Swimming Update: Long Beach is out, Mt. SAC will host all Divisional swimming prelims and finals

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.

Click this link for instant swimming results from the CIF-SS Divisional preliminaries and finals.

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.

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Changes are on the way … To pay or not to pay

We received a memo from Media News Group Executives outlining future plans that will likely end free access to our newspaper websites. You may have to pay a subscription fee or register to gain access. How this affects the blog, I do not know. However, here is an important part of the memo that reads, “ We will begin to move away from putting all of our newspaper content online for free. Instead, we will explore a variety of premium offerings that apply real value to our print content. We are not trying to invent new premium products, but instead tell our existing print readers that what they are buying has real value, and to our online audience (who don’t buy the print edition), that if you want access to all online content, you are going to have to register, and/or pay. If a non-subscriber wants the newspaper content in its entirety online, they will be directed to some sort of registration or pay vehicle (and if they are a print subscriber, they will have full access at no charge). To be clear, the brand value proposition to the consumer is that the newspaper is a product, whether in print or online, which must be paid for. In other words, you can help yourself and help us all out by going back to the old days of home delivery, it’s cheap, and will give you access to everything else for free. You can read the memo by clicking the link above to learn more. There is no set date when this will all begin, but I’m curious, how do you feel about these changes?

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Softball: South Hills beats West Covina, sets up championship on Friday when they meet again

Wednesday’s games
South Hills 4, West Covina 1
Rowland 4, Walnut 2
Friday’s games
South Hills at West Covina, 3:15 p.m.
Walnut at Rowland, 3:15 p.m.

Here’s the up to date standings heading into Friday’s games.
West Covina 7-4 (14-9) – Home on Friday for outright league title.
South Hills 7-4 (15-8-1) – At West Covina on Friday for outright league title.
Walnut 6-5 (12-11) – At Rowland on Friday to clinch playoff berth or stay home.
Rowland 6-5 (11-13) – Home against Walnut to clinch playoff berth or stay home.

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You thought Bishop Amat had a great coaching staff, how about Montana to Oaks Christian

As first reported by Joe Amat (who says we never give him credit), Hall of famer Joe Montana is joining the Oaks Christian football coaching staff. The staff already includes 19-year NFL veteran Clay Matthews, Bob Richards and Bob Bates, two former California coaches of the year, and former University of Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen, the older brother of Jimmy. “Our coaching staff is second to none,” Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell said. “It is a very experienced staff and the average age of our staff is 65. Nobody cares who gets the credit because by the time the game ends, none of us can remember who should get the credit.” Montana, who, according to Redell, will be in the press box. The move has brought about a change in the head coach’s philosophy. “We have a policy where we don’t want fathers coaching their kids,” Redell said. “But we made an exception. So the new rule is, if you’ve been a three-time Super Bowl MVP, you can come out and coach your kid.”
Note: BTW, Oaks Christian plays Muir in week 3

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Football: Garay continues career at La Verne

South El Monte quarterback Jose Garay, who earned Tribune first-team honors as a junior, has decided to attend the University of La Verne and continue his stellar football career. This is a great fit for a tremendous athlete who will do wonders for their program. Garay holds all but one school passing record at South, including most passing yards in a season, 2,712; most passing yards in a game, 491; most TDs in a season, 31, most TD’s in a game, 6, and career passing yards, 7,215 and career TD passes, 77.

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Baseball rankings: Bishop Amat and Northview end where it began, on top of the polls

Nogales 8, South Hills 1: Nobles pitcher Andrew Melchor impoved to a perfect 8-0, and also scored twice as the Nobles defeated the Huskies to earn at least a share of the Miramonte League title, and the No. 1 seed from the Miramonte going into the Division III playoffs.

Today’s big games
San Antonio League
Nogales 8, South Hills 1
Sierra League
Chino 8, Damien 3
Glendora 5, Ayala 4
Miramonte League
Wilson at Bonita, 3:15 p.m.

Above: Nogales’ Andrew Melchor takes his undefeated 7-0 record to South Hills today with the San Antonio League title on the line.

Baseball top ten rankings
1. Bishop Amat (21-5) – The Lancers need a sweep against La Salle this week to hold on to the No. 1 ranking in Division IV. Anything short of that could drop them to No. 2 and possibly No. 3. But it’s not going to happen, not when you have two aces in Paez and Zuniga going back-to-back.
2. Northview (18-4) – Finishing the season with a pair against Ganesha means you can already mark it down, the Vikings will finish 20-4 and win their fourth straight Valle Vista League title. This also means they should be ranked No lower than No. 2 in Div. IV, and could get to No. 1 if Amat trips up.
3. Glendora (16-7) – How big was last week’s sweep over Chino? The Tartans went from needing to win to secure a playoff berth, to a tie for second with Damien, and only a game back of Chino for first place. The race to the finish is on.
4. San Dimas (17-5) – – Those two extra-inning losses against Northview has to naw at them, but it also shows they’re just as much a threat to win the Div. IV title as Bishop Amat and Northview.
5. Damien (18-6) – The Spartans’ stumble against Diamond Bar leaves them a game back of Chino with two against the Cowboys this week. A sweep and they earn at least a piece of the title.
6. Bonita (17-5) – With Charter Oak losing last week to Los Altos, the Bearcats need to win one of two games from Wilson to earn the Miramonte League title. Now how hard is that? If you have been paying attention to the upsets, apparently harder than it appears.
7. South Hills (17-7) – The Huskies lead Nogales by a game heading into today’s showdown at home with the Nobles, will will likely pitch Andrew Melchor, who is undefeated with a 7-0 record, and who beat South Hills earlier in the season.
8. Nogales (20-7-1) – They did what they had to do, keep themselves in position, only a game back heading into the rubber match against South Hills today. They’ve got their ace throwing, so all systems are go.
9. Charter Oak (15-8) – The Chargers should finish second after last week’s loss to Los Altos. They just don’t have the horses they had the previous two years, but they’re still a hard out when it counts.
10. Sierra Vista (17-6) – The Dons wrapped up the Montview League title and won seven of eight to crack the top ten rankings for the first time this season.

Baseball Standings and Schedules
Del Rey League
Miramonte League
Mission Valley League
Montview League
San Antonio League
Sierra League
Valle Vista League

<a href="http://www.maxpreps.com">MaxPreps High School Sports</a>

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Girls Softball Rankings: Glendora holding steady at No. 1, but finishes back-to-back against Ayala

Glendora gets beat: Ayala’s Jessica Hall pitched a one-hitter to defeat Glendora 8-0; setting up Thursday’s showdown at Ayala for the Sierra League title.

Read today’s player profile of South El Monte High School’s Reina Gaber. I enjoyed talking to her, she’s mature beyond her years and a great example of what a student-athlete should aspire to be.

Girls Softball top ten rankings
1. Glendora (18-2) – After climbing to No. 4 in Monday’s Div. III poll, the Tartans have their sights set on the Sierra League title, finishing with Ayala today and Thursday, needing to win either game to win the title outright. If they get swept, they finish in a tie, but Ayala wins the head-to-head and goes as No. 1 to the playoffs.
2. Los Altos (18-6) – They can wrap up the Miramonte with wins over Charter Oak and Wilson, the only thing stopping Los Altos is Los Altos themselves. But we think they have cured that problem.
3. Bonita (20-4-1) – They finish this season with Charter Oak then get re-energized for a playoff run. The Cats could be sleepers, they have done well in tournaments and they play with a hunger that wins close playoff games.
4. San Dimas (19-4) – The Saints are closing in on an undefeated run in the Valle Vista League, but still need to sharpen up for the playoffs.
5. South El Monte (16-6) – Can clinch the Mission Valley League outright with a victory over Arroyo. Of all the teams in our top ten, I really believe the Eagles have the best chance of winning a title in Division VI.
6. Sierra Vista (18-3) – What’s going on with girls sports at Sierra Vista? First the basketball team compiles a mighty impressive record, and now the softball team. I watched them last week and they’re for real. They have some very strong hitters 1-4. Definitely a sleeper to watch in the playoffs
7. Bishop Amat (14-12) – The Lancers will be at St. Paul in a key game to lock down at least third in the Del Rey and a playoff spot. If the Lancers lose, they will be tied for third with St. Paul, but the Lancers finish with Cantwell while St. Paul finishes with Bishop Montgmomery.
8. Northview (13-8) – Considering how much pitcher Hannah Fraijo meant to the Vikings last season, this was a great job of coaching to keep the Vikes in the top ten and in a fight for second in the VVL.
9. West Covina (13-9) – Winners of five straight, the Bulldogs get South Hills Wednesday and Friday with a chance to win the San Antonio title. Great year, great coaching job.
10. South Hills (13-8-1) – Real simple, they need to beat Nogales today, then sweep West Covina to win the San Antonio. Hey, it’s simple to write, not simple to do.

Today’s games
Del Rey League

Bishop Amat at St. Paul, 3:15 p.m.
Miramonte League
Los Altos at Charter Oak, 3:15 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at Wilson, 3:15 p.m.
Mission Valley League
South El Monte at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.
Mountain View at Gabrielino, 3:15 p.m.
Montview League
Sierra Vista at La Puente, 3:15 p.m.
Gladstone at Bassett, 3:15 p.m.
Duarte at Workman, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra League
Ayala at Glendora, 3:30 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Chino Hills, 3:30 p.m.

Softball Standings and Schedules
Del Rey League
Miramonte League
Mission Valley League
Montview League
San Antonio League
Sierra League
Valle Vista League
Continue reading

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The veteran Roger Murray gives a shout out to Bishop Amat freshman Rio Ruiz (also a future QB)

Whittier prep editor Roger Murray has covered high school baseball longer than just about anyone in Southern California, and knows his stuff, believe me. After watching Bishop Amat freshman third baseman Rio Ruiz, Murray offered this flattering compliment on his Whittier Blog …
Bishop Amat third baseman Rio Ruiz is everything and much more that the hype said he would be when he enrolled at the school. A 6-foot-1,175-pound (he looks bigger) standout at third base (could probably play anywhere on the field) and a disciplined hitter with maturity beyond his years at the plate. And the kicker – he’s a freshman. He is not the Lancers only talented player, but the fact he’s a freshman is what amazes when you watch him perform.”
By the numbers: Batting .360, 28 RBIs, 4 triples, 5 doubles, two home runs

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Glendora softball: Justice Served

Getting it right: I don’t want to pat myself on the back or say the blog had anything to do with it, but a week after pointing out the glaring injustice of the Glendora High School softball team not being ranked in the Division III poll all season, the Tartans are suddenly sitting at No. 4 this afternoon. You’re welcome Tartans.
Division III: 1. Oaks Christian, 2. Cajon, 3. Crescenta Valley, 4. Glendora, 5. Tesoro, 6. Patriot, 7. Los Altos, 8. Bonita, 9. Righetti, 10. Chino Hills.
Division V: 1. Calvary Murrieta, 2. Riverside Christian, 3. Woodcrest Christian, 4. Village Christian, 5. San Jacinto, 6. San Dimas, 7. Sierra Vista, 8. Keppel, 10. Heritage.
Division VI: 1. La Salle, 2. Maranatha, 3. Marymount, 4. South El Monte, 5. Ramona Convent, 6. Oxford Academy, 7. Grace Brethren, 8. Campbell Hall, 9. Big Bear, 10. Viewpoint.

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For the latest from the CIF-SS championships at Belmont Plaza Pool, we have the link

Click this link for instant swimming results from the CIF-SS Divisional finals this week at Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach. The heet sheets have been released.
IMPORTANT UPDATE Division IV Prelims. Due to problems at Belmont Plaza, the Division IV Swimming Prelims will be held at Mt. Sac on Tuesday, May 12th Warmup @ 10:30 AM, Competition @ Noon

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The San Gabriel Valley senior all-star game is a month away. Who should fill out the rosters?

Softball all-star game: South Hills coach Scott Fisch does a great job organing the San Gabriel Valley Senior All-Star game, which will be held Wednesday, June 3, 6:30 p.m. at Mt. San Antonio College.
The coaches
North coach: Pamela Crampton, St. Lucy’s
South coach: Kendra Navarro, El Monte
Admission: $5 and $2 parking

Important note: Coaches of senior players should send nominations to Scott Fisch at sfisch@cvusd.k12.ca.us. Please include players name, position and cell phone number. The Teams will be released around May 22 either on the San Gabriel Valley Tribune blog or through the newspaper. I am helping Scott identify players, so go ahead and make your arguments on the blog too.

I would like to nominate Sierra Vista pitcher Brittney Flores…

North schools include: Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bonita, Charter Oak, Covina, Duarte, Gladstone, Glendora, La Canada, Monrovia, Northview, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Vista, St. Lucy’s, Temple City, Western Christian (20)

South schools incluce: Arroyo, Bassett, Bishop Amat, Diamond Bar, El Monte, Gabrielino, Ganesha, La Puente, Los Altos, Mountain View, Nogales, Pomona, Rowland, South El Monte, South Hills, Walnut, West Covina, Wilson, Workman (19)

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Best pitcher in the Valley … So many to choose

Someone was asking how I’m going to select the top two, maybe three pitchers for the all-area team when there are so many with similar numbers to consider. I started taking a good look at all the teams and man, you can make an argument for so many. The CIF playoffs always helps sort this out, but take a look this list I put together … of course in no particular order.

Bishop Amat lefty Paul Paez.

Christian Huerta, Sierra Vista, 6-2, 1.94 ERA, 78 strikeouts
Paul Paez, Bishop Amat, 7-3, 2.11 ERA, 82 strikeouts
Erik Salcido, San Dimas, 8-1, 1.58 ERA, 61 strikeouts
Brady Zuniga, Bishop Amat, 9-1, 1.62 ERA, 63 strikeouts
Matt Whitehouse, Damien, 6-1, 2.78 ERA, 60 strikeouts
Nico Calderaro, Bonita, 6-2, 1.72 ERA, 64 strikeouts
Adam Plutko, Glendora, 5-3, 2.56 ERA, 49 strikeouts
Kenny Kissell, Charter Oak, 4-1, 2.65 ERA, 32 strikeouts

Then there are the unknowns who do not report stats, but we know who they’re
Derek Klena, South Hills, Huskies ace has them in control of San Antonio
Andrew Melchor, Nogales, having a tremendous season
Eddie Pedroza, Northview, Junior lefty came up big in series with San Dimas
Eric Ruvalcaba, Northview, Where would the Vikings be without this transfer?

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Football: Searching your memory banks

I have been handed a project for a new magazine that we’re going to publish. I don’t know all the details of the magazine or the publication day yet, I just know it has to be completed in the next couple of days. For football, they want to know the following:
Runaway moment of 2008? Team of 2008? Top athletes and college prospects? Athletes to watch next year? Programs to watch next year.

Best team of 2008? Hmm, let me think about that

Since spring football is up and running, how about this list of top ten players to watch out for next fall. In no particular order.
Adam Muema (RB, Charter Oak)
Miles Bevel (RB, South Hills).
Ricky Johnson (RB, West Covina)
Geoffrey Vaughns (WR, South Hills)
Darian Johnson (CB, Bishop Amat)
Leonard Rhodes, (RB, Walnut)
A.J. Powell (S, Charter Oak)
Ify Umodo (WR, South Hills)
Amari Staten (RB, Diamond Ranch)
Jordan Canada (RB, Duarte/South Hills)

Coming Wednesday, Area’s top ten quarterbacks, ranked in order.

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Bishop Amat is peaking and ready for another title run; All-Valley Top 20 released

I’m expecting a big crowd at Bishop Amat this afternoon to watch the Lancers wrap up the Del Rey League title with a sweep over St. Paul. Can you believe they won at St. Paul (14-11, 7-2) so easily on Tuesday, 7-1, with the Swordsmen’s big ace on the mound? It should be more of the same, the Lancers (20-5, 9-0) are peaking. Nobody combines pitching, defense and hitting as well as the Lancers. Sorry Northview and San Dimas, I’m predicting right now the Lancers will win their third straight CIF title.
Steve’s take:I’ll be the devil’s advocate and go with Northview to beat Bishop Amat for the CIF-SS title. The Vikings have that never-quit attitude, which usually comes into play in the big games. They remind me of the 2004 Cal State Fullerton Titans, who had that same mentality on the collegiate level. And if memory serves me well, the Titans upset No. 1 Texas to win the national title that year.

By the way, I was looking at the Star-News baseball poll, and figured I would do an all encompassing baseball poll between our two area’s. A top 20 would look like this based on games through Thursday.

1. Bishop Amat (20-5, Tribune)
2. Northview (18-4, Tribune)
3. Glendora (16-7, Tribune)
4. Arcadia (18-4, Star-News)
5. San Dimas (17-5, Tribune)
6. Damien (18-6, Tribune)
7. Bonita (16-5, Tribune)
8. Monrovia (15-7-1, Star-News)
9. South Hills (16-7, Tribune)
10. Charter Oak (15-7, Tribune)
11. Alhambra (15-7, Star-News)
12. San Marino (15-7, Star-News)
13. La Caada (15-5, Star-News)
14. Temple City (14-9, Star-News)
15. Nogales (19-7-1, Tribune)
16. Diamond Bar (12-11, Tribune)
17. Maranatha (18-5-1, Star-News)
18. Pasadena (13-10-1, Star-News)
19. St. Francis (15-12, Star-News)
20. Bosco Tech (14-6, Star-News)

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