Ron Barney always wanted to ride off into the sunset aboard his beloved motorcycle.
Only one problem. The bike doesn’t always cooperate, with an accident leaving him with six broken bones last July.
Barney, a long-time high school coach and athletic administrator, has a three-tier retirement in the works. He has stepped aside as football coach, athletic director and physical educator instructor at Mesa Verde, where he has spent 38 years and parts of five decades.
Barney, 61, helped launch the “Boys Into Men” program on the Citrus Heights campus as well as the San Juan Unified School District AD for six years.
He said he bows out with pride, having coached three Sac-Joaquin Section championship baseball teams and three in football as the right-hand man to his best friend, the late Mike Gebhardt.
“I’ve had a great time,” Barney said. “I’ll still be involved. It’s in my blood. I’ll still give back. I’ll volunteer at events, and I want to be a league commissioner. I want to see our leagues get better.”
Barney said he won’t retire the motorcycle, however, as riding is a peaceful release.
“I’ve got that John Wayne mentality,” he said.
Barney said he is pleased with Mesa Verde’s hire of new football coach John Hilton, who led Golden Sierra to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title game last season.
“He’s going to be great,” Barney said. “I feel really good about it.”
Boys tourney set – The seventh annual Sheldon-Trail Summer Jam, the largest boys summer high school basketball tournament in Northern California with 60 teams, will be held Friday through Sunday at Monterey Trail, Sheldon and Elk Grove high schools and Smedberg Middle School.
Among the teams entered are NorCal Regional champions Folsom (Division II) and Sir Francis Drake of San Anselmo (D-III), runners-up Capital Christian (Open) and Freedom of Oakley (D-I), and semifinalists Jesuit (D-I) and Campolindo of Orinda (D-III).
There will be 12 pools of five teams each, with pool play on Friday and Saturday leading to five single-elimination tournaments Sunday. The top-level Platinum Division championship is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Sheldon.
Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors 60 and older and $3 for children 6 and older.
For schedules, rules, maps and game results, go to http://www.sheldontrail.com.
National track leaders – The St. Francis 4x400-meter relay performance in the state final ranks seventh nationally, according to Athletic.net.
The Troubadours clocked a school-record time of 3 minutes, 45.02 seconds to finish third behind national leader Long Beach Poly (3:38.05) and fourth-place Piedmont Hills (3:43.63) June 7 in Clovis. The time also is the second fastest in Sac-Joaquin Section history.
Sophomores Ariane Arndt, Lilly Enes and Kiani Reyna and junior Sydney Hunter will return next season.
The Sheldon boys’ 4x400 relay team (Marcus Beloney, Taron Johnson, Steven Edwards and Cameron Stone) also is ranked seventh nationally, with a time of 3:14.10. Stone is tied for 10th in the boys 400 at 46.99.
River Valley’s Mackenzie Arnold, a junior who injured her knee and failed to make the state meet, is ranked No. 5 in the girls long jump at 20 feet, 1/4 inch.
Rowing – The Capital Crew men’s lightweight four placed third at the United States Rowing Junior National Championships last Sunday at Lake Natoma. The team consisted of Jesuit’s Andrew Montoya, Aaron Rothlederand John Slater; Rio Americano’s David Cloninger; and St. Francis’ Jacqueline Holben (coxswain).
Capital Crew’s men’s youth pair of Bryan Brennan (Jesuit) and Parker Brooks (Oak Ridge) finished fifth.
The River City Rowing Club had three boats place.
The women’s coxed four of McClatchy’s Emily Magavern, Charlotte Osborn and Da Vinci of Davis’ Lena Kallweit, Katie Descheemaeker and Davis’ Hannah Siemens and placed third.
The men’s lightweight double of Cody Crawford (Christian Brothers) and Myles Cannings (Davis) was fifth, and the men’s double of Spencer Curry (Dixon) and Sean Callaghan (Roseville) took sixth.
Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.