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.”
Wild Wednesday: What a Wednesday lineup, which baseball game would you feature the game of the day Bishop Amat at St. Paul, Damien at Diamond Bar or Northview at San Dimas?
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
“Tony’s Memorial Fund”
212 E. Rowland Street, #214
Covina, CA 91723
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
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?”
When the season started Covina High School freshman Telia Provenzano was nothing more than courtesy runner, making her first start in right field on Thursday against defending Valle Vista League champion San Dimas.
Colts coach Joe Brown might consider starting her more often.
Trailing by two runs, Provenzano belted a two-out grand slam to right in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally the Colts to an improbable 7-5 victory over last year’s CIF-Southern Section Division V finalists. (To continue, click thread).
In other news, we learned the Bonita’s Chloe Wurst threw her second no-hitter of the week, but this time it was a perfect game in a 1-0 win over Diamond Ranch with 12 strikeouts. Wurst no-hit Los Altos on Tuesday. Amat gave up a first inning homer against Mater Dei, and that was all it took for the Monarchs to escape with a 1-0 win.
Thursday’s softball results
Mater Dei 1, Bishop Amat 0
Covina 7, Covina 5
Bonita 1, Diamond Ranch 0
Diamond Bar at Los Altos, 3:15 p.m.
Wilson at Charter Oak, 3:15 p.m.
Azusa at Bassett, 3:15 p.m.
La Puente at Duarte, 3:15 p.m.
Northview at Baldwin Park, 3:15 p.m.
This Ayala situation is perplexing, check out the quotes the Bulletin’s Clay Fowler got. This sounds like Duarte all over again, first-year principal Diana Yorboi firing basketball coach Kenny Donavon, telling him they want to go in a different direction. What’s shocking is that the Ayala AD didn’t see it coming. We’re also hearing rumors that another big-name coach on campus might get his walking papers too.
“I was caught completely by surprise. I felt personally that he had done an exceptional job but the principal is the one who ultimately does the hiring and firing.” — Ayala Athletic Director Steve Martin.
“I’m a little perplexed myself. When I asked (Yarboi) why, she just repeated that they wanted to go in a different direction. It was a short meeting. The fact that your own athletic director has no idea when a coach is about to be fired says something about your school.” — Ayala’s fired coach Kenny Donavon.
Charter Oak High School boys basketball coach Ray Walker resigned earlier this month after guiding the Chargers to a 20-8 record and second-place finish in the Miramonte League. Walker had a three-year record of 50-34 after taking over for Randy Thatcher in the 2007-08 season. Walker went 11-16 his first year and 19-10 his second season. Rumors are circulating that Walker could wind up at Ayala after Donavon’s firing on Tuesday. Another coach rumored to take over at Ayala is a certain Chino Hills assistant who was a former head coach at Arcadia. Stay tuned! Charter Oak is accepting applications for its next boys basketball coach, although it does not come with a teaching position. Those interested should contact vice principal Glenn Martinez at 626-915-5841.
“You have to tip your hat (to Plutko),” Damien coach Al Leyva said. “He just did a great job. It was like I tell everybody, `Good pitching will beat good hitting any day of the week.’ And he got stronger as the game went on. “He’s a quality pitcher, and if he can continue to do that there’s going to be a lot of good things coming his way.
The Glendora High School baseball team didn’t want to begin its Sierra League schedule with two consecutive losses. Thanks to Adam Plutko, the Tartans won’t have to. The senior threw a four-hitter and struck out 13 and Glendora evened its league record at 1-1 with a 6-1 victory over visiting Damien on Tuesday.
Gabrielino takes early control of the Mission Valley, beats Arroyo, 6-4 victory.
Chino Hills 7, Chino 3
Diamond Bar 7, Ayala 2
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
At 6-foot-8, it’s not hard for Grant Jerrett to stand out around the La Verne Lutheran High School campus. But standing out in a student population of 150 isn’t why Jerrett is a Trojan. He’s a Trojan to make something special happen at the burgeoning basketball power and earn himself a scholarship at a big-time school. (To continue, click thread)
Aram Tolegian put out his list of the all-encompassing SGV Top 25 on In the Huddle.. Using all three areas of the Trib, Star-News and Whittier, who do you think was No. 1, La Habra? St. Francis? C’mon now, you know it’s Bishop Amat. Take a peak.
Here is a sneak preview of Aram’s Fab Five (For the rest of the top 25 rankings, visit Inside the Huddle).
1. Bishop Amat — Freddie just blew his tax return on season tickets.
2. La Habra — Cody Clements returns and the Highlanders shouldn’t miss a beat.
3. Charter Oak — QB Santiago and WR Rufus are back for Big Lou.
4. Diamond Ranch — Roddy is looking like odds-on choice in Hacienda and Southeast.
5. South Hills — I’m actually skeptical about this, but everyone I talk to says lookout.