The ever-improving Aquinas High campus has added a new wrinkle. A big one.
The addition is a 19-by-35-foot scoreboard/message board on the football field. The massive structure is at the opposite side of the field from the smaller scoreboard.
“How do you like the drive-in theater?” joked Aquinas assistant football coach Dave Samaro early Monday morning, July 12, before practice. “It’s the biggest one in California.”
Asked if it is indeed the largest board in the state, Aquinas football coach Jordan Brusig said, “That’s what the company that sold it to us said. We’ll take that until someone disproves it. Maybe some other company will say they sold a bigger one.”
The board is large, that’s for certain. It was paid for by the Ramos family, mainly Tommy and Maria. Their son, Tom, is a Falcon coach.
Son Hawk plays football for Aquinas and daughter Shawnee has her named scrawled across the bottom of the board.
“I thought it was going to be bigger,” quipped Falcon athletic director Chris Ybarra as he sipped on some morning coffee. “It’s pretty amazing. We’re very blessed to have the Ramos family donate this to us. We’re very appreciative.”
Brusig said the board will of course have the score, as well as pictures, graphics, animations, advertisements and someday replays.
GRANT STATE PLAYER OF YEAR
Aquinas’ Sheldon Grant added another huge honor recently as he was named the calhisports.com state Division 3 basketball player of the year.
“It’s a blessing,” Grant said. “I thought the accolades were done and then I got this one — first time it’s happened in Aquinas history.”
Grant averaged 20.9 points and 5.6 assists per game and hit the game-winning shot with four seconds left in Aquinas’ 40-39 win against King in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA championship game. He also scored 21 points when Aquinas defeated Carlsbad La Costa Canyon 55-43 in the CIF-State Southern California Regional D3-AA title game.
Grant’s pet shot was the floater, which he made with regularity.
Said Aquinas star Nick Hopkins of Grant’s favorite shot, “Sheldon has been working on those since fourth grade. I knew every time he let it go that it was going to go in. I just trusted in him and he trusted in us and we trusted each other.”
Grant is only the second D3 state player of the year from the Inland Empire — the other being Evric Gray of Bloomington in 1988. He was a three-time all-league choice and has a 4.0 grade point average.
Grant, who recently graduated, has no scholarship offers, but played last weekend for the AAU Triple Threat Bruins in front of about 100 scouts in a tournament in Irvine.
“I’m just hooping,” Grant said. “I have tournaments the next three weekends and I’m just trying to get some more looks.”
CITRUS VALLEY’S MECATE HONORED
Citrus Valley’s Matt Mecate made the All-CIF-Southern Section Division V second team for baseball. Mecate hit .309 with 14 runs batted in for the section champion Blackhawks. He was especially hot at the plate at the end of the season.
The second team was announced separately from the first team. Also making the squad was Cajon’s Sebastian Flores who hit .383.