Football: Blair, Fulton game to go on as scheduled.

There was some talk that the Blair-Fulton season opener on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Muir would not go on because of a report in the L.A. Daily News that Fulton had canceled its football season. Not so, says Blair coach Gary Parks, who said he got confirmation from the Fulton principal that the season will continue. I will be there to cover the action and I’m bringing with me a photographer. If Fulton doesn’t show up, how’s a game of flag football sound?

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Former Muir basketball star Joseph Frazier is victim of hit-and-run accident; Frazier is assistant coach at Calabasas High.

Former Muir and Cal State Northridge basketball standout Joseph Frazier is fighting for his life after a hit-and-run accident about 8:45 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Ventura Blvd. and Wilbur Ave. in Tarzana. Frazier currently is an assistant boys basketball coach at Calabasas High

A Facebook fan page has an update as of nine hours ago: “Joe is taking deep breaths and breathing on his own in spurts. Keep it up Joe.”

As of 58 minutes ago, via Facebook:

“Better. We spent the night with him just talking and he is still in a coma but was breathing on his own an his heart rate was going up when we were talking to him.”

Muir coach Gamal Smalley offered his thoughts:

“The former Muir basketball great is so loved by his community and we are praying for him.”

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Football: Villalobos, Seymour forge unlikely friendship.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

Perhaps it’s the unlikeliest of friendships. Alex Villalobos is a senior at San Gabriel High School, a school more known for producing top-tier boys volleyball teams than Division I athletes. Kevon Seymour is a senior at Muir, which – in its heyday – produced Olympians and players in the NFL and NBA.

Villalobos is a wide receiver who made a name for himself in the West San Gabriel Valley, recording 802 yards and eight touchdowns on 41 catches for the Matadors.

Seymour is a 6-foot cornerback who last year lit up La Mirada in the opening round of the CIF- Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs, helping oust the defending champion. He’s since skyrocketed on many recruiting charts and is listed as the No. 9- ranked cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com. He has offers from nearly every Pac-12 school, to go along with offers from Florida and Nebraska.

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Girls Volleyball: Mayfield taking a different approach.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

For a long time, the Mayfield Senior School volleyball team’s modus operandi has been attack, attack and attack some more, but those attacking volleyball players have graduated to NCAA Division I programs. Suddenly, the Cubs appear to be not quite the attacking team they have been in years past. That’s no concern, though, for coach Megan Rush.

“I think our defense will be phenomenal,” the second-year coach said. “We have some big guns, but we seem to have all the angles covered in the backcourt.”

It took a long time last year for Mayfield to develop into what’s been typical for it in recent years – a team that makes a deep journey into the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. With so many new players and a new coach last year, it took the Cubs until the second half of the regular season to meld into a playoff contender. The Cubs finished second in the Prep League to Pasadena Poly, then lost to the Panthers in the CIF-SS semifinals.

Not surprisingly, the transformation began and ended with middle blocker Hannah Schraer, who’s playing at USC this season. Schraer had to help work several new players into the Cubs’ rotation.

“You can’t replace a Hannah Schraer and you can’t try,” Rush said.

Those younger players, though, now have a year’s experience.

“The girls have really become a dynamic team,” Rush said. “We have come together a lot faster. I’m excited.”

Seniors Brittany Angiuli and Alex Arnett have really come along, and sophomore Natalie Johnson has given the Cubs backcourt striking power.

“Brittany has really stepped up to another level and definitely runs the backcourt,” Rush said. “Natalie just thinks defense. She’s just a natural athlete.”

Both could play libero and give the Cubs flexibility in their rotation.

Rush also has the luxury of two returning setters, senior Ashley Schamml and junior Madeline Watkins. Plus, there’s newcomer Bella Garcia, who’s also a junior. The Cubs can confidently run a 6-2 offense.

Mayfield had a scrimmage against Holy Family on Tuesday. The Cubs open their season Monday against Gahr in the Gahr tournament, then play Poly on Sept. 13 in the league opener for both schools.

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Girls Volleyball: Arcadia to start freshman

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

Charles Freberg has been coaching at Arcadia for nearly 30 years. In that time, he’s rarely had freshmen on his team, much less let them start. This year, though, there’ll be an exception.

Freshman Lexi Resch will start at outside hitter for the Apaches.

“She will be the best freshman I have had in my career,” Freberg said. “She’s that good. She can do whatever she wants to do. She can hit the lines, hit the angles, block, pass the ball.”

Resch was the MVP in this year’s Junior Olympics age-group tournament. She’s participated in Freberg’s summer program since the third grade.

With Brittney Lee returning, it gives the Apaches two powerful outside hitters.

“She’s playing awfully well,” Freberg said.

Resch, though, isn’t the lone underclassman on the team. Freberg, who lost five starters from last year’s team, has promoted four sophomores – including Kristen Mueller, Allison Stevenson and Jackie Churchill – to varsity.

“They are great athletes,” Freberg said. “They have done special things this summer.”

Arcadia opens its season Sept. 13 at San Gabriel.

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PREPXTRA LIVE REWIND WITH Muir’s Ken Howard, San Gabriel’s Jude Oliva and CIF’s Thom Simmons.

Tuesday’s PrepXtra Live featured CIF spokesman Thom Simmons (14:51 mark) followed by San Gabriel coach Jude Oliva and Muir coach Ken Howard at the 34:58 mark (SAME SEGMENT) with a brief break and then back with a few last questions for Oliva and Howard. The video also includes West Covina coach Mike Maggiore and Darryl Thomas (SAME SEGMENT) at the 54:01 mark.

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BREAKING NEWS: We apologize for NOT having the PrepXtra Preview Magazine in today’s editions, it will be in Wednesday’s paper.

We screwed up. The PrepXtra Preview Football magazine is NOT in today’s home delivery or news rack. I’ll spare you all the details, but a major breakdown in communication caused this. I have been assured that the PrepXtra Football Preview will run in WEDNESDAY’S home subscription and newsracks. Sorry for the inconvenience, it’s embarrassing and we let you down.

For those who don’t know, we print all editions of the San Gabriel Valley newsgroup (Tribune, Star-News, Whittier, Bulletin, Sun, etc) at the Orange County Register, then distribute them to our drivers. From what I understand, there was a mix-up on the dates our drivers were supposed to deliver the magazine. Apparently, the Register and drivers were given a date of Aug. 31 instead of the 30th to deliver the magazine. How that happened after all our promotion of the magazine on the 30th is difficult to comprehend, but it happened. I don’t like making excuses, but what can I do other than say we screwed up, and that it will be in tomorrow’s papers.

– Prep Editor Fred Robledo

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Star Picks: The season’s finally. Let’s make this happen.

Here we go.

The season kicks off Thursday with one area home game featuring Blair against Fulton of Van Nuys. The Vikings won convincingly last year in the season opener, so expect the same result. I’ll be at Muir to cover my first ever Blair football game. Our Keith Lair will travel to Ocean View High to cover Pasadena Poly at Brethren Christian.

Most of Friday’s games are pretty much no-brainers, but here’s hoping even though I picked Muir to beat San Gabriel that I still get to see a very competitive game featuring some of the most skilled players in the West San Gabriel Valley. La Salle shockingly opened the season ranked No. 5 in the Northwest Division, but the Lancers will open the season with a loss to a much tougher Village Christian team out of the Mid-Valley Division. How’s this for a shocker: Keppel will beat Bassett and Marshall will beat Duarte. If Pasadena can come away from Alemany without sustaining injuries, count that as a win for the Bulldogs. As for the win/loss column, mark an “L” for Pasadena in the road season opener.

I’d really like to make a nice bet this season. The Stang Fan and I never came thorugh on our bet, which I’m clueless about right now. I’m thinking of inviting longtime Star-News correspondent Nathan Cambridge to go head-to-head with me this season with a bet to be named later. In case you don’t know Nathan Cambridge (and I don’t see how you can not) he’s the guy who makes hilarious TV commercials, like the Swiffer one below. He’s the DJ. Nathan Cambridge is a commercial and TV actor, but he’s passionate about covering preps. I feed off his enthusiasm and look forward to inviting him to make picks with me this season.

That’s it for now.

Look for the 2-minute drill video later today as Aram Tolegian and I discuss Muir-San Gabriel. Hope you all enjoyed the 2011 Star-News PrepXtra Magazine. Enjoy!

Thursday’s games
Blair vs. Fulton at Muir, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Blair)
Pasadena Poly vs. Brethren Christian at Ocean View, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Poly)

Friday’s games
Muir at San Gabriel, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Muir)
Village Christian at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Village Christian)
Big Bear at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Maranatha)
Alhambra vs. Mountain View at Moor Field, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Alhambra)
Cerritos at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Cerritos)
Keppel at Bassett, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Keppel)
Bosco Tech at Wilson, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Wilson)
Marshall at Duarte, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Marshall)
Rio Hondo Prep at Parker San Diego, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Parker)
Pasadena at Alemany, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Almeany)
Flintridge Prep at Bell-Jeff, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Flintridge Prep)

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Check out the Star-News preseason top 10 poll.

STAR-NEWS PRESEASON TOP 10 POLL

1. MONROVIA — When the pieces come together, the Wildcats again will prove they’re a legitimate team that’s more than just a contender for a Mid-Valley Division championship — they’re a heavy favorite to repeat.

2. ARCADIA — Arcadia will be a much more balanced team, making the Apaches contenders in the Southeast Division.

3. ST. FRANCIS — St. Francis came close to a huge upset last year in the first round of the Western Division playoffs, going up against San Gabriel Valley League champion Dominguez of Compton. The Golden Knights couldn’t convert on fourth down, though, and St. Francis’ late rally fell short. It seems like the Golden Knights come close each season, but is this finally the year?

4. MUIR – In terms of area talent, Muir has enough to be one of the best teams. As for how it’ll fare in the tougher Pacific League and always-tough Southeast Division remains to be seen. Too many question marks surround the Mustangs, depth being the biggest issue.

5. MARANATHA — By all accounts, Maranatha looks promising but will be tested with a stronger schedule that includes several Mid-Valley Division schools. The Olympic League will be tough, too, but if the Minutemen start with momentum, look for this young team to fire on all cylinders come league play.

6. ROSEMEAD — With coach Matt Koffer at the helm, the Panthers are seemingly always in contention. A Mission Valley League title is always in the cards, but Rosemead will try to build on last year’s second-round playoff appearance.

7. ALHAMBRA – Perhaps this young group, a year older now, will feel more comfortable with the offensive schemes that will call for a more-balanced offense. If so, this could be one of the most-competitive Moors teams in some time, one that could compete for the Almont League title.

8. SAN GABRIEL — The Matadors have the weapons on offense, especially if Guerrero can adjust to playing tailback at times with Alvarez under center. There are options for a successful offense. If the defense can hold its ground, the Matadors figure to compete for the Almont League title.

9. PASADENA — Pasadena was one win away from making the playoffs, but mental toughness was missing against rival Muir. a game the Bulldogs needed to win to make the playoffs. If the Bulldogs can stay focused and disciplined, they could be the surprise team in the Pacific League.

10. RIO HONDO PREP — Rio Hondo Prep’s never been one to shy away from contact. The Kares last season recorded a huge upset win over Village Christian, a Mid-Valley Division team that beat Cerritos Valley Christian handily. That same Cerritos Valley Christian team needed five overtimes to beat Maranatha. In short, Rio Hondo Prep could be contending for another Northeast Division title.

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