CIF Division 4 Championship: Monte Vista Monarchs 71, San Diego Cavers 48
If insanity is repeating the same action over again, then we are the insane ones in the eyes of Ron Hamamoto.
Preview: Ron Hamamoto knows that he’s ruined the fairytale.
"I remember hearing Paul Rudy say on KUSI what a story it would be to see San Diego and UC in the final," the Monte Vista coach said with a happy smirk.
Don’t get the coaching legend wrong. Hamamoto is happy to be here in the Division IV final with his fourth seeded Monarchs. But real joy won’t arrive for his Spring Valley crew until they get to lift a trophy.
The object standing in the way of a first title since 2003 is a perfect team that hasn’t seen one since 1969.
"It was an amazing feeling," San Diego head coach Charles James said. "You see the kids crying…you see how much it means to so many people."
It’s a story of overcoming obstacles for both squads. James pulled San Diego from the depths, and after winning just three games in his first two years on the job, the team is unbeaten for the first time in a century.
That’s not hyperbole. That’s how old these institutions are.
"Everyone’s cheering for them since they’re perfect for the first time since 1804 or something," Hamamoto joked.
Monte Vista doesn’t have perfection, but they have players. Their best is in the backfield. Jahmon McClendon looks like a game changer in East County, with his six-foot-two, 210 pound frame reminding PPR fans of Patrick Henry star Dominick Silvels. The defense racked up three sacks and three picks on University City, and the best run of the game belongs to McClendon, breaking three tackles in the span of five yards on the way to the end zone. His only crime? A hurdle that isn’t allowed, but looked most spectacular of all.
He’ll have to hurdle all the elements this time around – the trio of Earth, Wind and Fire want to bring a trophy home.
"We only play four or five seniors," Hamamoto said. "Hopefully they’re too young to be nervous."