Another magical period for South Shore athletes |

Another magical period for South Shore athletes

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

What moment in time determines that something special is at work in the sports world?

For Angel Cabrera in the Masters on Sunday, was it when he bonked his second shot off a tree during a three-man playoff, and it fortuitously landed in the fairway? The good fortune allowed Cabrera to scramble to make par, then he won the playoff on the next hole for his first Masters title.

Perhaps that defining moment is when your favorite basketball team hires the brother-in-law of the future U.S. President as its coach, then makes one of the great turn-arounds in college basketball history. After going 0-18 in the Pac-10 in 2007-08, Craig Robinson’s Oregon State Beavers rebounded for a 18-18 record and a postseason tournament title.

Then again, maybe that moment borders on the unexpected ” or a miracle ” as was the case with South Tahoe High’s baseball team last Saturday. Trailing Galena 12-5, the Vikings began their final at-bat with an out. Magically, 12 of the next 13 STHS hitters reached base, and the Vikings celebrated an unforgettable 13-12 victory.

Long ago, it was evident that there was something different about sports on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. The variety and frequency of outstanding feats no longer amazes me. Look at what has transpired in the past several months, and Cabrera and Robinson have nothing on these budding stars:

– A year after being out of commission with an ankle injury, freestyle skier Sho Kashima captured the dual moguls title at the U.S. Freestyle Championships at Squaw Valley.

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– Pitcher Daniel Tinlin, nearly an after-thought on the Nevada Wolf Pack pitching staff in the preseason, has transformed into the team’s closer and owns one of the top earned run averages on the West Coast. The former South Tahoe High pitcher has a 2.28 earned run average in 13 appearances and is obviously getting the attention of major league scouts.

– The area’s most talked-about former basketball player, Jerod Haase, served as an assistant coach for the national champion North Carolina Tar Heels. Assisting Roy Williams, Haase was part of the Tar Heels’ second national title in five years.

– As a MVP of a winless football team at South Tahoe High and a walk-on at Fresno State, Garrett McIntyre knows a few things about adversity. Out of work after the Arena Football League briefly folded, a general manager of a Canadian Football League team thousands of miles away remembered the energetic McIntyre from his distinguished college playing days. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats didn’t give other CFL teams a shot at the former Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, signing him for the 2009 season.

– South Shore snowboarder Jamie Anderson won a major season series championship despite suffering a broken pelvis and a ruptured spleen ” only a few months apart.

– How does Whitworth University junior Natalie Turner thrive in a sport while growing up in an area where swimming basically is an indoor sport? Turner placed as high as fourth in the NCAA Division III swimming championships last month in Minneapolis and during her career has scored in all nine of her events at the championships.

– Five years ago, Ken Gerrard wasn’t even a runner. On Monday, the Lake Tahoe Unified School District employee will compete in the Boston Marathon.

What’s next? A 40-year-old Shaun Palmer winning an Olympic gold medal? Don’t bet against it.

” Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or