Sunday, April 09, 2006


The kids at the U are on spring break, chanting ‘no more lessons no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks’ so we figure it’s time to give out Mid Term grades for our sporting friends at the Beach. Might even help the new AD get a fix on the 49ers.

Last weekend’s last bouncing ball was a actually a laser to Melanie McCauley at third that ended a Cal Poly rally and kept LB’s sweethearts of swat in first place. We grilled their GQ skipper Pete Manarino about what kind of grade he would give his team, “right now we earn a B. Our hitters have to be more challenging.”

Next up is Dirtbag Baseball who goes into the grade book with an ”I” as in incomplete. After an 11 day hiatus their body of work, perfect in conference but break even overall, shows promise but isn’t really enough to earn a letter grade. This weekend on the road at CSUN should reveal more.

The other “I as in ice” grade goes to one of our home town heroes, Travis Ramsey, grandson of 49er anchor woman Pat West and a member of the Maine Black Bear hockey team. Over the weekend his side was at a slight road disadvantage, they lost to Wisconsin 5-2 in the Frozen Four conveniently held in Milwaukee. A sellout, yep, 17,814 screaming red sweaters. A Poly grad, Trav imagines himself as a sports lawyer and goodness knows you can’t get enough lawyers.

Our “A” grade goes to Dr. Doug Robinson and the Athletic Director Search committee, an A for effort after a messy first round of searching caused in large part by a set of ravenous boosters hungry to fill the leadership vacuum in their alma mater’s beloved and sometimes broke toy department. Another A for effort is for ladies tennis who lost their number one player for a couple of matches but got gritty efforts from the bottom of the ladder, Rachael Porsz and Emmanuelle Tabatruong. For Porsz her work was in front of her folks in town sun burning from the England.

The next ranking is #3 with a bullet for Alan Knipe and suddenly hot men’s volleyball after sweeping BYU before great crowds last weekend. Knipe has been shuffling his deck more than the dealers at the World Series of Poker but on a given night, well you know the rest.

Back to letter grades, we have to give the “S” mark to women’s volleyball, that S being for both spring practice, now under way, and setter, as in setter controversy also now under way. So far a pretty even contest between the taller and more experienced Dyanne Lawlor and the smaller, quick and with great blood lines, Nicole Vargas, daughter of the legendary Debbie Green Vargas.

The basketballers get mixed marks. The ladies get a “B” as in Medicare Part B since about half the old team and half the newcomers are spending more time with medics and trainers than shooting threes and frees. The men’s mark is a bit more complicated, let’s call it “MIA”, as in the surprise resignation of JUCO gold miner Anthony Stewart who brought in last year’s star Shawn Hawkins and next year’s star Aaron Nixon. Shawn used up his eligibility but let’s hope Nixon, he of that buzzer-beater to nail Irvine, remains happy and in town.

Finally our “C” grade goes predictably, or alphabetically, to the Long Beach Century Club who has quit running their Easter Egg hunt since the old geezers couldn’t remember where they hid them last year. This year the fund raiser is a golf tournament on Cinco de Mayo (that would be the fifth of May) and if you stop by their Tuesday evening meet at the Grande you can sign up your foursome.—DR. DAN


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