Softball: With all due respect to our heavy hitters, South El Monte, has the best shot

Above: South El Monte’s Reina Gaber hopes to take the Eagles all the way

Today’s Wild-Card games
Division III

Charter Oak 6, Arcadia 4
Chino Hills 4, Mission Viejo 2, 10 innings
Division V
Schurr 8, Gladstone 3
Rowland 2, Riverside Notre Dame 1
Covina 9, Magnolia 1
Cerritos Valley Christian 6, La Puente 0

Division III locals: Los Altos, Bonita, Glendora, Charter Oak (WC).
Top Seeds: 1. Cajon, 2. Oaks Christian, 3. Crescenta Valley, 4. Ayala
What should happen: Top seeds should do well. This is an extremely tough draw for the best teams in our area. Even if Glendora gets past either Downey or Dana Hills, they would probably get Knight in the second round, a 16-4-1 team that could mean good night for the Tartans. Chances are Los Altos will likely get Sonora, a tough 16-12 team that finished third in the competitive Freeway league. That’s a coin toss. Then there’s Bonita, who will likely get Chino Hills. Tartans coach Reese Mitchell said Chino Hills is the best hitting team in the Sierra, which probably means one-and-done for the Cats.
Prediction: Bonita will not get out of the first round and because of its late season scoring problems, Glendora will probably lose in the second round. If Los Altos gets past round one, I like their chances of reaches the quaterfinals, but that’s as far as they can go.

Division IV locals: Bishop Amat
Top Seeds seeds: 1. Ocean View, 2. El Segundo, 3. Santa Monica, 4. St. Joseph.
What should happen: You would expect the Lancers to make another deep run after reaching the championship last year, but this isn’t the same team and the road appears much tougher.
Prediction: The Lancers lose in game one against Morro Bay, the second place team from the Los Padres league with a 20-4 overall record. They’re probably the best team from the Los Padres, but they finished a game back of St. Joseph.

Division V locals: San Dimas, Azusa, South Hills, Northview, Sierra Vista, West Covina, Gladstone (WC), Rowland (WC), Covina (WC), La Puente (WC).
Division V seeds: 1. Calvary Murrieta, 2. Riverside Christian, 3. Montebello, 4. Village Christian.
What should happen:This is the division where you will likely play “something” Christian. The only team with a realistic chance of doing anything is San Dimas, though it has a tough road having to likely play top-seed Calvary Murrieta in the quarters. The only wild-card team with a chance of moving on is Rowland, which could give Sierra Vista all it can handle in a first-round game, though I will go with the Dons.
\Predictions: San Dimas gets to the quarterfinals and gets knocked out. West Covina will get to the second round and the more I look at the draw, I like Sierra Vista’s chance of reaching the quarters should they get past Rowland. Other than than, everyone else will be one-and-done.

Division VI locals: South El Monte, Arroyo
Division VI seeds: 1. La Salle, 2. Maranatha, 3. Marymount, 4. South El Monte
Thursday’s first round: Arroyo at Baptist Christian; Sacred Heart of Jesus at South El Monte
What should happen: Anything, it’s a wide-open division with no bonafide threats. This isn’t a great year even by La SAlle and Maranatha’s standards, and they’re the top seeds.
Prediction: South El Monte will win the championship. With the exception of Lone Pine (16-6), I don’t see anything stopping the Eagles from marching to the semifinals and probably playing La Salle, who they will beat. Reina Garber is a senior and ready for this, and this team has played tougher competition in local tournaments.

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Jim McConnell: Our Then & Now columnist takes a journey through CIF history

Bill Schroeder was a little man who accomplished big things.
Among those accomplishments was the “inventing” of All-CIF teams. Before Schroeder, individual honors in high school athletics were viewed as gauche. Now, they are an accepted part of the sports landscape.
Schroeder inaugurated All-CIF teams in 1937. Working at the Helms Hall of Fame, he saw two things: 1) High school sports were becoming increasingly popular; 2) Southern California’s prep athletes were among the nation’s best.

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Baseball pairings: No surprise, Bishop Amat and Northview earn top seeds in Div. IV, Glendora, Damien play wild card games on Tuesday

Click here for a look at the CIF-SS playoffs draw

Bishop Amat celebrates second of back-to-back Division V titles. The Lancers are looking to 3-peat and are expected to be the top seed in Division IV.

Division II seeds: 1. El Toro, 2. Yucaipa, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Palos Verdes.
Tuesday’s wild-card: West Torrance at Glendora, A.B. Miller at Glendora, Chino Hills at Burroughs Burbank.
Thursday’s first-round: West Torrance/Glendora winner vs. Pasadena-Redlands East Valley winner; Damien/AB Miller winner at Palos Verdes; Chino HIlls/Burroughs winner at La Mirada, Huntington Beach/Glenn winner at Chino.

Division III seeds: 1. Beckman, 2. Bonita, 3. San Gorgonio, 4. Lancaster
Tuesday’s wild card: Walnut at El Rancho, Wilson at Laguna Hills, Los Altos at Elsinore
Friday’s first round: Cajon at Charter Oak, Quartz Hill at South Hills, Pacific/Eastside winner at Bonita; Palmdale/Montebello winner at Nogales; Walnut/El Rancho winner at Downey; Wilson/Laguna Hills winner at Lancaster; Los Altos-Elsinore winner at Orange.

Division IV seeds: 1. Bishop Amat, 2. Northview, 3. Torrance, 4. San Dimas.
Tuesday’s wild-card: Carpinteria at Baldwin Park
Thursday’s first round: Santa Ana Calvary Chapel/North Torrance winner at Bishop Amat; Laguna Beach at San Dimas, Granite Hills/Indio winner at Northview

Division V seeds: 1. San Jacinto, 2. Santa Ynez, 3. Maranatha, 4. Woodcrest Christian
Tuesday’s wild-card: Cathedral at Arroyo; Citrus Hill at Azusa, Gladstone at Bosco Tech.
Friday’s first-round: Arrowhead Christian at Sierra Vista; South El Monte at Downey Calvary Chapel, Mary Star at La Puente; Arroyo/Cathedral winner at San Jacinto; Azusa/Citrus Hills winner at Maranatha; Gladstone/Bosco Tech winner at Santa Ynez.

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Softball pairings: South El Monte earns No. 4 seed in Division VI, Los Altos, Bonita and Glendora have tough roads in Division III

Click here for a look at the CIF-SS playoffs draw

West Covina celebrates Friday’s San Antonio League clinching victory over South Hills

Division III seeds: 1. Cajon, 2. Oaks Christian, 3. Crescenta Valley, 4. Ayala
Tuesday’s wild card: Arcadia at Charter Oak
Thursday’s first round: Sonora/Paramount winner at Los Altos, Chino Hills/Mission Viejo winner at Bonita; Downey/Dana Hills winner at Glendora; Arcadia/Charter Oak winner at Knight.

Division IV seeds: 1. Ocean View, 2. El Segundo, 3. Santa Monica, 4. St. Joseph.
Thursday’s first round: Bishop Amat at Morro Bay

Division V seeds: 1. Calvary Murrieta, 2. Riverside Christian, 3. Montebello, 4. Village Christian.
Tuesday’s wild card: Gladstone at Schurr; Notre Dame at Rowland, Covina at Magnolia, Valley Christian at La Puente
Thursday’s first round: Gladstone/Schurr winner at San Dimas; Azusa at Victor Valley; Keppel at South Hills; Northview at Savanna; Rowland/Notre Dame winner at Sierrra Vista; Valley Christian/La Puente winner at West Covina; Covina-Magnolia winner at Calvary Chapel.

Division IV seeds: 1. La Salle, 2. Maranatha, 3. Marymount, 4. South El Monte
Thursday’s first round: Arroyo at Baptist Christian; Sacred Heart of Jesus at South El Monte

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The GLENDORANATOR does it again: Jaques breaks 30-year record, wins two more titles

We’ve got a superstar in the neighborhood, Glendora’s Gretchen Jaques followed her two titles as a freshman with two more titles and her name in the record books after breaking a 30-year-old mark. Even if you’re not a swim fan, she catches your attention. And so does Walnut’s Andrea Grant, an emerging super soph too. She won the 200 free, and finished second to Jaques in the 100 free. Nothing like the beginning of a great rivalry, and in the muscle events, even better.
For all of the CIF-Swimming Results, including the heat sheets for Tuesday’s Master Meet in Long Beach, click here. Jaques has the top Masters qualifying marks in 50 and 100 free. Grant is seeded fourth in the 200.

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Baseball: The league champions have been crowned, playoff pairings come Monday

My only complaint is what does Nogales have to do to get ranked in Division III? If South Hills is No. 5 and Nogales beat them 2 of 3 and has a better overall record, shouldn’t the Nobles at least be ranked? Whatever happens, this has been an incredible coaching job by John Romano (above).

Area’s league champions
Del Rey: Bishop Amat; Miramonte: Bonita; Mission Valley: Gabrielino; Montview: Sierra Vista; San Antonio: Nogales (South Hills could tie today with win over WC); Sierra: Chino; Valle Vista: Northview

CIF-Rankings heading into Monday’s pairings
Division II: 1. El Toro, 2. Yucaipa, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Palos Verdes, 5. Upland, 6. Pacifica, 7. San Luis Obispo, 8. Arcadia, 9. Foothill, 10. Cypress. (No Glendora, Damien or Chino).

Division III: 1. Beckman, 2. Downey, 3. Bonita, 4. Hemet, 5. South Hills, 6. Alhambra, 7. San Gorgonio, 8. La Serna, 9. Lancaster, 10. Paramount.

Division IV: 1. Bishop Amat, 2. Northview, 3. San Dimas, 4. Torrance, 5. Palm Desert, 6. Fulleton, 7. Colony, 8. Anaheim, 9. La Quinta, 10. Patriot.

Division V: 1. San Jacinto, 2. Downey Calvary Chapel, 3. Santa Ynez, 4. Maranatha, 5. Gladstone, 6. Woodcrest Christian, 7. Linfield Christian, 8. Citrus Hill, 9. Campbell Hall, 10. Western Christian.

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Are you ready to rumble: The Showdown is on for the San Antonio, South Hills at West Covina

The Queens of Cameron will be crowned today. After South Hills’ 4-1 victory on Wednesday, South Hills (15-8-1, 7-4) and West Covina (14-9, 7-4) are locked in a tie heading into today’s final game at West Covina at 3:15 p.m. West Covina should have wrapped this up already, but two of its four league losses have come against the Huskies, and a sweep would provide the final knockout blow. I don’t know if it’s a case of South Hills having their number, but I’m guessing the Bulldogs won’t get swept without a fight.

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Swimming: San Dimas relays finish fourth; Division II swimming prelims updated; Grant-Jaques to square off in races for the ages

Click for instant swimming results from the CIF-SS Division preliminaries and finals

San Dimas’s Henry Shieh competes in the 100 yard butterfly during the CIF Division IV swim finals at Mt. SAC on Thursday.

Thursday: Division IV finals, San Dimas’ top individual finish was a sixth by Scott Jones in the 100 breast in 1:01.86. “I did the best that I could,” he said. “All that training paid off.” He later helped the Saints to a fourth- place finish in the 400 relay. The team, which included freshman Michael Wells, Cody Moore and Henry Shieh, swam a 3:27.00. The Saints were followed by Maranatha and Gabrielino.

Story: Mt. SAC fills in as host for CIF

Feature Story: Rowland’s Garcia coming up big in the pool

Breaking News: Due to pump problems at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach, CIF has moved all swimming preliminaries and finals to Mt. San Antonio College College through Saturday. The Div. IV finals begin tomorrow at 6 p.m., and includes the great swimmers from San Dimas and a super freshman from Sierra Vista named Danny Lam.

Division II Prelims – FRIDAY, MAY 15 competition starting at 10 a.m.
Division I Finals – Friday, May 15, competition starting at 6 p.m.
Division III Finals – Saturday, May 16, competition starting at 10 a.m.
Division II Finals – Saturday, May 16, competition starting at 4 p.m.

Above: After winning two individual titles as a freshman, Gretchen Jaques, is hoping to add two more titles and set meet records in today’s championships.

Glendora High School’s Gretchen Jaques and Walnut’s Andrea Grant are close friends and focused competitors about to embark on a journey that could spark an exciting rivalry over the next two years. Both sophomores, Jaques stormed onto the scene by winning the CIF-Southern Section Division II 50 and 100-yard freestyle titles as a freshman, with Grant finishing fourth her freshman year in the 200-freestyle. At Friday’s Division II prelims at Mt. San Antonio College, Grant won her heat in the 100 freestyle in 51.01, then turned and watch Jaques swim a 50.44 to qualify first overall, with Grant second. They will square off in the 100 freestyle finals when the CIF-SS Division II swimming championships resume Saturday at Mt. SAC beginning at 4 p.m.
Jaques said the Div. II 100-free meet record of 49.77 set in 1979 by Wilson High School’s Jill Sterkel is within reach.

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Guest speaker at Diamond Ranch on Tuesday to discuss the realities of recruiting, and it’s free!

“The point I stress to parents and student-athletes is the need to be proactively open-minded throughout the discovery process of finding the right school. My message is very simple – It’s A Game, Know The Rules!”Jack Renkens, founder and president

No, this isn’t a where-is-Roddy Layton-going-now thread, rather Layton called yesterday to inform you about an excellent opportunity for all parents and high school athletes in the San Gabriel Valley curious about the recruiting process. This is open to all sports, not just football and it is free, how great is that? On Tuesday, May 19, Jack Renkens from Recruiting Realities will be at Diamond Ranch at 7 p.m., for anyone interested in listening. Renkens is a motivational speaker who tours the country informing parents, players and coaches about the realities of the recruiting process and college sports.

Layton’s message: “As a player who has gone through the recruiting process, a parent, and as a coach, I highly recommend coming. In the last few seasons I have had an opportunity to listen to speakers at Rivals, The Army All-American Bowl and the National Youth Football Association. Jack Renkens is really good at getting the valuable information out in an entertaining and realistic way. The presentation begins at 7:00 so we suggest showing up early for a seat.”

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Just Tribbin

Anything and anyone you want to talk about.

I know I talked about spring football news this week, but I simply don’t have the time to run down coaches with baseball and softball league races and swimming and track hitting the heart of their season. This is busy time. So for now, why don’t you tell us what you see, what you’re hearing. I found it interesting that one of our correspondents, John Honell, said a Glendora coach told him they will have the best quarterback in the Valley next year, maybe one of the best they ever had when all is said and done.

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Ayala finishes sweep of Glendora softball; Gabrielino beats South El Monte to win MVL

RESULT: Glendora 3, Ayala 2; Chino 13, Damien 5

Sierra League Baseball title: Will Damien (18-7, 8-6) do Glendora (17-7, 9-5) a favor and beat Chino (18-7, 10-4) today. The Spartans are already locked in third place. Even if they win and Glendora lose’s at Ayala, Glendora can do no worse than second because it defeated the Spartans in the season series. If Damien wins and Glendora wins, the Tartans tie for the league title with Chino, but also win the tiebreaker to finish first for the playoffs. The Spartans will pull it off. Those up-and-down fans hating on Damien need to remember one thing. Remember what happened in basketball? If the Spartans win it could be just the momentum they need to knock off a league champion in the first round of the playoffs.

Above: Ayala’s Jessica Hall throws back-to-back shutouts. Because she’s going to UCLA, I’ll give her props.

Result: Ayala 5, Glendora 0
Sierra League softball title: Glendora (18-3, 8-1) is at Ayala (20-9, 7-2) after getting hammered 8-0 earlier in the week at home against the Bulldogs. That will not, I repeat, not happen again. I’m sure the Bulldogs are feeling good about themselves, but all they have done is give the Tartans the motivation they need to win the title today. But we should point out, regardless of what happens, the Tartans already have clinched at least a share of it. I bet Glendora takes it, 2-0

Result: Gabrielino 5, South El Monte 1
Mission Valley League baseball title: What’s better than a win-or-go-home championship game at the end of the season. South El Monte (11-6, 10-4) is at Gabrielino (13-11, 10-4) for all the marbles. South won the first meeting 9-4, then Gabrielino came back and won the second game 9-4 too. Anything can happen, there is no dominant pitcher, which makes this wild race to the finish even better. I bet the South takes it, 8-6.

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I don’t hate anyone more than the Celtics (well, maybe USC), so why pull for them? Revenge

For a year I have had to stare at his smile and the same ugly “Beat LA” green shirt worn constantly by night sports editor Jason Cunningham, who is from Boston and couldn’t look any more like a Celtics fan. But do we really want the Celtics to lose tonight against the panic-stricken Magic? I’m so worried about Cleveland that I’m actually hoping the Celtics finish off Orlando and somehow, someway, pull off another miracle and beat Cleveland. I don’t know about you, but I want the rematch with Boston. But if the Lakers lose again tonight in Houston, we do have a problem.

I can’t wait for the parade

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Breaking News: Los Altos girls volleyball coach Anthony De La Vara shocked over his firing

After building one of the better girls varsity volleyball programs in the Valley, Los Altos girls varsity coach Anthony De La Vara said he was fired by principal Cheli McReynolds. De La Vara said the reasons given were vague, “She said some parents weren’t happy with me and some kids were afraid of me, but she wouldn’t put anything in writing detailing why she made her decision.” The Tribune received a letter from the president of the Los Altos volleyball booster club in support of De La Vera, who said he has continuously fought for equal gym time with the school administration, and several other Title IX issues, which he thinks played a role in his removal. A coach in the Valley for nearly 30 years, De La Vara graduated at Los Altos and has also coached at West Covina, South Hills, Covina and was an assistant many years for the Los Altos boys program. “I love that school and what I was building there,” De La Vara said. “I don’t want to say anything bad, they have great kids and I wish them nothing but the best.”

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Bishop Amat’s Andy Nieto shows his support for La Salle coach Harry Agajanian, who was suspended

I copied this from Miguel Melendez’s Star-News blog….

Bshop Amat coach Andy Nieto and the rest of his team showed its support for La Salle baseball coach Harry Agajanian who was suspended Monday for what’s left of the the regular-season in what La Salle officials are calling a violation of school policy. Without going into all the details, school officials can confirm that Agajanian’s suspension stems from a players refusal not to play in a game against Cantwell Sacred Heart. Agajanian sent that player to the bus after his refusal to play, and words were later exchanged. School officials met, and felt a suspension was warranted. The Lancers played Bishop Amat yesterday and the coaches taped Agajanian’s number on their hats. It was a gesture that surely meant a lot for Agajanian. How classy of your opponent to show support. It shows how well-liked Agajanian is among his colleagues. Agajanian had a meeting today with the principal to discuss his future with the baseball program. We’ll have more as it becomes available.

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