Hall of Fame, East 46, West 34: Frazier, Virnala help East hold off West to win Hall of Fame All-Star Football Game

Keith Birmingham’s Hall of Fame All-Star Photo Gallery

By Steve Ramirez
– The 33rd San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame All-Star Game has had an East flavor over the years, and that didn’t change Friday.

But the West died hard.

Former Los Altos High School quarterback Shane Virnala accounted for 207 yards and a touchdown and the East held off a late West charge for 46-34 victory at West Covina High School.

West Covina’s Jimmy Frazier earned East MVP honors after rushing for 81 yards and a touchdown. Frazier and Azusa’s Desmond Reed ran for scores of 42 and 45 yards, respectively, to secure the win.

Monrovia’s DeShawn Ramirez accounted for two touchdowns, including an 86- yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter to lead the West.

Arroyo’s Steven Rivera threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns.

“We take pride in it,” Virnala said. “I don’t know what the record it is, but the East has had the upper hand. So yes, we take pride in it. You have to take pride in your school, your area.

“You know it’s not going to be easy in these all-star games.”

The East jumped out to a 39-14 lead before the West closed to within 46-34 on an 80-yard pass from Rivera to Richard Bradford and Ramirez’s 86-yard kickoff return.

“Both teams have a lot of firepower,” Rivera said. “They were fortunate to come out on top. But we have a lot of character and discipline over here, and we weren’t going to give up.”

Friday’s encounter was all about big plays, and the East made most of them during the first half for a 22-14 advantage.

The first came during the middle of the first quarter when Virnala threw 30 yards to Garrett Horine for a first down at the West 30-yard line before throwing 15 yards to Adam Sanchez for a first-down at the 14.

Nogales’ Diego Lopez kicked a 20-yard field for a 3-0 lead with 3:41 left in the quarter.

But the West believed it could match the East play for play and proved it on the first play of the second quarter when Muir’s Tyquwan Glass intercepted a Billy Livingston pass near the goal line and returned it 50 yards to the East 49.

San Gabriel’s Andy Guerrero and Ramirez, who were opponents in last season’s CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship game, gave the West the lead.

Guerrero ran 25 yards to the East 25 before passing 19 yards to Ramirez for a 6-3 lead with 10:37 left in the half. A bad snap forced a botched conversion attempt.

It didn’t take long for the East to respond.

It needed all of 12 seconds, in fact, when Diamond Ranch’s Chris Miller took the kickoff in the end zone and returned it 104 yards for a 10-6 advantage.

Next up was Rivera, who needed just two plays to show his big-play ability.

Rivera, who threw for 115 yards in the first half, hooked up with Monrovia’s Marquiese Bias for 20 yards to the West 40. He then hit a wide-open Riian Simpson (Pasadena) in the flat for a 60-yard catch and run to give the West the lead at 14-10. Rivera passed to San Gabriel’s Alex Villalobos on the conversion attempt.

But again the East struck back by scoring twice in the final three minutes of the half for its 22-14 lead.

Virnala passed 37 yards to West Covina’s Lonzell Barnett to the West 14 before scoring on a keeper for a 16-14 lead. The conversion failed.

Virnala, who threw for 150 yards in the first half, then tossed 25 yards to Sanchez to the West 48 before a 23-yard pass to Covina’s Vinny Venegas to the 25. He then hit Scott Tibbs (Los Altos) at the 5.

Glendora’s Corey Victoria then swept around end from the 5 for a 22-14 lead with 21 seconds left in the half.

Los Altos’ Justin Fa’aola, following an interception, had a 1-yard run to make it 29-14 with 8:45 left in the third quarter. Lopez had a 47-yard field goal to push the advantage to 32-14 at 2:51.



626-962-8811, ext. 3061, 2296

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Hall of Fame Game Tonight: East coach Dale Ziola confident his secondary can hold up vs. Guerrero/Rivera QB combo for West

Robledo’s Prediction: East 42, West 14

What: San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame Game
Who: East vs. West
Where: West Covina, High School
When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.

There’s absolutely no secret what the West team is going to try to do in Friday’s Hall of Fame All-Star Game in order to get some respect back for its side of the Valley. And, of course, it’s also no secret what the East will try to do to keep its recent string of series dominance in tact.

The top recently graduated high school football seniors will renew the East vs. West rivalry tonight at West Covina High. Introductions are 7 p.m. and kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

When rosters for the game were announced earlier this month, the huge advantage the West had at quarterback was glaring. Tribune Player of the Year Steven Rivera of Arroyo and Star-News Player of the Year Andy Guerrero of San Gabriel combined to throw for 6,669 yards and 67 touchdowns last season.

Now teammates, both quarterback have been very vocal about getting the West back some respect after the East increased its series lead to 20-10-2 with a 7-6 win last season. It’s a sentiment that has obviously trickled down to the rest of the roster.

“I definitely think we have the right approach and attitude about the game,” said West coach Jude Oliva, who led San Gabriel to a 9-5 record last season. “A lot of the kids have a great understanding of the history of this game and know the West hasn’t been successful the last couple years. They’ve come in here and have been talking about trying to end the streak.”

Wisely, Oliva is making no bones about his team’s desire to air it out tonight and ride the arms of Guerrero and Rivera as far as they can. That means a host of West weapons should see plenty of chances to make big plays.

Muir running back Tairen Owens and Monrovia’s Marquise Bias headline the backfield. Monrovia all-purpose threat De’Shawn Ramirez and San Gabriel speedster Alex Villalobos could have huge nights if Guerrero and Rivera have their way.

Trouble is, East coach Dale Ziola said his team is well aware of the firepower the West has stockpiled and will look to counteract it with a talented secondary and fierce pass rush. Ziola led Los Altos to a remarkable turnaround in his first season, taking the program from 0-10 in 2010 to 8-4 last season.

“One of the parents had mentioned that they’re (the West) going to be going no huddle and how we better get in shape,” Ziola said. “The way you stop the no huddle is to force incomplete passes. I think we have the defensive backs to stop routes, get in people’s faces and disrupt timing so much that we can afford to put our linebackers on their quarterbacks.

“Our plan is to keep their receivers where they’re supposed to be.”

It’s easy to see why Ziola is confident in his secondary. Charter Oak’s Herman Akins is a hybrid who can run with receivers or play near the line. Bonita’s Garrett Horine has East coaches thinking he might be the best player on the field. Rowland’s Terry Ford and West Covina’s Lonzel Barnett are so fast and quick that it’s hard to imagine anyone finding room on them.

And when the East has the ball, it will be using its run game to also play defense by eating the clock and keeping Guerrero and Rivera off the field.

“We expect to play very physical,” Ziola said. “They’re talking about speed on the West side, but I’ve seen the size of their defense on their roster and I’ve seen the size of the guys we have and the running backs we have, so we’re going to be a ground and pound football team. The boys we have on this side give us a big advantage to go out and do that.”

The East’s backfield is downright frightening. There’s speed and quickness in West Covina’s Jimmy Frazier and Azusa’s Desmond Reed. There’s a bruiser in Los Altos’ Justin Fa’aola. There’s a combo of speed and physicality in Glendora’s Corey Victoria and Bonita’s Cameron Griffin.

“All the running backs expect to have a good night,” Ziola said of his running backs. “There’s nobody out there expecting to relinquish what the East has done in the past. They’re all expecting to get their fair share of carries and do great things with it.”

If the West is to win, it may have to force a faster tempo than the East wants to play. And there’s no better way of doing just that than by getting Guerrero and Rivera off early and possibly a lead a on the scoreboard.

“They’re both great at passing the ball and using their feet,” Oliva said of his QB tandem “We kind of have a little mixture of run and pass stuff for them depending on what the East is doing defensively. It’s not a surprise, we’ll throw the ball. We definitely have got some guys who can play.”

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Boys Tennis All-Area: Ayala’s Tomas Aranguiz and Arroyo coach Anthony Lim share top honors

All-Area Tennis story: Ayala’s Tomas Aranguiz proved he belonged among CIF-SS elite

All-Area Boys Tennis photo gallery

Coach of the year: Anthony Lim, Arroyo
Tennis player of the year: Tomas Aranguiz, Ayala
First team Singles
Sam Ho, Arroyo
Alan Leahy, Claremont
Anthony Sanchez, Nogales
Erik Martinez/Lyle Regalado, Ayala

Second Team Singles
Victor Doung, Sierra Vista
Chris Ogams, Wilson
Kevin Vuong, Rowland
Ryan Li/Andrew Liang, Wilson

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All-Area Softball: Chino Hills’ Nikki Innamorato and coach Mike Southworth take top honors

All-Area Story: Chino Hills’ Nikki Innamorato caps her senior season with CIF-SS title to earn player of the year; Huskies’ Mike Southworth named coach of the year

San Gabriel Tribune All-Area Softball Photo Galllery

Player of the Year: Nikki Innamorato, Chino Hills, Sr.
Coach of the Year: Mike Southworth, Chino Hills
Pitcher: Danielle O’Toole, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Pitcher: Sabrina Anguiano, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Catcher: Kaylea Snaer, Rowland, Jr.
Infielder: Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, Fr.
Infielder: Nikki Girard, Chino Hills, Sr.
Infielder: Brandi Harkness, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Infielder: Danielle Mavridis, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Outfield: Nicki Sprague, Charter Oak, Jr.
Outfield: Patricia Parks, Chino Hills, So.
Outfield: Alyssa Villalpando, Los Altos, Sr.
Utility: Lexi Gonzalez, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Pitcher: Kaysie Gatlin, Duarte, Sr.
Pitcher: Jennipher Solis, Los Altos, Sr.
Catcher: Britney Rodriguez, South Hills Sr.
Infielder: Laura Swan, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Infielder: Sarah Moore, Ayala, Sr.
Infielder: Corrina Liscano, Bonita, Jr.
Infielder: Sumer Knight, West Covina, Sr.
Outfield: Mariah Midyette, Los Altos, Sr.
Outfield: Taylor Castro, West Covina, Sr.
Outfield: Erinn Jaramillo, Northview, Jr.
Utility: Janell Wheaton, San Dimas, So.

Continue reading “All-Area Softball: Chino Hills’ Nikki Innamorato and coach Mike Southworth take top honors” »

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Hit and Hustle Camp hosted by Bishop Amat head coach Steve Hagerty coming Fri. and Sat.

Bishop Amat is hosting a youth football camp Friday evening from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday morning from 9 a.m.-noon. Youth entering grades 3-8 are invited to attend.

The cost is $75, which includes six hours of instruction, group photo, hot dog lunch, t-shirt, and certificate of participation.

Contact Coach Hagerty with questions at 626-962-2495, ext. 6001, or email him at bahitandhustlefootballcamp@yahoo.com

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Bonita’s Justin Garza finishes sensational career with Tribune player of the year honors; Bearcats coach John Knott named coach of the year

ALL-AREA STORY: Bonita’s Justin Garza earned the San Gabriel Valley Tribune baseball player of the year award and the Bearcats’ John Knott coach of the year. Read the full story along with all the first-team selections.



Player of the Year: Justin Garza, Bonita, Sr.
Coach of the Year: John Knott, Bonita

Pitcher: Daniel Zamora, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Pitcher: Ty France, South Hills, Sr.
Catcher: Steven Camberos, Los Altos, Sr.
Infielder: Donovan Holmes, Glendora, Sr.
Infielder: Danny Sheehan, South Hills, Sr.
Infielder: Joe Munoz, Los Altos, Sr.
Infielder: Adam Alcantara, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Outfield: Thomas Castro, Bonita, Sr.
Outfield: Wyatt Wood, Glendora, Sr.
Outfield: Erik Gonzalez, Nogales, Jr.
Utility: Tyler Heslop, Bonita, Sr.

Pitcher: Parker Merritt, Bonita, Jr.
Pitcher: Kevin McKelvey, South Hills, Sr.
Catcher: C.J. Saylor, South Hills, Sr.
Infielder: Adrian Guzman, Nogales, Jr.
Infielder: Justin Row, Bonita, Jr.
Infielder: Grant Hockin, Damien, So.
Infielder: Giovanni Rivera, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Outfield: Shawn Kennedy, San Dimas, Sr.
Outfield: Scott Hurst, Bishop Amat, So.
Outfield: Jake Grijalva, Northview, Jr.
Utility: Henry Omana, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Continue reading “Bonita’s Justin Garza finishes sensational career with Tribune player of the year honors; Bearcats coach John Knott named coach of the year” »

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Los Altos’ Joe Munoz signed and delivered to the Arizona Diamondbacks for more than half a million; Shortstop already in Rookie League

Los Altos High School’s Joe Munoz, who was drafted in the second round and 90th overall in Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft by Arizona, has signed with the Diamondbacks instead of heading to San Diego State, where he had planned to attend college. Munoz is already in the Arizona Rookie League after signing a deal worth $520,500, according to his family. Let’s wish him well and hopefully he’ll be in the Bigs soon. Below are pictures of Munoz signing and a picture with his family. A proud moment for sure.

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