Who needs Kobe, Tiger when you have Bruso, Mendes? | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Who needs Kobe, Tiger when you have Bruso, Mendes?

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Isn’t it nice that the South Shore children don’t have to look to the NBA or Major League Baseball stars to embrace a hero?

They have a more personal list to choose from here on the South Shore.

With the way pitcher Greg Bruso is progressing in the minors, the Giants may not be able to resist calling him up in the next couple of years. Bruso has the third-best earned run average (2.86) in the California League, not far off his Northwest League-leading 1.99 mark last year for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.

Naturally, children from this area want to identify with the icons in snowsports. Jonna Mendes and Travis Cabral now have local kids making their bedroom walls a shrine to these U.S. Ski Team members, as well as trying to duplicate their feats on the mountain.

The latest pro athlete from the area to generate a local following is boxer Simon Ruvalcaba.

Ruvalcaba, who didn’t realize his first pro boxing victory until last month at Caesars Tahoe, is gaining the confidence he needs to further his career. After his decisive victory over Dwayne Pope last Saturday in Reno, Ruvalcaba quickly discovered how far his career has come.

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While dining in Reno, several fans interrupted his meal to acquire an autograph.

Swim coach stays optimistic

As stirring as their performances have been, the proliferation of school budget cuts have zapped some community spirit.

But you’d never know it talking to South Tahoe High swimming coach Dale Bogard, whose sport is on the chopping block in Washoe County. If Reno and Sparks high schools lose their swimming and diving teams, STHS could follow.

“I’m not worried. From what I’ve been told, swimming has made all the cuts,” Bogard said. “If it means raising money, we could do that.”

However, what concerns Bogard is the reduction of athletes who will be permitted to compete at future state meets.

Next year, the NIAA will limit the Northern region to two athletes per event, down from five.

“The only person I can remember getting second was Denise (Bogard) in the breaststroke one year,” said coach Bogard of her daughter who now swims for UC-San Diego.

Track and field will reportedly switch to the same state qualifying standards.

More room to play

Speaking of declining numbers, isn’t it odd that by the time the 2000 bond measure to build four ball fields near Lake Tahoe Community College is completed in October, our need for them won’t be as great?

Because of shrinking school enrollments, AYSO and Little League numbers have experienced sharp decreases in registered players the past two years.

At least an available field will be easier to find and maybe some of the fields in town can start being used for their original purpose.

Accidents waiting to happen

If you’re looking for something unusual to spark an upcoming weekend, you may want to venture to Champion Motor Speedway in Carson City for the Mad Mutha In Law Race May 31.

This blatant sexist event is open to any man over the age of 18 who can tolerate a woman — also over 18 — screaming at them for 10 laps. The male driver, who will wear a helmet, must race around the track with a paper bag over their head. The woman, also equipped with a helmet, will sit in the passenger side of the backseat and provide the necessary road instructions.

You must provide your own junker. The cost is $40 through May 30 and $50 on race day.

Obviously, this race has all the makings of accidents waiting to happen.

— Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or syingling@tahoedailytribune.com