Some high schools have a good coach or two. Sunnyside high school is loaded with them.
The latest achievement for the South Side school that boasts the likes of Bobby DeBerry (wrestling), Richard Sanchez (football) and Pete Palomarez (softball) was the recent milestone coaching victory for longtime baseball coach Ernie Palomarez.
The 28-year Sunnyside coach won his 500th career game in the past week.
Technically, win No. 500 will go in the books as having occurred in the team’s April 24, 6-2 win over Ironwood Ridge.
The celebration for the achievement, however, was delayed because Sunnyside and Mountain View’s April 23 game was suspended due to darkness and not concluded until Tuesday afternoon. So, even though the game concluded Tuesday, it is still considered win No. 499.
To Ernie Palomarez, not big on such records, win 499 over Mountain View was more significant. It clinched for Sunnyside the Class 5A-II Southern Region championship.
A 1973 graduate of Sunnyside, Ernie Palomarez led the Blue Devils to two runner-up finishes in the 1990s.
The team begins this year’s 5A-II playoffs on Saturday, although tournament brackets have not yet been released.
St. Augustine softball shines
While most attention is paid to the softball teams at Canyon del Oro, Cienega, Sahuaro and Sunnyside, it shouldn’t be overlooked what tiny St. Augustine has accomplished.
In just its third season with a varsity team, St. Augustine beat St. David 5-1 on Tuesday, completing a 16-0 Class 1A South Region schedule and ending the regular season 23-4-1.
And don’t think it padded that record with only 1A foes. Coach Bill Molten’s squad has a pair of wins over Class 4A schools when they competed in the Tucson High Badger Invitational, which featured mostly 5A and 4A schools.
They aren’t going anywhere, either. Star pitcher Jessica Brink (16-2-1) is only a sophomore and has 31 wins in two high school seasons. And rifle-armed catcher Marissa Romero, just a freshman, is hitting .685 this year.
The 1A softball tournament begins May 8 at Phoenix’s Rose Mofford Park.
AIA to play on despite flu
The Arizona Interscholastic Association on Wednesday said it has no plans on suspending or canceling state tournament events in the coming weeks due to the swine flu scare, according to Director of Media Marketing Brian Bolitho.
Texas on Wednesday decided to postpone all high school sporting events until May 11 due to the outbreak. Charles Breithaupt, director of the University Interscholastic League, said the move came at the urging of public heath officials.
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