jaq, Oona, MARY, Maddison, Rynn, Adelynn . . .

Old school works for me.

Michael and two Moms
taking photos

All three volunteer to walk participants to their races and opted to stop and watch their three daughters running in the same heat of the 100 Meter Dash.

Brooklyn on the left and Mary
on the right are classmates

Looks like Brooklyn is surging ahead

Mary still recorded a Personal Best in the 100 Meter Dash in her fourth and final event of the day.

Jacob ran a Personal Best in
the 100 Meter Dash today

Jacob speeding by us in the
200 Meter Dash
His running form looked
MUCH better today

Go Jacob GO!

Jacob took a First Place in his Heat
on his first ever attempt at this distance

He was extremely happy with his performance.

This was Jacob's fourth event but he was not done.

Jacob ended the day by running
a leg on the 4 x 400 Meter relay

Because it is so hard to get enough runners to run in this meet ending event, the rules allow any runner that wants to put it on the line one more time can, even if it is his or her fifth event of the day.

Both Jacob and Mary had good, positive days today as did we.

Meanwhile, in EuroBall action . . .

I spent most of Sunday and Monday working on the Varese Skorpions HUDL app breakdown the Skorpions recent game against the Verona Mastini in order to provide the coaching staff with analytical efficiency information on all phases of their game, Offense, Defense and Special Teams. Additionally, I provided video cut-ups of various down and distance situations to help the coaches and players analyze their performances.

I also spent time doing the same type of work in breaking down the videos of the Skorpions next opponent, the Parma Panthers game vs. the Milano Rhinos.

It is tedious work but it keeps me involved with a team that provided Laurie and I with a ton of cherished memories.

The Skorpions had a BYE in Week #4

It was the Italian Football League's
Fourth Week of Play

The Skorpions play in the IFL, Italy's top league, a.k.a, Division I. 

I am concerned about the state of affairs in the Italian American football scene since Covid suspended the 2020 season before it began.

My first year coaching the Skorpions in 2018, we had ten clubs vying in DI, 24 in DII and 38 in DIII. That's a total of 72 clubs in action just six seasons ago.

Moving ahead to 2023, Italy now has nine DI squads, only 13 DII teams and 28 clubs in DIII. It adds up to only 50 teams in action, a precipitous drop of 22 clubs. This concerns me greatly.

Dolphins (2-0) 47 - Ducks (1-1) 22
Guelfi (3-0) 49 - Frogs (0-2) 28
Panther (1-1) 25 - Stainless Steel Warriors (0-3) 16
BYES: Mastini (0-2), Rhinos (2-0) & Skorpions (1-1)

1. Fiernze Guelfi 3-0
2t. Ancona Dolphins 2-0
2t. Milano Rhinos 2-0
4t. Lazio Ducks 1-1
4t. Parma Panthers 1-1
4t. Varese Skorpions 1-1
7t. Legnano Frogs 0-2
7t. Verona Mastini 0-2
9. Emilia Stainless Steel Warriors 0-3

Saturday & Sunday, April 1 & 2, 2023
Skorpions (1-1) at Panthers (1-1)
Dolphins (2-0) at Guelfi (3-0)
Frogs (0-2) at Mastini (0-2)
Rhinos (2-0) at Ducks (1-1)
BYE: Stainless Steel Warriors (0-3)

Reading Is FUNdamental!

American in Cuba before, during and
after the Spanish-American War of 1898

This historical novel provided me with lots of interesting background into a war that only lasted from April 21, 1898 to August 13, 1898.

That's less than four months. I never realized how quickly Spain's glory days of empire had ended.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Jacob's 11th Birthday and Another Cosmos Track Meet

Sun.-Sat., March 12-18, 2023

An up and down week to report in this post.

My Mother continues to battle in her skilled nursing home in Pasadena but the toll of her struggles continue to become more apparent upon every visit to her.

Before visiting my Mother last Friday, I dined in La Cañada-Flintridge with old chums Paul Sabolic and Michael D'Antuono. As is the norm, we had a lot of fun during our two hour lunch that definitely bolstered my spirits. Thank you gentlemen.

Team Party at Pizza Man Dan's

Jacob (#5) had his Wildcats basketball team's end of the season party on Tuesday night.

I love these youth sports low key, post-season get-togethers.

The pizza was pretty darn good too.

If it's Saturday, then
there MUST be a Track Meet

The Camarillo Cosmos were taking
on the Oxnard Stars at Oxnard H.S.

In one of these Cosmos youth track meets there are a total of 11 events.

Eight of these events are races that occur on the track: 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, 1600 meters, 3200 meters, 4 x 100 meters and 4 x 400 meters.

The three field events are the Long Jump, High Jump an Shot Put.

At the end of the season, the Cosmos give out an Iron Man/Woman Award to all of their athletes that compete in all 11 events during the course of the season.

While grandson Jacob is all in on this quest, granddaughter Mary is not so sure.

After two track meets, Jacob has competed in these six events: the 100, 400, 800, 4 x 100, 4 x 400 and the Long jump. If he is to earn an Iron Man Award, he will have to squeeze in the 200, 1600, 3200, High Jump and Shot Put in the next four Cosmos track meets. Athletes are only allowed to compete in four events per track meet.

It is good to have goals.

Our day started in the Long Jump pit

Jacob really likes this event

Third and final jump


Sandy Landing

Fly Mary FLY!

Mary loves this event too!

I missed getting a photo of
Mary in the 400 Meter Dash but
she did win her heat!

Mary's anchor leg rivals being
led to their baton pass zone for the
4 x 100 Meter Relay

Running the anchor leg in the 4 x 100

Mary has opted to run in the same four events in the first two meets of the Cosmos season: the 100, the 400, the 4 x 100 relay and the Long Jump.

Running the Third Leg in the 4 x 100 relay

During a lull in the track meet
Michael and I caught a half inning
of the Santa Barbara H.S. at Oxnard H.S
baseball game

The visiting Dons (7-5, 5-1 CL) cruised a 10-2 Channel League win over the Yellowjackets (5-5, 1-5 CL).

Santa Barbara's 5-1 Channel League mark ties them for first place in the eight school circuit with Buena and San Marcos.

This O.H.S. Record board
drew our attention

Oxnard H.S. is one of Ventura County's oldest institutions of learning having been founded in 1902.

We took a closer look

Note the Boys Shot Put record of 56'3" by Bud Houser set in 1922!

Lemuel Clarence "Bud" Houser

Houser competed in the California State High school Championship Track Meets on 1920, 1921 and 1922 where he won both the Shot Put and the Discus all three years. These six triumphs earned him the Outstanding Athlete of the Meet award all three years.

At his Oxnard H.S. graduation ceremony in 1922, there was a surprise announcement that the school's stadium would be forever known as Bud Houser Stadium.

Houser went on to compete at the University of Southern California which led to a career as a dentist.

While competing in USA National Meets, Houser won the Discus National Championships in 1925, 1926 and 1928. He one the National Championship in the Shot Put in 1921 while only a Junior at Oxard H.S.! He went on to win the National Championship in the Shot Put again in 1925.

In 1926, during a USC dual meet at Stanford, Houser set a then World Record in the Discus with a throw of 48.20 meters.

Houser won Gold Medals in the Shot Put and Discus at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games in 1924. He won a third Olympic Gold Medal in the Discus at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Houser is the last man to win Olympic Gold in the Shot Put and Discus in s single Olympiad.

For his athletic prowess, Houser is a member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

In 1983, Houser was part of the five person Inaugural Class of the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame with pro and college football coach Jack "Moose" Myers, sports promotor Henry Olivas, major league baseball player Fred Snodgrass and NBA star Jamaal Wilkes.

Meanwhile, back on the track at Bud Houser Stadium . . .

Mary is showing herself
be a good sprinter

It definitely has nothing to do with my side of her gene pool.

Mary racing to the finish
line in the 100 Meter Dash

Jacob's 100 Meter Dash

Jacob in the second spot for the
moment in his first ever
800 Meter run


Jacob's 800 Meter running form
was holding up well

Taking a quick peep at his fan club

At the conclusion of this event, his day should have been done as he had competed in his allowed four events: the Long Jump, 100 Meters, 400 Meters and 800 Meters and 4 x 100 Meter Relay.

But it was not the case, the final event of every meet is the 4x 400 Meter Relay. This tough event comes after a long, hard day of competition for all of athletes, many of which depart the stadium with their parents after their last event of the day.

Thus, as an incentive to the hard core among us, an athlete can run in the 4 x 400 even if it is his fifth event of the day which it was for our favorite Iron Man award seeking Cosmos.

Looking good

Reconsidering his life choices

We are all really happy with our grandkids being part of the highly positive Cosmos program.

Besides the track meet, Saturday was also a special day for the family . . .

It was Jacob's 11th Birthday!

After the track meet, party at Jacob's house!

Another fine rendition by the
Mormon tabernacle Choir

Of course he got presents . . .

. . . and a hug from Mary

Extremely happy with his new
Los Angeles Rams hoodie

In more news from the world of American football both foreign and domestic . . .

Thousand Oaks H.S. donated
lots of Shoulder Pads for needy
teams around the globe

Doug Dagan of Dagan Sales and
Marketing similarly donated lots
of clothing samples to our
international efforts

The logo of the Bulgarian Federation
of American Football

Within 24 hours of getting the word out through my EuroBall contacts, we got word from the leader of a new club in Bulgaria, the Ruse Bulls, that they would take everything we had to offer.

Let the shipping begin!

The Ruse club is so new that they still are trying to settle on a fierce logo for their Bull christened program.

 The famed Bull Rhyton from
the Borovo Treasure might be a
good start for that team logo

This bull is on display in Ruse's Regional Museum of History and dates from the first half of the 4th-century BCE.

I love these EuroBall
game day posters

This one is for our beloved old club, the Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons game this week.

Our dear Varese Skorpions had their
second game of the DI season on Saturday

These two clubs were the last two teams to win DII championships before promotion to DI. The Mastini were DII champs in 2021 while the Men of Varese won it all in 2022.

Both teams had lost their season openers and neither wanted to sink to 0-2 to start the year if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive.

An IMPORTANT win for the Skorpions (1-1)
over the Verona Mastini (0-2)


Italian Football League Week #3 Results
Skorpions (1-1) 35 - Mastini (0-2) 21
Guelfi (2-0) 34 - Stainless Steel Warriors (0-2) 7
Rhinos 21 - Panthers 14
BYES: Dolphins (1-0), Ducks (1-0) & Frogs (0-1)

Italian Football League Standings
1T. Firenze Guelfi 2-0
1T. Milano Rhinos 2-0
3T. Ancona Dolphins 1-0
3T. Lazio Ducks 1-0
5. Varese Skorpions 1-1
6T. Legnano Frogs 0-1
6T. Parma Panthers 0-1
8T. Emilia Stainless Steel Warriors 0-2
8T. Verona Mastini 0-2

Italian Football League Week #4 Schedule
Saturday-Sunday, March 25-26, 2023
Ducks (1-0) at Dolphins (1-0)
Guelfi (2-0) at Frogs (0-1)
Panthers (0-1) at Stainless Steel Warriors (0-2)
BYES: Mastini (0-2), Rhinos (2-0) & Skorpions (1-1)

Fifty years ago Thousand Oaks H.S.
won the Marmonte League Championship

I had so much fun reuniting last August for the 50th Anniversary of our 1972 Lancers' Marmonte League title winning club that I decided to try and organize another such celebration this coming August for the 1973 championship team.

I spoke with Thousand Oaks new Head Coach Ben McEnroe and he was excited to bring the old guard back on campus.

Our reunion will revolve around what should be a dandy of a 2023 season opener as the Lancers (10-1, Canyon League Champions in 2022) will host the Santa Barbara H.S. Dons (9-2, Channel League Tri-Champions in 2022) on Friday, August 18th.

We already have eight members of the team committed to attending just 24 hours after first getting the word out on social media.

That is a deep thought

Reading Is FUNdamental!

Historic Charleston, lost Civil War treasure,
two people missing since the 1930s
and their ghosts haunting a 200 year old house undergoing restoration

How could you not love this book?