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Sports Roundup: Tim Tucker leaves Pasadena for Maranatha, Jared Papazian revives MMA career and Angel Villagran tosses perfect game for Burbank

March 17, 2013|By Peter Madden
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Pasadena High School Coach Tim Tucker announced Tuesday that he has resigned from the Bulldogs and has taken the vacant coaching position at nearby Maranatha.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Pasadena High School Coach Tim Tucker… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

It might be baseball season in Southern California, but there was no shortage of big basketball news this week, as the coach of one of the area's winningest programs switched schools to join a nearby program.

Maranatha announced the hiring of Pasadena High School's longtime head coach Tim Tucker on Tuesday, the same day that Minutemen coach Tim Godley announced his resignation. Tucker led the Bulldogs to nine straight Pacific League championships and collected four CIF Southern Section titles both as a player and a coach, most recently in 2011-2012.

Tucker is one of several successful public school coaches to switch to private schools, according to Eric Sondheimer, drawn by big paydays and the chance to recruit without attendance boundaries. Maranatha has never reached a CIF championship game, but Tucker is already predicting a quick turnaround for his new program: "If you don't know about Maranatha, you will soon."

Burbank-trained fighter Jared Papazian is looking to rebound as well. Papazian was released from his UFC contract after three straight—but memorable—losses in the octagon, the latest to Tim Elliott in December.

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But Papazian took a big step toward making his way back to the Ultimate Fighting Championship with a unanimous decision win over Terrion Ware at BAMMA USA "Badbeat 8" at the Commerce Casino. Though he admitted the sting of his release had affected his preparation, Papazian expressed confidence that he was back on the right track: "I'm improving. I'm getting better...This is my road back to the UFC."

Finally, we'd like to recognize a few of the local athletes who received end-of-the-season league honors or achieved major milestones last week:

In a 10-0 blowout win over Hoover, Burbank High School's Angel Villagran threw a perfect game, striking out seven in the process, to improve the Bulldogs' record to 3-3.

Former Glendale High School cross-country runner Ariel Drachenberg participated in his 28th consecutive Los Angeles Marathon on Saturday, making him one of 185 L.A. Marathon Legacy Runners who have completed each year's race since its inception in 1986.

Glendale Community College inducted its twelfth class, "one of the best groups we've ever had," according to GCC athletic director John Cicuto, into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 9.

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