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Two local men to be honored

Golden Valley head baseball coach, Saugus resident headed to SoCal Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

Posted: January 23, 2010 11:11 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Saugus resident Sol Hauptman will be inducted to the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements in the sport of paddle tennis.

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Two men with local ties are being inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame alongside baseball superstar Ryan Braun and Los Angeles Laker Jordan Farmar on Jan. 30.

Golden Valley head baseball coach Scott Drootin and Saugus resident and paddle tennis player Sol Hauptman are two of 13 sports-related people being inducted at the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum.

"My reaction was, ‘Wow.' That was my reaction," Drootin said. "It meant a lot to be even considered. I wasn't even sure they had that award. It wasn't like I was trying to get that award. They told me some of the other names and I was in awe."

Drootin and Hauptman took two very different roads to success.

Drootin succeeded in coaching, having got his start as an assistant baseball coach at Kennedy High in the mid-1980s.

Prior to coming to Golden Valley in 2009, he had successful stints at Calabasas, Chaminade and Newbury Park.

In 2009, Drootin led Golden Valley to a 9-15 record in his first season as head coach of the Grizzlies.

Included in that was the program's first-ever victory over Hart and a season sweep over Canyon.

Prior to Drootin's arrival, Golden Valley finished 3-21.

"I'm really, really excited to be there," Drootin said of Golden Valley. "There's a lot of coaches who like to be with programs with great reputations. It's easier to coach at a school like a Chatsworth where they win year in and year out. I wouldn't want that job. There's nothing to do. ... (Being at Golden Valley) has rejuvenated me."

Hauptman is the only paddle tennis player to have ever won the national title in the sport in four decades - the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s - according to the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame's Web site.

The 52-year-old Saugus resident and Israel native said he has played the sport with a diverse bunch, which has included tennis legend Bjorn Borg, basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain and Barbara Streisand.

Paddle tennis is similar to regular tennis but different in that the game is played on a smaller court, the net is lower, the paddle is solid and the tennis ball is depressurized.

"The best honor of being a Southern California Jewish athlete is had I never played paddle tennis, I would have never met my wife, (Bonnie)," Hauptman said.

Hauptman teaches paddle tennis for a living.


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