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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Gahr High celebrates upgrades to softball, baseball fields


RIBBON CUTTING: from (l-r) ABC Boardmember Sophia Tse, Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu, and Board President Ernie Nishii, cut the ribbon at this past Wednesday’s ceremony to signify the newly renovated softball field.


By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter


Inclement weather twice postponed what was supposed to be an opening ceremony for the recently renovated Gahr High softball field, but on the third try, not even high winds could stop the festive event. Prior to its softball game against Paramount High this past Wednesday, Gahr High had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new, and still ongoing improvements to its softball field.

In attendance were several administrators, including Principal Dr. Crechena Wise and Assistant Principal Janet Simko as well as ABC Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu, President Ernie Nishii and Clerk Sophia Tse, among others.

About a year ago, Gahr found an opportunity to upgrade their baseball and softball fields online through Major League Baseball’s ‘Baseball Tomorrow Fund’ where different grants are offered nationwide. Simko said the school took it upon themselves to write a grant proposal and eventually, MLB came out and look at the facilities.

“We shot them pictures, they read our proposal and they said, ‘yeah, Gahr needs a little facelift’, sort of speak,” Simko said. “They awarded us a little over $49,000 to upgrade our facilities.”

The district has also matched that amount, giving the school just under $100,000 to do the upgrades. The completed upgrades to the softball field were a new and larger brick dugout with a better cover, a new brick backstop, new fencing, new batting cages on the first base side, and a new team storage facility next to the batting cages.

The baseball facility will be removing the current cover to the dugout and replace it with a structure like the one softball has. However, it will encompass a larger area and will serve as a new secured team room which will protect the player’s equipment. Simko said the softball field got the majority of the money because it was in more need than the baseball facility.

According to Simko and a few softball players, it was necessary to renovate the softball field because it was ‘old and ugly’.

“It was decrepit,” Simko said. “Quite frankly, it was embarrassing. We’ve got a stellar softball program. We were CIF runners-up last year. They deserved a beautiful field. So, we’ve been working really hard to provide the field for the girls.”

Future plans for the softball field call for new batting cages on the third base side, running electric so that the school doesn’t have to bring out extension cords and adding another building which could possibly be used for a snack bar. All of that will be another project that does not include the money the school received from this grant.

Simko said the school was officially notified at the end of last school year it had received the grant. MLB came out and surveyed the field last weekend of last April and the renovations began last October.

“I just really wanted to thank the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and the MLB, and the district because if the two hadn’t have come together, our dream would not have made it,” Simko said. “But we got it.”


Artesia High was embarrassed 27-2 by Whitney High last Friday, then was blanked 9-0 by John Glenn High this past Tuesday to fall to 1-16 overall and 0-5 in the 605 League. The Pioneers allowed 24 hits, gave up 15 runs in the top of the sixth inning and made eight errors. The team has been blanked six times this season and has allowed at least 15 runs seven times. The Pioneers will face the Eagles on the road today before beginning a home and home series with Oxford Academy on Tuesday with the second game on the road on Thursday.

Cerritos High remained tied for first place with Oxford Academy after defeating Pioneer High 7-1 this past Tuesday. The Dons (14-6, 5-0) got a complete game, two-hit performance from senior pitcher Matthew Pinal, his second straight. Cerritos will host Pioneer today before visiting Whitney on Tuesday to begin that home and home series. Cerritos will then host Whitney on Thursday.

Gahr is trying to make a run to get back in the upper half of the San Gabriel Valley League as it blasted Dominguez High 23-0 this past Wednesday. The Gladiators (8-13-1, 3-1) have won four straight games as it travelled to Lynwood High on Apr. 11. They will go to Downey High on Tuesday before hosting the Vikings on Thursday.

Glenn (8-10, 1-4) will host Pioneer on Tuesday and visit the Titans on Thursday in a crucial home and home series as it aims to creep up in the 605 League standings while Valley Christian High is hoping to do the same in the Olympic League. The Defenders, which had been shutout in three straight games, edged Whittier Christian High 2-1 in 10 innings last Friday and doubled up Heritage Christian High 4-2 in nine innings last Saturday. V.C. upped its mark to 10-7 overall, 3-6 in league and will entertain Dominguez High tonight and Arrowhead Christian High on Tuesday.

Whitney was dominated by Oxford Academy 16-1 this past Tuesday and will host the Patriots today. At 7-5 overall and 2-3 in league play, the Wildcats will need to win at least two of their final five games to become eligible for an at-large bid in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. After its home and home series with Cerritos, Whitney will face Glenn twice on the last week of the season.


Glenn took Whitney to 12 innings but fell to the Lady Wildcats 3-2 last Friday. However, the Lady Eagles snapped an eight-game slide with a 5-4 win over Oxford Academy this past Tuesday, improving to 2-9 overall, 1-5 in the circuit. Glenn travelled to Whitney on Apr. 11 and goes to Cerritos today before wrapping up the season with home games against Artesia and Pioneer on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

V.C. is mired in a six-game losing streak after a 12-2 setback to Heritage Christian this past Tuesday. The Lady Defenders dropped to 6-9 overall, 0-5 in the Olympic League as they visited Whittier Christian on Apr. 11 and will conclude the season at Heritage Christian on Tuesday before hosting Maranatha High on Thursday.

Whitney, the third ranked team in Division 7, doubled up Pioneer 4-2 this past Tuesday to move to 11-6 overall, 4-2 in league. The Lady Wildcats will wrap up the regular season against Oxford Academy on Tuesday and Cerritos on Wednesday.