Citrus Belt area schools, including Banning and Beaumont, had to submit their final proposals for re-leaguing, a cycle that begins in 2018-2019.

Where will those schools land? Everything’s speculative at best.

If you’re thinking six-team leagues:

Beaumont seems like a good fit – just guessing here – with neighboring Yucaipa, plus the three Redlands-based schools, Citrus Valley, Redlands East Valley and Redlands, and … oh, say, San Jacinto?

That’s a tough one, though. San Jacinto doesn’t swim or play polo. The other five schools are heavily invested in aquatics. It’s the kind of thing that needs discussion.

The trio of Hemet schools could connect with Moreno Valley, Valley View and, Vista del Lago.

Who knows?

The Citrus Belt Area Athletic Director’s Association will hold its vote on April 24, a Monday.

“The Mountain Pass League,” said Beaumont A.D. Martin DuSold, “has proposed to maintain our current configuration, and, at this point, that is our hope in the voting outcome.”

Member schools vote as a league, not individually.

Beaumont and Banning, onetime league rivals, won’t be in the same league for quite a while. It’d be a Grade-A surprise if it happened.

Beaumont’s growing fast. Banning’s slumping badly.

Geographically, it would make the most sense. Common sense dictates otherwise.

Banning might benefit from being part of a league that would include Twentynine Palms, Desert Hot Springs, Yucca Valley, Thermal Desert Mirage and Coachella Valley. School attendance numbers are roughly equivalent.

Banning’s current setup with San Bernardino High, plus Jurupa Valley Rubidoux, San Bernardino Pacific, Moreno Valley and Moreno Valley Vista del Lago, ought to get blown up.

It’s fun to speculate.

* * *

Who’s the pole vault coach at Beaumont?

Turns out to be a teacher on campus, Chris Austin – an English teacher.

“She’s been with us for four years now,” said Beaumont coach Brandon Tedrow. “All of our vaulters only pole vault, and many have been going to vault with a club down in Murrieta as well.”

While senior Tyler Harper and sophomore Brady Ho have been going at it throughout the season – Harper winning last weekend, Ho winning the Cougar Invitational, among other duels – Jacob Lugo and Benjamin Perez are clearing the bar at 11-feet.

And that’s just the boys.

On the girls’ side, Delaney Ho has been winning most of the vault events this season. Last weekend, Emily Logan cleared 8-6 to win at the Flying Tiger. Throw in the Averette sisters, Rosemarie and Elizabeth, and it’s starting to look like Beaumont’s developing a brand.

That kind of depth just adds points in a dual meet.

When the event returned five years ago, Tedrow said, “we invested a lot of money in poles and time to get it to be what it is.”

Beaumont and Hemet are the only Mountain Pass League schools currently competing in the event locally, “so it’s been difficult.”

Beaumont’s got 200 athletes competing this year, said Tedrow, “so it’s been good to see that group stand out like our distance runners have and our female sprint core as well.”

This city could start becoming known as Pole Vault Central.

* * *

Beaumont resident Larry Lukens recalled that Frank Linares taught his son, Laryn, how to hit years ago in youth ball.

“Laryn just didn’t know what to do,” said Lukens. “He was missing the ball by a foot.”

In stepped Linares, who has taken over as Banning High’s baseball coach this season, to guide Laryn’s swing through the strike zone – head still, bat coming through the zone, a little extra zip with his hips.

“All of a sudden,” said Lukens, “Laryn (at around age 12 or 13) started hitting the ball … pretty hard, too.”

Linares has guided Banning to first place, which is no surprise. The Broncos, under coach Patrick Palacios, who started the season as an assistant in 2016, won last year’s Mountain Valley League championship.

* * *

Yani tseng. remember her? At one point, she was the planet’s top female golfer – and could probably put away quite a few men – missed the cut at the nearby ANA Inspiration with rounds of 75-75.

This was a farther drop from prominence than Tiger Woods, or at least as far. For 109 straight weeks in 2011 through 2013, she was the World No. 1.

I’d love to sit down with this 28-year Taiwanese national who grew up in golf around Beaumont, particularly at Oak Valley, to figure out what happened.

We always hear about Tiger, but rarely does anyone bring up Yani.

* * *

The timing’s always a little curious in a weekly publication like the Record Gazette, so the announcement of Que’ Sand Lewis as Banning’s new football coach last Thursday was met with a View From Above piece one later.

It blasted Banning’s ability to properly conduct business when it comes to hiring a football coach. But Banning’s administration, which fumbled the J.R. Reilley hiring a month earlier, seems to have made a popular hire.

As for hiring a coach that’s unproven at the Varsity level, such as Lewis, you could easily make a case that the list of successful head coaches without previous Varsity experience is lengthy. Many go on to prove it was a good hire.


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