About Fred Robledo

Fred J. Robledo is the local sports editor for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group

Damien’s Grant Hockin passes on UCLA, agrees to sign with Cleveland Indians for $1.1 million

MLB TRADE RUMORS: The Indians have reached an agreement with second-round pick Grant Hockin on an above-slot $1.1MM bonus, according to MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo (on Twitter). The 61st overall selection in the draft had been assigned a value of $928.7K, according to Baseball America.

Opinions on the 6’3″, 195-pound Hockin varied, as ESPN’s Keith Law ranked him 49th among draft prospects, while MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo ranked Hockin 91st and Baseball America ranked him 109th in the draft. Law feels that Hockin, a client of MVP Sports Group, flashes four above-average pitches with a clean arm slot. BA feels that only three of his pitches have above-average potential, also noting that he doesn’t have a wipeout offering.

hockin

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Bishop Amat rallies and stuns Palm Desert, 4-3, to claim CIF-SS Division 3 title

Photo gallery of Bishop Amat’s 4-3 victory over Palm Desert

Bishop Amat rallied to beat Palm Desert, 4-3, to give Amat its fourth championship under coach Andy Nieto in eight years, and ninth title all-time. Steve Ramirez’s story is below.

amatchamps

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
LOS ANGELES >>
A little more than a month ago, the Bishop Amat High School baseball team looked all but dead, losing three consecutive games and was in danger of missing the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
Today, the Lancers are champions.
Michael Palos had a RBI double to tie it and Bryan Menendez followed with an RBI single for the lead and the Lancers rallied late for the fourth consecutive game to win the school’s ninth CIF-SS championship with a 4-3 victory over top seed Palm Desert in the Division 3 title game Friday at Dodger Stadium.

Christian Moya and Palos had two hits each for the Lancers, who finished 21-11, closing the season with a 10-game winning streak and its fourth CIF-SS title since 2007.
Andrew Clark, Gil Sauceda and Kyle Kabeary had two hits each for Palm Desert, which finished 27-7. It was also the Aztecs second loss to Amat in a championship game, losing 7-0 here in 2011.
“Winning a CIF championship is sweet, but winning it this way is even better,” Palos said. “It speaks volumes of the character of our team. We had our backs against the wall the whole time (during the playoffs), but we never gave up on ourselves.
“We always believed we could come back. We just picked each other up, rallied around each other. It just makes the victory that much more sweeter.”

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Former Arcadia Football coach Dick Salter dies. He was 87

salterFormer Arcadia High School football coach Dick Salter passed away at his Covina home surrounded by his family on Friday. He was 87.
Salter was head coach at Arcadia from 1970-89. During that time he led the Apaches to CIF championship game appearances in 1977 and ’78. Prior to Arcadia, he also had a long stint as head coach at Cathedral. Salter later won CIF championships as an assistant coach at Bishop Amat and Upland.

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Gladstone baseball coach Rich Remkus retires after more than 30 years and 609 victories at school

Remkus

Count another longtime San Gabriel Valley baseball coaching legend as gone.

Gladstone High School said Friday that Rich Remkus has retired after 30 years at the helm of the Gladiators’ baseball program.

“It’s just time,” Remkus said. “I’m retiring from teaching this year and I just wanted to make a clean break of it. I’m reaching the age where I’m slowing down and I just want to be able to devote some time some of my other hobbies in life while I’m still able to do it.”

Remkus joins other area baseball coaching stalwarts John Romano of Nogales and Monrovia’s Dave Moore, who ended lengthy careers following the end of the 2014 season.

During Remkus’ 30 seasons, Gladstone made the CIF-Southern Section playoffs 24 times and won a CIF championship in 1986. Remkus’ teams also won 12 league championships and played on one of the best-kept fields in the Valley.

“He had a reputation for having the nicest-manicured field in the area,” Gladstone athletic director Chuck Shore said of Remkus. “That didn’t come without a lot of sweat and hard work and time commitment. The district will only do so much with a facility but he wanted it to be the best, so he put the work in.”

“He has put Gladstone on the map in many ways. The players who came out of his program, when they went to college, they knew how to play the game.”

Remkus, 63, enjoyed one of the biggest moments of his career this spring when he won his 600th game on Mar. 12 against Rosemead. Remkus finished with 609 wins.

He had been considering retirement for some time, but stuck on 597 wins before the season started, Remkus said his family and friends pressured to come back and surpass the 600-win plateau.

Remkus cited the 1986 CIF championship and being able to coach his son Tommy in the 2010 San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game as the two biggest highlights of his career.

“Standing on that field with him (Tommy) that day was not only a big thrill as a coach, but as a father,” Remkus said. “The CIF championship and that one particular All-Star game, were the absolute highlights of my career.”

Remkus, who lives in Chino, also retired from teaching and enjoyed his last day at the school on Friday. The veteran coach said anyone looking for him going forward will likely find him on a golf course or in the mountains.

“I want to try and get my golf game back in shape and I really love the mountains,” Remkus said. “I want to spend a lot of times doing some hiking and camping up in the Sierras. It’s kind of a personal passion of mine. But I’m also going to like sleeping in everyday.”

Gladstone will begin the process of finding Remkus’ replacement immediately. A party with Remkus’ former players is also being planned. Former players interested in attending are encouraged to contact Shore for details at CShore@azusa.org.

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Damien’s Grant Hockin drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Indians

Update, Hockin to Indians: Damien High School senior Grant Hockin was indeed the first local player chosen in the Major League Baseball Free Agent draft, going in the second round to the Cleveland Indians. He was the only area player taken on the first day of the annual draft.
The 6-foot-2 right-hander was predicted to go somewhere between the middle of the second round to early in the third round. The Indians chose him with the 61st overall selection, the 19th pick in the second round.

hockin
Damien High School senior Grant Hockin will spend a good part of this evening waiting by the phone. He has spent more than half his life playing baseball, so it’s a day he always hoped would come.

The Major League Baseball Amateur Draft gets underway with two rounds today and the third through seventh rounds on Friday. Hockin, a 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher, will likely be the first local player selected.

“I’m excited, a littler nervous. Every emotion you can think of,” he said. “I worked hard and I am hoping that all pays off.”

Hockin, 18, is in a no-lose situation. He already has signed with UCLA and can go that rout if he isn’t satisfied with where he is selected or the contract negotiations that follow.

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Bishop Amat girls basketball camp, June 23-26 .. Chance to work with five-time CIF champion coach, Richard Wiard

Bishop Amat High School girls’ basketball coach, Richard Wiard, is holding his annual Lady Hoopster Basketball Camp June 23-26 from 1:30-5:00 daily. The camp is open to girls entering the 5th-9th grades. Girls will receive instruction in basketball fundamentals, a camp t-shirt, and the chance to win daily prizes. The cost of the camp is $90. For more information, contact Coach Wiard at rwiard@bishopamat.org or 626-962-2495 ext. 5868

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San Dimas’ Janelle Wheaton wins MVP to lead north to 9-6 win; Northview’s Hayley Gomez wins HR Derby

SGV ALL-STAR PHOTO GALLERY
WHEATON SHINES: San Dimas’ Janelle Wheaton, who took second place in the home run derby with five, was a triple away from the cycle, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, to lead the North to a 9-6 comeback victory over South in the San Gabriel Valley softball all-star game on Monday afternoon.

“It’s pretty awesome to get to play with all the girls I played against all season,” said Wheaton, who was named the game’s MVP. “Today we got to become teammates, and to end if off with a home run was great.”
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Northview’s Hayley Gomez wins HR Derby with 8 … watch a few of them here

Northview’s Ana Mejia hits an HR for the North, then talks about it

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Rio Hondo league loses football appeal to avoid Central, will now face East San Gabriel Valley’s best

The Rio Hondo and Monrovia, who won three Mid-Valley championships over the past five years, will join the best public schools in the San Gabriel Valley after losing its appeal today to avoid the Central Division in football, which includes the likes of Charter Oak, Glendora, West Covina, Bonita and South Hills, who hail from the Palomares and Sierra Leagues, and will be part of the division starting in the fall. There was a time while winning their Mid-Valley titles that Monrovia fans thought they were better than them all, including Bishop Amat in the Pac-5. Well, now they get their chance to prove it on the field.

IS MONROVIA’S FOOTBALL DYNASTY OVER?: Some of the luster was already off the Monrovia High School football program when the CIF-Southern Section proposed that the Wildcats, along with the Rio Hondo League, be moved to the Central Division.

Monrovia had just come off a season in which it was walloped by St. Francis in the area’s biggest nonleague game of the season and later lost in the semifinals of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs despite a being prohibitive favorite to win its fourth consecutive division title.

Then came word that head coach Ryan Maddox, who had guided the program to one of the most successful runs in area history, resigned to focus on other career goals. Maddox’s departure led to a longer-than-expected job search that saw some very high-profile local coaches say “thanks but no thanks” to being the next head coach.

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Eric Gutierrez and Andrew Luna have led Sierra Vista baseball to CIF quarterfinals for the first time since 1993 with help from longtime coach Brett Stevens and pitching legend Pedro Flores

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By Fred Robledo
BALDWIN PARK — Talk about paying it forward.
The last time Sierra Vista High School’s baseball team reached the CIF-Southern Section divisional quarterfinals was in 1993 led by pitcher Pedro Flores, who went on to play at East L.A. College and was later drafted in the 18th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996, where he spent over 10 years in the minors with several different organizations, reaching Triple-A on many occasions.
Dons head coach Brett Stevens has been in charge 26 years and coached Flores, who he still considers the Dons’ all-time best and who holds most of the Dons’ pitching records.
Fittingly, Stevens and Flores are back at it together, leading Sierra Vista back to the quarterfinals for the first time in 21 years.
Sierra Vista (21-3), which set a school record for wins in a season, will take on top-seed Santa Ynez (26-1) on the road in Saturday’s Division 5 quarterfinals at 2 p.m., with a chance to earn its first semifinal berth in history.
Flores, who threw four consecutive shutouts when he was dominating in the 90s for the Dons, has been the pitching coach at Sierra Vista for nearly a decade, and has done a remarkable job grooming senior pitchers Eric Gutierrez (9-1, 1.22 ERA) and Andrew Luna (7-0, 1.79 ERA).
“Pedro was my number one pitcher three years in a row when he was here and most of the credit goes to him when you talk about our pitchers, and what we’ve done with our pitchers over the last few years,” said Stevens, who started at Sierra Vista in 1989. “He’s an incredible coach and the players respect him.”

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Damien High junior Jeremy Hemsley has given a verbal commitment to attend San Diego State

hemsleyportrait

Damien High School junior basketball standout Jeremy Hemsley had his choice of a lot of good colleges, but he has decided to stay relatively close to home and will play at San Diego State.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Spartans (22-7), the Sierra League runners-up to Chino Hills.

He stepped up when it mattered most with a season high of 37 points against Mayfair and Temecula Great Oak, both teams that made extended playoff runs. He also had 33 points against Chino Hills.

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San Gabriel Valley all-star softball game is Monday at Diamond Bar with home run derby, rosters posted Thursday

The San Gabriel Valley senior all-star softball game was a huge success last year at Diamond Bar High School and event coordinator and West Covina coach Jesse Mendez, along with help from other area coaches, are finalizing plans for Monday’s game at Diamond Bar HS at 5 p.m. This years game will also feature the first-ever HOME RUN DERBY, so it should be an exciting event. We will post rosters and a story tomorrow and publish it in the paper on Friday.

allstarsoft

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Baseball playoffs: Northview’s Jake Amaya belts walk off homer in eighth to lead Vikings to 2-1 win over No. 1 Kaiser; Bishop Amat rallies for 4-3 win; Bonita, Glendora both lose

CLUTCH: Northview’s Jake Amaya’s belts a walk-off homer in the eighth inning to lead Northview to a 2-1 victory in eight innings over No. 1 Kaiser in the second round of the Division 4 playofs. Northview rallied to tied the score, 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh.

STORY: It might not be the Northview High School baseball team’s biggest win its history, which includes two CIF-Southern Section championships, but it’s certainly high on the list.
Jose Urbina hit a run-scoring double with two outs in the seventh inning tied it and Jake Amaya hit home run in the bottom of the eighth as the host Vikings ousted top-seeded Kaiser 2-1 in a Southern Section Division 4 second-round game Tuesday.
“I’m feeling great,” Amaya said. “I got that high pitch and did what I had to do, and that was the outcome. I’m just speechless right now.”


TUESDAY’S CIF-SS BASEBALL PLAYOFFS
Second round
Division 2

La Mirada 4, Glendora 2
Temecula Valley 4, South Hills 1
Division 3
Warren 4, Diamond Bar 1
Bishop Amat 4, Orange 3
Redondo 6, Bonita 4
Division 4
Northview 2, Kaiser 1
San Dimas 9, Granite Hills 1
Division 5
Sierra Vista 9, Hemet 3
Tahquitz 10, Arroyo 0

Friday’s Quarterfinals
Division 3

Bishop Amat at Quartz Hill, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
California at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Torrance at San Dimas, 3:15 p.m
Saturday’s game
Division 5
Sierra Vista at Santa Ynez, 2 p.m.

GLENDORA FALLS TO La Mirada, 4-2
By Fred J. Robledo
GLENDORA
After assistant coach Jimmy Zurn finished his post-game speech following La Mirada’s come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Glendora in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 baseball playoffs, the Matadores players turned toward left field, pointing and waving.
They were saluting head coach Kim Brooks, who waved back, then turned and walked away.
Brooks was placed on administrative leave last week prior to the playoffs after a profanity-laced audio of him screaming at his team following a spring break tournament game surfaced and made national headlines.

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Columnist apologizes for writing, “Seriously, who grows up wanting to be a high school baseball coach?”

Columnist Frank Girardot apologized to high school coaches in today’s column, titled “No excuses for throwing all coaches under the bus.” Girardot took a lot of heat for last week’s column when he addressed the profanity-laced tirade that made La Mirada baseball coach Kim Brooks famous for all the wrong reasons. But what seemed to touch the wrong nerve for most, especially high school coaches, was a sentence in the column that read, “Seriously, who grows up wanting to be a high school baseball coach.”

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Baseball playoffs continue: Bonita, Bishop Amat, Diamond Bar, Sierra Vista, Arroyo advance to round two

Bonita celebrates after Noah Williams (20) brought in Brandon Bradshaw (2) in the ninth as they defeated Cathedral City 3-2 after tying up in the seventh on the last out Friday, May 23, 2014 at the La Verne High School. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Bonita celebrates after Noah Williams (20) brought in Brandon Bradshaw (2) in the ninth as they defeated Cathedral City 3-2 after tying up in the seventh on the last out Friday, May 23, 2014 at the La Verne High School. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter


LA VERNE — There are times when the Bonita High School baseball team looks dominated, but the Bearcats always seem to recover when it’s least expected.
Bonita, which had late come-back wins against Walnut and Diamond Ranch during Hacienda League play, did it again Friday, pulling out victory from the defeat by rallying for a 3-2 win over visiting Cathedral City in a Division 3 first-round game.
Sophomore Anthony Cascarano hit a two-out, two-run triple to tie it in the seventh and sophomore Noah Williams singled in the winning run in the ninth as No. 2 seed Bonita improved to 23-7 and will face Redondo, a 1-0 winner over La Salle, in Tuesday’s second round. The site will be determined by coin flip.
Sabino Ramirez gave up six hits and struck out seven for the Lions, who finished 12-13.
Bonita’s Anthony Cascarano: “This team has a lot of heart. We don’t stop from bleeding. I really wanted to do it for my team, for the seniors. I didn’t want this to be their last game. When I got down 0 and 2, I got scared. I just tried to put the bat on the ball. When I saw the ball fall and saw coach (John) Knott’s face, I was really happy. Nothing can feel better than that. It was great.”

Bonita’s Noah Williams: “I was just trying to get a base hit and bring it back to our team I didn’t want to see our seniors go down like that. It was just a great feeling.”

BISHOP AMAT 11, ELSINORE 0
By John Honell
Correspondent
LA PUENTE –
Every coach, in every sport, wants his team to get hot heading into the playoffs.
The Bishop Amat baseball team appears to be hot at the right time, winning its sixth consecutive game, an easy 11-0 victory over Elsinore in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.
The Lancers (17-11) will play the winner of the La Quinta/Orange contest next Tuesday at a site to be determined.
Jayson Gonzalez had two hits and three RBIs and Alex Garcia pitched a four-hit shutout for the Lancers.
Bishop Amat’s Alex Garcia: “The first (playoff) game is always the toughest. Once you get it under your belt I’m sure it’ll be fine. We had a good scouting report on these guys and I was able to throw pitches where the coach called them. Our defense was great and we’re playing championship ball right now and that’s what we need to be doing.”
Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto: “Our Achilles heel has been getting on a team early then losing focus. We let teams get back in the game but today we got them on the ropes and applied the knockout punch, that’s the difference.”

FRIDAY’S CIF-SS BASEBALL PLAYOFF SCORES
Today first-round
Division 3

Diamond Bar 4, West Torrance 3
Santa Monica 5, West Covina 0
Bishop Amat 11, Elsinore 0
Bonita 3, Cathedral City 2
Division 5
Sierra Vista 3, Linfield Christian 2
Citrus Hill 6, Rosemead 0
Templeton 3, La Puente 0
Arroyo 12, St. Bernard 4
Tuesday’s second round
Division 2

La Mirada at Glendora, 3:15 p.m.
South Hills at Temecula Valley, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
Warren at Diamond Bar, 3:15 p.m.
Bishop Amat at Orange, 3:15 p.m.
Bonita at Redondo, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
Kaiser at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
San Dimas at Granite Hills 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Sierra Vista at Hemet, 3:15 p.m.
Tahquitz at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.

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Baseball Playoffs: Glendora, South Hills, San Dimas, Northview all win; Damien loses


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

SAN DIMAS – If the San Dimas High School baseball team is to have a lengthy stay in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, the Saints are going to need solid efforts from pitcher Peter Lambert.
The junior showed why Thursday.
Lambert took a perfect game into the seventh inning before finishing with a 1-hit shutout to lead host San Dimas to a 6-0 victory over Grand Terrace in a Division 4 first-round game.
San Dimas, also getting two RBIs from Elias Orona and two hits each from Jonathan Longtin and Michael Starns, improved to 22-6-1 and advanced to face either Granite Hills in Tuesday’s second roun. The site will be determined by coin flip on Friday.
Josh McPherson had the only hit for the Titans, who finished 14-12-1.
San Dimas’ Peter Lambert: “It’s a great win. Obviously, it’s the first round, but it’s a great win and we’re on to the next one. This was really on the defense. They made great plays. I only struck out six, so I put this one on the defense.”

San Dimas coach Mike Regan: “That was a tough one (to give up in the seventh). We always think our guy should have made the play. We did very, very well.”

Grand Terrace coach Mike Reh: “Lambert was excellent today. Obviously, when you’re getting perfect-gamed, it’s extremely difficult to get anything going. His tempo was phenomenal. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to an outstanding performance.”

CIF-SS Baseball Playoffs
Today’s first-round
Division 2

Glendora 8, Rio Mesa 0
Crescenta Valley 6, Damien 1
South Hills 1, Oxnard 0, 8 innings
Division 4
Northview 5, Fullerton 3
San Dimas 6, Grand Terrace 0
Friday’s first-round
Diamond Bar at West Torrance, 3:15 p.m.
West Covina at Santa Monica, 3:15 p.m.
Elsinore at Bishop Amat, 2:30 p.m.
Cathedral City at Bonita, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Linfield Christian at Sierra Vista, 3:15 p.m.
La Puente at Templeton, 3:15 p.m.
St. Bernard at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.

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Former assistant goes on record with strong accusations against former Diamond Ranch coach Roddy Layton

By Aram Tolegian, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Former Diamond Ranch High School assistant football coach Matt Johnson says that he, along with former Panthers head coach Roddy Layton and other members of the coaching staff, accessed rival Diamond Bar’s Hudl.com account in order to gain an advantage before last fall’s rivalry game.

Johnson, a 2008 graduate of Diamond Ranch and a team captain on the Panthers’ ‘07 team, said Layton and his staff obtained Diamond Bar’s Hudl log-in information from a former Brahmas player who transferred to Diamond Ranch last fall and used it to scout the week leading up to a 34-20 win on Oct. 18, 2013.

“We were actually watching their practices (on Hudl),” Johnson said. “We were watching what they were planning on doing to us. Roddy said we can’t tell anybody. He said let’s just watch it and see what happens. I was there. I’m not trying to spare myself. I was in there.”

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Softball Playoffs: San Dimas wins; La Serna ends Bishop Amat’s season again

CIF-Softball Playoffs
Today’s second round
Division 2
Moorpark 13, Los Altos 0
Division 3
La Serna 6, Bishop Amat 0
Division 5
San Dimas 11, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 2
Citrus Valley 8, Sierra Vista 0

La Serna ends Bishop Amat’s season again: There was no payback for the Bishop Amat Lancers softball team against third-seed La Serna in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 softball playoffs on Thursday.
La Serna Pitcher Jamie Wren and clutch hitting made sure of that with a 6-0 victory to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals against North Torrance, an 8-1 winner over Chaminade.
Bishop Amat was a big favorite to win the divisional crown a year ago, but La Serna knocked them out 3-2 in the second round.
La Serna also beat Amat 11-1 earlier in the year, and kept its foot on the gas.

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Columnist thinks La Mirada baseball coach Kim Brooks should be fired

By Frank C. Girardot, Pasadena Star-News
La Mirada High School baseball coach Kim Brooks needs his mouth washed out with soap.
A tongue lashing he gave his ballplayers following an Easter week loss is so foul, that an audio tape of the tirade led to his suspension while the La Mirada-Norwalk Unified School District investigates.

Of course, not everyone agrees …

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Area coaches react to La Mirada baseball coach Kim Brooks’ profanity-laced tirade

BROOKSAREA COACHES REACT TO KIM BROOKS PROFANITY-LACED TIRADE: It’s not only the court of public opinion where opinions are running rampant on the actions of suspended La Mirada High School baseball coach and athletic director Kim Brooks, who was placed on administrative leave earlier this week after his profanity-laden locker room speech went viral. Local baseball coaches also have something to say about it and they weren’t holding back Wednesday while their colleague awaits the results of a Norwalk-La Mirada School District investigation into the matter that could cost the veteran baseball coach his job.

“First, I don’t condone what Coach Brooks said at all. Coach Brooks has never lacked for trying to bring out the best in kids. He’s a true baseball educator. He’s an athletic director, history teacher and when you get involved in teaching that long you have to have a passion for teaching and mentoring kids. He’s a legend there and his big fault is that he used inappropriate language and that’s not acceptable. There are a lot of words in the English language you can use and that he should have used differently.”Bishop Amat baseball coach Andy Niteo.

“It sounded to me like a good, hard-nosed, old-school coach laying into his team. I think we all would like to hope that we didn’t use the language that sometimes comes out, but I’ve stood on a football sideline, too. Things happen in the heat of the moment. I took it as nothing more than a good coach being disappointed in his kids’ effort that day. I don’t think he was asking them to do anymore than wear the jersey with pride. The way he went about it obviously wasn’t perfect.” Monrovia co-head coach Brad Blackmore.

“I played in an environment when I went to Azusa Pacific University where nobody swore over there, so I know coaches can be effective and not use that language. In today’s generation, I tell myself, If they were to play it back, would you be OK with it?’ And that’s just the reality of it, like it or not.”Bonita baseball coach John Knott

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Baseball: West Covina advances with 6-1 vitory over St. Paul; Glendora’s Kale Morton keeps pitching tradition going

mortonMeet undefeated Kale Morton: Glendora High School, since Dan Henley has been head baseball coach, has been a pitching haven.
The Tartans have featured a who’s who of the Valley’s best in recent years, from Brandon Villalobos, to Wes Roemer to Adam Plutko.
Kale Morton is Henley’s latest to carry on the tradition. And like the others, the senior has gone from a limited role to greatness, setting a school record by going 10-0 during the regular season.
Even Henley didn’t really see his latest ace coming, at least not at the rate he’s progressed to this season.
“I knew he was capable of pitching like this,” said Henley, who is likely to turn to his latest protege when the No. 4 seed Tartans host Rio Mesa in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs Thursday at 3:15 p.m. “He had been very consistent for us. I’d be lying if I said he would be (10-0), and this dominant. He’s been extremely dominant. I knew that he had a quality arm. He didn’t pitch a whole lot last year, but the innings he did pitch where key moments and at times, he was electrifying.”
Morton has gone from that limited role to arguably the best pitcher in the area. He’s been a key for the Tartans’ run to their third Baseline League title in four seasons after going 10-0 with two saves during the regular season. He also has a 1.72 ERA in 12 appearances.

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West Covina advances: West Covina and St. Paul baseball teams had to win its last regular-season game last week just to qualify for the postseason.
It was back to win or go home on Wednesday.
West Covina will continue its season with a 6-1 victory over visiting St. Paul in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 wild-card game.

TODAY’S CIF-SS BASEBALL WILD CARD GAMES
Division 3

West Covina 6, St. Paul 1
Rialto 6, Walnut 0
Division 5
Cerritos Valley Christian 7, El Monte 2
Lompoc Cabrillo 9, Gladstone 0
St. Bernard 4, Azusa 0

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