Diamond Bar High School softball coach Roberta Garcia-Uyemura watched from a distance as the Brahmas beat Los Altos 6-5 on Wednesday to move into a three-way tie for first in the Hacienda League with West Covina and Bonita heading into today's final league games.
It's been a trying week and year for the Diamond Bar coach.
Things were going well for Garcia-Uyemura last year when she adopted her only child, Robby, a newborn, but prior to this season, health issues forced her to turn to friend Jennifer Cuevas-Flannagan, a former head coach at Walnut who stepped in and became Garcia-Uyemura's assistant.
"It was a tough thing going from a Mustang to a Brahma, but Roberta had some personal health issues and this program is her baby," Cuevas-Flannagan said. "I know what that's like, so I offered to help her out."
There was even tougher news for Garcia-Uyemura on Mother's Day Sunday - her father passed away.
Cuevas-Flannagan coached Wednesday's game against Los Altos, though Garcia-Uyemura was in attendance. On Thursday, Garcia-Uyemura attended her father's funeral, and today Diamond Bar (14-9, 9-2) will play for a share of first at home against West Covina (17-7, 9-2) at 3:15p.m.
The winner will likely share first with Bonita (21-4, 9-2), which closes out at struggling Diamond Ranch (5-13, 1-9) today. If Diamond Bar and Bonita both win, however, Diamond Bar wins the tiebreaker and will head to the CIF-Southern Section
Regardless of what happens with Diamond Bar, the season has been a remarkable turnaround - The Brahmas were 6-18 overall and 0-10 in the Sierra League last season. To go from not winning a league game to possibly sharing the league title is a position few thought they would be in.
"It's amazing," said Cuevas- Flannagan. "I don't doubt she (Garcia-Uyemura) will be there, either coaching with us or there.
"This team has really rallied behind her, and the position they're in is a phenomenal thing. We have seniors who have never even been in a CIF playoff game, and (today) they can win a league title.
"It's truly a remarkable story."