There are a few things that I wanted to get off my chest, and some things that I just have to comment on.
Can it be true? Is construction on the new Memorial Field project finally going to get underway?
For those of us who have waited for the renovation for years, we're not holding our breath. We have seen the project postponed before, and I wouldn't be surprised if gets pushed back again.
I won't believe the project is actually taking place until I see the venerable stadium at Burroughs High coming down.
The formal ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 5. That is when the dilapidated relic is finally supposed to be demolished. That schedule date comes after a 22-month delay that has left many in the community frustrated and angry.
Locals have been waiting for a new facility for more than 20 years, when a proposed renovation was first explored in 1990.
It's not exactly a good time to have the Burbank and Burroughs football teams have to hit the road for what could turn out to be two seasons. The Bulldogs and Indians have built up both of their programs in the past few years. This past season, the Indians shared the Pacific League championship, and the squads shared the title in 2009.
Having to play all of its games on the road is not an easy task for any program. I just hope the teams can maintain their success, and their high level of play, until they can settle into their new home — whenever that will be.
Will I be there on Jan. 5 — you bet. I want to bid the old girl a final goodbye. I just hope the venue gets a proper sendoff.
Speaking of football, the All-CIF Southern Section awards should be released any day now. There are a crop of area players who should see their name on the list.
Leading the way should be Bellarmine-Jefferson's all-everything, senior Micah Shirley. Shirley had a superb season despite playing on a squad that won just two games.
On offense, he had 119 carries for 1,210 yards (10.2 yards a carry) and seven touchdowns, hauled in 24 passes for 402 yards (16.8 yards a catch) and eight touchdowns and he completed nine of 27 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown. In addition, he scored 92 points. On defense, he had 122 tackles (12.2 a game), four interceptions and recovered two fumbles.
That is an All-CIF season my friends.
Burbank senior linebacker Ryan Seidler should also make the list. The Pacific League Defensive Player of the Year led the league with 151 tackles, averaging nearly 14 a game. In addition, he caused two fumbles and recovered two more.
Also in the running are Burroughs senior quarterback Lucas Yanez (league offensive player of the year who completed 133 of 214 passes — a 62% completion rate — for 1,965 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, along with carrying the ball 96 times for 523 yards (5.5 yards a carry and nine touchdowns) and Burbank senior quarterback Adam Colman (129 of 241 passes for 2,066 yards, 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions).
Senior Patrick Gonzalez is quietly putting up big numbers for the Providence boys' basketball team.
Pioneers Coach Cary Many has revved up the team's offense, as the game plan has yielded high scores and a lot of scoring opportunities.
So far this season, Gonzalez has had games in which he's scored 45, 44, 31 and 29 points. He is coming off a Most-Valuable-Player performance in the Liberty Christian Tournament.
It's new season for the Bell-Jeff girls' basketball program. The team operating under a new coach in Jaclyn Johnson, and the squad lost some key players to graduation.
However, the Guards haven't lost a step when it comes to being among the top teams in their division. Bell-Jeff is the top-ranked squad in CIF Southern Section Division 3A.
Bell-Jeff is ahead of No. 1 Orange Lutheran and No. 3 Bishop Amat.