Citrus Valley girls’ soccer team returns for another season


Back for another season, coaches and student athletes prepare for the 2021-22 soccer season at Citrus Valley High School. Tryouts for the girls’ soccer program were held from Monday, Oct. 18 to Thursday, Oct. 21 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m..

As players and coaches alike returned for a new season, mask restrictions have been lifted and students have the opportunity to practice comfortably mask free.

Junior varsity girls’ soccer coach Cassondra Delgado and varsity girls’ soccer coach Norma Mendez observe girls scrimmaging a small game  (Photo from Allen Thoe)

Coach Kim Zollinger, the freshman coach, says, “The hype of a new soccer season is underway for the girls soccer program at Citrus Valley. As coaches, we are looking forward to another great season. The tryouts for the 2021-2022 season has blown us away with the amount of student-athletes participating and the competition is definitely present. As the freshmen coach, I look forward to having a season for the freshmen team to compete in and experience High School level soccer. I feel blessed to be a part of an incredible program of athletes and coaches.” 

During the four days of tryouts, the days were organized to give the athletes an opportunity to showcase their talent to the coaches.

 Coach Cassondra Delgado, the junior varsity coach states, “I am very excited to be back for another year of coaching. I enjoy working with the coaches and interacting with the girls in the soccer program. Something I am really excited about is the new talent coming in this year. We have a lot of great players, so I can’t wait to compete and play a high level of quality soccer.” 

On day one, coaches set up five different stations for the girls to cycle through each of them and have the opportunity to show their skills. In the five stations, there was a 35-yard kick, a small shuttle run, shots on goal, dribbling and a 40-yard sprint.

 On day two, girls were encouraged to run a mile and a half under 12 minutes for varsity due to the high amount of running the sport requires for conditioning. After the run, coaches separated the girls by their last names and finished up stats from the previous day. 

On day three of tryouts, girls were split into three to four players and played small one-on-one games and so on amongst each other.

 Nearing the end of tryouts, day four was the big day where the girls really got to show their abilities and played multiple half-field scrimmages.

Coach Norma Mendez instructs girls on what day 1 of tryouts will consist of and how they will be scoring their stats. (Photo by Allen Thoe)

After tryouts came to an end, coaches and teams began practices preparing for the preseason to kickstart the 2021-22 season. Underway for the league season as the new year rings in, teams of all three levels begin their preseason games against local high schools. Schools throughout the Inland Empire have all set up friendly scrimmages amongst one another to prepare their teams for league games. 

In the month of December, preseason gives teams the opportunity to begin playing as a team.

The Marching Wildcats end season at finals


Redlands East Valley High School marching band advanced to Division 3A finals on Nov. 20. Their success in previous competitions allowed them to reach the finals.

Prior to the Great Orange Classic, REV received first place at the Citrus Valley Classic on Oct. 2 at Citrus Valley High School and fourth place at the Mustang Classic on Oct. 16 at West Valley High School while Citrus Valley had received third place and fifth place. 

On Oct. 21, the Wildcats used the Blackhawks’ Hodges stadium to finish learning their sets and positions for their performance, “The Artist.” 

Marching band is a large time commitment that involves practice sessions, the loading and unloading of the trailer, and setting up the props. It takes a whole team of students and parents to simply get all the equipment to each practice away from REV, as they do not currently have a football field.

The Marching Wildcats perform their show “The Artist” on Oct. 22 at Ramona High School. They are performing one of their squatting visuals. (Courtesy of Richelle Ghazal)

Wildcat High Winds Captain, Carlos Cruz, said that the key to success for the band as a team and in competition is the strong bond that they have formed after having spent many hours together.

“We [have] spent over 200 hours together since school started,” said Cruz. 

In addition, the majority of the REV band members attended band camp over the summer before the school year began.

Since the Citrus Valley Classic, the Wildcats have admitted that their enthusiasm and focus have waned. Practices have not been as productive as others have been. However, through the determination of the band members, they have been able to improve their score each time throughout the following competitions.

At Ramona High School in Riverside, they performed the entire show and used their newly painted black props for the first time in competition on Oct. 22. 

After the performance, Sarah Bocanegra, a sophomore REV tenor saxophone player, said, “[I’m] tired. [It was] well worth it, and [I feel] relieved.” 

After the other bands performed that afternoon, the awards were distributed with the scores read out by the announcer. Citrus Valley placed seventh with a score of 74 points and REV placed third with a score of 76.30 points. 

Daisy Felipe, a sophomore REV alto saxophone player, said, “I feel we did our best, and we all deserve what we got. We will keep pushing further.”

The next competition for the Marching Wildcats occured at San Gorgonio High School. They scored 79 points earning third place, followed by the semi-finals in Mission Viejo where they scored 80.79 points in 12th place, qualifying them to compete at the finals amongst 14 other bands. 

Having advanced into the finals on Nov. 20, they placed 11th with a score of 81 points at Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach.

Marching Wildcats perform at Newport Harbor High School for the California State Band Championships finals on Nov. 20. They are seen without their colorful smocks, as they transition into the “Painted Black” portion of the show. (Courtesy of Richelle Ghazal)

NFL Coach Jon Gruden’s emails get exposed


Through emails sent, the Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden, was pushed out of his position due to his explicitness, usage of homophobic slurs and denunciation of the emergence of women as referees. 

Networks such as ESPN and NFL express disapproval for his use of profanity in his emails to players. The Raiders’ lead coach was pushed out of his position because of an email sent to the wrong people.

Gruden’s emails were sent to a wide range of people such as current NFL coaches, players, and various media entities; many of which questioned Gruden’s use of these terms and expressed distaste towards his comments. Photo by Official Travis AFB, Calif. is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0.

The issue started when Gruden sent an email with explicit content to a former player, Derek Carr. This cost him his job because he was not allowed to send emails like this to other players.

The email also was sent to a group of high-ranking executives at NFL league offices, such as the former President of the Washington Football Team Bruce Allen and the American football coach and defensive coordinator for the Washington Football Team Jack Del Rio.

This email used the homophobic slur which is considered offensive and unacceptable to LGBTQ individuals.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to the emails, “Next time you call me, stop with the homophobic slurs and get to what’s need to be said; you can use any other offensive language that you want.”

The emails say, “I don’t like women officials, I don’t like female coaches, I don’t like kids [. . .] women should not ref. We all know this is true.”

The main story about the email incident also stated that several NFL coaches and players were pressuring the Raiders’ coach, but he declined to comment, according to The Guardian. Gruden was officially let go after half a season. He is expected to become the head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Concerning the media, the NFL was not interested in this story because of “confidentiality” issues. The NFL has an anti-discrimination policy and relies on each team and each staff to follow it.

The Raiders were not interested in this story because they were not mentioned in the emails and said that Gruden was a veteran coach, and he had been working for the team for years.

The NFL Players Association was not interested in the story because they were not included or mentioned in the emails. CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC were not interested in the story because of “confidentiality” issues.

What are others’ thoughts about the Raiders Coach getting fired due to inscripting emails found?

Many fans of the Raiders and others were appalled by this type of behavior by someone who is supposed to be a leader in his field. While some people believe that it is a way to get rid of people who are not talented enough for the job, others think that this is a way of punishing someone for their offensive comments.

Redlands East Valley takes home the smudge pot


The Smudge Pot game took place on Oct. 15, 2021, between the Redlands East Valley Wildcats and the Redlands High School Terriers.

The Smudge Pot game was a thrill to watch. Fierce competition was present in the field and stands as the game ran into two overtimes. 

In the first quarter of the game, both teams showed great defense. The ball hardly moved from the Terrier’s end zone as both defenses were making great stops. 

The first touchdown graced the audience in the second quarter with a passing play that resulted in a 7-0 lead for the Wildcats. After this touchdown, Redlands High School made a fantastic kickoff return that would have tied the game; if the flags were not against them. Shortly after, the Terriers threw long for a touchdown to make the score 7-7. This tie would stay for the remainder of the first half of the game.

Redlands East Valley, in the red uniforms, attempting a field goal kick against Redlands High School, in the blue and white uniforms. This field goal kick by the Wildcats to win the game in overtime was just shy of the uprights. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News photo)

Seven minutes into the third quarter, the Terriers threw another touchdown to make the score 14-7. Tension and excitement was audible in the stands as chants and cheers increased. Two fumbles by the Wildcats and Terriers were seen before the end of the third quarter resulting in the Wildcats having possession going into the fourth.

After another passing play by the Wildcats, the score was once again tied at 14-14 with 9 minutes left of the fourth quarter. The defense increased dramatically on both sides as the clock winded down. 

The last two minutes of the game seemed to crawl by. The Wildcats were holding the Terriers to their end zone and created many attempts to get a touchdown. With just a few seconds remaining before the last quarter ended, the Wildcats attempted a field goal kick to win the game. As the game clock expired, the ball was sent flying into the air, heading just right of the uprights. This sent the game into overtime.

The Terriers started with the ball in overtime. They began a drive that led to an almost game winning touchdown pass. But, it was blocked by the Wildcat defensive player Nate Wells. The Terriers decided to finish their overtime possession with a field goal kick that was just shy of making it in, giving the ball to the Wildcats.

The Wildcats used many quarterback runs to gain yards in their drive. A few long shots were seen but were unsuccessful. The Wildcats resorted to a field goal kick that went to the Terriers sideline and stayed in bounds. This was recovered by the Terriers and almost led to a win for the Terriers, if not for the Wildcat kicker Yaqiym Halliburton. 

The second overtime of the game started with the Terriers’ drive but with no touchdown or field goal, giving possession to the Wildcats. The Wildcats moved the chains with more quarterback runs which ultimately showed little success. An unfair matchup was spotted on the field by Wildcats coaches with Wildcat receiver Laviel Pickett and Terrier cornerback number 15. The sizable height difference gave huge advantages to the Wildcat receiver. 

The Wildcats decided to use this matchup and threw up the ball to Pickett in the endzone. Pickett caught the ball and landed in the endzone, securing the Wildcats as the winners of the Smudge Pot game.

Redlands East Valley Wildcats holding up the Smudge Pot trophy. This win was no easy feat for the team, so the excitement was apparent. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News photo)

Both teams showed great effort. The suspense and tensions of the game made for an enjoyable experience that will leave many fans waiting in anticipation for next year.

Photos: Wildcat varsity boys water polo team crushes Beaumont


Redlands East Valley High School varsity boys water polo team defeated Beaumont High School with a score of 22-3 at REV’s pool on Oct. 18. Their win has allowed them to maintain their rank as first place in the Citrus Belt League.

Above: Redlands East Valley High School senior Nick Sadowski (right) attempts to block passes from Beaumont High School’s Sean Dickinson (left) during the first quarter of REV vs. BHS on Oct. 18 at REV. Sadowski scored one goal overall in the first quarter. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photos)

Above: Redlands East Valley High School senior Gavin Oliver dribbles the ball toward Beaumont High School’s half during the first quarter of REV vs. BHS on Oct. 18 at REV. Oliver had a total of five points scored throughout the game. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Above: Beaumont High School goalie Noah Lopez attempts to defend a shot from Redlands East Valley High School junior Ruben Villanueva during the second quarter of REV vs. BHS on Oct. 18 at REV. Lopez surrendered 22 goals throughout the game.  (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

REV secured the lead quickly as they were winning 8-0 by the end of the first quarter. REV seniors Gavin Oliver and Riley Bour tied for most goals in this quarter with three goals scored each.

Above: Redlands East Valley High School senior Riley Bour receives an assist prompting him to successfully score against Beaumont High School during the second quarter of REV vs. BHS on Oct. 18 at REV. Bour had a total of five goals scored during the game. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Above: Beaumont High School’s William Peters prepares to pass the ball while being guarded by Redlands East Valley High School senior Ralph Veach during the second quarter of REV vs. BHS on Oct. 18 at REV. Peters would go on to later score Beaumont’s third goal in the fourth quarter. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

By the end of the second quarter, REV maintained their spacious lead by continuing to not surrender any goals to BHS. They also scored nine goals in this quarter equating to a score of 17-0.

Above: Redlands East Valley High School senior Nico Perna guards Beaumont High School’s Peter Williams during the third quarter of REV vs. BHS on Oct. 18 at REV. Perna had a total of three goals scored throughout the game. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

During the third quarter, Santino Nicassio-Ortiz scored the first goal for BHS while REV continued to gain five more goals.

Above: Redlands East Valley High School senior Luca Smith guards the goal during the fourth quarter of REV vs. BHS on Oct. 18 at REV. REV varsity water polo captain Gavin Oliver said, “Luca Smith [was] great in the goal. Not too many shots on the goal, but everytime there [was] one, it’s mostly blocked.” (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

With a final score of 22-3, Brady Hall and William Peters were able to score two additional goals for BHS during the fourth quarter. 

REV seniors and varsity captains Nico Perna and Gavin Oliver attribute their team’s strengths to being cohesive and adaptable. Perna and Oliver have both been playing water polo for about six years, thus have gained much experience. 

Oliver said, “If someone says to another person ‘hey, do this,’ they’ll do it right away. We listen to each other. We respect each other.” 

“Our current game plans are working pretty well and we can adapt quickly,” said Perna. 

Despite the win, Perna and Oliver express personal improvements they could have made during the game. 

Oliver said, “I feel like in this game, I could have made better passes. I made a few that were too high, too low, but if they were more accurate, we could have had two more goals maybe.” 

Perna feels he could have improved on his shooting.

The REV junior varsity boys water polo team also beat BHS following the varsity game on Oct. 25. The final score for junior varsity was 22-2. 

The REV junior varsity team captains are sophomores Zachary Cash and Lucas Torres.

Torres, who has been playing water polo for two years, said, “The JV team worked great together and excelled in defense. It’s amazing seeing how all our practices helped bond the team to where we can trust each other’s decisions versus how we first started.”

With the season wrapping up, Torres said, “I just hope all my boys had some fun and consider joining the club team [Renegades Waterpolo] or maybe continue next year if they’re up for it.”

REV varsity boys water polo will play in the CIF playoffs  on Nov. 13.

Blackhawks take victory over Wildcats football



The Redlands East Valley varsity football team faced off against Citrus Valley High School in Dodge Stadium on Friday, Oct. 8. A well-played game by the Wildcats, but the Blackhawks took the win with a final score of 7-57.

REV Analysis:

Redlands East Valley put up an admirable performance at the game. With the score aside, they showcased many great traits of the team. 

However, a few crucial flaws gave way to the landslide victory. These hiccups revolved around inconsistency.

Inconsistency with tackling was a huge part of the problem. Many times Wildcat defensive players were in the correct position but were unable to bring the opponent down. These occurrences resulted in Blackhawks gaining points and eventually touchdowns.

 Citrus Valley High School, wearing the white and black uniforms, kicked off to Redlands East Valley High School, wearing the red and black uniforms, on Oct. 8 during the third quarter of the game. This sight was a common occurrence due to Citrus Valley’s high score. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News photo)

Another area of improvement is speed. The Wildcats’ safeties and cornerbacks were simply not fast enough for the Blackhawks’ wide receivers. The Blackhawks’ receivers would gain a lead between their defenders and easily catch a throw for massive gains of yards.

On the positive side, the Wildcats displayed many noteworthy attributes during the game.

The Wildcats’ quarterback had great, fast and accurate throws. He was throwing the ball quickly after receiving it which really helped the Wildcats pick up some yards. 

The Wildcats’ offense also improved play variety. More passing plays were seen in this game compared to the previous one and even a fake punt was attempted.

In addition, the Wildcats’ defensive line was working hard this game. Kaden Khalloufi, linebacker for the Wildcats, was able to sack the quarterback in the middle of the third quarter.

All in all, the Wildcats have some areas that need improving but put up a great and entertaining game on Friday.

Citrus Valley Analysis:

Citrus Valley made their ultimate comeback on Friday, Oct. 8 as the varsity football team faced off Redlands East Valley. The Blackhawks put much hard work into this game, which clearly paid off with the win and score of 7-57. The varsity team had lost their previous two games to Centennial and Cajon high schools, with the winning teams leading by ten or more points.

One of Citrus Valley plays during the third quarter that resulted in another touchdown for the Blackhawks. (DESTINY RAMOS/ Ethic News photo)

The Blackhawks were off to a great start. Eight minutes into the game, player number four made the first touchdown of the night, which was the beginning of the Blackhawks’ touchdown streak. 

The Citrus Valley Spirit Crew attended the game and led students with chants such as “you have no field” and “we can’t hear you.” Although the chants were well unexpected, the Blackhawks did not disappoint their team. 

The first quarter ended with Blackhawks leading 0-14. 

The second quarter was consistent with two touchdowns and one field goal. Wildcat player number 23 had gotten REV’s first touchdown, but that would have been the only time the Blackhawks would allow the Wildcats to score that night. At second-and-27 in the game, player number 4 made a 20-yard touchdown pass. The score was 7-27, Blackhawks leading by halftime. 

The third and fourth quarters had the Blackhawks leading by more and more points. Great plays were made that eventually resulted in the high score and victory against REV. The Wildcats may not have gotten the best score, but they did fight hard and gave an entertaining game.

Spiritleaders Ashley Pham, Jenna Negrete and Malani Tauli cheer for their team after the final Blackhawk touchdown in the fourth quarter. (DESTINY RAMOS/Ethic News photo)

Justin Tucker set a new record for the NFL


The NFL record for the longest field goal kick made was set on Sunday, Sept. 26. Justin Tucker, NFL placekicker for the Baltimore Ravens, set the record during the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions football game. Tucker set it by hitting a 66 yard field goal to set the Ravens over the Lions in points and win the game.

Tucker took the field in the final seconds of the game with the Ravens trailing by one. As his foot made contact with the ball, the game clock expired. The ball sailed across the field, coming down directly on the crossbar and bouncing in through the uprights for the three points the Ravens needed to win.

This made Tucker 16 for 16 in the last minute of regulation field goal attempts. This record setting hit goes alongside his record for being the most accurate kicker in NFL history.

The record for longest field goal kick made in the NFL was previously set with a 64 yard field goal by Denver Broncos placekicker Matt Prater in December 2013. This record was undisputed for eight years but was finally beaten by Tucker’s amazing kick.

Before the game, Tucker practiced hitting 65 yard field goals but was coming up short each time both ways.

“Thankfully, we found an extra yard-and-a-half that I didn’t have three hours before,” said Tucker as reported by ESPN.

This new record will secure Justin Tucker’s legacy and his path towards the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

File:Justin Tucker 2020.jpg

Photo by All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Photos: Dragons end softball season with 3 home runs against Birch


Orangewood High School participated in their last softball game of the season on Oct. 13 against Birch High School, hitting three home runs and concluding their season with a win.

Orangewood High School senior Jocelyn Gomez runs to first base versus Birch High School on Oct. 13. The OHS Dragons are coached by Mark Perkins. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic Photo)

Orangewood High School junior Jesse Navarro pitches to Birch High School on the Oct. 13 softball game. Navarro is the Dragons’ main softball pitcher. (DEBBIE DIAZ/Ethic photo)

Orangewood High School senior Jocelyn Gomez prepares to bat versus Birch High School on Oct. 13. As as senior in the last game of the season, Gomez played her last softball game. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic photo)

Orangewood High School junior Alicia Zaragoza waits for the coach to announce safe or out on the Oct. 13 softball game versus Birch. “Zaragoza is our best first baseman,” says OHS senior Jocelyn Gomez. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News)

Orangewood High School senior Jocelyn Gomez rounds first base in the Oct. 13 game versus Birch High School. As a senior in the last game of the season, this is the last softball game Gomez plays for the Dragons. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News)

Smudge Pot football game fuels burning school rivalry


Wildcats celebrating their 5th consecutive Smudgepot victory in 2017. (ANDREW VINES/ Ethic News photo)

It’s October and that means two things for Redlands East Valley High School and Redlands High School students: Halloween and the annual Smudge Pot football game. The Smudge Pot game is the rivalry between the REV Wildcats and the RHS Terriers.

To start off, what even is a smudge pot? A smudge pot is a device that burns oil and is placed in orchards in order to keep the trees from frosting their leaves and their fruit.

Although the use of these orchard heaters has been illegal in California since 1947, that does not stop the symbolism of the smudge pot from prevailing in Redlands, California, once home to more than 15,000 acres of orange groves.

On the smudge pot, a statement is engraved: “A perpetual trophy, honoring redlands’ citrus industry heritage, passed to the winner of the annual Redlands High School vs. Redlands East Valley High School football game, in the spirit of friendly competition and sportsmanship.” (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News photos)

The beginning of this rivalry amongst two schools started in 1997, the first year that REV was open, and continues to this day every school year in October.

Per tradition, whichever school wins the football game also wins the smudge pot with the score of the game engraved on the smudge pot. In the past 23 years, Redlands East Valley High School has taken the smudge pot 14 times, and Redlands High School has taken it 10 times.

The Smudge Pot game is also a great opportunity for the REV Litterbox and the RHS Boneyard to show their school pride and high spirits. In past years, students have painted their bodies according to their school colors and have cheer-offs against the opposing school.

For this 2021-2022 school year, the Smudge Pot game will occur Friday, Oct. 15 with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. and kickoff at 7:00 p.m. at the RHS football stadium, Dodge Stadium.

Tickets to the game can be purchased at any time on the website, and game-day tickets will be available for purchase. Tickets for adults are $8 and tickets for students are $5. Children 6 and under and students with an ASB card will be admitted to the game for free. 

Good luck to both teams, and may the best team win.

Wildcats lose homecoming game against Beaumont


The Redlands East Valley High School varsity football team faced Beaumont High School at Citrus Valley High School on Oct. 1. With both teams known for their offenses, this game was going to be the one to see. 

Beaumont scored their first touchdown and two-point conversion within the first eight minutes of the first quarter. Shortly after, Beaumont High School recovered their onside kick and brought the football down the field for another eight points.

Redlands East Valley, wearing the black and red uniforms, at Citrus Valley High School kicking off the football to Beaumont, wearing the white and blue uniforms, to start the first quarter of the game. This marks the beginning of the REV homecoming game on Oct. 1, 2021. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News)

This trend continued for the rest of the first and second half resulting in a devastating 61-21 loss for REV. Beaumont’s size and skill difference proved too much for REV to handle.

Even though the score difference was great, there were still many great highlights for the REV team. Outstanding runs, catches, and even a hurdle were seen by REV and made many in the crowd go wild. 

At halftime, the Redlands East Valley ASB announced the homecoming court and the king and queen for Homecoming for the 2021-2022 school year. This was topped off with a display of fireworks to celebrate the event. 

Photos: Blackhawks defeat Wildcats in Citrus Belt League volleyball match


Citrus Valley High School beat Redlands East Valley High School in varsity girls volleyball with a score of 3-0 at the REV gymnasium on Sept. 15. Citrus Valley and REV both went into the match having lost their first Citrus Belt League match on Sept. 13; Citrus Valley had lost 0-3 against Cajon and REV had lost 0-3 against Beaumont. 

REV’s team is led by head coach Mckenna Fink; this is Fink’s first year of being head coach. Fink was a four-year varsity volleyball player at Citrus Valley under coach Tina Raddish and graduated in 2017. Mike Fink serves as the assistant coach. 

Citrus Valley’s team is coached by April Finazzo; this is Finazzo’s first year as head coach following Raddish. Ciara Claus serves as the assistant coach.

Citrus Valley High School senior Hope Ihem deflects the volleyball following an attack hit from the Redlands East Valley High School team during the first set in the REV gymnasium on Sept. 15. Ihem serves as a middle blocker on her team. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
Citrus Valley High School junior Giselle Coley performs a bump hit to steer the volleyball closer to the attack line during the first set against Redlands East Valley High School in the REV gymnasium on Sept. 15. Citrus Valley won the first set by five points. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
Redlands East Valley High School junior Christina Muller spikes the volleyball scoring a point for her team during the second set against Citrus Valley High School in the REV gymnasium on Sept. 15. Muller generally serves as a setter. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
Redlands East Valley High School sophomore Zaryah Bernard drops to her knees to respond to an attack hit from Citrus Valley during the second set in the REV gymnasium on Sept. 15. This is Bernard’s first year as a part of REV’s girls varsity team. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
Citrus Valley High School junior Giselle Coley (right) celebrates with her teammates after winning a rally against Redlands East Valley High School during the third set in the REV gymnasium on Sept. 15. Citrus Valley later experiences a winning streak as they go from 17 to 24 points while REV stays at 17 points. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
Citrus Valley High School junior Kailani Caloca bumps the volleyball during the third set against Redlands East Valley High School in the REV gymnasium on Sept. 15. The rally ended in a point for Citrus Valley as a result of REV hitting the volleyball out of bounds. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
Redlands East Valley High School junior Aparna Mannickarottu (right) helps her teammate respond to a hit from Citrus Valley High School during the third set on Sept. 15 in the REV gymnasium. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)
Redlands East Valley High School sophomore Zaryah Bernard, an outside hitter, bumps the volleyball in attempts to steer it away from the boundary lines during the third set against Citrus Valley High School in the REV gymnasium on Sept. 15. This rally was the last time REV earned a point in this set, eventually resulting in Citrus Valley winning the set with a score of 25 to 18. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Citrus Valley’s win against REV has currently put them in fourth place in CBL.

“I think my team’s biggest strength is that when we’re able to work together seamlessly, we are a very powerful team,” said Citrus Valley High School senior Savannah Toailoa, a three-year varsity player. “We have great passers, great setters and great hitters. When we work together, it’s amazing.”

Citrus Valley’s next match is against Yucaipa High School at 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 in the Citrus Valley gymnasium. 

REV is now ranked last in CBL out of the six schools in the conference.

“I would say that our greatest strength is our bond that we have all together; we are able to help each other grow as players and friends,” said REV sophomore Zaryah Bernard.

REV’s next match is against Redlands High School at 5:15 p.m. on Sept. 20 in the RHS gymnasium.

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Season 1, Episode 8, Part 1: Always Face the Ocean


Today’s episode is a part of a three part series that is all about the Redlands East Valley Wildcats’ girls’ athletic director, Rhonda Fouch (she/her) who also goes by Fouch and Coach Fouch. Mrs. Fouch has been working on impacting the lives of young people for 40 years, and is retiring this school year. Learn more about Fouch’s connection with the ocean, how long and how she ended up in Redlands, and what made her choose her occupation of Girls’ Athletic Director. This episode’s intro and outro song is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole.

Citrus Valley announces sports will have a season


After the pandemic became worldwide, mandatory quarantine was announced to ensure the safety of others. This included schools and various businesses having to close down last year in March 2020. The school year was definitely cut short due to COVID-19 cases, along with school events such as dances, meets and sports. 

Fast forward nearly a year later, school has been online ever since and trying their best to get everything back to normal safely. Many student athletes were taken back by distance learning, leading to many missed seasons. Administrators have been working very thoroughly and patiently to get the athletics back and now, as of March 2021, sports have now been cleared to return.

Given the news, coaches are working hard to get their players back and in condition to play games. Tryout dates for the first week of March have already been announced. Prior to this announcement, many fall sports such as football, water polo, cross country and volleyball have been practicing and conditioning in hopes of being cleared to have a season. Football coaches across the county were expecting to hear the news as of March 1, so the early approval was exciting to many coaches.

Coach Rich Lunsford at Redlands East Valley High School said, “I was absolutely ecstatic! Mostly for the seniors, because they were freshmen when I took over the coaching job at REV, so we have been through this together over the last few years and they’re all like my children. I knew how much of an emotional toll the suspension of play had taken on them all and to see the joy and excitement they showed when it was announced they’d get a partial senior season was unbelievable.” Lunsford also says that after football was approved, he “reached out and talked with each and every one of [the] seniors to make sure they were in for this one last ride together as a family!”

Dakota Sta Ana, a freshman at Citrus Valley High School, says, “With sports finally being back, it’s giving me hope that everything is getting better and giving me that small bit of normalcy that everyone needs.”

During a hard game against Redlands High School, Dakota attempts to score a point for her team. Water polo is among one of the many sports that schools are planning to continue (Photo credit to Charmaine Sta Ana).

Since they were the first sports to begin practicing back in the fall, many teams have already had their first game and meet back since the start of COVID-19. Spring sports such as softball, baseball, basketball, swimming and track and field have also started holding tryouts. 

Aidan Maldonado, a junior from CVHS, says, “Since sports like soccer have came back, I’ve felt that many people including myself are happy about it. Although a lot of us don’t like the restrictions, we’re still grateful for sports and the possibility of having actual league games in the near future.” 

Soccer girls awaiting instructions after conditioning. Practices are conducted with extreme caution and safety to reduce COVID-19 cases (Photo credit to Allen Thoe).

All coaches have taken safety precautions in order to hold practice and play games. Before practices, coaches take the temperature of each player and space warm ups at least six feet apart. Players will wear a mask to ensure the safety of others and still practice social distancing. On and off the field, players will continue to practice with a mask on for the majority of the time. Players are constantly encouraged to follow the hygiene protocol: to always wash and sanitize their hands before, throughout and after practice. 

“Sports practices have been really safe from a covid standpoint. The coach is very reasonable and fair with us choosing not to go to certain practices and he enforces the guidelines for our safety very strictly which I appreciate,” says Ariana Ghalambor, a senior at REV.

High intensity sports that include running, or even sports in the water may not wear a mask as it can become a breathing hazard for some. Along the lines of safety, sports like football or baseball will have players using their own gear to minimize the spread of germs. 

While players are doing their best to stay safe, parents and guardians are as well. At games, the crowd may be a bit smaller than normal, meaning there will be a maximum of four spectators per player taking precautions and wearing a mask the entire game to ensure everyone’s safety.

Since sports seasons started late, the seasons may be a bit shorter than normal. However, because they are shorter, teams can still participate in tournaments to make up for lost games. 

Ultimately, after a rough few months, things are starting to look up in the community as many establishments are slowly opening and restrictions are being lifted. Sports returning is just one of the many good things to come.

Virtual global skate scavenger hunt organized by Skate IDSA and GooseChase

Originally published in La Plaza Press


The Great Longboard GooseChase Volume One is a month-long event from Dec. 18, 2020 to Jan. 18, 2021, and its organizers are Skate International Distance and Supercross Association (IDSA) and the mobile scavenger hunt app GooseChase. Thirty-seven recognizable sponsors from the longboard and skateboard community such as Loaded Boards, Paris Trucks Co., and Longboard Girls Crew have also helped to curate challenges and prizes.

Skate IDSA has organized previous online races earlier this year including 100 miles in 24 hours and an accumulative 100 miles in a month, so starting a virtual scavenger hunt was not their first socially distanced endeavor. 

The IDSA is seeking an entertaining method to promote mental health awareness. Donations from sponsors and challengers will be going to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, which gives cash grants to people doing research in mental health fields such as post trauma stress disorder (PTSD), addiction, and trauma. It is the largest private funder of mental health research in the United States of America with a worldwide reach. 

Some rules, according to Skate IDSA’s website, include respectful conduct and completing all posted challenges to get as many possible points. Because it will be hard for administrators to verify distance, time, and speed challenges, they are recorded by challengers using ride tracking apps such as Strava or Garmin.

New, creative challenges are released every Friday. Organizers noted that the challenges will be mental, from every form of skate, skill focused, and even introspective; some challenges include playing “Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry on one’s loudest portable speaker throughout their neighborhood and another one would be leaving an encouraging, unsigned note while out skating.

In addition to the basic parameters, there is a point system. One can get extra points as easily as saying a funny comment during the video or adding a unique flair in executing the challenge, but one can lose points by not correctly completing a challenge.

For 500 points, one had to take a picture of their board with a bird. It was a challenge to find a creative way to take a picture with a bird, but it was nothing that a little perspective could not solve. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS / La Plaza photo)

For 600 points, one had to take a picture of their board with the oldest building in their city, and in Los Angeles, there is the 203-year-old Avila Adobe in the heart of Olvera Street. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS / La Plaza photo)

For a whopping 1,000 points, one had to skate the longest distance they have ever skated. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS / La Plaza photo)

Each player who accrues 20,000 points will be entered in a raffle. Prizes include boards, wheels, trucks, bushings, and other longboarding and skating gear. An especially lucrative prize is an online class with well-known longboarder Brandon DesJarlais.

The Great Longboard GooseChase helped me get out of my comfort zone and improve my longboard skills. One challenge required the skater to ride their longboard at a skatepark, and I was extremely nervous because I was the only girl and the only one with a longboard. The challenge caused me to overcome my fear. Now, I can comfortably go to a skatepark despite my gender or kind of board.

The Great Longboard GooseChase Volume Two is planned to span eleven days from June 25, 2021 to July 4, 2021. So, when June 25 rolls around, grab your phone and board and join the community. As Skate IDSA said, “Have fun, be kind, and ride on, everyone.”

Despite the virtual scavenger hunt mainly being longboard oriented, this challenge was to help someone in our community, and one of my neighbors happened to give my family oranges the same day we made chocolate chip, walnut, banana muffins, so I gave the muffins to them in return. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS / La Plaza photo)

Tampa Bay marks the second victory in Superbowl history

Originally published in La Plaza Press


Tampa Bay plays against Kansas City in the 2020 Super Bowl, marking a memorable game in football history. (Image via KSAT12)

Kicking off the 55th Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, fans are watching across the world, regardless of the pandemic. This game will be monumental to many sports fans and football enthusiasts alike because it’s the first time a team will be playing in its home stadium for the Super Bowl.

Players you should definitely know about:

Tom Brady, quarterback of the Tampa Bay team, who is 43 years old (which is normal in human years but considered ancient in football years) will be participating in his 10th Superbowl (of the nine thus far, he has won six of them). Youth will be played by Patrick Mahomes, the 25 year old quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes is also known for State Farm commercials. However, Tom Brady is far from the only Patriot to step up in the Super Bowl. Other significant players include Rob Gronkowski, USA Today reports that, “The Patriots offense was great in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles, and Rob Gronkowski was the brightest star besides Brady. The veteran tight end tallied a team-high nine receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns, including a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. It was one of the best playoff performances of Gronkowski’s career.” Gronkowski will surely be a problem for Kansas City in the Superbowl tonight because of his previous performances in big games. Besides the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chiefs also have very important players alike, the NFL’s Kansas City writes that, “No Chiefs player’s stock has improved more than [Darrel Williams’] over the past few weeks. He filled in admirably for Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell and figures to play an important role for the Chiefs again on Sunday. He’s the most physical of their backs, and that quality will be needed to provide additional protection for Mahomes against the Bucs’ stout pass rush. Williams is a big-play back, the likely choice if the Chiefs go power in short-yardage situations.” This is important to keep in mind while watching the game because the Kansas City Chiefs still have a chance against the talented and well renowned Tampa Bay team. 

Who’s going to win?

As of right now, many people favor the Kansas City Chiefs. Even the New York Times claims that, “No one has won more Super Bowls than Tom Brady, but in a high-scoring game, Patrick Mahomes has a slight advantage. Speed is everywhere on Kansas City’s offense — Mahomes, Kelce and Hill have it, too — and the rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire added a threat to the running game that had been expected to be missing when Damien Williams opted out of the season. Considering Kansas City’s tendency to play its best when it is challenged most, this game seems to tilt in the Chiefs’ favor, with the biggest caveat being the team’s poor health on its offensive line.”

The half-time show everyone has been waiting for:

The Weeknd will be headlining the halftime show, and there’s all kinds of speculation over what the vibe of the event will be. After all, the stadium will have only about 25,000 people in it thanks to the pandemic, so there probably won’t be any screaming or carrying on like one would expect in a typical halftime show.

How the pandemic has affected the Super bowl:

This year’s Super Bowl will be unlike any other in history as it falls in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has gripped the nation for nearly a year and caused the NFL to adapt its procedures and health protocols throughout the season. After significant changes to its offseason program and the cancellation of the preseason, the league managed to pull off a full regular season and allow limited fan attendance at most games. For its biggest spectacle of the year, the NFL talked with the CDC, the Florida Department of Health and Tampa area hospitals and health care systems about hosting fans in a safe and responsible way for Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. A total of 22,000 fans will attend the game, with 7,500 of those being health care workers invited as guests of the league to honor their service during the pandemic. All health care workers in attendance will be vaccinated and the majority of the group will come from hospitals and health care systems in the Tampa and central Florida area. 14,000 spectators will have been winners of a lottery to watch the Super Bowl live.

Game notes and recap:

First quarter scoring: 7-3 TB

There were three punts to start, then a 49 yard field goal from Kansas City. Then, Brady threw an 8-yard TD pass to Gronkowski (first TD pass that Brady has ever had in the first quarter of his ten SB appearances).

Second quarter scoring: 14-3 TB

Kansas City punted, then Tampa Bay turned the ball over on downs at Kansas City’s goal line. It led to another KC punt of 29 yards, which would have led to a 40 yard TB field goal, but the Chiefs lined up offsides, so it gave Tampa Bay a first down, leading to an instant 17 yard touchdown from Brady to Gronkowski, their second thus far. Kansas City responded with a drive ending in a 34 yard field goal led by Kelce (4 catches, 41 yards on drive). Just before halftime, Brady threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown, mainly because of two pass interference penalties drawn by Mike Evans combining for 42 yards. 

Halftime score: 21-6 TB

Tampa Bay’s offense was prolific, aided by several mental errors from Kansas City (8 penalties and 95 penalty yards in the first half). Brady was unstoppable, completing sixteen of his twenty passes and throwing three touchdowns. Tampa Bay’s defense did a superb job of limiting Kansas City’s league leading offense, holding them to six points and 124 total yards in the first half. Also, the halftime show was easily one of the best ever. The Weeknd performed with the fervor that one would expect after he was blacklisted from the Grammys for accepting the offer to headline the Super Bowl halftime show. 

Third quarter scoring: 10-3 TB

Kansas City came out of the second half with their most energy thus far, led by two runs for 36 yards from Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It ended in a 52 yard field goal. Tampa Bay responded with a quick touchdown drive capped off by a 27 yard run from Leonard Fournette. The next drive, Antoine Winfield created the first turnover of the game as he intercepted a tipped pass from Patrick Mahomes. The Buccaneers offense earned three points off of the interception, kicking a 52 yard field goal. 

End of third quarter score: 31-9 TB

Fourth quarter scoring: 0-0 

After the field goal, the Chiefs failed to convert on a fourth down try in the Buccaneers’ redzone, effectively ending the game as Tampa Bay had possession of the football and a 22 point lead with 13:32 left on the game clock. Following the Chiefs’ failed conversion, the most exciting plays of the night were when a streaker ran onto the field and when Devin White intercepted Patrick Mahomes in Tampa Bay’s endzone to seal the victory. Following the opening drive field goal for Kansas City, the wheels fell off of their offensive line. Mahomes took a couple big hits and was consistently forced to scramble for several seconds at a time. 

Final score: 31-9 TB

The largest contributors to Tampa Bay’s victory were undoubtedly their defensive line and their efficiency on offense. The Buccaneers’ defensive line versus the Chiefs’ offensive line was a gigantic mismatch, being the primary reason why Kansas City scored only nine points. On the other side, the Buccaneers’ offense was admittedly helped by the stellar play of the defense, but they also performed about as well as they could have. They forced several penalties from the Kansas City defense and consistently took advantage of the Chiefs’ mistakes on the way to scoring 31 points in three quarters.

Club and high school volleyball adapt to changing COVID guidelines


COVID-19 has put all sports on a pause and many people are missing the action out on the court, but with cases now going down and conditions improving, sports might finally be allowed to start their season. Volleyball, an orange-tiered sport, is one of the first high school sports to start their journey to getting back into shape and being allowed to play again. Although, club volleyball has already started this journey, practicing outside safely and even having a few games and tournaments. 

Dustin Fujiwara, director and coach of Redlands Renegade Volleyball Club, shares his input on the situation. He says it has been harder for the team to practice during COVID-19 as they had to find ways to be safe and still practice effectively. His team has been distancing themselves by playing outside and while constantly wearing masks and taking breaks to sanitize and check temperatures throughout practices and games. Players are not as motivated lately due to the stay at home order, “so as coaches [they] have to work on that mental side of it,” which can be difficult to do. Large crowds are no longer allowed at games, Fujiwara says, “maybe one parent per player.” After a game the teams cannot high five or hug each other. He also mentions that their “referee crews have been minimized as well, so [there are] only two per game when there would be four to five.” 

This year has been different due to wearing masks, distancing and sanitizing constantly, but on top of that, the team now also has to practice outside on the grass rather than in a gym, which has definitely made practices and games much more difficult. Fujiwara says that “tournaments and game COVID policy is different every month and [it is] hard to stay on top of it.” He says that this year has definitely been harder because of all of these rules. They had to buy supplies and come up with a protocol which they had to make sure was okay with USA volleyball and that parents felt safe with it. 

Renegade volleyball players Samantha Fujiwara and Jordyn Vasquez getting in the zone  as they start their first set during their 15-U tournament. Everyone’s excited to be back on the court cheering on their team and working together again. (Photo credit Renegade Volleyball Club)

Competitions were finally able to resume on January 25, but this was only the case for some sports. Sports in California are organized into four different colored tiers, purple, red, orange and yellow. Purple consists mostly of outdoor, low-contact sports while yellow is made up of indoor sports with either high or moderate contact. The red tier is outdoor sports with moderate contact and orange includes outdoor sports with high contact and indoor sports with low contact. Volleyball is in the orange tier under outdoor, high-contact sports. Most sports that were in the purple or the red tier were able to begin competing again on the 25th. 

Haley Bond, a member of Envision Volleyball Club and a freshman looking to play in high school says, “Yes, I do feel like COVID-19 has made many things difficult.” With COVID-19, club volleyball has been different from previous seasons. “Last year we were able to practice inside and not wear masks and participate in tournaments every month,” says Bond “but now we practice outside, wear masks and just started joining tournaments again.” Additionally, all teammates play on grass at parks instead of inside courts, always wear masks and get constant temperature checks in order to play instead of continuing their long break. 

When California allows orange tiered sports like volleyball to play, high school teams will have to carefully follow rules in order to keep their season going. Keeping masks on at all times even if it causes hard breathing, have small crowds with only family who live in the same house as players and only travel for frames within a close distance. Additionally with volleyball being inside, crowds will be controlled and limited to possibly only players and coaches. However, high school players aren’t going to let these rules affect their experience. 

“High school volleyball has pretty much been the same as club volleyball, we’re practicing outside, wearing masks and safely staying six feet apart.” However, the high school experience has been “different but fun so far,” according to Bond. High school volleyball has been doing the best they can for their players, hosting “fun practices every week and tryouts until we know if [there is] going to [be] a season.” One of the most important things to start volleyball is tryouts. Bond feels like tryouts have been easier due to the fact they were outside and there might not even be a season in the first place.

Renegade’s blocker, Sidney Chaves working on her blocking under the lights during practice on their outside court. Coaches are excited to get back but are still keeping safety as a priority. (Photo credit Renegade Volleyball Club)

Bond stated, “I feel like everyone did a really good job considering the circumstances we’re under, but inside on a real court our success rates could’ve been higher.” Bond is hoping for a season, but until California reaches the orange tier, that won’t be possible. 

The new season will be a different season for most players, as the spread of COVID-19 increases and puts all at risk. However, teams can form new, special bonds over the difficulties they might come across, ultimately forming an even stronger team. These bonds will allow teams to overcome all battles to ensure their best season yet. 

Team member Jordyn Vasquez hitting the ball over the net during Renegades 15-U tournament hoping to score a point. The set was a close one but Renegades was able to put in their all and win the set. (Photo credit Renegade Volleyball Club)

National sports leagues adapt to COVID-19, as do fans

Originally published in La Plaza Press


With the complications of 2020, every sports league has had to adapt in order to stay afloat.  Many changes have been made, with mixed reactions from fans. 

One of the biggest differences is the absence or limitation of crowds.  Without crowds of people, the atmosphere of the events completely changed.  

“It does make it feel more awkward and it takes away the Roman colosseum feel,” says Matthew Alvizo, a junior at Redlands East Valley.  

A Wilson NCAA basketball is shown in front of a basketball hoop in Redlands on Feb. 8, 2021. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

To combat this issue, some organizations got creative. The National Basketball Association, National Football League and World Wrestling Entertainment are some leagues which include virtual seating for fans who want to show support while staying safe.  

Because most sports include lots of physical contact, players are very susceptible to getting the coronavirus.  This has had an impact on players’ willingness and ability to play. An example is the NFL’s Cam Newton, who was not allowed to play against the Kansas City Chiefs due to testing positive for coronavirus.  To combat the spread, some sports play in “bubbles” that no one can enter or leave, protecting players, coaches, and everyone else inside from contracting the virus.  This strategy has been successful for players in the NBA, WNBA, NWSL, and NLS.  

A Wilson NFL football is shown on a patch of grass in Redlands on Feb. 8, 2021. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

Sports have been very different this past year. However, many fans are enjoying the new format and even enjoy it more.  

“It’s made me watch them more,” says Alejandro Rodriguez,  a sophomore at South Carolina Virtual Charter School. 

“I dislike crowds and prefer to watch Esports alone so I have been enjoying watching just as much as usual,” says Paul McClure, a junior at Redlands High School.  

While this past year has proven to be a challenge for sports fans, players, and leagues alike, all three levels have, and continue to, adapt to the challenges that the infectious coronavirus poses. For some, the adjustments in the sports world are pleasant deviations from tradition. 

Steelers lose their winning streak


The Pittsburgh Steelers, led by head coach Mike Tomlin, were thriving on a 11-0 winning streak. Multiple games were suspenseful near the end, like game 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles and game 6 against the Tennessee Titans, but the team did not let their fans down until Week 13. 

Although the team was undefeated, they faced a couple of bumps in the road this season. The game versus the Baltimore Ravens was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving Day. However, it was then moved to the following Sunday, and then to Tuesday, and finally to Wednesday Dec. 2 after a reported COVID-19 outbreak on the Ravens team. Beforehand, two players were critically injured. After the Steelers’ first game of the season against the New York Giants, offensive tackle, Zach Banner, was injured. A torn ACL was reported on Sept. 17. After an MRI, his season was over. Later on Nov. 11, linebacker, Devin Bush Jr., tore his ACL and underwent surgery shortly after the incident. Sadly, the 22-year-old’s season was also cut shorter than planned.

Steelers lose their winning streak to the Washington Football Team now standing in a 11-1 Ratio. (Mauricio Pliego/Ethic News)

We asked a fan what the most “nail-biting” game was for them. Ivy Walker, a freshman at Redlands East Valley, said, “The Ravens game last night was the most anxiety-filled game for me because they [Ravens] are our rivals. We’re undefeated, so we couldn’t lose the game. Our offense was not doing the best, and they kept dropping easy passes. But in the end, we barely won the game.” 

Another Steelers fan was asked what game he had the most confidence in. Isaac Marshall, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School said, “I felt the most confidence in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I felt so confident because in the past the Jaguars have not had many good seasons, and they have not done so hot this year either.” 

Do you believe they can reestablish dominance?

The road to a 2020 World Series Championship Title


In the year 1903, things changed for Major League Baseball forever, that year was the first year of playoffs and has been going on ever since. Each year it was modified to what it is now. This years playoffs recently just finished and the results are in. Due to the Co-Vid 19 disease, this season was postponed and wasn’t what it normally was schedule wise. Normally the regular MLB season is roughly six months long plus an additional month or so including playoffs and the championship game, with the recent conditions the whole season was shortened by three months which is half of the season. 

On that note, the 2020 MLB playoffs kicked off with the Wild Card Series Tuesday, September 29th for the American League and the following day for the National League.

The first braquet of this year’s playoffs. Here it shows which teams will be playing and in which League they are from, with the American league on the left and National league on the right (Image by cbs.sports).

The first games for AL 

1. Houston Astros vs Minnesota Twins (4-1)

2. Chicago White Sox vs The Oakland Athletics (4-1)

3. Tampa Bay Rays vs Toronto Blue Jays (3-1)

4. New York Yankees vs Cleveland Indians (12-3)

The first games for NL

1. Atlanta Braves vs Cincinnati Reds (1-0)

2. Miami Marlins vs Chicago Cubs (5-1)

3. St. Louis Cardinals vs San Diego Padres (7-4)

4. Los Angeles Dodgers vs Milwaukee Brewers (4-2)

The first games had already finished within a blink of an eye, the teams all played their first games already and began preparing for the next one. Since this years season hadn’t gone according to plan, changes has been made all around to accommodate the current situation. This year’s playoffs was broken down differently. The postseason expanded in a 16-team playoff tournament exclusively for the year 2020, instead of the standard 10-team tournament. Teams in each league are ranked by division winners (1–3), division runners-up (4–6) and best teams remaining (7–8). Along with the series being different than normal on top of that the teams that advanced past the wild card series did not play in their home stadium. After the first round, baseball goes into a bubble of sorts, with the four American League teams traveling to Southern California and the four National League teams to Texas.

An updated bracket of the Major League Baseball playoffs, showing which teams will be moving on to the next series (Image by cbs sports).

Moving on to the National League Division Series, from the National League, the advancing teams were the Los Angeles Dodgers vs The San Diego Padres and The Miami Marlins vs The Atlanta Braves. 

The advancing teams for the American League Division Series will be the Tampa Bay Rays vs the New York Yankees and The Houston Astros vs the Oakland Athletics. 

Throughout the Major League Baseball season, fans looked forward to seeing which two teams would end up battling it out for the World Champion title. Since then, four teams remained. Those who advanced were the Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros from the American League Championship, as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves from the National League Championship. The League Championship consisted of a best of seven series between the Tampa Bay Rays vs the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers vs the Atlanta Braves. Moving on from here, whoever advanced would be one of the two teams participating in the long awaited Championship Series.

This is the last bracket showing all data from start to finish of which teams advanced and made it to the last round. (Image from cbs.sports).

The  first Champion Series game took place on October 20th, 2020 with The Los Angeles Dodgers from the National League vs the Tampa Bay Rays. This series was back and forth and had everyone at home watching on the edge of their seat. With the Dodgers returning for another shot for the championship title and the Rays advancing to the final round for the first time in history. It was an amazing series to watch and an amazing outcome for the Dodger fans, after a long awaited 32 years of hard work and dedication the Los Angeles Dodgers rained victorious and won the 2020 World Championship of Major League Baseball.

RUSD board members and parents take steps toward building a REV athletic stadium


On Oct. 13, Redlands Unified School District held their monthly board meeting to inform and update the community of issues in the RUSD, including the status of a Redlands East Valley sports stadium.  

The district has sent out a request for qualification and a proposal from architects for a stadium. They will soon be planning a rubric and grading the proposal from the architects. The proposal will be brought to the next board meeting for the board to deny or approve.

Paul Cullen, the interim assistant superintendent of business services, discussed in the board meeting how the district has $11 million in the district’s development funds. 

Yet, only $6 million would be possible to be used for a REV athletic facility due to the district’s needs to replace portables, start street improvements near a future middle school, and repair the swimming pools at the high schools.

 2 years ago, Redlands East Valley High School football team competed in a game in Redlands High School’s stadium. Over the past years, Redlands High School and Citrus Valley High School have been sharing their stadium with REV. (Photo credit to Shireen Takkouch)

Cullen advised against using the entire amount of $6 million for the stadium. 

Cullen said, “Should anything catastrophic happen, the district would need that $6 million for repairs,”

Superintendent Mauricio Arellano agreed with the idea of possibly using part of the fund for the stadium and introduced the possibility of using $2 million from an appraisal of the district’s 9.1 acres of land towards the stadium.

During the community input segment of the board meeting, Laura Mapes, along with Melissa Campos and Jill Green, announced a committee formed called the Coalition to Support the RUSD in the Completion of a REV Athletics Stadium. 

After hearing discussions in board meetings and being encouraged by local news outlets for a committee to be formed, these parents of RUSD took action. 

“We are very eager to help RUSD in any way necessary,” Mapes said. “We have connections with other entities, businesses, parents, teachers  and etcetera to ensure this stadium can be built under RUSD guidelines and supervision safely and expeditiously, so that it can be enjoyed by all in attendance.”

The committee plans to help supplement the completion of a stadium if needed through fundraising and asks the board to have the stadium to be on the agenda every monthly board meeting, a board member to be appointed to the committee, and to be able to work with the facilities.

At the next board meeting on Nov. 10, the board may vote on the proposal for a stadium for REV.