Buy Photo

Casey Christie / The Californian

Garces High's head football coach Jim Maples congratulates team quarterback Cruise Adams after defeating Sanger in the D-II section championship game in this file photo.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno has launched an investigation to determine the fate of Garces football coach Jim Maples, whom the school placed on paid administrative leave Monday.

Central Section commissioner Jim Crichlow said the Diocese informed him Monday that it would form a panel to investigate possible violations within the football program, the nature of which Crichlow did not know.

"They basically have not started," Crichlow said. "They're trying to put together a panel; nothing had been done when they contacted me (Monday). I know they want to get it started as soon as possible."

Monday was the first day of fall camp for Garces; schools can begin full-contact practice next Monday. Garces' season begins Aug. 31 at home against San Luis Obispo, but even if the Diocese concludes its investigation before then, the section might have its say, too.

"We'll see from there," Crichlow said. "If we're not satisfied, we'll do some work ourselves. But we won't hear much about it until it's all said and done."

No one at the Diocese was available to comment Tuesday afternoon.

Last year was Maples' first as Garces' head coach. He led the Rams to a 12-1 season and the Division II section championship. He also led East High to a D-II title in 2004.

Condors sign 2 players

The Bakersfield Condors announced the signing of defenseman Kyle Haines and right wing Mike Hellyer on Tuesday.

Haines, 25, played 38 games with the Condors last season after being acquired in a trade on Dec. 31 and is heading into his second year of pro hockey.

Hellyer, 27, comes to the Condors after winning Rookie of the Year honors in the Central Hockey League last season where he put up 61 points (23 goals, 38 assists) for the Quad City (Iowa) Mallards.

Haines (6-feet, 192 pounds) had four goals and four assists in 18 games with Greenville, S.C., before moving to the Condors where he had six goals and six assists.

Hellyer (5-9, 170) will start the season with a tryout with the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League season.

"Certainly 61 points as a rookie and winning the CHL's Rookie of the Year Award is enticing," Condors coach Troy Mann said. "We're anxious to get him into camp and see what he can do."

CSUB's Huxhold swims PR in 1,500 meters

IRVINE -- Cal State Bakersfield junior Mitchell Huxhold posted a lifetime best mark of 15 minutes, 40.26 seconds in the men's 1,500 meters in the U.S. Open Swimming Championships.

Huxhold's time was eight seconds faster than his Olympic Trials cut, according to CSUB director of swimming Chris Hansen, and qualifies him for the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Two other local swimmers competed in the "B" flight of the 100 meters.

Independence High junior Chris Salcido turned in a lifetime best of 53.51 seconds in the men's competition and CSUB graduate Rachel McCall had a 58.20 in the women's competition.

The meet will continue through Saturday, with nearly 1,000 swimmers from around the world.

Other local competitors scheduled to compete later this week are CSUB junior Gabrial Bertrand, CSUB senior Tom Bruce, Frontier High senior Jorie Caneta and Stockdale High senior Brock Bonetti.

McCall, Huxhold and Salcido each have other events later this week.

ASA Western regional softball starts today

The 2013 American Softball Association Western Nationals softball tournament starts at 9 a.m. today at the Mesa Marin softball complex.

Ceremonial first pitches will be thrown out by 2009 Centennial High graduate Ensley Gammel, who recently finished a successful career at the University of Florida, Argentina Olympic pitcher Lucas Mata and second baseman Nathan Nokunuku from New Zealand's 2013 International Softball Federation world title team.