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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 church­pu­, 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



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.

Fresno Bee file

Fa­ther Jean-Michael La­stiri

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