Shirley kicking it into high gear

Kaiser linebacker Josh Shirley – a top 150 recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com – has kept his poker face pretty well throughout the recruiting process, as it has been tough to get a read on the 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker’s intentions.

“I have a lot of schools I’m looking at right now,” Shirley said. “I wouldn’t say that there’s one school that’s my favorite right now.”

Shirley has been frugal with his official visits, taking one to Washington in October and another to Arizona in November to go along with several unofficial visits to USC and UCLA. But the next two weekends will see Shirley on the road, as he heads to USC this weekend and out to Miami (Fla.) in the last weekend before National Signing Day on February 2.
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Ayala Extravaganza going down Saturday

The Ayala Extravaganza, one of the top one-day girls basketball showcases in the Southland will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Ayala HS and have nine different games going on throughout the day into the evening. One of the featured matchups will take place at 3 p.m., as two-time defending CIF champion Cajon takes on Harbor City Narbonne — one of the top teams in the Los Angeles City Section. The Cowgirls are currently ranked No. 8 in the CIF-SS Division I-AA polls.

Ayala, the No. 3 team in DI-A, plays DI-AA No. 6 Lynwood at 6 p.m. while Chino Hills plays Perris in a matchup of teams ranked in D1-A at 4:30 p.m. Alta Loma starts off the proceedings with a 9 a.m. matchup against Pasadena Blair.

The complete schedule for the Extravaganza, with all games held at Ayala High School:

9 a.m. – Pasadena Blair vs. Alta Loma
10:30 a.m. – Walnut vs. Anaheim Magnolia
12 p.m. – Playa del Rey St. Bernard vs. Vista Murrieta
1:30 p.m. – Lakewood Mayfair vs. Fullerton Rosary
3 p.m. – Harbor City Narbonne vs. Cajon
4:30 p.m. – Chino Hills vs. Perris
6 p.m. – Ayala vs. Lynwood
7:30 p.m. – Diamond Ranch vs. Ventura
9 p.m. – Long Beach Poly vs. Burbank Bellarmine-Jefferson

Angel Santiago commits to Army

All-Sun first-team quarterback Angel Santiago, the most potent dual-threat quarterback in the area in my opinion, verbally committed to Army this week according to a text message sent to colleague Clay Fowler by Etiwanda coach Steven Bryce. A writeup in Fowler’s blog can be found here. Santiago is the second county quarterback to commit to a service academy in the last three seasons, joining Big Bear’s Kriss Proctor, who committed to Navy in 2008 and just finished his sophomore year as the backup quarterback for the Midshipmen.

County places 8 overall at 5 Counties

In addition to T.J.’s previous post about REV’s Chris Mecate (seeded third) winning the 119 pound title at the Five Counties Wrestling Invitational last Friday, there were seven more wrestlers from the county who placed at state.

The were three county wrestlers placing in the 112 pound class, as Oak Hills’ unseeded Ray Delgado was second, Sultana’s unseeded Matt Welch was fifth and Ayala’s unseeded Andrew Delgado was eighth.

At 135 pounds, Victor Valley’s unseeded Chris Swayze took seventh, while Carter’s Chuck Wilson, also unseeded was eighth at 140. REV’s sixth-seeded Andrew Hudson took seventh at 215 and Sultana’s fifth-seeded Manny Mazariegos was third at heavyweight.

There were eight wrestlers in each weight class seeded prior to the event, and the top eight placed. As far as I can tell, Mecate, Hudson and Mazariegos were the only county wrestlers who were seeded, yet not only did they all place, but five others from the county who were unseeded placed.

Looks to me like county wrestlers are deserving of a little more respect than what was given to them at the seeding meeting.

Mecate wins 119-pound crown at Five Counties

Redlands East Valley junior wrestler Chris Mecate continued his impressive season, taking first place in the 119-pound division at this past weekend’s Five Counties Tournament at Fountain Valley High School according to an e-mail sent to me by his father, Perry Mecate.

Mecate, ranked third in the state coming into the tournament, bested the two wrestlers ranked ahead of him Saturday, defeating No. 2-seeded Bryan Grubbs of Carlsbad La Costa Canyon 3-2 in the semifinals and No. 1 seeded Zach Zimmer of Clovis West 3-1 in the championship match to grab the title.