Former La Puente high school head football coach Ray Hernandez, who led the Warriors to the 2007 Montview League title and coached in the Hall of Fame all-star game that summer, will be introduced as South El Monte’s next head football coach at a school board meeting tonight, the Tribune has learned. South El Monte longtime coach Erick Escamilla resigned after 13-years, opening the door for Hernandez, who was 10-21 in his four years at La Puente. Hernandez resigned at La Puente over philosophical differences with the school’s administration.
Tim Gilmore, one of the area’s best standout running backs for the past three seasons who also emerged as one of the best sprinters in CIF last season, has enrolled at La Puente high school for academic reason’s and will not run track this spring according to Wilson athletic director Dave Merrill. “We certainly wish him the best,” Merrill said. “La Puente offers him certain classes that he needs to graduate that we do not offer. We hated losing him and we know he was looking forward to track, but he’s doing the right thing. He’s taking care of his school work, which is the most important.”
UPDATE: Championship schedule announced
Saturday’s CIF Championship games
Baldwin Park vs. Salesian, 11:30 a.m., at Mission Viejo High School
Mountain View vs. Silverado, 11:30 a.m., Warren High School, Downey
Above: Diego Rodriguez celebrates game-winning goal for Mountain View
After starting the afternoon watching Mountain View’s little big-man Diego Rodriguez’s dominating performance and lone goal in the second half that gave the Vikings a 1-0 victory over Viewpoint, which puts them in the championship this weekend against undefeated Silverado, I caught the overtime at Baldwin Park and let me tell you, that was the best atmosphere at a high school soccer game I’ve ever seen. I felt like I was on the sidelines at the Coliseum. Not only was their stadium nearly full, the ‘Ole, ‘Ole chants and constant screams at every touch brought chills. At least three people asked if I had ever seen anything like it on my way out. And they deserved to win after having an awful offside ruling in sudden-death take away a goal that should have given the Braves a win anyway. Baldwin park goalkeeper Freddy Salazar made three amazing penalty kick saves, and sophomore Christian Garcia finished it off, scoring the final penalty with fans filing out of the stands and celebrating with players at midfield as the Braves advanced to their first championship ever with a 2-1 win in penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie. Baldwin Park will play powerful Salesian in the final. CIF will announce the dates and times on Wednesday for Mountain View and Baldwin Park. The championships are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at either Mission Viejo or Warren High in Downey.
Baldwin Park 1, Animo Leadership 1, BParks wins on PK’s, 2-1
Salesian 1, Righetti 0
Mountain View 1, Viewpoint 0
Silverado 2, Rosemead 1
For story on Mountain View, click thread
As we have rumored for weeks, Duarte finally announced on Tuesday that it has hired former Blair coach Tip Sanders to take over its football program.
By Miguel Melendez
It didn’t take long for Duarte High School to zero in on a local legend. Just more than a month since the Falcon administration abruptly fired Wardell Crutchfield as head football coach, principal Eric Barba announced Tuesday night the hiring of Lavelle “Tip” Sanders. Sanders enjoyed solid success in his two previous coaching stints, first at Marshall, then at Blair.
He led the Eagles to an Alpha League championship and a CIF-Southern Section semifinals appearance before winning a Rio Hondo League title with the Vikings.
“We are certain Mr. Sanders will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to an already successful program,” said Barba in a press release issued by the school. “His reputation and past experience in building strong football programs has earned him respect and credibility among football players and coaches alike. Mr. Sanders will be assembling his coaching staff within the next few weeks. We look forward to a successful and productive season.” Crutchfield was one of the most successful coaches in Duarte history. His resume includes taking the Falcons to the CIF-SS semifinals two seasons ago. Last month he said he’d been looking forward to the return of standout running back Jordan Canada and his son Wardell Crutchfield III, who will be a junior. But those plans changed after he was let go. The Falcons were 6-6 last season and finished second in the Montview League, advancing to the Mid-Valley Division quarterfinals.
In just his second season, Sanders led little-known Vikings team to a Rio Hondo League championship and a quarterfinal appearance. He earned Pasadena Star-News Coach of the Year honors after the surprising campaign. We will have more in tomorrow’s newspaper.
Re-leaguing starts for the 2010-11 season, and many coaches are concerned with how it will shake out. The next meeting is Wednesday, March 4 at Diamond Bar high school at 9 a.m, and it is open to the public for those who want to sit in on it. Those that might be greatly affected could be Charter Oak, Damien, South Hills and Diamond Ranch. These schools do not want to be included with teams from the Inland Empire because of demographic concerns, but it could happen. Actually, Diamond Ranch probably makes the most sense to be lumped in with teams from that area, especially since their sports programs are top notch across the board, and the demographics make so much more sense than anyone else in the Valley. Anyways, we will keep tabs with how it unfolds but I’ll leave you with one San Gabriel Valley coaches proposal to give you an idea of what’s being suggested. And to be honest, this is probably the best and most fair proposal I’ve seen. Got any other suggestions?
Important: The criteria that is supposed to be used merges geography, enrollment, and competitive equity.
Below: Maybe it’s time for Diamond Ranch to head east
Below: A San Gabriel Valley coach who shall remain anonymous suggested this, which I agree with except for one exception. I would keep Damien in the Sierra, and Claremont in the Baseline. Other than that, this seems pretty fair.
Valle Vista: San Dimas, Covina, Northview, Pomona, Garey, Baldwin Park
Sierra: Bonita, Charter Oak, South Hills, Claremont, Ayala, Glendora
San Antonio: Wilson, Nogales, Los Altos, Rowland, West Covina, Walnut, Diamond Bar
Montview: Duarte, Workman, Bassett, Azusa, Gladstone, La Puente, Ganesha, Sierra Vista
Baseline: Diamond Ranch, Damien, Alta Loma, Chino Hills, Rancho Cucamonga, Los Osos, Etiwanda, Upland
Mt. Baldy: Colony, Don Lugo, Ontario, Chino, Montclair, Chaffey
With soccer semifinals today, we thought we would push the Baseball Preview back to Thursday instead of Wednesday. This gives soccer the stage in tomorrow’s paper, and baseball the stage on Thursday, since there are no games on Wednesday. Also, while I’ve been working on the preview I learned today that highly regarded junior pitcher Jacob Shirley, who transferred to South Hills from West Covina, has been ruled ineligible by CIF, citing “Undue Influence.”
Nothing gets me ready for the baseball season like “Centerfield”
Jim McConnell, who writes a weekly Then & Now column, writes about the disappearance of the Pomona Elks baseball tournament
Unfortunately, the tournament is no more. For its final 40 years, the tourney was run by the Pomona Elks Lodge. The lodge is also no more. It is sad that something so much a part of the Valley’s sporting scene has disappeared from view. But the membership of the lodge grew old, retired, moved away and died. There just wasn’t anyone left to man the tourney.
To continue reading, click thread
Before we get to predictions for our three area boys soccer teams in semifinals today, let’s look at what they’re playing for and what changes CIF has finally made to improve the soccer finals. For one, and this is something I’ve argued for years, there will be NO ties/co champions in the divisional finals. There will be two sudden-death overtimes, and penalty kicks if needed to decide it, which is much better than in previous years where the cash cow’s at CIF squeezed as many games as they could in one day, and sometimes left with more co-champions than outright champions because they didn’t have overtime. Also, the winners of the divisional finals qualify for the state soccer championships the following week. The winners of today’s games will either play on Friday or Saturday for the CIF title at Mission Viejo HS or Warren High in Downey.
Animo Leadership (15-2-1) at Baldwin Park (24-1), 5 p.m.
Mountain View 1, Viewpoint 0
Silverado 2, Rosemead 1
Predictions: I’ve said from the beginning that Mountain View and Rosemead are the two best teams in Division VI, and at home, I’m expecting them to advance and play their third match of the season in the finals. Rosemead is not a lock though, anytime you play an undefeated team, there are no locks. Baldwin Park, I’m not so sure. They’ve been down three starters since the playoffs started, and at some point, that wears on you. I know they snuck past La Canada in penalty kicks, but I’m afraid tonight is probably the end of the road.
From left: Catcher Kelly Nolan, Pitcher Dana Waldusky and shorstop Natalie Hernandez form the heart and soul of the Tartans softball team.
Girls Softball top ten
2. Los Altos
3. San Dimas
4. Bishop Amat
5. Charter Oak
6. South El Monte
9. Sierra Vista
By Steve Ramirez
Glendora and Bishop Amat high schools were not the best two softball teams in the area last season, but they were when it mattered most. The question is can either do it again. The answer appears to be a solid yes for the Tartans, who earned the school’s first trip to the CIF-Southern Section Divisional II final last season and appear to have the necessary pieces for a repeat performance. Glendora (19-10 in 2008), which begins the season atop the area rankings, again will be strong in the circle where senior Dana Waldusky proved to be one of the area’s top pitchers, led the Tartans to the division final and threw a pair of shutouts along the way. “She’s been growing since her freshman year and just caught fire in the second half,” Glendora coach Reese Mitchell said. “We’re hoping it carries over (to this season), and there’s no reason to think it won’t. The thing is when she’s good, we’re very good.”
Waldusky again will have plenty of help. Glendora’s lineup also features a lot of talent with shortstop Natalie Hernandez, catcher Kelly Nolan and third baseman Brianna Dworak.
All three will play a major role in the Tartans’ success this season, which could include a Sierra League championship and another solid run during the playoffs. “We all have personal goals,” Mitchell said. “But when I talked to them, I didn’t talk championship. We talked about just working to get better. lost some games last season we should have won, so our goal right now is to just work hard and (finish) games. We’re excited because we feel we have a good club. We accept the challenge of (trying to repeat). I think we’ll be a better hitting club and hopefully we won’t have to win games 1-0, 2-0. I think we can be better, but you never know until you start playing.”
For the rest of the top ten preview, click thread
After defeating Malibu 9-5 to capture Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division VI championship, CIF released the pairings for Friday and Saturday’s two-days Masters Tournament with No. 16 Bonita drawing top-seed Corona del Mar in Friday’s first-round at 2:30 p.m., at El Toro High School. It’s a double-elimination tournament.
Anything and anyone you want to talk about
There are only three boys soccer teams left in the CIF-SS playoffs, and La Verne Lutheran in boys basketball. That means over the next week we will be selecting the boys and girls basketball players of the year and all area teams, as well as the coaches of the year in each sport. Go ahead and make your arguments. The softball preview comes out Tuesday and baseball on Wednesday. The Glendora baseball tournament starts the season off in great fashion on Friday, for a complete look at the schedule, click the thread.
FYI: Mountain View did get approval by CIF officials on Monday to play in its home stadium after having referee’s rule against in on Friday, forcing them to use their JV field in the quarterfinals. They will be at home at 3 p.m.
Animo Leadership at Baldwin Park, 5 p.m.
Viewpoint at Mountain View, 3 p.m.
Silverado at Rosemead, 3 p.m.