Bonita names Carter’s Samuel Lopez to take over Bonita baseball after departure of John Knott

By Pete Marshall
Samuel Lopez wasn’t looking for a new teaching and coaching position.
But when you’re successful, sometimes those positions find you.
Lopez, 33, who led Carter to a league baseball title three times in five years as head coach, has been approved as the new coach at Bonita.

Lopez replaces John Knott, who stepped down last month to take the job as coach at Mt. San Antonio College.
“They reached out to me, to see if I was interested in applying. I wasn’t looking to leave (Carter), but Bonita’s a very successful, established program. I thought it was worth taking a look at,” Lopez said.
In five years at Carter, Lopez compiled a 98-40 record, making the playoffs in all five years, and winning a league title three times, including this season in the Citrus Belt League. Each of the last three seasons Carter won at least one playoff game, including a run to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals in 2015. Prior to Lopez’s arrival, Carter had missed the playoffs four straight seasons.
“When I came to Carter, there was no real expectation,” he said. “But there’s an expectation there now.”
While he helped create an expectation to win at Carter, there has been that expectation at Bonita for a long time. Continue reading “Bonita names Carter’s Samuel Lopez to take over Bonita baseball after departure of John Knott” »

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Breaking News: Diego Barrera, the sophomore Del Rey League pitching MVP, left Bishop Amat and will enroll at Damien

DiegoDiego Barrera, the super sophomore lefty and Del Rey League most valuable pitcher, has left Bishop Amat and enrolled at Damien, sources confirmed. Barrera will join former Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto, whose Spartans won the Baseline League title and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division 2 semifinals, losing to eventual champ South Hills.
Barrera’s sophomore season was one of the best in the San Gabriel Valley, finishing 9-2 with a 1.84 ERA in 68 innings. Barrera also made varsity as a freshman and was one of the best pitchers on the staff, finishing 5-4 with a 2.51 ERA. Diego is the younger brother of Bishop Amat softball centerfielder Alyssa Barrera, who is on her way to the University of Utah after being named the Del Rey League MVP.
Diego Barrera leaving Amat is a big loss, and there are rumors that one or possibly two more are considering leaving as well. For Damien, this adds another piece to a young team that could help Nieto chase his first title at Damien after winning four at Amat.

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All-Area: Diamond Bar’s Neil Tengbumroong named Boys Tennis Player of the Year

Diamond Bar High’s Neil Tengbumroong at San Gabriel Tribune in Monrovia on Monday, June 13, 2016. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

BOYS TENNIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Neil Tengbumroong, Diamond Bar
By Keith Lair
Neil Tengbumroong can look back at his 2016 high school season and see progress.
The Diamond Bar junior finished second in Palomares League play and lost in the CIF Southern Section regional finals in 2015. This season Tengbumroong won the league title and advanced to the CIF-SS Round of 16 play-in match, earning Tengbumroong San Gabriel Valley Tribune player of the year honors for the second consecutive year.

“It was probably my best season so far,” he said. “I’m showing improvement each year.”
The big boost was overcoming Claremont’s Andrew Leahy, the 2015 league champion. The two players split their sets in team competition and Tengbumroong overcame the Wolfpack senior in the individual league tournament this time.
“That was huge because Andrew Leahy beat me really easily the last time,” he said.
It earned Tengbumroong a No. 1 seed for the CIF-SS individual regional round at the University of Redlands. He defeated two league champions, including Ambassador League champion Deepak Tummala of Webb, 6-2, 6-1 in the regional final.
He was one of the 20 singles players remaining and had to go to the Round of 16 play-in round, one of eight players facing off for the 13th through 16th seeds for the finals.
San Marino’s Derek Chen eliminate Tengbumroong, 6-0, 6-4. It was the second consecutive year that a San Marino player has knocked Tengbumroong out of postseason play.
“It was tough,” Tengbumroong said. “I know Derek and I’ve known him for awhile. We’re good friends and it was rough. … Maybe next year.”
It was one of only four losses this season for Tengbumroong.
Claremont won the league team title, beating Diamond Bar by 11-7 and 10-8 scores. In the CIF-SS Division 2 team tournament, the second-place Brahmas were knocked out by eventual finalist Crean Lutheran of Irvine in the second round.

It was a dream season.
Rosemead High School finally made its dream match: The CIF Southern Section Division 5 championships.
The Panthers had never been to the final before, so losing to Heritage, 11-7, was not necessarily a disastrous finish.
“I’m very proud of the guys,” said Gary Ward, selected San Gabriel Valley Tribune coach of the year.
It was an unlikely run. The Panthers (15-7, 9-1) tied Arroyo for the Mission Valley League title. Both matches went to games after they tied in sets at 9-9.
Rosemead received the league’s top seed and the No. 7 seed for the CIF-SS playoffs. The Panthers scored a pair of 10-8 playoff victories, against Lynwood in the second round and against No. 3 Downey in the semifinals. They also defeated No. 2 seed, Beaumont, 13-5.


Derek Lam, Arroyo, freshman
Ian Habbestad, Damien, freshman
Ryan Wong, Walnut, junior
Matthew Diamond, Bonita, senior
Bennett Williams, Bonita, junior
Eric Thai, Rosemead, senior
Kenny Luu, Rosemead senior
Dylan Truong, Walnut, junior
Henry Tang, Walnut, senior


Todd Nanayon, Walnut, junior
Jenar Orbita, Rowland, junior
Jason Vuong, Rowland, sophomore
Tommy Folsom, Glendora, sophomore
Justin Lay, Glendora, sophomore
Cobe Benzel, San Dimas, senior
Connor Crabtree, San Dimas, senior
Matthew Mai, Walnut, sophomore
Aaron Yong, Walnut, senior


Angel Bravo, Workman, senior
Xavier Chico, Edgewood, junior
Bryan Figueroa, Azusa, senior
Zayd Alshoushi, Duarte, senior
Peter Vila, Duarte, senior
John Szeto, Rosemead, senior
Hung Tran, Rosemead junior
Manuel Alba, Workman, junior
Andrew Bravo, Workman, junior

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ALL-AREA: Walnut’s Alrik Pan named Tribune Boys Golfer of the year

Alrik Pan of Walnut High School drives off the tee during the CIF State Golf Championships at San Gabriel Country Club in San Gabriel, Calif.  June 1, 2016.  (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/LA Daily News)

By Keith Lair

With the success the Walnut High School golf program has had in recent seasons, it can be tough to break into the starting lineup. Especially for a freshman.
Alrik Pan showed it was not an issue this season. Not only did he break into the lineup, the freshman became the first Walnut boy to advance to the CIF State finals.

That’s hard to believe considering all the success the Mustangs’ girls have had, taking second in the state this past school year. But Pan is the first boy to advance to the CIF/SCGA Southern California Regionals and CIF State, earning San Gabriel Valley Tribune player of the year honors.
“No, I did not think I would be getting there,”Pan said. “I knew I had the ability to get there. I had played with all of those players before. But you have to do well that day. I just brought my game to all of the qualifiers. I did well.”
Pan won the Hacienda League title and barely advanced out of the CIF Southern Section Central Regionals, shooting a 3-over-par 75 at Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs and surviving a seven-player sudden-death playoff for five spots.
It was easier after that. He shot a 4-over-par 75 at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs to tie for 13th at the all-division CIF-SS finals. It earned him a spot in the CIF/SCGA tournament.
“I had a lot of rounds under par and that gave me a lot of confidence for the real tournaments,” he said. “I was so relaxed playing with my friends. I was not as nervous and that’s why I did well. We were just having a fun time.”
He shot a 1-under-par 71 at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena to tie for eighth and advance to the state finals at San Gabriel Country Club. He had four birdies to start the back nine to take the early lead in the biggest high school tournament of his career, but struggled on the front nine to finish in 11th place to finish with a 1-over-par 72.
“I just didn’t make the putts,” he said. “They did not go my way.”
In team competition, he led the Mustangs with a fourth-place tying 1-under-par 71 at Whispering Lakes Golf Course. Walnut finished tied for fifth.

Walnut High School got one golfer over the hump. Now it’s time for coach Cecil Woods to get the others there, too.
That hump? Advancing to the all-division CIF Southern Section team finals. The Mustang girls team has done it several times. The boys have not.
That one hump was freshman Alrik Pan getting to the CIF State finals. Senior Rami Abdou nearly reached the all-division CIF-SS finals, losing in a sudden-death playoff. Three other golfers also qualified for the individual regionals.
It was enough for Woods to earn San Gabriel Valley Tribune coach of the year honors.
Despite the rousing success in the individuals, the Mustangs failed to advance out of team competition, finishing tied for fifth in the Western Division finals.

Rami Abdou, Walnut, senior
Raynard Belmonte, Diamond Ranch, senior
Adrian Edralin, Walnut, sophomore
Julio Ibarra, Glendora, sophomore
Josh Song, Diamond Bar, senior
Dylan Stone, Diamond Bar, senior

Danny Barnes, Bonita, senior
Sam Cho, Diamond Bar, freshman
Jacob Ewing, Glendora, senior
Thomas Lee, Diamond Bar, sophomore
Jarrett Perry, Bonita, junior
Nathan Wu, Walnut, junior

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All Area Track: San Dimas’ Hannah Nance named Tribune Girls Track Athlete of the Year


Compiled by Keith Lair
The funny part about high jumpers is their “feel.”High jumpers must “feel” the mood to perform their best. One slight hiccup and the event is anybody’s game.
San Dimas High School’s Hannah Nance had the right “feel” for most of the 2016 season. The senior capped a stellar career with a top performance in the CIF State meet and has earned San Gabriel Valley Tribune track and field athlete of the year honors.
Nance finished eighth in state with a jump of 5 feet, 5 inches.
“It felt way better than last year and I was pretty bad last year,” she said of her second consecutive appearance at the meet.
Nance was very consistent in her senior year. She won three invitational meets, including the San Gabriel Valley Championships on her home track. She won her fourth consecutive Valle Vista League title, going 5-5. She won her first CIF Southern Section Division 3 crown, the only jumper from the division to clear 5-5.
She finished 15th in state as a junior, not advancing to the Saturday finals, and overcame that hurdle this year. She cleared 5-3 on her second attempt and 5-5 on her third attempt to place eighth. She failed on three attempts at 5-7, a height she cleared at the Arcadia Invitational as a junior.
That mark is the school record.
“I have been in a mental rut,” she said late in the season. “My mind was on college and stuff.
“I know I can do I. It takes a lot of mental aspects. You just have to get yourself over it.”
That college aspect is Air Force Academy, where she will compete next year.
She did more than jump, too, She was second in the league finals in the 200 meters, running a personal-best time of 27.25 and she helped the Saints win league titles in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.

The Walnut High School girls track and field team was not expected to challenge Great Oak for the CIF Southern Section Division 1 team title.
The Mustangs tried and came closer than many expected. Great Oak used its powerful distance team to win the title. Walnut finished in third place, 9 1/2 points behind the Wolfpack and one point behind second-place Mira Costa.
Coach Keith Thompson got three big performances in the meet to earn San Gabriel Valley Tribune coach of the year honors.
The Mustangs had a second-place finish, a pair of thirds, a fourth and both relay teams scoring points to get into contention.
Both Kayla Richardson and Malia Avila advanced to the CIF State meet, Richardson eliminated in the 200 preliminaries and Avila knocked out in the 300 hurdle preliminaries. Freshman Chloe Arriaga advanced to the CIF-SS Masters meet. The 4×100 relay team also had a Masters-qualifying time, but an injury kept the team from racing.

Chloe Arriaga, Walnut, freshman (1,600)
Malia Avila, Walnut, junior (300 hurdles)
Savanah Butler, Baldwin Park, senior (100, 200)
Amy Campos, West Covina, junior (PV)
Tianna Eaton, Rowland, junior (HJ)
Olivia Paez, Bishop Amat, junior (1,600, 3,200)
Sela Pastrana, Charter Oak, sophomore (TJ)
Kayla Richardson Walnut, senior (100, 200)
Kyla Richardson, Walnut, senior (100, 200)
Tammy Vien, Rosemead, senior (100, 300 hurdles)

Emma Arriaga, Walnut, freshman (800)
Ivanna Chagolla, St. Lucy’s, frosh (800)
Samantha Crosmer, St. Lucy’s, junior (800)
Jessica Gallardo, Bishop Amat, senior (800)
Demi Marine, Covina (1,600)
Ally Palomino, Bishop Amat, junior (1,600)
Shalee Reynolds, Glendora, junior (100, 300 hurdles)
Shyann Reynolds, Glendora (100 hurdles)
Alicia Villarereal, Bonita (800)
Gjermayne Wilson, Bishop Amat, junior (LJ)

100: Kayla Richardson, Walnut 11.79
200: Kayla Richardson, Walnut 23.68
400: Shalee Reynolds, Glendora, 56.82
800: Jessica Gallardo, Bishop Amat, 2:14.16
1,600: Chloe Arriaga, Walnut 4:58.77
3,200: Ally Palomino, Bishop Amat, 10:46.47
100H: Tammy Vien, Rosemead, 14.35
300H: Malia Avila, Walnut, 42.56
4×100 relay: Walnut, 47.34
4×400 relay: Glendora, 3:50.52
HJ: Hannah Nance, San Dimas, 5-6
LJ: Sela Pastrana, Charter Oak, 17-1 1/2
PV: Amy Campos, West Covina 11-6
SP: Laulaga Tausaga-Collins, Mountain View, 44-9 1/2
TJ (wind-legal): Sela Pastrana, Charter Oak, 38-11 1/2
TJ: (wiond-aided): Sela Pastrana, Charter Oak, 39-9 1/2
DT: Laulaga Tausaga-Collins, Mountain View, 137-1

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All-Area: Walnut’s Alan Tantiwassakran named Tribune’s Track Athlete of the Year


By Keith Lair
Player of the year: Walnut’s Alan Tantiwassakran
The question is where would Alan Tantiwassadakran have his true breakout race?The Walnut High School senior had been dabbling with the state’s best 110-meter high hurdlers throughout the season. He had several victories and was fourth in the Arcadia Invitational.
That noticeable breakout time came at the most important time of the season: the CIF State meet.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys track and field athlete of the year ran a personal-best time of 14.05 seconds to win the first preliminary heat race in the 110-meter high hurdles. He did even better in the finals on the next day, improving his time by .02 seconds, to 14.03, to finish a surprising third.
“My training went really well,” he said. “Before I just did not execute where I wanted to execute. But it was OK. I did not care about anything but state.”
Tantiwassadakran advanced as far as the state preliminaries his junior year, finishing 13th. He had a season-best time of 14.28 heading into postseason competition this year. He placed third in the CIF Southern Section finals in 14.08, with a tailwind of 4.2 meters per second and then took fifth in the CIF-SS Masters (14.39) to advance to state.
“No one knows me,” he said. “They just knew I was some guy with a long last name. Getting third was just a blessing. There are no words to put to it, but I feel I truly deserve it. The only people who always believed in me were my mom and my coaches, I always envisioned No. 1 and why would you not envision No. 1. You dream that high and your ambitions literally take you to the top.”
In state, he was facing some of the nation’s best: Koty Burton (second-best in the state) of La Quinta and Joseph Anderson of Upland, who was second in state in 2015, and returning state finalist Jasher Foster of St. Francis. Burton jumped the start in his heat race and was eliminated. Anderson had a near-flawless race in winning the finals in 13.59 and Tantiwassadakran was edged by Deion Lightfoot-Shelton of Kimball for second place in a wind-legal time.
“It felt pretty good, but I should have gotten second in my mind,” he said. “I had just beaten that guy (in my heat race). I am not complaining. That is just my competitive nature.
“This season was all heart. I wanted to win so badly.”
Tantiwassadakran said he is considering competing for UC Irvine or Cal State Fullerton next season.

It can be tough for Damien High School to hold up its end of the Baseline League. The league has Upland and Rancho Cucamonga, two of better teams in CIF State competition.
The Spartans, thanks to San Gabriel Valley Tribune coach Michael Williams, held their own. They won four league titles and Alex Perez won a CIF Southern Section Division 3 title and advanced to the state finals the 400, finishing fifth in 47.95.
Zach Shinnick won league titles in the 200 and 400 and would have been a favorite to advance to CIF State in both events. But an injury at the Arcadia Invitational slowed him down and it was sufficient enough that he withdrew from the CIF-SS finals. Tim Corvese (800) and Colin Cavanaugh both advanced to the CIF-SS Masters meet.

Dillon Beckum, Bonita, jumior (800)
Salvador Captetillo, Baldwin Park, senior (1,600)
Colin Cavanaugh, Damien, senior (HJ)
Tim Corvese, Damien, senior (800)
B.J. McLaurin Bonita, senior (TJ)
Alex Perez, Damien, senior (400)
Caleb Roberson, Bishop Amat, freshman (300 hurdles, LJ)
Daniel Salazar, Covina (1,600)
Anthony Garcia, Edgewood (SP, DT)
Jerry Zheng, Rowland, senior (TJ)

Adrian Diaz, Bishop Amat, senior 3,200)
Dominic Gonzales, Walnut, senior (800)
Kane Jajieh, Diamond Ranch, senior (TJ)
Kenaan Romney, Nogales, senior (100 hurdles)
Zach Shinnick, Damien, junior (200, 400)
Robbie Santoyo, Bishop Amat, senior (1,600)
Caleb Stanton, Bonita, senior (110, 300 hurdles)
Daniel Stokes, Diamond Ranch, senior (100, 200)
Tyler Vaughns, Bishop Amat, senior (HJ, LJ)
Hakim Williams Covina, senior (110 hurdles)

Top reported marks for 2016
100: Zack Shinnick, Damien, 10.53
200 (wind-legal): Zack Shinnick, Damien, 21.57
200 (wind-aided): Zack Shinnick, Damien, 21.19
400: Alex Perez, Damien, 47.71
800: Dillon Beckum, Bonita, 1:53.47
1,600: Daniel Salazar, Covina, 4:17.19
3,200: Salvador Capetillo, Baldwin Park, 9:01.77
110H: Alan Tantiwassadakran, Walnut, 14.03
300H: Caleb Roberson, Bishop Amat, 38.35
4×100 relay: Damien 41.3H
4×400 relay: Damien, 3:23.14
HJ: Colin Cavanaugh, Damien, 6-6
LJ (wind-legal): Brandon Carlin, Damien, 21-7¾
LJ (wind-aided): Caleb Roberson, Bishop Amat, 22-3¼
PV: Korbin Amber, Rowland, 13-6
SP: Anthony Garcia, Edgewood, 54-9 1/2
TJ: B.J. McLaurin, Bonita, 47-10¼
DT: Anthony Garcia, Edgewood, 172-4

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Great day of baseball at Inaugural All-League, All-Star Tripleheader at Mt. SAC

GAME A BIG SUCCESS: A new concept in postseason high school baseball was born Sunday afternoon at Mt. San Antonio College.
By all accounts, from the more than 120 players representing 36 schools, the Inaugural San Gabriel Valley High School All-League, All-Star Challenge was a huge success.
Three games between six leagues over eight hours produced enthusiastic crowds, and players that usually battle each other in league became teammates for a day.
“The whole concept (league vs. league) was that we go at it all year against each other and it’s kind of nice one last time we all come together and be on the same team before we all break for summer,” said South Hills coach Darren Murphy, who is behind the all-star event.“I think this will take on a life of its own and I’m very, very impressed with the crowds. Both teams seem excited and it’s pretty neat to hear them chant their league name.”

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