After a huge success last year, the high school baseball league vs. league challenge is back for a second year, pitting league all-stars against each other regardless of grade. It’s a true all-star game. Players that are selected to all-league first teams automatically qualify, plus three more from the league decided by coaches. Head coach priority will go to first place teams as well as other coaches added to the staff. The games will be played at homer and fan friendly Maverick Park in West Covina on Saturday, June 10.
Here’s the lineup ..
Miramonte vs. Montview, Noon
Hacienda vs. Valle Vista, 3 p.m.
Baseline vs. Palomares, 6 p.m.
By Aram Tolegian
The second North/South Southern California All-Star Game for high school football seniors promises to be a lot better than the first, if early rosters are any indicator.
The game, run by area football guru Leon Ward, is an attempt to bring back the old Hall of Fame All-Star Game, which has now morphed into the SGV All-Star Game and is now played in January instead late spring or summer.
But instead of dividing the boundaries of the talent pool by taking players from east and west of the 605 Freeway, the North/South game uses the 10 Freeway and players are likely to come from as far east as Chino and as far west as Lincoln High in Los Angeles. But mostly, it’s a San Gabriel Valley talent pool.
The game will be played on May 13 at Covina District Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Although last year’s game could be characterized, at best, as a defensive slugfest, this year’s has more potential for fireworks given the collection of offensive talent, especially on the North roster. The North is coached by Northview’s Marcel Perez.
Bishop Amat and La Salle left-handed pitchers Isaac Esqueda and Grant Fosselman were mowing batters down.
Through 4 2/3 innings, neither team had put a runner past second base, there were a combined two hits and 12 strikeouts in the Del Rey League baseball game on Tuesday afternoon at Arcadia County Park.
Amat’s Richard Castro, who had struck out twice and had faced an 0-2 count with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, two pitches later delivered a single to right field to score two runs to help carry Bishop Amat to a 4-1 victory and at least a share of its fourth consecutive league title.
“I was trying to lock in and stay focused on the next pitch and try and get the ball in play,” the junior said. “I was just trying to make contact and take it to the right side, get those runners in.”
Aram Tolegian’s winners and losers column …. What’s your take?
Now that everyone’s had a couple days to digest the outcome of the CIF Southern Section’s Mt. SAC Area re-leaguing vote this week, it’s time to look at who were the winners and losers.
The newly structured leagues won’t kick in until the 2018-19 school year, but already there’s plenty of conclusions to be made. Remember, league placement is more critical than ever in terms of CIF-SS playoff success.
In football, playoff divisions are now determined by competitive equity and not league placement. The same with basketball. So, where you finish in league is critical since simply making the playoffs could mean a big postseason is in the offing.
WINNER — South Hills baseball. This is probably the most obvious in the area. The Huskies are already the top baseball program in the area, but even this year’s results show that it doesn’t mean they’re infallible.
South Hills has lost Palomares League games to Bonita and Glendora this season, but won’t have to see those teams anymore when they join the Hacienda League. Who’s going to beat them in the Hacienda? Charter Oak is decent. Walnut is solid. But yeah, it ain’t happening.
The Huskies can likely coast through league, inflate their record at the perfect time of year and posture nicely for a high seeding from the playoff committee. A high seeding matters in the Division 1 playoffs — where South Hills currently is — because you’re looking for any little advantage possible at that level.
LOSER — South Hills football. The Huskies are exiting the Palomares League where they were around the top of the heap and now heading to the Hacienda League, which is the toughest football league in the area.
Area powers Charter Oak and Los Altos play in the league and West Covina has owned South Hills recently in the Kings of Cameron rivalry. Throw in Diamond Ranch and you can see how much of a challenge this will be.
For fans, it will be great to see South Hills play Charter Oak every year and have the West Covina game mean something more than bragging rights. South Hills is a program on the rise, but it better really pick up the pace now.
WINNER — Diamond Bar. Not bad for a first-year principal. Ruben Jones, Diamond Bar’s new man in charge, had one mission at Tuesday’s meeting and that was to get his school out of the Palomares League and into something more doable. Mission accomplished.
Jones took the microphone at one point during the meet and made his case the other school representatives as to why Diamond Bar so badly needed relief across the board. He also worked the room. It paid off with Diamond Bar now headed to the Mt. Baldy League where travel may be slightly more hectic, but competitive equity will be much better.
LOSER — Walnut football. The Mustangs football program just can’t catch a break. Walnut is more than fine in the Hacienda League in terms of just about every sport but football. Help is not on the way, however.
The Hacienda League is the area’s toughest football division. Walnut had just 12 freshmen come out for football last season and had to combine its freshmen and sophomore programs. To further put things in perspective, the CIF-SS has placed Walnut in Division 12. That’s right, a Hacienda League team is in the second-lowest division in the section.
But that division placement doesn’t matter if Walnut can’t make the postseason. And without finishing in the top three in league, that’s just not likely to happen for the Mustangs. There were proposals for a football-only scenario, but it didn’t get enough support.
Walnut now has to figure out a way to simply stay solvent until the next re-leaguing vote, which won’t kick until after the next three school years are completed.
This year’s San Gabriel Valley High School Softball All-Star Game is being prepped for another season of festivities.
The format for this season will be a great improvement to the game. Instead of having two games, we will be having one game with ALL the best players competing against EACH OTHER. That means that Seniors will be competing on the same teams as the Underclassmen while keeping the “North vs. South” feel. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freshman or a senior. If you’re one of the best, you’re in! The best of the North against the best of the South! 9 innings of the best softball of the year!
Coaches and Athletic Directors: Please email any all-star nominations to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Please keep stats on Maxpreps up-to-date because we will be using them as one of the ways to select teams.
Players, Parents, Coaches, Athletic Directors, Fans: Please email any and all pictures of your athletes with the names of the players, numbers of the players, name of high school, position(s), and athlete’s Twitter account to “email@example.com”. We will be using the information that you provide to help promote the softball players that get chosen for the All-Star game!
Please make sure to follow the SGV High School Softball All-Star Game on Twitter (@SGVSVAllStars)! We will be giving you information on the game and it’s players as it becomes available!
More information on this season’s All-Star game will be posted soon.
Tribune Top Ten Baseball Rankings
1. Glendora (19-4) – After sweeping South Hills, meet your new No. 1.
2. Charter Oak (13-3) – Winners of five straight and 9-1 in Hacienda.
3. San Dimas (16-4) – On a roll with 13 straight wins.
4. South Hills (16-6) – Trending wrong way with three straight losses.
5. Nogales (18-2) – Forfeit drops it into Montview tie with Sierra Vista.
6. Bishop Amat (14-8) — National Classic champs went 0-4 at Boras.
7. Bonita (12-8) – Consistency continues to be a problem.
8. Sierra Vista (12-4) – Half game behind Nogales in the Montview.
9. Walnut (15-7) — Big sweep over rival Los Altos.
10. West Covina (13-9) – Kevin Smith can still coach.
Tribune Softball Rankings
1. St. Lucy’s (12-5) – Spring break is over, back to the Baseline.
2. Charter Oak (16-4) – At Los Altos for first in Hacienda on Tuesday.
3. Los Altos (16-6) – Can argue it deserves top spot.
4. South El Monte (16-2) – Continues to score a lot of runs.
5. Glendora (15-7) – Has allowed fewest runs in Palomares.
6. South Hills (13-10) – In three-way battle for Palomares.
7. Bishop Amat (10-9-1) – For all its struggles, still first in Del Rey.
8. Bonita (13-9) — Won three straight to share Palomares lead.
9. San Dimas (11-9) – Still the best in Valle Vista.
10. Arroyo (10-6-1) – Tied for second in Mission Valley.