Softball: Oh did we have some fun last year, let’s get it going, the pre-season starting 10

Below is Los Altos’ Courtney Gano. Sort of some breaking news for you, Natalie Sanchez, who pitched and played a key role in Whittier Christian’s run to a softball title last year, has transferred to Bishop Amat, though her transfer hardship request was denied by CIF-SS officials. From what I hear, she is appealing. If she’s able to play, this should help the Lancers tremendously.

Starting 10
Pitcher – Chloe Wurst, Bonita
Catcher – Brittney Rodriguez South Hills
Infield – Stephanie LaRosa, Diamond Bar
Infield – Courtney Gano, Los Altos
Infield – Natalie Hernandez, Glendora
Infield – Vanessa Bracamonte, Wilson
Outfield – Breeanna Sandoval, Bonita
Outfield – Courtney Hine, San Dimas
Outfield – Jazzmin Arant, Covina
Flex – Monica Gomez, Sierra Vista

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Baseball, the preseason starting 9; Covina’s Matt Munoz has transferred to San Dimas

Above: Bishop Amat lefty Paul Paez is the area’s best returning pitcher.

With baseball a few weeks from starting, I thought I would get the conversation going with the area’s preseason starting lineup. The top 9 are as follows:

* It has been confirmed that Covina’s Matt Munoz has transferred to San Dimas, so pending eligility, we will officially list him as a San Dimas player from now on

Pitcher: Paul Paez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Catcher: Jerry McClanahan, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Infielder: Erik Lewis, Damien, Sr.
Infielder: Christian Ibarra, South Hills, Sr.
Infielder: Rio Ruiz, Bishop Amat, So.
Infielder: Matt Munoz, San Dimas, Jr. *(pending CIF eligibility)
Outfielder: Jay Anderson, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Outfielder: Jacob Smigelski, Glendora, Sr.
Outfielder: Chester Pak, Diamond Bar, Sr.

Covina’s Matt Munoz shown here as a freshman. The junior recently transferred to CIF-SS Division IV champion San Dimas.

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Breaking News: Edgewood high school is coming back; I think I’m gonna cry

I’m not sure what all this means in terms of athletics. The first freshman class is set for the fall. But if and when they do start a football team, please let it be Bogan or Maggiore that leads it. Not that I have a rooting interest….
The West Covina Unified board of education voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a new high school, to open in August. District officials said it would offer more choices to parents and students and would help relieve overcrowding at West Covina High School. The school will share the Edgewood Middle School campus, a former high school that was closed and converted into a middle school in 1988.

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Hoops pairings released on Sunday, do your local teams have a shot? Maybe the two teams in La Verne, Lutheran and Damien

CIFs final regular season rankings for boys hoops are in, you might want to check it out to to where you local teams are. For example, Damien is No. 4 in Div. 2A, and will have a very good chance of getting to at least the semifinals. Pasadena is No. 2, and they lost to Burbank last week. Baldwin Park is No. 10 in the division, so a second round-game is entirely possible. In Div. 3A, locals that have had a great season like Bonita (No. 8), Charter Oak (No. 12) and South Hills (No. 15), will have an extremely tough time advancing in one of the most loaded divisions. In Division 4AA, though Bishop Amat is fourth in the Del Rey, they’re No. 5 in the division. Also, San Dimas is at No. 10 and Northview at No. 12. — talk about fortunate. Umm, Glendora is not ranked, and the team that will win a title, La Verne Lutheran, is No. 2 in Division 5AA

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Two-time defending CIF-SS champion Charter Oak will open the Sierra League with a new field turf surface in the fall; San Dimas gets its in 2011

Charter Oak football coach Lou Farrar said when the track season ends, they will begin renovations on a new field turf surface and track. In fact, graduations are at APU this June. If you’re wondering about the smurf turf, it ain’t gonna happen. Besides, if it happens anywhere, it should be at Bishop Amat. However, my only request is that the new field is in someway named after coach Farrar. You put in 40 years and win five championships, you deserve it. How does Farrar Field sound? The other CIF champion in town, San Dimas, is expected to have a new field turf surface in place in 2011. Still no word whether Los Altos will ever get one. You figure the school with 11 CIF championships would have one by now, but instead they probably have one of the worst fields in the SGV, go figure.

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If April Juarez and Bishop Amat continue on their dream journey, it may wind up the most dominant season in area history

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
– About the only thing scarier than the Bishop Amat High School girls soccer team’s 24-0-1 record and 106-5 goals differential is that the Lancers’ leading scorer is just a sophomore, and the next top two scorers are freshmen.
April Juarez, already a standout with the prestigious Irvine Strikers club soccer team, is the super sophomore that’s part of a new breed of Lancers who have quickly become one of the best teams in the CIF-Southern Section under third-year coach Ruben Gonzales.

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Boys Basketball: South Hills keeps No. 1 after wrapping up San Antonio

Boys Basketball top ten
1. South Hills (19-3) – After winning 12 straight, the Huskies have cemented their status on top. We’re also hearing this is the first time they have been ranked this high by the Trib.
2. Bonita (21-4) - The 62-50 win over Diamond Ranch should be enough to earn the Miramonte League title. What can you say, another steady year from Eckler and Co.
3. Damien (17-7) – They should have had the goods to win the Sierra League title, so from that standpoint, the season was somewhat disappointing. But again, that’s how we felt last year before they blew us all away and stormed to the divisional semifinals.
4. La Verne Lutheran (15-8) -- The huge gap between Lutheran and the Arrowhead league is about the same as the huge gap between Lutheran and Price. We know the Trojans are good, but they’re not at the next level just yet.
5. Bishop Amat (17-8) – Facts are facts, they have lost three in a row and have fallen to fourth in the Del Rey. It’s a tough league right? It should be tough, that’s what an all-private league should be like.
6. Charter Oak (17-6) — They proved this year they’re more than just a “football” school.
7. San Dimas (16-8) – As long as they don’t trip over their own success, the Saints should wrap up the Valle Vista title this week.
8. Glendora (16-8) - With the playoffs approaching you have to wonder, will LeDuc work his magic again? I just don’t see it.
9. Baldwin Park (21-3) - The prevailing feeling is that as great as this season has been for the Braves, finishing third in the Valle Vista would be a disappointment. If they beat Northview, they can avoid it and finish second.
10. Northview (16-7) – After losing to San Dimas last week, will the Vikes get swept by Baldwin Park?

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Girls Soccer: Here’s a question, if Amat, Los Altos and Walnut were in the same pool, who wins it?

Girls Soccer Top Ten
1. Bishop Amat (24-0-1) - I know I have covered better girls soccer teams, but not one that has been this dominant in terms of won-loss record and goals against average, 106-5. If they cruise through CIF and state like this, I may have to reconsider the first part of this summation.
2. Los Altos (20-1-2) - Okay, this might be the second most dominant team on paper, a 73-9 goals against average. I know Walnut had some dynamte teams when they won three straight titles this decade, but were they this impressive on paper?
3. Walnut (17-3-2) – As hot as the top two have been, the Mustangs might be the hottest over the last month, having secured ten straight shutouts. But for an entire season, you have to give it up to the top two.
4. Charter Oak (18-4) – Four straight wins in the Miramonte are convincing enough. The Chargers may not be as good as the top three, but they’re looking like a solid No. 4.
5. Sierra Vista (20-2) — For me, the Dons will have to prove themselves in the Division VII playoffs, where they’re ranked No. 1. They’re obviously good, but given not one team in the Montview has a winning record, just how good?
6. Glendora (11-9-3) – Finishing the Sierra strong with four straight wins, including dramatic 4-3 win over Chino last week.
7. St. Lucy’s (12-9-2) — Not a good year by their standards, but it appears they can still finish third in the Sierra and make the playoffs.
8. San Dimas (13-3-2) – They were obviously better than Northview when I saw them last week, way much more depth. At No. 8 in Div. VI, they certainly have as good a shot as anyone at winning a divisional title.
9. Bonita (9-6-3) – Losing to Los Altos and Charter Oak is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is finishing third in the Miramonte.
10. Northview (12-5-2) — A little shaky in the back, and not scoring like they were earlier in the season. That happens when teams start doubling your goal-scoring striker.

Girls Soccer standings, schedules and leaders
Del Rey League
Miramonte League
Mission Valley League
Montview League
San Antonio League
Sierra League
Valle Vista League

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Boys Soccer: Baldwin Park, Los Altos top list; Sierra Vista, Diamond Bar climbing

Boys Soccer Top Ten
1. Baldwin Park (18-0-2) – After watching them beat Ganesha last week there are two thoughts: One, I’m not sure they realize how talented they really are? Two, they have the best boys soccer fans in the Valley.
2. Los Altos (15-3-3) – With a No. 4 raking in Division IV, and a Miramonte title wrapped up, this Conqs team has passed every test in front to date.
3. Sierra Vista (17-4) – Give it up to the Dons, just when you thought La Puente or Duarte were the Montview frontrunners, the Dons surge to the lead with a win over La Puente on Saturday.
4. Diamond Bar (11-7-1) – What a huge 3-2 win for the Brahmas over Chino Hills.
5. Glendora (15-4-5) – Thanks to Diamond Bar’s win over Chino Hills, the Tartans lead the Sierra by half a game heading into finale Wednesday against Ayala.
6. Mountain View – (11-4-2) – Remember when the defending Division VI champs were struggling early in the season. They got their wake-up call. They’re an experienced playoff team who knows when the postseason is approaching.
7. La Puente (10-3-5) – After losing to Sierra Vista 1-0 on Saturday, they play again in hopes of earning at least a piece of the Montview title with the Dons.
8. Duarte (12-4-3) – Finishing third in the Montview is nothing to be ashamed of.
9. Rosemead (9-8-3) – After all the forfeits because of an ineligible player, the Panthers fall to fourth and will not make the playoffs.
10. Rowland (7-3-3) – Not sure this record is accurate. The San Antonio league is the only league in the area where virtually every team doesn’t update their records, schedules, rosters. How embarrassing.

Boys Soccer standings, schedules and leaders
Del Rey League
Miramonte League
Mission Valley League
Montview League
San Antonio League
Sierra League
Valle Vista League

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Girls Basketball rankings: Is Diamond Ranch on a mission to meet Mater Dei in divisional finals

Girls Basketball top ten
1. Diamond Ranch (21-2)
— The way they handled Bonita without Kearney was impressive. Wouldn’t you all love to see them meet Mater Dei in the divisional finals?
2. Bishop Amat (17-6) – Given this isn’t the most “talented” team the Lancers have had in recent years, they’re still fighting for the league title tonight against Serra.
3. Bonita (21-3) – The Bearcats are so good, trouble is Diamond Ranch is better. And even though they’re young, D.R. is young too.
4. Walnut (19-4) - Can wrap up the San Antonio outright with another victory over South Hills this evening.
5. South Hills (17-5) – If they’re ever going to at least share a piece of the title with Walnut, they will never have a better chance than the one tonight. Next year, Melinda Gomez is gone.
6. Glendora (18-6) — Are you with me? Are the Tartans the biggest surprise of the Valley. No way can they beat Ayala, not many can. But a surprising season regardless.
7. Sierra Vista (17-5) – Every year I ask the same question? Are they this good, or is it the Montview that makes them look good. What I do know for sure is they bring it every night.
8. Rosemead (17-5) – Just copy down what I wrote about Sierra Vista, the same is true for these Panthers.
9. Wilson (14-10) – We’re cutting the Wildcats some slack because they had to play Bonita (three times) if you count the Rowland tourney title loss, and Diamond Ranch twice.
10. Covina 17-7 – Raise your hands if you honestly thought the Colts would win the Valle Vista League. The streak is at eight wins and counting

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Inland Insider: Diamond Bar boys soccer knocks off Chino Hills; Sierra League title comes down to final games on Wednesday

Chino Hills Tom checks out games all over the I.E., Monday he was at the Chino Hills-Diamond boys soccer game, check it out.

In the quest for their third Sierra League Boys Soccer Title in a row, The Chino Hills Huskies, have found the rest of the league is determined to make things as difficult as possible for them. On Monday night the Diamond Bar Brahmas came to town with both teams going in different directions, Chino Hills was undefeated in their last 5 games 4-0-1 and just ranked # 8 in Division 2, the Brahmas had a 2 game losing streak, after a tough week last week. When it was all said and done Diamond Bar left Chino Hills with a 3-2 victory, that enabled them to get back in the title picture.

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In the Huddle with Aram Tolegian is up and running — a football blog that covers everyone and beyond in the SGVN

Aram Tolegian arrived at approximately 10:13 this morning, negotiated the title blog header: “In the Huddle with Aram Tolegian,” and is off and running. He already was working the phones on the vacant Nogales football opening that was supposed to be filled last week, and will be on the phones hammering away at other football coaching vacancies at San Gabriel, Los Altos and Bassett soon. BTW, Nogales is not filled yet. Couple of other items on Aram’s blog today, Damien’s Ryne Morrison has committed to Colgate, and hearing rumors that St. John Bosco’s Kiki Mendoza may have applied at Los Altos.

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Girls Soccer: It’s so close, the postseason will likely decide player and coach of the year honors

Why do I have a feeling that the girls soccer player of the year is going to come down to the final week of playoffs? There are so many that can steal it, but I’m going to throw out a few names, you do the rest. I will post candidates for coach of the year, too. Of course, those who never post stats are impossible to know for sure (hint, hint), but we’ll do the best we can from the games we watched and those who do report. (Note, boys soccer will be posted later in the week).

Girls Soccer nominees: Khalalah Todd, Northview (Area leading 42 goals), April Juarez, Bishop Amat (31 goals, 21 assists for undefeated Lancers), Natalie Maxey, South Hills (18 goals), Lauren Stupin, Los Altos (22 goals, 15 assists for once-beaten Conqs), McKenna Gooden, Charter Oak (22 goals), Jeanette Jimenez, San Dimas (17 goals, 12 assists), Vanessa Carlos, Sierra Vista (25 goals, 20 assists), Nikki McKee, Walnut (central defender).

Coach nominees: Chris Reeder (Los Altos), Lorraine Hansen (Walnut), Ruben Gonzalez (Bishop Amat), Steve Jimenez (Sierra Vista).

San Dimas’ artful playmaker, Jeanete Jimenez

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Boys Basketball: With the playoffs a week away, who’s leading the race boy hoops player and coach of the year?

While waiting for Aram to check-in next to me this morning, we have a week to go before the basketball playoffs. That means we have to start thinking about the boys and girls basketball players of the year and coaches of the year. I’m going to throw out some candidates, but of course so much can change in the postseason. (Girls candidates later in the week).

Boys Hoops:: Chris Adams, Damien (18 pts avg); Chris Reyes, Damien (16 pts, 8 reb, 3.3 blocks), Bobby Miles-Serrano, Workman, (26 points avg); Calvin Smith, Glendora (21 pts), Chris Barbato, San Dimas (16 points), Tim Fassas/CJ Miller, Bonita (No stats reported).
Boys Coaches: Martin Flores (Workman), Bruce Robbins (San Dimas), Paul Reed (South Hills), Greg Eckler (Bonita), Marc Hart (Baldwin Park), Matt Dunn (Damien).

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BREAKING NEWS: He’sssss Back, fasten your chin straps, Aram Tolegian is returning to the SGVN

It’s my honor and privilege to share our best kept secret, the blog originator, Aram Tolegian, is returning to the SGVN on Monday. In case that’s not loud enough for you, the guy that shared his daily lunch schedule with you before leaving for Fox Sports is coming back because, well, he just missed us all. He missed Friday nights, his friends in the newsroom and the daily grind of the newspaper business. I feel like a head coach that just strengthened his staff considerably, and of course, Aram is going to have his own blog. Aram will basically have a 24-7 all encompassing high school football blog, which includes the Trib along with teams in the Star-News, Whittier Daily News, and what’s happening in the I.E., along with any high school football news that’s relevant in the Southern Section and beyond. Think of him as the Football Guru, as only he can deliver it. When football is over, Aram will be banging away on recruiting, spring football, summer passing leagues, then the season. All of the SGVN blogs will remain the same, we will continue with our opinions and updates on all sports, including football. But Aram is another welcomed opinion, you never have enough of those. You know, in a day when newspapers are cutting back, we just added a gem, a win-win for us, and our readership.

Above: Aram found all ways to promote his blog, Hooters was just one of them.

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Friday night hoops: La Verne Lutheran takes on the best and pays the Price, 79-45; Diamond Ranch dominant over Bonita girls, 61-32

Lutheran routed: Eric Cooper was hoping to get a look at the future Friday night when his La Verne Lutheran School boys basketball team took on fellow small-school powerhouse Price. Now he’s praying the Trojans’ destiny won’t be quite so grim. Price, winner of nine CIF-Southern Section championships and six state titles since 1999, used a big run to end the first half to take control en route to a 79-45 destruction of La Verne Lutheran in front of a small crowd at the Crenshaw Christian Center’s Faithdome.

DRanch Girls Hoops dominant again: When Diamond Ranch High School girls basketball coach Michael James was reminded that Friday’s 61-32 victory over Bonita wasn’t against just anyone, that it came against the No. 2 team in Division 3A that had lost for just the third time (twice to his Panthers), he just shrugged.

Rosemead girls too good: Five blocks for state-leader Sandra Gutierrez, but it wasn’t enough as Rosemead clinched at least a tie for its second consecutive Mission Valley League girls basketball championship Friday with a 56-46 victory over El Monte.

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