I was very happy to attend the TV30 Outstanding High School Athletic Awards banquet last week, where local high school athletes were honored.
The awesome event at the Robert Livermore Center was put together by Tri-Valley Community Television executive director Melissa Tench-Stevens and her staff, bringing together athletes from Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin.
For me it was a special night on a couple levels. First, I was on "Tri-Valley Sports Final" for the first four years of the program and to see the show finish its 12th season and now have its seventh banquet was a fulfilling feeling.
Second, it is nice to see the local athletes still get a chance to be honored, with 57 awards handed out in all. As the local sports editor of the Tri-Valley Herald for 16 years, it was all about giving coverage to the local high schools.
By the time I took a buyout roughly eight years ago, the powers that be in the local daily newspapers were intent on eliminating most of the prep/youth coverage. I still consider it a huge mistake, but when you have people sitting in an office that are out of touch with the local community, that is what happens.
Prep coverage is the same reason I approached the Pleasanton Weekly a few years back about writing a weekly local prep sports column. Fortunately, Weekly publisher Gina Channell and then-editor Jeb Bing saw the need. Current editor Jeremy Walsh has stepped in for Bing and helped carry the torch for local athletes.
But we are not alone.
In fact, Ian Bartholomew and George "Dr. B" Baljevich may have as much love for prep sports as anyone I have ever known. The duo, who hosted the May 25 awards event, have been the heart of Tri-Valley Sports Final since day one and put in countless hours to keep prep sports alive locally.
It's not the cash that drives these two -- it's the love of high school sports.
The biggest level of respect I have for Bartholomew is that he understands how important coverage is to all schools, regardless of their level of success. Whether it is a first-place team or a last-place team, he treats them all the same and makes sure to have equal coverage.
Baljevich is a local legend, so much in fact, I think few know his actual name. Dr. B is another that loves to make sure the local kids get their just due. While Bartholomew is the one with the camera out shooting events, Dr. B is putting the miles on his car to go watch as many games as possible.
He's great with the kids, and I can attest to that first-hand because when I was doing Tri-Valley Sports Final and happened to bring one of my kids down to watch the taping, Dr. B was always quick to give them a baseball card and make sure they were having fun.
Well done gentlemen, and keep up the good work!
The Foothill swimming and diving team enjoyed success at the recently concluded CIF State meet, with Calvin David and Jonah Cooper bringing home state titles.
On the first day of competition, Emily Balicanta finished 12th on the girls' side of the diving event, with Cameron Levine finishing 20th on the boys' side.
Things really got going the next day when David claimed Foothill's first-ever state title, taking the 500 freestyle in a school-record time of 4:21.66. In the 200 free earlier in the day, David set the school record with 1:38.31.
In the 100 backstroke, Cooper became Foothill's second champ with a meet-record time of 47.34.
The 200-free relay placed 13th with the team of David, Cooper, Jonah Ong and Aaron Li. In the same relay, Cooper led off with a time of 20.96, breaking the previous school record of 21.16.
The 400 free relay, consisting of David, Nicholas Skinner, Li and Cooper, finished 12th while bettering their own record with a 3:07.29.
* Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact Miller or submit local high school sports scores, game highlights and photographs for his weekly Pleasanton Preps column, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.