About Steve Ramirez

Steve Ramirez has covered prep sports for San Gabriel Valley Newspapers since 1989.

2016 CIF-SS Football Division Playoff Groupings

(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

The CIF Southern Section released its new playoff division groupings for the 2016 football season Thursday. Below is where area teams were placed.
The CIF-SS also released playoff groupings for girls volleyball, boys water polo and girls tennis.

HERE’S THE FULL STORY: Arguably the most important news of the season came early for local high school football teams on Friday when the CIF Southern Section released its playoff groupings for the upcoming season two months sooner than expected.Originally, teams thought they’d be getting their divisional assignments in August, but given that this is the first year CIF-SS is using a playoff groupings system that uses competitive equity as its only deciding factor, the Southern Section felt it necessary to get the jump on any potential mistakes.“The sooner it’s out there, the more time we have until August to fix anything we don’t know of,” CIF-SS Director of Information Thom Simmons said. “We feel pretty confident that we have with football is going to be the final version. But I can’t say that until August, when, via the bylaws, we stated we will be releasing the final version.”
Bishop Amat
La Habra
St. Francis
La Serna
La Mirada
Charter Oak
West Covina
San Marino
Los Altos
Diamond Ranch
South Hills
St. Paul
San Dimas
La Salle
El Rancho
Diamond Bar
Santa Fe
Pasadena Poly
South Pasadena
La Canada
Baldwin Park
Whittier Christian
Rio Hondo Prep
Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary
Temple City
El Monte
La Puente
South El Monte
HH Wilson
Southlands Christian
Mountain View
Sierra Vista
San Gabriel
Bosco Tech

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Softball: Alhambra gets big win over Schurr

Alhambra starting pitcher Majisty Shomo throws to the plate against Schurr in the first inning of a prep softball game at Moor Field in Alhambra, Calif., May 3, 2016. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Alhambra starting pitcher Majisty Shomo throws to the plate against Schurr in the first inning of a prep softball game at Moor Field in Alhambra, Calif., May 3, 2016. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)


ALHAMBRA >> The chase for the Almont League softball title got a little tighter Tuesday.Catcher Jaclyn Silva had two hits and two RBIs and host Alhambra High School got back in the race with a 5-3 victory over Schurr at Moor Field.
Julissa Moran and Dezarae Murray also had two hits each for the Moors, who improved to 13-5-2 and moved into a second-place tie with the Spartans (16-6) at 5-2 in league play. Both trail first-place Montebello (11-12, 6-1) by one game. The Oilers defeated Keppel, 12-0, on Tuesday.
Montebello hosts Alhambra on Thursday.
Alhambra, which had 10 hits, went up 3-0 in the third on a RBI double by Alyah Hernandez and a RBI grounder by Silva.
The Moors then countered two runs by Schurr in the fourth by scoring one run in the fifth and sixth innings on RBIs by Destiny Alegria and Silva.
Alhambra’s Jaclyn Silva: “It’s a big win. We just made adjustments from the first inning, watching (Karen Roman) pitch and making adjustments.”
Schurr coach Bobby Madrid: “We left girls on base. We just can’t do that against caliber teams like Alhambra and Montebello (last week). (Against) Montebello we left 13 on base and today 11. If we score half of those (today), we’re playing in the bottom of the seventh. It’s frustrating. Not to take away anything from Alhambra, because they are a good team, but we let one go today.”
— Stephen Ramirez

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Girls Tennis Pairings: Maranatha, Arcadia, Alhambra receive top four seeds

By Stephen Ramirez
There were no surprises when the CIF-Southern Section released its girls tennis playoff pairings Monday.
Maranatha, Arcadia and Alhambra all received top four seeds as expected.
The trio will now begin the march to The Claremont Club, which begins Tuesday with wild-card rounds. The first round is scheduled for Wednesday, with the quarterfinals and semifinals slated for Nov. 9 and 11, respectively. The finals will be Nov. 13 at The Claremont Club.
Maranatha, which won the Division 5 title, is again the favorite in that division after receiving the No. 1 seed. The Minutemen, who are 13-3 and went 9-0 in winning the Olympic League, host either Heritage or Beaumont, who meet in the wild-card round, in the first round on Wednesday. They were the No. 3 seed last year and beat No. 4 Thacher in the final, 11-7.
Also in Division 5, Whittier Christian (11-5), arguably the top team from the Whittier area, is at Vista del Lago. The Heralds finished second to the Minutemen in the Olympic League.
Arcadia, which lost in the second round last season, is the No. 2 seed in Division 2. The Apaches, who are 17-0, will also host a wild-card winner, facing either La Reina or St. Joesph, of Santa Maria. Arcadia went 12-0 in winning the Pacific League.
Also in Division 2, Glendora, which finished second in the Palomares League, hosts San Luis Obispo.
Alhambra, which won the Almont League, is No. 4 in Division 4. The Moors, who are 14-1, face either St. Joseph, of Lakewood, or Bolsa Grande in the first round.
Other first-round matchups in Division 4 feature St. Lucy’s at Valle Vista champ Wilson, of Hacienda Heights; California at Arroyo and La Quinta, of Westminster, at Rowland. Del Rio League champ La Serna will host either Chaminade or Torrance.
Traditional area power San Marino, which won the Rio Hondo League, will host Xavier Prep in Division 1. La Canada is at Northwood, also in Division. I. South Pasadena, which was third in the Rio Hondo League, is at Dos Pueblos in a Division 1 wild-card match. The winner advances to No. 2 Corona del Mar.
Division 3 features Walnut, which is hosting Pacifica, of Garden Grove, and Mayfield, which is at Oakwood.
There are some area matchups in the wild-card round. Charter Oak hosts Pasadena Poly in Division 3, with Schurr at Bishop Amat; San Dimas at Marshall and La Salle at Rosemead in Division 4.


La Canada at Northwood
Xavier Prep at San Marino
San Luis Obispo at Glendora
Camarillo at Ayala
La Reina-St. Joseph’s winner at No. 2 Arcadia
Pacifica/GG at Walnut
Mayfield at Oakwood
La Quinta/W at Rowland
California at Arroyo
San Dimas-Marshall at Flint. Sacred Heart
St. Joseph-Bolsa Grande at No. 4 Alhambra
St. Lucy’s at HH Wilson
Chaminade-Torrance at La Serna
Heritage Chr-Beaumont at No. 1 Maranatha
Edgewood-Montclair at Gladstone
Whittier Christian at Vista del Lago

South Pasadena at Dos Pueblos – at No. 2 Corona del Mar
South Hills at Simi Valley – at Laguna Beach
Pasadena Poly at Charter Oak — at No. 4 Yucaipa
Schurr at Bishop Amat — at No. 1 South Torrance
San Dimas at Marshall — at Flintridge Sacred Heart
Santa Fe at J.W. North — at Notre Dame/Riverside
La Salle at Rosemead — at Garden Grove
Highland at Keppel — at Bishop Montgomery
Edgewood at Montclair — at Gladstone
Arroyo Valley at La Puente — at Foothill Tech
Duarte at Fairmont Prep — at No. 4 Maganolia
Shadow Hills at Azusa — Rim of the World

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Saturday Rewind: What the heck happened to Monrovia? Muir also loses; San Marino, Maranatha enjoy blow-out wins

Burbank beat Monrovia 38-20 during Monrovia's Friday night opening game at Monrovia High School on August 28, 2015.(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Burbank beat Monrovia 38-20 during Monrovia’s Friday night opening game at Monrovia High School on August 28, 2015.(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

MONROVIA >> Any thought of this being a down season for the Burbank High School football team was put to rest Friday.
Darnell Williams rushed for 109 yards and Jake Kelley ran for two touchdowns as the Bulldogs shocked host Monrovia 38-20 in the teams’ season opener.
Guy Gibbs threw for 70 yards and two touchdown and Nicolas Warren had 61 yards rushing and a score for Burbank, which opened the season with a win for the eighth consecutive year.
Asaph Zamora threw for 176 yards and a touchdown for Monrovia, which began the season ranked No. 7 in the CIF-SS Central Division. Burbank is unranked in the Southeast Division.
Burbank’s Darnell Williams: “I love winning. This team is a blessing. Everyone said we were going to lose this game by 14. We said, ‘No, we’re better than that.’”
Monrovia coach Chris Stevens: We had a fast start and then we just couldn’t get anything going offensively. It was hard to move the sticks tonight and when you play an opponent like Burbank, you have to be able to move the ball, and we just didn’t tonight.”
— Stephen Ramirez

ROSEMEAD >> Northview High came out firing on all cylinders offensively in its football season opener Friday night. The Vikings needed every score to withstand a valiant comeback by Rosemead.
In the end, Northview’s vaunted rushing attack was too much for the host Panthers as the Vikings came away with a 37-24 victory in the non-league game.
Elijah Grijalva rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 11 times carries. Andres Hooper ran 14 times for 115 yards and quarterback Steven Comstock completed the rushing attack by rushing eight times for 29 yards and two scores.
Not to be outdone, Rosemead quarterback Steven Nava was the definition of a gunslinger. Nava was 30 for 49 for 297 yards and three touchdowns. Darien Camacho caught 14 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns. Jordan Parham caught nine passes for 116 yards.
— Guillermo Tovar

Jeremiah Jones rushed for 167 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown and the Pasadena High School defense buckled down for a season-opening 20-0 nonleague victory over South El Monte on Friday night.
The Eagles were held to 89 yards total offense, 64 rushing, and did not penetrate inside the Pasadena 38-yard line.
Bulldogs quarterback Haden Zepeda rushed for a 1-yard TD run and completed 3 of 5 passes for 74 yards, including a 27-yard TD pass to Blake Jenkins.
1. St. Francis, idle
2. San Marino def. Arroyo, 49-10
3. Monrovia lost to Burbank, 38-20
4. Muir lost to Salesian, 34-14
5. Maranatha def. St. Monica, 44-0
6. La Salle def. El Camino Real, 37-14
7. Arcadia lost to Bell Gardens, 42-37
8. Rosemead lost to Northview, 37-24
9. South Pasadena, idle
10. La Canada def Verbum Dei, 33-6
Western 26, Alhambra 0
Diamond Bar 44, Duarte 13
Ganesha 41, Keppel 7
Southlands Chr. 44, Marshall 26
Montclair 36, San Gabriel 0
Pasadena Poly 42, Bosco Tech 6
Pasadena 20, South El Monte 0
Clairemont 41, Gabrielino 17

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Arcadia’s Tenny Chong, La Canada’s Dane Bell win titles at CIF-SS D2 swim championships

 Arcadia's Tenny Chong wins the 50 yard freestyle during the CIF division 2 swimming finals in the Riverside Aquatics Complex at Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, May 16, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Arcadia’s Tenny Chong wins the 50 yard freestyle during the CIF division 2 swimming finals in the Riverside Aquatics Complex at Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, May 16, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

RIVERSIDE >> Sonora High School’s Taylor Ault and Arcadia’s Tenny Chong were two of the area’s top swimmers throughout this season and both lived up to the billing on Saturday.
Ault won the 200-yard and 500 freestyles and Chong the 50 free to highlight the area’s efforts at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 swimming championships at Riverside City College.
La Canada’s Dane Bell and Sonora’s Simon Lamar were the other area winners, sharing the 500 free with a time of 4:29.63.
Ault used a late surge to win the 200 free, finishing in 1 minute, 46.07 seconds. Ayala’s Kenisha Liu (1:47), who led most of the race, was second.
“I’m a back-half swimmer,” Ault said. “It’s usually one of my strengths. I was just hoping I could keep going, and was happy I did.”
Ault was dominant in the 500, easily winning with a time of 4:43.46.
“It’s really good (to win CIF),” Ault said. “I won last year, and I had better times this year, so it feels really good.”
Chong was happy to win the 50 free for another reason.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Chong said. “When I was little, I always wanted to be like my brother, because he always won CIF. He’s like my role model and I’m glad I could match him.”
Chong, the top qualifier in the 50, led from start to finish with a time of 20.87. He was also fourth in the 100 backstroke (51.20).
“When I dove in (for the 50), I had my doubts,” Wong said. “After the turn, when I streamlined, I saw the guy on my right, and he was in front of my, but I’m really good the last 15 yards. It felt good.”
Bell was also fourth in the 200 free (1:41.44)
The Glendora girls team, which finished second to Crean Lutheran of Irvine in the team competition, has solid efforts from Catherine Sanchez, who was second in the 100 fly (0:54.51) and third in the 200 free (1:50.04); Jackie Basham, who was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.09), and Alexis Margett (54.73) and Gisel Olvera (56.35), who were third and fourth, respectively, in the 100 fly.
Other top performances by locals were South Pasadena’s Garrett Tse, who was fourth in the 200 individual medley (1:52.21); Damien’s Richie Campbell, who was fourth in the 50 free (21.31) and San Marino’s Javier Lopez, who was second in the 100 fly (49.85).
The Glendora girls also finished second in the 200 medley (1:46.12) and 200 free (1:36.92) relays.

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