SIDNEY TURNING HEADS AT WIDE RECEIVER: Already one of the country’s top recruits at corner back, Bishop Amat High School football standout Trevon Sidney wanted to use this offseason to showcase to college recruiters what he can do with the ball in his hands.
Sidney, the Tribune’s 2013 Newcomer of the Year after picking off 10 passes as a sophomore, and a 2014 All-Area selection at defensive back, prefers to play receiver. Both now and in college.
The gamble to showcase his prowess catching balls at the expense of developing further at corner has already started paying off.
Sidney was named Offensive MVP of the Passing Downs Tournament in Fontana last weekend while competing on behalf of the Body By Tra team. The team also includes five-star receiver recruit and Sidney’s Bishop Amat teammate Tyler Vaughns.
Also at receiver for Body By Tra is former St. Francis standout Dylan Crawford, who hopes to play his senior season at Santa Margarita. Crawford has multiple college offers. Charter Oak’s Zion Echols, a running back for the Chargers, also is part of the receiving corps.
“In general, on our side of the Valley I don’t think we have the same size guys that the east side of the Valley has in terms of natural build,” Monrovia head coach Brad Blackmore said. “You get out in the Inland Empire and you just see some big dudes. To make the answer real simple, we’re not growing those guys at Monrovia or Alhambra.
“You can get them as strong as you can in the weight room, but you can’t replace natural height. You just can’t. You can offset it by asking how many D-1 college pitchers have come out of this area in the past few years, but where are the D-1 hitters? All of the guys on our side of the Valley who have been monsters the past couple years have all been pitchers.”
Gladstone’s Aldo Perez leads the state with nine home runs. Glendora’s Nick Kaye (pictured above) has 4 .. But what about the West side? There’s a power outage in one section of the San Gabriel Valley.
Yes, your lights still work if you’re in the West San Gabriel Valley. But no, your favorite local high school baseball team can’t hit the ball over the fence with any regularity.
Yep, the most popular moment in baseball, the one chicks dig, has almost vanished from these parts. In fact, home runs are so rare among WSGV baseball teams that a white smoke signal should go out whenever one happens.
The funny thing is, the issue seems to be only effecting teams playing in the east of Glendale but west of the 605 Freeway. Go east of the 605 and there’s a sophomore masher at Gladstone named Aldo Perez, who leads the entire state in home runs with nine.
Further down from Perez in the standings is Glendora’s Nick Kaye with four. As for the WSGV area, there’s three players — Monrovia’s Eric Herrera and Pasadena’s Niko Lopez and Tyler Bradley — tied with two apiece.
San Dimas snubbed by Boras: The prestigious Boras Classic that takes place in Orange County next week won’t include undefeated San Dimas, who improved to 14-0 after beating rival Bonita for the third straight time this season, 5-0, to capture the Anaheim Lions tournament title on Wednesday.
San Dimas has won two tournaments, also beating Bonita in the championship of the 32-team Dicks Sporting Goods tourney in March, winning, 2-1.
San Dimas and co-head coach Mike Regan won a CIF title with the Saints in 2009, but Regan knew entering 2015 that on paper this is the best team he’s coached at the school, with the Saints ranked No. 1 in Division 3.
The Boras Classic is an invite only tournament that will include Mater Dei, Huntington Beach, Palm Desert and Damien from the San Gabriel Valley.
Damien coach Andy Nieto and his strong ties in the Southland may have had something to do with the Spartans getting an invite over San Dimas, but Damien is struggling at 3-6.
San Dimas was in the Boras Classic last year and went 1-3, which is probably why it didn’t get invited back.
“Damien’s a very good team, they’ll get it going,” Regan said. “But I tried my best to get us in the Boras tournament again. I sent many emails and texts trying to get us in and this year we wren’t invited back. it’s a big-time tournament and I thought we had the team that could compete well this year.
“But we don’t have a good track record based on last year, and it’s a lot about who you know and your program’s history that gets you in there.”
Breaking News, just confirmed this morning that Johnny Fouhledya, who many consider the No. 1 rated quarterback in the country from Florida, is transferring to Bishop Amat to play football, instantly making Amat one of the country’s top-rated football teams in 2015. Click to read more ..
FISCH MAY LOSE LICENSE OVER STOLEN FUNDS: A former South Hills High School coach and counselor who stole thousands of dollars from student fundraisers, scholarship donations and test fees to pay for meals, car repairs and his dog’s teeth cleaning may lose his state teaching credential, according to documents obtained by this news organization.
Scott Fisch was notified last month that the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing plans to revoke his credentials.
Its decision came roughly a year after Fisch’s conviction for theft and his resignation from the Covina-Valley Unified School District.
The loss of his credentials would cost Fisch his new job at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a charter school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to Arina Goldring, the academy’s executive director.
Top Row (left to right): Mountain View’s Adrian Garcia, El Monte’s Jesus Garcia, Damien’s Garrett Souza, Charter Oak’s Federico Hurtado, Bishop Amat’s David Cabral, Bishop Amat’s Nathan DiFiori and Diamond Bar’s Andre Gamboa
Bottom Row (left to right): Sierra Vista’s Sebastian Ocampo, Damien’s Tim Ebiner, Dimond Bar’s Guy Horcasitas and La Puente’s Josue Horan in West Covina, Calif., on Thursday, March 18, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nathan DiFiori, Bishop Amat, Midfielder, Senior
Amat played in arguably one of the toughest leagues in the CIF-Southern Section, battling eventual divisional and state champion Cathedral, who is also the mythical overall state champion for Top Drawer Soccer, which also ranked Cathedral fifth in the country. DiFiori, who finished with a modest seven goals and six assists, was a finalist for player of the year in the Del Rey, which eventually went to Cathedral’s Saul Reyes. But the respect shown to DiFiori, who had a goal and assist in a 4-4 tie against Cathedral, shows what his value was to a Lancers’ team who had one of their best seasons in recent memory, finishing second to Cathedral with a 12-2-4 overall record before bowing out to eventual semifinalist Pasadena in the Division 3 playoffs.
For his effort, the Del Rey first-team selection has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys soccer player of the year for 2014-15.
“We had a lot of returning seniors with a lot of leadership under our belts,” DiFiori said. “Every game was hard in our league, so every game you knew you had to battle. We knew we were going to have a good year, but part of getting this (player of the year) was the fact I had a lot of good players around me.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
Memo Gonzalez, Bishop Amat
The Lancers struggled in recent years just to stay above .500 and were rarely discussed when ranking the area’s best teams, but they showed they were not only in the discussion this season, but arguably the top team around. The Lancers boasted the area’s biggest result, a 4-4 tie against powerful Cathedral in the Del Rey League and a sweep over Salesian, which led to a second-place finish in the Del Rey, which is arguably one of the toughest in the section.
Bishop Amat finished 12-2-4, losing only to Cathedral in a second meeting for the league title and to eventual CIF-SS Division 3 semifinalist Pasadena.
For his efforts, Gonzalez has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys soccer coach of the year for the 2014-15 season.
“This team had a lot of heart, there was no question the workrate day in and day out was there for us. There’s no question we had a tough league, but I thought we battled, we had 15 seniors and a lot of leadership and it showed.”
Defender: Josue Horan, La Puente, Senior
Defender: Tim Ebiner, Damien, Sr.
Defender: Adrian Garcia, Mountain View, Sr.
Midfielder: Guy Horcasitas, Diamond Bar, Senior
Midfielder: Jesus Garcia, El Monte, Junior
Midfielder: Andre Gamboa, Diamond Bar, Senior
Midfielder: David Cabral, Bishop Amat, Junior
Midfielder: Garrett Souza, Damien, Senior
Forward: Federico Hurtado, Charter Oak, Sr.
Forward: Sebastian Ocampo, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Goalkeeper: Carlos Ibarria, Northview, Senior
Defender: Elmer Jacobs, Sierra Vista, Senior
Defender: Reginaldo Escobedo, Baldwin Park, Senior
Defender: David Alas, Covina, Senior
Defender: Sergio Medina, Baldwin Park, Senior
Midfielder: Xavier Jaime, Arroyo, Senior
Midfielder: Luis Diaz, Covina, Senior
Midfielder: Jayson Gomez, Diamond Ranch, Junior
Forward: Adrian Ramirez, Arroyo, Forward
Forward: Jhonata Batista, South Hills, Forward
Forward: Carlos Sierra, Charter Oak, Junior
Goalkeeper: Alec Arguello, Diamond Bar, Senior
Final Top Ten
1. Bishop Amat (12-2-4)
2. Damien (17-4-3)
3. Diamond Bar (17-6-2)
4. La Puente (15-3-3)
5. Sierra Vista (16-5-3)
6. Diamond Ranch (14-6-3)
7. Arroyo (15-7-1)
8. Charter Oak (18-7-2)
9. Baldwin Park (11-7-5)
10. Covina (11-9)
Del Rey: Cathedral
Hacienda: Diamond Ranch
Montview: Baldwin Park
Mission Valley: El Monte
Valle Vista: Covina
Top (left to right): Skylar Robledo (South Hills), Hailey Zerbel (South Hills), Jamie Peters (Bishop Amat), Danielle Herrera (Bishop Amat), Hanna Armendariz (Bishop Amat), Nicole Leggio (St. Lucy’s), Taylor Salgado (Charter Oak).
Bottom (left to right): Jazzmyn Esquivel (Los Altos), Maria Hernandez (Sierra Vista), Marissa Favela (Diamond Bar), Mia Trugerrio (Diamond Bar), Julia Bingham (St. Lucy’s).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Hanna Armendariz, Bishop Amat, Midfielder, Senior
The crafty midfielder did everything for the Lancers girls soccer team, finishing with an area-best 30 goals to go with 15 assists in helping her team to the Del Rey League title.
Armendariz, who is headed to the University of Portland on a soccer scholarship, was named the Del Rey League player of the year and also was selected to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 first team.
For her efforts and outstanding season, Armendariz also has been selected the San Gabriel Valley Tribune 2014-15 girls soccer player of the year.
“It went really good this year,” Armendariz said. “We were a little rusty in the beginning but everyone pulled through and finished fighting. I have to thank my teammates, I couldn’t do this without them, so i give props to them.”
Armendariz had four games with three or more goals, including a four-goal performance against St. Matthias Academy.
Armendariz, who won a CIF title with the Lancers as a sophomore, helped them reach the quarterfinals and also an at–large berth in the state playoffs.
“I wanted to come out this year and be a good leader for the team,” Armendariz said. “I wanted to be someone they could look up to so I worked hard being the best I could.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
Chris McMahon, Duarte
The Falcons finally closed the gap on Sierra Vista’s dominance in the Montview league, snapping the Dons’ 65-game league winning streak with a 3-2 victory. Sierra Vista won the rematch in the league finale 1-0 in overtime to claim the league title, but the Falcons finished 13-6-1 and won a CIF-SS divisional playoff game to finish its best season in history.
It was quite a turnaround after going 10-9-2 last year and 8-10-2 in 2013.
For his efforts, McMahon has been selected the Tribune 2014-15 girls soccer coach of the year
“I’m very happy with the girls, they battled and got better every game,” McMahon said. “They’re just a great group of girls. They’re already looking forward to playing again and they want to put a club team together so they can train and get ready for next year.”
Defender: Mia Trugerrio, Diamond Bar, Senior
Defender: Jazzmyn Esquivel, Los Altos, Senior
Defender: Julia Bingham, St. Lucy’s, Junior
Midfielder: Marissa Favela, Diamond Bar, Senior
Midfielder: Skylar Robledo, South Hills, Sophomore
Midfielder: Maria Hernandez, Sierra Vista, Junior
Midfielder: Nicole Leggio, St. Lucy’s, Junior
Forward: Hailey Zerbel, South Hills, Junior
Forward: Jamie Peters, Bishop Amat
Forward: Taylor Salgado, Charter Oak, Junior
Goalkeeper: Danielle Herrera, Bishop Amat, Sophomore
Defender: Sabrina May, Diamond Bar, Junior
Defender: Sarah George, Bishop Amat, Junior
Defender: Ronni Cuccia, South Hills, Senior
Midfielder: Zitali Jimenez, Sierra Vista, Sophomore
Midfielder: Giselle Garcia, Sierra Vista, Senior
Midfielder: Sabrina Delgado, Los Altos, Senior
Midfielder: Bria Salazar, Charter Oak, Senior
Forward: Cheyenne Cepeda, San Dimas, Junior
Forward: Amber Marinero, South Hills, Junior
Forward: Alexis Rushlow, Glendora, Senior
Goalkeeper: Amber Henry, Diamond Ranch, Senior
Final Top Ten
1. Bishop Amat (19-9)
2. South Hills (16-6)
3. Los Altos (13-9-1)
4. Diamond Bar (12-8-2)
5. Sierra Vista (21-5-1)
6. Diamond Ranch (12-7-5)
7. Charter Oak (11-11-2)
8. Glendora (8-10-5)
9. Duarte (13-6-1)
10. San Dimas (8-12-2)
Baseline: Chino Hills
Del Rey: Bishop Amat
Montview: Sierra Vista
Mission Valley: Gabrielino
Valle Vista: San Dimas
— Tommy Kiss (@TomKiss64) March 28, 2015
STORY: The Damien Spartans capped off a storybook season with a 70-57 win over Northern Regional champion Campolindo on Friday at Haas Pavilion in the Division III State championship game.
The Spartans (29-5) trailed only once, that being at 20-19. They scored on the next possession and never looked back.
Damien led 39-35 after three quarters.
Their biggest lead came at 57-44 with 3:57 left on a bucket by Andy Torices. Jeremy Hemsley tallied 20 points and nine rebounds. Micah Robinson added 17 off the bench.
DAMIEN PREGAME: Win or lose, Damien High School boys basketball
“Six of these guys who are seniors now were on the team as sophomores and two of those guys as freshmen,” Dunn said. “It’s been quite a journey. I think ultimately who they are on our campus and how they’ve represented our program as young men is what I’m proud of.
“This is a fun way to end our journey together.”
It ends at Haas Pavilion on the campus of UC Berkeley on Friday at 4 p.m. Whether it’s a happy ending depends on if the Spartans can get past Campolindo of Moraga.
Damien enters at 28-5. The Spartans beat highly rated Cathedral in last Saturday’s Southern California Regional finals to earn a berth in Friday’s state final. Prior to that state tournament, Damien suffered a loss in the first round in the Southern Section’s Open Division before winning a consolation bracket game.
The Spartans won the rugged Baseline League this season and prior to that played a difficult nonleague tournament schedule in December that Dunn hopes set them up well for moments like Friday.
“We thought this year that we had a chance to have a really special year,” Dunn said. “We thought it would be important to test ourselves in the nonleague. The MaxPreps Tournament in Palm Springs was just incredible. We played four teams and all of them ended up doing well in their state tournaments. coach Matt Dunn knows that Friday’s CIF State Division 3 championship game is his last with a very special group of players, and he’s OK with any result.
DAMIEN STRUGGLING: Senior left-hander Bailey Falter tossed a one-hit shutout to give the Chino Hills High baseball team its first Baseline League victory this season, defeating Damien 6-0 on the road Wednesday afternoon.
Falter struck out seven batters and walked three to pick up the win. The 6-foot-4 southpaw carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, James Free broke it up with a single into left field.
“Bailey did an outstanding job for us today,” Huskies coach Kevin Chavez said. “He is coming along as a four-year varsity athlete. He has really matured as a pitcher, which has made him much stronger. He was dominant out there, and it’s tough for teams to beat him.”
HE FITTS IN JUST FINE: Nobody around the Damien High School boys basketball program is willing to label Malik Fitts as the team’s second fiddle to standout Jeremy Helmsley. He’s too good for that.
But throughout basketball history there has always been a Scottie Pippen to a Michael Jordan. A Russell Westbrook to a Kevin Durant. And for Damien, a Fitts to a Helmsely.
Sure, Helmsley is thee man for the Spartans. Without the San Diego St.-bound guard, Damien likely isn’t playing in Friday’s CIF State Division 3 championship game against Campolindo at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
BIG WIN OVER ORANGE COUNTY GIANT: The South Hills baseball team showed the depth of its pitching staff with a 3-1 win over Mater Dei in a non-league game on Tuesday.
The Huskies (6-1) used five pitchers in the game and they scattered six hits, struck out seven and walked one in the victory.
“We have two league games this week,” Huskies coach Darren Murphy said. “We came in knowing it was going to be a staff game and all of them knew their role, and they all did a great job.”
The Huskies jumped on top with a pair of runs in the first inning. Frank Ramirez led off with a single and went to second on a wild throw to first.
South Hills coach Tiffany Liang resigned on Tuesday, though she described it more as a retirement. “I’ve been doing this a long time and in basketball a long time,” Liang said. “I had been thinking about it and just thought it was the right time to spend more time with my family.”
If this is it for Liang, she’s going out on a high note.
Liang, in her eighth season as head coach, had never taken the Huskies past the second round of the divisional playoffs until this season, reaching the Division 3A semifinals, something the Huskies hadn’t done since Liang was a senior at South Hills in 1992. The Huskies finished 24-8 and shared a piece of the Palomares league title, something it hadn’t done since 2002. South Hills also was selected to the Division III state playoffs, beating Tulare before losing to top seed Brea Olinda, a team it led at half.
WHO IS CAMPOLINDO: The itinerary for the Damien High School boys basketball team’s trip to Berkeley for the CIF State Division 3 championship game is just about set.
According to Spartans head coach Matt Dunn, the team will leave Thursday morning, travel by chartered bus and practice upon arrival in the Bay Area. The team will also have a shoot around Friday morning after spending Thursday night in nearby Walnut Creek.
Damien’s game against Campolindo for the state championship is on Friday at 4 p.m. at Haas Pavilion on the campus of UC Berkeley.
“We don’t want to be too close, but we don’t want to be too far,” Dunn said of staying in Walnut Creek. “Our athletic director has done a great job. He’s handled all the logistics stuff, which I really appreciate.
“Every year the last three or four years, we’ve played in a tournament in Northern California. So, the process of going up is familiar to our guys. But obviously the stakes are a little bit different for this game. The challenge is to create an environment in which we can play our best.”