It was because of this that he could walk around Pleasanton without being harassed or disturbed.
With all due respect to the people of Pleasanton.
It was a trait the entire Madden family wore. Whenever my wife and I met his wife Virginia at a store or restaurant, she would go out of her way to greet us and ask how we were doing.
Her boys, Mike and Joe, were also down to earth. For years Mike coached Foothill’s freshman football team and did a terrific job.
It wasn’t so much about wins and losses as it was about getting kids comfortable with football in high school. The success rate was measured by the number of children who stayed in the program as they progressed through school.
I had three of my boys play for Mike and all three loved every moment.
A highlight of Mike’s training is that John would come to the games. At first he would sit in the stands, but if the weather turned bad or over the years he would begin to sit in the press box.
As an announcer, alongside Randy Isaacs running the clock, let us know about an amazing conversation. Isaacs is a longtime close friend of the Madden family, and I remember the two of us sitting there and listening to John break down a freshman football game, the same way he did the NFL games on Sunday.
My wife and I had breakfast at Vic’s last week, a regular stopover for us on weekends, as well as one of the places John stopped by on a regular basis.
There was a small memorial set up on his usual table and we were seated at the table next to it.
It was fascinating and heartwarming to see the reverence as people paid homage to John’s life. Some took pictures, others just stopped and paid their respects.
I sat there looking at the table and while sad it also made me smile as I thought back to all the times I had the opportunity to speak with John.
My most memorable was a front page story I did for the old Tri-Valley Herald. It was a story about John, Mike and Joe. I had time with each of them, as well as a Virginia, in their offices in Pleasanton.
It was an incredible time, something I will never forget. I remember when the story ran, the journal framed a copy of the story and presented it to the family.
They were really touched and I remember telling me it was one of their favorite family stories ever written. Whether or not it didn’t matter – they made me feel it was and that’s all that matters.
This is how John was and how he will always be remembered.
Rest in peace Jean and thank you for always being you. You made us all happy in Pleasanton to know you.
Amador boys basketball
The Dons won their first two games in the Dougherty Valley tournament to advance to the final before falling to the host team.
In Game 1, Tyler Cheng collected 28 points to lead Amador to a 57-49 victory over Antioch. Foster Keast scored 13 points, with Bryce Osaki and Colton Cash scoring eight points each.
The semifinals saw the Dons win 47-42 over Arizona’s Queen Creek.
Cash had 22 points to lead Amador and the Dons ended the game with nine field goals by 3 points.
In the final, the Dons ran up against Dougherty Valley’s circular saw, losing 18-4 at the end of the first quarter and ultimately losing 51-31.
Cash had 11 points and Keast had six for the Dons.
Amador girl basket
The Lady Dons won the Turquoise Division of the West Coast Jamboree basketball tournament on December 30, beating Half Moon Bay High 51-38.
Junior guard Gianna Ghio was named MVP, senior wing Ally Chang and senior guard Arissa Leomiti were named to the tournament’s overall squad.