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Rose Parade Volunteers Prep Big Time

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By Earl Heath

Pasadena -- The 124th edition of the Tournament of Roses is coming together as usual way. There are just a few days before the eyes of the world view some of the most fantastic pieces of art anywhere.-The Floats. Most of them have come together over a period of months and now its time for the ‘stretch run.’

The key to the ‘stretch run’ are the volunteers. They spend hours piecing together buildings, animals, cars, rocket ships, Greek Gods and whatever else comes to the imagination of the float designers. The 2013 tournament President Sally Bixby began her tournament involvement as a volunteer 22 years ago. “I started as a barricade attendant at night,” said Bixby. “I loved every year and had a wonderful experience as a volunteer.”

Sidikat Giway is a third year nursing student at UCLA. She spends several hours a week volunteering on the nurses float appropriately named “A Healing Place”. The float itself has turtles, deer, raccoons and other animals that are put together with poppy seeds, corn silk, beans, pampas grass and other earthy items.

“This gives me a great sense,” said Giway a graduate of Westchester High. “I wanted to contribute and be a part of something special and this is it.”

Arielle Singer of Culver City works with Lions Club International. The fourteen year-old can tell you anything about the float. This is her 11th float that she has worked on over the years. “There are eleven different countries represented on this years Lions float," said Singer.

The Lions Club International has one of the most worldly floats with images representing countries that include the Taj Mahal (India), Big Ben (United kingdom), Eifel Tower (France). An Adobe Church (Mexico) and others. “ It will take about five thousand people hours to complete this float,” said Craig Stevens.” “They give their time in four and eight hour shifts.

The Lions have over 1.4 million members in 206 countries around the world. It has an incredible base of volunteers. They sponsor several high students in Southern California from Diamond Bar, Pasadena, Alhambra to West Los Angeles.

Upland California’s Julianne Smith is a by day contractor. Her company ‘For Your Walls Only’ allows her donate her time for the Home and Garden T.V. float. “This lets me work on something I am very familiar with, I am very comfortable working on this float,” said Smith.

In all there are nearly 1,000 volunteers working in one way or another with the Tournament of Roses and Phoenix Decorating.

CIF-State Championship: De La Salle 48, Corona Centennial 28

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Huskies Can’t Overcome Mistakes

By Gary Montgomery
BVN Staff

Carson – Corona Centennial’s fourth appearance in the State Bowl Championships may be the one they will most likely want to forget. The Huskies made more mistakes and turnovers Saturday evening than in any game this season.

The nightmare began on the opening kickoff when junior defensive back, John Plattenburg mishandled the ball, finally falling on it at the Huskies 4-yard line. Backed perilously against their own goal line, the Huskies could only muster a few yards of breathing room before having to pump the ball away.

Expecting to punt and work toward regaining field position the Huskies lined up for the snap when punter Rigo Luna inexplicable dropped the ball for a loss of 17 yards. More important, giving the Spartans possession deep in the red zone.

Da LaSalle quickly took advantage of the Huskies gift and opened the scoring floodgates. On the third play of the drive, Tiapepe Vitale took a handoff from Chris Williams and scampered 2-yards into the end zone to give Da La Salle a 7-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

After a penalty nullified a sure first down, the Huskies had to punt the ball back to the Spartans. De La Salle promptly mounted a 10 play 61-yard drive to advance their lead to 14-0. “Just too many mistakes, there’s no way you can expect to win a football game making as many mistakes as we did tonight”. Said Centennial Head Coach Matt Logan.

Centennial missed an opportunity to even out their fortunes when senior linebacker Jaycie Guerrero-Cepeda recovered a Spartans’ fumble in Huskies' territory. Two plays later Huskies junior quarterback Robert Webber fumbled the ball right back to Da La Salle.

In the blink of an eye, the Spartans had run their first half lead up to 28-0. “Man, I’m not sure what happened out there. We had so many bad breaks that it just made it tough…but we never gave up. I kept thinking we were about to pull this one out but it just wasn’t happening for us tonight,” said junior wide receiver Barry Ware.

The Huskies finally got a little offensive flow going and put together an 80-yard drive culminating in a 1-yard TD run by Austin Renken to cut the deficit to 28-7 with 36 seconds left in the first half.

Concord De La Salle (15-0) has made the trip to Carson seven times since the re-instatement of the Championships in 2006. The Spartans have won 5 times and only lost twice, once to Canyon Country in 2006 and again to Corona Centennial in 2008.

Centennial (14-2) maintained its new found flow opening the second half. Robert Webber threw a perfect pass to Chase Krivashei on a slant route for a 63-yard touchdown to get the Huskies within two scores at 28-14.

“They made some tremendous adjustments and got us widened out, but the early lead gave us the opportunity to relax and get back to our correct coverage’s and that was the difference,” said Spartans’ senior linebacker Michael Hutchins.

Krivashei’s catch and run energized the Huskies’ defense and after a quick four and out, Centennial was on the move again and it was feeling like a comeback in Carson. Wheeler hit Krivashei again on the opposite side of the field for what appeared to be another big gain when De La Salle safety Andrew Buckley grabbed Krivashei by the collar and spun him around like a rag doll dislodging the ball and adding another Huskies’ turnover to the stat line.

Once again, capitalizing a short field, the Spartans quickly scored when Chris Williams found Austin Lonestar in the end zone for a 38 yard scoring play to make the score 35-14.

The Huskies kept up the good fight and scored twice more but Da La Salle had all of the answers and matched both with scores of their own. The Spartans sealed their fourth consecutive Bowl win with the 48-28 victory on Saturday night and cemented their No. 5 national ranking. “Da La Salle is the pinnacle of football programs,” Matt Logan told Max Prep. “It is the best program in high school football.”

With four consecutive Open Division titles and one Division I title, Da La Salle has dominated the Bowl championships and with and returning players like quarterback Chris Williams you will likely see them back in Carson again next December.

G. Montgomery can be reached at sports@blackvoicenews.com

28th Annual Inland Empire All Star Football Classic

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Inland Empire - For the “28th consecutive year”, The SPORT Foundations will bring you the brightest football players from the Inland Empire to be showcased.

What is the The SPORT Foundation and why is it important? The foundation treats thousands of athlete injuries each year from the Inland Empire, for over 30 years at no cost to them, plus providing over $125,000.00 in scholarships to the students of the IE. Other games come and go; we The SPORT Foundation are here for your kids all year long.

Adrenaline, Community Medical Group of Riverside, HS Game Time and The Press-Enterprise presents the All-Star Football Classic. This is a charity event featuring top senior football players selected from more than 100 high schools throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. This year’s game will be held on Saturday, January 12th, 7:00 p.m. at Corona High School in the city of Corona.

The first Practice will begin at 8am on Saturday (Media Day), January 5th at Corona High School; this is the one practice that will feature the two teams at the same location. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and are available at The SPORT Clinic or by calling 951-274-3455 or 951-274-3425.

So mark the date for Saturday, January 12th 7:00 p.m. on your calendar and bring out the entire family for a great time and rare opportunity to participate in this community celebration of athletic excellence at Corona High School for what has truly become an anticipated event in the Inland Empire this the 28th Annual Inland Empire All Star Football Classic.

Setoguchi Suspended by Ontario Reign

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Ontario will hold forward’s ECHL rights

ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, defending Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, have announced that right winger, Devin Setoguchi, has been suspended by the team. The Reign hold his ECHL rights allowing him the opportunity to return to the team at a later date.

Setoguchi, 25, was the first current NHLer to join the Reign this season and played a total of 10 games with Ontario; he earned 13 points (4g, 9a) during his time with the team. The Taber, Alberta native signed with the Reign on November 6 and played in his first game on November 7 where he earned two assists and was named the First Star of the night.

The five-year NHL veteran is currently on contract with the Minnesota Wild where he played during the 2011-12 season and ranked fourth on the team with 36 points (19g, 17a). Prior to the Wild, Setoguchi played with the San Jose Sharks, where he was first drafted eighth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, over a four-season span racking up 159 points (84g, 75a) in 267 games.

International Gathering Sends Emanuel Steward Home

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Final bell rung for boxing iconic trainer

By Leland Stein III

DETROIT - Well, no more dog walks together or eating that great barbeque. The final 10-count bell has been rung at Greater Grace and my friend, and more importantly, a friend to thousands has been laid to rest.

Emanuel Steward a certified Detroit and international icon has gone home. The humble founder of Detroit Kronk Boxing Team, an HBO Boxing commentator and Hall of Fame trainer, probably would have blushed if he could have seen the spectacular celebration given to him by the multitudes of pugilist, media peers and admirers.

Men and women from all over the world found their way to Detroit to honor a man that only wanted to help others, the only way he knew how. Get them in the gym and in the process sneak some life lessons to them that more times than not stuck.

I understood the depth and breadth of Steward’s impact in the Sweet Science, but I was even surprised to see the overwhelming inclusion of individuals that he has cajoled.

In all our dog walks and general conversations he never bragged about the company he kept and experienced.

He just would have been happy to know that Mayor Dave Bing, Aretha Franklin, Judge Mathis, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, Bob Arum and Jim Lampley were there to celebrate his noteworthy life.

But he would have been impressed with the pugilist that came to acknowledge how he turned good athletes into champions.

Some of those champions in attendance were Sugar Ray Leonard, Hilmer Kenty, Milton McCrory, Lennox Lewis, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Thomas Hearns, Michael Moorer, Evander Holyfield, Iran Barkley, Jimmy Paul and Roy Jones, just to name a few, were all there and spoke of the legendary memories that Steward has left us all with.

Franklin, the Queen of Soul, stood in the church pew and blasted out a special ad-lib song that was generated just for Steward.

"Emanuel flew away," Franklin sang, as she started to improvise and the applause grew and tears started to well in my eyes. "Emanuel Steward was a good man! Yes, he was. He was a champion . . . Oh, yes, he was. You have to be, you've got to be, a champion to train one . . . Oh, yes, you do."

Representing Steward’s HBO family was Lampley. He talked about their special bond. “I can truly say that Emanuel was my best friend,” he exclaimed, “but I’m sure all of you here and many more across the world can say the same thing. If there was any man that lived up the Dr. (Martin Luther) King’s dictum it was Emanuel. He judged people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin; he was truly color blind.”

Breaking me down even further was Hearns, who Steward took off the streets and turn into a legendary multiple champion.

Soaking in tears, Hearns shared: “This is hard for me. I said this morning that I would be alright. I tried to make Emanuel proud of me. He was a very special man in my life. I wouldn't be the man I am today without Emanuel Steward in my life. He was more than a trainer to me -- he was like a dad. He taught me things, and I saw my life change.”

Wladimir, who flew in from Germany said: “We have lost a friend, but Manny Steward lives in the hearts of all of us. He had a great gift from God. I will carry on all my life what he taught me. He was a great mentor.”

"I had the opportunity to meet Emanuel about 40 years ago," Bing said during an uplifting but heart-wrenching memorial service. "We had great respect for each other, and I have always looked upon him as a friend. He represented his family and the city of Detroit with dignity. He always made me very proud to know him.”

Leonard called Steward a trainer of life. “He saved the lives of kids out there by putting them in a sweaty gym,” he recalled.

Said Holyfield: “Nobody ever lost when they did what Emanuel Steward told them to do in the ring.” Lewis echoed the sentiments of many: “Emanuel was there for my major fights -- I wish I was there for his. He is the greatest trainer that ever lived. We can't forget his contribution to the sport of boxing. I can only rejoice in his memory."

Leland Stein can be reached at lelstein3@aol.com or Twitter @LelandSteinIII

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