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Ouch! Rich Prospero paid the price for trying to keep his Santa Ana Valley basketball team loose.

On Thursday, the day before the Falcons played Canyon, Prospero decided the team needed a break. He arranged to get some Nerf baseball equipment and canceled the second half of practice to hold a game.

Prospero, of course, led off and got a hit.

“Everybody was bobbling and dropping the ball, so I kept running,” Prospero said.

He headed home, where Adam Rodriguez, all 6 feet 3, 250 pounds of him, was playing catcher. The collision gave Prospero a chipped bone in his hip and bruises on his stomach wall.


“That’s the price you pay when you’re 30 and you want to be 20,” Prospero said.

Still, Prospero coached the next night. Of course, watching the Falcons lose, 60-58, on a last-second shot probably didn’t help the pain much.