Touchdown in Fresno football program hosts German players
Football coaching responsibilities at Bullard this week have extended to an international level.
A group of 35 football players and coaches from Fresno’s sister city in Germany – Münster – were mentored by Knights coaches in three morning sessions on campus this week.
That involved all the routines that Bullard does itself – meetings, film review and practice – for the Germans, ages 12 to 19, who brought their own gear.
“Our coaches have been impressed with the German kids,” Knights athletic director Brandon Gilbert said. “They are super-intelligent and really eager to learn. They are fascinated with American culture and the relationships and bonding they made with our players.”
The Germans, who play club football at home, were to bus to Bullard’s league opener at Madera on Friday night.
The real value for them was to get one-on-one instruction from American coaches.
Nick Yovino Jr., sports exchange administrator for Fresno’s sister cities program.
Their trip began last Saturday at Stanford, seeing the Cardinal’s 55-17 Pacific-12 Conference win over Arizona. They then toured the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara before coming to Fresno.
They also will attend Fresno State’s home football game against Utah State on Saturday night before closing the experience with a trip to Yosemite, according to Nick Yovino Jr., Fresno’s sports exchange administrator for the long-running sister cities program.
“The Germans have coaches,” Yovino said, “but the real value for them was to get one-on-one instruction from American coaches.”
Competitive cheer added as CIF sport – Competitive cheer will become a California Interscholastic Federation-sanctioned sport starting in 2017-18.
Assembly Bill 949, designed to add competitive cheer to the list of 16 other sports offered by the CIF, was introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday. Gonzalez is a former high school and college cheerleader.
“The CIF is excited to add competitive cheer to our sports offerings,” CIF Executive Director Roger Blake said in a news release. “We look forward to working with the California Department of Education to develop policy and standards allowing the student-athletes involved in competitive cheer to enjoy greater opportunities to display their athletic talents in a safe environment.
“One of the major goals in this process will be to develop guidelines for competitive cheer programs that our member schools can implement, meet the standards and be compliant with Title IX.”
The CIF will seek a Title IX designation for competitive cheer from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which will have final say on whether a school’s program meets requirements of the landmark gender-equity law.
Mary Brown tribute set at Memorial – A celebration of life for former Memorial High girls basketball coach and Fresno Athletic Hall of Famer Mary Brown is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 17 at the school gymnasium.
Ms. Brown died of natural causes Aug. 28 in her newly built house in Roseburg, Ore. She was 82.
Ms. Brown had a record of 317-45 with eight Central Section and 16 league titles in 18 seasons with the Panthers from 1968-86, according to section historian Bob Barnett. She also had an enormous influence in the region for all prep sports for females from all schools.
“We’re hoping people will come and fill the gym for her one more time,” said Cynthia Winstead, a former player and assistant under Ms. Brown at Memorial. “Many former players from different periods of time have contacted me, asking about a service. I’ve also had a number of calls from coaches from the city and county.”
Fresno High to salute champions – Eight individuals and two teams will join Fresno High’s Wall of Champions on Wednesday at Pardini’s banquet hall.
Individuals to be honored: Ed Davies (Class of 1958, wrestler, coach); Pete Mehas (’57, football, JC All-American, coach); Dan Kaiser (’65, track and field, basketball); Rod Stubblefield (’50, football, baseball); Tammy Thomason (’81, basketball, volleyball); Fred Tuttle (’59, baseball, football, basketball); Ken Papi (baseball coach); and Jack Skadden (swimming and diving coach).
Teams: track and field (’51, second in state) and football (’58, North Yosemite League champion).