The Chargers and the Padres are very good to the high schools in San Diego and Imperial counties, the CIF-San Diego Section.
The Chargers sponsor the Alex Spanos All Star Football Classic and foot the bill for three CIF championship football games in Qualcomm Stadium every December. Both are expensive and both are greatly appreciated by the student/athletes and football coaches in San Diego and Imperial counties.
The Padres are following suit. On May 8, the San Diego Padres and PETCO Park are sponsoring High School Baseball at PETCO Park. The Padres are sponsoring a high school triple header that will feature games at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The opening game of the day will feature the Ramona Bulldogs and the Valley Center Jaguars. Palo Verde and Holtville high schools will travel from Imperial County and play at 1 p.m. Santana and El Capitan High Schools will play at 4.
All three games are league games. No school complained about giving up its home field advantage to play in a major league venue. Palo Verde and Holtville are not complaining about a long road trip.
“Ramona High School’s boys will be playing in a Big League Ballpark!” exclaimed Ramona’s athletic director, Damon Baldwin, who almost pulled off the coup last year. “Support our student/athletes, the Padres, PETCO Park and the CIF for allowing this remarkable opportunity for our student/athletes to happen.”
Besides getting to see six high school baseball teams play in PETCO, the Padres have thrown in a ticket to a big league game for the same price.
Tickets are $15 and proceeds from ticket sales go back to the participating schools and the CIF. In essence, the Padres are paying the Bulldogs to play in PETCO.
With the purchase of a ticket, Bulldog fans will also receive a reserved ticket to the Padres versus Washington Nationals game on May 28 at 7:05 p.m. at PETCO Park. It will be College Night and there is a long shot that by that time the Nationals will have called up former San Diego State Aztec and No. 1 Major League draft pick in 2009, Stephen Strasburg.
Fans can take their family to the Bulldog game where there will be open seating and sit in the best seats available and then take the family to a major league game for one price. It is a great deal.
Tickets are available at RHS. See financial clerk Connie “The Money Lady” Claxton in the main office and buy some Bulldog apparel from Connie in the student store, or contact Ramona’s head baseball coach, Dean Welch, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks should be made out to: RHS Baseball.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for our program,” said an elated Welch. “Our players are pumped and have ordered several tickets apiece. Ramona will be well represented in the stands. We will be the visiting team, so we will still get our home game that week. We win all around.”
The decision was made before the Bulldogs won the Lions Tournament. The Bulldogs and the Jags were originally scheduled for a later game, but Valley Center has its prom scheduled for that date. The game time was changed to the morning game to give Palo Verde and Holtville a chance to travel at a decent time.
To say the players are excited would be an understatement. However, this writer’s observations are that the parents, grandparents and fans who follow the Bulldogs on a regular basis are even more excited. Ramona’s fans have traveled to Apple Valley, Las Vegas, Imperial County, Chula Vista, East County, San Diego City, Fallbrook and many other glamour spots to support their Bulldogs. Now they get to hit the Gaslamp District for lunch instead of the usual fast food stops.
Don’t forget to change the date on your schedules from Thursday, May 6, at 3:30 p.m. at Valley Center High School to Saturday, May 8, at 10 a.m. at PETCO Park. Buy your tickets from RHS so the program can gain from the proceeds.