Oakland resident Jordan Lippetz was one of eight golfers who qualified for this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Championship with top finishes at a sectional qualifier on July 14 at par-70 Sequoyah Country Club.

Lippetz produced a score of 71 to finish third. Audra Kepler, a College Park High graduate, was second with a score of 70. The medalist was Fullerton resident Stephanie Lau (68).

The U.S. Women's Amateur Championship are Aug. 6-10 at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y.

TEACHER HONORED AT ALL-STAR GAME: Fans chose an Oakland Tech High special education teacher to represent the Oakland A's with Major League Baseball's All-Star Teachers program.

The school's Keith Debro and 29 other remarkable current and retired teachers were honored at the All-Star Game in Minneapolis on July 15.

Though Debro has taught for 25 years, he has been an A's fan for much longer. His grandmother introduced him to baseball when he was 4 years old, and 10 years later, he watched the A's play their first game in Oakland.

"The big thing for me is that I'm proud to represent our school, Oakland Tech, and the city, " Debro said. "To bring it a little better light than it's often portrayed in, that's what's inspiring me."

He started an after-school mentoring program that pairs high school and elementary school students, and he also attends all Parent, Teacher, Student Association meetings to support his students and their parents.

"I just want to make sure their voices are heard, " Debro said, because the parents of special education students are often outnumbered at meetings. "At least I can be there and make sure we're not going to get steamrolled."

Debro is also known for throwing barbecues for his classes and paying for snacks on field trips -- all out of pocket. At the end of every school year, he takes his class to Santa Cruz, again, on his own dime and with funds he raised.

His wife, Kelly McDonald, entered Debro after seeing a call for All-Star teacher nominations in People magazine.

"He does it all, but he does it all very quietly, " she said. "He just works hard at it."

Debro also has one-on-one tutoring sessions and teaches adults at night. During the school year, he shows up to games and academic events to support students.

-- Samantha Clark

WINNERS IN RENO: The Headfirst Bercovich 24 Connie Mack baseball club, which includes St. Mary's High player Nico Aldaco, won the Mike Ellis memorial tournament in Reno, Nev. last week.

Bercovich outscored opponents 32—6 over the four games. Jordan Ott had two pitching wins, with Javier Iglesis and Brandon Jefferis getting the other two. Ott, Iglesias and Jefferis, along with Kyle Lally, combined to surrender just 10 hits and six runs total in the four games, while striking out 30.

Ryan Mathia, Fred Williams, Isaac Cruz, Jadon Lane, Cody Kiriaze and Aldaco provided the offensive fire power. Mathia had four hits and seven RBIs, Williams had five hits and four RBIs. Cruz and Aldaco were solid on defense.

Headfirst Bercovich advances to the Connie Mack Regional tournament in Orange County, July 24-27.

-- Matt Schwab