Proud papa Greg Gelalich informs LVO that oldest son Jeff (Bonita class of 2009) exchanged his UCLA Bruins baseball jersey for one issued by the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League. Jeff was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of Major League Baseball’s supplemental draft and patriotically signed his contract with baseball’s oldest franchise over the 2012 Fourth of July Weekend. Last weekend Greg was in Billings to catch the action, and there was plenty. “When I was there,” Greg said, “the average attendance was 3,200. I was also there to receive Jeff’s first professional baseball card, which is pretty cool.” Jeff is playing right field (with a bruised hand from an errant pick-off throw), the same position he played for both Bonita and the Bruins. Furthermore, Jeff has been asked to participate in the Reds’ Instructional League in the off-season, an invitation extended only to players that the club “wishes to move through the ranks a little quicker.” The good news for the Gelalich clan is that the Reds spring training facility is in Goodyear, Az., which should cut down the wear and tear on the family car next year. Meanwhile, all eyes for the Gelaliches tonight will turn to youngest son Danny, a starting cornerback on the Bonita varsity football team.
Over the weekend, we witnessed the betrothal of former Bonita Bearcat Steve Hagman (Class of 2002), who successfully asked for the hand of the beautiful Teah Kerr. Hagman, who played baseball at both Bonita and ULV, met Teah in training for Enterprise Rent a Car. I guess Steve had his eyes on more than just the training manual. Today, the lovely and Enterprising couple resides in Diamond Bar. Steve is a senior accountant at Enterprise while Teah is studying at Western University of Health Sciences to be a PA. You can also catch Steve playing basketball in the La Verne City League.
Meanwhile, a classmate of Steve’s, Courtney Hawkins (2002), is taking care of business down in Shreveport, La., helping defend our country as a crew chief on a B-52 bomber while also working on his bachelor’s in Criminal Science. Courtney joined the U.S. Air Force in 2004. That’s not the only joining up he’s done. In April, he married Paige, the love of his life. He’s also quite the family man, with daughter Maia, 7, who attends La Verne Heights in La Verne, and son, Justin, almost 2. A decade ago, Hawkins was moving the pile forward, running the football for Bonita in two Smudge Pots.
Kamden Carroll (2002), a four-year-varsity player for Bonita before he hung up his spikes in 2002, serves as a manager at Big League Dreams and attends Chapman College. He’s quite the family man, too, as he and Andria are the proud parents of Jayden, Sr. Kamdan still stays in close touch with Ryan Bennett, Corey Hanson, Kyle Mendoza, Brent Williams, J.J. Norman and Matt Anderson.
It wasn’t too difficult to catch up with Rick and Casey Ravenkamp, who are enjoying their 32nd year of marriage together. “We are lifers in La Verne,” Casey said. While Rick has run a masonry business for the past 36 years, Casey worked for the City of La Verne for 21 years before switching to the Bonita Unified School District for the past 12 years. Their children, Kristina (Class of 1999) and Peter (class of 2001) are Bonita graduates. Kristina went on to attend Cal Poly Pomona, where she received her degree in education. After working for eight years, she is now a stay-at-home living in Scottsdale, Ariz., enjoying life with her husband Benjamin Brown and their two children Zoe Catherine, almost 3, and Eva Patrice, who is nine-months-old. Meanwhile, Peter also attended Cal Poly, receiving his BS and Master’s in Engineering. Today, he works for an Ontario engineering firm and also has his own engineering business. He has been married for four years to Jennifer. They have a daughter, Reese Renee, who is 18 months, and they look forward to welcoming a baby boy (Jacob Thomas) to carry on the Ravenkamp name in January 2013. As for Casey and Rick, they enjoy camping, hiking the local trails, and, of course, spending as much time with their grandchildren as they possibly can. “We have seen a lot of people come and go in our neighborhood,” Casey said, “and the ones that make it in life are the ones who live simple and enjoy what they have.”