Sports Notebook...with Brian Gomez
Abundance of returnees can’t guarantee victory

How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

Entering his 18th season, Corona del Sol High School football coach Gary Venturo has earned it from his players and assistants, but respect across the state can’t be attained through longevity or even good sportsmanship.

It takes more wins than losses. Consistent playoff appearances. And deep runs into November.

Venturo’s latest quest began last month when the junior varsity and varsity squads made their annual trip to Snowflake for training camp and it continued last week with the first series of on-campus workouts.

Full-contact practices start Aug. 16, giving Corona enough time to prepare for an Aug. 21 intrasquad scrimmage and an Aug. 25 scrimmage against Gilbert Highland, both of which will be held at Hascall Henshaw Stadium.

Venturo said the game plan already is being put in place for the Sept. 3 season opener at Mesa Dobson, which will feature a rematch of last year’s slugfest between the East Valley teams. Corona beat Dobson 31-28, but was blown out by Chandler Hamilton 32-6 in Week 2 and suffered a 41-0 loss to the eventual state champs in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

“We have a lot of kids coming back, but in high school football that doesn’t mean a lot,” said Venturo, whose team returns 14 starters, including senior quarterbacks Blaise Johnson and Jake Nero and senior running back Daniel McClendon.

Feinberg excels in Eugene

Corona sophomore Philip Feinberg went 6 feet, 3 ½ inches to place fifth this summer in the intermediate high jump at the National Junior Olympics in Eugene, Ore.

Feinberg advanced to nationals with wins in the state meet and the regional qualifier. This spring, he tied the freshman state record with a jump of 6 feet, 6 inches and also triumphed in the Tempe City and Central Region meets before taking sixth at state.

Want to play baseball?

Registration for Chandler American Little League’s instructional fall league will be held from 9-11 a.m. Aug. 14 & 21 at the West Chandler baseball fields, located at the northwest corner of Kyrene and Frye roads.

The season runs from Sept. 6 through Nov. 20. All Chandler residents ages 7-14 may register. Cost is $45.

For more information, call the Chandler American hotline at (480) 940-0330 or log on to www.eteamz.com/chandleramerican.

MLBPAA holiday camps

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association’s annual holiday camps are scheduled for Nov. 26 & 27 and Dec. 27-30 at Akimel A-al Middle School.

Past instructors have included former major-leaguers Lou Kllmchock, Bob Lacey, Byron Browne and Leon Brown.

The camps are open to boys and girls in grades 3-12. Each session lasts 3 ½ hours. Cost is $40 per session.

For more information, call the MLBPAA at (480) 777-1250.

Soccer registration

Club Arizona Boca Juniors, a Tempe-based competitive soccer club, will hold registration for its teams from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Aug. 14 at Benedict Park, located at the northwest corner of Guadalupe and Kyrene roads.

The club is looking for players in the following divisions: Under-8 boys; U-10 boys and girls; U-11 boys; U-12 boys and girls; and U-13 girls.

For more information, call the club at (602) 689-CABJ or log on to www.cabj.net.

Recruiting tour in town

The Recruiting Realties Tour, a national program run by former Winslow boys basketball coach Jack Renkens, will come to Corona’s James C. Love Auditorium at 9 a.m. Aug. 14 in part of the annual all-athletes assembly.

Renkens is expected to talk about the intricacies of the recruiting process and dispel some of the myths in a 60-minute presentation, hoping to better prepare high school athletes and their families.

For more information, contact Corona Athletic Director Dan Nero at (480) 752-8769.

Corona fall sports info.

A look at when Corona’s fall sports teams start their seasons:

Badminton: vs. Gilbert Mesquite, Aug. 31; Girls volleyball: at Phoenix Xavier, Aug. 31; Girls golf: vs. Peoria and Phoenix Goldwater, Sept. 1; Boys golf: vs. Phoenix Camelback and Phoenix North, Sept. 2; Boys and girls swimming and diving: at Highland, Sept. 2; Football: at Dobson, Sept. 3; Boys and girls cross-country: vs. Mesa High, Chandler High and Yuma Kofa, Sept. 8.