About Fred Robledo

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

Bishop Amat begins playoff push with a must-needed 9-1 win over La Salle behind Alex Garcia’s two-hitter

BISHOP AMAT-LA SALLE PHOTO GALLERY
agarciaThe Bishop Amat baseball team, finding itself in uncharted waters, got thrown a lifeline by starting pitcher Alex Garcia and knocked off La Salle 9-1 in a Del Rey League game Tuesday.
The win pulled Bishop Amat into a tie for second place with La Salle (14-12, 4-3) and St Paul. Amat and La Salle will face each other again Friday with the winner having the inside track for a CIF-SS playoff spot.
With Bishop Amat (13-11, 4-3) needing a win to keep its CIF playoff hopes alive Garcia, who has signed with UC Santa Barbara, got his fifth win of the season by striking out nine batters and giving up only two hits. He set down the first nine batters he faced and had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings until Lyle Cuellar singled.“(The hit) wasn’t a big thing,” Garcia said. “I really hadn’t noticed the no-hitter. I knew they hadn’t had many base runners but I just tried to keep throwing strikes and get the next batter.
“We’ve had a few difficult games, but beating La Salle just puts us in a better position to keep moving forward.”
Bishop Amat jumped ahead with a pair of runs in the first inning. Bases-loaded singles by Michael Palos and Sergio Robles were the key hits.
Palos had three hits and drove in four runs to lead Amat while Robles was 3 for 4 and drove in two runs.

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Area Baseball Rankings and Leaders: South Hills, Glendora and San Dimas lead the pack

Huskies baseball
AREA TOP TEN
1. South Hills (18-3-1) — Still leading the Sierra with a pair of huge games this week against third-place Damien Wednesday and Friday.
2. Glendora (17-5) — In cruise control in the Baseline having already clinched the league title. Tartans baseball is good no matter what league you put them in.
3. San Dimas (17-6-1) — Why do I hate home-and-away series? San Dimas leads Northview by a game with two weeks left but they don’t play again. They played their home-and-away back in March. Who settles titles in March? The Valle Vista.
4. Bonita (18-9) — A loss to West Covina leaves the Bearcats (6-2) only a game ahead of Diamond Bar (5-3) and Diamond Ranch (5-3) in Hacienda.
5. Damien (15-6) – The Spartans can get back in the title picture with a sweep over South Hills. Not likely though.
6. Bishop Amat (12-11) — Not only trying to stay above .500 but fighting for its playoff life in Del Rey. Two biggies against second-place La Salle this week.
7. Sierra Vista (16-2) — Dons keep plugging along with area’s best winning percentage and only two losses all season.
8. Diamond Bar (14-9) — Still clinging to slim chance of at least sharing the Hacienda with Bonita.
9. West Covina (13-9) — Big win over Bonita, but still not likely to make the playoffs with five losses in league.
10. Northview (14-9) -- Only a game back of San Dimas in the Valle Vista, but getting swept by the Saints back in March probably ends serious title hopes.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING (Minimum 40 at bats)

1. Ryan Viramontes, West Covina, 34-for-56, .515
2. Mark Gonzalez, Pomona, 22-for-43, .512
3. Erik Gutierrez, Sierra Vista, 20-for-42, .476
4. Johnny Alvarez, El Monte, 24-for-51, 471
5. Justin Gomez, Bonita, 25-for-54, .463
6. Derrian Torres, Sierra Vista, 21-for-46, 457
7. Kory Brown, Charter Oak, 23-for-52, .442
8. Anthony Cuevas, Los Altos, 29-for-66, .439
9. David Banuelos, Damien, 25-for-59, .424
10. Brandon Bradshaw, Bonita, 18-for-43, .419
HOME RUNS
4 – David Banuelos, Damien; Francisco Ramirez, South Hills
3 – Jordan Abernathy, Damien; Nicholas Hernandez, Charter Oak; Jonathan Olsen, Damien; Eric Flores, Glendora.
RBIS
24 – Alex Gonzalez, Bonita
21 – Jonathan Olsen, Damien
19 – Brennan McKenzie, Walnut; David Banuelos, Damien; Jordan Abernathy, Damien
ERA
1. Gavin Velasquez, South Hills, 0.47
2. Eduardo Perez, Bonita, 0.52
3. Isaiah Hordo, Bonita, 0.64
4. Daniel Milwee, San Dimas, 0.70
4. Eric Flores, Glendora, 0.90
WINS
1. Kale Morton, Glendora, 8-0
2. Grant Hockin, Damien, 8-2
3t. Gavin Velasquez, South Hills, 7-1
3t.Gerardo Ramirez, Diamond Bar, 7-1
5. Eric Flores, 6-1, Glendora



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Area Softball Rankings and Leaders: Charter Oak takes over top spot

bulldogs

AREA TOP TEN
1. Charter Oak (16-6) — The Chargers have crept past South Hills and into a tie for second with Ayala in the Sierra, but it still has games left against Chino Hills, Ayala and South Hills.
2. South Hills (17-6) — Losing to Chino Hills is one thing, but following with a loss to Ayala has dropped the Huskies to fourth and in danger of missing the playoffs.
3. Bishop Amat (14-8) — Coming on strong and a game back of St. Paul with a chance to tie for a league title when it plays at St. Paul Monday.
4. Los Altos (12-5) — Has continued to improve throughout the season and after a big win over Bonita it finds itself leading the Hacienda with two weeks to go.
5. Bonita (13-6) — Had the Swag knocked out of it with back-to-back losses to West Covina and Los Altos. What once looked like a sure league title is anything but now.
6. San Dimas (17-7) — The Saints are still undefeated in the Valle Vista and have one more big test against Covina next week to close it out.
7. West Covina (13-10) — The Bulldogs beat Bonita and are now tied for second with the Bearcats in the Hacienda and both are only a game back of Los Altos.
8. Glendora (10-11) – The way the Tartans handled area teams before starting the Baseline is all the proof I need to leave it in the top ten.
9. Covina (14-6-1) — The Colts continue to do their part in the Valle Vista with only one loss and can avenge it Monday against San Dimas.
10. Sierra Vista (12-4-2) — The Dons are 10-0 in the Montview but only a game back of Duarte, who is 9-1.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Janell Wheaton, San Dimas, 45-for-77, .584
2. Ciara Granadao, Edgewood, 33-for-57, .579
3. Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, 30-for-54, .556
4. Alex Rodriguez, West Covina, 35-for-64, .547
5. Jocelyn Marquez, Northview, 32-for-59, .542
6. Celeste Wood, Los Altos, 21-for-39, .538
7. Jackie Negrete, Workman, 22-for-41, .537
8. Evelyn Sandoval, Arroyo, 35-for-47, .532
9. Evelyn Ronquillo, Baldwin Park, 23-for-44, .533
10. Jenna Rodelo, Rowland, 26-for-50, 520

HOME RUNS
9 – Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
8 – Chloe Melanson, Bonita; Ciara Granado, Edgewood
7 – Alicia Brown, Glendora; Adriana Fernandez, Workman
6 – Ashley Huber, Walnut; Alicia Brown, Glendora; Ashley Diaz, South El Monte
RBIS
35 – Janell Wheaton, San Dimas
34 – Ciara Granado, Edgewood
33 – Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood
32 – Isabella Sierra, Covina
29 – Princess Nava, Covina
ERA
1. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 1.08
2. Princess Nava, Covina, 1.14
3. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 1.17
4. Kaelyn McFadden, Bonita, 1.39
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 1.62
WINS
1T. Princess Nava, Covina, 12-4
1T. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 12-4
3. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 10-2
4. Mia Luques, South El Monte, 10-3
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 10-5

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League finals week for track & swimming

There are a lot league premlims on Tuesday but Thursday and Friday are the big day for swim and track league finals. Here is a look at the local schedule:

HACIENDA FINALS
Track: Walnut, Thursday, 3 p.m.
Swim: Diamond Bar, Friday, 3 p.m.
SIERRA FINALS
Track: Claremont, Thursday, 3 p.m.
Swim: Mt. SAC, Thursday, 3 p.m.
VALLE VISTA FINALS
Track: San Dimas, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.
Swim: Wilson, Thursday, 3 p.m.
MISSION VALLEY LEAGUE
Track: Rosemead, Thursday, 3 p.m.
MONTVIEW LEAGUE
Track: Duarte, Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Swim: Sierra Vista, Friday, 2 p.m.

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Bishop Amat pitcher Andrew Eppenbach getting better after recent car accident

eppenbach

Bishop Amat senior pitcher Andrew Eppenbach had just finished one of his best games of the season, earning a complete-game 7-3 victory over Bishop Montgomery on April 11, allowing just two hits while not allowing an earned run.

About an hour later, his father Jim Eppenbach pulled into their home driveway and immediately knew something was wrong.

caraccidentNormally, Jim or his wife Marlene would drive Andrew home after a game, but it was a busy day, so they drove their own cars to the school, as did Andrew.

When Jim arrived home, one car was missing.

“It was so frightening,” Jim Eppenbach said. “I get home and my wife’s standing on the porch with the phone in her hand and a look on her face. I said ‘oh my God.’ You get that total sinking feeling that something’s gone horribly wrong.”

According to Jim, Andrew was driving home on Cameron Ave., in West Covina when a driver on a cell phone turned in front of Andrew and the crashed nearly head on, steering Andrew’s Ford Explorer into a lightpost.

Fortunately, Andrew walked away with only a stiff neck, sore back and a concussion.

Eppenbach, who signed a national letter of intent to attend San Diego State, has been forced to miss a few games since. But that’s the good news.

“It could have been a lot worse, the car was totalled,” Jim said. “You’re just so thankful he’s OK and that he will fully recover from this but it was scary. For any parent, these are your worst types of fears.”

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Hacienda Baseball: West Covina knocks off league-leading Bonita, 4-3; Walnut finishes sweep of Los Altos, 10-8

It was upset Thursday in the Hacienda League with West Covina knocking off league-leading Bonita, 4-3. Despite the loss, the Bearcats remain in first at 17-7 and 6-2 in league while the Bulldogs stayed in playoff contention improving to 13-9 and 5-5. Los Altos couldn’t take advantage, getting swept by Walnut 10-8 and dropping to 12-12 and 4-4. Walnut is now 13-10-2 and 4-4. Diamond Bar is the big winner without playing, remaining 14-8 and 5-3 and only a game back of Bonita.

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Baseball: St. Paul sweeps Bishop Amat, wins 5-4 Thursday putting Lancers playoff hopes in serious jeopardy

What’s happening to Bishop Amat? St. Paul finished off a sweep of the Lancers, winning 5-4 on Thursday after clobbering the Lancers 9-1 earlier in the week. The loss drops Amat to 11-11 and 3-3 in the Del Rey, leaving them tied for third with St. Paul, who is 12-14 and 3-3. It’s one thing to get swept by one of the league contenders like Serra or La Salle, but St. Paul? What’s going on in Lancerland?

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Los Altos softball takes over first in the Hacienda with 8-3 win over Bonita

Los Altos scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth to take control and take over first in the Hacienda with an 8-3 victory. Bonita was in firm control earlier in the week, but also lost to West Covina 2-1 to drop Bonita to 6-2 in league along with West Covina, also 6-2. Los Altos is now 8-1 and a full game ahead of both in the loss column. Los Altos still has another game with West Covina.

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Walnut track enjoying historical season

By Keith Lair
It’s been a record run for the Walnut High School track and field team.
The Mustangs can take the Hacienda League dual meet title with a win over visiting Diamond Bar today. But what has been most impressive has been the school records. Five varsity marks and a soph-frosh record have fallen this season.
“At the beginning of the season we set performance goals for everyone for about five percent and they have blown them out of the water,” Walnut coach Keith Thompson said. “It seems like everything has worked perfectly with the kids. It’s been a perfect season.
“We knew we would be a good team, but were not just sure.”
Continue reading

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Cathedral wins appeal, forcing Catholic League into a seven-team league and six-team Mission

STORY: The Catholic Athletic Association left the fate of two of its most important leagues in the hands of the CIF-Southern Section Council and when all the votes were in, several representatives from some of the Southland’s top parochial football powers were disappointed.
The CAA saw its football-only league proposals voted in at Wednesday’s council meeting, then successfully appealed by Cathedral High School, which left one of the major goals of the association unmet. That goal was to create two, four-team leagues that will likely compete in the Pac-5 Division.

WHAT HAPPENED: With Cathedral winning its appeal at CIF this morning, this is how the new football leagues will shape up for the Catholic and Mission League. The Catholic was hoping for a North and South league made up of four teams each to maximize four playoff berths. In a seven-team league, it only gets three guaranteed spots. The Mission is now a six-team league instead of five, guaranteeing three playoff spots.

Catholic League
Bishop Amat, Serra, Loyola, Notre Dame, Alemany, Chaminade and Crespi
Mission League
St. Paul, St. Francis, Cathedral, Salesian, Harvard-Westlake and La Salle

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SGV All-Star Football game survives despite losing National Football Foundation as sponsor: “The game has been going on for 35 years and its tradition,” explained WC coach Mike Maggiore

The National Football Foundation, which has been the event coordinator and sponsor of the San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame senior all-star football game for several years through its San Gabriel Valley chapter, officially pulled its affiliation from the game Wednesday just weeks before the annual East vs. West game, scheduled for May 16 at West Covina High School at 7 p.m.

West Covina football coach Mike Maggiore said the game will continue, however, because coaches and teams already have been selected. The game will simply be called the San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame game.

“The most important thing is that the kids that were selected have the opportunity to play,” Maggiore said. “There are nearly 100 kids excited to play. This game has been going on for 35 years and its tradition in the San Gabriel Valley. We couldn’t just let it die.”

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Area Baseball rankings and leaders: South Hills edges Glendora for top spot

velasquez
AREA TOP TEN
1. South Hills (16-3-1) — A full game ahead of Chino Hills after posting two impressive victories last week. Still, finishing first wont be easy.
2. Glendora (15-5) — The only sport at Glendora that has no probelm with the Baseline. The Tartans are in first and in firm control.
3. San Dimas (15-6-1) — Saints sweep Nogales and rest of the schedule friendly. They shouldn’t lose another game before the playoffs.
4. Bonita (16-6) — Had nine-game win streak snapped in 3-2 loss to Gahr, but has two big games this week against West Covina Tuesday and Friday.
5. Bishop Amat (11-9) — Lancers split last week, but still only game back of La Salle in the Del Rey, who it faces two more times.
6. Damien (13-6) – Went 0-2 in a make-or-break week for the Sierra title. Now the Spartans are battling just to make the playoffs in a tie for third.
7. Diamond Bar (14-8) — Brahmas seem like they can beat anyone, but they still could have problems making the playoffs in Hacienda.
8. Sierra Vista (14-2) — A perfect 8-0 in the Montview, the Dons have the fewest losses of any Tribune teams.
9. Los Altos (12-10) — Despite its barely above .500 record, the Conqs still only a game back of Bonita in the Hacienda.
10. West Covina (12-8) — If West Covina were in the Mission Valley or Montview, they would be undefeated in league. That’s how balanced the Hacienda is.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Mark Gonzalez, Pomona, 19-for-34, .559
2. Ryan Viramontes, West Covina, 33-for-60, .550
3. Matt Arguello, La Puente, 17-for-32, .531
4. Derek Zavalla, South El Monte, 17-for-35, .486
5. Erik Gutierrez, Sierra Vista, 20-for-42, .476
6. Brandon Bradshaw, Bonita, 16-for-34, .471
7. Kory Brown, Charter Oak, 22-for-47, .468
8. Derian Torres, Sierra Vista, 21-for-46, .457
9. Erick Morales, La Puente, 16-for-35, .457
10. Anthony Cuevas, Los Altos, 28-for-63, .444
HOME RUNS
4 – David Banuelos, Damien; Francisco Ramirez, South Hills
3 – Jordan Abernathy, Damien; Nicholas Hernandez, Charter Oak
RBIS
23 – Alex Gonzalez, Bonita
19 – David Banuelos, Damien
17 – Brennan McKenzie, Walnut; Jon Ayala, South Hills; Jordan Abernathy, Damien
ERA
1. Isaac Archer, Bishop Amat, 0.42
2. Gavin Velasquez, South Hills, 0.53
3. Eric Flores, Glendora, 0.90
4. Peter Lambert, San Dimas, 0.91
5. Erik Gutierrez, Sierra Vista, 0.94
WIN-LOSS PERCENTAGE
1. Kale Morton, Glendora, 7-0
2. Gerardo Ramirez, Diamond Bar, 7-1
3t. Eric Flores, Glendora, 6-1
3t. Anthony Deeter, West Covina, 6-1
5. Grant Hockin, Damien, 7-2



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Area Softball Rankings and Leaders: No. 1 South Hills gets mighty Chino Hills on Friday

shillschills
Above: Will South Hills get tough when it faces Chino Hills on Friday?

AREA TOP TEN
1. South Hills (17-4) — Big win over Charter Oak to keep pace with Sierra League frontrunner Chino Hills, who South Hills will host in Friday’s mammoth game. I’m taking the Huskies, lol.
2. Bonita (13-4) — With games at West Covina and Los Altos this week, the Bearcats can all but wrap up the Hacienda with a pair of wins.
3. Charter Oak (14-6) — Considering Charters’ only two league losses are to Chino Hills and South Hills, there’s no reason to drop it from top three.
4. Bishop Amat (12-8) — Only a game back of St. Paul in Del Rey standings, but time is running out. They host La Salle Tuesday and get St. Paul one more time.
5. San Dimas (15-7) — The Saints are already focusing on the playoffs because the Valle Vista is just to easy for them.
6. Los Altos (10-5) — The Conquerors have done their part since losing only Hacienda game to Bonita by winning every game since. They get their rematch at home against Bonita on Thursday.
7. Glendora (9-10) – Tartans can’t wait to get of the Baseline. Sadly, they’re closer to last than first.
8. Covina (12-6-1) — The Colts’ only loss in the Valle Vista is against San Dimas, who they will play in the league finale in a couple weeks. They need to keep winning to make the final game mean something.
9. West Covina (11-10) — The Bulldogs are coming on late and can show how far they’ve come by hosting Bonita on Tuesday. If they win, it could set up a wild finish in the Hacienda.
10. Sierra Vista (8-4-2) — A perfect 7-0 in the Montview and one-game lead over Duarte, who it plays on May 8.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Evelyn Sandoval, Arroyo, 21-for-36, .583
2. Celeste Wood, Los Altos, 19-for-33, .576
3. Janell Wheaton, San Dimas, 39-for-68, .574
4. Jackie Negrete, Workman, 20-for-35, .571
5. Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, 26-for-47, .553
6. Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood, 27-for-49, .551
7. Jada Richards, Duarte, 18-for-33, .545
8. Alex Rodriguez, West Covina, 31-for-57, .544
9. Jocelyn Marquez, Northview, 32-for-59, .542
10. Jenna Rodelo, Rowland, 25-for-47, .532
HOME RUNS
8 – Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
7 – Chloe Melanson, Bonita; Ciara Granado, Edgewood
6 – Ashley Huber, Walnut; Alicia Brown, Glendora; Ashley Diaz, South El Monte; Adriana Fernandez, Workman
RBIS
31 – Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood; Ciara Granado, Edgewood
30 – Janell Wheaton, San Dimas
26 – Isabella Sierra, Covina; Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
25 – Princess Nava, Covina
24 – Ashley Diaz, South El Monte; Anette Mena, Edgewood
ERA
1. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 0.43
2. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 1.48
3. Princess Nava, Covina, 1.32
4. Kaelyn McFadden, Bonita, 1.45
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 1.73
WIN/LOSS PERCENTAGE
1. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 12-2
2. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 9-2
3. Adriana Fernandez, Workman, 8-2
4. Princess Nava, Covina, 10-4
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 9-5

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The Big River, Rio Ruiz takes on Clayton Kershaw and Rancho Cucamonga tonight

Clayton Kershaw will make the first rehabilitation start of his career Friday for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
No timetable has been set for his return to a major-league mound, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly confirmed that Kershaw will need at least two rehab starts total. He’s expected to throw approximately 55 pitches Friday against the Lancaster Jethawks, who feature former Bishop Amat star and Tribune player of the year Rio Ruiz.
Kershaw threw a three-inning simulated game Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
“He came out of the bullpen good yesterday and we feel like we’re ready,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to let him go out, even throw that sim game, if we weren’t allowing him just to go pitch.”
Kershaw hasn’t any setbacks in his recovery from a strained teres major muscle in his upper left back since he first threw off a mound 10 days ago.

forsale

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Longtime boys basketball coach and former Star-News coach of the year Hung Duong accused of “intimidation” tactics

By Zen Vuong, Pasadena Star-News
A Mark Keppel basketball coach allegedly used intimidation tactics recently to get a high school student to not “step out of line” by talking to the media, Anthony Acosta said.
Varsity Coach Hung Duong allegedly confronted Acosta, 17, less than 24 hours after a Star-News article quoted Acosta voicing his disappointment over Alhambra Unified School District’s decision to cut Horizons, a college preparatory program.
“He was like, ‘Why are you talking about this class? I don’t want you misrepresenting basketball,’” Acosta said. “It was just really intimidating. Like you would expect my coach to like encourage me to use my First Amendment right but, from what I got from him, he was basically saying don’t step out of line.”

dong

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Is St. Francis football worried that it could win up in the Catholic South and Pac-5 Division?

By Aram Tolegian, staff writer
There’s a vibe out there among those who closely follow the Catholic Athletic Association’s high school football re-leaguing process that one more twist or turn is coming.
It’s the same vibe that one might get while watching a cinematic thriller that fools you into thinking the ending is obvious before one final act shatters all preconceived notions and leaves the audience with its mouth open.
In theory, the final act to this saga should have already been played out when the CAA met on Tuesday and in a close vote put forth its latest and final proposal for league alignments that would span the next four years.

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Alemany proposal passes 12-11 to send Cathedral to PAC-5 while dropping Salesian to the Mission

After the CIF-Southern Section Executive Committee voted 13-3-3 to approve Salesian’s appeal to the 2014-18 Parochial Area Catholic League South football placement, which would have put Salesian in a Pac-5 football league with Loyola, Serra and Bishop Amat; Bishop Alemany submitted a new proposal on Tuesday that barely passed 12-11. The new proposal basically swaps Salesian with Cathedral, moving Cathedral into the powerful Catholic South and PAC-5 while dropping Salesian to the Mission League. Salesian appealed to CIF because it balked at the idea of essentially moving from Division 10 to Division I and prefered to play in the Mission League, though rumors persist that it does not want to be in the same league as rival Cathedral. Well, Salesian got its wish with Carthedral publicly stating at Tuesday’s meeting that it will appeal the decision to CIF, just like Salesian did. The CAA has until April 30 to submit Alemany’s proposal at which time Cathedral can appeal, leaving the next move up to CIF.

ALEMANY PROPOSAL PASSES 12-11
CATHOLIC NORTH: Alemany, Chaminade, Crespi, Notre Dame
CATHOLIC SOUTH: Bishop Amat, Cathedral, Loyola, Serra
MISSION LEAGUE: Harvard-Westlake, La Salle, Salesian, St. Francis, St. Paul
DEL REY LEAGUE: Bishop Montgomery, Cantwell Sacred Heart, St. Bernard, Verbum Dei
SANTA FE LEAGUE: Bosco Tech, Mary Star, St. Anthony, St. Monica, Bell Jeff, St. Matthias/Pius X

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Bob Ramsey’s weekly track roundup, team & individual leaders, and all-time SGV records list

PHOTO GALLERY FROM MT. SAC INVITATIONAL
Bob Ramsey is a former San Gabriel Valley area coach who created a webpage specifically for our area, ranking the best performers in the Tribune, Star-News and Whittier Daily News area. Here are his top ten boys/girls area track rankings. For individual rankings, click on the thread.

st. francis

walnutgirlRamsey’s latest: We have a new boys team leader, three new event leaders and one change in the All-Time list as we finish the Big Invite portion of the track season.
DThe main action was at the massive Mt.SAC Relays – we are really fortunate to have two of the top high school tracks in the country right here in the SGV! The top performance came from Monrovia junior Sydney Mosey – her 13.88 in the 100m Hurdles placed her third in the Invite race, and she moved from 9th to 5th on the SGV All Time Performers List. Her teammate, senior Cravon Gillespie was 2nd in the Invite 100m with a wind-aided 10.69. In other top finishes at Mt.SAC, SGV record holder Claire Kieffer-Wright (Sr, South Pasadena) as 2nd/5’10″ in the high jump, the Monrovia girls were 3rd/47.42 in the 4×100 Relay, improving their SGV seasonal leading mark, and Eric Knowles (Sr, St. Francis) was 4th in the Invite Triple Jump with a PR and SGV leading 45’1-1/4″
We gained three new SGV seasonal leaders from Mt.SAC – Barrett Weiss (Jr, Flintridge Prep) regained the Pole Vault lead from his brother Gareth with a big PR 15’0″ (4th Seeded), and Michael Dondalski (Sr, Pasadena) continued his massive improvement with a 1:54.35 (2nd Seeded) finish in the 800m. in the Girls 800, where Susie Garza (Sr, Baldwin Park) took over the SGV seasonal lead with a PR 2:16.13 (3rd Seeded).
damien trackSGV 400m leader Ross Niederhaus (Jr, St. Francis) PR’d with a 48.54 (3rd Seeded), and girls 4×400 Relay leaders Arcadia improved to 3:54.85 (6th Invite)
The Cougar Classic, after being rained out on the opening weekend, was contested last weekend with an understandably diminished field. SGV athletes won most of the events, with notable performances coming from Thomas Medina (Sr, Santa Fe) 49.81/400m, Morgan Love (Jr, Charter Oak) 25.75/200m & 57.24/400m, and the Covina boys 4×400 – 3:27.51.
SGV athletes also competed at two small school meets, the Ocean View Invitational and the Russell Cup.
The Arcadia girls are holding steady at the top of the girls SGV Team Rankings. These rankings are based on the number of places in the top ten of the 2014 San Gabriel Valley Performance List. Following an excellent week Walnut moved back to the top of the boys rankings, with Flintridge Prep moving into the first ten for the first time.

SGV TEAM RANKINGS
GIRLS

1. Arcadia
2. Walnut
3. Monrovia
4. South Pasadena
5. Glendora
6. La Salle
7. Muir
8. Bishop Amat
9. Santa Fe
10. Bonita
BOYS
1. Walnut
2. Damien
3. California
4. Arcadia
5. Santa Fe
6. St. Francis
7. Covina
8. Maranatha
9. Glendora
10. Flintridge Prep

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Baseball Rankings and Leaders: Damien’s David Banuelos making a strong case for player of the year hitting .489 with 4HR and 19 RBIs

AREA TOP TEN
1. South Hills (14-3-1) — Why South Hills No. 1 and not Damien? Even though the Spartans won their only meeting so far, still believe the Huskies’ would be better in a long series.
2. Damien (13-4) – Tied with South Hills for lead in the Sierra. When Grant Hockin’s on the bump, they’re extremely tough to beat.
3. Bonita (15-5) — Hottest team of the moment, winners of nine straight which includes a big non-league victory at Harvard-Westlake.
4. Glendora (13-5) — Split with Upland, but still in first all alone in the Baseline. Coach Dan Henley proving again he’s one of areas best.
5. San Dimas (13-6-1) — Strange 1-0 loss to Wilson is only blemish in the Valle Vista. Looking at remaining VVL games, Saints shouldn’t lose again.
6. Bishop Amat (10-8) — Good teams find ways to win close games. That’s Amat’s problem, seven of its eight losses have been by two runs or less.
7. Diamond Bar (13-7) — Brahmas own a victory over Bonita and only sit a game back of the Bearcats in the standings.
8. Sierra Vista (14-2) — A perfect 8-0 in the Montview and only two losses to Monrovia and rival Baldwin Park.
9. Rosemead (10-6) — A perfect 9-0 in the Mission Valley league and swinging the bat very well. Non-league record isn’t impressive but they do own a win over Monrovia.
10. Charter Oak (9-8) — They beat Damien last week. Even though they’re last in the Sierra, how many area teams that you believe should be No. 10 instead of Charter Oak could do that?

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Above: David Banuelos (No. 18) celebrates with Grant Hockin. Banuelos is chasing an area triple crown while Hockin is 7-1 on the hill for the Spartans.

BASEBALL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Matt Arguello, La Puente, 17-for-32, .531
2. Ryan Viramontes, West Covina, 23-for-46, .500
3. David Banuelos, Damien, 23-for-47, .489
4. Derek Zavala, South El Monte, 17-for-35, .486
5. Eric Hernandez, Sierra Vista, 16-for-33, .485
6. Derrian Torres, Sierra Vista, 15-for-31, .484
7. Kory Brown, Charter Oak, 22-for-47, .468
8. Erick Morales, La Puente, 16-for-35, .457
9. Anthony Cuevas, Los Altos, 23-for-51, .451
10. Michael Guzman, Baldwin Park, 18-for-40, .450
HOME RUNS
4 – David Banuelos, Damien; Francisco Ramirez, South Hills
3 – Nick Hernandez, Charter Oak; Jordan Abernathy, Damien.
RBIS
22 – Alex Gonzalez, Bonita
19 – David Banuelos, Damien
17 – Jordan Abernathy, Damien
16 – Jon Ayala, South Hills; Jonathan Olsen, Damien
ERA
1. Eric Flores, Glendora (0.24)
2. Gavin Velasquez, South Hills (0.72)
3. Peter Lambert, San Dimas (1.00)
4. Alex Garcia, Bishop Amat (1.26)
5. Anthony Deeter, West Covina (1.34)
Win-Loss record
1. Kale Morton, Glendora, 6-0
2. Grant Hockin, Damien, 7-1
3. Gerardo Ramirez, Diamond Bar, 6-1
4. Peter Lambert, San Dimas, 5-1
5. Ryan Mauch, South Hills, 4-0

Note: All stats provided by Maxpreps. If you’re name isn’t on this list and should be, tell your coach to update stats. It’s as simple as that.

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Softball Rankings and Leaders: San Dimas’ Janell Wheaton and South Hills pitcher Natalie Lugo having stellar seasons

AREA TOP TEN
1. South Hills (16-4) — Chino Hills put a whipping on the SH Huskies but that’s nothing to cry about, they’re that good. South Hills is still best of the rest with freshman sensation Natalie Lugo, and I’m sure they can’t wait to get a second shot at Chino Hills when they get them at home next time. But they can’t look ahead, Charter Oak visiting on Wednesday.
2. Bonita (11-4) — Has won six straight, is undefeated in the Hacienda, and probably won’t lose again until the playoffs start. Los Altos and West Covina are formidable challengers, but the Bearcats are simply better.
3. Charter Oak (13-5) — Only lost 3-0 to Chino Hills and beat South Hills in the Charter Oak tournament. But can it beat South Hills again. They will get its first crack in league at South Hills on Wednesday.
4. Bishop Amat (12-7) — Lancers are 5-2 in the improved Del Rey league which boasts four of its five teams with overall winning records. Still, when’s the last time Amat got swept by St. Paul in softball?
5. Glendora (9-7) – Started off the season hot but has fallen to 2-3 in the Baseline and needs to get going if it wants to reach the playoffs.
6. San Dimas (13-7) — The Valle Vista isn’t what it use to be except for the Saints, who are 5-0 and looking like it will run the table.
7. Los Altos (8-5) — Trying to keep pace with Bonita who handed Conqs only loss in the Hacienda. If it keeps winning league games, will get its rematch with a chance to tie for first.
8. Covina (10-6-1) — Only one loss in the Valle Vista and a good bet to finish second behind San Dimas.
9. Diamond Ranch (10-9) — Third at 3-3 in the Hacienda. They’re capable beating better teams, but also loses to teams in shouldn’t.
10. South El Monte (10-4) — Undefeated in the Mission Valley League and probably won’t lose again until the playoffs start.

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Above: Glendora pitcher Cambria Keefer among leaders with an 8-2 record.

SOFTBALL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood, 27-for-45, .600
2. Alex Rodriguez, West Covina, 22-for-37, .595
3. Evelyn Sandoval, Arroyo, 21-for-36, .583
4. Janell Wheaton, San Dimas, 31-for-55, .564
5. Jenna Rodelo, Rowland, 23-for-41, .561
6. Celeste Wood, Los Altos, 15-for-27, .556
7. Ciara Granado, Edgewood, 24-for-44, .545
8. Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, 24-for-44, .545
9. Monet Manning, Northview, 15-for-28, .536
10. Jocelyn Marquez, Northview, 29-for-55, 527
HOME RUNS
8 – Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
7 – Ciara Granado, Edgewood
6 – Ashley Huber, Walnut; Alicia Brown, Glendora; Chloe Melanson, Bonita; Ashley Diaz, South El Monte
RBIS
31 – Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood; Ciara Granado, Edgewood
26 – Janell Wheaton, San Dimas
25 – Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
23 – Ashley Diaz, South El Monte; Anette Mena, Edgewood
ERA
1. Natalie Lugo, South Hills (0.54)
2. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak (0.82)
3. Princess Nava, Covina (1.42)
4. Kaelyn McFadden, Bonita (1.67)
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas (2.20)
Win-Loss
1. Natalie Lugo, South Hills (10-1)
2. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak (8-1)
3. Cambria Keefer, Glendora (8-2)
4. Mia Luques, South El Monte (8-2)
5. Princess Nava, Covina (8-4)

Note: All stats provided by Maxpreps. If you’re name isn’t on this list and should be, tell your coach to update stats. It’s as simple as that.

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The next San Gabriel Valley powerhouse isn’t Damien, Bishop Amat or St. Francis, it’s Maranatha

“It’s almost as if Maranatha has realized what so many schools fail to understand — the best way to build a thriving high school is through athletics. Especially for a private school.” Aram Tolegian

By Aram Tolegian
Pasadena is there for the taking. I know it. You know it. Maranatha High School knows it. And more importantly, the school is doing something about it.

boganPasadena is well known as an athletics hotbed. It’s also no secret that its public school system, especially in terms of athletics, is a bit of a wreck. Coaches are woefully underpaid and the amount of turnover is staggering in terms of coaches and athletes is staggering.

Who better to take advantage of this than Maranatha?

And why not? There’s currently a pipeline of Pasadena football talent extending to the San Fernando Valley and beyond where schools like Alemany, Crespi and Oaks Christian are being bankrolled by our local talent.

What if those kids looking for an alternative to Pasadena public schools decided to stay close to home and pursue their athletic dreams locally? Maranatha, with its growing list of top-notch coaches, is doing whatever it can to make itself look like the top option.

tuckerIt simply can’t be on accident that in the last year Maranatha has hired Mr. Basketball in Pasadena, Tim Tucker, to head its boys hoops program. And now four-time CIF champion Steve Bogan has been brought in to coach the football team. It doesn’t stop there. In the girls basketball program, there’s a marquee name on the coaching staff like Tye’sha Fluker, who starred at Muir before attending Tennessee and playing with four teams in the WNBA. Think she can teach the younger generation a thing or two?

The baseball program has former Temple City standout pitcher Ryan Tucker, who had a brief career recently in Major League Baseball with the Florida Marlins and Texas Rangers, on staff as pitching coach.

Again, none of these things are happening on accident. The collection of coaches being assembled on campus at Maranatha isn’t by mistake. It’s almost as if Maranatha has realized what so many schools fail to understand — the best way to build a thriving high school is through athletics. Especially for a private school.

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Bonita rallies again, sweeps Walnut, 4-2

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By John Honell
Bonita took a huge step towards a sixth consecutive Hacienda League title before moving to the new Palomares league next year with a 4-2 win over Walnut on Thursday afternoon.

The Bearcats (14-5, 5-1) got a two-out, bases-loaded single from sophomore Brandon Bradshaw in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie and complete a two-game sweep of the Mustangs this week.

“It felt great to get that hit,” Bradshaw said. “If you’re going to be put in that position, you’ve gotta want it. To come through like that is big for my team. I do it for my teammates, it’s not for personal accolades. We’re all about each other.”

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The Circus is back in town: Salesian football wins appeal to avoid Catholic League South … For now

The CIF-Southern Section Executive Committee voted 13-3-3 on Wednesday to approve Salesian’s appeal to the 2014-18 Parochial Area Catholic League South football placement, which would have put Salesian in a Pac-5 football league with Loyola, Serra and Bishop Amat. Salesian balked at the idea of essentially moving from Division 10 to Division I and would prefer to play in the Mission League, though rumors persist that it does not want to be in the same league as rival Cathedral, which is currently slated to be in the Mission League. What happens next is that CAA must either propose changes or reaffirm their original plans for final approval or appeal to the CIF-SS on or before April 30. The CAA is set to meet on April 23 to discuss the appeal and map out the next move. The CAA expects to vote on a counter proposal on April 28 that it can send to CIF on April 30 for final approval.

How will it turn out?: Below is what the CAA had approved before Wednesday’s appeal. Question now is what happens to Salesian? My guess is that ultimately, either Cathedral or St. Francis replaces Salesian in the Catholic League South.
caa

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