The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

Logan Gelbrich, a 15-year old sophomore catcher at St. Monica High, was a member of a championship team this summer. Gelbrich played for the Los Angeles team that won the World Series of RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) in competition with teams from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rockford, Illinois, Houston and Atlanta.

It wasn't the first all-star competition for Gelbrich. At 11 he played in Disney's Wide World of Sports tournament in Orlando. At 12 he played in Minnesota in the AAU World Series.

He is one of several high-caliber returnees who should make the Mariners a contender in the Camino Real League next season...

Rachel Kirby has been chosen captain of the Santa Monica High girls cross country team. Other top runners on the team are expected to be Caroline Van Ness, Stephanie Ishler and two sophomores, Lucy Fairweather and Julia Pratt...

Peter Roses, a transfer from Bishop Montgomery High, has excelled in Samohi football practices and is expected to be a big help on defense. His ball-carrying skills may not be needed with Derrick Davis (1,700 yards) returning along with backups who played well when he was injured late last season. But if needed Roses can be a ball-carrier too. He had about 500 yards for Bishop Montgomery last season...

The SMC womens' soccer schedule for September: 4th: home vs. Fullerton College. 11th: home vs. Rio Hondo College. 14th: home vs. Moorpark College. 18th at Allan Hancock College. 21st home vs. Santa Barbara CC. 25th at Cuesta College. 28th home vs. Oxnard College. All matches begin at 4 p.m...

The Wright Guy For The Job at SMC

By Mitch Chortkoff

Keith Shackleford was going to be hard to replace. He had been athletic director at Santa Monica College only a short time when he accepted a position with a new four-year school in Orange County. But he quickly had proven to be a man of action.

Congratulations to SMC, particularly School President Dr. Piedad Robertson, for finding a suitable replacement. Charlie Wright, the former Green Bay Packers tackle, has been on the job the last month and appears to have the same drive and determination as Shackelford.

When I met Wright I was prepared to offer some thoughts. I found him better prepared, knowing what he wanted and constantly writing notes.

He has outstanding people skills. When you talk he listens. He knows the area of expertise of people he meets and can get to the heart of a matter quickly.

We talked about how he can generate enthusiasm for the SMC athletic teams. We talked about fund-raising, which is a major part of his job. How to get the community thinking about SMC sports. How to get people to learn about the outstanding young people who play sports at the city's community college.

``This is what I have been working and preparing for," said Wright. ``A great opportunity to keep a well-established program in the forefront of a high competitive (Western State) conference and take it to the next level.''

Wright played football at Fullerton College, at the University of Florida and with the Packers. Following his NFL days he was in charge of athletic marketing at UNLV, then at UC Irvine and at the MET Rx Company in Irvine.

He is in charge of 19 SMC sports and in his brief time in the job three coaches have resigned. He tends to other duties while seeking replacements.

Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a $98 million package for community colleges, a blow so severe that it is being challened by lawmakers and could be restored. Just another obstacle for Wright to deal with.

There was a time when SMC's great football teams inspired local pride. Crowds were large each week at Corsair Field.

Times changes when professional sports took hold all over Southern California, including the Westside. The success of Santa Monica High's football team last season also shifted attention away from SMC. Typically, crowds were larger for Samohi games on Friday night at SMC's Corsair Field than for SMC games on Saturday night.

It has hurt SMC that its football coach, Robert Taylor, is not accessible to the media. He has done well establishing a successful program but a poor job of selling it. The media, consequently, has turned their attention to the personable high school coaches, Norm Lacy at Samohi and Randy Robinson at St. Monica.

Football is the highest profile sport and the SMC season will begin Sept. 8 with a home game against College of the Desert. From all indications SMC has another good team.

Last season SMC didn't make a bowl game, so it invented one called the Beach Bowl with the help of a sponsor, US Bank. The game was considered a success and the sponsor has committed to another game at the end of this season at Corsair Field.

John McMullen's usually-successful basketball team will come next. With Wright working the community, interest should increase. The SMC teams work hard, produce quality results and deserve their place on the local sports scene.
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