Check it out as Maxpreps’ preseason high school football rankings counts down to No. 1. Bishop Amat, which is expected to compete for a CIF-SS Pac-5 Division title, is profiled at No. 24.
ALL AREA GIRLS SWIMMING
Swimmer of the year
Catherine Sanchez, Glendora, Junior
Sanchez was the anchor on a Tartans team that won the Palomares league title and finished second at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 swim finals.
Sanchez earned team MVP honors and was the Tartans’ highest point earner in the Division 2 finals by competing in four events.
Sanchez’s best performance came in the 100 butterfly, just missing out on a title by finishing second in 54.56. Earlier in the day, Sanchez had earned a third-place medal in the 200 freestyle with a quick race in 1:50.04.
Sanchez picked up two more medals in relays. She was part of Glendora’s second-place team in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:36.92, and on the Tartans’ third-place team in the 400 freestyle relay that finished in 3:31.43.
For her efforts, Sanchez has been selected the San Gabriel Valley Tribune girls swimmer of the year.
“She has always been dedicated, hard working and motivated, both in swim and academics,” Glendora coach Janet Mobley-Pollard said. “She has always been fast too, so it’s nice to see her hard working paying off.”
Sanchez’s big day the Division 2 finals was the result of a solid year all the way around, and for an individual sport, she made sacrifices that benefited the team.
“She’s a team player,” Mobley-Pollard said., “She was willing to swim wherever I needed her to score points for the team, even though some of those events weren’t necessarily her best events. She’s a leader.”
Coach of the year
Janet Mobley-Pollard, Glendora
The area’s winningest active swim coach led the Palomares league girls swimming champions to a second-place finish at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 finals, earning Mobley-Pollard her fifth Tribune girls coach of the year award.
Mobley-Pollard was hoping to lead the Tartans to back-to-back championships having won the Division 2 title last year while also earning Division 2 and area coach of the year honors. But her teams always at or near the top and that was true in 2015.
Crean Lutheran won the Division 2 title with 319.50 points with Glendora in second with 296 points.
“I am very proud of these girls,” Mobley-Pollard said. “Their success this year in winning both of the Mt. SAC invitationals as well as another league championship was very exciting. A second place finish at CIF was nothing to be disappointed about. Coming within just 20- points behind Crean Lutheran was quite an accomplishment.”
Mobley-Pollard has been on an impressive run during her tenure. She’s been part of 16 league championships, two CIF titles (2011, 2012) and three runner-ups (2005, 2010, 2015).
Needless to say, expect more of the same from the Tartans’ team next season.
“We will have a strong team returning,” Mobley-Pollard said. “None of our (top) point earner will be graduating and the girls are more determined than ever to return next year to take on the challenge for a CIF title.
BOYS SWIMMING ALL-AREA
Swimmer of the year
Michael Wang, Rowland, Senior
Wang finished his senior year in style, setting a CIF-Southern Section Division 4 record in the 100 freestyle with a lighting time of 45.58 in the finals race. He nearly doubled, finishing second in the 200 freestyle in 1:40.77.
In the inaugural CIF-State championships in Clovis, Wang finished fifth in the 100 free, and has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys swimmer of the year
“Michael is an incredibly hard working athlete who has inspired his teammates and coaches,” Rowland coach Mike Cody said. “He is extremely coachable and focused on achieving his goals. Michael set some ambitious goals this season and achieved most of them.”
In 2014, Wang set the Division 4 meet record in the 50 free (20.95), so he will graduate with two records in the speed events.
Wang leaves with six Valle Vista league records on his resume.
In the league finals, Wang set league records in the 200 individual medley (1:53.1) and the 100 backstroke (51.96). He led off both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and got records in each (21.10 in the 50 and 45.73 in the 100).
Wang earned a full swimming scholarship to the University of Santa Barbara.
“Michael has the necessary skills and determination to excel at the next level both academically and athletically,” Cody said. “Michael will do very well competing for UC Santa Barbara and will have an immediate impact on their program.”
Coach of the year
Mike Cody, Rowland
The Rowland High School boys swimming team won the Valle Vista League title and finished fourth at the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 final to help Cody earn Tribune boys coach of the year honors, but the work needed to earn this accomplishment was a long process.
In his 10th year at Rowland, it was Cody’s first league title. The Raiders’ last league championship came when Cody was an assistant in 2003 helping the girls win the San Antonio League title.
“Earning coach of the year is a culminating accolade that I feel not only recognizes this years successful season, but also recognizes the incredible amount of hard work and hours our student-athletes have put into their training the last few years to achieve that success,” Cody said.
What helped turn things around was Rowland finally getting its own aquatics center.
“For me personally, this was a memorable and fun-filled season for our program with so many exciting accomplishments,” Cody said. “In addition, we were able to enjoy training and competing in our brand new aquatic center after spending several years without a pool. This was a bittersweet year for our program.”
By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WALNUT — The talent gap in the Valley was razor thin this season, so it made sense the inaugural SGV Tribune Senior All-Star baseball game ended in a tie.
Chino Hills’ Justin Bardwell had a RBI single in the ninth as the SGV MVPs tied the SGV Stars at 4 at Mt. San Antonio College.
Bonita’s Danny Gelalich had two hits and West Covina’s Alex Carrillo had two RBIs for the Stars.
Pasadena’s Frank Garriola led off the ninth with a single. He advanced to second on a wild-pitch before Bardwell singled with two outs to tie the score.
Both teams where held scoreless in the 10th.
Garriola and Bardwell had two hits each for the MVPs.
The Stars, who had just one hit through the first four innings, led 4-2 after six innings. They rallied for a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
The Stars strung together four consecutive hits in the inning. South Hills’ Gabe Chavez and Gelalich, who will attend Brigham Young, had singles before a two-run double by Carrillo tied it at 2.
Bonita’s Justin Gomez followed with a RBI single to make it 3-2.
Charter Oak’s Oscar Osorio had a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 4-2.
The MVPs cut it to 4-3 in the seventh on singles by Arcadia’s Matt Jung and Damien’s Andrew Garcia and a sacrifice fly by San Dimas’ Logan Muratala.
The MVPs took a 2-0 lead in the first. Garriola had a lead-off single before Chino Hills’ Chris Ceballos and Damien’s Grant Woodward had RBI doubles.
Northview’s Manny Armendariz was solid on the mound, striking out four in two innings.
The Stars had a shot to extend their lead in the seventh. Carrillo walked and Bishop Amat’s Aaron McCann doubled with one out. But Armendariz finished the inning with back-to-back strike outs.
In the underclassmen game, the SGV Elites beat the SGV Bests, 8-1.
West Covina’s Andrew Sanchez had a two-run double to lead the Elites.
Bassett’s Frankie Villanueva had a triple and Bishop Amat’s Jayson Gonzalez had a RBI single for the Bests’ only run.
I’m asking this question, first, because there’s a lot of chatter and buzz over the most tradition-rich sports school in the San Gabriel Valley, and second, there has been some recent turnover with coaches at key positions. One of the questions I’m constantly getting whether on Twitter, on the blog or from parents when I’m covering games is the feeling that the focus on sports at the school isn’t what it once was. Now, football, that’s a different story. Coach Steve Hagerty’s 2015 team could be the best since Amat won it’s last championship in 1995, 20 years ago. But is Bishop Amat starting to take steps back everywhere else and why is that?