Irvine shortstop signs $4.6 million deal

Former Beckman High shortstop Matt McLain has signed with the Cincinnati Reds for $4.6 million after they selected him in the first round of the Major League draft.

“It’s a dream come true,” says McLain, 21, who was taken as the 17th overall pick in the draft. “More than anything, I want to win a World Series.”

McLain was ranked as the 10th-best prospect in the draft class by Baseball America.

“He’s a guy we really wanted,” Reds scouting director Brad Meador says of McLain, who batted .333 this year with the UCLA Bruins.

To all his family, friends, coaches and supporters, McLain had this to say: “Thank you. I’m pumped to get this journey started.”

Portola High’s secret weapon returns

Jadyn Zdanavage

Four Portola High coaches are awaiting the return of young phenom Jadyn Zdanavage.

Last year, as a sophomore, the straight-A student excelled in lacrosse, cross-country, basketball and track and field.

In lacrosse, she scored 99 goals (in 19 games), earning All-CIF and USA Lacrosse All-American honors.

In cross-country, she finished undefeated, winning races by an average margin of 57 seconds, and broke the school record for a 3-mile course three times.

Cross-country coach Victor Quiros says Zdanavage is revered by her teammates not just for her performance, but for her kindness – she shows up at each meet with hair bows for each of them.

Meanwhile, girls basketball coach Brian Barham said she’d go down as the “best female athlete our school has ever had.”

Stay tuned.

In memory of Coach Dumont

Coach Casey Dumont

More than 1,000 athletes filled the stands at Irvine Stadium last month to pay their respects to coach Casey Dumont, who died following a sudden cardiac arrest.

Dumont, 42, was Irvine High’s assistant baseball and football coach, as well as a special education teacher.

Many speakers and past players talked about how supportive Dumont was and how he was always there to help.

“He was one of the best coaches I’ve ever had,” former Irvine pitcher Ryan Barlow said. “He believed in me every single step of the way.”