The rise of Ronda Rousey tops the Glendale News-Press' Top 10 Sports Moments of 2012
Women's MMA superstar's popularity and success grew to never-before-seen heights in 2012.
Ronda Rousey, thanks to help from Glendale-based trainer Edmond Tarverdyan, climbed up the MMA ranks in 2012. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer) (December 30, 2012)
For good measure, the Falcons (26-6) made an appearance in the state playoffs for the first time since 1994, losing to eventual state champion Santa Ana Mater Dei.
9) A major renaissance for the jubilant Wildcats — After several previous attempts to win the program’s first CIF Southern Section championship, things came together for the Renaissance Academy boys’ basketball team in 2012.
With the nucleus in tact, led by Jessy Cantinol and Vince de Guzman, the top-seeded Wildcats (27-7) roared through the Division VI playoffs after placing third in the Harbor League.
The Wildcats’ watershed moment came when they notched a 67-45 win against California Lutheran in the championship game of the playoffs. Its season finished with a 58-57 loss in the Southern California regional final against Village Christian, which went on to win the state championship.
De Guzman was named All-CIF Division VI Player of the Year and coach Sid Cooke was named the division’s coach of the year. Cantinol was tabbed the John R. Wooden High School Player of the Year in Division VI after averaging 15.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game en route to earning All-CIF first-team accolades.
10) Turmoil on and off the field for Andy Reid — Job stability hasn’t been an issue for Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid since the former Glendale Community College football player took over the job in 1999. At least until 2011, when a squad deemed the “Dream Team,” struggled mightily. Reid guided the Eagles to an appearance in the Super Bowl in 2004 and was expected to do the same in 2011. However, the Eagles and their high-priced talent failed to qualify for the postseason, putting Reid on the infamous coaching hot seat.
Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie said before the 2012 season began that another mediocre record would not be acceptable and that the Eagles needed to show “substantial improvement” to justify handing Reid a contract extension. Reid has one year left on his contract for nearly $6 million.
During Reid’s tenure at Philadelphia, he’s registered a franchise-best 140 victories. He’s piloted the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six National Football Conference East Division titles and five NFC championship contests.
Looking to help the Eagles regroup from last season’s 8-8 finish, things took a turn for the worse for Reid. His oldest son, Garrett, died during training camp following a lengthy battle with drug addiction.
A coroner ruled that the younger Reid, 29, died from an accidental heroin overdose.
The Eagles close out the season Sunday with a road contest against the rival New York Giants. The Eagles (4-11) will finish in last place in the division after a season that’s been mired in controversy, injuries and losses.