Ayala’s releaguing appeal is denied

The CIF-Southern Section announced the results of 14 releaguing appeals on Friday, and the only one from a San Bernardino County or Inland Valley school was Ayala, which had its appeal denied.

Ayala is scheduled to move into the Baseline League along with Chino Hills, in the fall of 2014, replacing Alta Loma and Glendora.

Of the 14 appeals, only two were accepted: those of Simi Valley and Simi Valley Royal. Ayala’s was one of the 12 denied. Ayala was denied by a vote of 13-1.

Claremont has quite the lineman

Today’s stop on the prep football circuit was Claremont High School where I sat down with offensive lineman Jordan Austin. He’s headed to USC when he finishes up in high school.

Few are as on the ball as this young man. First, he spent much of the summer taking extra classes so he can graduate early and be enrolled in USC in January. He wants to major in criminology. He isn’t even enrolled yet and he’s talking about getting a Master’s so he has something to fall back on if a professional football career doesn’t pan out. He boasts a GPA of 4.3.

Wolfpack coach Mike Collins isn’t surprised.

“Not only will he get a Master’s, he’ll probably do it in four years,” the veteran coach said.

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Damien grad who walked on at USC, finished at Sacramento State, signed by Packers

Ryan McMahon, a safety who walked on at USC following his football career at Damien and played his final two years of college football at Sacramento State, was signed by the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.

Ryan McMahon USC MugMcMahon had multiple scholarship offers when he graduated Damien, but I remember the conviction in his voice five years ago when he explained to me his belief that he could play at a higher level. Apparently that attitude has carried him a long way.

He must have made an impression at the Packers’ rookie orientation camp in May, where he earned an invite to training camp. Of course, he still has a long way to go to make the 53-man roster, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who didn’t envision McMahon ever signing an NFL contract. At the very least, his look in this Sacramento State bio picture looks like something that would fit in Green Bay.

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Damien, St. Lucy’s file federal lawsuits against CIF, commish to avoid parochial league

With 44 schools from which to choose, only three were removed from the Mt. SAC area this year. All three are Catholic affiliated.

This is the argument lawyers representing Damien and St. Lucy’s will utilize in a federal lawsuit they hope will prevent their clients’ athletic teams from being placed in leagues with parochial schools in the fall of 2014, according to San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff Writer Aram Tolegian’s story. The decision was ostensibly based on competitive equity, something the schools’ lawyers find questionable when the obvious common thread is the schools’ religious affiliation.

The reasons cited for the lawsuits are one thing. The reasons Damien and St. Lucy’s would like to remain in their current arrangement is another.

Both are competitive in the Sierra League, but if forced to move in the fall of 2014, could land amongst a group of private schools with a reputation for a higher level of play in all sports. Apparently that level is high enough that the two schools – along with Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Ventura St. Bonaventure – are willing to take the CIF State, CIF-Southern Section and CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod to court.

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2013 All-Sierra League baseball team: MVP was the only easy decision

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

First Team
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
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Bonita, Glendora, Diamond Bar candidates to join Sierra League

Bonita knows it isn’t welcome back in the Hacienda League. Not after its baseball and two basketball teams lost two league games combined in three years.

Thus, the Bearcats are proactive in their pursuit of the Sierra League. It’s certainly a better destination than the Baseline. Just ask Glendora.

Of the 20 proposals that will be voted on in Monday’s releaguing meeting, 11 land the Bonita in the Sierra League versus six in the Baseline. The proposal that is chosen will take effect in the fall of 2014.

“We’ve been winning most of the league championships,” Bonita athletic director Eric Podley said of Bonita’s three years in the Hacienda League. “We realize that it’s understood our league doesn’t want us to return and we’re sensitive to that. I think we feel like the Sierra League is a good fit.”

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Chino Hills has a 50/50 chance of ending up in the Baseline League

There is a 50 percent chance at Monday’s releaguing meeting that the Baseline League will get even more competitive. Yes, you read that correctly.

The league that has produced two semifinalists for two years running in arguably the toughest football playoff division in California could be deeper beginning in the fall of 2014. Of the 20 releaguing proposals for the Mt. SAC area that will be voted on Monday, 10 of them include Chino Hills in the Baseline League.

Aside from the obvious geographic and economic reasons, Chino Hills was not shy about its preference to remain in the Sierra League, where it has won three football league championships in the last five years.

“Football is the money sport that I think people generally judge a school by,” Chino Hills athletic director Derek Bub said. “Unfortunately that’s what might get us moved. But we haven’t dominated the Sierra League in all sports. We’ve been in the middle of the pack.”

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CIF-SS track preliminaries full of local contenders after league finals

On Thursday, it was Ayala freshman Sydney Tullai dropping jaws at the Sierra League finals track meet by winning the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. (Check out the photo gallery) It’s a combination of events so taxing – “insane,” was the term of preference for Chino Hills coach Richard Morales – that Tullai won’t be able to run all three at CIF-SS Preliminaries on May 11. She’s leaning toward the 3,200, but her decision will be jut one of many interesting story lines heading into the posteason.

On Friday at Baseline League finals (photo gallery) Upland’s Myles Valentine tied the top wind-aided 100 meter time in the state this season with a 10.36-second effort. The runner he tied was defending state champion Khalfani Muhammad, who defeated Valentine two weeks earlier at the Mt. SAC Relays, prompting this statement: “I knew at that point,” Valentine said, “I wasn’t going to finish second again.” He hasn’t.

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VIDEO: Claremont baseball coach on win over Chino Hills, tight league race

There were six games left in the regular season and the Claremont baseball team sat just a game out of second place, but coach Geoff Ranney told his team Thursday’s rubber match with Chino Hills was a must-win. The coach’s reasoning makes sense given the tight proximity of everybody in the Sierra League. The Wolfpack responded with a 6-3 victory over Chino Hills that pulled Claremont back into a tie for second place and claimed the season series with a Huskies team that had won eight of its last nine games. Check out a photo gallery from the game.

Damien pitcher selected to Under Armour All-America game in Chicago

Damien pitcher Grant Hockin was selected on Tuesday to be one of 36 players in the Under Armour All-America baseball game Aug. 24 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The junior right-hander committed to UCLA will participate in four days worth of events, including a formal workout for Major League Baseball scouts. The game will be televised live by the MLB Network at 11:30 a.m. on the last of the four days.