Ladouceur at the helm of all-time great program

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Ladouceur at the helm of all-time great program

In his 4th decade of leading De La Salle Football, coach Bob Ladouceur has built more than a perennial champion…  

…more than a program that became a national brand after winning a record 151 games in a row…  

…more than a team currently holding a 235 game northern California win streak…  

…To hear senior receiver Andrew Buckley tell it, Bob Ladouceur has built men.  “He cares about trying to turn us into men,” Buckley said “so we can accomplish more things when we get older.”

Coach Ladouceur thinks his current band of Spartans has what it takes to accomplish a 4th straight Bowl Open Title.  But, he’s not yet sure.  

“To go all the way, and win out all the way,” Ladouceur said “It’s a hard road, and you’ve got to be pretty tough to do it.  We’ll see how tough these guys are.”  

Unlike all of the other storied postseason runs by Ladouceur’s Spartans, there’s a different element added to the mix this year.  Ladouceur—the leader of this program since 1979—has been throwing around the “R” word—as in “retirement.”  “I don’t want to lose any coaches we have here who would want to try and do this job,” Ladouceur said. “And, it’s time for them to try it too.  That’s more important to me than anything.  I’ve spent my life working in this and building this program...and helping build this program where it is...and I want to see it continue and get better when I’m not doing it.” 

As to the question of if Ladouceur is more likely to hang up his whistle this year than next, he added “I’m not sure yet.  I mean…one or the other.  I’m just going to see how I feel…and—you know—after I get out of the season for a few weeks or maybe a month or so and see how I feel about it.”

His players, like USC-bound linebacker Michael Hutchings, have heard the rumors about their coach.  “We haven’t even talked about it as a team,” Hutchings said.  “I’m sure after the season, it will be something that’s a little bit bigger amongst us and amongst the guys.  But right now, we’ve just got to focus on our season.”

Bob Ladouceur has spent his life focusing on the high school game—rebuffing offers to coach at higher levels of football.  He says he has no regrets.

“I’ve been happy,” Ladouceur exclaimed.  “If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change one thing.”

Giants continue embarrassing stretch against rebuilding Padres

Giants continue embarrassing stretch against rebuilding Padres

SAN FRANCISCO — Three years ago, the Giants and Padres were the two teams in it until the very end for Pablo Sandoval’s services. He ended up in Boston, and when he became available again over the past week, the Padres politely backed away. 

They prefer youth and Rule 5 Draft picks. They came into this season knowing they might lose 100 games, and they didn’t mind. If anything, they welcomed the increased shot at the top pick in the 2018 draft. They’re here to tank, but the Giants (who expect to welcome Sandoval back on a minor league deal as soon as Friday) just won’t let them. 

Thursday’s 5-2 loss to San Diego was like so many others over the past calendar year. The Giants didn’t hit, they didn’t come through in the clutch, they did not support their starting pitcher, and they did not guarantee a handshake line. 

The Giants have lost 15 of 20 to the Padres since last year’s All-Star break, including three straight last July to kickstart a tailspin that has lasted over a year now. They have dropped four of five meetings in this second half, which was supposed to prove that a Padre-like rebuild is not needed up here in the Bay Area. They are five games behind the Padres in the race to finish a distant fourth in the National League, and in a season full of disappointment, that stands as one of the more embarrassing facts. 

Not even Madison Bumgarner’s return to AT&T Park could turn the tide. The lefty looked good most of the night, but two homers left him with a rougher-than-hoped line. Bumgarner gave up four earned on two homers. He has allowed multiple homers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Both starts have come against the Padres. 

“I’ve got to stop giving up homers,” Bumgarner said of his start. “That’s not going to work.”

Bumgarner said he felt fine physically, and his curveball — the pitch that has backfired on him most often since his return — feels right mechanically. He was facing his last batter in the seventh as George Kontos warmed up with a runner on. Corey Spangenberg hit a two-run shot to the deepest part of the yard to make it 4-2. 

Buster Posey flied out with the bases loaded in the eighth. The Giants brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but couldn’t score, which has been the norm against the Padres. The Giants are averaging just 3.2 runs per game during this 20-game stretch of futility against a team they once dominated. 

“We need to win ballgames right now,” Bumgarner said. “We’ve got to start doing that. There’s no magic solution. We’ve got to start playing better, all of us.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as homers hurt Bumgarner vs Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as homers hurt Bumgarner vs Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — A day after he did his press conference from a “Game of Thrones” throne, manager Bruce Bochy said he was happy the Giants won their series finale against the Indians and kept that plan in play. In that respect, he’s lucky his team wasn’t facing the Padres on Wednesday. 

The Giants were on Thursday, however, and they continued their baffling stretch of ineptitude against what is supposed to be the worst team in the National League West. The 5-2 loss to San Diego was the 15th in the last 20 meetings between the two teams, one of which has a $200 million payroll and the other of which is actively tanking. 

The Giants had a shot at a comeback in the eighth, but Buster Posey flied out to right with two outs and the bases loaded. Here are five things to know, if you are the curious type: 

—- Madison Bumgarner has faced the Padres twice since returning. In 13 1/3 innings, he has allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs. He is getting hurt by a familiar problem for the 2017 Giants: The Padres have four homers off Bumgarner in those two starts. Hunter Renfroe and Cory Spangenberg took him deep Thursday, with Spangenberg hitting one out to the deepest part of the yard on Bumgarner’s final pitch. 

—- This is the first time in Bumgarner’s career that he has allowed multiple homers in back-to-back starts. 

—- Kyle Crick showed good stuff — sitting 96-97 — while stranding a runner on second in the eighth. He followed that with a scoreless ninth. The Giants should make it a priority to throw him into some deeper water over the next two months. 

—- There’s an epidemic these days of outfielders making foolish throws to the plate. We see it just about every night, and it cost the Padres in the sixth. Gorkys Hernandez was on second and he took off right away on Denard Span’s single to right. Renfroe had no play at the plate but he threw it anyway and Span took second. He scored when Eduardo Nuñez singled to left. 

—- The Giants announced their second consecutive sellout. That’s a streak. Maybe?