Take a look at the Minnesota Vikings’ 2019 season transactions at some point.
Back on Sept. 28, the team signed WR Davion Davis to the roster. That same day, they cut CB Nate Meadors, the San Gorgonio High product. Seems like a perfectly justified move, especially since the Vikings were set in the secondary and needed depth at wide receiver.
A couple weeks earlier, while celebrating the fact that his onetime prize QB/CB/WR from San Gorgonio had made the Vikings’ roster on Sept. 12, former Spartans’ coach Ron Gueringer quietly said, “Nate can play wide receiver. If they gave him a chance, he could play that spot.”
Considering that Meadors hadn’t played that place since his high school days, it was a stretch.
No one knows players, and their skills, better than those who’ve coached them -- and Gueringer knows Meadors’ playing skills.
By Oct. 1, Meadors was re-signed to the Vikings’ 10-player practice squad, which means he’s only an injury away from re-appearing on the 53-man roster.
Gueringer, who is now coaching Corona High, has another connection to a former player.
Back in the days when he was head coach at Corona Centennial -- which is now coached by Matt Logan, a Gueringer hire -- linebacker Vontaze Burfict was roaming the field in Huskies’ colors.
Burfict, of course, is the infamous NFL linebacker -- first at Cincinnati, now at Oakland -- who has been suspended for the 2019 season for an apparent growing list of bad hits.
“I never had any trouble with him at Centennial,” said Gueringer. “He’s like any other defensive player. He goes by the defensive players’ motto: ‘When in doubt, hit somebody.’ ”
He’s talking on-field play, of course.
NFL leadership, however, deemed an early-season hit by Burfict -- combined with other questionable tactics in his career -- required a full-season suspension.
Said Gueringer: “One thing about him that you’ll never hear is any off-the-field issues. He’s a good person.”
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Football/soccer/track athlete Jesiah Perez’s transfer from Aquinas to Redlands East Valley might’ve unknowingly spotlighted part of the dispute between Redlands Unified’s best against Redlands Unified’s leadership.
There’s a lot to sift through, of course, but here’s the story:
Jesiah’s dad, Alfredo, was seeking a landing spot for his son. Did his research and came up with a high API score for Redlands -- tops in the county, in fact.
It’s a stat that’s mind-boggling. Redlands is ranked 31st out of 32. We’re not talking football rankings here, folks. Or volleyball. Truth is, it’s teacher’s salary. Throughout the county. They’re paid 31st out of 32 area districts. They’re on the warpath over it.
First in API, 31st in pay.
District coaches have been offered 15 percent raises to their stipends.
In the course of doing business with district coaches, though, this discussion comes up -- especially since the lion’s share of those coaches are teaching (chemistry, English, social studies, math, you name it). They’re off-the-charts angry.
Thirty-first, though? For years, the line in the sand seemed to be that it must be an honor to teach/coach/serve in such a well-rounded and plush school district that offers such a wonderful clientele -- not to mention some that aren’t so wonderful.
Sentiment from district leadership: How much is that worth to teachers? Go over and teach/coach/serve in highly troubled Muscupiabe (North San Bernardino) or any other troubled areas for more money. In other words, trade a bigger salary for an easier spot to teach.
You’d counter with, “Well, what makes Redlands so special is the teachers.”
Such an argument has raged on for years.
Thirty-first in salary?
Tops in API?
Perez is a football player, plus participation in soccer and track & field.
“My wife,” said Alfredo Perez, who resides in Grand Terrace, “told me to find the right school district.” Colton? Nearby Riverside North? Not good enough, said Mrs. Perez. Had to be Redlands.
As for a coach’s salary, well, it ain’t much compared to the total responsibility. One coach, who is fairly newly-married, and he says he’ll use his stipend to buy his newlywed wife the couch she wants after he gets his coaching check.
A couch! Curiously enough, that unnamed coach is not part of the RUSD teacher’s union. Its too liberal, perhaps. Doesn’t like its overall political stance. Whatever. Still, however, this coach benefits from its negotiation process.
Full disclosure: My wife has taught in RUSD since the 1980s. Truth is, I hear more disenchantment from the coaches/teachers.
(Got a sports tip, some rumblings, or just chat about sports? Hit me up at email@example.com.)