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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Star-News Baseball Player of the Year Marco Briones makes it official with Utah Valley University …

(Photo by Shannon Kha)

Alhambra ace Marco Briones is shown here with his parents Veronica and Marco Sr. and Moors principal Duane Russell and baseball coach Steve Gewecke signing with Utah Valley University.

Briones left Alhambra as the school’s all-time wins leader with a career record of 30-1. He was the Star-News Player of the Year this past season.

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Maranatha hoops lands TWO huge transfers …

Maranatha basketball’s ascent under second-year head coach Tim Tucker is about to take a dramatic leap.

The Minutemen have landed two big-time transfers in guard Tyler Dorsey, who left St. John Bosco, and 6-foot-10 center Trevor Stanback, who left Chaminade, to join Tucker’s team.

Stanback averaged 9 points and 8 rebounds per game last season at Chaminade. Dorsey, a 6-5 point guard, averaged 21 points per game for St. John Bosco.

“It’s a great day for Maranatha basketball,” Minutemen coach Tim Tucker said. “We came here to build a program and any time you get kids like that who want to come here and be student athletes, man, it’s amazing.

“I don’t know where it jumps us (in the SoCal rankings), but I know we’ll be heavily mentioned. We have some talented players coming back and if we get everybody to jell, we’ll have a productive season. This definitely makes us a team to watch.”

Season tickets are now on sale for Minutemen basketball (just kidding).

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Elimination of jewelry ban eases coach’s minds

There will be no more national incidents over friendship bracelets at track and field meets in the San Gabriel Valley.
The National Federation of State High School Associations earlier this week determined wearing jewelry would not lead to disqualifications in future competitions.
“Good riddance,” Monrovia High School co-coach Mike Knowles said of the change in rules.


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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

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Looking ahead: An early-summer football top five


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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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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