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News 10 reporter a good sport during GECAC challenge
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News 10 traffic reporter Angel Cardenas films Give Every Child A Chance’s program director Jamie Anderson providing the introduction of the recent tutoring challenge. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
I had a chance to be the guy behind the news camera.

In this case, it was for a good cause as News 10 traffic reporter Angel Cardenas accepted the Give Every Child A Chance tutoring challenge, squaring off against the team led by site coordinator Kevin Allred this past Wednesday.

No stranger to this sort of stuff, Cardenas, who’s been with the Sacramento  ABC affiliate since 2001, has taken on various challenges during his on-air experience of the past few years.

His days often begin early in order to pass along the updates on the morning traffic conditions. Cardenas, who came to the GECAC tutoring facility with a video camera and dog – “Joe Montana,” named after  the San Francisco 49er great, is his young Jack Russell terrier – in tote, juggled his scheduled that afternoon in order to film the segment due to air sometime after Thanksgiving.

I can’t wait to see it partly because Cardenas entrusted me to handle some of the video work. Not since my college days had I even come close to operating a camera of this sort.

Much like my point-and-shoot digital camera, I tried my best to frame my shots while not getting caught up in using the zoom. For the most part, Cardenas simply pointed me in the direction of his camera angles.

All looked good for his team of East Union High freshman Amanda Lopez and Sierra High ninth-grade student Imahni Burks, with the two GECAC products correctly answering their fair share of algebra and geometry problems.

The tutoring challenge consisted of eight rounds of various math problems, with the first team to get nine points being declared the winner.

Allred, who is a junior at California State University, Stanislaus, said he wasn’t sweating it too much when his team of Jessica Chagoya and Malik Rice, both freshmen at Sierra, were teetering on the brink of elimination.

Still, Allred prepared Chagoya and Rice for defeat. During this time, I had positioned the camera towards Cardenas’ team in order to get their victory reaction. They were one point away from the win.

According to Allred, the GECAC tutoring challenge was loosely based on the popular TV show, “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” The first to figure out the problem had to chime in as the judge, Jason Messer, superintendent of the Manteca Unified School District, determined if the answer was right or wrong.

Jamie Anderson, GECAC program director, provided the introduction of the segment under the directions of Cardenas.

The officials of the challenge, however, hadn’t anticipated a tie after eight rounds. But that’s just what happened as Messer, Anderson and Carol Davis, GECAC executive director, shuffled through pages of the high school algebra text book in order to come up with a winner-take-all problem.

Rice from Allred’s team correctly solved the problem by his answer, initially, had been deemed incorrect.

But Allred made a successful appeal and the ruling was overturned.

Take two: Rice is shown solving problem while leading his team to improbable come-from-behind victory, thus, thwarting Cardenas’ tutoring challenge.

The News 10 reporter was a good sport. He later rounded out those involved with the event for a group shot and homage to a once popular Manteca commercial.

But what makes the final cut will depend on the work in the editing room.

Good or bad, I know I’ll be looking forward to seeing my handy dandy camera work on this segment.

Thanks, Angel.