Steve Papin, during his eye-opening Arena League days with the San Jose SaberCats, was known by such nicknames as "Superman" and "Super Steve" ... "Coast to Coast" and "Don't Blink."
Now "Coach Papin" will probably have to do as Independence High athletic director Anne Finney confirmed Wednesday that Papin is the new 76ers' football coach.
“We’re excited to be moving forward,” Finney said. “He’ll bring an experienced staff and his priorities are aligned with our principal’s mantra of academic excellence.”
Said Papin, a former Piedmont Hills High and Portland State star: "I'm elated. I love having the chance to coach at a big school in the A Division. It's challenging and gratifying."
At B League Gunderson last season, Papin's team went 2-8 following a 7-3 campaign the year before. He left the Grizzlies after three seasons, citing a difference in philosophy between he and the administration.
"It was nothing negative," Papin said. "My philosophy toward kids is just a little different. I'm the kind of guy to give a kid a second or even third chance."
Papin, 42, will theoretically be able to do that Independence, which went 5-6 overall last season under Norm Brown and lost to San Benito 62-21 in the opening round of CCS."
Standing just 5-foot-9 and weighing 190 pounds, Papin was not taken in the 1996 NFL draft. But he did play a year in NFL Europe and then flourished in the Arena league, accumulating 15,413 yards in seven seasons as an all-purpose back/kick returner. In San Jose, he scored 54 times in his first 21 games.
Though Papin designed a ground-oriented option attack at Gunderson, he plans to run an Auburn University-like, two-back, play-action attack with no huddle at Independence.
"We're going to plug in the athletes and go," Papin said.
Yerba Buena packs it in: The Yerba Buena baseball team folded a little less than a month ago when the roster dipped to under nine players, Aztec Warriors athletic director Joey Marquez said.
“The baseball team closed up shop. We didn’t have enough players. It was a combination of factors," said Marquez, who noted that at least one injury and academic problems did in the team. Yerba Buena's last actual game was April 10 -- all the rest have been forfeits.
Marquez said Yerba Buena will do what it can to foster interest in the sport and keep the players on track — though he also said not many of the program’s players come through the local Little League program.
WCAL playoffs: Valley Christian beat Presentation 2-1 on Wednesday and Mitty silenced Notre Dame-Belmont 6-0 in the WCAL softball semis. That sets up a 3:30 p.m. playoff title game Thursday at Mitty. The Monarchs are the No. 1 seed VC No. 2.
The WCAL baseball title game is at 7 p.m. Thursday at Santa Clara University's Schott Stadium.
John Murphy is the Web Content Editor of Prep2Prep. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.