PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Miranda Viramontes, Chino, Jr., Pitcher
Miranda Viramontes may have produced the same end result as last season, but rest assured, the path was entirely different.
It is a testament to the pitcher’s talent that she led her team through a playoff gauntlet to a CIF championship as an inexperienced sophomore in 2012. It was practically unfair for opponents this season.
Having not just a year under her belt, but a run through the playoffs chock-full of tense one-run games, Viramontes’ postseason performance in 2013 was off the charts. In the playoffs alone, the junior pitched a no-hitter and three one-hitters, one of which netted a 4-0 win over Lakewood in the CIF-SS Division 2 championship game on June 1.
The lone playoff game Viramontes allowed more than one hit was a nine-inning 2-1 victory.
“I don’t think this season could have ended up any better,” Viramontes said. “With my record and my numbers and where we ended up as a team, it was just unbelievable.”
Do these look like the offensive numbers of a player who projects as a pitcher when he graduates high school? A .455 batting average, 41 RBIs, three home runs and 28 runs scored in 28 games.
Only when they’re sitting next to these: 9-0 record, 0.95 ERA, six complete games, 114 strikeouts and 12 walks in 73 2/3 innings.
All of Kaiser junior Chris Mathewson’s talents were on display while leading the Cats to a Sunkist League championship and the No. 2 seed in the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs. The Long Beach State-committed pitcher will only spoil the Inland Valley for one more year before becoming a full-time pitcher.
“His future is as a pitcher because he’s that good as a pitcher,” Kaiser coach Mike Spinuzzi said. “He throws 91, 92 (mph) consistently. When he’s playing outfield, he’ll eftortlessly throw the ball to home on the fly all the way from the fence. Even though I tell him not to.”
Miranda Viramontes was destined for awards beyond the CIF-SS championship plaque she hoisted on June 1. The only playoff game that wasn’t a no-hitter or a one-hitter for the Chino pitcher was a 2-1 semifinal win. The junior’s shutout in the title game awarded Chino its second consecutive CIF championship to which Viramontes added a CIF-SS Division 2 Player of the Year award today. Chino coach Mike Smith was awarded Coach of the year in Division 2 after a 29-2 season that was unquestionably the best in school history.
To view all-CIF teams for baseball and softball, click the link below.
There were two distinct sides to be taken in the debate over the Sunkist League baseball MVP. The pitching side: a 9-0 record, 0.95 ERA, six complete games, 114 strikeouts and just 12 walks in just 74 innings. And the offensive side: .455 batting average, three home runs, 41 RBIs and 29 runs scored in 28 games with a .518 on-base percentage.
Of course, both sides belonged to junior Chris Mathewson of league champion Kaiser. Needless to say, it wasn’t much of a debate.
MVP: Chris Mathewson JR Kaiser
Toby Rainwater JR Kaiser
Ryan Mota JR Kaiser
Jacob Sanchez JR Kaiser
Alex Valdivia JR Kaiser
David Osuna SR Kaiser
Jacob Barajas SR Kaiser
Anthony Ayala SR Fontana
Andres Solis SR Fontana
Armondo Zapata JR Fontana
The jumble of teams behind Sierra League champion West Covina South Hills during the regular season didn’t make for any easy decisions after the year ended. The all-league team had an obvious MVP, but there were plenty of arguments to be made beyond that. As it turned out, second-place Damien, and third-place Claremont (which tied in the standings) received three first team all-league selections as did third-place Chino Hills.
MVP: Adrian Dehorta, Sr., South Hills
Anthony Seminaris, Sr., Ayala
Robert Longtree, Sr., Ayala
Dylan Lowenstein, Sr., Chino Hills
Jeremy Steggell, Sr., Chino Hills
Austin Harvey, Sr., Chino Hills
Nick Costello, Sr., Claremont
Jeremy Giles, Sr., Claremont
Alex Galuchie, Jr., Claremont
Jordan Abernathy, Jr., Damien
David Banuelos, Jr., Damien
Grant Hockin, Jr., Damien
MVPs: Fabian Venegas, Montclair, Sr.
Parker Tormey, Don Lugo, Sr.
Daniel Sandoval, Chino, Sr.
Joseph Gutierrez, Chaffey
Anthony Reyes, Montclair
David Roman, Montclair
Adrian Garcia, Montclair
Edgar Fonseca, Montclair
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kristen Jensen, Los Osos, Senior
After five consecutive trips to the CIF finals, it’s safe to say Los Osos has a good girls water polo program. Though the school has only been around for eight seasons, in that short period there have obviously been some accomplished girls water polo players to come through the program. Besides leading the team to its second ever CIF championship, Kristen Jensen’s senior season is best defined by breaking the school’s single-season scoring record by a mind-blowing 58 goals. Jensen (pictured above) scored 174 goals this season and helped the Grizzlies end a three-year losing streak in the CIF finals. “We’ve never had a player this dominant come through our program,” Los Osos coach Dave Merryman said.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Eric Cypher and Dave Merryman, Los Osos
The co-head coaches have led Los Osos to five consecutive appearances in the CIF finals. After losing the last three, they helped the Grizzlies capture CIF-SS Division 3 championship, the program’s first title since 2009. Los Osos finished the regular season by claiming its eighth straight Baseline League title.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tanya Samarzich, Upland, Senior, Forward
Given the myriad levels of the soccer Olympic development program, there is often confusion when discussing membership of a “national team.” Particularly when the member is a high school senior. The case of Upland forward Tanya Samarzich is easily simplified. “Oh yeah, she’s on the actual Mexican National Team,” Upland coach Bo Whieldon said. “You don’t find many her age that are because usually they’re on the under-20 national team. It’s kind of a big deal.” Samarzich, 18, a dual citizen, didn’t play a full season at Upland until this year because of her required presence in Mexico or elsewhere around the globe. Her senior year netted her All-Valley Player of the Year honors after a 26-goal, 11-assist season during which she led her team to an outright Baseline League championship.
COACH OF THE YEAR: George Duran, San Dimas
After a winning just one of its first six games, Duran led San Dimas on a run that ended in the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinals. Following the rocky start, San Dimas went on a 16-game winning streak that included 12 Valle Vista League victories good for an undefeated run through league, earning the Saints a second consecutive league championship. The Saints reached the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinal for the second straight season and held a one-goal lead with eight minutes to play before eventual CIF champion Citrus Valley rallied for a 3-2 win.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Adrien Perez, Ontario, Senior, Forward
Take your pick: 23 goals, 12 assists, a CIF championship, a second consecutive league MVP. There were plenty of reasons to choose Perez (pictured above) as the Player of the Year, but what sealed the deal was the fact that he completed the last portion of a historic season playing through a debilitating knee injury. The Loyola Marymount-bound senior was the leader of a team that authored a legendary run through the Division 4 playoffs to claim the program’s first ever CIF championship and the second of any kind in the history of Ontario High School. Penalty kicks and overtime were how the final two games of the season ended for Ontario, but Perez was holding up a plaque when it was all said and done.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Vince Mangione and Moses Venegas, Ontario
The co-coaches led Ontario to the school’s first ever soccer CIF championship and the second CIF title of any kind. The unseeded Jaguars defeated the No. 2 seed before winning a semifinal on penalty kicks over the No. 3 seed and ultimately claiming the CIF-SS Division 4 championship game in overtime on March 1. Of course, Ontario had to win its final five regular season games to claim a share of the Mt. Baldy League championship and begin the greatest postseason run in school history.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Amy Okonkwo, Etiwanda, Junior, Forward
The first time I saw Amy Okonkwo play this season, I was convinced she was the Player of the Year. Of course, I didn’t see her play until she dropped 27 points on the No. 1 team in the country to lead Etiwanda to a one-point overtime win in the semifinals of the CIF playoffs. Etiwanda’s victory over then-undefeated Santa Ana Mater Dei was certainly the defining moment of the season, but the Eagles had a quarterfinal win over eventual state champion Long Beach Poly and played in the first CIF final in the program’s history, among other accomplishments. It wasn’t a coincidence that this happened in Okonkwo’s first season at Etiwanda.
By all accounts, the junior transfer from Los Osos was just one piece of the puzzle. Her averages of 15.7 points and 9.5 rebounds are modest by some standards. Though the 6-foot-1 forward had range that easily extended beyond the 3-point line, she rarely dominated the ball, taking over only when needed. For example, with Etiwanda trailing by nine, Okonkwo scored 10 of her 27 against Mater Dei in the fourth quarter. By the way, the Eagles graduate just two players in the rotation, neither of which were starters.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Anders Anderson, Etiwanda
The fourth-year head coach not only led the Eagles past the quarterfinal barrier for the first time, but to the first CIF final in school history. Etiwanda beat eventual state champion Long Beach Poly in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1AA playoffs, then handed a Santa Ana Mater Dei team ranked No. 1 in the country at the time its first loss of the season in the semifinals. The best season in school history ended with a 28-4 record as Etiwanda fell to Corona Santiago in the CIF championship game and Long Beach Poly in the state tournament.