Football: Teen dies day after practice in triple-digit heat

The Associated Press

VERNON, Texas — Officials say a northern Texas middle school student was found unresponsive at home and pronounced dead the morning after going through football practice in triple-digit heat.

Wilbarger County Justice of the Peace Lewis Templeton said Wednesday a toxicology report should determine whether the death of 13-year-old Brent Shinn was heat-related. Foul play has been ruled out.

The 13-year-old from Vernon Middle School was found unresponsive Tuesday morning and later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Vernon schools Superintendent Tom Woody said practice lasted a little more than an hour Monday afternoon. The temperature was about 105, according to the National Weather Service.

Vernon is located about 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

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Top RB at Lakewood High charged with attempted murder, coach confirms he’s not playing this season.

Ben Bolch at the Los Angeles Times reports a star running back from Lakewood High was charged Tuesday with two counts of attempted murder in connection with what police described as a gang-related drive-by shooting Friday afternoon in which no one was injured. Bolch wirtes: Law enforcement officials privately confirmed that Jerry Stone, a senior considered among the best tailbacks in the state, was allegedly driving the vehicle involved in the shooting, which occurred in the 1100 block of Acacia Avenue in Compton. Because Stone is a juvenile, authorities are not allowed to identify him publicly.

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Muir and St. Francis the Top 2 area teams? Think again

In putting together the football preview section, Keith Lair and I have made numerous phone calls to WSGV coaches. I’ve talked to every single coach in the Rio Hondo, Pacific, and Camino Real leagues, respectively. And now all I’m missing is our boys on Lincoln and Foothill Blvd: Muir and St. Francis. Seems like we’re playing phone tag the last week or so with both coaches, though I don’t blame them since my extension at work was down a few days while I.T. (finally) took care of my internet connection. With Muir and St. Francis left this question comes to mind: Are both schools really the area’s top two teams? I know Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox might hate my saying this, but I might be going with the Wildcats this season as the area’s best. Unpopular move, I know. But can you really make valid arguments why Muir and St. Francis belong in the top two spots after losing so much talent? Yeah, both teams return Jarron Williams and Dietrich Riley, respectively, but what after that? Therein lies the debate …. Don’t wait for me to start the Top 10, give your two cents here. Football Preview section is tentatively scheduled to run next week.

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BREAKING NEWS: Both Canada’s declared ineligible by CIF-SS, citing “athletically motivated” reasons

Fred Robledo brings it to you first ….

The CIF-Southern Section announced this morning that brothers Jordan (senior) and Jaime (sophomore) Canada have been declared ineligible to play football during the 2009 season for “athletically motivated” reasons. Jordan and Jaime Canada left Duarte high early last spring to enroll at South Hills, where they have been practicing with the football team in preparation for the 2009 season. According to CIF Director of Communications Thom Simmons, the reason for declaring the Canada’s ineligible was that Duarte officials attached a letter with the transfer paperwork suggesting that the Canada’s transfer to South Hills was “athletically motivated.” Once a school that the players is leaving makes that suggestion, according to Simmons, a player is immediately declared ineligible. “Now it’s up to the parents (of Jordan and Jaime Canada) and South Hills to show that it wasn’t an athletically motivated transfer,” Simmons said. South Hills coach Steve Bogan was extremely disappointed, and guarded in his remarks. “We know that they (the Canada’s) did everything right,” Bogan said. “We know this was not a final decision, it was a step in the process. CIF has a process they have to go through to find clarity. We’re looking into and will work with CIF to find that clarity so they can make the right decision.”

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Football: Muir building blocks with quality over quantity

Those were the days: Muir had crazy depth last year, and with 24 players graduating the question is: Who will fill those shoes left by Josh Jones (No. 24), Myles Campbell (No. 3), Mitchell Garner (No. 7), Reuben “Bingo” Thomas (No. 23, AKA Mr. Everything) and Fernando Aguilar (No. 55)?

Well well well.

Just when I thought Muir would somewhat be in trouble this season I make a complete 180 assessment after attending Thursday’s practice. The creepy part isn’t that !stang! easily spotted yours truly at practice but that the ‘Stangs, despite low numbers, have loads of talent.

In fact, Muir just may be the top team when the preseason top 10 poll is published next week, though what does that now say about The Stang Fan’s ability to asses your favorite reporter’s ability to asses your favorite team?

I digress … When Muir graduated 24 players last year (Ouch!) there was no telling where the Mustangs would rate this season. We knew Jarron Williams, nursing back spams Thursday, was returning at quarterback and three linemen (Danny Huerta, Chris Blas, Cameron Palmer) also were returning.

Aside from that, everyone’s guess was as good as mine. The skill positions and the secondary took a big hit, no doubt. Who fills the void is a challenge Mustangs coach Ken Howard is looking forward to overcoming. Gone are the days when Muir suited 40-60 guys.

“It’s intimidating when you look at the other sideline and see a bunch of guys suited up,” Howard said. “But I would much rather work with a small group, honestly. It’s easier to have a solid group of 25 instead of 100 players and having to figure out who is going to play on any given down.”

Be careful what you wish for, Kenny.

Nevertheless, it’s the situation Howard now finds himself in. Muir’s success is heavily dependent on how well the line executes. The “Trench Mob,” as they’re known by the rest of the team and coaches, can’t succumb to the pressure Howard has laid on them.

“Those are my MVP’s,” Howard said. “I preach it to them every day. They need to play well and hold their own in order for us to do what we want to do.”

Exactly what Muir’s offense will consist of is still unclear. Howard said fans can still expect a spread formation, though a balanced attack is still in order.

Senior Eddie Tripp will carry the ball but expect sophomore Kevon Seymore to see time there as well.

Seymore’s only a sophomore but already he’s proved he can hang with the big boys, at least in my eyes.

He took a lights-out hit from Howard Vaughn at practice. Seymore made a cut up the middle and went head-to-head with Vaughn charging. They collided, helmets smacked and down went Seymore. He lay on the ground for a good three seconds, Vaughn looking down on him before Seymore popped up and was ready for redemption.

It’s that kind of determination that has Howard excited for the upcoming season. Muir’s lineup will include a few transfers. Vaughn transferred from Marshall and Jeffrey Lett, a junior competing at quarterback who could see time at receiver, too, from PHS.

Leadership is something I feel the Mustangs lacked a bit last season. I covered my fair share of Muir games, and honestly never did see someone take firm direction of the team. Williams has that quality in him that not only makes him likable but also someone who has the respect of his teammates; they will follow him by example. Williams was overshadowed by the likes of Thomas and Campbell. But not this season.

“This is his team,” Howard said. “He likes to have that kind of pressure on him.”

Howard and I talked more about the Pacific League and the recent hires. On PHS hiring Mike McFarland, Howard said: “He’s about the kids. He’s the best guy for the job in terms of turning that program around.”

Regardless of what anyone says, there may be more parity this season in the Pacific League.

Still — as I quickly learned — never discount the power of the ‘Stangs.

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