Matt Maeda didn’t need to share personal data about his health.

The longtime San Gorgonio High athletic director was allowing us to peer into his world.

It was a genuine struggle for him that he was forced to grapple with COVID-19 after a 30th anniversary trip with his wife, Kristina, to Texas late this past summer. He’s not exactly sure where he corralled the virus.

Maybe it was Los Angeles International, or their airplane ride to Texas, or going to a ballgame, or two (where attendance was open for a few thousand fans, unlike his home state), or even at a few historical sites.

Opening up his world for others to see isn’t really Matt’s way.

Opening up his world to save pain and agony for others is really Matt’s way.

That’s what it was all about.

* * *

Isaiah Simmons, a pass-rushing linebacker for the playoff-bound Arizona Cardinals, is driving me crazy.

He wears jersey No. 48, which bears some similarity with Kylie Fitts’ No. 49. So when Simmons sacked Seattle QB Russell Wilson Thursday night, Nov. 19, I started writing the notation that the ex-Redlands East Valley defensive giant, Fitts, had himself a sack.

That is until Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Joe Buck called out Simmons for the tackle.

Fitts, the well-traveled football player from San Bernardino, plays special teams. During a second half physical skirmish, he was spotted in the midst of it all.

* * *

There’s a 13-minute video out in YouTube land with retired cyclist Phil Gaimon, a two-time Redlands Bicycle Classic champion, giving a nice rendition of the race, which could see its second straight cancellation in 2021.

We’re hoping for medication to save 2021.

On Gaimon, it’s part history lesson, part law enforcement, part cycling humor, part travelogue.

I always seem to catch a little hell from anti-cycling readers who believe high school sports ⎯ or anything else besides cycling ⎯ trumps anything the pro cyclists do on local roads.

Any time I post a cycling note, I’ll get more than a handful of notifications that I missed something else in Redlands that should’ve been published.

There’s room for everything that’s news … provided I hear about it.

Gaimon’s YouTube video is refreshing, entertaining and something I wish I could’ve provided for my readers.

* * *

It’s starting to be made quite clear on just how Aquinas High is pulling off all this football success. They produce good players.

Joshka Gustav is playing at Colorado.

His older brother, Joshka, is at small school Morningside ⎯ an NAIA powerhouse. In Joshka’s three previous seasons suiting up with the Mustangs, he’s played on two national championships.

NAIA ⎯ National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics ⎯ is a small-schools brand of NCAA. Different rules. Different approaches.

Defensive mover Sione Lolohea, who’s at Oregon State, only adds to the Aquinas-to-Pac 12 list. He’s getting time on special teams as a freshman. Something tells me that he’ll be a force in the coming years.

Oregon State needs a force.

By the way, the answer is no. Lolohea’s Oregon State won’t be playing Joshka Gustav’s Colorado team in Pac-12 play this season.

There would’ve been further growth on that Aquinas-to-Pac 12 list if superstar RB Branden Rankins had wound up at Utah. Rankins, who piled up around 9,000 yards rushing in four varsity seasons, was a bounce back to Fullerton Junior College.

Kaleb Hayes, incidentally, off those real good San Gorgonio High teams, is a cornerback at OSU. He was one of those growing list of top Spartans’ QBs, leading the Spartans to a 2016 CIF championship, throwing for 135 yards and running for 131 more in the title game.

Nate Meadors was one of those QBs. So was CIF Player of the Year Jordan Pachot.

Curious how both Meadors (UCLA) and Hayes were moved to the secondary once they got to college.

* * *

San Bernardino Unified Schools opened with its first workouts last week ⎯ Wednesday, Nov. 18 to be exact ⎯ eight months after the fact.

Not since March has that legion of schools ⎯ Arroyo Valley, Cajon, Pacific, San Bernardino, Indian Springs and San G ⎯ seen its swimmers, runners, ballplayers, shooters, kickers and other genuine athletes collectively surge through the tennis court entry ways.

Compared to, say, Yucaipa and Redlands districts, which opened on Oct. 1, it left San Bernardino schools training well behind the scenes.

Get ready for it, area sports fans. Absence of a vaccination, it doesn’t seem logical that prep sports is set to play.

Complain all you want, parents. We’re in that same line of complainants.

* * *

I’m betting there isn’t a single solitary voter in this readership that ever believed they were granting Gov. Gavin Newsom the play-or-not order the last time he was on the ballot.

Question: Would you change your vote if you knew? Just asking!

(Got a sports tip? Want to chat sports? Contact me at baseballolb@hotmail.com.)

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