Football: Tribune All-Area on Christmas Day

It’s coming, the Tribune All-Area football package, which will include a short video from every player selected to the team. In the following days we’ll also have all-area packages for girls volleyball, girls tennis, boys water polo and cross country. Thanks to all of you for making the fall season a memorable one, and wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas weekend and Happy New Year. And for all you football honks, following All-Area will be an early look at the 2008 top ten poll, followed by top returning quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, etc. I’m sure there’s enough to talk about until spring football rolls around.

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Wrestling: Northview on top; Williams the top dog

I know, I know, this is a wrestling town. I’m watching the Mayweather-Hatton fight the other night, and our host Joe took it as an opportunity to bug me all night about wrestling coverage. That’s what I get for going to an SC guys house. My roommate says he’s a former CIF champion who happens to be another Joe, though I can’t find his title anywhere in the record books. I’ll let him go on this, he’s too proud of that mythical title. But I know he’s still into it, he spent a free weekend at the Northview tournament. Who does that? Listen, I’m no stranger to wrestling, not after watching one of the greatest wrestling teams of all time in the San Gabriel Valley. The 1983 Ray Rodi coached Edgewood Trojans won the 2-A title and could have wrestled with anyone. We had Scott Schumm, the 132-pound state title winner whose letterman jacket was so decorated you just wanted to touch it. Those were the days when wrestling was King. Our wrestling matches were bigger than basketball, and that’s the truth. The stands were packed and the fans were loud. It was like those old-time wrestling movies. If you saw “Vision Quest” you know what I mean. Anyways, Steve Ramirez will keep a wrestling thread going once a week, and I’ll chime in too. I told him I think we need a weekly top ten at each wrestling weight and he said that will take some time to put together, but you can help keep us up to speed, that is if you show the same passion on these threads that you have for your sport.
Well, here goes, this is Steve’ preseason top five

Can’t touch this: South Hills’ Thomas Williams, the defending 112-pound state champion.

1. Northview
2. South Hills
3. Bishop Amat
4. Rosemead
5. San Dimas

Wrestling Preview

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Basketball rankings: Bonita moves to top on boys poll

Above: Bonita’s Robert Schmidt dropping two on Santa Fe in Alhambra tournament championship game.

Boys Basketball
1. Bonita (9-1)
Alhambra tourney champs should be considered Miramonte League favorites
2. Damien (9-3)
Great showing in And1 tourney; Austin Napolitano averaging 16 points and eight boards
3. Diamond Ranch (6-3)
Triple threat with Chris Cunningham, Ryan Kelly and Garrett Johnson
4. Nogales (9-3)
One of area’s hottest teams has won seven of last eight
5. Glendora (7-4)
Three-straight wins, but going to need more than just Dominic Tiger-Cortez
6. Diamond Bar (6-4)
Should give Damien a run for their money in Sierra
7. Northview (8-4)
Hard to digest how they lose such an ugly game, 28-25 to Alhambra
8. South Hills (7-1)
Okay, so it was just the Azusa tournament, but a title is a title
9. Walnut (7-3)
Love the overall record, but can’t escape the two blowout losses by more than 40 points
10. La Verne Lutheran (7-0)
Could go undefeated with a group of freshman and soph’s leading the way

Above: Amat’s Kristen McCarthy earned second straight tournament MVP honors after win over Monrovia in championship of Arroyo tourney on Monday.

Girls Basketball
1. Bishop Amat (8-0)
Arroyo tournament was too easy, let’s see how they do in Ayala tourney after Christmas
2. Covina (9-0)
If Colts win Rowland tournament next week, they will go undefeated until the playoffs
3. Diamond Ranch (7-4)
Obviously not the team they’ve been in recent years, but still one of area’s best
4. Wilson (8-2)
Coach Ed Bruynincx had a smile from ear to ear talking about this team
5. Walnut (6-3)
Ella Rodriguez doing it all as Mustangs the clear favorites to take San Antonio
6. Glendora (6-4)
Don’t look at the losses, look at the solid wins over Upland and Sonora
7. Azusa (5-1)
The early surprise of the season has a 46-40 win over South Hills on resume
8. South Hills (4-2)
Sophomore Melinda Gomez is already one of area’s best, but she needs help
9. Sierra Vista (4-4)
Should be better than this, but to be fair, all four losses were to quality teams with winning records
10. South El Monte (5-3)
You win three straight and have a winning record, you should be in top ten

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Football: Quick look ahead at South Hills for 2008

I’ve seen a lot of discussion on the blog about who South Hills will and will not play. No, they’re not playing Bishop Amat, though it was a game briefly discussed. And yes, they will play Northview, and …. Duarte, coach Wardell Crutchfield is finally stepping and playing the big boys like we’ve all asked.

South Hills 2008
Week Zero: Either Crespi or St. Francis. It looks like Crespi, but either game would be a great way to open the season. This could be Los Altos too.
Game 2: Ayala. A great match-up against the feel good story of the year from the Sierra League.
Game 3: La Habra. A rematch against the Southeast champ, and the only team to knock the Huskies around this season.
Game 4: Duarte. Would have been a bigger game this season, but give the Falcons credit for calling around and scheduling this.
Game 5: Northview: Word on the street is the Vikings feel this is their best team in a decade, and wanted this one against an old rival.
Game 6: Rosemead: This will be tough too. They’ve got Tra Sumler, who will be one of the best senior backs next season.

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Mission Valley League: Big-time Cogburn named MVP

Player of the Year: Tommy Cogburn, South El Monte
Back of the Year: Jose Garay, South El Monte
Lineman of the year: Daniel Centeno, Arroyo High School

Above: South El Monte cleaned up with ten first-team honors

First Team offense
QB: Jose Garay, South El Monte
RB: Jonathan Mendoza, South El Monte
RB: Luke Ayala, El Monte
RB: Tra Sumler, Rosemead
WR: Manny Acosta, South El Monte
WR: Tommy Cogburn, South El Monte
TE: Mike Sotelo, Arroyo
OL: Joel Talavera, South El Monte
OL: Robert Cedeno, South El Monte
OL: Richard Lopez, Rosemead
OL: Carlos Chacon, South El Monte
OL: Andrew Oveido, Rosemead

First Team Defense
DB: Neiko Padilla, South El Monte
DB: Luis Illescas, El Monte
DB: Justin Fregoso, Rosemead
DL: Daniel Centeno, Arroyo
DL: Andrew Barrera, South El Monte
DL: Joseph Eddy, Rosemead
DE: Juan Perez, South El Monte
DE: Roland Penaloza, Arroyo
LB: Tra Sumler, Rosemead
LB: Davie Padilla, South El Monte
LB: Cesar Chavez, Rosemead
LB: Julio Tena, El Monte

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Montview League: Harris, Garcia share top honors

Offensive MVP: Chris Harris, Duarte
Defensive MVP: Joseph Garcia, La Puente
Lineman of the year: Hugo Zuniga, La Puente

Above: Duarte’s Chris Harris named offensive MVP

First Team Offense
QB: Austin Goldsmith, Duarte
RB: Marco Negrete, Azusa
RB: Robert Cruz, La Puente
RB: Steve Barrientos, La Puente
RB: Alonzo Webb, Bassett
WR: Rauley Zaragoza, Azusa
WR: Brandon Castaneda, Duarte
WR: Carlos Rios, La Puente
WR: Daniel Limon, Sierra Vista
TE: Steven Arceo, Azusa
TE: Angel Ontiveros, Sierra Vista
OL: Alberto De La Cruz, La Puente
OL: Javier Gallardo, Azusa
OL: Kevin Gonzalez, La Puente
OL: Abraham Gama, Azusa
OL: David Zarazua, Sierra Vista
OL: Carlos Aguirre, Bassett
PK: Andy Vasquez, Duarte

Above: La Puente’s Joseph Garcia named defensive MVP, but it shown carrying the ball here.

First Team Defense
DB: Darius Reese, Duarte
DB: Richard Gurrola, Gladstone
DB: Gabriel Ortiz, La Puente
DB: Steven Barrientos, La Puente
DB: Carlos Ruiz, La Puente
LB: Steven Arceo, Azusa
LB: Sean Gatlin, Duarte
LB: Austin Goldsmith, Duarte
LB: Chris Harris, Duarte
LB: Fabian Otton, Gladstone
LB: Michael Villa, Gladstone
DL: Abraham Gama, Azusa
DL: Chris Benavides, Duarte
DL: Adam Ortega, Gladstone
DL: Ezikiel Aguilar, La Puente
DL: Kevin Gonzalez, La Puente

Final Tally:
La Puente (12 first team selections)
Duarte (9 first team selections)
Azusa (7 first team selections)
Gladstone (4 first team selections)
Sierra Vista (2 first team selections)
Bassett (2 first team selections)
Workman (0 first team selections)
Note: Workman should of at least been given one first-team nominee.

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Is steroids a problem in high school sports?

Thursday’s Mitchell Report linked several of today’s prominent players to using steroids, like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and even hometown heroes like Mark McGwire (Damien) and Jason Giambi (South Hills). Giambi admitted to using steroids months ago, and Huskies baseball coach Kevin Smith said he would love to have Giambi come back and talk to his players about the negative effects of using steroids. But seriously, how prevalent is steroid use in high school sports today? Do you suspect high school players, do you know of anyone or have you heard of anyone using it. You won’t be allowed to name names here, but your observations and discussions are welcome.

Read today’s local reaction from Northview coach Darren Murphy and South Hills coach Kevin Smith

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