Cross Country: Read Mt. SAC Invite wrap-up at with Bob Ramsey

Cross Country has improved relentlessly over the past ten years, and the huge field and great weather helped that process leaped forward at this year’s Mt.SAC Invitational. The athletes of the San Gabriel Valley kept pace with this trend, with several high placings, and numerous school records. The top performance came from Lauren Justus (Sr – Glendora), whose 17:53 was the fastest SGV time since Jessica Nunez (South Hills) in 2007, and the fastest at the Invite since fellow Tartan Christy Adamyk her PR of 17:27 in 2005. Four other girls ran under 19:00 this year, most notably Marissa Scott (So – Bonita), whose 18:08 was the winning time in her Div. III heat. As a measure of the growing quality of our sport, 14th best in the SGV this year was 19:24, while last year 20:17 was 14th.

Above: Glendora runner Lauren Justus.

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Our day at the CIF-Southern Section office …

The SGVN crew spent the morning at the CIF-Southern Section office (partly because it included a continental breakfast and lunch), but also because it was a great opportunity for reporters across the Southern Section to listen how the Section operates and for us to ask questions. It was very informative in helping understand the CIF bluebook, how they rule on the eligibility of transfers, how they place teams in playoff divisions, how they put brackets together, etc, etc. There was so much information shared, so kudos to CIF and particularly spokesperson Thom Simmons for putting it together. In fact, I was invited by CIF to sit in on Saturday’s pairings day (the day before pairings are released on Sunday) to observe how brackets are put together for playoff divisions and listen in on the conversations in terms of who plays who, and how they decide at-large berths. I can’t share what I observed until the pairings are released, but I would love to come back on Monday and share how the process worked which obviously makes my job of answering your questions about at-large, seedings and placements much easier.

Priceless: Found this picture hanging at the CIF office of Bishop Amat’s Pat Haden accepting the CIF trophy after the Lancers’ 1970 championship…

You want answers: There was a fairly heated exchange at today’s meeting when a reporter asked commissioner Jim Staunton about CIF transfer rulings. When CIF makes a decision on a transfer, it does not follow with a written explanation, they simply make a ruling. The reporter wanted to know what state or federal law CIF was citing for prohibiting them from giving a written or verbal explanation, especially to reporters, after a ruling. Staunton didn’t address the legal aspect, but simply said they do not talk about the specifics of decisions. Simmons said they do not offer written or verbal explanations because it involves confidential information. Fair enough, but the reporter said the reader has a right to know, so lets ask you…

Reporting scores: CIF is in the process of creating a database for schools/coaches to call in results for all sports so that scores and standings are easily accessible on CIF’s webpage, which is something that would benefit all of us. Imagine being able to go to CIF’s website to find results of soccer games played earlier in the day? Enforcing schools to call in results is a different story. It would be nice if the member schools proposed a rule that would require member schools to call in results to CIF. If the member schools could write it into bluebook law, it would be much easier for CIF to enforce it.

Soccer ties or not ties: I learned something all soccer coaches need to know when posting results. When soccer teams are in winter tournaments and ties are decided on penalty kicks, neither team should be credited with a win or a loss, it should simply be a tie. However, if it’s a tournament championship game decided on penalty kicks, the winning team can credit itself with a victory and the losing team must take the loss.

In closing: Whether we agree or disagree with a variety of CIF’s decisions, they care about high school athletics and care about making the best decision they can. Maybe I’m getting soft but the more you talk to people face to face, the better you understand where they’re coming from.

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Maggiore talks about epic showdown on Friday between No. 1 West Covina and No. 2 Bonita

“He’s not as athletic and doesn’t move around as well as Chad Jeffries (Glendora) or Michael Ball (Rowland), but he makes good reads. It looks like he’s a smart kid, who makes good decisions. He plays with a lot of confidence and can throw the ball all over the field.” –West Covina coach Mike Maggiore on Bonita QB Garrett Pendleton.

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
West Covina High School football coach Mike Maggiore has seen the tapes and now it’s time for he and his staff to figure out a way to stop undefeated Bonita in Friday’s Hacienda League showdown. “Offensively, they are very balanced,” Maggiore said of the Bearcats’ offense, which is averaging 37 points per game. “Most high school teams have one go-to guy, but Bonita seems like they all take turns. That makes it tough to defend.”

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Super 35: Cats and Dogs to settle Southeast No. 1; Covina leaps to No. 6; Glendora falls out top 10

Above: Let out the balloons, the Knights are in the top ten.

1. Bishop Amat (8-0) — The trap game is no longer at Loyola, it’s at home against Notre Dame. For the love of Kiefer, the Lancers can’t go undefeated at home for three years and lose this one before the big showdown at Alemany in two weeks can they?
2. West Covina (6-1) — The Bulldogs haven’t had to prove anything since sweeping Venice, Glendora, South Hills and Rowland. Looking back, those teams are struggling now. Guess what, Bonita ain’t struggling.
3. Bonita (7-0) — They do everything undefeated teams are supposed to do, play with passion, play defense, believe when their superstars are sitting on the sidelines with injures. That’s the M.O., for championships, and another reason I’m picking them against West Covina on Friday.
4. Claremont (6-1) — After beating Chino Hills and Charter Oak, might as well give them the Sierra League trophy. This is an extremely dangerous team. If they get their running game going, nobody is having a better year than their quarterback Dan Kessler. Plus, defensively, they hold their own.
5. Chino Hills (5-2) — Quietly and confidently the Huskies claw their way back, destroying Damien after losing the Sierra opener to Claremont. When Chino Hills and Charter Oak meet, that’s for second, not first.
6. Covina (7-1) — The Colts deserve a bump in the poll after taking care of Baldwin Park, showing their first-season win over West Covina was no fluke. If they don’t win the Mid-Valley this year, they have enough underclassmen to be the favorite next year.
7. Azusa (7-0) — The Aztecs are good and we know they’re good, but until they compete against the upper-echelon teams in the division, we won’t know how good until the playoffs arrive.
8. Charter Oak (4-3) — Even Chargers fans have to admit it’s tiring losing the “must games.” The Chargers are talented enough to be 7-0 or at the very least 6-1, but they’re 0-3 in the toss-up games against Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga and Claremont.
9. Diamond Ranch (4-3) — I can hear Diamond Ranch fans screaming at me for not paying attention to their four-game win streak, for not acknowledging they’re in the race for the Hacienda too. Be patient, we can only cover one Hacienda blockbuster at a time, your day is coming.
10. Arroyo (6-1) — Look who’s finally cracked the top ten. They should stay here for a while too, nobody else is coming within three touchdowns of them in the Mission Valley League.

The Rest:11. Damien (4-3), 12. Glendora (4-3), 13. San Dimas (5-3), 14. Diamond Bar (5-3), 15. Rowland (4-4), 16. South Hills (2-5), 17. Ayala (4-3), 18. Walnut (3-4), 19. Baldwin Park (2-5), 20. Rosemead (4-3), 21. La Puente (5-2), 22. Wilson (4-3), 23. Northview (2-5), 24. Pomona (3-4), 25. El Monte (3-4), 26. Gladstone (3-4), 27. Sierra Vista (5-2), 28. Ganesha (3-4), 29. Mountain View (4-3), 30. Nogales (1-6), 31. South El Monte (1-6), 32. Bassett (3-4), 33. Workman (1-6), 34. Los Altos (0-7), 35. Duarte (0-6).

Great game highlights and commentary from Bishop Amat’s win over Crespi..

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