Coaches Royce Clayton, Andy Diver remembers where they come from – Daily Breeze


There are always stories behind the story.

So it was with the Lakers meanders in search of a coach who eventually led to Frank Vogel, the equally tortuous search for UCLA before Mick Croinin was presented as the new basketball coach Bruin, and any other story you want throw out.

That was Friday, when Redondo High defeated the Oaks Christian School of Westlake Village, 5-3, in the CIF playoffs when an interesting back story involved coaches, Andy Diver of Redondo and Royce Clayton of Oaks Christian.

The story is similar only to Diver and Keith Ramsey, the coach of rival Mira Costa High. Diver taught Ramsey at Loyola High, in American Legion ball and Harbor College.

The plot flips with Diver and Clayton. This time Diver is the minor partner.

The story of Diver-Clayton starts at St. Bernard High in the fall of 1987, which was a long time ago that Redondo and Oaks Christian players undoubtedly consider it prehistoric, when dinosaurs roamed the land.

Diver was one of the new kids on campus. He was referring to his class as "little freshmen", saying "we were terrified".

No surprise there.

Clayton was the star of St. Bernard's senior baseball, an intercourse on the verge of becoming a first 1988 Giants draft draft. He would have achieved a major career in the championship between 1991 and 2007.

"Royce was my hero," said Diver. "It was my reference model. I understood immediately, if I want to be good at this game I have to be like him."

Like Clayton, young Diver, a pitcher at Harbor College and Loyola Marymount University, was a shortstop. He played in the freshman team until he called the team in the playoffs.

"My number was 6 growing," he said. "I changed to 1 because Royce was 1. I wanted to be like Royce."

For curiosity fans, Clayton wore numbers 2, 3, 10, 11, 18 and 21 in an important league career that took him to San Francisco, St. Louis, Texas, Chicago (White Sox), Milwaukee, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Cincinnati, Toronto and Boston.

Clayton chuckled when Diver's comments were reported.

"I hope to set a good example," he said.

What he did was provide senior leadership at all levels, including Clayton and Diver, to talk about.

"He was so good to me and to the young people in my class," said Diver. "He took us under his wing and showed us how to play the game the right way."

This is a society of mutual admiration for two men.

"I am extremely proud of Andy, the man who became and the kind of young people he is training," Clayton said. "C & # 39; s a lot of class in the way they handle themselves."

Redondo players reflect their coach, as do the Oaks Christian players. Contrary to the noise of frustrated fans complaining about the umpires who firmly believe they are conspiring against their team, high school players generally reflect the coaches who are teaching them to win with dignity and accept responsibility when they lose.

Clayton could be coach or manager in the major leagues. Instead, he is enjoying teaching teenagers.

"It's extremely rewarding," he said. "We can help cultivate young men, we can help them along their path and where it leads them".

One aspect of the Christian Redondo-Oaks game, a game that gave birth to a couple of bang-bang comedies, was Clayton's use of the bunt and hit-and-run sacrifice, playing Diver, a product of Jim O & B # Brien-Harbor College Even the small-ball baseball in which the stolen base is a weapon, also favors.

This page in the basic baseball book was demolished in modern Major League Baseball.

"Sometimes you have to look at your opposition, the pitchers – we knew we would have a battle with them – and try to climb the slopes when you can," explained Clayton. "Sometimes, if you put a guy in the scoring position, a lot can change."

This is the right way to play.

Deleting the mini-notebook

How the Lakers turn – Did you notice the similarity between the unfortunate Magic Johnson-Rob Pelinka management tandem and the newly formed (just forced?) Report by Frank Vogel-Jason Kidd? …

Opinion – Kidd, 10 times All-Star NBA, would have been hired to lead the master Lonzo Ball on the nuances of the point guard. Ball's biggest problem is his miserable coup de grace. Kidd has gone by please – don't shoot a skip shot when he hired Bob Thate, who has also successfully followed Blake Griffin.

The Lakers would have put themselves in a better position if they had hired Thate. …

In short, Dick Tomey, the former Arizona coach who spent six seasons in the UCLA staff working for Pepper Rodgers and Terry Donahue died on Friday. He was 80 years old. Being an excellent football coach didn't stop him from living a balanced life. Two examples: (1) he was the catcher of a softball team in a Tucson league; (2) missed a couple of days of pre-season practice to lead his daughter Angie to campus for her first year at a state-run university.

Mike Waldner can be contacted at


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