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Rialto's Fields of Change

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Superintendent Cebrun launches flag football for district students

By Jon Gaede, BVN Community –

Remember your elementary school days from long ago? If you’re old enough, you may recall competing as a member of a softball, flag football, soccer or track team. Dawning a t-shirt bearing the name and colors of the school, you may have boarded a bus, just after lunch, to compete against a rival across town.

Unfortunately, for most school districts, those days are long gone. Do to shrinking budgets and complicated transportation issues, most young people simply miss out on the best natural high a child can experience, the pure joy of athletic competition.

Thanks to the initiative and vision of Superintendent Dr. Harold L. Cebrun Sr., in concert with the Rialto School District, a community based flag football league was launched. With the motto “Youth is our most valuable resource.” supported by School Board President Joseph W. Martinez and several district principals, an 18 team coed flag football league plays in its second year.

To catch some of the action, the 6th, 7th and 8th graders play at Jehue Middle School, while the 4th and 5th graders play at Rialto Middle School. The 9 am to 12 pm Saturday league is coed, free to student athletes and will last until the end of October.

“This opportunity comes from a collaboration between parents and administration” said Dr. Cebrun. “The athletic team activity of flag football promotes pride, sportmanship and unity between each other and in their community.”

The soaring 100 degree heat didn’t seem to phase the kids as they treated every play like their Superbowl. The squads were blended by gender and various levels of talent, as every play reflected a cohesive team effort. Highly motivated principalcoaches Monte Stewart (Hughbanks Elementary) and Leonard Buckner (Morgan Elementary) were so enthusiastic and positive with the kids that even the casual observer becomes a fan. In short, the young players were constantly engaged in listening, thinking and executing on the field.

“There is a physical aspect here for the players, but there is also an incredible leadership development opportunity at work on these fields.” according to School Board President Joe Martinez.

Just like seasoned teachers who know their subjects and their students well, the volunteer principals create life experiences in the outdoor classroom. The young students listen, study the play, imagine in their head and then execute. Pressure, failure, refinement, success and joy. It’s all there, for each player, on every Saturday morning.

From the Superintendent to the parents, coaches and young student athletes, every effort was sincere and every smile genuine. No time for video games or texting, too busy enjoying the warm September day and focused on the pure joy of athletic competition.

After the flag football playoffs in October, the Rialto Elementary Schools Sports Program will shift gears for basketball in the Winter, followed by soccer in the Spring.

Thanks to a local vendor, several thousand gallons of drinking water was donated to the teams.

If you would like to contribute or support the Superintendent’s program, please contact Mr. Robert Goodloe at (951) 323-7505.

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