PREP NOTES WITH A TWIST

Yes, Mike Price did attend the Stanford Nike Camp, but not the one you're thinking of. A salute to a retiring baseball coach, a national sophomore hurdles record and more from the best prep notes column in the state.

•NAMESAKES: Just two weeks after Mike Price was fired as the head football coach at Alabama, a different Mike Price was hoping to be noticed by a number of other college football coaches. This Mike Price is a junior at Olympus High in Utah and he took part in last week's Nike Football Training Camp at Stanford. The 6-1, 270-pound linemen said he expected to hear some friendly teasing at the event for having the same name as the former Crimson Tide and Washington State coach, who got into difficulty from a visit to a strip club. "Yeah, I'm ready for it," Price said. "It was funny reading about what happened in Florida."

•GAHR'S STAR: Tom Bergeron has announced that this will be his final season in the dugout as the head baseball coach at Gahr High of Cerritos. Bergeron, 64, is completing his 32nd season as a varsity coach in a career that began with a six-year run at Warren of Downey. Bergeron's team just won its 20th league title, including the last six years in a row. He will begin the postseason with a career record of 628-262. One of the highlights of Bergeron's career was being the coach in 1981 when Shane Mack went on a streak of getting 16 hits in 16 consecutive at-bats. It was reported as a national record at the time. Mack later went on to play in the major leagues.

•EXTRA THREE INCHES MEANS NATIONAL SOPHOMORE RECORD: Kevin Craddock's coaches at James Logan of Union City obviously know the difference between the 39-inch high hurdles used in high school track meets and the 42-inch high hurdles used for open or invitational meets. That's one reason Craddock, Logan's talented sophomore hurdler, was entered in last week's Modesto Relays. Craddock skimmed over the 42-inch hurdles in 14.44 seconds and according to the San Francisco Chronicle will be credited with a national sophomore 42-inch high hurdle record. The previous best was 14.78 by the legendary Milt Campbell of Plainfield, N.J., in 1951. Campbell was the 1956 Olympic decathlon champion.

•IN PRAISE OF PRINCE: Some of these NBA playoff games have been great because of the matchups of former Cal-Hi Sports State Players of the Year. The Celtics and Nets just finished up with Paul Pierce (Inglewood) and Jason Kidd (Alameda St. Joseph) going at it. Jason's team next could face the Detroit Pistons, who've unveiled Tayshaun Prince (Compton Dominguez) in recent weeks. Tayshaun, the 1998 state player of the year, hasn't been the household name of the other former state players of the year and he's always been told he's too thin or not athletic enough to be much of a player in the pros. You show them, Tayshaun. One of those probably most happy about Tayshaun's emergence has to be Tyson Chandler of the Chicago Bulls. When Tyson was a young pup learning the ropes at Dominguez, Tayshaun was the one he looked to for guidance.

•HOME RUN AND DOUBLE DERBY: Ian Stewart whacked his 14th home run of the season last week as his La Quinta of Westminster team downed Bolsa Grande of Garden Grove 13-0. Meanwhile, John Leonard blasted his 12th for Kennedy of La Palma in a 5-3 victory over Lutheran of Orange and Tyler Morrison got his 12th while also pitching Glendora over Ayala of Chino Hills 9-2 with a eight-strikeout three-hitter. For doubles, meanwhile, Steven Wright smacked his 18th in aiding Victor Valley Victorville's 4-2 victory over Moreno Valley. We reported last week that Matt Aidem of Valencia was closing in on the state season record for doubles with 18, so Wright is right there with him.

•ROUNDING THE BASES THREE TIMES IN ONE INNING: Senior Alex Sowyrda from Lowell of San Francisco added himself to the growing list of California baseball preps who have hit two home runs in one inning, the first known of which was Ted Williams for Hoover of San Diego in 1936. Sowyrda's clouts came in the second inning of a 19-3 San Francisco Section semi-final win over Lincoln. But Sowyrda did something none of the others did by rounding the bases three times in the inning. That's because his first home run attempt was ruled a foul ball.

•FINALLY AN OLYMPIAN LEAGUE TITLE: Bassett High of La Puente opened in 1965, or a year or two before, and chose Olympians as its nickname for sports. However, its athletic teams have tended to be far from Olympian in nature, and we admit to referring to them as Hounds on at least one occasion. But last week the Olympians clinched their first baseball league title with an 11-9 win in eight innings over perennial power Gladstone of Covina. Go Olympians!

•ANOTHER WILSON SWIM TITLE: Wilson of Long Beach won its 31st consecutive boys swimming league championship, a state record for any sport. The second longest is 26 by Poway in wrestling, a streak that ended in 2000. Lowell of San Francisco has a current streak of 25 in girls cross country. Wilson's streak began in 1973, started by swimmers who are now pushing 50, and current swimmers are additionally motivated by not wanting to be part of a streak-ending team. Current coach Klaus Barth has been at the helm for the last 20 titles and has a 72-swimmer team because he doesn't cut anyone. That's a commendable action, to be sure, but one should also keep in mind that it doesn't take much to uniform a male swimmer.

•TIEDEMAN TO ARIZONA: Montgomery of Santa Rosa senior basketball and baseball pitching standout Tyler Tiedeman has orally commited to play baseball at the University of Arizona. Too bad that bizarre NorCal Div. II final between Montgomery and Roseville Woodcreek in which Tiedeman was ejected might turn out to be his last basketball game.


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