For the second straight Monday, residents of Northern California woke up to horrific video. First it was the mass shooting in Las Vegas and then this week, the fires in the Napa and Sonoma valleys.
Our family over the weekend also had to deal with news from South Carolina that a pair of soldiers were killed and several others were injured in our son's basic training platoon when a truck plowed into their formation.
Throughout my life, sports has been an escape from the problems of the real world. For that brief time, you could try to forget all the bad stuff in the world by watching a sporting event.
For the most part that has been soiled as well. Professional sports have become a place for millionaire athletes to make political statements and college sports has become a business, with corruption running wild.
Even my beloved horse racing is falling victim to greed and selfishness, and appears intent on destroying the sport from within.
That leaves us high school sports. There are a lot of things that have threatened the last pure vestige of sports, but for the most part, it still does provide the escape from the darkness -- if only for a little bit.
Writing this column is a blessing. Recognizing the hard-working prep athletes, many of whom are playing competitive athletics for the last time, is a good feeling.
I am always hopeful that helping these athletes and families build memories is something they can remember.
It was what made the long hours and low pay bearable through all my years with the Tri-Valley Herald. It has been a source of frustration to see how the local daily paper now ignores local sports. I am very thankful the Pleasanton Weekly has given me a forum to keep prep sports in the paper.
It's now up to the parents and the coaches in the area to keep this going. I can pretty much tell when a team wins and when they lose. When a team wins, the parents shower us with stories, but when they lose ... crickets.
Win or lose, let's make sure to turn in the results. Remember in the grand scheme of life, this can provide smiles in times we all need one.
Hopefully we can work together to build these memories and maybe provide for a brief respite from the real world.
The Foothill boys varsity water polo team had a good run last week.
The Falcons started the week with a 15-4 win over De La Salle in East Bay Athletic League play and then came back and went 2-1 in the Aptos tournament over the weekend.
Foothill beat Mountain View 12-10 and Willow Glen 10-8 and lost to league rival Monte Vista 20-7 in the tournament championship game.
Standouts in the two wins were Matthew Dotson with seven goals (three assists), Dylan Weiglein with three goals (one assist, three steals), Dylan Pottgieser with three goals (four steals), Ryan Weiglein and Drake Southern with three goals apiece, and Harrison Carter with a combined 27 saves in those games.
Nathan Williams starred for Foothill in the loss to Monte Vista with five goals.
Things look really promising for both the Amador and Foothill football teams heading into this week.
Foothill, which dropped its first two games of the season, has run off four straight wins, including a 24-13 win over Granada last Friday. The Falcons have a tough test with De La Salle this week, but then take on Dougherty Valley and Livermore -- two probable wins -- before closing with Amador Valley.
Amador ran into the San Ramon Valley buzzsaw, losing 45-14, but the Dons have Dublin and Livermore left on their schedule -- good chances for wins -- before closing with Foothill.
It's very likely the two teams will be 6-3 when they meet at Foothill on Nov. 3. At stake could be a home game in the first round of the North Coast Section playoffs.
* 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.