Wednesday Baseball: Amat’s Paul Paez strikes out 13 in 7-0 win over St. Paul while Northview smashes San Dimas and Damien gets back in Sierra League race with win at Diamond Bar

Northview 15, San Dimas 5: What looked like a good game on paper between defending CIF-Southern Section Division 4 champion San Dimas and visiting Northview, in a battle for sole possession of first in the Valle Vista League, turned into a tough one for Saints coach Mike Regan to stomach.

Damien 6, Diamond Bar 3: - It’s hard to call the fourth game of league a must-win, but that’s probably what Wednesday’s visit to Diamond Bar was for the Damien High School baseball team. The Spartans couldn’t afford to fall further behind the Sierra League leaders and played like it in a 6-3 win over the Brahmas.

Bishop Amat 7, St. Paul 0: It began with a homer and went from there. That was the start of a near perfect afternoon for the Bishop Amat High School baseball team, which took sole possession of first place in the Del Rey League by defeating host St. Paul, 7-0, on Wednesday.

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Walnut and South Hills pay tribute to Huskies standout Britney Rodriguez in her first game since losing her brother Tony in a car accident

Iris Nieves posted this moving comment on another thread about the passing of 18-year-old Tony, the brother of South Hills standout Britney Rodriguez, who played her first game since last week’s tragedy against Walnut on Tuesday. I thought it was so powerful I wanted to share it …

Iris Nieves: Today, Britney Rodriguez stepped onto the field for the first time since her brothers passing. She went to school in the morning, wearing her softball varsity jersey, as is the tradition for all varsity team players on game days. She told her mother Mary in the morning that she was returning to school, her first day back since the tragedy, “dressed to play” only because it was what Tony would expect from her. (To continue, click thread)

Above: Britney Rodriguez, 16, holds a portrait of her brother Anthony Ha

A more personal story ran earlier this week: When sophomore Britney Rodriguez, a star softball player at South Hills High School, was struggling in the field, her brother would pull her aside and offer some advice. And when Rodriguez did well, 18-year-old Anthony Ha was the first to cheer for his half-sister, who has already verbally committed to play at UCLA. Ha rarely missed her practices or games. “Anthony couldn’t wait to go watch her,” said their mother, Mary Rodriguez. “He was so proud of her.”

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Getting the jump on summer passing leagues

Our 24-7 AT is keeping you up on everything football all year long, today he looks into the football teams taking advantage of early summer league passing contests with the expiration of the CIF rule that limited football teams to 15 days of practice in May.

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Drive by Baldwin Park High School on a Friday night this May and you’re liable to think it’s October. The Braves football program will be one of precious few local teams taking advantage of their right to play passing games long before most teams do it in June or July. Thanks to the expiration of a CIF-Southern Section rule that limited football teams to 15 days of practice in May, the Braves and any other local program are well within their rights to get a big jump on the season by competing in passing games long before most other teams.

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Girls Soccer All-Area: Bishop Amat’s April Juarez player of the year; Sierra Vista’s Steve Jimenez coach of the year after historic title run

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
It wasn’t the ending the Bishop Amat and Los Altos girls soccer teams envisioned, but the Lancers’ and Conquerors’ march to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 semifinals certainly was memorable, topped only by the dream finish of CIF-SS Division 7 champion Sierra Vista. Not only did the Dons win the school’s first girls soccer title, it was the first CIF team championship in the school’s 49-year history. (To continue, click thread).

Click here to purchase All-Area soccer reprints.

Tribune Girls Soccer All-Area
Player of the year:
April Juarez, Bishop Amat, So8.
Coach of the year: Steve Jimenez, Sierra Vista
First Team
Forward: Khalalah Todd, Northview, Jr.
Forward: Vanessa Carlos, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Forward: Natalie Maxey, South Hills, Sr.
Midfield: McKenna Gooden, Charter Oak, Sr.
Midfield: Lauren Stupin, Los Altos, Jr.
Midfield: Lizbeth Rodriguez, Sierra Vista, Jr.
Midfield: Yazmin Montoya, Bishop Amat, Fr.
Defender: Jasmine Roth, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Defender: Lauren Velasquez, Los Altos, Sr.
Defender: Nicole McKee, Walnut, Jr.
Goalkeeper: Justine Padilla, Los Altos, Sr.

Second Team
Forward: Tara Cofer, Los Altos, Jr.
Forward: Kayla Mills, Walnut, Fr.
Forward: Brooke Lambert, San Dimas, Sr.
Midfielder: Amber Marani, Walnut, So.
Midfielder: Shannon McKee, San Dimas, Jr.
Midfielder: Shannon Kent, St. Lucy’s, So.
Midfielder: Tiffany Dimaculangan, Glendora, Jr.
Defender: Alyssa Cabral, Bishop Amat, So.
Defender: Maddy Ealba, Glendora, Sr.
Defender: Daniela Perez, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Goalkeeper: Alyssa Lozano, Sierra Vista, Jr.

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Mid-Valley Football: Should you schedule tough opponents, or play cupcakes?

We’ve talked a lot about what it means for Charter Oak, South Hills, Damien and Glendora going to the powerful Inland Division, but the Mid-Valley Division is controversial because of the way playoff berths are handed out. The Valle Vista and Montview Leagues have seven teams, but only two teams from each league are guaranteed playoff spots, with the rest vying for the precious four at-large berths. The question is, how will CIF choose the at-large berths? Looking at how CIF ranked teams and how they were seeded in previous years, a team like Azusa was rewarded for a great overall record though they didn’t play anyone significant. Meanwhile, teams like Paraclete, San Dimas, Arroyo, Rosemead and others scheduled up in recent years and when they did lose, they paid the price in CIF rankings. You see a team like San Dimas playing Rancho Cucamonga and Monrovia next year, making you wonder if it’s worth it now. What if they have an injury or screw up in league, finish in a tie for second and lose a coin flip. They could be out if they have a not-so-impressive overall record. Diamond Ranch isn’t in the Mid-Valley, but they’re a perfect example of a team that schedules way up and loses in preparation for the playoffs, but if you tried that in the new Valle Vista and finished third, you would never get an at-large with a 4-6 or 3-7 record. If I’m one of the powerful teams in the Mid-Valley, it almost makes no sense anymore to schedule more than one tough team. You’re better off taking a page from Azusa and notching as many wins as you can before you start league. Aram is working on a story involving appeals, with the Valle Vista certain to appeal this new format, but if it remains like this, what would you do, continue to schedule up, or get as many wins as you could?


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Baseball Rankings: Bishop Amat, South Hills and Glendora still look like the best

I know it looks like Edgewood, but it’s actually Bishop Amat on St. Patty’s Day …

Tribune Baseball Rankings
1. Bishop Amat (9-1)
2. South Hills (7-1)
3. Glendora (8-1)
4. Diamond Bar (6-3)
5. Walnut (6-1-1)
6. Damien (5-3)
7. Bonita (5-2-1)
8. Los Altos (8-2)
9. Northview (5-2-1)
10. San Dimas (5-3)

CIF-Baseball Rankings
Division 2: 1. Crespi, 2. Glendora, 3. Yucaipa, 4. Bellflower, 5. El Toro, 6. Palos Verdes, 7. Redlands East Valley, 8. Alemany, 9. Canyon Springs, 10. Mayfair.
Division 3: 1. Beckman, 2. South Hills, 3. San Gorgonio, 4. Los Altos, 5. Orange, 6. Alhambra, 7. Montebello, 8. Walnut, 9. La Quinta, 10. Westminster.
Division 4: 1. Bishop Amat, 2. Torrance, 3. Sonora, 4. Palm Desert, 5. Santa Ana Calvary Baptist, 6. Northview, 7. St. Paul, 8. Monrovia, 9. Barstow, 10. Oaks Christian.

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Softball Rankings: Covina, Arroyo climb up Trib Poll; San Dimas drops out of CIF polls

1. Glendora (9-1)
2. Bonita (10-1-1)
3. Covina (6-1)
4. Arroyo (9-1)
5. West Covina (8-3)
6. South Hills (7-3)
7. Los Altos (5-3)
8. San Dimas (4-3)
9. Charter Oak (8-6)
10. Northview (6-3)

CIF-SS Rankings
Division 3:
1. Ayala, 2. Glendora, 3. Tesoro, 4. Bonita, 5. Colton, 6. Cajon, 7. Chino, 8., Atascadero, 9. La Reina, 10. Downey
Division 4: 1. North Torrance, 2. Torrance, 3. Paloma Valley, 4. La Quinta, 5. Santa Monica, 6. Aquinas, 7. Hesperia, 8. Segerstrom, 9. Bishop Amat, 10. El Segunodo.
Division 5: 1. Village Christian, 2. La Canada, 3. Riverside Christian, 4. West Covina, 5. Savanna, 6. South Hills, 7. Heritage, 8. Whittier Christian, 9. Northview, 10. Monrovia.
Division 6: 1. 1. Marymount, 2. San Gabriel Mission, 3. South El Monte, 4. Mararnatha, 5. La Salle, 6. Arroyo, 7. Grace Brethren, 8. Oxford Academy, 9. Ramona Convent, 10. Nordoff.

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All CIF-SS Basketball teams released, Baldwin Park coach Marc Hart earns only coach of the year honors; CJ Cooper 5AA player of the year

The All-CIF basketball teams have been announced, locally here is who made it.
All CIF-SS Boys Basketball
Division 2AA
- Calvin Smith, Glendora, 1st team
Division 2A – Chris Adams, Damien, 1st team; Chris Reyes, Damien, 1st team; Fernie Morelos, Baldwin Park, Second Team; Coach of the year, Marc Hart, Baldwin Park.
Division 3A – Evan Barr, Charter Oak, 1st team; James northup, Bonita, 1st team
Division 4AA - Daniel Rodriguez, Bishop Amat, 1st team; Tyler Goldston, Bishop Amat, 2nd team.; Chris Barbato, San Dimas, 2nd team.
Division 4A: Bobby Miles, Workman, 2nd team.
Division 5AA: CJ Cooper, La Verne Lutheran, Player of the year; Grant Jerrett, La Verne Lutheran, 1st team.

All CIF-SS Girls Basketball
Division 2A:
Erika Williams, Diamond Ranch, 1st team; Erica Greer, Diamond Ranch, 2nd team
Division 3AA: Arielle Wideman, Bishop Amat, 1st team; Leticia Galarza, Bishop Amat, 2nd team.
Division 3A: Taylor Anderson, Bonita, 1st team; Madison Zylstra, Bonita, 1st team; Melinda Gomez, South Hills, 1st team; Naijah Calhoun, Wilson, 2nd team.

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Boys Soccer All-Area: Rowland’s Henry Calistro player of the year; Mountain View coaching staff earns coach of the year honors

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Mountain View has become the mecca of high school boys soccer in the San Gabriel Valley.
The Vikings made history earlier this month by winning their second consecutive CIF-Southern Section Division 6 title. It was the Vikings’ third divisional championship since 2005 as they became just the second team in Valley history to win back-to-back boys soccer titles. The only other school to do it was Diamond Bar, which won consecutive Division 3-A titles in 1987 and ’88. (To continue, click thread.)

To purchase reprints of the cover, click here.

Tribune Boys Soccer All-Area
Coach of the year: Severo Juarez/Javier Aguiniga , Mountain View
Player of the year: Henry Calistro, Rowland, Sr.
First Team
Forward: Luis Fuentes, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Forward: Julio Fernandez, Mountain View, Sr.
Forward: Edgar Padilla, Baldwin Park, Sr.
Midfield: Jose Ramirez, Mountain View, Sr.
Midfield: Alan De La Rosa, Los Altos, Sr.
Midifiled: Jeremy Bishop, Glendora, Sr.
Midfield: Paul Dewhurst, Diamond Ranch, Sr.
Defender: Luis Pinedo, Los Altos, Sr.
Defender: Jose Pacheco, Baldwin Park, Sr.
Defender: Alex Hernandez, La Puente, Sr.
Goalkeeper: Freddy Salazar, Baldwin Park, Sr.

Second Team
Forward: Matt Jean, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Forward: Elvis Ordena, Northview, Sr.
Forward: Josh Luevanos, Glendora, Jr.
Midfielder: Estevan Munoz, Duarte, Sr.
Midfielder: Diego Rodriguez, Mountain View, Sr.
Midfielder: Juan Molina, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Midfielder: Rafael Murillo, Baldwin Park, Sr.
Defender: Max Shih, Glendora, Sr.
Defender: Fabian Villasenor, Mountain View, Sr.
Defender: Rafael Espinoza, El Monte, Sr.
Goalkeeper: Oswaldo Martinez, Mountain View, Jr.

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Softball: Wurst follows two straight no-hitters with a 3-0 shutout over Charter Oak

By John Honell, Correspondent
It took only three pitches for the no-hit streak of Bonita High School softball pitcher Chloe Wurst to come to an end Monday. Wurst had pitched back-to-back no-hitters, including a perfect game against Diamond Ranch, but Charter Oak freshman Nicki Sprague punched a single over third base leading off the first inning. The Bearcats (11-1-1, 3-0), however, broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the seventh inning and knocked off the Chargers 3-0 in a Miramonte League game.

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Bishop Amat and South Hills will use wood bats in next week’s National Classic

After consulting with coaches, teams participating in next week’s National Classic will use wood bats, a tournament that includes Bishop Amat and South Hills. Marin Catholic High proposed last week that teams use wooden bats. Marin proposed this after one of its players was hit by a ball from an aluminum bat and was put in a medically induced coma. South Hills coach Kevin Smith said a team from Florida is providing each team with 15 wooden bats.
“I didn’t have a strong opinion on it one way or the other,” Smith said. “It might throw the kids off a little bit, but in respect for the kid that got hit, I have no problem doing it. It’s not like we’re playing for a CIF title and with everyone using (wooden bats), I’m fine with it.”

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Garey athletic director George Perry and his wife Clara killed in a car crash on Sunday

Louis Brewster, Staff Writer
- Certainly the attitude throughout the Pomona Unified School District, and particularly at Garey High School, did not reflect a Monday full of sunshine.
“There was an uneasy quietness when I walked into the district offices (Monday) morning,” said Paul Breit, a former principal at Garey and Ganesha who remains a district consultant. “We are all numb, disbelieving. We have all suffered a great loss.”

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Tribune All-Area teams ready to hit the presses

The Tribune Winter All-Area teams will be released this week and early next week, the dates are as follows below. Also, the date for the annual Tribune/Star News All-Star basketball Classic, which matches the boys and girls senior all-stars from the Tribune against the Star-News is still being finalized by tournament organizer Gordon Hamlow.
All-Area Publication Dates
Boys Soccer, Tuesday, March 30
Girls Soccer, Wednesday, March 31
Girls Water Polo, Thursday, April 1
Wrestling, Friday, April 2
Girls Basketball, Tuesday, April 6
Boys Basketball, Wednesday, April 7

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State Champions La Verne Lutheran invited to Covina Christmas tournament … Unfortunately, it probably won’t happen

The invitation has been extended to the state champs. Covina High School boys basketball coach Will Bissman told me over the weekend that La Verne Lutheran has been invited to the 57th annual Covina Christmas boys basketball tournament in December. Lutheran coach Eric Cooper said a month ago the Trojans’ 2010-11 schedule was filled with numerous outside tournaments and showcase games, making it almost impossible to accept Covina’s invite, but at least the invitation has been extended and an area coach has reached out. It’s a step. If Lutheran could squeeze the Covina tournament in its schedule, it would create quite a buzz for a week in Covina, and it would give Lutheran the chance of playing in front of huge San Gabriel Valley crowds and warm them to area followers. Chino Hills, Bonita, Bishop Amat, Los Altos and Northview are all expected in the tournament next year, which would be the area’s only shot of potentially watching a Bonita-Lutheran, or Bonita-Amat game.

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Breaking News: Los Altos softball coach Lydell McCullough resigns; ex-football coach Felipe Aguilar to take over

Los Altos softball coach Lydell McCullough said he had to resign today after getting a promotion at work that will not allow him to continue as softball coach. McCullough was an off campus coach who took over for Greg Gano last year and led the Conquerors to their fourth straight Miramonte League title. They were 5-3 this year when he resigned on Monday. He will be replaced by assistant Felipe Aguilar. The Conquerors former head football coach will take over on an interim basis the rest of the season. With McCullough’s wife a teacher and in danger of losing her job because of ongoing budget cuts, McCullough said he had no choice to resign with his new position.
“It’s very disappointing, I feel bad for the girls because you always want to finish the season,” McCullough said. “But I have another team at home that is depending on me too, so there was really no choice.”

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Just Tribbin: What’s up with CIF-State officials censoring your questions?

Anything and anyone you want to talk about…

I’m not going to explain this one, the L.A. Times did it for me: Tough questions apparently aren’t allowed here at the state basketball championships. Or even obvious ones. Fred Robledo, a reporter from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, was attempting to ask Bishop Amat Coach Richard Wiard about suffering the worst defeat in a girls’ basketball state championship game when he was cut off mid-sentence by a California Interscholastic Federation official. The official explained himself seconds later, whispering in my ear to ask the question off to the side, not in front of the kids.

Also from the Times: Stockton St. Mary’s made its case. And Rams Coach Tom Gonsalves wants the whole world to know it.

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La Verne Lutheran wins Div. 5 state title, beats Branson 35-32; St. Marys’ crushes Amat 89-41 in Div. III girls final; the most lopsided loss and most points scored in state history

At Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield Today
Boys’ Division V: La Verne Lutheran 35, Ross Branson 32
Girls’ Division III: Stockton St. Mary’s 89, Bishop Amat 41

Lutheran game story: In an agonizingly slow-paced game that forced the high-powered La Verne Lutheran boys basketball team out of its comfort zone – the Trojans found a way to win anyway. Bruce English finished with 10 points, and C.J. Cooper hit the go-ahead basket with 54 seconds left to lead the Trojans to the CIF-State Division V boys basketball title with a 35-32 victory over Ross Branson at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield on Saturday, capping a memorable season that included a CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA title and Southern California Regional Division 5 championship.

Bishop Amat game story: St. Mary’s of Stockton was not only playing for the CIF-State Division III girls basketball title on Saturday against Bishop Amat at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, the Rams wanted to put the finishing touches on a mythical national title after entering the contest on top of several national polls. They won’t get an argument from Bishop Amat. St. Mary’s 89-41 victory over Bishop Amat set a state finals record for most points in a state championship game, breaking the previous mark of 82 points shared by Willows (1988) and Piedmont (2005).

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CIF-State organizers not allowing photographers on court for post game celebrations; MaxPreps apparently has exclusive rights

Our photographer Keith Birmingham and an associated press photographer here in Bakersfield have been given better access at NBA Finals, Super Bowls, and just about every mega event you can think of. But here at the CIF state baketball championships in Bakersfield, a public funded event, state organizers are blowing off journalistic integrity by not allowing print photographers on the floor for post-game celebrations. Apparently MaxPreps, a sponsor of the CIF-State, is given exclusive floor rights. Ethics and integrity? No, the mighty dollar wins again. Sorry kids, you’re the ones who lose out.

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Ayala reinstates boys basketball coach Kenny Donavon, who said principal apologized to him

According to the L.A. Times, Ayala boys basketball coach Kenny Donavon was given his job back on Friday after being fired earlier in the week by principal Diana Yorboi, who told Donavon he was not coming back because the school was moving in a different direction. Sources indicated to us that it was Yorboi’s intention to hire former Charter Oak head coach Ray Walker. But it appears Donovan’s firing didn’t sit well with a lot of people, and Donovan took the job back when it was offered to him.
“The principal apologized,” Donovan told the Times. “She said she made a mistake.”

“She told me she made a mistake,” Ayala athletic director Steve Martin told the Bulletin’s Clay Fowler. “She’s a principal in her first year and I think she was trying to placate as many parents as she could. I think she’s discovering, in athletics you can’t placate everybody.”

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Baseball: San Dimas, Northview take care of business in the Valle Vista; Diamond Bar and Glendora win in the Sierra

Above: San Dimas’ Shawn Kennedy, left, went 3 for 5 with two RBIs to lead San Dimas to an 11-5 victory over Covina on Friday.

San Dimas and Northview took care of business Friday, each scoring victories over Covina and Baldwin Park respectively.
The Saints, getting a little help from five Colt errors, received two RBIs each from Shawn Kennedy and Kevin Kolbeck and rallied back from an early 5-2 deficit to score an 11-5 win at Covina.
Northview got a two-run single from Bobby Ramos in the sixth and won at Baldwin Park, 9-5. San Dimas and Northview play for first place on Wednesday.
San Dimas coach Mike Regan: “The best thing about Friday for us was that our guys learned how to fight back. We haven’t really done that this year. Today, our guys showed a lot of heart and responded.”
Northview coach Darren Murphy: “No disrespect to Ganesha and Pomona. I think everyone feels the Valle Vista League really starts with Baldwin Park, San Dimas and Covina. Baldwin Park is the first of three tough games (for us) and this is always a tough place to win.”
Covina coach Pete Loaiza: “They took us out of our game. We allowed them to take us out of our game. That’s just something we have to get better at. We have to make sure in pressure situations and tight ball games that we have to deal with the mental aspect in a league battle against a good program.”
Baldwin Park coach Jake Berendregt: “I think our inexperience kind of caught up with us. We came back to take the lead (4-3) and battled a good team for six innings.”
Other results
Kenny Mathews had another solid outing as Diamond Bar continued its surge in the Sierra League with a 2-1 victory over Chino in nine innings. Mathews went the distance for the victory.
Glendora had too much for Chino Hills, scoring an 8-2 win.

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It’s with a heavy heart that we report that South Hills star softball player Britney Rodriguez lost her brother Tony in an auto accident Thursday

Our thoughts and prayers are with 18-year-old Tony Ha and Jacinto Rodriguez, the brother and father of South Hills high star softball player Britney Rodriguez. Britney’s brother Tony was killed and her father Jacinto hospitalized after an auto accident Thursday on the 10 freeway. Jacinto Rodriguez’s injuries aren’t life threatening, but obviously this is a very difficult time for the family. Funeral arrangements are pending, and those who would like to help with donations can use the address below.

Mary Rodriguez
“Tony’s Memorial Fund”
212 E. Rowland Street, #214
Covina, CA 91723

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Should Bishop Amat and South Hills say yes to wooden bats in the National Classic?

Marin Catholic High is proposing that teams in next months National Classic use wooden bats. Bishop Amat and South Hills are both in this tournament. Marin is proposing this after one of its players was hit by a ball from an aluminum bat and was put in a medically induced coma. Regardless of the tournaments decision, Marin is planning on using wooden pats

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Sources say Walker and Ayala officials had converations about the boys basketball position back in December; LA Times on boys basketball fallout: “It’s the Twilight Zone at Ayala.”

The LA Times’ Eric Sondheimer weighed in on Ayala’s decision to fire boys basketball coach Kenny Donavon, a decision that was made by first year principal Diana Yorboi, which caught athletic director Steve Martin by surprise. I have confirmed through multiple sources that Yorboi intends to hire former Charter Oak basketball coach Ray Walker, and that the two had conversations about the job as far back as December.

Sondheimer wrote: “Apparently some parents didn’t like Donovan. Is there any program with 100% parent approval? And I thought the parents in Ventura County were tough. Good luck to Ayala in its pursuit of finding a coach to work at a school where the requirement is to make sure EVERY parent adores you. And what happened to caring about the kids?”

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