Sadly … 

Tonight would’ve been, what, Week 4 or 5 of a CIF-Southern Section football schedule. 

A Citrus Valley-at-Aquinas non-league showdown would’ve already taken place. 

Headlines would’ve been written. 

Heroes would’ve been ID’d. 

The losing coach would’ve had to rebuild confidence over that loss. 

The winning coach would’ve built on that nice triumph. 

That would’ve created a real cool fence-building infrastructure for the season. 

And, yes, we’d be in full running mode for cross-country. 

Girl’s tennis teams would be trying to get their serves in. 

Volleyball teams would be showcasing their prized clubbers. 

We’d all be idolizing those water polo players, simply because they get to be in the pool during all this hot weather. 

Then there’s the college ranks. 

Cal State’s defending NCAA Division II volleyball champs, a conquest they’ll keep for another full year. 

How we miss the University of Redlands’ football team. 

San Bernardino Valley College seems to feed off its elite women’s soccer team. 

Wait for after Jan. 1, folks. 

We may yet see that Blackhawks-Falcons football duel. 

* * * 

San Bernardino Valley College Sports Information Director Bill Norris hit me with this at the near-midnight hour back on Thursday, Feb. 13. 

The Wolverines, who’ve been playing in the American Division of the Southern California Football Association, were elevated to the National Division. 

For those not in the know, consider that JUCO football forces — a handful of years back, or two — had to separate the “hammer” teams from the “nail” teams. 

If you’re in the (lower) American Division, you’re a nail. 

Those (higher) National Division teams are the hammer. 

Get that metaphor, folks? 

For the past handful of years, SBVC has been in the “nail” division. 

SBVC, thus, will line up in a “hammer” division — the Southern League of the National Division with state powerhouse Fullerton, plus Golden West-Huntington Beach, Saddleback-Mission Viejo, San Diego Mesa and Southwestern-Chula Vista. 

For those interested, current state champion Riverside City College is in the National Division-Central League — a “hammer” team. 

All of which got “hammered” out finally on Jan. 31 in a Southern California Football Association competition committee meeting. It’s a good call throughout. 

There was only a little movement, by the way. A few teams moved up into National Division play while a few were re-organized into American Division. Yes, is sounds a little like European soccer where teams get elevated or relegated based on how well they’re playing from year to year. 

Jim Sartoris, the SCFA commissioner, said, “Keeping in mind one of the stated goals of the SCFA — ‘to bring uniformity, strength and competitive balance to Southern California Community College football.’ ” 

It’s a nice way of saying that a few teams were hammering the nails. 

Bottom line: Ever since Daniel Algattas, a former Mt. San Antonio College assistant coach who delivered some strong seasons as Ventura JC offensive coordinator, arrived at SBVC, the Wolverines have turned into a hammer. 

That is, if we see football again. 

* * * 

Citrus Valley coach David Ramirez, a two-time CIF wrestling champion from Redlands East Valley remembers playing soccer with Landon Donovan. “Los Gauchos,” recalled Ramirez. 

Donovan, who showed up awhile back to conduct some club soccer tryouts at Citrus Valley, went way, way, way beyond the Gauchos. Try playing on Team USA for both the World Cup and the Olympics. 

Do the Gauchos still exist? Let me know, please. 

Donovan, meanwhile, still doesn’t have a place in the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. Kind of weird. 

* * * 

Drama in Milwaukee last Sunday. No outs. Bottom of the ninth. Cubs’ pitcher Alex Mills has a no-hitter going against Milwaukee. First up, Jacob Nottingham. Brewers’ catcher. It’s a chance to bust up Mills’ no-hitter. 

Nope. Soft foul ball toward first base. Anthony Rizzo snagged it for the first out. Two outs later, Mills had his no-hitter. 

Nottingham, of course, is a Redlands High product. Drafted by Houston. Traded to Oakland, who traded him to the Brewers. 

* * * 

Make that two CIF-Southern Section football officials — cannot name names, obviously — who believed that Aquinas High School had the best football team in this footprint area last season. 

My question: Better than the Citrus Belt League teams, including 1-2 finishers Cajon and Citrus Valley? 

Both officials answered affirmatively. 

Folks, this is incredible. No more than five years back, or so, such a thought would’ve been considered craziness. 

* * * 

Bad time to say this, but: Redlands’ educational leadership needs to start with providing Redlands East Valley with a football stadium. 

It’s not just football players who get hammered on this, folks. Boys and girls soccer players, plus a full load of track & field athletes, are working on less-than-desirable facilities. 

There should be automatic transfers granted for a REV athlete in those sports who wants out.   

EDITORS NOTE: It was announced on Wednesday, Sept. 16, that the Big Ten Conference will have an eight game season starting on Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24.

(1) comment


Sorry, this is Highland. We never had Friday Night Lights. Highland must be the biggest city in America without a High School within its city limits. So sad.

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