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Around the SCV: Canyon High gets special pep talk

Rapper sent video to pump up crowd, players at a recent football game

Posted: November 7, 2010 9:47 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.

There was nothing conspicuous about Canyon High principal Bob Messina’s video address to the student body on Oct. 29 as part of the school’s homecoming festivities.

He casually thanked the students, parents and faculty for making it a great year and appeared ready to elaborate.

Then his video was interrupted by a “live feed.”

“Excuse me Mr. Messina, it’s your boy Diddy here, and I just wanted to say that I’m really happy for you, and I’m going to let you finish in a minute,” said rapper and record producer Sean “Diddy” Combs. “Sorry for interrupting you, but right about now — (dang), there’s a lot of people out there. If y’all are ready to do what Canyon do, make some noise.”

The video was shown at Canyon’s rally for its game against West Ranch, and on the field before the contest.

In it, Combs attempted to motivate the Cowboys’ fans, allowed time for crowd reaction and even took a playful jab at the Wildcats.

“Canyon Cowboys stand up and make some noise,” he said later in the video. “Check this out y’all. Right now I’m coming to you live from New York. I’m in the studio finishing up this ‘Last Train to Paris’ album, but I had to take time from my recording, take a timeout from my recording and just wish everyone a happy homecoming, because you know there ain’t no party until Diddy comes through to bless the party.”

The response was resounding.

“Motivation and chaos,” said Canyon athletic director Rich Gutierrez of the students’ reaction. “The kids love and relate with it. It sets the tone.”

On Friday, another video was prepared, this time featuring rapper Pitbull.

LL Cool J did one last year for the school, Gutierrez said.

The man behind the videos is John Halterman, a disc jockey on the Baka Boyz radio show, which is currently syndicated on more 150 stations nationwide after a long run on Power 106.

He has worked in the music business for 15 years as a DJ, writer and producer.

“I sent an e-mail to a couple of my industry friends, and (Combs) was the very first person to respond — within five minutes,” Halterman said. “He said, ‘Send me the info.’”

With no video in hand, Halterman said Combs called him at 2:30 a.m. the Friday of the game, asking if he still had time to do it.

Halterman expected a short clip.

Combs sent him more than two minutes of footage.

“These guys will do things like that,” he said. “I’m really blessed. The bottom line, the reason we do what we do — the coaches, myself — it’s for the kids.”

Canyon followed up the video with a 59-38 win over West Ranch.

Hart grad plays in Rising Stars Game

Last year, it was World Series champion Buster Posey, pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg and standouts Ike Davis, Mike Leake and Starlin Castro that were on display.

This year, Hart High graduate Mike Montgomery was among the host of up-and-coming MLB talent that took the field for the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game.

Montgomery started and pitched 1 2/3 innings, struck out two and gave up one earned run as AFL West won 3-2 on Saturday in Surprise, Ariz.

Aside from the Hart grad, who was taken 36th overall in the 2008 First Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals, 18 other first-round picks played in the game.

Montgomery is 2-1 in three starts with a 6.10 ERA and 11 strikeouts for the Surprise Rafters.

In his two wins, the left-hander only gave up one earned run.

Pepperdine honors ex-COC player

Steve Smith, a former Valencia resident who played baseball at College of the Canyons in 1974, was inducted into the Pepperdine University Hall of Fame last month.

In 1975, Smith set the Pepperdine record for at-bats (203) and hits (65) in a season and was named to the All-West Coast Conference first team.

The next year he was drafted in the 24th round by the San Diego Padres.

He played in the Padres’ system until 1982, and then managed in their minor league system for 12 seasons, winning championships with multiple teams at different levels.

He joined the Seattle Mariners as an infield and first-base coach in 1996, and in 2008 he won the World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies as a member of their coaching staff.

Smith is currently with the Cleveland Indians.


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