Can you fill me in?. I missed the scrimmage … Playa Del Rey is all I have to say. Also, I was far, far from home earlier in the night but I still ran into two SGV sports fans who wanted to talk local sports. Hello, and don’t think I forgot you guys. Small world.
The East held its first practice on Friday evening at Baldwin Park HS. Nice new stadium, by the way. First off, the best scene had to be the two first moms of SGV quarterbacks – Mrs. McDonough and Mrs. Mendrun – talking in the stands. About the action. It was a pretty well attended session in terms of players and fans, including one loyal blogger who will hopefully share his thoughts below. Most of the players were there. Notably absent were Glendora’s Jordan Edmond (at a national track meet) and West Covina’s William Wallace (supposedly a communication mix up). Both 1st Team All-Area standouts are expected to be back at practice soon. Damien WR Travis Eschardies was there, but a bulging disc in his back might keep him out of the game. The players were only in shoulder pads and helmets, but that didn’t stop the action from being good. McDonough stole the show with some great throws and some even better runs. After one of his runs and a good gang tackle by the defense, McD bounced up and yelled “You can hit this quarterback!” It had to be the line of the night. After another good run, he yelled “That’s 15 yards right there.” It was truly a treat to see Mendrun and McDonough throw to guys like Jon Joe and Michael Johnson. Then to see Jamal James line-up at corner against Johnson was awesome. And then there was Bonita’s Phillip Aguayo. Talk about one fluid receiver. Very impressive. But just as you tried to watch the WR/DB matchups, which included Philip Chase covering Aaron Harris (two great athletes), your attention was taken away by the line drills. First off, let me say that Jesse Cervantes from Amat is an animal. Sam Lavea and Ralph Diaz were also amazing to see in speed rushing drills. This team is absolutely loaded. Any questions one might have about eastside talent can be quickly answered by watching these guys get after it. It was a blast to watch all the rivals team up. BP and East coach James Heggins told me they are planning for a game-like (full pads) scrimmage on Saturday, June 30. There will probably be a snack bar and some music to go along with the game-like action. Should be a fun day and a great opportunity for fans to get a look at the talent.
Friday, June 22: First Hall of Fame Game practice at Baldwin Park HS, 5 p.m.
June 29-30: Bonita Passing Tournament (this is always a good one, very well run).
July 5: Passing league game at South Hills featuring Bishop Amat, Diamond Ranch, St. Bonnie and the Huskies.
July 6: Hall of Fame All-Star Game at Bassett HS, 7 p.m.
July 14: “SGV Shootout II” passing league tourney at Arroyo HS (lotsa good locals in this one).
July 14: Linemen competition at Baldwin Park HS (17 schools showed up to this last year).
Thanks for the help with the Bonita tourney. If any of you want to post dates for other events, please feel free. I think the linemen competition at BP sounds interesting. I’ve never seen one of those.
I like this much better.
Congrats to Bishop Amat’s Maverick Olivares and Charter Oak’s Tom Quinley on two excellent seasons that led directly to two CIF championships. Congrats to the rest of the team and all the players in the SGV for putting on a wonderful show this season.
Pitcher: Maverick Olivares, Bishop Amat
Pitcher: Tyler Garkow, Charter Oak
Catcher: Nick Field, West Covina
Infield: R.J. Arnold, Northview
Infield: Dimitri De La Fuente, South Hills
Infield: Jordan Fox, Bishop Amat
Infield: Gary Brown, Diamond Bar
Outfield: Chris Eusebio, Bishop Amat
Outfield: Tyler Pill, Covina
Outfield: Nick Torres, Charter Oak
Utility: Kevin Ponzo, San Dimas
Pitcher: Robert Rodriguez, Northview
Pitcher: Andrew Melchor, Nogales
Catcher: Jake Bailey, Charter Oak
Infield: Rich Pedroza, Northview
Infield: Andrew Mistone, Bishop Amat
Infield: Tommy Reyes, Bishop Amat
Infield: JC Torres, Charter Oak
Outfield: Keith Nyeholt, Charter Oak
Outfield: Will Davis, Northview
Outfield: Jordan Leyland, San Dimas
Utility: Mark Larini, Arroyo
So fast it’s absolutely necessary to get you the ball. But it was obvious you weren’t quite heavy enough to take the pounding of a running back. And so you were born: The High School Football Receiver. Some call you finesse. But it’s OK, receiver is a finesse position. Some call you play maker, and it’s true. When the team is down 10 in the fourth and needs something big to happen, who do they look to? When the game is tied and it’s 4th-and-8, they need you to come up with that pass over the middle. When it’s play action time, they need you to run by the corner who bit on the run. Ahh, but wait, you need a QB for any of us to see just how good you are. Then you need a coach who knows how to utilize you best. Are you the kind of guy who can’t beat anyone deep, but any jump ball is yours? Or, are you as good as gone with a little shake and some daylight? Or are you both? While I personally don’t condone any NFL team taking a receiver with a first round draft pick, I don’t completely discount the position either. It’s rare that you’ll see a championship football team at any level point to its receivers as the reason why they’re wearing the rings. Unless you’re the Detroit Lions, the position is kind of an afterthought. A football team needs a good QB. It needs a good offensive line. It needs a good running back. You got those things, and the QB has enough time to get the ball to the open receiever, who is only open because the defense concentrated on stopping the good running back first. And they say O-Line is a thankless position. Sheesh! Here we go …
1. Dorian Wells, South Hills – Who else, right? I stand by it, on any team, Wells is the best player in the SGV. Just so happens he plays receiver (mostly). Personally, I don’t think it’s a coincidence Wells ended up at South Hills. There’s probably no other place in the Valley that he’d be showcased better. Wells will be the No. 1 target for whomever is under center. The stats should follow, as should the wins. South Hills projects for a 14 game season and I’d expect Wells’ stats to benefit greatly from that. After this year, we’ll see Dorian on Saturdays.
2. Tommy Cogburn, South El Monte – If you’ve seen him play, you know that Cogburn could line up for just about anybody in SoCal. Talk about a nice blend of speed and hands. Mission Valley League coaches know that if Tommy has the ball in the open field, it’s curtains for their defense. Cogburn is another product of the SpeedKillz program and it should show. As good as the talent is in the MVL this year, it’s my belief that he’s your early favorite for league MVP. Cogburn had 1,195 yards receiving and 14 TDs last year. I’d expect some improvement on those already good numbers.
3. Mikey Harrell, Charter Oak – He caught the game winning TD in the final minute of CO’s win over Diamond Ranch last season. He caught CO’s only score in the championship game loss to El Dorado. Harrell made his bones last year as the No. 2 receiver behind standout Michael Johnson. This season, he’s the No.1 guy and gets the pleasure of having a fully developed Chris Allen to throw to him. Harrell might be the most fun to watch of any player on the list. They don’t come more elusive and he looks better physically after an off-season of maturity and working out.
4. Kyle Warren, Diamond Bar – Warren often gets lost in the fog of Diamond Bar’s overall struggles. But make no mistake, he’s got the frame and athletic ability to be called one of the top WRs in the area. I’m not sure how new coach John Martin is going to utilize him this year, but his 430 yards and 5 TDs in last year’s season from hell actually don’t seem so bad. I expect those numbers to imrpove along with the team. Warren is one of the top weapons around.
5. Dimitri De La Fuente, South Hills – Yes, the pitcher can play a little catch. DLF’s overall numbers may have taken a hit with Wells’ arrival, but there could be enough to go around this season. DLF goes from being the No. 1 target to a clear No. 2. But sometimes that means only big plays and he can certainly deliver those. South Hills’ WR depth goes very deep, but expect DLF to have some big moments.
6. Taylor Herrera, Damien – The more I think about this Damien team, the more the glass looks half full as opposed to half empty. Herrera can flat out fly. He’s got a great QB in Danny Pertusati to work with, too. Imagine this scenario: Pertusati gets flushed from the pocket, he makes a move to stay alive and sets up to go deep. There’s Herrera running all alone behind the secondary … TOUCHDOWN Damien! There should be a lot of that this year.
7. Kevin Jones, Northview – I’m Kevin Jones, don’t like you don’t know my name. Ain’t nothin’ changed … OK, sorry I couldn’t resist a “Back Then” Mike Jones reference. Anyway, we’ve discussed the skill position explosion taking place at NView and Jones is a big part of it. I like the Vikes passing game lots this year. QB Oscar Robles should love what he sees when he looks down field. It’s either Jones or Anthony Farmer. Ooooh, I like the upside of this team! It’s breakout time!
8. Darius Reese, Duarte – I’m going to place Reese on this list, but the truth is that he can and will do it everything for coach Wardell Crutchfield. Like Wells, Reese is the definition of an all-purpose player. Just like most of the names on this list, Reese + open field = points. An offensive Big Three of Austin Goldsmith, Chris Harris and Reese should have Duarte in store for another big season.
9. Tony Seanez, Los Altos – Little Tony Seanez … what can you say? The kid just gets it done. He won’t scare opposing secondaries, but they’ll have a hard time getting in position to make a good tackle on him. And therein lies Seanez’s biggest strength – he’s elusive. I’m not sure what to make of LA’s passing game yet, but Seanez is as sure handed as they come and he’ll deceive some DBs to the tune of embarrassment.
10. Anthony Farmer, Northview – Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Farmer have just as big of a season as Jones. There’s gonna be enough to go around at Northview as the offensive circus at District Field will now be conducted by the Vikes and not Covina.
Found money …
The info: Former Bishop Amat football standout Dorian Wells, who is arguably the top player in the San Gabriel Valley, has checked into South Hills High and is enrolled in summer school there. He will evidently be a member of the football team this season.
Analysis: Wells’ arrival vaults South Hills into a whole different class. As you all know, I’ve ranked South Hills No. 1 in the SGV and believe they are the favorite to win the Southwest Division. But before Wells’ arrival, you could make an argument for Charter Oak or Los Altos to hold such expectations. Now, South Hills easily ranks with some of the top teams in SoCal. I truly mean this. It’s not crazy anymore to project an undefeated season, and if that happens, then what about a state championship bowl game? The Huskies already have three solid QBs, two excellent running backs, a defense that has a D-1 D-Lineman, two of the top LBs around, and scattered members of the vaunted frosh team from last season ready to play big roles. The offensive line is the only worry. South Hills is absolutely set for an amazing season. Granted, no game has been won or lost yet and the Huskies still have to go do it. But Wells is one of the top skill players in SoCal and he will be an excellent defensive back. Wow! That’s all I can say.
About Amat … I’m simply speechless. This could be the worst off-season I’ve ever witnessed. Obviously something happened for Wells and Amat to part ways. I still don’t want any speculation or commentary on this. For whatever reason, players are leaving Amat rapidly. This does not bode well for what was once a promising season. Amat simply can’t recover from losing Wells and Bryce McBride in the same off-season, then throw in Brandon Sermons and Tony Adams, too. The good news for Amat is the bad news for South Hills – no games have been played. Amat hasn’t lost to anybody yet. But you just have to shake your head. With Wells and McBride, the Lancers were a competent QB away from being a legit playoff team. I’d be very worried and perplexed if I were an Amat fan (and some people say that I am).
Gatorade, check. Oxygen, check. Smelling salts, check. Damon Kuklinski is playing running back, too!
If last year was the Year of the Quarterback in the SGV, then this year is the Year of the Running Back (that could be my lead for the football preview right there). I could go on and on with this list because the Valley is up to its eyes in talented ball carriers. Some teams even have multiple options at the position. I’m a little concerned about the fact that many teams may not have a good quarterback to go along with their stud running back, meaning it won’t take much to derail the seasons of several of the names on this list by stacking up against the run. Wasn’t it Mr. Miyagi who once said balance is the most important thing in life. Ahh, something like that. Anyway, here we go … I’m pretty rock solid on this list, but as always I’m open to a little spirited jousting where opinions may vary.
1. Bryce McBride, Los Altos – If LA doesn’t find a QB, then what should be a great season for McBride could be only just OK. It won’t take Charter Oak, Damien or South Hills long to figure out what they need to do to beat Los Altos. And you could see the blue visor go flying if LA isn’t capable of keeping the heat off with a little play action here or there. But the positives pointing toward McBride having one of the best seasons around is the fact that he should simply run away from many of the opponents on LA’s docket. Then there’s the advantage of having guys like Nick Longoria and even tight end Ray Rodriguez clearing the way for him. Conqs coach Greg Gano is savvy enough to get McBride the ball in every which way and even tailor an offense around him if the QB situation doesn’t get better.
2. Chris Harris, Duarte – Harris led the SGV in rushing last year as a junior. Granted, much of that was against inferior competition, but he did rack up 166 yards against Glendora, 241 against La Canada and 189 against Santa Clara. Even the 95 yards against Verbum Dei looks respectable. Don’t expect the numbers to change much this year and they could get slightly better even though tackle Mike Harris is now at UCLA. The presence of QB Austin Goldsmith means that teams can’t just gang up on Harris without facing the prospect of getting beat deep. Harris also figures to move forward physically and the speed is already there to turn a crease into a breakaway.
3. Nico Barbone, San Dimas – Barbone was the worst kept secret in the SGV last year. He was hyped going into his sophomore season and delivered in spades by rushing for 1,330 yards and 12 TDs. The bad news for opposing defenses is that Barbone has evidently put in his time this off-season. He got faster and more agile by taking in part Jimmy Nolan’s SpeedKillz camp. He’s also reportedly gotten stronger via the weight room. Add it all up and Barbone is going to be an even bigger load this season … one who might run away from a few more people, too.
4. Tim Gilmore, Wilson – Some coaches I’ve spoken to believe Gilmore might be the best athlete in the SGV. I’m not totally sure how the Wildcats are going to use him this year. I’d expect him to get a lot of carries, but also some receptions. Gilmore is extremely fast and capable of winning some games all by himself. Against CO or LA, the solo act won’t work. So it will be up to ‘Cats OC Greg Willig to complete the package with other options.
5. Kanaan Snowden, Charter Oak – The Chargers are legitimately three deep at RB this season. But I expect what started late last season to continue this year, and that’s Snowden getting the bulk of the carries. Snowden’s best attribute isn’t speed or breaking tackles, it’s the fact that he hits the right whole and rarely messes with any east/west movements. Snowden has improved physically this off-season and should be ready to build on last year’s late-season emergence.
6. Brian Spirlin, Diamond Ranch – Spirlin was the Panthers’ original starter last year before getting hurt very early in the season. His off-season has been confusing, just like everything else Diamond Ranch. There were rumors of Spirlin transferring to Colony, but it didn’t happen. If healthy, he’s a compact runner with good speed and the ability to shrug off tacklers. Spirlin is expected to be the Panthers’ workhorse and the presence of other weapons should make it so that he doesn’t have to deal with opponents focusing solely on him.
7. Evan Heard, South Hills – I still can’t get over Heard’s physical maturation. The D-1 frame is in place for the versatile junior. But I keep hearing talk of Damon Kuklinski sharing time in the backfield. Given Heard’s versatility and ability to catch the ball, he could play an all-purpose role that will see him line up all over the field. I don’t think Heard will be totally shutout of the carries, and if anything, he should see the bulk of the load since Kuklinski’s first priority is linebacker. Expect another major step forward by Heard this season.
8. Howard Martin, Northview – Just like all members of the Vikings’ ballyhooed Class of ’09, Martin will be expected to take a major step forward this year. There are so many skill players poised for breakout seasons in Northview’s offense, it’s hard to believe there’s enough yardage to go around. But the base of Northview’s offense will be running the ball and Martin should be a force in that department. He’s arguably the top breakout candidate on the list.
9. Damon Kuklinski, South Hills – When I visited Huskies practice, Kuklinski was working with the RBs. How can the area’s top linebacker pull double duty at running back, especially the way Kuklinski plays LB. You could look at Kuklinski’s frame and see it as being possible. This is yet another player who has certainly improved his appearance during the off-season. Wow! Kuklinski has always had the footwork to make for a good running back. I worry about his endurance playing two demanding positions. But he should be good for 10-15 carries a game and that could be enough for some excellent numbers. Kuklinski got carries last year, so this will be nothing new.
10. Marcus Wagner, Bishop Amat – If the Lancers coaching staff would definitively commit to Wagner being the feature back, then he’d shoot up this list. But like Kuklinski, Wagner also plays LB and I just don’t see how he can hold up doing both. Wagner simply looks painful to tackle. Think bowling ball with speed … and with a good offensive line clearing the way, wow! But coaches are treating the QB and RB scrambles like top secret info, so I have no clue what Wagner’s load will be.
I want to CLASSIFY this as just being a rumor, but I believe it to be pretty reliable info or else I wouldn’t post it. Evidently, DiFiori has thrown his name in the hat (applied) for the vacant Temple City gig. If it’s true, DiFiori’s break from coaching (at least in the head coach capacity) will have lasted one season (even though for that one season he was an assistant at La Salle). Anyway, DiFiori once coached at Temple City before his stint at Amat. Once again, can coaches please come with something better than “I want to spend more time with my family.” Let me get my hands on the “How to handle the media” guide from CIF and I will change that part.
Bonita’s Kevin Normington and now South Hills’ Daniel Stroud, dead in car accidents. What’s that tell you? I know the circumstances might be different, but the bottom line remains the same. These guys are the big nasties. They’re the baddest dudes on the team, big uglies if you will. But not even they can survive a catastrophic car accident. PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU DRIVE. YOU MIGHT HURT YOURSELF OR SOMEBODY ELSE. That’s for all of us, not just the kids. God rest the souls of these two hogs and let this never happen again! And may God be with both families during this horrendous time.
Danny Pertusati, this is everybody. Everybody, this is Danny Pertusati.
Because summer passing league games are the next order of business and QBs will be at center stage, I feel now is an appropriate time to give out the SGV’s best at the position. It’s still early enough that I’d be willing to listen to any arguments, so feel free to plug away.I will probably fire back, but that’s what we’re here for. I think there’s a lot of guesswork involved this season. Not a lot seems very clear as it pertains to this year’s QB crop whereas last year we had McDonough and Mendrun and Chase and Castaneda and so on all returning. This year, there are several excellent established arms. And then there are some cases of major potential. As you know, I think that good seasons go hand in hand with good QBs. I’d be willing to bet gold that the team of every QB on this list will have a winning season. Do you want that action? The hard part about ranking them comes from the fact that some of the unestablished names have considerably more upside than some of the established names. Make sure you re-read and understand that last sentence before firing away. If you have any info, then please share it. Don’t be afraid … this isn’t a baseball thread. I fully expect some new names to pop up once certain schools make their choices on starters. Undoubtedly, you can expect opinions to change and new ones to be formed once the summer begins to play out. I’m not going to lie to you, I have mixed feelings about the overall crop of local QBs. Welcome to the 2007 season …
1. Danny Pertusati, Damien – I know what you’re thinking … Yes, this is officially Pertusati’s first year under center. I know it’s hard to understand my putting him ahead of other more established names. But let me explain something, Pertusati is the best pure athlete on this list. He’s going to run and throw opponents ragged. Because of this, I’m starting to re-think my original thoughts about Damien. It hurts losing Mark Mendrun, Travis Eschardies and Anthony Hile, but there’s no reason to think Pertusati won’t have comparable success to Mendrun … throw in a good O-Line/D-Line, experience back at RB, and maybe this team won’t drop off as much as previously thought. Pertusati is probably a better scrambler than Mendrun, but I don’t think he’s quite the passer (yet). Tons of upside.
2. Chris Allen, Charter Oak – The way Allen finished the season should mean big things for CO as it aspires to not only get back to the big game, but win it this time. Allen’s ability to calmly manage the game was as impressive as his passing. I think there’s major upside to him, too. With half a season and some key playoff experience under his belt, look for Allen to blossom even more this season. My only worry is that Michael Johnson isn’t around to burn opponents deep.
3. Brandon Parham, South Hills – Fans got their first glimpse of Parham two years ago when he got extensive playing time against D-I power Esperanza in South Hills’ 2005 opener. The natural progression was for Parham to be the starter last year in the wake of Kevin Mort’s graduation. It didn’t happen as Nick Lamaison upset him for the job and put together a fine season. Parham has returned as a specimen this year. He looks ready to stake his claim over two talented underclassmen. Parham’s athletic ability will likely get him a ride somewhere as DB, but he could be one of those fun-to-watch run/pass combos that make the HS game so fun to watch.
4. Austin Goldsmith, Duarte – The best nobody knows about? Goldsmith has the luxury of handing the ball off to last year’s Valley rushing leader Chris Harris. But with everyone in fear of Harris, the door could be open for Goldsmith to relentlessly burn teams who overcompensate against the run. Goldsmith has prototype body and skills and a nice set of receivers to work with. Duarte’s balance has the team headed toward another 12-13 game season.
5. Brian Partida, Arroyo – Talk about pressure … When Partida took over for Dominic Salmon, Arroyo fans wondered if their team would still be able to move the ball through the air. You see, Salmon was arguably the best passer in school history and the passing game was a considerably new angle to Arroyo football compared to seasons of the past. Partida’s performance over the past two seasons certainly eased those fears. He threw for 2,475 yards last season. Those used to be unheard of numbers for a Mission Valley League QB. But right behind him was South El Monte’s Jose Garay. I have a hard time separating these two, but I lean Partida beause he’s a senior and might have the better overall supporting cast … I didn’t say receivers, I said supporting cast. Partida gives Knights coach Jim Singiser the ability to let it all hang out, kinda like the 2004 season.
6. Jose Garay, South El Monte – I know there will be people in the foothill communities rolling their eyes when they see two Mission Valley League QBs ranked side by side. But Garay was truly remarkable last year, taking over for departed legend Lee Aguirre. Just when you thought the Eagles were headed back to obscurity, Garay lead them to a share of the MVL title. He’s only a junior and has one of the area’s best targets in Tommy Cogburn to throw to. Garay threw for 2,331 yards last year and could improve on those numbers as South El Monte makes its bid to stay on par with Arroyo and Rosemead.
7. Cameron Deen, South Hills – With Parham likely to get the nod as coach Steve Bogan’s main man, Deen, a junior, will have to wait his turn until next season. So why put him on the list? Because he does qualify easily as one of the Valley’s best, even as a backup. Don’t believe me? Go watch a South Hills passing league game and then ask yourself “Would he start at my place?” You’re forgiven.
8. Oscar Robles, Northview – Robles got his feet wet last year as a sophomore. He certainly had his moments and will have many more starting this year. Northview’s skill players look like some of the best around. This could be a Covina 2005-06 breakout in the making. I don’t think coach Jim Arellanes will get that crazy, but the Vikes are going to put up some numbers. The offensive line could hinder Robles’ progress, but he’s going to start making a name for himself this season.
9. Drew Kaluzny, Glendora – Tartans coach Mark Pasquarella took some heat last year for getting Kaluzny reps during key times in close games. But that’s a new technique being used by many coaches these days. South Hills did it with Kevin Mort, giving him reps as a sophomore in the second quarter while starter Philip Guerrero watched. The thinking is that you put the backup in when it’s still a game and not mop-up time. Wait, does Glendora ever have games with mop-up time? Alright, anyway, Kaluzny has some experience and I expect him to fit right into the Garrett Crook mold. He won’t mess anything up and will make the big throws when he has to. With Glendora’s defense expected to be great, should it be any other way?
10. Chris Willison, South Hills – Like Deen, you’ll ask how a likely non-starter is on this list. Check back in two years and you’ll understand. Although I think fans will start to get a taste of Deen and Willison this year. Bogan is likely to throw both of them reps. Again, this guy is a starter on almost any other Valley team, no matter how good you think you are. And technically, right now, he’s not a backup.
Diamond Bar’s stud SS/OF just called from Boston where he worked out today at Fenway Park for the Red Sox. He’s hoping to sneak into the first round of Thursday’s MLB draft. He won’t last past the first few rounds. By the way, he struck out SIX TIMES in THREE SEASONS!!! He’s committed to Cal State Fullerton, but could sign if the que$o is right. Brown said he can’t get a flight out of Boston until tomorrow because of the weather. He hit .612 this season!!!
“I couldn’t quite get one over the monster, but …,” Brown said.
The Lancers can finally celebrate.
I’m back: The situation in the press box wasn’t pretty. We had one wireless connection and one dial-up. Special thanks go out to Scott Galetti for his pinch-hit blogging. What a great night it was. Amat got after Eddie McKiernan. The depth was just too much. The Lancers have hitters throughout the lineup and having two pitchers like Maverick Olivares and Chris Eusebio really helps keep both guys fresh. The umps were absolutely atrocious, but fortunately the right team won. TAKE NOTHING AWAY FROM THESE LANCERS, THEY TOOK CARE OF BUSINESS!!!
This is Scott Galetti helping out Aram with updates from the Bishop Amat/Monrovia title game at UC Riverside.
Amat closing in on a celebration at UC Riverside
Top of the First: Curtis Cowell gets hit by a pitch, but is later retired on a double play.
Bottom of the first: Bishop Amat takes a 1-0 on a single up the middle by Maverick Olivares, who led off with a infield single and went to second on a sacrifice by Sergio Munoz. 1-0 BA
Top of the second: Erik Allen and Patrick Greene led off with singles. Following a ground out, Clint Fraijo tied the game at 1-1 with a single to left. The Wildcats loaded the bases, but Olivares got Curtis Cowell to ground out to short to end the threat.
Bottom of the second: Amat gets a single by Andrew Mistone, but he is stranded at third when Jordan Fox struck out looking. 1-1.
Top of the third: Eddie McKiernan singled with one out and stole second. He would later score on a single to right-center by Patrick Greene. 2-1 Monrovia.
Bottom of the Third: Fox leads off with a double to left and Munoz reached first on a fielder’s choice. With runners at second and third and one out, Olivares then popped one down the third-base line in foul ground. Monrovia shortstop Vince Vega made a diving catch. He alertly got up and ran to third base to force out Fox. He then threw to first, but it was ruled that Munoz tagged before advancing to second. Chris Eusebio doubled to right-center to score Munoz to tie the game. Tommy Reyes followed with a double down the right-field line to give the Lancers a 3-2 lead after three.
Top of the Fourth: Monrovia goes down 1-2-3. 3-2 BA
Bottom of the Fourth: Little ball remains the key for Amat. Bryan Seymour singles and is sacrificed to second. Fox doubles to right to score Frank Lopez, who was running for Seymour to make it 4-2. Munoz doubled to right field to make it 5-2. Olivares singled down the right-field line to make it 6-2. A single by Eusebio ended McKiernan’s out with two out in the fourth. Monrovia reliever Richard Kilbury walked Tommy Reyes to load the bases and then Mistone to score a run. Kilbury struck out Nick Bergara to end the inning. 7-2 BA
Top of the Fifth: Monrovia gets back-to-back two-out singles, but can’t cash in. 7-2 BA
Bottom of the Fifth: Kevin Bonilla walked, stole second, stole third, but was out 2-1 trying to score. 7-2 BA after five.
Top of the Sixth: Monrovia loads the bases with one out. Olivares is relieved by Eusebio. Eusebio hits Cowell to score a run and Rocky Tavera knocks in a run on a ground out toe second. 7-4 BA after 5 1/2.
Bottom of the Sixth: Amat goes down 1-2-3. 7-4 BA heading into the seventh.
Top of the Seventh: Eusebio walks the first two batters, but gets a 5-4-3 double play. After Greene scored on a passed ball, Eusebio strikes out Chris Sanchez looking to end the game.
It’s Amat Time in the desert. Wait, is Riverside the desert?
I shouldn’t put down Riverside, because truth is I probably couldn’t afford to live there either. Anyway, I want to know from the Amat fans ARE YOU GUYS GONNA MAKE YOUR WAY EAST ON THE 10 MANANA AND PICK UP YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP? I want to hear from you LancerNuts. I better see nothing but blue out there and a bunch of “A” bumper stickers in the parking lot.
ALSO: Do you guys want the live blogging again tomorrow? I can see it got some hits tonight, but Saturday’s can be tricky. Plus, I’m gonna have Fred bugging me the whole time. Anyway, let me know and I’ll go to Riverside packing (that’s sports writer lingo for bringing a lap top).
The Chargers win the pennant! The Chargers win the pennant!
LIVE BLOGGING ARCHIVE
11:02: Predictably, I got lost. Even a call from Big Reg (Time Warner Cable Television) couldn’t help me find my way back without getting a tour of L.A. that I didn’t want.
Bot 7th: Garkow gets Santa Monica 1-2-3. CHARTER OAK WINS THE CIF-SS DIVISION IV CHAMPIONSHIP, 7-1.
Top 7th: CO puts up nothing, but does it matter? CO leads 7-1.
Bot 6th: Garkow has been nails. Santa Monica can’t get to him consistently. CO survives another inning. THREE MORE OUTS AND THE TITLE IS THEIR’S. CO leads 7-1.
Top 6th: Add two more runs to CO’s tally. McVey and Nyeholt have absolutely brutalized Santa Monica. This game might be out of reach now. CO leads 7-1.
Bot 5th: No problema – Santa Monica goes 1-2-3. Chargers six outs away!!! CO leads 5-1.
Top 5th: 1-2-3 go the Chargers. CO leads 5-1.
Bot 4th: Huge! Santa Monica loaded the bases with two outs, but Garkow got a groundout to escape. Nine more outs and we got ourselves a CHAMPION! CO leads 5-1.
Top 4th: Nick Torres singled in Nyeholt and McVey for a 5-1 lead. Torres got in a run down between 1st and 2nd and somehow made it back to 1st before the throw. Things are going CO’s way. They can put this game away with another big inning. CO leads 5-1.
Bot 3rd: Gorgeous double play turned by JC Torres and Matt Winkler. No damage. CO leads 3-1.
Top 3rd: CO threatened, but nada. CO leads 3-1.
Bot 2nd: Garkow has settled in. He gave up only a two out single. No damage done. CO leads 3-1.
Top 2nd: Danny Tiffany singled in Cameron McVey, who singled and went to 2nd on a balk with two outs. Nyeholt followed with an infield hit to score Tiffany. The Chargers scored twice with two outs. CO leads 3-1.
4:52: Garkow may have settled down. He battled back to K the next two hitters. Not out of the woods, though. OK, flyout to end the inning. 1-1. I think I’m going to start breaking this down by inning and not time.
4:49: B-A-D! Routine pop up to left and two CO outfielders go for it. It goes off the CF’s glove. Santa Monica ties it and has 1st and 2nd with nobody out. 1-1.
4:47: No bueno. Santa Monica has runners on 1st and 3rd, nobody out. Garkow is a little shaky. Big game jitters, perhaps.
4:40: It’s begun. Keith Nyeholt started the game with a lead-off walk. Man, what has Nyeholt’s return from injury meant for CO? People forget, but Nyeholt was All-Area last year. Fans are having a tough time judging fly balls. But that happens in the major league stadiums. Nyeholt just stole second and went to third when the ball went into center. BOOM! Ryan Snow just drilled a single to right. 1-0 Chargers! Nice start.
4:17: Introductions. The Santa Monica crowd is booing CO. The CO fans didn’t boo Santa Monica back. Interesting. Damn it, this game should be CO vs. Northview.
4:11: I wonder if Bishop Amat girls hoops coach Richard Wiard is going to sit in his season seats? His wife Kathie is the principal at CO, so I expect they’ll be here. Not telling you where Coach Wiard’s seats are, but I doubt he’ll be in them tonight.
4:06: The Chargers are taking infield right now. They’re the road team. You gotta know the boys are feeling it right now. What an experience. Tyler Garkow is warming in the visitor bullpen. And look at that, the Cal State Fullerton game is on the TV in the press box and former Glendora star Wes Roemer is on the mound.
3:30 p.m.: I’m in but not without trouble. Most of the parking gates were closed, but I found one. I’ll be working the game with fellow staffer Steve Ramirez, who told me I couldn’t get into the stadium yet. But I did by showing my press pass and telling the guard who I am. Then, I entered thru an open gate, bypassing the media will call booth. Uh-oh. Unreal when you think about it. I smell hot dogs and Charter Oak is stretching right now. Not many fans here yet. This place gets me pumped.
Nothing left to do now but win!
I never believe anything about wireless connections until I actually feel them. Not even at Dodger Stadium where LA.’s greats call Vin Scully Press Box home. But assuming it works and my computer obliges, I will be blogging live from the CIF-SS Division IV final between Charter Oak and Santa Monica. This won’t just be about game updates, but I will include those also. There will also be a A LOT of random musings. So if you can’t get off work early, which is not a good excuse if you’re from Charter Oak, then hit this site and I’ll keep you up to date.
OFFICIAL ARAM PREDICTION: Charter Oak 7, Santa Monica 2 (I’ve got a good feeling this is going to be a big weekend for our locals!)