All Ball Sports: Kansas City Blues, Sea Hawks bright

Sea Hawk coach Reggie Morris is counting on young players like freshman Chris Sanders (right) to lead next year’s team to a second consecutive Bay League title. Photos by Ray Vidal

by Paul Teetor

Come on sports fans, we’re better than this.

America is better than this.     

Kansas City is better than this.

The National Football League, violent and brutal as it can be on the field, is better than this.

We’re all better than what happened Wednesday afternoon at the tail end of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory celebration: a gun battle broke out, at least 22 people were injured – including 12 children — and one person, a popular local DJ named Lisa Lopez-Galvon, was killed.

But if we’re better than that, why does it keep happening? Why can’t we put a stop to the endless mass shootings that plague American life today?

There have been so many for so long now that they all blur together, and I can only recall the worst of the worst: Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children were killed; Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and 2 adults were killed; and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the Parkland, Florida high school where 17 students were killed.

And why does it keep happening in churches, in schools, and at all kinds of public gatherings — —- like Super Bowl celebrations — where guns should not be allowed, much less used to kill and wound innocent children.

And why does it keep happening when poll after poll shows that a broad cross section of the public – up to 80 percent – supports common sense gun-control measures like mandatory background checks, a ban on mentally ill people, and felons being allowed to own guns, and a ban on AR-15 style assault rifles?


Too many politicians – especially right-wing Republicans – are absolutists when it comes to gun control: they are opposed to any form of it, no matter how many grieving parents and innocent children have to be sacrificed in the name of the second amendment.

Specifically, Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell and Ron Johnson – Republicans all – are among the staunchest opponents of gun control and, not coincidentally, among the biggest beneficiaries of campaign cash from pro-gun groups. 

But recently the biggest obstacle to common sense gun control has been – surprise, surprise – former President Donald Trump, who served four violent years when some of the worst gun massacres in our history occurred.

As president, he briefly considered tightening background checks in 2019 after gunmen in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio killed 31 people over one especially bloody August weekend. Then, under pressure from the National Rifle Association, he abandoned that idea, saying, “A lot of the people who put me where I am are strong supporters of the Second Amendment.”

Then, earlier this month, Trump actually bragged about his inaction on gun control.

“During my four years, nothing happened,” Trump told a gathering of NRA members in Pennsylvania. “And there was great pressure on me having to do with guns. We did nothing.”

There are plenty of gun control laws on the books, already. But they’re mostly weak and hard to enforce. More often than not, when there is a mass shooting, news reports soon reveal that the psychos who pulled the trigger legally obtained the guns they used to massacre total strangers. That’s because there are so many loopholes you could drive an 18-wheeler through them without getting a scratch on the truck.

The first thing you have to understand about gun laws is that it’s a two-tiered system. There are state laws that are different in each state, and then there are federal laws that sometimes preempt local and state laws and sometimes do not.

This makes for a crazy-quilt system that is hard to follow and hard to understand. But the bottom line is every state has a different degree of gun control. Missouri, which happens to be where Kansas City is located – not in Kansas, as Trump said in a congratulatory Super Bowl tweet – is in the country’s bottom five in terms of how strict their gun control laws are.

In other words, it was easy for the young thugs who shot at each other with reckless disregard for the people around them to get their guns.

So right now, we are hearing the usual vows from grieving parents to do something about the gun culture that has taken hold in the United States.

And in this case, we’re also hearing from celebrities – football and non-football alike – how much their “thoughts and prayers” are with the killed and wounded. Of particular note, Taylor Swift donated $100,000 to Liza Lopez-Galvon’s family.  

All that is very touching, but the furor will soon fade, the gun battles will move on to the next small town or big city, and each day that goes by more than 95 people across the United States will continue to die from gun violence.

We’re better than that.

As long as the National Rifle Association has the political muscle to keep their bought-and-sold politicians in office, and – just as important – to drive those politicians who support gun control out of office, mass shootings will continue to be a part of everyday American life.

We’re better than that.

Or at least we should be.


Redondo boys, girls bounced from hoops playoffs

The Redondo boys basketball playoff run finally came to an end in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs Friday night. In a semifinal matchup with Notre Dame, the Sea Hawks lost 67-60. 

But the defeat shouldn’t obscure the reality that the Hawks are now back to the elite level they reached under coach Reggie Morris during his first stint as Redondo coach nearly a decade ago.

Those teams won an astounding eight straight Bay League titles while advancing deep into the playoffs every year. This year Morris and his team – in only his second season back on the sideline — won the Bay League with a 10-0 record. And they have so many talented players on a young, stacked roster that they are showing signs of being able to win another eight straight Bay League titles.

With two outstanding freshmen in Joey Albala and Chris Sanders, sophomore star S.J. Madison and junior Hudson Mayes – who led Redondo with 26 points in the Notre Dame loss – the Hawks look poised to dominate the Bay League for years to come. 

Redondo demonstrated its true potential in winning its quarterfinal matchup with Etiwanda at home Tuesday night. 

It was a fierce, physical battle but Redondo prevailed 65-58.

“There was a lot of contact on both sides,” Redondo’s Devin Ringer said. “I think in the fourth quarter, we were not even looking for fouls anymore. We had to play through it. We could not stop and ask the refs for calls. We fought hard, we pushed through and that gave us the ‘Dub.”

In the fourth quarter, Redondo’s toughness started to show itself.

Trailing 52-50 with 4:13 left, Ringer drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, and Madison scored on a pair of putbacks amid a lot of contact to finally give Redondo some separation.

“Getting to the basket, it was definitely difficult to finish tonight,” Mayes said. “We did a good job of pushing through, especially in the fourth quarter. We were getting those offensive rebounds and we were playing through contact.”

Redondo’s strength came in numbers.

Madison scored 19 points to lead the charge, including eight in the fourth quarter. Ringer scored all 16 of his points in the second half, including three 3-pointers. Mayes scored 14 points and Sanders finished with 11 points.

“It was not pretty, but we fought and we grinded and this was a team victory,” Morris said. “The refs let us play, and our guys stepped up. When it goes down to the wire like this, you have to figure out ways to win, and our guys did that tonight.”

Meanwhile, the Redondo girls basketball team lost in a Division 1 quarterfinal to Harvard-Westlake after leading by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter.

But in that last quarter the Wolverines turned up the defensive pressure and smothered the Sea Hawks offense. Harvard-Westlake outscored Redondo 14-1 in the final quarter to rally for a 50-47 victory.

“They turned up the pressure on us and we just couldn’t get the ball to go in,” Redondo coach Marcelo Enriquez said. “They kept making buckets and we just couldn’t get any good looks. We just didn’t attack it well and stopped being aggressive. This one is very hard to swallow for us.”

Contact: ER


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