BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Nathan Garcia, the 13-year-old Bakersfield native befriended by Cody Kessler and the USC football team, died Tuesday night after a battle with brain cancer.
Nathan's 13th birthday was Monday; as a birthday wish, he asked for a toy drive to be organized for other sick children.
Don Kessler said Wednesday the toy drive in Nathan's name had raised nearly 3,000 toys with more still coming in.
He also said Cody was back in town on a break from Sun Bowl practices for USC and saw Nathan one last time.
Wasco-BHS wrestling canceled
A dual meet scheduled for Saturday between Wasco and Bakersfield has been canceled, BHS athletic director Cheyenne Bell said.
Wasco inadverntantly also had planned to be in Frontier's tournament Saturday and had to drop out of the dual meet.
It would have matched two top 10 teams in The California Wrestler's rankings, No. 5 Bakersfield and No. 10 Wasco.
The dual meet is not expected to be rescheduled.
Frontier JV girls soccer team honors victims
The girls soccer players on Frontier's junior varsity team wore yellow ribbons in their hair this past weekend to honor victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., en route to winning their division at the Garces Holiday Soccer Festival.
Hard-luck year for Miller continues
It was a star-crossed semester at Stanford for Cameron Miller, The Californian's 2011 Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Miller planned to redshirt for the Cardinal, but running unattached, he opened the season with two solid 8-kilometer times of 25:05 at the Stanford Invitational and 24:27 at the Santa Clara Invitational, the latter being the third-best performance on the team.
But five days later, on Oct. 18, Miller was hit by a bus while on a training run and broke his left arm.
He was cleared to run Nov. 13, only to report pain in his lower back.
An MRI earlier this month revealed a sacral stress fracture, which can take 3-4 months to heal. Miller said via email he hoped to be ready to run in the outdoor track season, probably in the 5,000 meters.