Football: Duarte’s Tip Sanders will start from scratch

Note: I put in several calls and left a message with LC coach Dan Yoder but to no avail. I’ll try again later today and bring you the latest, I hope, in Wednesday’s paper.

It’s been nearly two months since Duarte High School named Lavelle “Tip” Sanders as the school’s football coach, replacing Wardell Crutchfield who was abruptly fired because the school wanted to go in a different direction. It hasn’t taken long but already Sanders faces the daunting task of regrouping a divided team. Four varsity players transfered out of the school because they were unhappy with the firing of Crutchfield, leading the Falcons last season to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs. That he’ll have to practically start from scratch has become a challenge. “From what I’m seeing it’s going to be a year we’ll rebuild completely,” he said. “They tell me some of the kids transferred but I’m looking forward to the challenges.” Duarte’s missing piece to the puzzle next seasonwill be standout running back Jordan Canada. He rushed for 1,956 yards and 19 touchdowns. “I don’t take it personal,” Sanders said. “I coached (Canada’s) dad and he worked with me. They said that was something they wanted to do. They said that it was a change they wanted to do.” Sanders revived the football programs at Blair and Marshall high schools previously. He currently works as security at Blair and coached the junior varsity program last season. He has not formally met the entire team just yet. “I met five guys they said played last year,” Sanders said. “Right now we’re in a weight program at 6:30 a.m. with four lineman.” There will be a football camp open to the public on Saturday at Durate from 9 a.m. to noon. “I’m hoping they all show up this Saturday,” Sanders said. “This is the official meeting before spring ball on May 15. I’m hoping that everybody comes out to the camp Saturday.” Sanders will target the middle school players at the camp. “If I’m going to start a program I’ll start at the bottom,” he said. “Seventh and eighth graders; I don’t think there’s too much I can do with juniors and seniors there already.” Including himself, Sanders will have a total of eight coaches in the program. Some coaches he’s kept from the previous coaching staff and others will be coming with Sanders. “Some of the coaches are willing to try it again so I’m going to give them a shot,” he said. “I kept four of them that came to the coach’s meeting.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email

Arrest has been made in connection with burglaries

An arrest has been made in connection with a spree of burglaries at four area high schools. Mark Wallace and Martha McRae, both in their 40′s and from La Caada, were arrested and released under their own recognizance, according to an L.A. County Sheriff’s Department official. Wallace, who has a serious criminal history, and McRae are pending a court date, according to Detective Roger Burt with the Crescenta Valley Division. In a span of a month, La Caada, Arcadia, Flintridge Prep and Rio Hondo Prep were hit with burglaries. Glendale and Crescenta Valley high schools were also hit. About 95 percent of the stolen items were recovered at a storage unit in Montrose after the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department served search warrants at Wallace’s apartment and storage unit. Over $30,000 in sports equipment from La Caada, including scales and brand new baseball uniforms, were recovered. Flintridge Prep’s softball pitching machine, Rio Hondo Prep’s musical instruments, valued at over $30,000, were also recovered. Computers, servers and surveillance cameras stolen from Glendale and Crescenta Valley high schools were also recovered as was a brand new $8,000 clay mixing machine for a science class at Arcadia High. “I don’t know what they were going to do with all that equipment,” Burt said. “I’ve never had a thief that was a school specialist.” Burt believes the suspects did not act alone. “There were others,” he said, “but like any good thief they won’t give up accomplices.” According to La Caada High vice principal Joanne Davidson, the suspects unsuccessfully attempted to sell the pitching machine on eBay. From there, the dominos fell in place and detectives zeroed in on the suspects. “This is a great recovery,” Burt said. “It’s not often we get (the stolen items) back.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email

Football: Dietrich Riley impressive at Nike Combine

Dietrich has about a dozen offers. I saw him wearing a UCLA sweater one time and I gave him a hard time about it. We Bruins can dream, right? My boy formerly of the Los Angeles Times said Dietrich is one of two area players who have true pro potential. Lets hope he doesn’t forget us when he gets to the big time. I’ll try to do the same …

From ESPN.com

Athlete Deitrich Riley (La Canada, Calif./Saint Francis) worked out at running back and actually stood out at the position, prompting some observers at the camp to speculate that he probably could play on the offensive side of the ball in college. Most programs are recruiting Riley as an athlete or on the defensive side. Southern California, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, Oklahoma and others have offered. Look for the Wolverines to get a visit from the 6-foot, 190-pounder this summer.

“That’s my natural position,” Riley said. “That’s the position I love to play and I just wanted to come out here and show that I could play it.”

Riley rushed for more than 800 yards last season for his high school team.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email

Football: No re-leaguing issues on this side of town

Some of you were wondering what was going on with re-leaguing in our area, called the “Foothill Area.” Some areas are still holding meetings and going through the process such as the “Mt. SAC Area” which features most of the ESGV. San Marino principal Loren Kleinrock heads the Foothill Area which consists of about 70 schools. There are no changes in our area, according to Mr. Kleinrock. Gahr High proposed to change leagues but it was resoundingly not approved. The Marmonte League wanted to move into the Foothill Area but it was also not approved. Gahr High can appeal to the CIF-Southern Section at a May 6 meeting, but because it was a unanimous vote to not approve it’s unlikely the vote will be overturned. That’s it for our area. Not real changes, if at all. But just for kicks, lets throw on a hard hat and play the role of Mr. Kleinrock. If you could move some teams around, who would you move to and why?

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email

ESPN’s Rise Magazine releases All-Greater L.A. Team


There are no WSGV players on the list but it’s worth taking a look anyway. The ESGV had some picks including Bonita’s Jiovannia Mier, rated the No. 15 recruit in the ESPNU rankings. Mier hit .479 with three homers, 30 RBIs and 15 steals last year. He has signed with USC but could be an early-round pick in the upcoming MLB Draft.. Click here to check out the list.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email

Softball: Big week in Prep League action

Here’s a breakdown of the Prep League this week, enjoy ….

Mayfield (5-1) – Certainly Mayfield has a shot to win the Prep League. Their next three games (Rio Hondo Prep, Poly and Flintridge Prep) will probably decide their fate in the Prep League this year. If they win all three, then I think they will win the Prep League outright. If they win 2 of 3 then they should at least tie for first. Anything other than that and they will need help. The only player out right now is Julie Monohan who would probably be the starting third baseman if she were healthy. She cracked a bone in her arm during the first weekend of the Downey Tournament and has been out ever since. She started at 3B pretty much all year last year for Mayfield. I am definitely worried about how they will play against Rio Hondo Prep on Tuesday as they haven’t done much of anything last week.

Flintridge Prep (3-1) – League wise they have played everyone once except for Webb and Westridge – both of these games they should win easily, so I would put them in a tie with Mayfield. Flintridge Prep is pretty deep in the pitching area but weak at catcher. Their best pitcher is senior Lydia Kay who is also their best catcher. Their second pitcher is Denise Van Der Goot who is solid. One of the big advantages they have is that Lydia is a lefty and Denise is a righty, so they can mix things up if they need to. The player to watch for the future on this team is freshman Stephanie Bathke. Stephanie is an excellent athlete, very fast, good bat, decent pitcher, great center fielder.

Pasadena Poly (2-2) – They won the Prep League last year and only lost two players. The Latta sisters should be two of the best hitters in the league and they are a solid fielding team. At the beginning of the season I would have definitely picked them as one of the top teams and I expect that they will still be a contender for the top spot. They should beat Webb and Chadwick and finish the first half at 4-2 in league. I think it is possible they could win all six games in the second half of their league season, but the way they are playing that may be hard to justify. They looked very solid against Flintridge Prep last Tuesday, but not so much against South Pasadena when they were without their coach and several girls.

Rio Hondo Prep (4-2) – Last year, Mayfield beat them easily at the Rose Bowl field but lost to them on the road. Mayfield beat them at their field and got lucky because as RHP was starting to mount a comeback they were caught batting out of order, ending an inning where they had a bunch of momentum. They seem to be a solid hitting and fielding team that is very good when their pitcher is on and not nearly as good when she is off. They lost in close games to Mayfield and to Flintridge Prep and could easily content for the league championship if they can turn those losses around in the second half.

Chadwick (1-3) – Last year Mayfield split with them, winning at home and losing at Chadwick. This year Mayfield beat them 4-3 on a 7th inning run, but I don’t think the game was that close. They have a tremendous amount of team speed, good solid defense and good hitting, but almost no pitching. Their pitcher doesn’t walk many batters but she is throwing in the low to mid 40′s. I am not sure how they won so many games at the beginning of the season, but my guess is that it is because of their team speed. They might sneak up on one of the top 4 and beat them, but I don’t think they can contend for one of the top 4 spots.

Westridge (1-3) – They haven’t played Flintridge Prep and Webb in league yet. Not sure how they did against Poly but I assume they lost. Westridge lost quite a bit with the graduation of their seniors last year. The only pitcher on their current roster is freshman Kelly Habib. Kelly works hard at her pitching and throws a lot of strikes, but is not very fast. Nicole Martel should be one of the best hitters in the league, but I haven’t seen her stats. They don’t have the defense or the team speed that Chadwick has or the hitting that any of the other teams have, so I think it will be a tough year for them.

Webb (0-12) – Webb went 0-12 in league last year and is probably destined to do the same again this year. I don’t know much about their team except from playing them, but they don’t seem to have any strengths except that they keep coming out to play and seem to have fun. They don’t have stats or a roster on Max Preps.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email

…………All football, all the time…………

Good morning, guys and gals. At the request of Mayor Goldenarm, here is your football thread. I bet teams are glad there are no mandatory workouts with another scorching day headed our way. I worked up a sweat walking from the parking structure to my seat! I plan on interviewing Tip Sanders and Dan Yoder later today. Any specific questions you guys want answered? Anyway, you guys think it’s too early for a top 10 poll? …. I caught myself on that one; a newbie I am.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email

Baseball, softball league races heating up!

*Someone asked if we were covering the PHS-Arcadia baseball game today. The answer is, yes. Keith Lair will be there on assignment and we’re also sending a photographer. I will be at the South Pasadena-La Canada softball game. This is going to sound weird, but I just woke up a few minutes ago and I had a dream i was covering Monrovia vs. Rio Hondo Prep in softball. I got to the game in the sixth inning and the score was 3-1, Monrovia. Any psychologists care to dissect that dream? Time to go get a hair cut…

Tournaments were fun and all, but it’s about time we’re getting back to business and picking up where we left off.

Some leagues started action this week but everyone else will go full steam next week.

With that in mind, let us bring you some of the tight league races with predictions in both baseball and softball as we get ready for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

First up, baseball.

Almont League: Alhambra (5-1) is leading Montebello (4-2) and Schurr (4-2) but not by much. The feeling here is the Moors will regroup, find the offense they’ve so desperately been lacking and not like the feeling of a reigning league title taken away from them.

Camino Real League: Bosco Tech, fresh off its win over Southlands Christian in the Tech Classic, is holding steady atop the standings with a 6-1 record. But St. Monica (5-2) and Cathedral (4-3) are gunning for the Tigers, who take on Cathedral in back-to-back games next week. Bosco Tech certainly has the bats to keep pace but the Tigers are also digging themselves early holes. They did that not just once but three times in the tournament this week. At one point it’s going to come back and bite them. Still, I can’t say it wasn’t fun watching them explode for all those runs. Keep your eye out on senior Justin Mota (.383, 5 HRs, 24 RBIs). The kid is a stud.

Mission League: St. Francis (4-2) has fallen to third behind Notre Dame (3-1) and Crespi (5-1). Back-to-back games against Alemany next week is followed by back-to-back games against Loyola and Notre Dame. The Golden Knights need a sweep against Alemany and at least a split to keep any hope for a league championship alive.

Pacific League: Arcadia suddenly looks vulnerable after losing two games in the Apache Invitational and then dropping a 6-4 decision to Burbank this week. The Apaches (4-1) sit in second behind Burroughs (5-1) and they visit Pasadena (3-2) at 3 today. Can you say upset? Burbank (4-1) is third by virtue of its loss to Arcadia.

Prep League: Pasadena Poly (4-1), Flintridge Prep (3-2) and Rio Hondo Prep (2-2) are still in the hunt, the Panthers holding the edge thus far. Poly hosts the Kares at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Panthers are led by Matthew Saeta who is batting .364 with three home runs, 17 RBIs, six doubles and one triple. The scary thought? He’s only a sophomore. Hunter Merryman helped the Panthers with a three-run homer in a 7-4 win over Flintridge Prep last week. Poly will separate itself from the pack.

Rio Hondo League: Much has been written about Monrovia (5-1) not playing a league game for about 20 days. When they get back, the Wildcats will find a big bullseye on their back. La Canada (4-1), Temple City (4-3) and San Marino (3-3) are not going down quietly. The Titans blanked the Rams this week, 4-0. Today at 3:30, the Spartans visit South Pasadena (2-4) which at one point looked to be in the hunt as well. The intriguing game next week will be Monrovia at San Marino. We’ll take the Wildcats to go all the way.

And now, softball:

Alpha League: Maranatha (1-0) and Campbell Hall (1-0) are tied for the top spot. The debate for who belongs will come to rest, for at least a bit, when both teams meet next week at Maranatha.

Mission League: This league is loaded, led by Flintridge Sacred Heart (2-0). Chaminade (1-0), Harvard-Westlake (1-1) and Notre Dame (1-1) appear to make up the final three CIF playoff spots, but the question is which team will finish where? The Tologs are at Chaminade next week. Jessica Ferri will need to continue her dominance on the mound if FSHA is to finish atop the standings.

Prep League: Mayfield’s (5-1) lone defeat came to Flintridge Prep (3-0) which currently sits atop the standings. They’ll meet next week but will face Rio Hondo Prep (3-2) and Pasadena Poly (0-2) first. The Cubs are led by Katherine Clancy’s 1.25 ERA and 163 strikeouts this season.

Rio Hondo League: Wow, talk about tight. La Canada (4-0) holds the clear edge but the final two automatic playoff spots are all up for grabs. Monrovia (3-2), Temple City (3-3) and South Pasadena (2-2) will fight it out. The Tigers won’t have it any easier today when they travel to play the Spartans.

So much intrigue among league one has to wonder why there’s spring break at all.

Oh, that’s right, silly me.

miguel.melendez@sgvn.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email