Saturday mornings can be a busy time for Trinity League coaches and athletes. When all the dust has settled following football clashes under friday night lights, coaches are already studying video of the next week’s opponent, players are getting treatment for their wounded and sore bodies and there’s ample discussion among family, friends and fans about the previous night’s outcome.
Now, along with the Saturday morning newspaper accounts of each contest and a stream of information on the Internet with details of the thrilling Trinity gridiron action, there’s even more.
Since Sept. 24, the sounds, interviews, highlights and backdrop of Trinity League sports are captured on radio for all to hear, thanks to the blessing of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which launched a new Saturday morning radio show, “Catholic Sports View,” focused on Trinity League athletics and produced and hosted by Tustin resident Bob Gibson, a veteran television producer and reporter.
“It’s a great chance to tell some of the great stories going on,” said Gibson, who has been covering high school sports for 26 years and spent most of his career working for Costa Mesa’s local access cable station, which has changed owners and names several times and is currently operated by Time Warner.
“Catholic Sports View” airs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays through Immaculate Heart Radio on 1000 AM from a studio in the Tower of Hope at the Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove, and with the partnership of the Eternal Word Television Network.
Gibson pitched the idea of a Trinity League sports radio show to the Diocese about a year ago, and heard back in August to “put this thing together,” he said.
In January 2015, the Diocese started Orange County Catholic Radio on 1000 AM with station call letters KCEO, which stands for chief executive officer based on the fact that the channel was once a business-talk station. Orange County Catholic Radio, as well as “Catholic Sports View,” produces original content on the EWTN Global Catholic Network (ewtn.com) and Immaculate Heart Radio. The signal for 1000 AM stretches from southern Los Angeles County to the Mexican border, allowing the Diocese to reach as many as 6.8 million listeners.
“This show is right up my alley,” Gibson said.
With the Trinity League highly touted annually among the best and most competitive high school football leagues in the U.S., it will be a fall feast for Gibson. In the winter, the Trinity remains among the nation’s elite with basketball superpower Mater Dei High School, while the spring usually features more future Olympians and Major League Baseball players than rainy days in Orange County.
Case in point: Former Santa Margarita baseball standouts Austin Barnes, a catcher, and Trayce Thompson, an outfielder, are now playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Past wintertime Eagle standouts in girls soccer, Amy Rodriguez, and boys basketball, Klay Thompson, combine for three Olympic gold medals – Rodriguez (Class of 2005) for the U.S. women’s soccer team at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games, and Thompson (Class of ’08) in this year’s Rio Olympics. Thompson, who set an NBA record for the most points scored in a quarter (37), is an all-star for the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. The U. S. men’s water polo team at the 2016 Rio Games featured Mater Dei products McQuin Baron, a goalkeeper, and Bret Bonanni, an attacker.
While the Trinity is well-documented in football with a slew of current and former NFL and college players, including Heisman Trophy-winning USC quarterbacks Carson Palmer (Santa Margarita) and Matt Leinart (Mater Dei), league schools perform exceptionally well in other autumn sports, especially boys water polo, girls volleyball and girls golf. This year’s Mater Dei boys water polo team is ranked No. 1 in Orange County, followed by No. 3 Orange Lutheran and No. 8 Santa Margarita.
“We talk to the athletes and coaches on location (during the week),” said Gibson, who tapes “Catholic Sports View” early in the week before the Saturday air time. “The show is focusing on all of the Trinity League. We’ve been to Rosary twice, JSerra, Mater Dei a couple of times, and I think we’ve done a story on everybody in the league except Servite (as of Oct. 1). We do stories on all sports – boys, girls, coaches, administrators, athletic directors … any great stories we can come up with. We’re also reaching out to the alumni at each school. Recently, for example, we went out to do a story on Austin Hedges, the former JSerra baseball player now with the San Diego Padres. We tracked him down when (Hedges) was in Lake Elsinore, before the Padres brought him up. We’re trying to move it around and get different perspectives and find out what’s going on in the Catholic schools, and what it’s like to go to school there and get a Catholic education, and how that intertwines with athletics.”
Gibson can also be heard on the radio after Angel games on 830 AM, a show called “The Franchise” that follows the Angel post-game show. “The Franchise” is scheduled for the airwaves from 10 p.m. to midnight four nights a week.