This week could have been jumping for STHS and Whittell track teams |

This week could have been jumping for STHS and Whittell track teams

Column by Steve Yingling

What a dead week.

And it didn’t need to be that way.

Without Whittell High baseball coach Don Amaral, Whittell softball coach Lindsay Wines and South Tahoe golf coach Mike Patterson sacrificing their Easter vacations, high school sports wouldn’t exist this week on the South Shore. Their teams will fare better in the weeks to come because of their selflessness.

This week was an ideal time for Whittell and South Tahoe to renew their brief track rivalry. Anthony Davis established the run for the border two years ago with the Battle of the Lake. But neither school tendered Davis a paid coaching position in recent years. Without Davis, the meet has quickly vanished.

The hype would have been immense for the 2001 Battle of the Lake.

Imagine STHS track star Jake Hurwitz going head-to-head with Luke “Star War-rior” in four events: 100 and 200 meters, long jump and triple jump.

Hopefully, Luke and Jake will wander out to South Tahoe Middle School some Sunday afternoon and hold a private but friendly competition to see who really is the best on the South Shore.

Of course, there are other reasons to hold this meet again:

— To continue to show the public in what disrepair the only track in town is in. Maybe Michael Johnson will retire here and build a new one.

— To give South Tahoe another chance to beat the Warriors. South Tahoe handily won the only two Battles of the Lake, but the Whittell boys surprised the Vikings by finishing ahead of them at the Reed Invitational on March 31. But don’t forget the Vikings were missing their top distance runners, who were busy competing at a more prestigious meet.

— Disprove the fact that the June 7 South Shore Fourth and Fifth Grade Classic isn’t the only meet in town.

— Allow STHS coach Rick Brown and Whittell coach Brian Rippet a chance to discuss the finer points of the sport.

* * *

What were the Niners thinking by allowing running back Charlie Garner to slip away to Oakland?

After all, Garner rushed for 1,142 yards and seven touchdowns last season, making first-year starting quarterback Jeff Garcia more effective as a passer.

Hopefully, Garrison Hearst returns from a severe ankle injury to fill the void. Otherwise, San Francisco is in store for another un-49er-like season in 2001.

Can’t it be that the 49ers are planning to use the money saved from not re-signing Garner to re-sign Jerry Rice in the final hour?

* * *

Boy, don’t the A’s look like World Series material? Touted by some publications to unseat the three-time world champion New York Yankees, the A’s are baseball’s underachievers thus far.

At least if they continue to win 20 percent of their games, the A’s will get another talented young player in the 2002 draft.

* * *

Will the expanded strike zone create more 20-game winners, fewer 300 hitters and faster-paced games? The hitters sure looked confused so far, but the umps have been gracious. When is the late time you saw someone thrown out for arguing balls and strikes?

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