Arroyo’s El Primitivo Gomez impressive in preparation for Friday’s Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic … A Tribune sweep waiting to happen

What: Tenth annual Tribune/Star-News All-Star Boys/Girls All-Star Classic
Where: Damien High School
When: Friday
Time: Girls, 6 p.m., Boys, 8 p.m.

“An hour into practice, I started calling (college) coaches I know telling them they better be over here on Friday night to see this kid. He’s really good, but nobody ever gets to see those kids.” Damien and Tribune boys coach Matt Dunn on Arroyo’s Primitivo Gomez.

By Aram Tolegian Staff Writer
Perhaps the best kept secret in the San Gabriel Valley when it comes to boys high school basketball is Arroyo’s Primitivo Gomez.

Gomez, who will play for the Tribune all-stars in Friday’s 10th Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic, may be ready to get the word out in a big way in his final prep game on Friday night.
And there should be an audience of next-level coaches there to watch it.
“An hour into practice, I started calling (college) coaches I know telling them they better be over here on Friday night to see this kid,” said Damien coach Matt Dunn, who will coach the Tribune team. “He’s really good, but nobody ever gets to see those kids.”
The boys all-star game is set for 8 p.m. at Damien High while the girls game is at 6 p.m., also at Damien.
Gomez, a 6-foot-5 combo forward/guard, led Arroyo to a 20-win season and the Mission Valley League championship. He averaged 25.7 points per game and 10.7 rebounds.
The Star-News has had no shortage of eye-opening players in practice, either. Star-News Player of the Year Andre Spight has shined, scoring from just about anywhere on the floor. Spight will play at UTEP next season, so he’s not in need of any late-stage scouting.
But there are several other talents who have turned heads at Star-News practice, according to Flintridge Prep coach Garrett Ohara, who will coach the west-side all-stars.
“Spight is so good on the ball, he’s such a threat on the perimeter and getting to the basket, but we have several guys flying under the radar here who can get after it,” Ohara said. “Tyler Shimamoto (Gabrielino) and Felix Awujo (Temple City), this was the first time I got to see them.
“They have such great defensive tenacity, so we’re going to commit to defending well. This isn’t going to be an NBA All-Star Game.”
Shootout expected
It’s no secret that 3-point shooting was the catalyst of Temple City’s breakout season this winter. The Rams won the Rio Hondo League behind sharpshooters like Eric Olivas and Felix Awujo. Olivas hit 114 3-pointers this season and Awujo added 44. Both will be in the 3-point shooting contest at halftime of the boys game along with Spight.
The Tribune team will be represented in the 3-point shooting contest by Jared Dizon (Damien), Jordan Stokes (San Dimas) and Joseph Dionisio (Rowland).
Secret weapon
Dunn has pulled former legendary Northview coach Ron Rice out of retirement to help him coach the Tribune all-stars.
Rice retired this winter after 41 years. And if the game’s close, Dunn said he knows who he’s going to turn to.
“The most important piece of the puzzle is that we have a legend on the sideline,” Dunn said. “He’s fully prepared. I told him that if we’ve got a tied game with seven seconds to go, he’s going to have to draw up the game-winner.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

San Gabriel Valley softball all-star game might be moved to Citrus; coaches should contact Mendez to nominate seniors

South Hills softball coach Scott Fisch normally handles the San Gabriel Valley all-star softball game, but with Fisch on administrative leave at the school, Bishop Amat coach Jesse Mendez has stepped up and offered to continue the event. Mt. SAC has hosted the game in recent years, but because of cost, the game might be moved to Citrus. As of now, date and location are to be determined, but most likely the game will be played on the Sunday or Monday following the CIF softball finals on June 1. Area coaches interested in nominating seniors need to contact Mendez at

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Mr. Parker does it again: Bonita wins 23rd straight behind a 4-0 shutout from Merritt over Los Altos

By John Honell Correspondent
Bonita moved one step closer to its third consecutive Hacienda League baseball championship with a 4-0 win over host Los Altos on Wednesday.
The defending CIF-Southern Section Division 3 champion Bearcats (20-2-1, 7-0) won their 23rd consecutive league game, maintaining their one-game lead over Diamond Bar.
The Bearcats got a complete-game pitching performance from senior Parker Merritt and a two-run home run from shortstop Justin Row to get past a tough Conquerors team.

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

What happened to Damien and Bishop Amat baseball? Both in danger of missing the playoffs

Damien and Bishop Amat baseball are two of the biggest disappointments in the CIF-Southern Section this season. The Spartans, 11-9 overall and 4-6 in the Sierra League, boast UCLA bound pitchers Grant Hockin and Jonathan Olsen, but may miss the playoffs entirely. If the Spartans, ranked 9th in the CIF-SS preseason Division 2 poll, fall again to South Hills on Thursday, not only will their playoff hopes be on life support, they could find themselves finishing last if they continue to free fall. This is a team that was so highly thought of, online’s Perfect Game ranked Damien No. 23 in its preseason NATIONAL rankings. I can hear the conspiracy theorists now. Is Damien throwing in the towel to prove it should remain in the Sierra League. Of course not, but it would help with their position while they fight the move to an all private school league. Bishop Amat, ranked fourth in the preseason Division 4 poll and ranked fifth in the L.A. Times’ preseason Southern California Rankings, climbed over .500 to 11-10 with a 7-3 victory over La Salle on Tuesday. The Lancers are fighting St. Paul for third-place and the final playoff spot in the Del Rey. What happened to our private school baseball giants that have a combined record of 22-19? And what does this say to all the public school complainers that private school’s have an advantage that public school’s don’t? What it tells me is a free education is a pretty strong advantage as well.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Diamond Ranch girls basketball coach Mike James asked to resign, a stunning decision for one of the most respected coaches around

UPDATE: Diamond Ranch vice principal and athletic director Candace Cayer contacted me via email with this response on James’ explanation that he was asked to resign: “As you know, I am unable to comment on a personnel matter. At this time, we are going in a different direction.” In addition, Cayer wrote they have not named a new coach and will fly the position in house. In other words, they’re hiring an on campus coach.

By Fred J. Robledo
One of the areas most highly regarded coaches, Diamond Ranch High School’s Mike James, said school officials gave him the option of resigning or being released in favoring of hiring an on-campus coach.
James, who teaches at nearby Walnut High School and who has led the Panthers to four CIF-Southern Section semifinals and three league titles during his six-year tenure, opted to resign this week.
Phones messages left for Diamond Ranch athletic director and vice principal Candace Cayer seeking an explanation were not returned.
“What it boils down to is that they want an on campus coach,” James said. “I’m really disappointed because I thought next year would be a really good year for us.
“We had all of our leaders coming back. It’s a strong group of kids … glue kids who work hard and do all the right things.”
James was not completely stunned by the decision. He says there is a teacher on campus who wants the job, but didn’t feel it was his position to mention his/her name.
He understands that in an ideal scenario, schools prefer an on campus coach, but he felt his resume and reputation as a coach should have allowed him to continue.
“I think they had the best of both worlds,” James said. “Obviously, you want to have someone that’s on campus, but if you don’t the next best thing is to have a credential teacher who is passionate and dedicated to the kids. I thought I was that.”
Bishop Amat girls basketball coach Richard Wiard is in a similar situation. Wiard is a teacher at Charter Oak High school, but has been a walk-on head coach at Bishop Amat for more than a decade, where he has won five CIF-Southern Section titles and two state titles.
Wiard has grown fond of James over the years, and was disappointed to learn what happened.
“You don’t find somebody better than Mike,” Wiard said. “You want what’s best for your kids, and I can’t believe they’ll find someone better. He’s dedicated to his kids, he’s been successful, and nobody’s ever had a bad word to say about him.
“I’ve done this a long time and what you want for your kids is the best possible coach and Mike James is the best coach for those kids.
“But who knows, maybe they have John Wooden on campus, I don’t know. But whoever it is, they’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill.”
James said he will not rush into another coaching position, but looks forward to the day he’s in charge again.
“I would be open to coaching next year, but I’m not going to just take any job,” James said. “I want to go somewhere where’s there’s a chance to build something to be successful.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Stevie R’s take on re-leaguing — Do it by geography!

Well, with the re-leaguing process in high gear and coming down the stretch. I thought I would put my two cents in, which is to do it strictly by geography. I talked to a local coach last week who said its just more fun to play schools you are in close proximity with, mainly because the kids know each other and get a kick out playing each other. I couldn’t agree more, so here is my re-leaguing proposal, which is based on pure geography. Now some school’s don’t have region partners, like Northview, South Hills and Covina, or Wilson and Los Altos, but I did try to keep them close to their general area, because I think that’s important. If that puts a team or program at a disadvantage, then do it the good, old American way — get back to work and get better.

My proposal:
1-Diamond Bar, Diamond Ranch, Rowland, Nogales, Wilson, Los Altos, Walnut
2-Covina, Northview, South Hills, West Covina, Edgewood, Charter Oak,
3-Glendora, San Dimas, Bonita, Azusa, Gladstone, Duarte
4-La Puente, Workman, Bassett, Sierra Vista, Baldwin Park
5-Ayala, Chino Hills, Chino, Don Lugo, Claremont,
6-Colony, Chaffey, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, Garey, Ganesha
7-Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Los Osos, Etiwanda, Alta Loma

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Bishop Amat, Damien, St. Lucy’s, St. Paul, La Salle, Pomona Catholic, Bosco Tech all grouped together in CAA league proposal

The Catholic Athletic Association voted to approve a releaguing proposal for all sports except football that was submitted by Bishop Amat, Bishop Montgomery, Cantwell Sacred Heart, Cathedral, Don Bosco Tech, La
Salle, Mary Star of the Sea, Serra, St. Bernard, Saint Joseph, St. Monica, and St. Paul. Barring lawsuits, the new league approved by the CAA will begin in the 2014-15 cycle. I’m posting only the league that directly affects the San Gabriel Valley area, with Damien, Bishop Amat, St. Lucy’s, La Salle, St. Paul and Pomona Catholic all grouped in the 16-team Co-Ed Association league. The CAA will next vote on a football only proposal.

CO-ED ASSOCIATION A (16 SCHOOLS): Bishop Amat, Bishop Montgomery, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Cathedral, Damien, Bosco Tech, La Salle, Mary Star of the Sea, Pomona Catholic, Serra, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph, St. Lucy’s, St. Monica, St. Paul.

How it works: With 16 teams in the association, it is now up to the association to group teams into League A and League B by sports, taking into consideration geographic proximity and competitive equity. Chances are, Damien/St. Lucy’s, Bishop Amat, Bosco Tech/Pomona Catholic, St. Paul, Cantwell Sacred Heart, La Salle, Cathedral/St. Joseph and Mary Star will be grouped together in most sports because of geography.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email