By Miriam Raftery
November 20, 2014 (El Cajon)--Once again, six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has proven himself to be a hero for education in his hometown, El Cajon.
The Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education has awarded $556,623 in grants for 2014—including grants to three schools in the Grossmont Union High School District. The local grants include
- Chaparral High School - $29,482 to create a computer lab that will augment the program at Chaparral through the use of online learning and digital arts instruction.
- El Capitan High School - $23,000 to purchase new laptops for teachers so they can be better equipped to use digital/paperless resources and to teach students how to use the online resources and apps available to them.
- Grossmont High School - $80,458 to integrate technology and foster collaboration and making connections between the arts and core academic classes.
Other grants went to schools in North Carolina, Okalahoma, and to Loma Portal Elementary School in San Diego.
East County News Service
November 15, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego State University’s Aztec Club recently launched a drive to raise scholarship funds for student athletes. This week, Athletics Director Jim Sterk announced that a $1.25 million donation has been bequeathed by Bill and Robin Sinclair to launch the Coryell Legacy.
ON YOUR MARK…GET SET! 3RD ANNUAL WADDLE & TROT THANKSGIVING 5K RACE IN SANTEE FUNDS FOOD FOR THOSE IN NEED
November 9, 2014 -- On Thursday, November 27 at 8:00 a.m. Pathways Community Church will host the 3rd Annual Waddle and Trot 5K and Fun Run. All proceeds will once again go to Santee Santas and the Santee Food Bank.
This fun family event is intended for runners and walkers of every fitness level.
November 6, 2014 (San Diego) -- This week is Homecoming Week at San Diego State University. The celebration will culminate in the homecoming game on Saturday, November 8, with the Aztecs facing off against the Unversity of Idaho Vandals at Qualcomm Stadium. The event also features the KGB sky show.
By Dennis Moore
October 22, 2014 (Valencia, California) - Steve Springer, co-author of Laker Girl, with Jeanie Buss, the NBA Los Angeles Lakers President and Governor, will be one of 10 authors at the annual Barnes & Noble “Local Author Night” in Valencia, California on Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 7:00PM. This writer had the distinct pleasure and honor of writing a review of Springer’s book for the East County Magazine in San Diego several months ago. Steve Springer is a former sportswriter who spent 25 years at the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of 11 books, including four on the Los Angeles Lakers, and the coauthor of the New York Time bestseller American Son with Oscar De La Hoya. Another memorable book by Springer, and a keepsake, is 50th Anniversary: The Los Angeles Times Encyclopedia of the Lakers. This is a must have for all Lakers fans, me included.
October 12, 2014 (San Diego)--For experienced daredevils, that adrenaline rush is hard to come by when you are scared of virtually nothing. So, where do all of these gutsy guys and gals live and what do they do for thrills and excitement?
Fundraiser for East County nonprofit takes place Oct. 17 at Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
October 9, 2014 (San Diego) - John Carney, one of the top scoring players in NFL history, will be the Keynote Speaker at the Eric Paredes Save a Heart, Save a Life Gala on Friday, October 17. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa on Mission Bay. Carney, who ranks fourth on the all-time pro football scoring list, played half of his 22-year career with the San Diego Chargers.
DOCUMENTARY FILM CHAMPIONS JOE ROTH, GROSSMONT COLLEGE & UC BERKELEY QUARTERBACK WHO BATTLED CANCER IN SECRET
By Miriam Raftery
photo: U.C. Berkeley Golden Bears blog
September 11, 2014 (El Cajon) – “Don’t Quit: The Joe Roth Story”, a documentary about Grossmont College football quarterback Joe Roth, will be honored at the La Costa Film Festival September 20th, with the film debuting there September 18th.
The El Cajon native led the Griffins to its first state championship in 1974. He was diagnosed with melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, but courageously battled the disease while triumphing on the field as one of America's top college athletes—all without telling friends or teammates about his condition.
East County News
August 21, 2014 (San Diego)—Gunn Yang, a sophomore at San Diego State University, became the second Aztec ever to win the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship in Georgia. Only Gene Littler back in 1953 has matched the feat, Go Aztecs reports.
Yang joins an elite list of professional golfers whose names are engraved on the Havemeyer Cup, including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods.
Source: SDSU news center
August 13, 2014 (San Diego)--Five athletes will be inducted into San Diego State University’s Aztec Hall of Fame this fall, including football, baseball, soccer and track stars.
Hear highlights of Bill Walton's inspirational speech, originally aired on East County Magazine's radio show on KNSJ 89.1 FM, here: http://kiwi6.com/file/rdlekk220f
By Miriam Raftery
July 26, 2014 (La Mesa)—NBA Hall of Famer and former Helix High School superstar Bill Walton is best known for his exceptional achievements on the basketball court. But he’s also proud to be in the boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame, and knows first-hand the importance of positive role models.
So now he’s leading efforts to raise funds to build a Bill Walton Gymnasium at the Boys & Girls Club in La Mesa, giving back to the children in this community, where mentors before him helped young Walton to achieve his dreams. On Thursday, Walton delivered an inspiration speech at the Boys and Girls Club’s new Brady Family Clubhouse.
“What great leaders do is inspire pride and loyalty,” said Walton. “Loyalty is that human attribute that allows us as a community to come together and be part of a team—and to realize that what we have is so special, as a result of our caring about what goes on. It’s not about us; it’s about these young children here who just have these fantastic smiles…who are just so full of dreams and full of hope.”
Laker Girl by Jeanie Buss, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2013, 310 pages.
Book Review by Dennis Moore
The Los Angeles Lakers are at a crossroad in history and basketball lore and legacy. These last few years have not been kind to them, and author and Lakers’ VP in charge of basketball affairs Jeanie Buss puts it all in perspective in her book Laker Girl. She writes a candid tell-all account of the Lakers’ rise to basketball and sports’ glory, and their descent into implosion on a scale that is astounding, especially considering the legendary history and beginnings of this franchise.
By Miriam Raftery
July 20, 2014 (La Mesa) - Basketball superstar Bill Walton, a Helix High School graduate in La Mesa, got his start playing basketball at neighborhood centers such as the Boys & Girls Club. He earned his way to the Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame and went on to play with the UCLA Bruins. He later became a National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player and won two NBA championships.
Lori Abbott, California News Service
July 9, 2014 (Sacramento)--How long high school football players can practice each week - and how rough those practices can be - may be changing in California.
By Miriam Raftery
June 24, 2014 (San Diego)--The death of baseball giant Tony Gwynn at only 54 years of age has drawn national attention to the dangers of chewing tobacco. Gwynn had suffered through surgeries and paralysis of part of his face following cancer linked to his habit of chewing tobacco – a custom shared by many baseball players as well as 9% of all high school students nationwide.
June 23, 2014 (San Diego)--The Gwynn family held a private memorial service for Tony Gwynn at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union on the campus of San Diego State University on June 21. The family was joined by approximately 200 close friends and representatives from SDSU, major-league baseball and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
By David Dickens
Photo, left by Randy Jordan: Mayor Bill Wells presents proclamation to Jimmie Johnson
June 17, 2014 (El Cajon)-- On this beautiful day in downtown El Cajon, friends, family, fans, and promoters gathered to pay honor to NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.
Aztecs Coach succumbs to cancer
Public memorial set for June 26
By Trevor Hill and Stevon Marshall
June 17, 2014 (San Diego)--Baseball legend Tony Gwynn passed away on Monday, June 16th at the age of 54. The former San Diego Padre and Aztecs baseball coach lost his long battle with cancer after years of fighting.
Gwynn was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer in February of 2007 after being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 2001, Gwynn, properly nicknamed “Mr. Padre,” retired from the major leagues having been awarded eight National League batting titles and five Gold Glove awards, as well as having a statue of his likeness erected at Petco Park. In addition, according to the Union Tribune, Gwynn, a 15-time All-Star, “holds the Padre career record in virtually every non-slugging category, including 2,000 more hits in a San Diego uniform than anybody else and 19 straight seasons with an average of .300.” He also took the Padres to their only two World Series appearances in the history of the team.
June 14, 2014 (La Mesa)--If you’ve ever wished that you could play football one more time, you’re wish has been granted. Alumni football is coming to La Mesa. Gridiron Alumni is planning several full contact alumni football games. Gridiron Alumni travels the nation pitting old football rivals against each other one more time. Hundreds of players and thousands of fans swarmed stadiums to watch their hometown heroes strap it on one more time. Gridiron Alumni is targeting teams like Grossmont, Foothills Christian, Mount Miguel, and many others. Players from the local area are invited to register and play. The first 40 players on each team get to play. The team that gets 30 people registered first gets home field advantage.
By Miriam Raftery
June 5, 2014 (El Cajon)--Six-time NASACAR Champion Jimmie Johnson will be returning to his hometown of El Cajon for a special tribute on Tuesday, June 17.
Weather permitting, the El Cajon City Council will hold a special celebration to recognize the hometown hero for his racing accomplishments—and also his philanthropic contributions to the community. The City is encouraging everyone to attend and show support for one of the racing world’s biggest stars.
By Stevon Marshall
June 5, 2014 (San Diego)--Some athletes from San Diego State are progressing in life outside of school--in sports such as soccer, pole vault, and baseball, with each sport having a talented athlete heading to the big leagues.
May 22, 2014 (Dehesa)—Visitors to the Sycuan Casino on Saturday, May 24 will have an opportunity to meet San Diego Padres’ 1984 World Series players-- and have a chance to win the grand prize: a road trip for two to Chicago to watch the Padres take on the Cubs.
The event takes place Saturday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tickets will be distributed starting at 10 a.m. in the casino’s front lobby. The first 200 people are guaranteed to meet the players.
A free commemorative signed photo plus Padres baseball caps will also be given away, while supplies last.
May 15, 2014 (El Cajon)—“The recent wildfires reminds us about how important it is to work and play together and build relationships that help us to work together when there is hardship in our communities. We hope you will join us next week and recover, relax, and enjoy our Grip it And Rip it Golf Tournament. It is a great opportunity to rebuild relationships for everyone,” said Eric Lund with the East County Chamber of Commerce.
East County News Service
May 14, 2014 (San Diego)--All California Interscholastic Scholarship Federation (CIF) athletic competitions scheduled for Thursday, May 15 are cancelled in San Diego County. No contests are to be played in any sport.
“The fires themselves, the fluidity of circumstances, air quality, traffic/travel, school closures and school access are all issues that have prompted this cancellation,” said Jerry Schniepp, commissioner, CIF San Diego section.
By: Janis Russell
May 8, 2014 (El Cajon)- On May 6th, 49 firefighters from the Lakeside Firefighters Association teed off in a benefit golf tournament at Cottonwood Golf Club to help Stoney’s Kids.
Padres host “strike out stroke” night May 10
Stroke kills over 1,000 San Diegans every year.
May 8, 2014 (San Diego) - The good news is that the number of stroke deaths has decreased by more than 30 percent in the past decade. Local health officials aim to keep driving the number of deaths down and make San Diego a stroke-free zone by raising awareness about the warning signs and symptoms of stroke.
By Miriam Raftery
May 2, 2014 (San Diego) - Did San Diego State University dump a successful coach for political reasons? Doug Perez is accusing the university of getting rid of him because he refused a request from the Associated Students executive director, Christina Brown, who asked him to help her raise money for Kevin Faulconer’s mayoral campaign.
Injured and Ill Athletes Go Head-to Head in the Annual Horseman Competition
April 26, 2014 (Escondido)--For the fifth year in a row, the injured athletes of Team Semper Fi and Team America’s Fund are saddling up for an incredible challenge. Ten veteran and active duty service members, some of them amputees, will learn the skills to become cowboys, then go head-to-head in the ring–and they have just three days to do it.
By Miriam Raftery
April 21, 2014 (San Diego) – Meb Keflezighi is a champion in every sense of the word—an impoverished refugee who has become a symbol of the American success story—a story crowned by winning this year’s Boston Marathon.
As a child, he came to America as a refugee with his family, fleeing war-torn Eritria in Africa. The son of a janitor and one of 10 children, Keflezighi found that running became his ticket out of poverty. He began running while at Roosevelt Middle School and won the CIF state championships representing San Diego High School. He went on to win four NCAA championships and All-American awards at UCLA before winning a silver medal at the 2004 summer Olympics.
Alexandra Suarez and Ainsleigh Douglas
April 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--Members of the San Diego SeaStars Synchronized Swimming Team, which practices in Spring Valley, earned 9th place in the duet event at the 2014 U.S. National Championships.