PD Preps Insider: Cardinal Newman wins 1,000th boys basketball game


Cardinal Newman recently passed a monumental milestone, winning its 1,000th boys basketball game in its 48th year.

The Cardinals reached the 1,000 plateau on Jan. 8 with a 53-29 victory at Ukiah and since then have won two more games.

Doing the math, Newman has averaged nearly 21 wins per season since the school was founded in 1964.

Typically, a school plays 26 regular-season games and if it has a good enough record will qualify for postseason tournaments.

“We’ve been trying to find other schools that have reached 1,000 wins in less than 50 years,” head coach Tom Bonfigli said. “We know no other school in the North Bay has come close.”

Bonfigli has been on the sidelines for roughly half of those wins.

Plyler loves Petaluma

Petaluma High wrestling coach Denny Plyler loves coaching the Trojans. He hasn’t necessarily said that, but working on his 38th year coaching in Petaluma usually speaks for itself.

“One thing family’s always taught us is loyalty, and I’ve loved these kids,” he said. “I’ve never wanted to look anywhere else.”

The math and science teacher led his team to the 2007 NCS title. He has no immediate plans on calling it quits, but knows “down the line, that transition has to be made.”

Carrillo throttles Newman

After the Cardinal Newman boys basketball team was blown out 67-33 on its home court by Maria Carrillo last Friday, coach Tom Bonfigli got straight to the point.

“That might be the worst loss in school history,” he said. “I’ve got a good memory; I can’t remember losing by more than that.”

The Pumas sank 13 3-pointers, including six in the fourth quarter. A 10-point deficit at the half ballooned after Newman was outscored 38-14 in the second half. Bonfigli said he hasn’t made excuses for his teams in the 32 years he’s been coaching, and wasn’t going to start now, crediting the Pumas’ big night.

“They played the best they can play,” he said. “That’s the best I’ve seen them play.”

Cramer nominated

Santa Rosa boys tennis coach Corky Cramer has been nominated for the Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double-Goal Coach Award.

The award, which will be presented to 25 youth and high school sports coaches across the country on April 12 at Stanford, is awarded each year to coaches who succeed in winning and teaching life lessons through sports.

Former Puma shines

Maria Carrillo graduate and All-Empire track standout Laurel Shepperd is competing for the UC Santa Barbara women’s track team.

In her freshman season, Shepperd is competing in the long and triple jump. Shepperd has the fourth all-time Empire mark in the long jump at 17-8½ inches and has the seventh all-time Empire distance in the triple jump at 36-7¾ inches. The Gauchos compete in the Big West Conference at the NCAA Division I level.

Also a soccer player at Maria Carrillo, the Santa Barbara freshman is majoring in biology.

Press Democrat staff members Michael Coit, Peter Fournier, Ted Sillanpaa and Press Democrat correspondent Howard Senzell contributed to this report.

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