This Tuesday we will face Boys Republic at 6PM. Coaches will be wearing red ties and sneakers in honor of the Coach vs. Cancer initiative. We will honor the memories of some of our greatest coaches, including Bert Reins and Ken Maraj, who have passed away from cancer. Both of them are legendary coaches that have special places in CSDR history.
Ken Maraj was the assistant coach to well-respected coach Seymour Bernstein, starting in 1973, and they worked together until 1979. Then Ken returned as an assistant coach in 1986 under head coach Walt Witzcak. He became the head coach in 1987 and won 12 games in his first year. He won 52 games altogether as a head coach and also won two Western States Basketball Classic championships in 1991 and 1992. He left us in 2008.
Bert Reins was Ken Maraj’s right hand man/assistant coach from 1987 to 1996. He was also coach for many deaf club athletics teams. He won championships for the Farwest Athletic Association for the Deaf. He also had children who attended CSDR. During his coaching career at CSDR he was an instructor and associate professor of Modern Languages at San Bernardino Valley College. He left us in 2013.
“I remember when Coaches Maraj and Reins were coaches and played against my school when I was playing for Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind in 1996, in the WSBC finals. My team won the championship that year. After the game, both of them came up to me and told me that I was the one who won the game, not the team, and that they hoped that I would coach at CSDR someday. I never dream that I would move to CSDR shortly after that. Coach Maraj and Coach Reins really taught me to be kind and give my heart fully to this school. I’m glad that I knew both of them well before they both departed this world. This game is definitely dedicated to both of these extraordinary men and their family and friends,” stated Coach Valencia.
The game is Tuesday, January 24, at the MAC vs. Boys Republic, the event being Coaches vs. Cancer (suits and sneakers). The website is http://coachesvscancer.org/