Boys Basketball: The Tribune’s All-Time, All-Area team

Steve Ramirez was talking about Friday’s Glendora-Chino Hills boys basketball game, and said that Dominic Tiger-Cortes was the best pure shooter he’s seen since Glendora’s Tracy Murray. It got us talking about the best team in Tribune history, which starts with the best player ever, and that goes to Tracy Murray. He averaged 44 points his senior season (2nd all-time in CIF-SS) and became the CIF-SS and state single-season scoring leader, finishing with 1,505 points in 1989. Murray averaged 32 points in his career (3rd all-time in CIF-SS), and scored 3,053 career points (3rd all-time in CIF-SS). He was the Division II player of the year in 1989. He also starred at UCLA and had a modest NBA career.

Tribune First Team
Tracy Murray, Glendora, 1989 (Remember the Murray Meter. During the year he averaged 44 points a game and set a state record, we ran what was called the Murray Meter, in which we tracked every one of his games in a countdown toward the state record. He was the greatest show in SGV history)
Mike Smith, Los Altos, 1983 (Maybe the best athlete of all. Not only was he one of the best basketball players ever, but he was also one of the best quarterbacks. He had a stellar career at BYU).
Scott Williams, Wilson, 1986 (Was the 3-A player of the year in ’86 and played with Michael Jordan on three NBA championship teams).
Keith Van Horn, Diamond Bar, 1992 (He was great in high school and got better in college. He was a three-time WAC player of the year at Utah and all-time leading scorer with 2,542 points. He also had the best pro career of anyone on this list).
Casey Jacobsen, Glendora, 1999 (The CIF-SS all-time scoring leader with 3,284 points, and only two-time All-CIF player of the year. He had a good career at Stanford and was a journeyman in the NBA).

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Soccer rankings

Above: West Covina High’s Armando Anaya in a December tournament game against Ayala.

Boys Soccer Top Ten
1. Mountain View (12-3-5)
Can hang with anyone. No. 1 team in Division V
2. Damien (9-7-2)
After rough December, opened 2-0 in Sierra. That’s huge
3. West Covina (9-4-1)
A huge surprise. Central defender Robert Rodriguez can do it all
4. Wilson (9-3-2)
Beat Bonita 3-1 in overtime. Have to like that Wildcats are 2-0 in Miramonte
5. Rowland (7-4-2)
2-1 win over Nogales proves record is legitimate.
6. El Monte (6-3-4)
Always one of the area’s top ten best. But will they hang with MView in MVL?
7. La Puente (7-2-2)
Off to a great 3-0 start in Montview, and facing Duarte and Azusa this week.
8. Los Altos (6-4-3)
Beat South Hills 3-2 to keep Huskies out of top ten
9. Diamond Ranch (5-1-3)
Not sure if this record is complete, but will be heard of in Miramonte, that’s for sure.
10. Walnut (5-2-1)
Playing well at the moment, already 1-0-1 in San Antonio.

Above: Walnut’s Veronica Ramos battling with South Hills players.

Girls Soccer top ten
1. St. Lucy’s (7-0-4)
Complete team all the way around. Should have beaten Glendora, but settled for 2-2 tie.
2. Glendora (10-3-4)
Defense is solid, just needs more scoring opporunities.
3. Walnut (9-4-1)
South Hills won’t sneak up on them again, Mustangs beat Huskies 3-1 last week.
4. Diamond Ranch (9-5-2)
Predicting they will take the always tough Miramonte
5. South Hills (7-4-2)
Not faring as well against the upper-echelon opponents
6. Bonita (5-4-4)
Striker Deborah Musa is dangerous anytime she touches the ball
7. Charter Oak (8-4-3)
Did anyone see this coming?
8. Los Altos (6-3-2)
I remember when Los Altos ruled this town in girls soccer
9. Bishop Amat (8-4-8)
After great December, Lancers are 0-2 in Del Rey.
10. Arroyo (9-4-1)
Mission Valley not the strongest, but Knights doing their part.

Interview following Los Altos’ 1-0 win over Charter Oak on Tuesday

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Basketball rankings

Above: Bonita High junior Nolan Abernathy goes up for a layup in win over San Dimas
Boys Basketball Top Ten
1. Bonita (16-3
Took big step in Miramonte with 68-56 win over Diamond Ranch
2. Glendora (12-6)
Where does Dominic Tiger-Cortes rank among the Glendora greats?
3. Damien (14-5)
Spartans couldn’t do what Glendora did, which was beat Chino Hills
4. Nogales (15-5)
The Nobles continue to climb the rankings ladder
5. Diamond Ranch (11-6)
Should be a good nonleague game on Friday against Nogales
6. La Verne Lutheran (15-0)
Four players averaging in double figures for the area’s only unbeaten
7. Los Altos (13-6)
How will the Conq’s hold up in a league with Bonita and Dranch?
8. South Hills (11-5)
Some nights they’re great, some nights they aren’t.
9. Northview (14-5)
Big Valle Vista showdown at home against Baldwin Park on Wednesday
10. West Covina (12-6)
Huge test against Nogales on Wednesday

Above: Kristen McCarthy held to nine points in 44-40 loss to St. Paul
Girls Basketball top ten
1. Bishop Amat (14-4)
Still the best, but not what they use to be
2. Diamond Ranch (12-7)
Only real test in Miramonte should come against Wilson on Wednesday
3. Covina (17-1)
If only it had more competition in Valle Vista. Still, record is very impressive
4. Walnut (12-5)
Solid from top to bottom. Good inside and outside play.
5. Wilson (15-3)
Can it take the next big step and hang with Diamond Ranch?
6. South Hills (9-3)
Relies to much on Melinda Gomez, needs others to contribute
7. Azusa (13-3)
Already 4-0 in Montview, but rematch with Sierra Vista on Friday could change that
8. Sierra Vista (12-6)
Starting to hit its stride, and licking their chops to avenge loss to rival Aztecs.
9. Glendora (10-8)
Okay, so they’re 1-1 in the Sierra.
10. Diamond Bar (9-9)
They started so good, but have lost four straight

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Bishop Amat’s promising young big-man leaves school

I have confirmed that Bishop Amat’s 6-foot-6 sophomore center Jordan Salley, who was averaging 12 points and 10 boards for the Lancers, left the school last week and has enrolled at La Verne Lutheran. I’ve seen this kid play twice and he’s the real deal. Great hands, footwork, nice touch. He’s already special and should blossom when he begins playing again, which in all likelihood will be next season on an already young and talented team at Lutheran that is 12-0. For Bishop Amat this is a huge loss. Since building their new basketball facility they’ve enjoyed great success from the girls team, but have yet to get the boys program moving in the same direction.

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Football: Wells headed to Villanova; Umodo to Air Force Academy

South Hills High School standout Dorian Wells has given a verbal commitment to attend Villanova University, and will sign his national letter of intent when the signing period begins in early February.
Huskies linebacker Kebin Umodo also made his decision known over the weekend, giving a verbal commitment to Air Force Academy. The first day players can sign national letters of intent is on February 6. It doesn’t look like a huge list this year. Bishop Amat’s Dominique Austin (DL) is committed to Arizona, and semi-local Kevan Walker (WR) of Arcadia is headed to UCLA. This is a good thread to discuss where other area players are thinking of going or have already verballed.

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Monday Night Showdown in girls Hoops, Bishop Amat (14-3) at St. Paul (11-5), 5:30 p.m.

Is it time to worry about the Bishop Amat girls basketball team after losing to Magnolia, 44-27, on Saturday. I know Magnolia is good at 13-4, but scoring only 27 points? It looks like a fifth-straight state finals appearance is in serious jeopardy. And with reigning player of the year Kristen McCarthy graduating and heading to Temple next fall, what’s the future of the greatest show in the San Gabriel Valley?
Monday’s Final: St. Paul 44, Bishop Amat 40

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Baseball? Yup, just around the corner …

This preseason baseball poll was posted on another thread by Baseball Nut. Is he close? In the coming weeks I’ll start calling on baseball coaches to discuss the preview. I’m certainly interested in your thoughts on the top teams, top players, etc.

1.Charter Oak — Returning all of starting infield and ace garkow.
2.Bishop Amat— Lost maverick and other key seniors but still alot left.
3.Northview— Super soph’s lose big lead to other vikings or would be at dodger stadium.
4.Nogales— Melchor should be tough to beat,just like last year.
5.San Dimas—Kevin ponzo,,see above message.
6.Bonita—Lost lead and a heartbreaker to Northview in playoffs.
7. Diamond Bar—Solid Program,solid team.
8. Covina–Only seniors to leave,flock,gomez,hansen.Returning ty pill to a team that beat sd,nv and lost only 4-2 to charter oak in playoffs.
9.Los Altos—Suprised alot of people last year and should be improved.
10.South Hills—Would be ranked higher but choke in playoffs every year and horrible coach.

Please feel free to make your own list and put in any omissions. PLAY BALL!!!

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Breaking News: Bishop Amat football coach Mark Verti resigns

Story on Mark Verti’s resignation

Good luck coach, you were always available, answered every question, and handled this story with class as usual.

On the decision
“I wish things could have been different,” said Bishop Amat coach Matt Verti, who resigned on Thursday after two years, and an 8-12 overall record. “But in the end, and after months of thinking about it, I think it was the best thing to do for Bishop Amat and myself.”

On the pressure at Amat
“I knew coming here there was pressure to win, and win now,” Verti said. “Previous coaches had told me that, and I knew it. But it’s a little different when you’re actually here. We had some great victories and made some strides. But there were lots of ups and downs, and obviously some really tough weeks that build on you and your family.”

On Amat’s future
“Next year’s team is going to be awesome,” Verti said. “I felt good about leaving this program in good shape for the next coach. Sure, it’s disappointing personally that I’m not coming back. I love coaching high school football and I love being here. I’m going to coach again, but the most important thing was making a decision that was in the best interest of Bishop Amat. I respect the tradition too much and will always be one of its biggest supporters.”

Bishop Amat High School invites applications for the position of Head Football Coach.
Bishop Amat is a Catholic co-educational institution of 1,500 students, located in La Puente, California and participates in Division I Football as a member of the Serra League.
The Head Football Coach is responsible for leading all facets of a Division I program. Of particular importance are the proven ability to communicate effectively with student-athletes, parents, staff, faculty, alumni, administrators, and media; the proven ability to organize and implement a successful and competitive football program; the proven ability to inspire achievement and leadership among student-athletes and staff; and a commitment to adhere to the regulations, philosophies, and educational mission of Bishop Amat, the Serra League, and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF-SS).
A bachelors degree is required (masters preferred or teaching credential) with successful coaching experience. Teaching as a member of the faculty is expected. Salary is commensurate with education and experience.
Send cover letter, resume, to: Department of Athletics, Attention: Mr. Mike Manzo, Bishop Amat High School, 14301 Fairgrove Ave, La Puente, California.

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Another All-Area football team? How the L.A. times dished out the postseason honors in the SGV …

The LA Times’ Jaime Cardenas selected this San Gabriel Valley all-area team, which consists of teams from the Star-News and Tribune coverage area’s. He sent this comment to the Star-News, which I’m sharing with you ….

From Jaime…

Selecting an all-area team is hard (coming up with our team was not easy). So, I understand that the guys at the SGV and the PSN did not have an easy job.
Especially at the SGV, where there were four or five players that could have been players of the year. Selecting all-area teams is never easy.
Having said that, I think Charter Oak’s Kanaan Snowden was the area’s best player and San Dimas’ Bill Zernickow was the area’s best coach this season. I’m not trying to play Saturday Morning Quarterback, but that’s just my opinion.
Glendora’s Mark Pasquarella and Blair’s Lavelle Sanders are terrific choices, they brought back a winning attitude to programs that had lost their swagger. Zernickow, though, made believers of his kids and the kids (who told me they were the laughing stock of the school before this year) made believers out of their classmates. It’s was an incredible turnaround year for the Saints, that’s why he would have been my pick.
I guess it’s only fair now that I out put together my own team, right? Here it goes. Oh, feel free to comment on my selections as I obviously have no problem in commenting on other peoples’ selections.

QB- Cameron Deen (South Hills)
RB- Dorian Wells (South Hills)
FB- Willie Youngblood (Muir)
WR- Arness Ikner (Pasadena)
WR- Brandon Parham (South Hills)
TE- Ray Rodriguez (Los Altos)
OL- Dominique Austin (Bishop Amat)
OL- John Earnest (South Hills)
OL- Austin Sefton (Glendora)
OL- Alex Reitnouer (St. Francis)
OL- Jonathan Silva (Alhambra)

DL- Bryan Bonilla (Diamond Ranch)
DL- Kebin Umodu (South Hills)
DL- John Patton (Muir)
DL- Garrett Bowdry (Glendora)
LB- Mike Howard (Charter Oak)
LB- Damon Kuklinski (South Hills)
LB- Todd Golper (Arcadia)
CB- Kevan Walker (Arcadia)
CB- Kanaan Snowden (Charter Oak)
FS- Deitrich Reily (St. Francis)
SS- Ryan McMahon (Damien)
K- E.J. Macias (South Hills)
P- Macias and Snowden
AP- Jiovanni Mier (Bonita)

Because I had Macias and Snowden take on the role of punters that allowed me to add an All-Purpose player. I added Mier because he can play wide receiver, DB, also punt and kick and play running back. He’s also a solid shortstop and pitcher, who’s fastball is in the high 80s to low 90s.
Honorable mention: Troy Ahmaz (Arcadia), Nico Barbone (San Dimas), Dominic Blanco (Charter Oak), Tommy Cogburn (South El Monte), Tyron Crockom (Pasadena), Eric Glaster (South Hills), Lars Guillermo (Arcadia), Michael Harrison (Pasadena), Kyle Lengyel (Diamond Rach), Nick Longoria (Los Altos), Bryce Mahmud-McBride (Los Altos), Rueben Thomas (Muir), Brent Seals (Bishop Amat), Brandon Sermons (Diamond Ranch) and Sean Veal (South Hills).

Back to Fred: I have received several calls about how to report boys and girls basketball and soccer results, as well as wrestling and girls water polo scores to our newspaper for publication. You can do this two ways, call 626-962-8811 and try these extensions, 2233, 2242 or 2702. Or, you can simply email your results to If you’re going to email scores, make sure you look a box score in our newspaper to see what is required for your particular sport. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at

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This comment comes from “Tom” about La Verne Lutheran, the area’s only undefeated boys basketball team at 12-0

This blog is your blog, this blog is my blog, this blog was made for you and me …. As I stated, I will post comments from readers from time to time. This is what “Tom” had to say on a recent boys hoops thread.

I was very curious about La Verne Lutheran. I went to a game a few weeks back and was surprisingly entertained by there style of ball!! I can see the similarities of the “Glendora Years” when Cameron Murray and Lutheran assistant coach Brandon Lee won CIF with a undefeated record. Has anyone attended a game? I have been to four games now, and will attend a lot more! They lack size, but make up for it with quickness, full court pressure and in my opinion the best freshman and sophmore in the area playing in there backcourt. These kids are highly ranked in the state of California and the nation top 200). I have done a little homework on this team, they are the real deal. In the fall they played in a league in Los Angeles. Rumor is they beat North Torrance, Gahr, lost to CIF Champion Corona Del Mar in overtime, and took Compton Centennial to the very end. I asked why haven’t they played the local top 10 teams at a game I attended? A parent said the coaches and athletic department have sent emails and phone calls to every top 10 team in the pre season poll. Basically the top teams didn’t want to play them because if they won, it would be expected. But if Lutheran won, these teams wouldn’t want to be the first to lose and basically look bad. I have been watching basketball in this area since Scott Williams, Kevin Walker, and Tracy Murray. I am excited to see a possibility of one team bringing back the competitive “pride” of all the local teams!!! I would love to see a game against Glendora, Damien, Bonita or Diamond Ranch!!!

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Love this “Week Zero” encounter, Muir at Diamond Ranch

While I was at Tuesday’s Diamond Ranch-Bonita girls soccer game, I ran into Diamond Ranch football coach Roddy Layton, who said he finalized a “Week Zero” game against Muir at home. Layton isn’t the most popular among his coaching peers, but in the short time I’ve known him, he seems like a workaholic in love with building that program. He scheduled Amat, now Muir, and wants to face the Glendora’s, Damien’s, and all the top local teams in the area. He’s making the phone calls to make these games happen, and seems to know something about everyone, and every program. Seriously, I was amazed by all the “off the record” type stuff he said to me. I don’t know how popular he would be, but if the Bishop Amat position ever opened up, I wonder how he would do with it. He’s one of those guys who has the energy, the passion, the pedigree (He did go to USC), and the will. I’m not campaigning for him, just throwing it out there ….

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Like what I’m seeing on the girls soccer scene

Bonita-Diamond Ranch game story
South Hills-Los Altos game story
Bishop Amat-La Salle game story
Glendora vs. St. Lucy’s game story

Interview with Diamond Ranch’s Lauren Montenegro after 3-3 tie with Bonita
After a December of covering hoops, I thought I would get out this week and watch our local soccer teams, and was impressed with Tuesday’s Miramonte League opener, which ended in a 3-3 tie between defending league champ Bonita and surging Diamond Ranch. Two players really stood out. Bonita forward Deborah Musa scored to tie the game, 2-2, then set-up a goal with a run into the penalty area where she was taken down to set up a penalty kick. Musa’s great with the ball at her feet, she’s quick, and dangerous when she gets the ball in space. Diamond Ranch’s Lauren Montenegro is what we use to call a “roamer.” She sits behind the forwards in an attacking midfield role most of the time, and set up two beautiful goals with quick passes into space for forwards to run onto. But what I like about her is her sense for the game. She knows when to get back and help her team, when to push forward, and can shoot and set-up teammates. In other games on Tuesday, I was surprised to learn that Charter Oak beat Wilson, 3-0, and Los Altos knocked off South Hills, 2-1, in an interesting non-league encounter. And how about this, Northview goes down against Covina, 2-1, in the Valle Vista League opener, holding the Vikings’ fabulous freshman, Khalalah Todd, to just a goal. Bishop Amat blew a two-goal lead before losing to defending CIF champ La Salle in their Del Rel League opener, and Arroyo easily defeated El Monte, 4-1, behind a pair of goals from Geny Hernandez.. This afternoon I’m going to Damien High to watch St. Lucy’s and Glendora go head-to-head in the Sierra League opener.

Video: Player profile of Northview striker Khalalah Todd, who is among the Southern Section scoring leaders, and she’s only a freshman.And for all you soccer fans, take a look at the next great Brazilian, “Kerlon

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Girls Basketball

Above: South Hills stud Melinda Gomez in action against Downey.

Tribune top Ten
1. Bishop Amat (13-2)
Opened Del Rey with win over Serra. Should remain on top all season.
2. Diamond Ranch (10-6)
Played well in loss to Bishop Amat; clearly establised No. 2
3. Covina (15-1)
Only stumble against Downey, but still not as good as top two.
4. South Hills (8-2)
Won Rowland tournament, and looking more than just Melinda Gomez.
5. Wilson (13-3)
Still the areas biggest surprise? But can they win the Miramonte?
6. Walnut (10-5)
Facing South Hills on Friday in what ultimately could decide the San Antonio
7. Azusa (11-3)
Wins over Sierra Vista and South Hills. But are they the real deal?
8. Sierra Vista (11-6)
Righted ship in La Puente tourney, but it was the La Puente tournament
9. Diamond Bar (10-6)
Another one of the area’s surprise teams, but can it compete in the Sierra
10. Glendora (9-7)
Not bad considering schedule

Notes: Unless there are injuries or something dramatic happens, Bishop Amat is the top team and will remain on top all season. But it will be a tougher road that in previous years for the Lady Lancers to win the Del Rey, and there is a lot of anticipation for an upcoming non-league game against rival St. Paul on the horizon. My biggest questions are can Wilson hang with Diamond Ranch in the Miramonte, which I’m guessing they can’t. And how good is Azusa after beating South Hills and opening Montview with a huge win over rival Sierra Vista. And Covina, well, they likely will go undefeated in a watered-down Valle Vista, and the Sierra League is up for grabs.

Games of the week:

Wednesday, Dec. 9
Glendora at Diamond Bar, 5 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at Bonita, 4:45 p.m.
South Hills at Los Altos, 4:45 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 11
Los Altos at Diamond Ranch, 5:15 p.m.
Walnut at South Hills, 4:45 p.m.
Baldwin Park at Covina, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 12
Bishop Amat at Magnolia, 6:30 p.m.

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Boys Baketball

Tribune rankings
1. Damien (13-4)
Moved to top with win over Bonita
2. Bonita (14-3)
Lost two straight after 14-1 start
3. Diamond Ranch (10-5)
Undefeated against area teams
4. Nogales (13-5)
Wins over Diamond Bar, Glendora
5. Glendora (10-6)
Dominic Tiger-Cortes doing it all
6. La Verne Lutheran (12-0)
Will they lose a game? I don’t think so.
7. Los Altos (12-5)
On roll, winning 10 of last 11
8. Northview (12-5)
Looking like the Valle Vista favorites
9. Walnut (10-7)
Solid wins on resume, but can they keep it up?
10. South Hills (10-4)
Winners of Azusa tournament. Nice, but who did they beat?

Notes: Even after December, I’m still not comfortable with the top ten rankings. Damien deserves to be on top after losing to Bonita earlier in the season, then beating the Bearcats in a late tournament rematch. But I have a feeling Diamond Ranch and even Nogales will make a charge. And you can’t forget Glendora, even though its supporting cast is not that solid around Dominic Tiger-Cortes. And what should we think about La Verne Lutheran. They will go undefeated in their league, and will probably make a run in CIF. But are they among the area’s best. After talking to Cameron Murray, I believe they’re.

Games of the week:

Wednesday, Dec. 9
Chino Hills at Damien, 6:30 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at Bonita, 6:30 p.m.
Nogales at Walnut, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 11
Glendora at Chino Hills, 7 p.m.
Walnut at South Hills, 6:30 p.m.

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Football: Wilson to begin head football coaching search … The winner gets “Happy Gilmore”

Wilson High athletic director Dave Merrill said the school will officially open the head football coaching position to all applicants on Wednesday, Jan.9, and the position will remain open for one month. Wilson is looking for a new head football coach after the resignation of Robert Oviedo. Merrill said there has been lots of interest in the position, and that it comes with a full-time teaching position. He said it is unlikely the school would hire a walk-on head football coach.

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Football: Gano will probably return

After speaking with Los Altos High football coach Greg Gano, I got the impression he will be back on the sidelines next season. Gano has been contemplating his future since the season ended. Asked if he might retire as head football coach, but remain at the school, Gano said. “It has entered my mind. It’s one of those things where I’m still evaluating everything. I’ve got to see if I still have the fire in me. I’ll make a decision soon, but I will probably be back.” Then, after a brief pause, he added. “You know what, I’m probably not going anywhere.” Gano realizes he doesn’t have much coming back next season, but said he would welcome coaching a team that doesn’t have the high expectations of his past teams. “You have to take the good with the bad,” Gano said. “You can’t be good all the time.” Then jokingly, he added. “Maybe we will have to coach a little bit.”

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Who’s lying? Clemens or McNamee

Steve Ramirez walked in the office this morning and said, “I believe Roger.” I’m still not sure, though Clemens’ interview on 60 minutes was persuasive. I still don’t know how steroids makes a pitcher better? Maybe it helps with longevity, but a pitcher has to make pitches, not just throw hard. In any case, I can’t wait until Clemens and McNamee square off in Washington. If it ends up that Clemens is lying, he’ll never make the Hall of Fame after the campaigning he’s doing now. That’s why I’m inclined to believe Clemens. But is he really willing to take a lie-detector test? And what did McNamee and Clemens say during their phone conversation last week? You know someone secretly recorded that conversation, right? Well, don’t be surprised when someone comes out with it. Enough of this, what do you think?

More on Clemens … Clemens filed a defamation lawsuit against his former trainer on Monday, saying Brian McNamee falsely accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs only after he was “threatened with criminal prosecution if he did not implicate Clemens” to federal investigators.
But an attorney for McNamee said Monday that his client was not pressured by federal investigators to name Clemens but that McNamee told Clemens people that he was pressured.
“He lied to them and tried to say, Well, they pressured me, because he wanted to continue to stay in the good graces of Roger,” the attorney Earl Ward said in a telephone interview.
Ward was present during the day of questioning by federal investigators in June, which was described in a lawsuit Clemens filed Sunday. Ward said McNamee will also say, under oath, he was not pressured.

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Girls Soccer

It should be no surprise that the Tribune’s top two-ranked teams come from the Sierra League, which is easily the toughest league in the area and competes in Division I. The Tartans only have allowed ten goals against a pretty tough schedule, which includes a pair of ties against South Hills, which continues to improve each season. St. Lucy’s record isn’t posted anywhere, but they do have a big win over Diamond Ranch, and the soccer people tell me they will be fighting for a league title with Glendora, and several other talented teams in the Sierra. The biggest surprises this year are Bishop Amat and Northview, and the chase for the Miramonte League title is going to be a fight between Los Altos, Wilson, Bonita and Diamond Ranch. Heck, Charter Oak might even sneak a few wins in there.

Tribune Top Ten
1. Glendora (10-2-3)
2. St. Lucys (NA)
3. Walnut (6-2-1)
4. Diamond Ranch (8-4-2)
5. South Hills (7-2-4)
6. Bonita (5-4-3)
7. Bishop Amat (8-3-8)
9. Northview (10-3-1)
10. Los Altos (4-2-2)

This week’s games you don’t want to miss.
Tuesday, Jan. 9
Bonita at Diamond Ranch, 3:15 p.m.
Los Altos vs. South Hills at Covina District, 3:15 p.m.
Bishop Amat at La Salle, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 10
Glendora vs. St. Lucy’s at Damien, 3:15 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 11
South Hills at Walnut, 3:15 p.m.

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This is a bloggers : Top Five questions for the off-season

I saw this question posted on another thread. Feel free to send topic ideas whenever you want. If I like them, I’ll post them.
5. How much better will Barbone get this off-season? The guy is a stud.
4. Will Gano find a way to reload and if not, will LA be able to compete?
3. Will Amat fans have a new head coach to complain about in 08?
2. Is Northview finally going to put that talent to use or are they going to underacheive again?
1. How will the new Wilson coach find a way to keep Gilmore in a Wildcat uniform?

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Washington Post reports that blogs are taking over mainstream sports media

Here’s a piece of what was written in today’s Washington Post…
“In the arena of sports, the arbiter of what matters is increasingly shifting from the mainstream media to the freewheeling realm of the blogosphere, where impassioned fans opine about the playing field’s heroes, villains and controversies of the day.
That’s the conclusion of a Charlotte-based marketing firm, Sports Media Challenge, which has developed software to track the major topics being debated on the most influential sports blogs.
In several respects, what the Internet-based blogs — or “fan-generated media” — chatted about in 2007 mirrored the major story lines of the stick-and-ball sports that dominated newspaper pages and TV ratings, according to Kathleen Hessert, the company’s founder.
But in other instances — such as the remarks that cost Don Imus his wildly popular radio show — bloggers were ahead of the mainstream media, buzzing about the comments disparaging Rutgers women’s basketball players for days before it became national news.
“More and more, the fans are setting the agenda now,” Hessert said. “They’re rattling the cages and saying, ‘Hey, I have as much to say about this — and have as much invested in my sport — as any media person. And my opinion is just as valid as the mainstream media’s.’”

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Boys and Girls Soccer

Here’s the deal, I’m still looking for boys and girls soccer schedules. I want to start covering two to three games a week, but I haven’t had many schedules emailed or faxed to our office. I need them ASAP and I don’t care if you’re a parent, player, or grandma … if you have one, fax a copy to me at 626-856-2758 or email at By the way, any surprise teams out there feel they deserve coverage, sell it to me now. If you think you deserve to be covered, tell us why. I’m listening.

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Football: What will happen in 2008?

Okay, so it’s way to early to forecast the 2008 football season, but 2008 is here and we’re doing it anyway. Obviously this list can change by fall, but for now this is my list and I’m sticking with it. In the coming weeks we will discuss the top returning players at each position.

Above: Bishop Amat’s Jesse Prieto hoping for a big senior year in 08.

1. Bishop Amat – I know what you’re thinking, Bishop Amat? Is he crazy. Well, after a 3-7 campaign and two years under coach Mark Verti, I like the Lancers’ chances at not only finishing above .500, but going 6-4, or even better. Don’t forget this is a team that beat Western Division champion St. Paul during the regular season. What other area team had a bigger win on its resume in 2007? The Lancers finished with a nice win over Loyola, and return seven players that either made first or second team from the Serra League, which says a lot. Quarterback Nick Lenhart is back for his senior season along with running back/linebacker Jesse Prieto. Also back are soon to be seniors Brent Seals (LB) and Sheldon Price (DB) – both Serra League first team selections. And there’s more with Jerry McClananan (WR), Isaiah Bowens (LB) returning after earning second team honors, and another fine defensive back in Justin Gener. With Amat’s schedule, they might not stay here, but if we created a 16-team tournament for local teams in 2008, I’d pick the Lancers to win it all , so I’m starting with them at the top until they prove otherwise.

2. South Hills — The Huskies lose player of the year Dorian Wells along with Brandon Parham, Damon Kuklinski and Kebin Umodo, but look what’s coming back. This is still a team beaming with talent. Cameron Dean will be a senior and is 10-1 as a starting quarterback. Evan Heard will take over the reigns in the backfield, and they have studs on both sides of the line with Chris Bowden (Sr.), Alex Barrios (Sr.), Wayne Goss (Sr.), Ty Olsen (Sr.) and then Miles Bevel (DB) controlling the secondary. All the pieces are in place to chase another San Antonio League title and CIF championship. Too bad they didn’t schedule Amat, that would have been great to see.

3. Diamond Ranch – If you take away the forfeits, Diamond Ranch went 7-3 in 2007 and will be better in 2008. Soon to be senior Brandon Sermons, who was the player declared ineligible which led to the forfeits, will be one of their biggest impact players returning along with running back Brian Spirlin. Also back is tight end/linebacker Bryan Bonilla. If they find a suitable replacement for graduating quarterback Joe Carillo, they will be very explosive. But as they’re assembled now, you have to consider them the Miramonte League favorites. Obviously, I can’t wait to see how they do against Bishop Amat, but Roddy Layton will have them fired up for it, that’s for sure.

4. Bonita – You have to love this team with Terry Paradez back at quarterback, Jiovanni Mier at wide receiver, and Brian Hubbard back at running back. Even leading tackler Jeff Galalich is back along with tough guy Robert Schmitt. So many others also return for coach Eric Podley. I’m going with Diamond Ranch as the Miramonte League favorites, but wouldn’t be surprised if this is the Bearcats’ season to shine

5. Charter Oak - What will happen after losing what coach Lou Farrar described as one of his best senior-driven teams? I expect third-year starting quarterback Chris Allen to have a huge senior season, and as he goes, so will the Chargers. But the biggest impact player will be soon to be junior running back Adam Muema. He was the best sophomore in 2007, and showed flashes of brilliance in spotted time behind Kanaan Snowden. Those two alone allow the Chargers to keep a top five ranking despite the senior departures. Will there be enough on the O-Line to compliment Allen and Muema, that’s the question. Defensively, there will be lots of new faces too, but Farrar and his coaching staff are experienced enough to deal with the changes, so the Chargers will be fine. But good enough to win the Miramonte or make a run in CIF? I’m not so sure about that.

6. West Covina – After a so-so season the Bulldogs are back and equipped to go toe-to-toe with the Huskies in 2008. Soon to be junior Jacob Shirley is going to shine at quarterback after a season of getting his feet wet. Also look for Ricky Johnson to have a big season at tailback following the departure of Isaac Tucker. And there are other big returnees like Albert Cid (down lineman), Alonzo Nevarez (linebacker), Richard Tejada (Guard), Jon Hernandez (DB), and Donald Scheffler (LB). Coach Mike Maggiore himself told me they will be back, so I’m taking his word for it.

7. San Dimas - How will San Dimas follow a 9-2 season and a tri-league title? You would think all conversations start and end with third-year starting running back Nico Barbone, but you have to love the fact that Erek Brown and Daniel Joseph return along with Barbone in the backfield. Mick Kalmar is also back at quarterback, and then you have Randy Hoskins, Kyle Withem and Ryan Doll, all of whom made all-league, returning. The Saints aren’t going anywhere. This could be an offensive machine and if they take care of business defensively, they could be even better that 2007 and is my favorite to win the Valle Vista.

8. Glendora — Following its first Sierra League title since 1993 and its 9-3 season and quarterfinal appearance in the Inland Division playoffs is going to be tough for a Tartans squad that graduated so many impact seniors, especially in the trenches. The Tartans lose nine Sierra League first team players, including league MVP Michael Edwards, running back Jake Vega, and many others. QB Drew Kaluzny is back for his senior year, but he will have several new faces around him. In fact, the Tartans had 13 sophomores on their roster, so how they develop with the next group of seniors will be key. What you know for sure is that coach Mark Pasquarella will have a plan and they will be competitive. But it will be interesting to watch how this unfolds.

9. Northview – The rumor is that Northview wanted to schedule South Hills in 2008 and got their wish because the Vikings feel like this is one of their best senior teams in years. In fact, the Vikings even inquired about facing Bishop Amat, but that’s didn’t happen. QB Oscar Robles started strong in 2007, but needs to get his mojo back because there is a lot of talent coming back with him, like soon to be senior wide receivers Anthony Farmer and Kevin Jones. Linebackers Andrew Rodriguez and Christian Vargas also are back with many others. I’m still not completely sold. I’d like to see this team play a little tougher, but the talent is there if they compete.

10. South El Monte — The defending Mission Valley League champions return Jose Garay, the Tribune’s quarterback of the year who is sure to have a big senior season. Although receiver Tommy Cogburn graduates, Manny Acosta is more than capable of becoming their big impact split end and Neiko Padilla replaces Jonathan Mendoza in the backfield. Offensively, Carlos Chacon (tackle), Robert Cedeno (guard) are back after earning first team league honors. Another league title is theirs for the taking.

Others to consider: Am I crazy for leaving Damien and Los Altos off the top ten list? Should Wilson, with Tim “Happy” Gilmore as a player of the year candidate be among the top teams? In Damien and Los Altos’ case, they just don’t have enough returning on paper. Based on past history, they probably should get the benefit of the doubt, but as of now they have to prove their way back. Wilson simply doesn’t have enough to surround Gilmore, but he will be fun to watch. Also look out for Rosemead, Arroyo, Covina, Duarte, and perhaps even La Puente, Rowland, and Walnut. Yes, I said Walnut.

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