Neighbors offer help to enterprising boy after his bike is damaged, local lacrosse teams bring home two championships, and 50 Rancho Murieta fans board a bus for a major league baseball game in Oakland. Read about your neighbors here.
Residents are coming to the aid of 14-year-old Matthew Hatcher after his bicycle was damaged by a car Thursday. Matthew was able to scramble off the bike in time to escape serious injury. But the bike, which Matthew has been using to get to odd jobs around the community, is out of commission.
His mother, Kimberlee Hatcher, posted in the forum about her son's harrowing experience to urge drivers in the community to be more attentive and careful. She addressed her forum post "To the person who drove into my son and his bike today, and to all drivers in our community."
"It only took away his bike, but it could have been him. I was so upset,"' Hatcher said Saturday.
The bike's bent wheel is testimony to Matthew Hatcher's scary experience.
In her forum post she wrote, "The worst part of this for my son besides being afraid to go back out on the street: his bike, which was his method of transportation to some of the odd jobs he has been doing this past year to earn his Student Ambassador tuition for his delegation trip in July, is ruined. The bike was given to him by one of the many generous people who have hired him to do yard work, pet sitting, babysitting and other jobs, and he will have to replace it with some of his trip funds, or do without it for now."
Matthew has been raising money for his trip to Australia and New Zealand as a People to People student ambassador. Last weekend, he had a space at the Trash ‘n' Treasure garage sale event and sold baked goods, clearing more than $400, according to his mother. She said there were people who refused change after paying for a cupcake with a $5 bill, and others who resisted the impulse to bargain for their yard sale purchases.
When people learned of Matthew's misfortune, they immediately offered to contribute to the cost of a new bike or even replace the bike.
The generosity of the community never ceases to amaze her, Hatcher said.
Neighbor Kim Smith expressed the sentiments of many who have followed Matthew's progress when she wrote to him:
"You have worked hard and have built yourself a wonderful reputation based solely on your work ethic and character -- my hat's off to your parents for raising a great young man.
"Looks like you have an offer (of a bicycle) from Tom Rhodes to get you up and riding asap! This is what makes me proud to call Murieta home.
"Keep up the good work, Matthew, and make sure to send pictures back while you're gone! I know I'm not the only one out here who would love to see how your trip goes!"
Fifty baseball-loving residents headed for Oakland Thursday to see the Oakland A's and the New York Yankees play at McAfee Coliseum. The bus trip was sponsored by the Rancho Murieta Association Recreation Committee and the Optimist Club. (Photo: Danise Hetland, RMA)
Lacrosse club wins two championships
By Liz Abess
The Pleasant Grove Lacrosse Club Falcons won the Northern California championship title in Junior B and C divisions at Spartan Stadium, San Jose State University, June 1.
Both teams started the day in the Final Four and prevailed in their first games, securing a spot in the championship games held later in the day.
The B team won in sudden-death overtime against the San Francisco Outlaws. The final score was 8-7. The Junior C team was victorious against the Palo Alto Tomahawks, winning 11-3. The wins elevated the PGLC to gold medal status twice in one day for the 2008 season.
During season play, the B team triumphed over 34 teams and the C team over 14.
All the teams belong to the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association (NCJLA) which oversees club teams from the Oregon border throughout the Bay Area. There are five junior divisions in the NCJLA.
The Falcon B team is made up of eighth graders, and the C team has 7th and 8th graders. Most of the players are students at Katherine L. Albiani Middle School.
The B team also won the championship last year, the club's first year, causing the parents of players on opposing teams to ask, "What are you feeding those kids up in Sacramento?" according to Kelli Schaub, wife of C team Head Coach Ron Schaub.
"Coming into the finals I knew this team had a very good chance of repeating their title, but back-to-back Northern California titles is something that just does not happen very often, especially for a second-year program like ours," said B team Head Coach Paul Frank. "Our success is due to the wonderful group of kids that have come out to play for us and the incredible families that they bring with them to support both the athletes and the program."
Pleasant Grove Lacrosse Club started out with one team last year. This year there were four teams, including a junior varsity high school team and a junior girls' team. The club expects to have seven teams next year.
Pleasant Grove B team players Mitchell Abess and Beau Frank will travel to New York later this month as members of the NCJLA U-15 Festival all-star team.
Lacrosse is celebrated as "the fastest game on two feet," and it's often considered a combination of hockey, basketball, soccer and football.
In Northern California, the sport has nearly doubled in growth over the past year, and it's recognized as being the fastest-growing team sport in the West.
Note: The Pleasant Grove Lacrosse Club is planning a "Summer Dance Party," featuring the Jay Rolerz Band, barbecue and other activities, the evening of June 28 at the amphitheater at Lake Clementia as a fundraiser for lacrosse. All are welcome and tickets are available by calling Beth Wathen at 687-4867 or e-mailing Stephanie Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Team B players
19 - Mitchell Abess
1 - Charlie Bartholomew
5 - Taylor Blackford
7 - Austin Bobo
43 - Austin Book
34 - Chase Collins
99 - Tucker Emmett
75 - Thomas Fensler
8 - Beau Frank
17 - Matthew Gutierrez
22 - Cole Hikutini
6 - Dylan Lupton
45 - Bryce Martin
55 - Colby Prince
9 - Tyler Rathjen
41 - Eric Rojas
28 - Kurt Thomas
12 - Jacob Wathen
30 - Nathan Weber
49 - Dalton Westerberg
11 - Michael Yue
Team C players
2 - Zak Bell
33 - Brian Bertoldi
20 - Nick Brazil
3 - Brad Burkhart
4 - Chase Crimmins
37 - Dillon Gibson
38 - Harkanwar Gill
18 - Matthew Hatcher
23 - Stephen Knight
39 - Alex Leyva
36 - Connor Mooldyk
25 - Tanner Nissen
10 - Isaiah Pickett
26 - Wesley Powers
40 - Austin Robarts
27 - Carson Schaub
42 - Tyler Slavich
29 - PC Torres
14 - Caleb Van Patten
15 - Robin Weiss
31 - Jordon Wettach
16 - Nick Willmon
32 - Robert Zehnder