Once a dream comes true, what's next?
For Kevin Serr, the answer was sleep.
Serr transformed the ultimate in imagery, the boldest diamond vision he could muster, into stark reality Thursday when he blasted a three-run home run at Dodger Stadium to give Kennedy a 3-1 victory over Carson in the City Section 4-A Division final.
Watching the ball sail over the fence, Serr was witnessing his very own flight of fancy.
"Twenty-four hours before that, I was picturing it in my mind, saying to myself, 'How great it would be to hit one out at Dodger Stadium,' " Serr said. "[The game] feels like a dream. I told my girlfriend that and she said, 'Kevin, it \o7 did \f7 happen.' "
Maybe Serr had trouble believing it because he was back in dreamland so soon afterward. The senior catcher suffered from flu all week and was exhausted after the game. He begged off the team's postgame party at the home of teammate George Kassis.
"I went home because I didn't feel good," Serr said. "I replayed the game in my head and went to sleep."
And the dreams were sweet, no doubt.
Longtime Kennedy followers might have felt a sense of \o7 deja vu\f7 , witnessing once again a player named Kevin sending the Cougars to seventh heaven.
Ten years ago, Kevin Farlow homered with two out in the bottom of the seventh to give Kennedy a 10-9 victory over Banning in the 4-A final.
The dramatic shot ended a sloppy game that included 21 walks and 13 unearned runs.
No one recalls that game more vividly than Warren Farlow, Kevin's father, who has been the boys' track coach at Kennedy since the school opened in 1971. Warren also trains the baseball team in conditioning, and, of course, had a choice seat at Thursday's game.
"I was hoping one of the kids would hit one out," Farlow said. "Kevin [Serr] hit his a lot harder than the one my son hit. This was a shot. It got out in a hurry, directly over the 370 sign about three rows up. My son's hit was down the line next to the bullpen."
Serr's home run was called in the stands by Kennedy golf Coach Sam Hideshima.
Just before the pitch Serr hit out, Hideshima said to Warren Farlow, "What we need is for this Kevin to hit one out like your Kevin hit one."
Kevin Farlow, a spindly 6-foot-4, 160-pound sophomore in 1985, is now 26 and plays for Sioux City, Iowa, in the Class-A Northern League.
Serr's dream of playing in the pros is on hold. He had hoped to be drafted, but was not picked Friday or Saturday.
Serr, the only junior on last season's Times All-Valley team, is resigned to continuing his career at a local junior college.
"I would have liked to be drafted, but I'm not worrying about it," he said. "It looks like I'm going to school."
It's preview time for Southern Section teams in all sports, a three-week window that offers coaches a glimpse at next year's fortunes.
The section gives teams 15 practice days from May 16 until the end of the school year to conduct after-school workouts. The only stipulations are football teams cannot wear pads and no team may practice on Sunday.
"It's a great chance for coaches to evaluate talent, or for new coaches to get to know their personnel," section Commissioner Dean Crowley said.
Football coaches use spring workouts to introduce their playbook to incoming varsity players. Coaches also see first-hand who has been hitting the weight room and who hasn't.
Basketball coaches typically use spring practice as a tryout for summer varsity teams.
And although baseball season ended only days ago, don't think that spring practice excludes players from working out on the diamond.
Antelope Valley, which endured a disappointing 8-15 season, gave its players all of three days off before beginning workouts.
"We don't have much of an off-season, three days is about enough," Coach Ed t'Sas said.