Thomas Kelso

Profile Updated: June 13, 2018
Residing In: Alta Loma, CA USA
Children: Kelly

Played college football in Utah and in 1971 was a member of the first ever USA Division One College team to play football games in Japan. The Silk Bowl was played in Tokyo's Yoyogi National Stadium the site of the 1964 Olympic Games, a week later, December 26th, played a final game, in Osaka's Kansai Koshein Ball Park.

In the 90's I started Professional Sports Management team that signed four NBA draft picks in three years.
Trained, coached and mentored Venus and Serena Williams' older half brother Charles Williams who basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian once told me was the greatest athlete he'd ever seen. Charles later became the starting point guard for Sports Illustrated Magazine's number one rated Univ of Cincinatti basketball team that was later mired in controvesy and suspension, Rob "Sic Wit It" Kennedy who is credited arguably with making the greatest trick shot ever in a nationally televised and internationally viewed basketball game and Venice Beach legend Reggie "Slam" Cotton, the Mike Jordan of Wayside and the only man I've ever seen complete a 360 slam dunk off a lob. Both after turning down multiple offers including the Harlem Globetrotters became star members for a few years on the popular nationally televised ESPN series "Street Ball" "The Original And One Team" sponsored by Mountain Dew. To name a few.
Sitting in the old UNLV basketball gym in the mid 90's with our Danny Orr watching my guy Atlanta Ga's finest "Give em Goose Bumps And Make Em Say Whoa" Jerran Cobb put up 48 in the D 2 College Vegas Tourney basketball finals. To name a few.

School Story:

How did this ever happen...
Hank, Fie, Pat, Mike, Bain, Liz and Joe. I know you are all gone, but I know what, you already know that again one day we will play sports and dance all night. together ...see you's.
WHS 1964-68. I was lost in darkness, and was touched by the light, young, anxious and always "fat" in a hurry untogether we brought virgin summers, winters, spring and fall.
Shooting pool with Chandler at the Buehlers'. "God" why isn't he here to tell the stories..
"Hearing whisphers" all mine and asking??? How dare they take my Pride and Joy, asking for her heart... and playing with mine.
My favorite teachers were Jerry Doggett and Chick Hearn. Vin Scully still is.
Yes! It's Halloween.
A funny memory. My El Rancho football buddies , Joey Cabrera, David Cervantes and Bill Kleine. Their senior year at the Ranch they did not have a first period and they would show up in the mornings before school at WHS. Some may remember them, they wore their lettermen jackets, and when school started they would hide in the library. The librarian never said a word, Kleine looked like Paul Newman, dark, silent, chiseled with windex blue eyes, Dave like Ray Danton, Joey, with that sense of humor and rare if ever seen before or since animal magnetism, I remember missing Joey, trying to tackle him a couple of times, we had been football rivals since 1961, Joe played for the Montebello Indians, I the Whittier Valiants, in our 1967 game our senior year, and not feeling to good about it. I had him dead to rights and he got away...Years later I would recover that 1967 game film, and relive missing him, again, and again and then getting him, again and again, and again. Watching the 1967 El Rancho vs Compton Centennial CIF first round playoff game film that I recovered along with ours, helped me. Centennial going into that game was ranked number one in the U S of A our senior year and after watching it I no longer felt so bad. Centenial's All American middle linebacker had a worse time with spinning Joe then I, he never got Joe...Once. Joe won that Friday night light game in Cerritos Colleges' Falcon Stadium, Joe scored both TD's on runs of 37 and 14 yards. The Ranch won 13-7... a huge wasn't to me or any of us that ever played the Ranch or knew Joe.
Back to the WHS library, Agahst? You know what? They made that librarians day, night and weekend...If she is still alive she still smiles when she recalls it. If you want to smile and ever run into Jerry Renfro, Greg Haserot, Brent Tucker, Pete Meiras, Guy Rebentisch, Guys dad Reb, my mom Kathleen, Fred Padilla, Chris Sherman, Chris McCluer, Ernie Santa Cruz or I, ask us about Joey. Joey can't speak for himself, Joey is the epitome of the adage "Only the good die young."

Our heart wrenching last seconds five point loss to Arcadia in the final game our Junior year. That loss cost us any chance of going to CIF as it was understood that if you win you're in and if you lose your out. In the last seconds of the game, Arcadia's final offensive possesion Lopez for defensive purposes put Bob Chandler at Safety a position Bob had not played all season. In desperation Arcadia threw a hail mary pass that really was a wounded duck, an easy play for Bob, so easy he was licking his chops. Some may remember that Bob was a trememdous leaper which proved his and our undoing, he misjudged the ball and jumped so high that he jumped over it, and helplessly watch the ball fall into the recievers hands and the guy run into the end zone. That was one dead silent bus ride back to school. In the locker room, long after everyone else had left, I stayed there with Bob trying with all my heart and soul to console him, he was distraught and over come with shame, he couldn't lift his head, and over, and over again he verbally blamed himself. I told him, over and over "Bob if not for you, we would not have won the games we did." After a long while he lifted his head and with a stealy glint in his eyes looked me dead in my eye's, then got up and left without saying a word. In those day's boys weren't supposed to cry... he didn't.
Robbie L how weird is this... the guy that you woke up out of his body and made in a most unorthodox way graduate high school, is alergic to plastic.
Thank you Dr Blanchard.

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Jun 18, 2018 at 6:55 PM

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Steak & Stein
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Jun 12, 2018 at 9:30 PM

Recently I discovered several original LA Times newspapers dated 11-23-11-28 1963, it was the day and week following JFK's assassination in Dallas. I was then at Dexter Jr Hi in 8th grade Art class when to the classes surprise a voice came over the intercom, it was the only time in my two years there that I remember the intercom being used. The first announcement was that JFK had been shot and shortly after the voice came on again announcing his death. After class the usual noise of voices of students moving through the hallways to their next class was now one of stunned silence, you could hear a pin drop.
The LA Times 11-24-1963 Sunday sports edition featured Jim Murray's column NO TIME FOR FUN. in reference to the assassination and the 11-28-63 Sport page is of some personal interest, it shows a captioned action photo of Whittier College running back Ron Hales. Ron is a WHS alum and former WHS coach and teacher. The Thanksgiving Day game was televised on KCOP channel 13 and the game determined the Conference champion. Ron had a big day rushing for 122 yards and a TD and the Poets won 17-6.
I think it's safe to say an LA Times front Sport page feature photo of a Whittier College football game, locally televised on KCOP channel 13 or on any channel may never happen again. The edition also includes Jim Murray's article writing of the heart break and stab in the nations back caused by JFK's death and the fact that it was on the same front page with a photo of former WHS and Whittier College football player and alum, the same schools that JFK's 1960 Presidential opponent Richard M Nixon attended and played football seems a bit surreal.
I have listed several photos of the LA Times from 11-23 and 11-28-1963 and a 1967 WHS Yearbook photo of coach Ron Hales.

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May 10, 2018 at 1:05 PM

My last football story I promise!

Vic Lopez was La Serna's head fb coach Harry Robinson's first prep coach, Vic was Harry's Freshman "C" football coach at WHS before Harry transferred to Cal Hi his sophomore year where he later graduated.
That relationship may or may not have had anything to do with the schools decision to meet in the very pre season for scrimmages, both our Junior year played on and early Saturday morning at La Serna and our Senior played at WHS.
La Serna was not favored to win the Suburban League our senior year let alone go 12-0 and win the CIF SS 3 A Title, a title they won in decisive Cinderella fashion 33-7 over defending 3 A champs Temple City, a championship season reminiscent of the 1964 Redbirds.
Scrimmages call for each team to run a set number plays with the coaches directing the action from the field. Fortunately that day we were at full strength and ran and threw the ball all over the field, scoring on two of our early possessions. La Serna on the other hand was completely stymied offensively and when we got the ball back we scored again. Now back in possession La Serna once again, this time to Robinson's noticeable anger and disgust at his teams poor performance found themselves unable to move the ball. After a few more downs and still failing to do a thing offensively, Robinson called his team together and while the scrimmage was still in progress and without a word pulled his team from the field and onto the waiting bus and back to the Friendly Hills campus.
The Cardinal and White covered the scrimmage with a front page action photo and an account of the action, which if nothing else gave us for awhile bragging rights and the pleasant feeling of knowing we did beat a team destined for Championship fame.

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May 07, 2018 at 10:38 AM

Varsity football our senior year. minus a couple of nasty injuries to two of our offensive stars, Greg Haserot and Gary Wineinger proved uneventful and we closed 6-3 identical to the year before and out of the post season playoffs. With three losses any hopes for a repeat of our miracle freshman year was dashed.

If there was any anger or disappointment it was solely with the coaches not the players. In our final contest played at Pioneer HS we played Montebello, and going in to the game all we heard from Lopez was if we win were in the CIF SS playoffs if we lose were out. \
In an effort to stop the Oilers running game and shut down their star wide receiver Bob Shelton, who when asked later that Summer by the 605 All Game Committee what his greatest thrill in sport had been? answered " Being Drafted by The LA Dodgers and when Whittier put 3 men on me". Bob's quote is included in his 1968 605 all star game program bio.
The weakness triple teaming a single receiver is someone else has got to be wide open and stacking the middle with two linebackers to stop the run eliminates a pass rusher and a Quarterback with time to throw, especially to uncovered receivers, is open to having a field day and that is what happened, final score 35-21 them. All of Montebello's five td's came from pass plays. During the week and prior to the start of the game when Don Kelly had us line up and walk through the defense, Brent Tucker who's family had moved from Montebello the Summer prior to the start of our frosh year and familiar with some of the Montebello players, stepped up and questioned Kelly about the defense and pointed out the weakness. Kelly paused, thought a minute and then said "Well we''ll just have to jump off that bridge when we get to it."

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May 06, 2018 at 10:58 AM
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May 01, 2018 at 4:32 PM

The summer of 1966 I played no baseball, worked at Angelus Furniture in ELA on Olympic BL, lifted weights nearly every day, went to HB whenever I could and worked out in the late afternoons with two of our 1964 Champ Team players QB Tim Walker Tom Seminoff. and later with Seniors Paul Thompsen, Don Cordell, Nick Takacs, Bob Chandler and Tom Tranbarger. Chandler and I would play pick up touch football games on Sundays that Summer with a few others previously mentioned and Basketball captain Dave Williams at Orange Grove and later together almost every afternoon during the week at Whittier up to the start of two a days
Vic Lopez's first and foremost consideration was his family and that was his focus during Summer Vacation and Don Kelly followed suit. Whittier had essentially a 3 to 4 month football program without a weight training, Summer or otherwise conditioning program. As players we were left to figure a lot of it out by ourselves. Compare that with today and even then, several in the Pacific League our league had year round programs. I thought it odd that Frank Poucher had regular AM before school weight training sessions for his players and none of the football teams did.
With summer coming to a close two a day football practices begin, clueless as to what if any position I'll play Lopez calls a full contact scrimmage, I make a couple of plays and now I'm first string outside linebacker and middle linebacker in certain defenses. Lopez and Kelly were unfamiliar with sound football techniques or fundamentals, their success was with players that relished contact and a step better than the opposition. The problem with that is if you play teams sometimes with lesser talent with a coaching staff that runs a lengthier strength and training program along with the other ingredients increases their odds and chances of winning and you losing and facing teams with equal or greater talent, you face the chance of getting blown out as we did 49-0 against El Rancho and losing games after leading all the way 12-6 to Montebello and 13-8 to Arcadia our only losses.
The first game is a scrimmage played on a Saturday morning at La Serna, scrimmages were held prior to the regular season games and no official score is recorded as the format differs entirely' Scrimmages allows both teams to run the same number of offensive plays with all coaches Standing on the field behind their respective team. The first series of plays La Serna has the ball I'm playing head up over the Tight End John Churchill who as I, was a Junior. John would the following year make All CIF as a key member of their 3A Championship and attend USC on a full football scholarship. The common thought is that on the first play from scrimmage you hit the man opposite you with everything you have, my thought was I don't know how long this game is going to be, and I'm not going to expend that much energy this early in the game and I wanted to see what the other guy had? It backfired," he hit me and you may be familiar with the term "Rattle your bones" well he did mine. It was first time I'd been hit that hard and the scrimmage ended in a scoreless tie.
On to the following week with Sierra our first game of the year a Friday away, Bill Ross comes up to me at the start of practice and says "Just wait until I get in shape". He was a senior a semi starter from the year before and his parents were tremendously gracious and generous and with the Buehler's on separate occasions held preseason dinners in their homes for the team, coaches and their families. So I wasn't feeling all that great about him sitting and myself playing and got out from under the intimidation by feigning injury against Monte Vista, a game we won 19-0.
I came off the field holding my arm telling the coaches I hurt my arm and can't play.
Ross was in and the intimidation was gone, soon to be replaced with a wanting desire to play. to the point that in our next team full contact scrimmage, Frank J Hernandez looks at me and then Lopez and says out loud "Well somebody wants to play!" I did have a frightened moment in that Monte Vista game when rishing from the outside I leapt over the up back in an attempt to block the punt, when as soon as I leapt he raised up and I did and awkward head over hells flip in the air. It was a balancing act to land safely without injury and one if you haven't tried it? Don't!
The next day in practice I run a streak pass pattern and while stretching out to make the catch I land and fully dislocate my ring finger, and believe me having dislocated it multiple times after, the first is the worst. Kelly see's it and pulls it out and into place awwwwwwwwwwwww! Lopez comes up to me and Says just when I was going to put you back on first string and play you at Middle Linebacker you go and do this" and walks away. My theme was the age old "wait until next year" and that's what I did. It was difficult standing on the sidelines when able to play left watch games win or lose but I kept telling myself wait until next year.

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Apr 30, 2018 at 8:16 PM

About Freddie it's been 40 years he was in Santa Rosa and that was the last.. I have six Rio 1969 Football Game films and Freddie's uncanny, elusive ability, perfect technique and execution made the most difficult task in football look easy. Frank J Hernandez and Robbie had the same ability in High School the full speed open field tackle. I hope he's ok.

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Apr 30, 2018 at 7:23 PM
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Apr 30, 2018 at 1:40 PM

If any of you have your high school yearbooks and are interested, look at 1966 our Sophmore year Annual and turn to the Sports section, what you will find is the only time in 4 years that a football team was not recognized, lost forever in time erased from memory and this is why. It's Fall 1965 and with nervous intrepedation and B exponents I find myself on the Varsity football field trying unsuccessfully to catch Jerry Kisling bullet, rock hard passes over the middle. I was the only Sophmore that year trying out for what they call a "skill position", way to scared to play anywhere else in fear of physical contact. To say I was anything less than scared, nervous and most of all intimidated is not telling the whole story but contributed to my lack of confidence and my Jerrry Kisling football pass dropsies. So I'm on the bubble of making V or sent to JV and Vic rightfully so on the final roster cut selects Senior Ernie Gomez and sends me to JV Football and Country Boy John Smart. I'm in heaven now catching Jimmy Allarid bombs in practice everyday and making my first ever reception in a game against El Rancho with Dave Patterson lined up against me playing right corner. Dave was Guy Rebentisch and my Pop Warner QB and now seeing him on an opposing team was quite a thrill.
It's now nearing the middle to the end of the season when disaster strikes. I"m in Ms. Bowerman's Algebra 1 class and after class she say's "Don't leave, you have to serve after school detention for failing an algebra test". My stomach churns and I respond "I can't I have a football game after school," she smiles and never says another word. Here It is I'm sitting after school with her and thinking what a waste of time, the game and looking at the clock. She stayed about a half hour and then told me not to leave until 5pm. At the strike of 5, I make a mad dash to the field in hopes of catching the tail end of the game only to find the field empty and my mother there sitting all alone in the bleachers.. It was the only game she attended that season, so I was surprised to see her and to embarrassed and ashamed to tell her why I missed the game. Before letting me say a word she says "Tom Cheo's been badly hurt.;" It was "Cheo" Eliseo Jacobo 1966 and the older brother to Roy 1968 who that year was on the Varsity team she went on saying," I don't think he's ever going to be able to use his left arm again" She said it happened on the kickoff when making a tackle. His mother and sister picked him up took him home and when the father came home they drove to Mexico where he was treated by a faith healer. Among other techniques the faith healer purified the arm by rolling eggs over the arm. Sadly to this day the arm remains completely paralyzed. What upset my mother most was the fact that the school provided zero medical attention and left him and his family to their own devices. In our four years at Whittier the JV Football team is recognized in every annual except the 1966 and Cheo's Senior Picture was kept out as well.
The Varsity Football team that year, a team rief with discension and conflict ended the season 3-6 with the worst record in memory and one of it the not the worst season record a school had after a championship winning one.


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Apr 29, 2018 at 10:02 PM

Summer 1965 I find myself sitting with Don Spare, Bruce Vogen. Jim Segovia, a player who will remain anonymous, his step dad was our Manager, with 15 or so 14 and 15 year olds other players and parent coaches, .dressed in Whiitier Kiwanas Club Stars baseball uniforms, and we are inside the WHS visitor baseball dug out getting ready to play our first Midget Division The city of Whittier's equivalent to the National PONY League baseball game of the season.
The Stars were a team full of youngsters from the Sorensen Park neighborhood most attended Edwards JR HS and a few later on to Pi Hi, Don Spare was the only other person I knew and that was not very well. In those days they took advantage of playing on a fields with lighting making it possible to play two game, one an early contest and the second under the lights. Our season opened and not knowing if I was even going to play or what position, Our Manager walks up and says ok start warming up your pitching and begins to hand me the ball, now with me in a panic, I nervously tell him No! It's outfield or nothing, with a look of disgust he turns to Larry Wineinger and tells Larry to warm up, Larry was ecstatic, Larry loved to pitch, something I didn't, too much pressure and being the focus of attention was not for me Instead of the manager honoring my request to play outfield, I now find myself with nothing and am now riding the pine. The next game I played sparingly if at all, and now our next contest is with the "Monsters of the Midway" and eventual World Series Champs. The Dodgers were managed by Paul Wargo Sr. and Frank 'Mac' McPartland on a St Paul HS dominated roster, John Wargo, the McPartland Bros Pat and Mike, Steve Mc Cartney Jim Tracy, Birney Lantz and other Swordmen, with our Jay Gatfield being the lone exception.
Paul Wargo's eldest Paul Jr would later be on Chuck Mills football caching staff in Logan of which I was a member 1970-72. Paul Jr played for Chuck Mills a few years prior at Arizona U after transferring from of the Air Force academy for an honor Rule violation. Brother John would later make All CIF in both football and baseball and ALL state in Football and receive a full ride to Westwood to play football. Pat McPartland made All CiF as well setting the single season school rushing record with nearly 1500 yards then on to South Bend on a full football scholarship to play for Dan Devine and Steve McCartney also all Angelus league in both football and baseball then turning down numerous athletic scholarships opting to sign a pro baseball contract. Mike McPartland was torn his father was a native of New Jersey with family still there and Mike offered both scholastic and football scholarship offers to Princeton and Santa Clara U. Mike opted for Santa Clara with best friend Tom Narey to play for Bronco's head coach Malley and team with Dante "Dan" Pastorini.
Thinking I have little chance of playing the manager approaches me and say's I drafted you to pitch and that's what your going to do so here and hands me the ball and says warm up. Without courage enough to tell him no a second time, I pitched we won 18-0 Don Spare and Bruce Vogen must have had a combined total 11 or 12 hits and15 RBi's and we 18-0 a with me pitching a complete game perfect no hitter.
It would be the only game I pitched that season spending the rest either on the bench of in Left field, Our next game or so was against the Giants. The Giants were coached and Managed by Joe McCullum's dad with Joe and Freddie Padilla key players. Freddie pitched that night and with the score 1-0 in our favor going into their final at bat they have a men on base at 1st and second and two outs with Joe McCullum coming to bat, Joe was a southpaw and batted left handed, as a result our centerfielder and I shifter to our left with me now shaded over to center when Joes hits an opposite field screaming line drive down the left field hooking but still in fair territory that I was able to run down and catch for the final out.
The next game finds us playing the night game once again against the Dodgers and this time playing Left field, Unbeknownst to me at the time was that the umpires both the home plate and field were the Cox Twins both of who played Football and baseball at St Paul with Paul Wargo Jr and were now either finished or just about to finish after playing 4 years of football at UC Riverside. So to put it mildly were getting screwed balls that were clearly strikes were called ball and bang play we were called out when one of the parents who stopped off for a couple after work now siting in the stands watching his son our catchers anger and frustration grow over the calls, snapped and came out of the stands and attacked the Home Plate umpire with both rolling on the ground, the other brother rushing to his brothers aid kicked the parent off and then both began kicking and stomping him to the ground. It was the late game that night which allowed for my father to attend after work, and witnessing the massacre with no one rendering aid he came out of the stands and broke it up. After some medical attention the game resumed but just before it does our Centerfielder who's step dad was our Manager walks over to me in left and with a real nasty look say's to me 'Everything was alright until your fast assed father jumped in. I snapped and hit him as hard as I could in the stomach, he turned white and with eyes a bulge falls to his knees gasping for air, He recovers and we lose.
Wargo's Dodgers finished the season crowned champs with their only loss being to us and their only blemish on their record that season.

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Apr 25, 2018 at 6:11 PM

In 1917 Whittier State School later renamed Fred C Nelles CYO not to be confused with WHS defeated LA Lincoln HS to win the first ever CIF Football title. It wasn't until 1934 in the height of the great depression that Whittier HS was able to hang on and beat Santa Monica HS 10-6 for the schools first title. Fast forward 30 years to1964 our freshman year with Whittier winning it's second and up to now it's last title. Some of you may have been there that cool evening in the LA Memorial Coliseum singing under the direction Robert Bob Morton "Amen" at the top of our lungs a ritual that he started 3 games earlier.
Morton was familiar with the landscape he grew up in the neighborhood and attended Manual Arts HS located on Vermont Ave 2 blocks south of the Coliseum. Morton attended Manual with such notable sport figures some more recogizable than other that in part include, Tom Fears, Benny Lefebvre, John Scolinos, Scolinos was our Jerry Renfro's college baseball coach at Pepperdine U. Jim Blewitt, Bill Plumley, Mickey McCardle and Dick Kelso.

Morton was also familiar with high school football championship's, Manual was in the title game each of Morton's three years there, winning the title in 1940 and 41 in front of then attendance record setting crowds, only to lose the title his Senior year 1942. All three title games were played against arch rival the LA Roosevelt Roughriders.
Former teammate Mark Chitjian 1967 father Sam owner of Chi Chi's on Whittier Bl across from Fred C Nelles played on that very same 1942 Roosevelt team.

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