Notebook: Newman senior sings national anthem, Coach Lloyd joins fans in Sacramento

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Cardinal Newman senior Shelby Darrall, of St. Helena, sings the national anthem before Saturday's CIF State Division 4 basketball championship between Cardinal Newman and Pacific Hills in Sacramento. (Scott Manchester / The Press Democrat)

Cardinal Newman senior Shelby Darrall, of St. Helena, sings the national anthem before Saturday’s CIF State Division 4 basketball championship between Cardinal Newman and Pacific Hills in Sacramento. (Scott Manchester / The Press Democrat)

Sitting in the sizable contingent of Cardinal Newman fans was legendary Cardinals football coach Ed Lloyd.

Enjoying retirement in Modesto, where he can play golf year-round, Lloyd made the drive to Sacramento to cheer on the Cardinals.

“They played real well. They hung in there,” he said.

What impressed Lloyd most was the athleticism and skills of the prep players. Lloyd knows his basketball having also coached junior varsity basketball at Cardinal Newman.

“They’re better athletes today,” Lloyd said. “Training has changed. Coaching techniques are better.”

Warmly welcomed by alumni throughout the afternoon, Lloyd, now 70, enjoyed catching up with the Cardinal Newman fans. But don’t ask Lloyd about his golf game.

Once a 6 handicap golfer, Lloyd now shoots well over par. He keeps going, shooting for a great round as he did with an 88 this week.

SENIOR SINGS ANTHEM

A Cardinals good luck charm has been aspiring singer and Cardinal Newman senior Shelby Darrall, who sang the national anthem Saturday as she has before home games this season.

Overcoming initial nerves singing before Cardinals football games, Darrall has honed a steady delivery. Players and coaches are strong believers in her contribution to the Cardinals’ record winning season.

“It’s never easy, but I love doing it,” said Darrall, who belted out the anthem at center court of Sleep Train Arena.

Next for Darrall is recording a demo in Nashville this spring. Hoping to gain the ear of producers, Darrall dreams of singing for audiences larger than her St. Helena church choir.

“I’ve always wanted to just make it big,” she said.

UNDERDOGS NO MORE

Prep basketball watchers picked Pacific Hills to handle Cardinal Newman much more easily than the game played out.

Ranked 15th overall in California, the Bruins were pegged to defeat Cardinal Newman by double digits.

Yet Cardinal Newman held several leads, the largest four points. Pacific Hills managed an eight-point lead at one juncture, but couldn’t pull away. Cardinal Newman last led by a point with four minutes remaining in the contest.

The quicker Bruins matched Cardinal Newman’s size. Still the turnovers and steals, as well as fouls, were even. Pacific Hills managed only a handful more rebounds. The Cardinals nearly matched the Bruins in shooting percentages from the field and free throw line.

EL SALVADOR NATIONAL COACH

Pacific Hills coach Ivan Barahona has quite the side job.

A science teacher at the West Hollywood school, Barahona shuttles to Central America to coach the El Salvador national men’s team.

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Barahona said. “It’s a huge honor for my family.”

Barahona was 5 when his family moved from El Salvador to Los Angeles. He is a 1996 graduate of Pacific Hills.

Taking the post was not an easy decision as Barahona left the Bruins for a stretch the middle of this season. While he was concerned the move might be selfish, players and coaches urged Barahona to follow his dream. The team worked hard in his absence, continuing to build toward a state championship.

“It was tough for me to go,” Barahona said. “I knew that the team was in good hands.”

You can reach Staff Writer Michael Coit at 521-5470 or mike.coit@pressdemocrat.com.

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