About Steve Ramirez

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

Golden Knight: Dylan Crawford making a name for himself at St. Francis

St. Francis' WR Dylan Crawford has gone from unknown commodity to one of the top junior receivers in California. He leads the Golden Knights when they open the season Friday night at home vs. Chino. (Photo by Libby Cline / Pasadena Star-News)

St. Francis’ WR Dylan Crawford has gone from unknown commodity to one of the top junior receivers in California. He leads the Golden Knights when they open the season Friday night at home vs. Chino. (Photo by Libby Cline / Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE >> There was a time when St. Francis High School’s Dylan Crawford lived in the shadow of his older brother, Evan.
But no more.
Now, the junior has made his own name for himself.
Crawford has risen from being an unknown commodity before last season to become arguably the top receiver in the area, and a key factor for the Golden Knights this season.
“He’s a pretty dynamic player,” said St. Francis coach Jim Bonds, whose team opens its season with a home game vs. Chino on Friday. “It’s nice to have someone with his ability and athleticism. He can not only get behind defenders, but when the ball is the air and near him, he’s going to go up and get it.
“He thinks every ball is his. It’s nice, when you couple that with his speed. It’s a nice combination to have.”

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SGVN Pick’em, your predictions and ours: Bishop Amat, San Dimas, Northview, South Hills locks in Week 0

The game: In this year’s Tribskin Pick’em, Aram will I will do it a little differently. We’ll pick all games from the SGVN coverage areas of the Tribune, Whittier Daily News and Pasadena Star-News for an all-encompassing, all-out bragging right for 2014, since nobody ever pays the dinner bet. I won last year, ending Aram’s two-year win streak.

amatcheer

tribskinWEEK 0: Lot of great games to choose from Thursday through Saturday to start the season. Northview coach Marcel Perez was extremely confident in a conversation this summer, so I’m taking the Vikings on Thursday along with La Puente. On Friday, the tide has turned and it’s no longer an upset to take San Dimas over Monrovia, which I’m doing with confidence. Bishop Amat will turn some heads in Orange County with a victory over Santa Margarita and Charter Oak will get knocked off by some team from Nevada. Diamond Bar will get a win at Montebello for its new coach and Wilson will do the same for Greg Gano. I like Arroyo, but like San Marino better (drinking the Steve Ramirez Kool-aid). Same goes with Muir, good team but Salesian probably better. On Saturday night, South Hills is at least a three-touchdown favorite over Covina. So there you go, we’ll come back next week and find out who we did. But go ahead, make your own picks and lets play. Aram is on vacation today and will make his predictions on Tuesday.

Thursday’s games
Rosemead vs. Northview at San Dimas HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Northview); Aram (Rosemead)
Ralston Valley vs. La Serna, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Serna); Aram (LS)
Verbum Dei vs. La Canada at LA Southwest, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Verbum Dei); Aram (VD)
Sierra Vista at La Puente, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Puente); Aram (LP)
Friday’s games
Monrovia at San Dimas, 7 p.m. — Robledo (San Dimas); Aram (SD)
Bishop Amat vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BAmat); Aram (Amat)
Green Valley, NV., at Charter Oak, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Green Valley); Aram (CO)
Diamond Bar at Montebello, 7 p.m. — Robledo (DBar); Aram (DB)
Tesoro at La Mirada, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Tesoro); Aram (Tesoro)
Bonita at Schurr, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Schurr); Aram (Bonita)
El Toro at La Habra, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Habra); Aram (LH)
Claremont at El Rancho, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Claremont); Aram (ER)
Firebaugh at St. Paul, 7 p.m. — Robledo (St. Paul); Aram (St. Paul)
Santa Fe at Santa Maria St. Joseph, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Santa Maria); Aram (SM)
Whittier vs. Sonora at California HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Sonora); Aram (Sonora)
Arroyo at San Marino, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SMarino); Aram (SM)
Muir at Salesian, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Salesian); Aram (Salesian)
Bassett at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Maranatha); Aram (Maranatha)
Alhambra at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Alhambra); Aram (Arcadia)
Pasadena at South El Monte, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Pasadena); Aram (Pas)
Compton at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Salle); Aram (LS)
Blair vs. Flintridge Prep, at Oxy, 7 p.m.– Robledo (FPrep); Aram (FP)
Duarte at Cerritos Valley Christian, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Cerritos); Aram (Duarte)
Keppel at Ganesha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Ganesha); Aram (Ganesha)
Ribet Academy at Rio Hondo Prep, 7 p.m. — Robledo (RH Prep); Aram (RHP)
San Gabriel at Montclair, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Montclair); Aram (Montclair)
Baldwin Park at El Monte, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BPark); Aram (BP)
Workman vs. Wilson at La Puente HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Wilson); Aram (Wilson)
Diamond Ranch at Nogales, 7 p.m. — Robledo (DRanch); Aram (DR)
Santa Monica at Los Altos, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Los Altos); Aram (LA)
Gladstone at Jurupa Hills, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Jurupa Hills); Aram (JH)
Alta Loma at Rowland, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Alta Loma); Aram (AL)
Walnut at Don Lugo, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Walnut); Aram (Lugo)
West Covina at Colony, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Colony); Aram (WC)
Saturday’s games
Covina vs. South Hills at Walnut HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SHills); Aram (SH)
Bosco Tech at Pasadena Poly, 2 p.m. — Robledo (Bosco Tech); Aram (PasPoly)

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Jeremiah Martin is St. Francis’ X-Factor

St. Francis' QB Jerimiah Martin during football practice at St. francis High School in La Canada, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2014. (Photo by Libby Cline / Pasadena Star-News)

St. Francis’ QB Jerimiah Martin during football practice at St. francis High School in La Canada, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2014. (Photo by Libby Cline / Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE >> Senior Jeremiah Martin is the X-factor for the St. Francis High School football team.
The Golden Knights enjoyed one of the better seasons in the program’s history last year, and have enough impact returners to add to the glory this fall.
But the missing link is at quarterback, a void left by the graduation of Star-News Player of the Year Ty Gangi that Martin hopes to fill after sitting out last season.
”I definitely feel a little bit of responsibility,” Martin said earlier this week after practice. “This team is going to go where I take them. I feel that pressure, but I’m ready to live up to that.”

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St. Francis’ Jim Bonds takes the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, calls out Maranatha’s Steve Bogan, Oaks Christian’s Bill Redell

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS made a stop at St. Francis High School today. Golden Knights’ coach Jim Bonds accepted by challenge from Wednesday and received his ice bucket shower. He then called out Maranatha coach Steve Bogan and Oaks Christian’s Bill Redell, his mentor.

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Steve Ramirez receives the #IceBucketChallenge, calls out St. Francis coach Jim Bonds!

The #IceBucketChallenge for ALS started on Monday at San Dimas High School and Wednesday the tour took us to Northview, where sports writer went to his alma mater to take the the challenge and he was joined by Vikings’ coach Marcel Perez, who both took the bath.
After Ramirez called showed “some love” to the Westside, calling out St. Francis coach Jim Bonds to take the challenge. Perez did the same to his former coach Greg Gano, who is now the head guy at Wilson. You guys have 24 hours to take the ice bucket or dig in to your pocket, all for a good cause.

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Steve Bogan-Maranatha: A perfect fit

Former South Hills coach Steve Bogan returns to coaching this fall, resurfacing at Maranatha. (Keith Durflinger/Pasadena Star News)

Former South Hills coach Steve Bogan returns to coaching this fall, resurfacing at Maranatha.
(Keith Durflinger/Pasadena Star News)

By Aram Tolegian, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Everyone has heard the phrase “God made me do it.”
But rarely do you hear those words uttered so often when it comes to football than when they fly off the lips of new Maranatha High School football coach Steve Bogan.
Want to know how one of the Valley’s best-ever coaches winds up at tiny Maranatha? He prayed on it. Wondering whether a four-time CIF champion coach like Bogan is truly concerned about adding another ring to his pile? It will happen if God wills it.
Those are the themes of Bogan’s sentiments as he starts what very likely will be the final chapter of a career that’s seen him win more CIF titles than most of his colleagues can dream of, more league titles than one man deserves and enough games to ensure area fans will remember his name for a long time.
“For me, it seemed like the lord was saying ‘Go do this,’” Bogan said while winding down after holding one of the first fall practices of what he hopes will be a productive tenure at Maranatha based on winning and spirituality.
“It’s been a really enjoyable experience, so far. No negatives, so far.”

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A look at the 2014 football week by week schedule, include early Games of the Week

Staff photo By Sarah Reingewirtz

Staff photo By Sarah Reingewirtz

Here is the 2014 week by week schedule, plus an early summer Games of the Week. The latter list will obviously change as the season gets underway and games become more and less important. But it kicks off in Week 0 with Monrovia visiting San Dimas.

WEEK 0: Monrovia at San Diams, Aug. 29, 7 p.m.
WEEK 1: Mission Prep at Rio Hondo Prep, Sept. 5, 7 p.m.
WEEK 2: Maranatha at Azusa at Citrus College, Sept. 11, 7 p.m.
WEEK 3: La Salle at Maranatha, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.
WEEK 4: Los Altos at Monrovia, Sept. 26, 7 p.m.
WEEK 5: Burroughs at Muir, Oct. 3, 7 p.m.
WEEK 6: San Marino at Monrovia, Oct. 10, 7 p.m.
WEEK 7: St. Francis at Cathedral, Oct. 17, 7 pm.
WEEK 8: Crescenta Valley at Muir, Oct. 24, 7 p.m.
WEEK 9: La Salle at St. Francis, Oct. 31, 7 pm.
WEEK 10: Muir vs. Pasadena at Rose Bowl, Nov. 7, 7 pm.
Note: Based on schedules provided by Calpreps.com
COMPLETE SCHEDULE IS AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading

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Looking ahead: An early-summer football top five

BONDS2

We are in the midst of putting together our SGVN PrepXtra football preview magazine. As we gather information, I thought there is no better time to look at a possible area top five. It includes the usual suspects.

Mid-Summer Area Top 5
1. St. Francis (10-3 in 2013) –
The Golden Knights, with Dylan Crawford and John Carroll returning are the biggest benefactor of the re-leaguing and the new divisional alignment. St. Francis will be the favorites in the new Angelus/Serra League and the Southeast Division. Yes, they have key losses, but Jim Bonds usually just reloads.
2. Muir (10-3) – The Mustangs, with returner Taeon Mason, are also in the catbird seat. They are the class of Pacific League and don’t be surprised with a Muir-St. Francis final in the Southeast.
3. San Marino (9-3) – The Titans will battle Monrovia in the Rio Hondo, and you have to tab San Marino, which returns four pretty good skill players, including all-area first teamer Tyler Spitzer.
4. Monrovia (11-2) – The ‘Cats lose their top two producers from a year ago, and now have a new coach. They’ll battle San Marino in the Rio Hondo League, and right now, it looks like their reign is over.
5. La Salle (9-3) – Russell Gordon has won 19 games in two seasons at La Salle. His Lancers take a step up in class this season. But there is a solid nucleus back.

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Blue beats the streak, ends seven-year losing skid to Red in San Gabriel Valley All-Star baseball game; Monrovia’s Nick Esparza is MVP

Diamond Ranch's John Picazo (#13) tries for a fly ball as they play in the annual San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut on Monday June 9, 2014. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Diamond Ranch’s John Picazo (#13) tries for a fly ball as they play in the annual San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut on Monday June 9, 2014. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WALNUT —
The Red team has held the advantage over its Blue counterparts in the annual San Gabriel Valley All-Star baseball game.
Until now.
The Blue team, which hadn’t won since 2006, broke the streak Monday at Mt. San Antonio College.
Diamond Bar’s Alek Jimenez beat out a ground ball for an RBI single in the second inning and Charter OaK’s Kory Brown and Monrovia’s Nick Esparza had RBIs in a three-run sixth to lead the Blue to a 4-3 victory before an over-flow crowd at Mazmanian Field.
“We definitely were thinking (of the streak),” said Esparza, who was game MVP. “I came out here wanting to win, have fun.”

The Red team tied it at 1-1 in the sixth, but Blue scored three runs in the bottom of the inning for a 4-1 advantage. Los Altos’ James Mendez led off with a single and the Blue then loaded the bases on back-to-back fielding errors. Charter Oak’s Kory Brown hit a sacrifice fly to right for a 2-1 lead. Esparza singled with two outs for a 3-1 advantage and a wild pitch made it 4-1.
“I was just trying to get an RBI there and break the game open,” Esparza said. “I got it done.”
La Canada’s Johnny Selsor doubled in two runs with two outs in the top of the eighth to cut the lead to 4-3. Diamond Bar’s Chris Sanchez struck out Baldwin Park’s Christian Barraza to end the threat.
The Blue earlier took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Pasadena’s Alex Baer singled with one out, stole second and scored on an infield hit by Diamond Bar’s Alek Jimenez. Baer was running on the play and scored easily as Jimenez beat the throw to first.
The Red tied it in the sixth. La Canada’s Justin Lewis led off with a single and Shun Tsunoda followed with an infield single, but a three-base throwing error allowed Lewis to score, with Tsunoda taking third.
La Salle’s Jordan Rodgers got the next three batters to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Former area coaches Kevin Smith of South Hills and John Romano of Nogales were inducted into the San Gabriel Valley Coaches Hall of Honor before the game.
Smith, now head coach at Mt. SAC, won almost 500 games and two CIF-Southern Section titles in a 35-year career.
Romano, who retired at Nogales this season after 37 years in coaching, won 635 games, including 621 with the Nobles.
Game awards were received by Diamond Ranch’s John Picazo (Defensive MVP), La Verne Lutheran’s Layne Henderson (Pitching MVP), La Canada’s Selsor (Most valuable hitter) and Esparza (MVP).

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