first_img Instantly, about 60 tiny arms reached out to do the same. When Rohan grabbed his heel, pulling his foot toward his back to stretch his quadricep, the kids did the same. Some wobbled about, trying to maintain their balance but kept a steady eye on their sure-footed coach. In September, Rohan finished his fourth season in Florida with the minor league team. The former Valencia High School student signed on as a nondrafted free agent with the Dodgers after graduation in 2002. Days at the six-month training camp start around 9 a.m. and include a three-hour practice with drills and simulated games. Then it’s off to the gym to lift weights and do conditioning exercises until 3 p.m. It was Rohan’s mother, Erika Cuellar, who first taught him how to play. She coached his T-ball team, and the sport stuck with him. As a freshman, Rohan didn’t want to play for his high school’s team. But his mother encouraged him to continue and even paid him $20 a week to keep it up. His father, Jim, also supported his son’s talent and pushed for him to keep it up. So Rohan did. And he’s played practically nonstop ever since. Although these days, more of Rohan’s time on the field as coach is spent tying shoe laces and fastening helmets for his young athletes than doing drills and hitting home runs. But, as Rohan says, the baseball tradition continues. “I wanted to give something back, especially in Santa Clarita, which is my hometown,” Rohan said. “I like teaching the kids a little something that I grew up learning.” For some kids, such as 12-year-old Rochelle Murrieta, the class has taught her an organized sport. The sixth-grader has physical education class in school but said it mainly involves playing outside and doesn’t teach sports like baseball. Parents pay for their children to participate in these after-school activities. Costs vary depending on the class. Baseball costs about $60 for a six-week session, while chess is about $45. District officials piloted these programs after they began early dismissals on Tuesdays, then discovered that some parents had problems getting to the school an hour earlier than usual to pick up their kids, said Roni Andrus, Valley View Community School assistant principal. Rochelle’s mother Kyrie Murrieta is grateful for the baseball class because it takes place right after school and saves a trip across town for practice. “Rochelle has always loved sports, but we have three kids and can’t do it all on weekends,” she said. “I think this is an awesome thing. It’s so convenient.” Sue Doyle,(661) 257-5254 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The 21-year-old teaches one of a few afternoon classes at the district’s schools on Tuesdays, when doors close an hour early for staff development. He has been teaching at Valley View Community School, but he and teachers of dance, chess and Spanish do rotate to other schools in the district. The soft-spoken Valencia man totally rules his 30 or so pint-size fans. “The teacher is so cool,” said Giddeon Vossler, 11. “He can hit the ball almost over the fence with one arm.” Students piled onto the field after school one afternoon to warm up before breaking into teams to play ball. With his arms outstretched, Rohan then swung them around, making rings in the air and showing students how to stretch. CANYON COUNTRY – The second Jimmy Rohan walked onto the school’s baseball field, kids mobbed him for autographs. Not bad for a first day of work. The frenzy has since worn down a bit for the Dodgers minor league player and after-school baseball coach for the Sulphur Springs School District. But still, words such as “superstar,” “cool” and “famous” pop up today in conversations his students have about him. last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *