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Football: Running back Sterling Salguero returns to Birmingham

Football: Running back Sterling Salguero returns to Birmingham
All-City running back Sterling Salguero watches Birmingham practice on Monday. (Eric Sondheimer)

Classes began on Monday at Birmingham High, and football Coach Jim Rose waited all day to see if the rumors were true that All-City running back Sterling Salguero had decided to return to the school.

A little after 3:30 p.m., Salguero showed up wearing shorts, orange shoes and a Rich Rodriguez T-shirt. He asked Rose to let him back on the team and apologized for what he described as a "misunderstanding." Rose agreed and Salguero went to the main office to re-enroll before returning to watch practice.

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So ended a summer mystery as to what happened to Salguero, who didn't attend any Birmingham practices for four weeks and was rumored to be transferring to Calabasas.

Salguero confirmed that he was at a Calabasas practice last week watching but changed his mind about transferring.

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"I'm here to stay," he said.

Asked what he had been doing for the last four weeks, Salguero said he had been running, working out and hiking on his own. He can expect a lot more running in the coming days for missing lots of practice time. He's not expected to complete the mandatory 10 days of practice needed to play in a scrimmage in two weeks against Fairfax.

But make no mistake about it _ Birmingham is thrilled to get him back. He's been a three-year varsity standout, having rushed for 1,837 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. With nine starters back on defense and Salguero to lead the offense, Birmingham becomes a West Valley League title contender.

As for taking Salguero back on the team, Rose said, "At the end of the day, this is where he knew he should be."

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