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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Los Osos outside hitter Ashten Smith-Gooden (pictured above) claimed Player of the Year honors for the 2012 All-Valley volleyball team after helping her team to the CIF finals for the first time in school history. Los Osos coach Franco Macchia also reaped the benefits of the Grizzlies best ever season, earning Coach of the Year honors.
MEGHAN BUZZERIO, Chino Hills
The sophomore burst onto the scene with 532 kills in just 29 games to lead the Huskies to a playoff berth. The outside hitter also had 228 digs, 33 aces and 26 solo blocks to go along with a kill percentage of 39 for a Chino Hills team that posted an 18-11 record.
ERIN CLARK, Ayala
The Ayala setter had a spectacular year with 617 assists for the Bulldogs, who finished second in the Sierra League behind St. Lucy’s, the No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS Division 1A playoffs. The junior was instrumental in the team’s turnaround from a fifth-place finish in league in 2011 to second in 2012.
ARDEN DAVIS, St. Lucy’s
The senior libero, a member of two CIF-SS championship teams during her tenure, totaled 308 digs this season and earned All-CIF honors in Division 1A. Davis helped the Regents win a fourth consecutive Sierra League championship and a No. 1 playoff seed.
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.
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.
Matt Bechtel is a natural candidate for the Damien High School head football coaching position that came available Sunday with Greg Gano’s resignation after four seasons. He has had success as a head coach, is a young respected offensive mind and, perhaps most importantly, is a graduate of Damien.
After spending one season as the Chino Hills offensive coordinator following two seasons as Colony’s head coach, the former Damien quarterback says he is happy where he is and hasn’t seriously considered the possibility of becoming the head coach at Damien.
“I’m neutral,” Bechtel said. “I’m happy at Chino Hills. But obviously I want Damien to do well and I’ve always thought about being the guy there. I just don’t have a feeling of what they’re looking for. I don’t know if they’re looking for a quick fix or a guy to be there for a long time.”