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"IB's Raising Stars" The IB Posse makes big Contribution to Imperial Beach in 2014

Dec 28, 2014 04:10PM ● By Paul Spear

The IB Posse makes big Contribution to Imperial Beach in 2014

Anytime the IB Posse is involved in an event in Imperial Beach, you can figure the event is going to be a big success. The people of Imperial Beach love them and come out in droves to see their art work. When the IB Posse is having a good year you can see it lift the community’s spirit to a higher level. What they do is back breaking work with long hours but when the people walk by and see the finished sandcastle or even while it’s being built, they always stop and take the time to admire their art work. They give their time freely to Imperial Beach’s fundraising events and occasionally compete for prize money when they enter a competition.

The timeline for the team’s existence has spans over 30 years. Leonard Gonzalez has been doing this since 1984. However, it wasn't until 1994 that he broke away from the group he was with and formed the IB Posse. It wasn't fun for him like it was in the beginning and he wanted to get back to competing and having fun again. He got a group of friends together and named them the IB Posse. A popular term back then for when a group of friends got together.

 After a year of no Sandcastle competition in 2013 or no Sun and Sea Festival the IB Posse made big come back with a 1st place  win in the "Masters-A" division in the 2014 Sun & Sea Festival. But even before that, Leonard Gonzalez, the team founder and leader was involved in working with the Sun & Sea Committee and City leaders to help plan the successful 2014 event. In October he received an award from the City of Imperial Beach for his work on the Sun and Sea Festival.

Before the Sun and Sea Festival took place, the IB Posse helped the Imperial Beach Little League (IBLL) participate in Little Leagues 75th anniversary. The IBLL, is the most southwestern local Little League program in the United States.

Imperial Beach Little League held its Opening Day Ceremonies on March 8. Celebrating the 

 start of the 2014 IBLL season and the 75th Anniversary of the founding of Little League and had the IB Posse unveil their contribution to the event, a unique sand sculpture as a tribute to Little League’s 75th anniversery. As always, the sculpture was perfect for Little Leagues 75th anniversary and, made “Opening Day” an even more special ceremony.

After, the Sun and Sea festival, the IB Posse didn't wait long to get back to work again.  This time it was August 2nd at Petco Park and they decided to do a tribute to the longtime San Diego Padre All-Star, Tony Gwynn and Padre lead radio announcer Jerry Coleman. We lost both men and stars this year. Per Leonard, "The Posse has been commissioned by the SD Padres for the past 9 years to build a sandcastle in the Petco Park in the Park. It's always a fun event but this year was special. The theme was a memorial to the legendary Padres, Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman." 

 Tony Gwynn was nicknamed “Mr. Padre”. Tony Gwynn played all 20 of his years of his Major League Career for the Padres. We lost Tony Gwynn way to young of cancer. He was just entering his mid-50’s. He was a San Diego native and played Baseball and Basketball for SDSU. He had also been the Aztecs Baseball Manager at SDSU for several years before stepping down before the 2014 season. He has won so many awards that we just don’t have the space to name them!

The other honoree, Jerry Coleman, was just as an amazing person. He was the Padre lead radio announcer from 1980 to 2014 at his passing. He played for the NY Yankees and was an All-Star in 1950. Jerry was also a hero of WWII and the Korea wars. As a pilot for the Marines he flew over 120 combat missions in the two wars. He to, has won many broadcasting awards and is in the Major League Baseball Announcers Hall of Fame.

After that came the B Street Pier Sandcastle Competition. Here they decided to break the team up into two groups. IB Posse team #1 did Sandy the Sandman IB Posse team #2 did Mother Earth Gratitude. IB Posse Team 1 got 2nd Place: "Sandman" and won the Sculptors Choice as well. Team 2 did an excellent job that day as well but came up just a little short although they got a tremendous amount of complements. Team #2 did Mother Earth Gratitude.

IB Posse Team Members from the B Street Pier Compitition


Team # 1 won 2nd place and also won Sculpture choice award. They did “Sandy the Sandman” 

Mark Duraza – Team 1 Captain, Juan Zepata, and Arron French


Team #2 did Mother Earth Gratitude. 

Leonard Gonzalez - Team 2 Captain, Leonard Gonzales Sr. and Mike Brindale

And helping both teams were: Matt McCoy, Kenny Biggs, and Mike Hubbert

 And apologies if I missed any team member, get me the name and we will and you into the credits!


In September, we had a weekend long event starting off Saturday with the South Bay Cruisers Car Club bring down all their vintage cars for us to enjoy. Sunday followed with the Dempsey Surf Festival followed up later in the day with the BBQ and Blues Festival. To celebrate those three events the IB Posse built a Sandcastle that took something from all those events and combined them into making a fantastic sand sculpture. Incorporated into the sandcastle was a station wagon with wood paneling we all saw on the wagons in the 1960’s and 1970’s to match the vintage cars and the surf festival. Leaning against the car with surfer clothing was a surfer playing on the guitar and playing the “Blues” of course.


The last event of the year was the “Farmers Market Halloween”. Of course, the IB Posse was

  asked I they would build a sandcastle with a Halloween theme and they were more than happy to volunteer.

All in all, the IB Posse gives a lot of their time freely to the community. When they build these sandcastles or the festivals it can take as long as 3 days with a group o up to 10 guys and quite often they let the little kids help out where they can as it takes a lot of water to keep the sand in a consistency to be able to build.

So this story is dedicated to the charity time and work the IB Posse did to makes Imperial Beaches Festival’s filled with beautiful art work in 2014 and wishing them the best in 2015!

Paul Spear, Editor




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