South Pasadena’s Richard Yu is San Gabriel Valley Newspaper’s volleyball player of the year


PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Richard Yu, South Pasadena, Junior, Outside Hitter
For the casual observer, the transformation of Richard Yu is obvious.
In 2013, Yu was a recent immigrant to the U.S. from China. His English was halting and he rarely spoke. His play on the South Pasadena High School volleyball court had that same type of skills. He was brilliant at times, but played awkwardly at some critical moments, too. He appeared to be an introvert.
Fast forward to 2014. Yu can throw zingers back at his teammates as fast they can deliver them. He appeared to be an extrovert. Tigers coach Ben Diaz frequently called his 6-foot-5 junior “a beast” on the volleyball court. His play earned him Star-News Player of the Year honors.

Complete details and story:

Coach of the year: Ben Diaz, South Pasadena
First team
Ben Dalgarn, La Salle, Senior, Outside Hitter
Charlie Diep, San Gabriel, Senior, Libero
Dante Fregoso, Flintridge Prep, Sophomore, Outside Hitter
Eric Leggio, Damien, Senior, Middle Blocker
Greg Luck, South Pasadena, sophomore
Max Luck, South Pasadena, sophomore
Andrew Rudchenko, South Pasadena, senior
Second team
Joshua Ajayi, San Gabriel Academy, Senior
Jevan Coronado, Bishop Amat, Freshman
Danny Mueller, Whittier Christian, Senior
Christian Perez, Santa Fe, Senior
Will Pyburn. La Salle, Junior
Connor Walbrecht, La Canada, Sophomore
Trip Westmoreland, Flintridge Prep, Senior

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Diamond Bar’s Sahith Theegala is San Gabriel Valley Newspaper’s golfer of year

Photo by Watchara Phomicinda

Player of the year: Sahith Theegala, Diamond Bar, Junior
Player of the year: Sahith Theegala, Diamond Bar, Junior
High school golf victories come down to putting.
“It definitely is almost all putting,” Diamond Bar High School’s Sahith Theegala said. “We’re all pretty good ball-strikers. I think a lot of people do not believe that juniors are almost as good as ball-strikers as the pros. But we don’t make half as many putts.”
Theegala made putts when it counted in the 2014 season and it earned him the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper’s Player of the Year honors.

Complete details and story:

Coach of the year: Rich Wheeler, La Canada
First team
Andrew Baek, Arcadia, Junior
Nathan Clark, Damien, junior
Michael Lascari, La Habra, Junior
Collin Morikawa, La Canada, Junior
Dean Sakata, Diamond Bar, Senior
Joshua Suh, La Canada, Senior
Second team
Rami Abdou, Walnut, sophomore
James Bragger, Duarte, Senior
Jefferson, Kao, Diamond Bar, Junior
Will Moffly, Pasadena Poly, Senior
Michael Mozillo, St. Francis, Junior
Stephen Peterson, Glendora, Senior

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San Marino’s Robert Carter leads All-Area tennis team

Staff photo by Walt Mancini

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Robert Carter, San Marino, Senior
All Robert Carter did in the 2014 high school tennis season was win.
The San Marino High School senior helped the Titans to another undefeated Rio Hondo League title. He won his fourth consecutive league tournament title and then helped the Titans win their second consecutive CIF-Southern Section Division 2 crown.
He completed his high school career playing for the CIF-SS individual doubles title.
Yes, Carter played doubles tennis almost his entire high school career. But it was no run-of-the-mill doubles campaign. What the Star-News Player of the Year did was extraordinary.

Details and complete story:

Coach of the year: Melwin Pereira, San Marino
First team

Ryan Cheng, San Marino, Sophomore
Charles Deng, San Marino, Freshman
Danny Gealer, San Marino, Junior
Garrett Mak, La Salle, Senior
San Marino: Nicholas Splichal (Senior) and Derek Chen (Sophomore)
Pasadena Poly: Sachim Puri (Senior) and Andrew Trojan (Junior)
Second team
Phillip Beniga, Keppel, Senior
Noah Brink-Goodman, Duarte, Junior
Juan Cartier, Flintridge Prep, Sophomore
Henry La Soya, Pasadena Poly, Junior
Maranatha: Chris Chun (Senior) and Bryan Lin (Freshman)
Keppel: Evan Liang (Senior) and Jeffery Jen (Sophomore)

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Monrovia’s Cravon Gillespie, Muir’s Tierra Adams are track and field athletes of year

Staff photos by Keith Birmingham

Boys athlete of year: Cravon Gillespie, Monrovia, Senior
Cravon Gillespie is a league champion, holds the Monrovia High School record in the 100 meters and helped the Wildcats to a school record in the 4×100 relay. He is the CIF-State runner-up in the 100 and the Wildcats finished third in the state in the relay.
The results may not seem that surprising, but the way they happened certainly can be considered surprising. It earned Gillespie Star-News Athlete of the Year honors.
Girls athlete of year: Tierra Adams, Muir, Senior
All it took was a little consistency.
That is all Muir High School’s Tierra Adams had to do complete her biggest season in her senior year. The shot putter won her second consecutive CIF-Southern Section Division 4 title and advanced to the CIF State meet for the first time.
“I did not think I was going to make it to State,” she said. “But I kept working and kept working.”
All she seemed to have to do was consistently throw at the 42-foot mark. That she did. She threw 42-0 or better 12 times this season.
“She really flipped a switch,” Muir coach Terry Jenkins said. “Her work ethic has been through the roof. She has been a 42-foot better thrower week in and week out.”
Hitting at least that 42-foot mark helped her to a seventh-place finish in state. It also earned her the Star-News Athlete of the Year honors.

Coaches of the year:
Mike Knowles and Randy Hare, Monrovia
First team
Estevan De La Rosa, Arcadia, Senior
Ruben Dominguez, Bosco Tech, Senior
Phillip Rocha, Arcadia, Sophomore
Barrett Weiss, Flintridge Prep, Junior
Gareth Weiss, Flintridge Prep, Junior
Second team
Eric Knowles, St. Francis, Senior
Joshua Li, Arcadia, Senior
Ross Niederhaus, St. Francis, Junior
Octavius Spencer, Monrovia, Junior
Alan Yoho, Flintridge Prep, Senior
Coach of the year:
Chris Schultz, Arcadia
First team
Sydney Mosley, Monrovia, Junior
Roni Yamane, Arcadia, Senior
Claire Kieffer-Wright, South Pasadena, Senior
Kyra White, Arcadia, Senior
Keeya Cotlage, Muir, Junior
Second team
Madison Herrera, Monrovia, Senior
India Hines, La Salle, Junior
Jazmin Jackmon, South Pasadena, Junior
Sophia Saldivar, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Freshman
Sarah Troescher, Arcadia, Sophomore

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La Canada’s Garrett Chin, Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Kirsten Vose are Swimmers of the Year


Staff photos by Keith Birmingham

BOYS SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Garrett Chin, La Canada, Senior
There was a quiet fortitude within the La Canada High School boys swimming team this season.
The Spartans did not win the Rio Hondo League title, a crown they have consistently won in recent years. They had several standout swimmers, but the depth of other teams in the league, taking third, fourth and fifth places in the league meets, proved too much for the Spartans to overcome.
“We did not win dual meets, but I told the guys to definitely wait for CIF,” senior Garrett Chin said. “That is where we are going to shine.”
La Canada coach Art Lopez said that his team admittedly struggled through those periods. But his senior athletes, led by Star-News Swimmer of the Year Chin, helped the Spartans overcome those bumps.

GIRLS SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Kirsten Vose, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Junior
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy athletes often wear a heart on their warm-up jerseys. The heart replaces the ‘H’ in FSHA.
Competing in the CIF-Southern Section’s top swimming division, one of the smallest schools in the division by enrollment, the Tologs need a lot of heart. They have a student population of about 400, more than a 1,200 students fewer than the division’s champion, Santa Margarita. That can lead to a tight-knit community that has a large collective heart.
That is exactly the way Kirsten Vose took to the water at the CIF-SS finals at Riverside City College.
“At the CIF finals, we came together for the relays and that is all that really matters,” Vose said. “My individual results? I was not too worried.”
Vose helped the Tologs to a sixth-place team finish in the division. For her efforts, she has been selected the Star-News Swimmer of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Complete details at:

Casey Holcomb, San Marino
Dane Bell, La Canada, junior
Justin Chiu, Keppel, senior
Marco Flores, Flintridge Prep, senior
Peter Loakes, La Canada, senior
Javier Lopez, San Marino, junior
Tenny Chong, Arcadia, Freshman
Douglas Nogueira, St. Francis, Junior
Carlo Sivilotti, Flintridge Prep, Senior
Samuel To, San Marino, Senior
Garrett Tse, South Pasadena, Junior
Andersen Chen, Arcadia, Senior
Kevin Fry, Arcadia, Senior
Calvin Giang, Gabrielino
David Jimenez, Marshall, Junior
Harry Kim, South Pasadena, Sophomore
Sean Kim, Gabrielino, Junior
Andreas Langen, Flintridge Prep, Freshman
Jacob Mullin, South Pasadena, Freshman
Matt Varraveto, La Canada, Junior
Andrew Wright, South Pasadena, Senior

Steve Bergen, Flintridge Sacred Heart
Samantha Campbell, La Canada, senior
Kate Herrill, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Sophomore
Summer Otazu Micah, Maranatha, sophomore
Briana Thai, Alhambra, freshman
Yida Wang, Keppel, junior
Katie Altmayer, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Senior
Gabby Maarse, Pasadena Poly, Freshman
Jacqueline Torrez, La Salle, Sophomore
Madi Witt, Flintridge Prep, Junior
Samantha Zavala, South Pasadena, Senior
Christina Campbell, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Freshman
Heather Grotzinger, Pasadena Poly, Sophomore
Katie Iio, South Pasadena, Junior
Eliza Koh, San Marino, Junior
Jennifer Langen, Flintridge Prep, Senior
Alisha Mah, Keppel, Senior
Michelle Martin, Keppel, Freshman
Samantha Torrez, La Salle, Senior
Rachel Wong, La Canada, Junior
Sabrina Zavala, South Pasadena, Junior

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