The Merced High football team put the exclamation mark on a perfect 10-0 season by capturing the Mayor’s Cup for the 13th consecutive season with a 41-7 win over Golden Valley on Friday night at Veterans Stadium.
Bears players took turns posing for pictures with the Mayor’s Cup trophy after the game and Bears coach Rob Scheidt received the Gatorade bucket shower.
Going undefeated through a 10-game season is rare and the Bears celebrated the accomplishment. It’s Merced’s first 10-0 season since 2007.
“This is only my second one in 24 years at Merced,” Scheidt said. “It’s hard to do. Not a lot of teams do it.”
Merced now holds a 17-8 advantage all-time in the series against Golden Valley. Friday’s game marked the 25th time the crosstown rivals had squared off.
The Bears defense dominated on this night.
Merced held Golden Valley (6-4, 3-3 Central California Conference) to 2004 news report when he was removed from St. Patrick’s Church in Merced following allegations he was active on a homosexual dating website. He was also alleged to have misappropriated some $60,000 in church funds.
In late 2004, thenBishop John T. Steinbock sent Lastiri to “therapeutic facility” in Maryland called St. Luke’s Institute. The institute has been treating Catholic clergy and religious men and women for over 40 years.
Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for St. Luke’s Institute, said the facility has to abide by the medical confidentiality laws, and is not able to speak on individual cases. Gibbs wasn’t able to disclose what kind of treatment Lastiri underwent and how many other priests have been sent there by the Diocese of Fresno.
But the treatment programs deal with depression, burnout stress and just 29 total yards in the first half as they opened up a 27-0 lead. The Bears sacked Cougars quarterback Jonathan Peredia six times in the first two quarters.
It was a sack-fumble by Bears linebacker Ke’saun Eddings that set up the Merced offense for the first score. Eddings exploded off the edge and knocked the ball out of Peredia’s hands as Roman Montez pounced on the ball.
“I’ve been close on those sacks this year,” Eddings said. “I saw him about to throw it so I ran addiction. A small part of their programs deal with child abuse. A person sent there undergoes a five-day evaluation. At the end, a recommendation is made to the individual and its diocese or community.
If the individual is involved with a minor, the institute would recommend a six month residential treatment program and the diocese can chose to send the individual and at what location.
A statement from former Bishop Steinbock, dated Sept. 9, 2004, on churchpurify.com, says he had advised Lastiri that if he successfully underwent treatment for his “compulsive behavior,” he as fast as I could to hit him. I got him.”
The Bears took over at the GV 37 yard line, which led to an eventual Dhameer Warren 10-yard touchdown run that gave Merced a 6-0 lead with 8:22 left in the first quarter.
Montez also had a big night on defense, picking up two and a half sacks on the night to go along with the fumble recovery.
“The effort was high all night from our guys,” Scheidt said. “I was really proud of our guys. It’s always a little tough when you have already clinched would be allowed to return to the ministry.
In June 2005, Lastiri was assigned at St. Philip’s church in Bakersfield, then in August of that same year, he was given a special assignment at the diocese’s Office of Ministries. On August 2006, he was given a special assignment as director of the Office of Worship and Evangelization. A few months later in December of that same year, he was placed at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Fresno.
In July 2008, Lastiri transferred to Our Lady of the Sierra in Oakhurst, and then in February 2012, is when he was assigned to his most current post in Hanford.
Dominguez said Lastiri’s investigation will take “as long as necessary to ensure that all relevant information receives the attention required to help Bishop Ochoa make a decision on an appropriate response for the good of the faith community, as well as the needs of Fr. Lastiri.”
Meanwhile, Magdaleno was placed on administrative leave following a a conference championship. We played a Golden Valley team that played Buhach Colony tough last week. You have to tip your hat to Golden Valley. They played tough all season and played some really big games. They did it with basically 30 players all year.”
The Bears scored on “complaint from a concerned adult that warranted investigation,” Dominguez said. She wasn’t able to disclose details of the complaint lodged against him.
The investigation “does not carry with an assumption of guilt,” she said.
“It is an objective process,” she said.
Efforts to reach Magdaleno and Bautista were not successful.
Joseph Riofrio, a former Mendota City Council member and practicing Catholic, said Bautista was “very powerful — he was very spiritual,” but he abruptly disappeared two years ago. He “was there one day and then he wasn’t there another” day.
“The community doesn’t know what was entailed, what the facts are,” he said. “It was a big blow — a big shock to the community.”
Mendota now has a priest from El Salvador, Riofrio said, who hopes the diocese will thoroughly investigate. their second possession of the game, driving 55 yards in eight plays. Junior Garcia connected with Xavier Stewart for a 5-yard touchdown to give Merced a 13-0 lead with 2:45 left in the first quarter.
Garcia and Warren added touchdown runs in the second quarter to extend the lead to 27-0 at the half.
Warren added a 32-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Hopkins in the third quarter and running back Desmond Thompson scored from 1-yard out to give Merced a 41-0 lead late in the third quarter.
Thompson finished with 126 yards on 13 carries to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
“It means the world to me,” Thompson said. “I never thought a day like this would happen in my life..”
The Cougars lost their top two tailbacks to injuries when Jaren Phillips and Avery Townsel left the game with injuries. Davon Johnson moved from fullback to tailback
THE EFFORT WAS HIGH ALL NIGHT FROM OUR GUYS. I WAS REALLY PROUD OF OUR GUYS.
Rob Scheidt, Merced Bears coach
and rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries.
Etrell Bowers hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass from Peredia with 8 minutes left in the game for the Cougars’ lone score.
Golden Valley will have to sit and wait to see if its 6-4 record is good enough to make the postseason. The Cougars were ranked No. 11 in the Calpreps Division III rankings coming into this week. The top 12 teams in each division make the playoffs.
Merced will likely earn at least a top three seed in Division III with fellow 10-0 teams Capital Christian and Placer. The SacJoaquin Section will announce the playoff brackets on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
“Probably when I was younger I was more opinionated about everything and those type of decisions,” Scheidt said. “I’m happy we’re in the playoffs. I can’t control anything else. It’ll play out. You have to play everyone eventually.”
Merced quarterback Junior Garcia delivered a pass during the Bears’ 41-7 win over Golden Valley on Friday at Veterans Stadium. Friday’s game was the 25th time the rivals had squared off. Merced now holds a 17-8 advantage all-time in the series.
Father Jean-Michael Lastiri