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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