Muir opens camp at 3:30 today without four-star recruit.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The absence of top football recruits at Muir High School has been a blessing in disguise for Mustangs coach Ken Howard.

Over the summer, Kevon Seymour and Tairen Owens have attended several camps, keeping them busy in the offseason while also taking them away from voluntary workouts, passing league games and summer camp.

Howard, in his seventh season at the helm, said Seymour and Owens’ absences have given others an opportunity to step into their roles and show their value. They’ll continue having that chance when fall camp opens today at 3:30 p.m., with pads coming Wednesday.

“Not having them has not made things difficult at all,” Howard said. “We pretty much know what those kids have to offer. What it did is help us find kids we didn’t know about and could step into their roles.

“There’s a few who are looking to make a name for themselves, and we’ll see how they do once we open camp.”

Seymour, a four-star recruit with multiple offers from schools like Oklahoma and Florida, will be absent Monday because he’ll be attending a recruiting camp. Owens, a speedy tailback, has committed to Washington.

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Star-News prep blog not going anywhere

After further consideration, the Star-News blog will not merge with the Tribune blog. There is no other blog like it in Pasadena, nor is there a quicker source for prep news in Pasadena and the surrounding areas. The Tribune and Star-News blogs complement each other well, and will continue dominating high school sports in the San Gabriel Valley with the continued efforts from Miguel Melendez, Aram Tolegian, Keith Lair, Steve Ramirez and myself.

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Girls Basketball: Pasadena Poly’s Michelle Miller verbals to Princeton. In other news, Miller adds to list, named ESPN Rise California Player of the Year in Division V.

Michelle Miller, the standout senior-to-be who led the Panthers to the CIF-SS Division 5AA championship and led the state in scoring with 33 points a game, is headed to Princeton, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.

Miller, a three-star recruit who averaged 13 rebounds, 2.9 steals, 2.1 assists and 1.9 blocked shots, drew a lot of interest from several major Division I schools, including USC where Miller planned on playing while also hoping to take part in the university’s B.A./M.D. program.

Miller is on pace to finish second all-time in the Southern Section for most points in a career behind Hall of Famer Cheryl Miller (3,446). Michelle Miller already etched her name in Southern Section lore when this season she became No. 5 on the list of players with most points in a season (990) and passed the likes of another legend, three-time WNBA MVP and four-time Olympic champion Lisa Leslie.

But the recruiting process came to an end Thursday when, according to her Cal Storm Team Taurasi club coach George Quintero, said Miller gave her verbal to Princeton.

“She has the offensive potential and scoring mind set that should make her an impact player in the Ivy League,” Quintero said to ESPN HoopGirlz. “Michelle’s work ethic will allow he rot fit perfectly into coach (Courtney Banghart’s) system.”

Miller, if you remember, is not only a standout three-sport standout. She’s just as dominant in the classroom. She earned a 5.0 GPA as a junior and plans to major in bio-medical engineering before heading to medical school.

Also, the honors continue rolling in for Miller, who already is a two-time Star-News Player of the Year as well as Star-News Female Athlete of the Year.

Add this to her already impressive resume.

Miller was named ESPN Rise California Player of the Year in Division V. Here’s what ESPN Rise had to say about her:

The phrase student-athlete couldn’t be more appropriate than in the case of this basketball, swimming and volleyball-playing junior. Besides the three-sport status with excellence in each individual sport, Miller carries a 4.9 GPA, including taking five AP courses at the prestigious private college preparatory school. On the basketball court, the 5-foot-10 guard averaged 33.0 points per game to lead the state in scoring. Her 990 points last season and 2,386 career points already gets her a spot on each list in the ESPN RISE Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book & Almanac. Miller also is a good enough setter on the Panthers’ volleyball team to make All CIF Southern Section, even though she doesn’t play club volleyball. As a swimmer in the 50 freestyle, she was good enough to make the CIF Southern Section meet, even though she doesn’t swim year-round, either.

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Football: PCC will be seeking perfect touch.


Above: New PCC football coach Fred Fimbres during fall camp opener.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

PASADENA – Every football coach has preached perfection.

The latest era in Pasadena City College football began Thursday with perfection on the mind of new head coach Fred Fimbres.

“We’re making sure that we’re keeping it in front of these young men’s minds that everything counts,” Fimbres said. “It’s not just the big picture of running the play. It’s every step, it’s every body position and hand placement.

“When we plug all those pieces together, it makes the big picture.”

His points were not lost with the current crop of Lancers. The offense could not finish practice until it had run 10 consecutive plays to perfection. The defense had to run its schemes to perfection, too.

“We want to be detail-oriented,” Fimbres said. “You get so excited to run plays that sometimes what you tend to do is forget about the attention to details, the meticulous pursuit of perfection in everything we do.”

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Football: Keppel coach Bobby Madrid wants Aztecs to be competitive, fired up about the sense of optimism.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

ALHAMBRA – There’s renewed commitment at Keppel High School. More players came out for football this spring, and that’s carried well into spring and summer as two-a-days get under way, with full pads coming Friday.

That sense of commitment also extends to returning players, such as junior Esequiel Jimenez. The tailback/linebacker spent most of last year focused on basketball as a starting power forward with the junior varsity team. His goal in basketball was to move up to varsity and play under coach Hung Duong, who led Keppel to a deep run in the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

Jimenez’s strong focus on basketball meant letting football get away from him, and at Keppel, basketball seems to always come first, making the decision to favor basketball much easier.

Jimenez, though, said seeing more players come out for football and an energized coaching staff has made him think twice about football, and coach Bobby Madrid has seen the difference this season, with Jimenez showing more involvement and renewed interest in leading from the backfield and in the secondary.

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Football: CIF-SS Southeast Division championship in the cards for Arcadia? Quarterback Myles Carr thinks so.


Above: Myles Carr apparently goes shirtless when working the triceps. And before anyone clowns the kid, remember this: Dude bench presses 340 pounds. ‘Nuff said.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

ARCADIA – The numbers: an eye- popping 26 touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Those numbers are what quarterback Myles Carr put up en route to leading Arcadia High School to a share of the Pacific League title last season.

“We just make the point that his job is to protect the football and make throws that are not detrimental to the team,” Arcadia coach Jon Dimalante said. “That was a lot of reasons for our success last year.

“He did a really good job of managing the games last year. The job of our line and backs is to protect the quarterback, and our quarterback’s job is to protect the football. He’s done a good job of doing that.”

Those numbers hopefully foreshadow what type of statistics Carr can put up heading into his third, and final, varsity football season. Formal practice begins Monday, with the team donning full pads next Thursday.

“I’ve been working hard this offseason,” Carr said. “I think I can pass for at least 2,000 yards and a lot of TDs. I hope all this hard work in the offseason will pay off.”

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Football: Here’s the schedule I have for start of fall camp.

Alhambra: Starts two-a-days next week (7:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.)

Arcadia: Starts two-a-days next week

Blair: Starts camp next week (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

Bosco Tech: Starts two-a-days next week (8-10:30 a.m. and 2-5 p.m.)

Keppel: Started two-a-days this week (8-10:30 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.)

La Canada: Starts two-a-days next week (8-11 a.m. and 6-9 p.m.)

Muir: Starts two-a-days next week

Pasadena: Started two-a-days this week (8-11 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.)

San Gabriel: Starts two-a-days next week (7-10 a.m. and 2:30-6 p.m.)

San Marino: Starts two-a-days next week (7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.)

South Pasadena: Starts camp Aug. 17 through the 24 (5-10 p.m.)

Still waiting for the rest of the coaches to respond.

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Football: High school football correspondents wanted.

We have a handful of high school football correspondents returning to cover high school football games in the fall, but are looking for a few more. Those who have covered high school football games before or are studying journalism are ideal. Or, if you have a passion for writing and football, that works too. We give you a press credential, have you report back to our office in Pasadena and do a small write-up. For your efforts, you get paid a small fee and your name in the paper. Plus, on the nights we don’t assign you to a game you can use your credential to go watch ANY high school football game in the Southern Section. If interested, feel free to email me at miguel.melendez@sgvn.com.

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Football: Pasadena’s Torus Stepney back from broken ankle, hyperextended knee. He’s fast, but will he last to give the Bulldogs a speedy threat in the backfield?

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

PASADENA – Torus Stepney hit the hole in the offensive line as quickly as he got the ball from quarterback Brandon Cox.

The Pasadena High School junior was outside of his blockers just as quickly as the Bulldogs went through their second day of formal practice Tuesday afternoon.

Stepney ran through the drills with ease as well as authority. A year of varsity experience can do that for a player.

“I think I can run pretty hard this season,” he said.

“I feel more confident than I was last year. Last year, I was the smallest player.”

The only question regarding Stepney, who said he grew an inch, to 5-feet-7, and gained 15 pounds, to 145, from last year, is: will he last?

“He has a year under his belt,” coach Randy Horton said. “He’s gotten stronger and faster from track. He should definitely do more than last year.

“We just have to make sure he stays healthy.”

Last year, Stepney’s season was cut short when he suffered a broken ankle. During summer passing league competition, Stepney suffered a hyperextended knee.

He’s healthy now, though, and ready to put on full gear Friday; the Bulldogs begin two-a-day practices Thursday.

Junior left-hander Cox has noticed the difference.

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Football: Maranatha’s Robby Flewelling, at 6-foot-5, will be a true threat at tight end for QB Andrew Elffers.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

PASADENA – The discovery was made the first day of spring practice.

Maranatha High School’s Robby Flewelling was at offensive tackle when first-year coach Pete Karavedas decided to make the switch.

“We saw his natural athletic ability,” said Karavedas, who spent the last three seasons as Whittier Christian’s defensive coordinator. “He was catching some balls, and I said we found ourselves the tight end we needed.”

Flewelling was a backup offensive lineman last year. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound senior said he’s looking forward to becoming a fixture in the new West Coast offense. That he’s looking forward to his increased role is evident by how vocal he’s become over the summer and heading into fall camp, which opened Monday. Flewelling is one of four captains, along with Andrew Elffers, Brian Lolik and Victor Chavez.

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