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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