March 13, 2011 |
How does a basketball team lose all five starters to graduation, then make it back to the Southern California regional championship game a season later? That's the extraordinary accomplishment Santa Ana Mater Dei (30-3) has pulled off in what might be the best coaching job in Gary McKnight's 29 seasons. McKnight is the winningest coach in California prep history with a record of 890-81, and the Monarchs' 72-55 rout of the supposedly invincible Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits in a Division I semifinal Saturday will surely rank as one of the most meaningful victories in school history.
January 28, 2011 |
For those who anticipated Santa Ana Mater Dei going through a rebuilding season after losing five basketball starters to graduation, forget it. Gary McKnight, the winningest coach in California prep history, has his young team at 20-2 and in position to win a 23rd consecutive league championship. "They've exceeded what I thought we'd do," McKnight said. With a little more improvement, the Monarchs could join Long Beach Poly, Etiwanda and Corona Centennial in the mix for the Southern Section Division 1AA championship.
June 15, 2010 |
Coaching at the same high school as Gary McKnight and Bruce Rollinson is like hanging out at the same beach as Elle Macpherson and Charlize Theron. It's hard to get noticed. McKnight is the winningest boys' basketball coach in California history and Rollinson presides over a football program that won two unofficial national titles in the 1990s. Neither legend's body of work this year could match that of Burt Call. The Santa Ana Mater Dei baseball coach guided a team that had lost its best player and only proven starting pitcher to its third Southern Section title and first since 2005.
May 25, 2010 |
UCLA's basketball future received a big boost Tuesday when it was announced that twin forwards David and Travis Wear would be joining the Bruins. The Wears, both 6 feet 10 and muscular, disappointed UCLA Coach Ben Howland two years ago when they spurned scholarship offers from the Bruins to sign with North Carolina. But Howland sounded excited on a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon, saying he was "happy" and even "elated" to add the former McDonald's All-Americans to his roster.
January 19, 2010 |
Jose Offerman was banned for life by the Dominican Republic winter league for throwing a punch at an umpire during an argument on the baseball field. Offerman, a former All-Star shortstop with the Dodgers and Boston Red Sox and manager of the Licey Tigers, appeared to hit first base umpire Daniel Reyburn in the face or neck with a fist during a playoff game Saturday against the Cibao Giants. Reyburn fell to the ground. The Dominican league's president, Leonardo Matos Berrido , announced the ban Monday.
January 1, 2010 |
It's time to look into my crystal ball and see what 2010 has in store for the world of high school sports and beyond. Here's what I'm seeing: Santa Ana Mater Dei's Gary McKnight , after becoming the winningest basketball coach in California prep history, will be invited to appear on "Dancing With the Stars." Wide receivers will be the No. 1 target of college football recruiters in Southern California this fall, with an intense debate breaking out over who's best among George Farmer of Gardena Serra, Victor Blackwell of Mater Dei, Antoine Arnold of Temecula Chaparral and Nelson Spruce of Westlake Village Westlake.