Arizona-bound pitcher returns after quitting Chino Hills softball team

Patricia Parks, the star pitcher for the defending CIF champion Chino Hills softball team, has returned to the team after leaving indefinitely two weeks ago.

Following the first two tournaments of the season, Parks, a junior committed to the University of Arizona, left the team of her own accord.

“Patricia decided she did not want to play anymore,” Chino Hills coach Mike Southworth said in an email. “She was not removed from our team. Nobody likes to lose a player of Patricia’s ability, but athletes have to want to be there and be there on the coach’s terms.”

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Starting pitcher for defending CIF champ Chino Hills leaves team

Chino Hills junior Patricia Parks, the starting pitcher for the defending CIF-SS Division 3 softball champions, left the team last week, according to Huskies head coach Mike Southworth. Parks, who is verbally committed to Arizona, hit .479 and went 10-1 with a 1.07 ERA last season behind primary pitcher Nikki Innamorato. An everyday outfielder last year, Parks was the Huskies primary pitcher this season.

“Patricia decided she did not want to play anymore,” Southworth said in an email. “She was not removed from our team. Nobody likes to lose a player of Patricia’s ability, but athletes have to want to be there and be there on the coach’s terms.”

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Saturday’s state tournament games: Will Damien’s magic continue?

No. 7 Damien (26-6) at No. 2 West Hills Chaminade (25-7), 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: In its last game alone, Damien was the victim and beneficiary of a buzzer beater. After a 40-foot bank shot pulled 10th-seeded Tulare Mission Oak even with Damien at the end of regulation, Jeremy Hemsley’s 3-pointer as time expired in overtime gave the Spartans a 74-72 first-round win on Wednesday. Chaminade had no such drama in its 42-point first-round victory.

Matchup: CIF-SS Division 3AA champion Damien will take on a Chaminade team that was the runner-up in CIF-SS Division 3A. Before losing it’s CIF-SS title game by 24 points to St. John Bosco, Chaminade won its previous four playoff games by an average of 37.5 points, a good indication of why it received the No. 2 seed in the state tournament. Damien’s confidence is certainly on the rise after winning a championship and capturing its first-round game in dramatic fashion. It will be interesting to see if Wednesday’s win was the perfect cure for Damien’s championship hangover.

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State tournament drama at Damien, but not elsewhere in La Verne

At one end of La Verne the Damien basketball team’s first-round game of the CIF State tournament was overflowing with drama. At the other end of the city, it was the opposite for the La Verne Lutheran boys as they began their run at a third state title in four years.

After a 40-foot bank shot sent the game into overtime (click ‘Continue reading’ below for the video), Damien bounced back when sophomore Jeremy Hemsley’s 3-pointer at the buzzer of the extra period (video above) to lifted the seventh-seeded Spartans to a 74-72 win over Tulare Mission Oak.

La Verne Lutheran, conversely, surged to a 40-point lead by the end of the third quarter in its Division IV first-round 85-42 win over 13th-seeded Tollhouse Sierra.

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New head coach Bechtel on leaving for Chino Hills: ‘It was a gamble’

The vision that prompted Matt Bechtel to leave his first head coaching job after just two seasons and leave the Chaffey Joint Union School District after 16 years came to fruition last week. After one year as the Chino Hills offensive coordinator, Bechtel was hired as the school’s head football coach. He interviewed on Feb. 12 and was offered the position Feb. 14.

Bechtel, Colony’s head coach from 2010 to 2011, replaces Derek Bub, who resigned after five years as head coach citing the death of his father in October and his desire to pursue an administrative position. Knowing Bub was closing in on his administrative credential, Bechtel had his eye on the Chino Hills head coaching job when he accepted the offensive coordinator role and a teaching position last year in the Chino Valley Unified School District. But the move didn’t come without risk.

“Most people don’t get an administrative credential and sit on it for five or six years,” Bechtel said. “Did I think this was going to happen in eight months? No. It was a gamble for me to come here. I gave up tenure and 16 years at a time when job security in the teaching profession was in disarray, but you can’t get ahead in life without taking risks.”

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Damien hires Riverside North head coach to take over football program

Damien High School’s search for a head football coach is over after it hired Mark Paredes, who spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Riverside North. Paredes replaces Greg Gano, who resigned in December after four seasons at Damien, where he posted a 20-22 overall record with two playoff appearances.

The last three years have been Paredes’ second stint at North after he coached there from 1994-2001, during which he won two CIF championships. Last season was a bit disappointing for North, which was expected to be a dangerous playoff team its first season in the Central Division. But the Huskies finished 6-5 after a first-round loss to eventual CIF champion, Kaiser. After a 2-8 season in 2010, Paredes led North to a 10-2 record in a 2011 season that also ended with a loss to an eventual CIF champ as Vista Murrieta dispatched the Huskies in the quarterfinals of the much tougher Inland Division.

The move back to the Catholic School system fulfills Paredes’ desire to return home to his coaching roots in the Catholic High School environment, according to a press release from Damien. Paredes will also serve as a history teacher.

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Death of his father prompts Chino Hills head football coach to resign

As soon as his father died unexpectedly in October, Chino Hills coach Derek Bub knew he didn’t want his own children to feel like they missed out on time with their father. Bub finished out his fifth season as head football coach at Chino Hills High School, but resigned from the position Tuesday night in order to spend more time with his family.

“When my father passed away, I realized that I just needed to be a dad to my kids,” Bub said. “I take every Christmas break to think about whether I’m going to continue to coach. I was extremely close with my father and anytime something like this happens, it makes you see things differently.”

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All-Sierra League football team

Player of the year: Aaren Vaughns, Charter Oak, Sr.
Offensive MVP: Jack Austin, Chino Hills, Sr.
Defensive MVPs: Eric Ortiz, Charter Oak, Sr; Eric Prevost, Charter Oak, Jr.

First Team
QB: Matt Simko, Chino Hills, Sr.
QB: Kory Brown, Charter Oak, Jr.
RB: Jordan Robinson, Ayala, Sr.
RB: Travion Boykins, Damien, Sr.
RB: Louis Napoles, Chino Hills, Sr.
RB: Cecil Fleming, Claremont, Jr.
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