College Football: California Preview

As part of this becoming the all-sports blog for are three San Gabriel Valley Newspapers, and part of our college football overage, I will post a capsule of all Pac-12 teams for the upcoming season. We’ll begin with the North Division, and today we take a brief look at California

CALIFORNIA BEARS
Coach:
Jeff Tedford
Years at school: 10
Record: 72-42
2010 Record: 5-7 overall, 3-6 in conference
Division: North
2011 prediction: Fifth
Outlook: The Bears have been one of the conference’s most consistent programs, playing in a bowl during Tedford’s first nine seasons. All that changed last year, and the outlook doesn’t look good for Cal in 2011. The Bears are inexperienced in the backfield, where Buffalo transfer Zach Maynard steps in at quarterback and junior Ise Sofele is the starter at tallback. Marvin Jones is one of the better returning receivers in the conference. But Cal, which will play all home games at AT&T Park while Memorial Stadium is refurbished, will be hard pressed to get back to a bowl game.
Quotable: “We have created a standard and expectation at Cal over the last nine years,” Cal coach Jeff Tedord said. “Last season we fell short of that, and we’re not hiding from that. We understand that there is a very fine line between winning and losing. We need to improve and get back to the standard and fulfilling the expectation that our fans and alumni have for our football program.”

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College Football: Washington State Preview

As part of this becoming the all-sports blog for are three San Gabriel Valley Newspapers, and part of our college football overage, I will post a capsule of all Pac-12 teams for the upcoming season. We’ll begin with the North Division, and today we take a brief look at Washington State.

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
Coach:
Paul Wulff
Years at school: Fourth
Record: 5-32
2010 Record: 2-10 overall, 1-8 in conference
Division: North
2011 prediction: Sixth
Outlook: The Cougars have been the conference’s worst program over the past three seasons, finishing ninth, 10th and 10th. But they saw some light in the tunnel last year, playing respective games down the stretch, including scoring a 31-14 win at Oregon State. QB Jeff Tuel, who threw for 2,780 yards and 18 TDs, gives Washington State some hope. But it is most likely going to be another longer year in the Palouse, which doesn’t sound good for Wulff, who begins the year No. 1 on most publications’ coaches hot seat list.
Quotable: “When games are tight, (Tuel) needs to be able to make the plays that win the game,” Wulff said. “Those are the steps that he’s going to take, and he will take. I think that we’re going to go as he goes in a lot of ways. But what I also like is we do have more of a supporting cast around him and on defense that we’ve never had. So it’s not going to be only on Jeff Tuel, which is great. There needs to be some games where he isn’t necessarily the big factor, hopefully, and we can still win the ballgame. I’d like to see our team take that step, and I’d like to see Jeff take the step that I mentioned.”

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SGV Babe Ruth 18-under punches ticket to World Series; Ruiz, Garza earn national acclaim

The San Gabriel Valley Babe Ruth 18-under all-star baseball team beat defending champion Watsonville 5-4 on Tuesday to win the Pacific Southwest Regionals in Modesto, punching a ticket to the World Series, which starts Aug. 6 in Ephrata, Washington.
Glendora’s Nick Wagner, the tournament MVP, belted a two-out single in the sixth that drove in Tartans teammate Martin Gallegos for the game-winning run, sending the SGV to the Babe Ruth World Series for the second time in three years.
The SGV team has plenty of familiar names, including Glendora’s John Alexander, Brennan Salgado, Nick Wagner, Sean Beckman; Bishop Amat pitcher Daniel Zamora, Bonita’s Adam McCreery and Walnut’s Bryce Harrison.

ALL-AMERICANS: Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz and Bonita’s Justin Garza continue piling up postseason awards after spectacular junior seasons. Both were named underclassmen all-americans by ESPN RISE and MaxPreps.

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Scouting Guru Q&A with Tracy McFate, head of football assigners, and much, much more

The Scouting Guru has been all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, and like always, he’s offered to share his thoughts, free of charge. Don’t hate, enjoy it for what it’s worth, which is one man’s opinion on the talent in the San Gabriel Valley.

Guru Writes: When I started to get ideas for what to write this week, I was stumbling a bit. You can only talk college recruiting so much. I wanted to do something that was going to be beneficial to coaches, players and parents. And then it hit me like a sack of bricks.
As we all know football officiating is one of the thankless jobs of the year. You get criticized and yelled at and the stipend are anywhere from $60 to $80. So for this column I wanted to know what the points of emphasis is going to be for the upcoming season and other things. There is one man I know I could call on… Tracy McFate. He is the assigner for the Foothill Citrus Division in Southern California and has been officiating games for a very long time.

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College Football: Color the Pac-12 Cardinal

I spent the day at Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles to get a view how the conference football teams will shape up this year.
As expected, Oregon was picked to win the Pac-12 North Division and the league’s first championship game. I like Stanford, which returns all the key parts of last season’s Orange Bowl champion, except coach Jim Harbaugh. But his replacement, former NFL assistant David Shaw might be just as good.
In the coming days, I will post here a look at each team individually leading up to the team’s fall camps, which are expected to begin in the next week or so.
Until then, here’s my column from Pac-12 Media Day:

By Steve Ramirez
LOS ANGELES –
Stanford has everything to compete for the Bowl Championship Series championship.
The Cardinal have the best quarterback in the country in Heisman Trophy favorite Andrew Luck, a running backs corps that ranks among the best in the country and they play defense with a chip on their shoulder.
The big question mark – if you believe the national media – is at the top, where coach David Shaw has replaced Jim Harbaugh, who after building the Cardinal into a national power has taken his show to the San Francisco 49ers and the NFL.
The switch won’t matter.
Stanford is the best team in the league and will reign supreme in 2011, winning the North Division, the conference’s first football championship game, and earning a trip, not to Pasadena and the Rose Bowl, but to the BCS title game, which this year is slated for New Orleans.
I have no doubt that if Harbaugh had decided to stay, most would rank the Cardinal among the favorites to win it all. Shaw just needs to keep the ball rolling, and there’s no reason he won’t.
“Coach Harbaugh came in (four years ago) and fought a lot of battles that I don’t have to fight,” Shaw said during Tuesday’s Pac-12 media day at Fox Studios. “My job is to maintain a competitive spirit. Like I said before, that is one of the things that (Harbaugh) and I had in common. We were going to compete. We’re going to fight.
“There is a standard of play that we’ll play up to, and it’s my job that we’ll do that.”
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Charter Oak asst. principal Glenn Martinez named Asst. Commissioner of Athletics at the CIF-Southern Section …

Here’s the press release ...
Incoming CIF Southern Section Commissioner of Athletics Rob Wigod announced today that Charter Oak High School Vice-Principal Glenn Martinez has accepted the position of Assistant Commissioner of Athletics for the CIF-SS, effective August 15, 2011.
“I am very pleased to announce the selection of Glenn Martinez as the next assistant commissioner of the CIF-SS,” stated Wigod. “Glenn brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion for high school education and athletics.”

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West Covina’s Chris Solomon shooting for a triple-double in 2011; check out his highlights

Since 1969, only Bishop Amat’s Eric Bienemy (1985-86), and Covina’s Mike McDonough (2005-06) have won back-to-back area most valuable player honors. With 2010 in the bank, West Covina’s Chris Solomon has a chance to do something no area player has done — the football triple-double. He can do so by earning back-to-back area player of the year, back-to-back Southeast Division MVP and a back-to-back team title. If he does that, he would certainly go down as one of the most celebrated area players ever. Check out his 2010 highlight video. I posted it earlier, but because some of the language in the video is graphic, I’m providing a link to YouTube instead.

Tribune players of the Year (1969-present)
1969 Fred McNeil, Baldwin Park RB
1970 Pat Haden, Bishop Amat QB and John McKay Jr., Bishop Amat WR
1971 Mike Vicino, Royal Oak RB
1972 Rob Hertel, Los Altos QB and Ron Himes, Walnut QB
1973 Dennis Sproul, Los Altos QB
1974 Brian Bethke, South Hills QB
1975 Richard Nyden, Azusa QB
and John Van Vuren, South Hills RB
1976 Bob Epps, West Covina DL
1977 Don Roberts, Temple City RB
1978 Ron Stivers, West Covina RB
1979 Ray McNeill, El Monte WR
and Danny Trejo, Baldwin Park WR
1980 Bill Stone, Royal Oak, RB
1981 Blake Smith, Los AltosQB
and Steve Lauter, Los Altos WR
1982 Mike Smith, Los Altos QB
1983 Randy Tanner, Bishop Amat; Paul Hewitt, Monrovia
1984 Michael Johnson, Baldwin Park QB
1985 Eric Bieniemy, Bishop AmatRB
1986 Eric Bieniemy, Bishop Amat RB
1987 Bill Gallis, Northview QB
1988 Jason Martin, Los Altos TE/DB
1989 Marshawn Thompson, Bassett RB
1990 Jason Patterson, Bishop Amat FB/DE
1991 Marc Ruiz, Baldwin ParkQB
1992 Lawrence Phillips, Baldwin Park RB-DB
1993 Miguel Meriwether, West Covina QB/DB
1994 Daylon McCutcheon, Bishop Amat RB/FS
1995 Oscar Interiano, Sierra Vista RB
1996 Oscar Arzu, Sierra Vista RB
1997 Nick Covarrubias, Covina QB/DB
1998 Steve Stevenson, Charter Oak WR/RB/DB
1999 Jason Wright, Diamond Bar, RB/DB
2000 – Felipe Aguilar, Los Altos, QB
2001 – Donnie McCleskey, Bishop Amat RB
2002 – Daniel Drayton, Randall Brown, Los Altos RBs/DBs
2003 – Brigham Harwell, Los Altos DE
2004 – William Wagner, Bishop Amat RB
2005 – Mike McDonough, Covina QB
2006 – Mike McDonough, Covina QB
2007 – Dorian Wells, South Hills, RB
2008 – Chris Allen, Charter Oak, QB
2009 – Adam Muema, Charter Oak, RB
2010 – Chris Solomon, West Covina, RB

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Lutheran’s Grant Jerrett selected to Boost Mobile Elite 24, showcased on ESPNU

La Verne Lutheran’s Grant Jerrett, a 6-foot-9 power forward who helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back state championships, as been selected to participate in the sixth annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 event, the nation’s premier summer showcase.
Featuring 24 of the top high school basketball players from across the nation, Boost Mobile Elite 24 participants are selected by high school basketball experts from ESPN RISE and other talent evaluators. Players are selected based on their performance during AAU tournaments and national summer camps. The 2011 Boost Mobile Elite 24 will be held at the Venice Beach Courts in Los Angeles on Aug. 26-27. The game airs live on ESPNU on Saturday, August 27 at 4 p.m..

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Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Fernandez to speak at Bishop Amat softball camp on Tuesday

Olympic Gold Medalist and former UCLA Bruins pitcher Lisa Fernandez will be the keynote speaker and give instruction at Bishop Amat’s “Cut Above” Softball Camp on Tuesday, July 26 from 4-8 p.m. Fernandez will speak at the beginning of camp. The camp will include a tshirt, pictures, and instruction on baserunning, hitting and throwing, plus an autograph session with Fernandez. The cost is $65 pre registration and $75 on the day of the camp. For more information contact Jesse Mendez at 626-430-8443.

BASEBALL
The Bishop Amat “Hit and Run” Baseball camp runs from July 25-27 for kids ages 5-14 or K-8th grade. The camp runs from 10 to 3 p.m., and is $150 for the three days. For more information call 626-962-2495 ext. 5830.

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The summer of Aram continues … Charter Oak new number one in the SGVN? Really?

I’ve never seen anyone so fired up for summer passing league tournaments, but the big guy is all over the place, knows his football and has a new All-Encompassing SGVN Top 25, with Charter Oak taking over the number one spot ahead of Bishop Amat, to which I say, I don’t care how good Charter Oak is over the summer, they still don’t compare to Bishop Amat’s total offense, which was one of the best offense’s statistically in Amat history last year, with virtually all the important pieces returning, and with a healthy Zach Shay. Now that was a long run-on sentence, but it had to be said. Even though Aram’s watched more summer football, I’d bet the big fella in a minute that by the end of the year Amat has a better overall record than Charter Oak, and will have played a much tougher schedule. Who agree’s? What I do agree with Aram on is Charter Oak, not Chino Hills, should be favored to win the Sierra. I also don’t like Monrovia ranked ahead of West Covina, but again, what do I know, haven’t seen the ‘Cats this summer. What I do know is West Covina is returning the area player of the year and is probably bigger, stronger and faster. West Covina is also the defending champ of the Southeast, a big step-up over the champ from the Mid-Valley. For the record, my top four would be Amat, West Covina, Charter Oak, Monrovia. In other Aram football reports, Bonita lost to Glendale in the championship of the Ayala Tournament and Charter Oak fell to Villa Park in the Claremont Tournament semifinals. West Covina won the Arroyo Linemen Competition

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Christmas in July: NFL lockout is over

Christmas in July is often referred to as a marketing ploy by the home shopping channels to promote summer sales.
But today, for fans and those associated with the NFL, it has a different meaning as all sources are reporting that the NFL lockout is over, appending a final players vote.
Now the fun begins over the next three days, where beginning tomorrow teams can sign un-restricted free agents. Training camps are expected to be in full force by Thursday, with the exhibition games slated to start Aug. 15, with the regular season scheduled for Sept. 8 when the 2010 champion Green Bay Packers host 2009 champ New Orleans.
The big question is are the Philadelphia Eagles really considering signing Brett Favre?
I guess No. 4 just refuses to go away!

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Group of coaches, parents and others suing over enforcement of Title IX issues, claiming it will lead to the elimination of boys’ sport teams

The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A group of coaches, parents and others is suing the Education Department over how it determines whether high schools are complying with the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools that receive federal money.
At issue is a three-part test to judge a school’s compliance with the 1972 law, known as Title IX: having male and female athletes in proportion to their enrollment, showing a pattern of expanding opportunities for females, or proving that the sports interests of females have been met.
The American Sports Council argued in the lawsuit, filed Thursday by the Pacific Legal Foundation, that the test, as applied to high schools, violates the equal protection clause. The group claimed it will lead to quotas and the elimination of boys’ sports teams, and is seeking a court order to stop the department from using it. (To continue, click thread)

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Inland Insider, Take 1, Take 2, Take 3, Take 4, Take 5 …. his bloopers from the 2010 season

The Inland Insider, Tom Kiss, is back in 2011 and ready for more. Along with his son Dylan, they plan on producing more highlights video’s on Friday nights. His interviews and highlight packages helped us introduce Chino Hills and Ayala to the blog, and by the end of the season, he was at all our big games and became a real pro. Of course, there was a learning curve. This was Tom’s first year experimenting on camera, but as you can see, he doesn’t mind throwing pie in his own face. Who else would create their own bloopers package and share it? Tom’s next project is putting together a highlights video of the best plays in 2010. Like all of us, he’s already fired up for 2011. To replay his championship video for West Covina football, St. Lucy’s Volleyball and Bishop Amat soccer and baseball, click the thread

Tom’s easy to bloop, I got him on the Jamie Kennedy Experiment at Brookside Golf Course, check it out, we own the final scene…

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Whittier: Here’s your 2011 week-by-week area football schedule

For our Whittier area readers, here is the 2011 football schedule. I’ve highlighted what I think should be the feature game each week.
What is your pick for each week’s feature game?

2011 Whittier Area Feature Games:
Week 0

La Mirada at St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
Week 1
La Habra at La Mirada, 7 p.m.
Week 2
La Serna at Bonita, 7 p.m.
Week 3
La Habra vs. Orange Lutheran at Cerritos College, 7:30 p.m.
Week 4
Charter Oak vs. Santa Fe at Pioneer HS, 7 p.m.
Week 5
Cantwell-Sacred Heart vs. Whittier Christian at Whittier College, 7 p.m.
Week 6
Bell Gardens (CA) at Schurr (Montebello, CA), 7:00pm
Week 7
La Habra at Fullerton, 7 p.m.
Week 8
La Serna vs. Santa Fe at Pioneer HS, 7 p.m.
Week 9
La Mirada vs. Mayfair at Bellflower HS, 7 p.m.
Week 10
La Serna at California, 7 p.m.

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Breaking News: Sometime in August, this blog will serve as the SGVN blog for the Tribune, Star-News and Whittier

Changes are coming. Sometime next month this blog will also serve as the prep blog for the Pasadena Star-News and Whittier Daily News, making one giant SGVN blog along with the Tribune. With Steve Ramirez taking over in Whittier and Miguel Melendez at the Star-News and so many of our teams and leagues crossing over and our commenters crossing over, we believe this is the time to create one of the best high school prep blogs in Southern California. More topics, more video, more interaction, more everything. Steve Ramirez and Miguel Melendez will serve as key contributors for Whittier and Pasadena, and I will focus on the Tribune and serve as the main moderator. with the three of us posting regularly this blog will be as lively as ever. Steve, Miguel and I will also weigh in with opinions on teams not in our coverage area and discuss match-ups of teams between our zones, etc, etc. That’s what this blog is for, news and opinions, and now you will have more. What it will create is one giant all-encompassing prep sports blog, plus Aram’s all-encompassing football blog for the SGVN. Each zone will post their own football rankings on Tuesday’s, and there will be one giant Saturday Morning Quarterback with all the football scores on Friday night. Once it gets going, you’re going to love it, especially in the playoffs when SGVN teams go at each other in the Mid-Valley and Southeast playoffs. As your main moderator, I will make sure news from all zones is posted regularly, but not in a way where it looks cluttered. We know the blog comment interaction is what makes this blog unique. The last thing I want to do is clutter this blog with topic after topic and lose that, so I’m prepared to post in a way that won’t happen, but also deliver the news, breaking news and updated scores from your area. For those wondering, the Pasadena blog and Whittier blog will be archived so you can look back on what was written previously. When I get a firm date on when this is happening, I will let you know. If you have any questions or concerns, I’m here to answer them.

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Girls Volleyball: What’s the fall look like?

With Steve Ramirez taking over Whittier, looks like I will be more involved with girls volleyball, which has become blog lively over the past years with Bonita, St. Lucy’s, Los Altos, South Hills, and others having unbelievable playoff success … I have to start thinking of a top ten with the area’s best returning players. Any thoughts on who that might be?

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South Hills’ Saylor, Bonita’s Garza, Los Altos’ Munoz and Amat’s Ruiz selected to Milwaukee Brewers area code roster

South Hills’ C.J. Saylor, Los Altos’ Joe Munoz, Bonita’s Justin Garza and Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz were selected to the Milwaukee Brewerrs’ area code roster, which represents the best in Southern California. The team will compete from August 5-10 at Blair Field in Long Beach. For more information on the teams and history of the 25th annual Area Code games, click here.

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Claremont QB Matt Simko to Colony?

Aram reported last week that Claremont junior QB Matt Simko has transferred out, and a source this morning wrote that he is planning to attend Colony. From what I understand, Colony head coach Matt Bechtel was once a quarterbacks coach of Simko. Bechtel, a former Los Osos offensive coordinator, just finished his first year as Colony’s head football coach. This is not confirmed, but this is the second source that says Simko is going to Colony.

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Times reporting that Van Nuys Montclair Prep drops athletics because of financial reasons

L.A. Times writer Eric Sondheimer just wrote: In a move that has stunned alumni and students, Van Nuys Montclair Prep announced that it is dropping its athletic program because of financial reasons. It makes you wonder if other schools could follow suit, especially with lower-level sports programs. Sondheimer also wrote that student-athletes transferring from Montlair Prep to another school will automatically become eligible under a hardship waiver.

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