Did Adam Muema quit football to become a boxer or ultimate fighter? Nobody seems to know for sure

muemaWhere is former Charter Oak running back and area player of the year Adam Muema? Who really knows. After finishing San Diego State, Muema made national headlines for skipping the NFL combine because “God” told him to do it. He also said he would be drafted by the Seattle Seahawks but went undrafted and unsigned over the weekend. So what now? An ESPN story Tuesday quoted Muema saying he is done playing football and plans to try boxing or ultimate fighting. “I don’t like being a slave to money or coaches,” Muema told ESPN. “I prefer an individual sport.” A Sports Illustrated article today reports that Muema denied wanting to become a boxer or ultimate fighter, and that for the last two months, he has tweeted about traveling to Mexico, where Rayel has summoned his followers, the Rayelites, to gather in anticipation of the world ending. Based on his social media posts and brief interview with the San Diego Union Tribune this week, Muema appears to be there now. Whatever happens or whatever he decides to do, let’s hope he’s safe and happy. There are too many strange stories out there about him, and reason for so many close to him to be concerned, especially with this tweet and his insensitive words …

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Nothing like the final day of league action for baseball and softball; we’ve got your league-by-league breakdown

Several league titles and playoff spots will be determined today for baseball and softball and here are a few scenario’s to follow this afternoon. I will be at West Covina softball hosting Los Altos for the wild finish in the Hacienda but I will try and update as many as the scenario’s as I can tonight. Help by tweeting updates to @sgvnsports today so I can share it and follow everything as it happens

hillsrally

BASEBALL
SIERRA LEAGUE

Chino Hills (20-5, 11-3) is in the drivers and can clinch the league title outright with a victory at Damien (16-8, 8-6) today at 3:15. South Hills’ (19-5-1, 10-4) only shot at sharing the league title, which would be its 12th straight, is by winning at Ayala (15-11, 8-6) and hoping Damien beats Chino Hills. There is also a huge race for third. Damien and Ayala are tied, but Ayala owns the tiebreaker because of a 2-1 series edge over Damien. For Damien to guarantee it makes the playoffs, it needs to win and hope Ayala loses. If they finish in a tie for third, Damien must hope it has done enough to earn an at-large berth in D-2.

HACIENDA LEAGUE
Bonita (21-7, 9-2) finishes at home against Diamond Ranch and needs a victory to clinch the title outright. Diamond Bar (17-9, 8-3) has already clinched second but can earn a share of the title with a victory at home against (Walnut (15-11-2, 6-5) coupled with a Bonita loss. West Covina (14-12, 5-6) will host Los Altos (13-14, 5-6) and the winner will finish in a tie for third with Walnut only if Walnut loses to Bonita. Tiebreakers for teams that finish third are head-to-head first, followed by a coin flip.

VALLE VISTA LEAGUE
San Dimas (20-6-1, 10-1) already has clinched the league title. Only thing left to determine is second and third with Northview (16-10, 8-3) tied with Baldwin Park (15-6-1, 8-3). Baldwin Park will host Wilson today while Northview visits Nogales in the final league game for legendary coach John Romano, who is retiring as the Nobles coach after 35 years. If they finish in a tie for third, a coin flip will determine playoff entries.

MISSION VALLEY LEAGUE
Nothing like having the league title decided outright on the final day and that’s what you have with Rosemead (13-8, 12-2) at Arroyo (13-7, 12-2) today at 3:15 for all the marbles.

MONTVIEW LEAGUE
Sierra (19-3, 13-1) is finished and has wrapped up the league title. La Puente (14-6, 10-3) hopes to clinch second outright visiting Gladstone (11-8, 12-5). Azusa (12-6, 9-4) is home against Bassett and can clinch third outright with a win or a tie for second should it win, and Gladstone knock off La Puente.

SOFTBALL
HACIENDA LEAGUE

Talk about coming down to the wire, Bonita (16-6, 9-2), West Covina (16-10, 9-2) and Los Altos (13-6, 9-2) are tied for the league lead on the final day. Bonita is in the drivers seat hosting struggling Diamond Ranch and will clinch a share with a victory. West Covina is hosting Los Altos with the winner at least tying for the title and the loser likely finishing third.

SIERRA LEAGUE
Chino Hills (25-5, 8-1) has clinched its fourth straight league title. Charter Oak (18-7, 6-3) is in second and can finish there with a win over struggling Claremont. South Hills (19-7, 5-4) will host Ayala (16-12, 5-4) today with the winner making the playoffs and losing likely staying home.

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CIF swim finals Thursday through Saturday in Riverside; Glendora aims for D-2 title on Saturday

tartansswim
Above: Glendora celebrates team title in 2011. Can it win again?

There will be no surprises this swimming season.

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and Glendora and La Serna high schools are among the area teams that will try and contend for CIF-Southern Section team titles when the three-day finals begin today at the Riverside City College pool complex.

The Tartans are among the favorites to win Division 2 while the Tologs, in Division 1, and the Lancers, in Division 3, are shooting for top-three finishes. The Division 3 finals are today at 5 p.m., Division 4 on Friday at 5 p.m., Division 2 on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Division 1 on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Nogales baseball legend John Romano to coach his last regular season game Thursday after 35 years at the school

Nogales baseball coach John Romano at Nogales High School in La Puente on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Romano will be retiring after 35 years of coaching. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Nogales baseball coach John Romano at Nogales High School in La Puente on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Romano will be retiring after 35 years of coaching. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)


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


LA PUENTE – The clock for John Romano’s time at Nogales High School is winding down.
The long-time Nobles baseball coach, who built the program nearly from the ground up to one of the area’s best, had said previously that his season would be this last, and that leaves Thursday’s regular season finale at home at 3:15 p.m. vs. Northview and any possible CIF-Southern Section playoff games in the coming weeks before he walks away, which he does so with no regrets.

“It’s bitter sweet,” he said. “It’s the last week. I’m not looking forward to it ending, but everything has to come to an end. My baseball career at Nogales High School will end after the playoffs, and I’m OK with that.
“Will I coach baseball again? I hope so. Will I coach high school baseball again? Possibly, or something else. But it’s been a wonderful journey. I’ve been very fortunate to have very supportive parents, a very lovely wife of 27 years. There’s an outstanding young man for a son, Christopher, who will graduate from Michigan State in 2016. I’ve been very fortunate in that respect, but also I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had some good players over the years, and some unselfish players from Danny Garcia (2006), who was the best player I’ve ever coached, to the bullpen catcher who didn’t get to play more than a couple of innings. They’ve all been unselfish and put the team first.”
But Romano was definitely the pilot for the Green and White ship, guiding it to be one of the top programs in the area. Romano, who was at Yucca Valley before moving to Nogales, comes into today with a record of 620-321-9 record in 34 seasons at Nogales, with an overall mark of 634-333-9. He was inducted into the California Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006.
His resume will feature six league and 11 tournament championships, with 18 of his players drafted by Major League Baseball teams and 29 receiving four-year university scholarships. He also had three players play in the Mexican Leagues.
romanoringFor most in the area, Romano is Nogales baseball. But he said he did not do it alone. He credited his coaching tree, which includes former assistant Tim Ward, now Chaffey Union High School assistant superintendent; Chis Conlin, baseball coach at Irvine University; former Ventura coach Paul Togneri, who was Romano’s first star player, and Don Montanez, his assistant the past 29 seasons. All, among others, played a big part in what Romano has accomplished at Nogales.
“In 37 years, I’ve built a lot of relationships,” Romano said. “Those relationships were during good times, during bad times. But they were all positive, whether with the players or coaches. What people need to understand is that John Romano as he sits here today would not have been as successful if Don Montanez hadn’t been an assistant coach for 29 years. Don’s desire to be here 29 years allowed me to have two head coaches, and hopefully Don will be the next head coach here.”
Romano said another key person behind the scene in his success has been athletic director Bruce Alley.
romanobanner“I can’t say enough about Alley as our athletic director,” he said. “Before Alley, we had no batting cages. He knew baseball was important for this community and he made it important at the school. Before him, Nogales was a football, a basketball school.”
Romano also coached three high school All-Americans — Cecil Fielder (1981), who later became a Major League star for the Detroit Tigers; Mate’ Borgogno (1987) and Danny Garcia (2005, 2006) — and one Olympian — Bert Reyes, who played for the Mexican National team at the 1992 Olympics.
Romano said Andrew Melchor (2009) was his best pitcher, with Garcia his best player, even over Fielder.
“Cecil and me are going to be tagged at the hip for the rest of our lives,” Romano said. “Cecil is a great human being who has opened up many doors for me in my life. That relationship is a special relationship between me and him. I hope he reads this down in Atlanta, but Danny Garcia is the best player I’ve ever coached.
“There were three high school All-Amecians. Cecil was the first, Mate’ Borgogno in 1987 and Danny was the third.”
Now Romano will wait for the end to come, whether it be Thursday against Northview, or in the CIF-SS playoffs, which begin next week. Either way, he’s ready to end this part of his life.
“It’s been great,” he said. “I can’t thank people enough.”

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La Serna’s “Frankie Football” returns for first time since “The Pass” at Friday’s Hall of Fame All-Star football game

WHAT: 35th Annual Hall of Fame All-Star Senior Football game
WHERE: West Covina High School
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
WHO: East vs. West (Rosters posted by clicking the thread)
palmerBy Aram Tolegian
The last time local fans saw Frankie Palmer on a football field, he was throwing the biggest pass in La Serna High School history.

That was early December and the memories still burn bright. Palmer connected with Matthew Rosales on a 19-yard touchdown pass on fourth down in double overtime to beat Norwalk, 41-38, and win the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division championship.

Talk about a dream ending to a stellar career. On Friday night, Palmer will be back in game uniform for the first time since “The Pass” when he leads the East team in the 35th Hall of Fame All-Star game. Kickoff is 7 p.m. on Friday at West Covina High.

“I talk about that play with Matt Rosales all the time,” Palmer said while thinking back to the pass that made him a local legend. “It couldn’t have gone any worse throughout the game to make it any better of an ending. If I decide not to play in college, I would be totally happy with the way my career ended.”

And that’s the conundrum for Palmer as he prepares for Friday’s game. Like many of his teammates, this might be his last game. Some will go on to play high-level college football. Others will try to extend their playing days at a community college. For many, Friday is it and Palmer doesn’t know what his future holds.

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Baseball: South Hills’ loss to Ayala could snap Huskies’ bid for a 12th straight league title

South Hills has won or shared 11 straight league titles, but getting its 12th straight is in jeopardy under first-year coach Dareen Murphy after a surprising 8-3 loss to fourth-place Ayala Tuesday. South Hills drops to 19-5-4 and 10-4 in league to fall a full game behind Chino Hills (20-5, 11-3) with the final games on Thursday. For the Huskies to clinch a tie and keep the streak going, it must win at Ayala and hope Damien wins at home against Chino Hills.

lasorda
Above: Tommy Lasorda was at Tuesday’s Chino Hills-Damien game.

Chino Hills earn share of crown: You couldn’t have asked for a better pitching matchup in a big game Tuesday.
Chino Hills had its ace, Baily Falter, on the mound. Damien answered with Grant Hockin, who has signed with UCLA but probably will be selected in the top three rounds of the next first-year player draft.
The game lived up to its billing as Jake Taylor lined a bases-loaded single with one out in the bottom of the eighth to give the Huskies a 3-2 victory. The win, coupled with Ayala’s 8-3 upset of South Hills, gave Chino Hills at least a share of the Sierra League title with one game left.
“It was like a heavyweight fight,” Chino Hills coach Kyle Billingsley said. “Both teams had their top guy out there. We were really trying to stay with them and maybe get to their bullpen.”

Ayala 8, South hills 3 – The Bulldogs put a major dent in South Hills chances at a Sierra League Title and moved into a tie for third place in league. Jordan Abernathy held the Huskies to just one run over five innings for his second win of the season and struck out four. Ayala scored five runs on three errors in the second inning and handed Ryan Mauch his first loss in seven decisions. Matt Acosta went 3 for 4 with a double and run for Ayala and Tim Turpen went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. John Ayala led South Hills with three hits and an RBI and Corey Cadek went 2 for 3 with a run. South Hills (19-5-1, 10-4) dropped a game out of first place in league with one game left in the regular season.

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Of the Tribune area teams, who has the best chance of winning a CIF-SS baseball title? Glendora, San Dimas, Bishop Amat


I was looking at the final baseball polls before Monday’s pairings and believe one of the Tribune area teams will win this thing. Which one? That’s what we’re discussing here. I love Glendora and South Hills’ chances in Division 2, even though it’s a ridiculously tough division with no gimmies in any round. But they both have pitching and are built for tournaments. If I had to pick one, I would go with Glendora having the best shot at the D-2 crown. Pitcher Kale Morton (9-0) is undefeated and I like undefeated. In Division 3 Bonita is No. 2 with Bishop Amat just off the board. Not ranked are teams like Diamond Bar and Walnut. For what it’s worth, because of who Amat’s played and played tough and what’s it’s done in the last couple weeks, I like their chances to go the furthest. Can they win it all? Possibly, but what I agarciahope to get out of Division 3 is a Bonita-Amat matchup along the way. Nothing like settling it on the field and I’ve been waiting for a Bonita-Bishop Amat playoff match-up forever. San Dimas in Division 4 is your best bet to win a CIF title. Why? Because of the division. San Dimas can play with all the area heavyweights, but put them in D-4 and you’ve got the best legitimate title possibility. Don’t count out Northview either, they’re a sleeper. Sierra Vista is ranked eighth in Division 5 but if history means anything, they never do much with it. They’re built for the Montview, that’s about it. La Verne Lutheran could be a sleeper in Division 6. They’ve come out of nowhere and some have tweeted and blogged that they’re really legit. If Lutheran is all that, they’re in a division to win it. Those are my choices, who you got?

cifpoll

I love Glendora’s chances because of this dude …

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Hacienda League softball crown to be decided on Thursday between Bonita, West Covina and Los Altos

bulldogsBonita 18, Rowland 0 -- Chloe Melanson hit a grand slam and two-run home run to lift the Bearcats to a Hacienda League win over the Raiders (1-23, 0-12). The win kept the Bearcats in three-way tie for first place. Megan Krupa pitched a four-hit shutout for Bonita (16-6, 9-2). Veronica Ortega also hit a home run, Alyssa Garcia doubled and Emily Paredez went 4 for 4.
West Covina 7, Diamond Bar 2 – The Bulldogs (16-10, 9-2) took care of business against Diamond Bar (12-12, 5-6) and remained in a three-way tie for first place in the Hacienda League.
Los Altos 13, Diamond Ranch 2 –Los Altos (13-6, 9-2) earned a Hacienda League victory over Diamond Ranch (12-13, 5-6) and part of a three-team logjam in first place. All three teams will play their regular-season finales on Thursday. Los Altos and West Covina play each other and Bonita is at Walnut.

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Breaking News: Rowland boys basketball coach Gordon Hamlow going to San Dimas

“I completely support and understand Gordon’s decision to leave Rowland High School after thirteen years. He wrestled with this decision for the past few weeks and feels the timing was right for him and his family to make this move. We will fill his head coaching position, but we will not be able to fill all Gordon has meant to us. He completely immersed himself in everything Rowland had to offer and we are all better because of our relationships with Gordon. I am really happy for him. San Dimas is getting an absolute gem. I wish him the very best. They don’t get any better than Gordon Hamlow.”Rowland athletic director Ralph Harris.

hamlowBy Fred J. Robledo
San Dimas High School wrestled away one of the areas most respected and successful boys basketball coaches on Tuesday.
Gordon Hamlow, who won five league championships and was second five times in 13 years at Rowland since becoming head coach in 2001, is leaving to become the boys basketball coach and teacher at San Dimas.
Hamlow lives in San Dimas and replaces Bruce Robbins, who was not asked back after finishing 12-14 and third in the Valle Vista League.
Hamlow said the opportunity was too intriguing to pass up. His daughter Brianna Hamlow is graduating from San Dimas and he has a sixth-grade son who will be there in a few years.
“I have friends that asked if I would be interested which got me thinking about it,” Hamlow said. “I just thought the timing was right. I love Rowland and my time here has been great, but going to San Dimas gives me the opportunity to do a lot more with the family and to be at more youth games.”
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Softball: Arroyo beats South El Monte to pull even in Mission Valley League race


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
SOUTH EL MONTE –
The race for the Mission Valley League softball title is fit to be tied.
Shynia Torrez had two hits and scored a run and Danielle Dominguez and Dominica Mendoza were steady in the circle as Arroyo High School moved into a share of first place with a 4-2 victory over host South El Monte on Tuesday.
The Knights, also getting RBIs from Briana Mata and Rebecca Barber, improved to 18-4 overall and 12-2 in league play.
Ashley Diaz hit two home runs for South El Monte, which slipped to 14-6 and 12-2.
The teams will likely share the league title, with Arroyo being the league’s top representative for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs by virtue of winning the season series. Both are expected to win their season finale on Thursday. Arroyo hosts last-place Rosemead, with South El Monte at home against third-place Gabrielino.
Arroyo took advantage of four South El Monte errors to build a 4-1 lead by the fourth inning.
The Knights, after Diaz hit the first of her home runs in the first to tie it at 1, took a 2-1 lead in the second on a walk to Kassy Avila, a sacrifice, a single by Torrez and a hit-batter to Evelyn Sandoval.
Arroyo pushed it to 4-1 in the fourth, scoring two runs on three South El Monte errors, including an errant pick-off throw that allowed Torrez to score from second to make it 3-1. Cynthia McKeehan, who reached on an error, scored on fielding error to make it 4-1.
Arroyo’s Shynia Torrez: “I’m really happy that we won. We really battled it out really well. I don’t think we made any errors. We put the ball in play and made them make the mistake. We were a little nervous in the first inning, but once we started hitting, we stayed focused.”

South El Monte coach Dean Bunting: “It was pretty even. But the difference in the game was we made mistakes and allowed their runners to score. Defensively, they were tight, they made some great plays.”

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Baseball Rankings and Leaders: Glendora takes over top spot

glendora
TRIBUNE BASEBALL TOP TEN
1. Glendora (18-6) — Glendora ran away with the Baseline league and all in all, they deserve the final jump to No. 1 in the Valley.
2. South Hills (19-4-1) — Earned split with Damien that will likely pave the way for at least a part of the Sierra League title which they could earn outright as well.
3. San Dimas (19-6-1) — Coach Mike Regan continues to do a good job year after year, but the Valle Vista isn’t what it was two or three years ago.
4. Bonita (20-7) — Should close out the Hacienda with a pair of easy wins against Diamond Ranch to finish the season.
5. Damien (16-7) – Two huge games with Chino Hills to close out. They can finish second with a sweep or possibly fall out of the playoffs by getting swept.
6. Bishop Amat (15-11) — Lancers suddenly in a three-way tie for first in the Del Rey. They’re getting hot and just the right time.
7. Sierra Vista (17-3) — A 6-5 loss to Azusa spoiled the Dons’ undefeated bid in the Montview.
8. Diamond Bar (16-9) — Will battle Walnut over two games for second place in the Hacienda.
9. Walnut (15-10-2) — With two super sophomore pitchers, the best is yet to come.
10. Northview (15-10) — Tied for Baldwin Park for second in the Valle Vista.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING (Minimum 40 at bats)

1. Mark Gonzalez, Pomona, 26-for-50, .520
2. Ryan Viramontes, West Covina, 36-for-71, .507
3. Erik Gutierrez, Sierra Vista, 25-for-54, .463
4. Johnny Alvarez, El Monte, 26-for-57, 456
5. Armani Garcia, Rosemead, 30-for-66, .455
6. Erik Hernandez, Sierra Vista, 28-for-62, .452
7. Derrian Torres, Sierra Vista, 27-for-61, .443
8. David Banuelos, Damien, 29-for-66, .439
9. Sergio Robles, Bishop Amat, 18-for-42, .429
10. Justin Gomez, Bonita, 25-for-59, .424
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
27 – Alex Gonzalez, Bonita
22 – Michael Palos, Bishop Amat; Jonathan Olsen, Damien; Christian Novelo, Sierra Vista
21 — Jesse Mirales, Los Altos; David Banuelos
ERA
1. Daniel Milwee, San Dimas, 0.38
2. Peter Lambert, San Dimas, 0.67
3. Gavin Velasquez, South Hills, 0.71
4. Nick Johnson, Bonita, 0.80
5. Eric Flores, Glendora, 0.90
WINS
1. Kale Morton, Glendora, 9-0
2. Peter Lambert, San Dimas, 9-1
3. Grant Hockin, Damien, 9-2
4t. Gavin Velasquez, South Hills, 8-1
4t. Erik Gutierrez, Sierra Vista, 8-1

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Softball Rankings and Leaders: Charter Oak stays No. 1; South Hills fighting for playoff life

Bonita players congratulate Chloe Melanson after her two-run home run helped the Bearcats to a 6-3 win over West Covina. (Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)

Bonita players congratulate Chloe Melanson after her two-run home run helped the Bearcats to a 6-3 win over West Covina.
(Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)


TRIBUNE SOFTBALL TOP TEN
1. Charter Oak (17-7)
— Tied for second with Ayala in the Sierra and only a game ahead of South Hills. Should be a wild finish this week for the second and third playoff spots. A very good team won’t get in.
2. South Hills (18-7) — How good is the Sierra League? If the playoffs ended today, our second best team would miss the playoffs.
3. Bishop Amat (15-9) — Lancers went 0-3 against St. Paul. They will still finish second in the Del Rey, but getting swept by the Swords stings.
4. Bonita (15-6) — In a three-way tie for the Hacienda with two to go. Bearcats have best chance of finishing in at least a tie for the title.
5. San Dimas (19-7) — Finished sweep of Covina to go undefeated in the Valle Vista league.
6. West Covina (15-10) — The Bulldogs looked out of it a month ago but can finish in at least a tie for first in the Hacienda with two wins to close the season, including the big finale vs. Los Altos.
7. Los Altos (12-6) — An 8-5 loss to Diamond Bar dropped it into a three-way tie for first with West Covina and Bonita with the finale at West Covina on Thursday.
8. Glendora (11-13) – Don’t care what the record is, everyone knows the Tartans are a top ten team. Maybe that says something about area softball this season.
9. Covina (16-7) — Colts gets swept by San Dimas but still finish second in the Valle Vista.
10. Sierra Vista (15-4-2) — Totally dominated the easy Montview league.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING (Min 40 at bats)

1. Janell Wheaton, San Dimas, 52-for-84, .619
2. Celeste Wood, Los Altos, 23-for-41, .561
3. Alex Rodriguez, West Covina, 39-for-70, .557
4. Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, 35-for-63, .556
5. Jenna Rodelo, Rowland, 32-for-58, .552
6. Ciara Granadao, Edgewood, 33-for-66, .545
7. Arian Gutierrez, El Monte, 25-for-46, .543
8. Jocelyn Marquez, Northview, 32-for-59, .542
9. Mia Luques, South El Monte, 32-for-62, .532
10. Jada Richards, Duarte, 26-for-49, .531
HOME RUNS
12 – Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
9 – Chloe Melanson, Bonita
8 – Alicia Brown, Glendora; Ciara Granado, Edgewood; Ashley Diaz, South El Monte 8
RBIS
40 – Janell Wheaton, San Dimas
36 – Isabella Sierra, Covina
35 – Ciara Granado, Edgewood; Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
34 – Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood
ERA
1. Princess Nava, Covina, 1.05
2. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 1.15
3. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 1.28
4. Kaelyn McFadden, Bonita, 1.39
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 1.43
WINS
1T. Princess Nava, Covina, 12-4
1T. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 12-4
3. Maddy Tickey, West Covina, 11-3
4. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 10-2
5. Mia Luques, South El Monte, 10-3

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Softball: San Dimas sweeps Covina to win Valle Vista title; St. Paul sweeps Bishop Amat for Del Rey crown

SAN DIMAS SOFTBALL WINS VALLE VISTA: A dominating one-hit performance in the circle by Lindsey Hughes, with first place on the line, led San Dimas to its sixth consecutive Valle Vista League softball championship with an 8-0 win over Covina on Monday.
“I just wanted to beat them,” Hughes said. “I was nervous at the start but, because I know their coach (Mark LeVier), I had this big desire to win. I do want to thank him though because he helped make me the player I am today.”
Freshman Brook Jackson drilled a two-out home run to right-center field in the bottom of the third inning to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
“I was expecting the pitch to be outside,” Jackson said. “I was able to move it to right center. This is an amazing feeling (to win the league title) because I’ve never experienced it before.”

BISHOP AMAT SOFTBALL FALLS SHORT: The St. Paul High softball team still has to win one of its two remaining Del Rey League games to claim the outright title, but Monday’s 10-7 triumph over rival Bishop Amat clinched at least a share of the crown and assured the Swordsmen the league’s No. 1 seed for the upcoming playoffs.
Behind the bats of seniors Lovie Lopez, Krystal Gutierrez and Dani Munoz, St. Paul improved to 9-1 in Del Rey play and completed a three-game sweep of the Lancers at York Park. Lopez led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run and finished with two RBIs, Gutierrez had three hits — including an even deeper shot than Lopez’s in the first — and Munoz had three hits and two runs.

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Former Charter Oak standout Keith Smith invited to Dallas Cowboys rookie camp; Adam Muema goes undrafted, unsigned

smithLinebacker Keith Smith, who starred at Charter Oak and won back-to-back CIF-SS titles before moving on to San Jose State, was signed by the Dallas Cowboys over the weekend as an undrafted free agent. Smith was not drafted but is part of 23 undrafted free agents that will join the Cowboyos nine draft selections for their rookie mini camp. Former Tribune player of the year and San Diego State Aztec Adam Muema, who made headlines for skipping the NFL draft because God told him to do it, even proclaiming that he would be drafted by Super Bowl champion Seattle, went undrafted and unsigned through Monday. It’s probably not a huge surprise, Muema tweeted in March that he was was retiring and his football career is over. That was probably enough to scare NFL organizations away for good. Also, former Glendora fullback Chad Young, who played at San Diego State, was signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets

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Rosters set for San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame Senior All-Star Football game next Friday at West Covina

The San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame Senior all-star game is set for next Friday, May 16 at West Covina High School at 7 p.m. The teams are practicing and the rosters have been released.

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EAST ROSTER
COACH:
Aaron Jamieson, Pomona
EAST1
east2

WEST ROSTER
COACH
: Mike Hobbie
west 1
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Who has a better chance of helping your get a football scholarship, your travel or 7v7 coach or high school football coach?

footsignees
For the past couple of decades, high school football has largely been shielded from the damaging effects of “club” or “travel” teams that have plagued other sports and rendered playing for the hometown team nearly meaningless.

There was an intrinsic protective layer that football had unlike other sports, because there’s simply no way to mimic the actual game without throwing on pads and helmets and lining up 11 guys to go against 11 other guys.

Until now, that is.

No, nobody is playing full-contact football games in spring. Yes, the best way for college coaches to evaluate players still remains watching their game films from fall. But things are definitely changing.

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Walnut’s Kayla Richardson dominates Hacienda League track finals in muscle events with blitzing times in the 100 and 200 meters

PHOTOS FROM THE HACIENDA LEAGUE TRACK AND FIELD FINALS
RICHARDSON
HACIENDA LEAGUE FINALS: Walnut’s boys and girls track teams dominated the dual meet season by going undefeated in the Hacienda League and continued its dominance at the Hacienda League finals at Walnut Thursday.
Walnut sophomore Kayla Richardson is a big reason why, and she figures to contend for medals in the following weeks during the CIF-Southern Section Divisional finals followed by Masters and State.
Richardson set a personal best in the 100 and 200-meters, winning the 100 in 11.89, which is the sixth-fastest mark in the state this season.
Richardson easily won the 200-meter title in 24.19, which is the third fastest time in the state.
Richardson gathered four first-place medals as also part of Walnut’s winning 400 and 1,600-meter relay teams. The Mustangs set a meet record in the 1,600 relay in 4:03.14.
Safe to say, she’s just warming up.
“Compared to last year my times aren’t as good,” Richardson said. “But there’s a plan to peak at the right time so I’m pretty satisfied with where I am right now and I’m glad that I’m healthy.”
The Walnut girls compete in Division 1 along with nationally-ranked Long Beach Poly, but if it were in any other division, the Mustangs would likely have a shot a team title. As it is, Walnut could be a top three finisher in Division 1.

SIERRA LEAGUE FINALS: Thaddeus Smith of Damien was just itching to get his chance at a Sierra League track championship after hip-flexor issues sidelined him for the previous two years.
He made up for lost time.
Smith, a junior, won both the 100 (10.92) and 200 meters (22.11) in the league finals Thursday, headlining a long list of solid performances.


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Tim Godley replaces Greg Eckler as head boys basketball coach at Bonita

Bonita has named Tim Godley as its new boys basketball coach, officially replacing the popular Greg Eckler, who resigned during the league season following a halftime incident in the locker-room after two basketball players were allegedly ask to wrestle.
Godley most recently coached in high school at Maranatha from 2008-13, boasting five straight winning seasons and three straight 20-win seasons his final three years before becoming an assistant at the Masters College this past season. Godley played nearby at APU.
“Tim’s experience and record of success made him an attractive candidate for the head coach position at Bonita,” athletic director Darren Baumunk wrote. “Tim has coached successfully in a variety of settings and we believe this will help him to make a quick transition to the Bonita family. We are very excited to start a new chapter for Bonita Basketball while continuing our tradition of excellent coaching and outstanding classroom teaching.”

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Damien rallies back to stay in Sierra League title hunt with 6-3 victory over South Hills in eight innings

By Fred J. Robledo
WEST COVINA
— Damien kept its Sierra League title hopes alive with a clutch 6-3 victory over South Hills in eight innings after nearly blowing it in the seventh.
Damien’s Andrew Garcia saved the day, belting a one-out double in the eighth to score Jonathan Olsen and Grant Hockin to break a 3-3 tie, and the Spartans tacked on another run for breathing room.
“I was just trying to put the bat on the ball,” Garcia said. “I saw a curve ball first pitch and I took it. The second pitch he (South Hills pitcher Gavin Velasquez) hung it again and I sent it to left field. It’s a big win for us.”
Damien (16-6, 8-4) moved to within a game of league-leading South Hills (18-4-1, 9-3), who is now tied for first with Chino Hills (18-5, 9-3) with three games to go.
Damien will host South Hills again Friday with a chance to drawn even, then finishes the season next week with a pair of games against Chino Hills.
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San Gabriel Valley High School Baseball Underclassman and Senior game set for June 8-9 … Coaches need to nominate players

4-22-09-7 MUSTANGS9The San Gabriel Valley All-Star Baseball game has turned into a two-day event that begins with the SGV underclassman all-star game on Sunday, June 8 at Alhambra High School followed by the SGV senior all-star game, which returns to Mt. San Antonio College on Monday, June 9. Former South Hills coach and current Mt. SAC coach Kevin Smith along with Nogales’ John Romano, who is retiring after nearly four decades at the school, will be inducted into the Hall of Honor during the senior game.
For the senior game, Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke and West Covina’s Drew Lorenger will coach the teams. Walnut coach Paul Acosta and Schurr’s Houston Hernandez will coach the underclassman game.

Coaches interested in nominating players for both games need to get in touch with event coordinator Don Montanez (Nogales assistant) at 626-965-3437 ext. 3711 or emailing Don. dmontanez@rowland.k12.ca.us
To view the nomination forms for both games, click the thread.

JOHNNY LEGEND RETIRING: Nogales coach John Romano, who started at the school in 1979, will coach his last regular season game at home against Northview on Thursday, May 15. Recently the school gave Romano a 600-win ring and raised a banner in the gym noting his lifetime accomplishments at the school.

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SENIOR GAME
When: Monday, June 9
Where: Mt. SAC, 7 p.m.
UNDERCLASSMAN GAME
When, Sunday, June 8
Where: Alhambra High School, 2 p.m.

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Is “Body by Tra” a concern or will it become the norm for next-level athletes?

Three-time Tribune player of the year Nikki Wheatley of Bonita, Bishop Amat receiver Tyler Vaughns and Bonita running back Jake Payton are just a few area athletes who have trained with “Body By Tra.” Is this a concern and why do no area coaches want to speak on the record about it?

“I like to say we’re the best-kept secret. People find out about us by word of mouth. All these top-level athletes have been in our programs for years. The kids sell us and the parents sell us more than we sell ourselves.” – Traison Lewis.

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By Aram Tolegian
Depending on who you ask, opinions vary about Traison Lewis.

To prep athletes and their parents, there’s arguably no offseason coach/trainer more popular. Among local high school football coaches, however, the consensus is he’s part of a problem that’s only getting bigger.

What nobody can deny, though, is Lewis and his brand “Body By Tra” have become a serious power player on the local prep football scene. And it’s only getting more powerful.

“Power player? I mean, I don’t know,” Lewis said. “I don’t consider myself that. If there’s one thing you’ll notice about me and our program it’s that we’re very humble and we just like to let the kids and parents evaluate us and see what we do.

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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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Kale Morton pitches Glendora to Baseline League title


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
RANCHO CUCAMONGA —
The Baseline League baseball title belongs to Glendora High School.
Kale Morton tossed a four-hitter and struck out 11 and the Tartans clinched their third league title in four seasons with a 3-1 victory over host Los Osos on Tuesday.
DJ Peters and Justin Cage each had RBIs for Glendora, which improved to 18-5 overall and 11-1 in league play. The Tartans, ranked No. 4 in CIF-Southern Section Division 2 this week, holds a four-game advantage with three to play. Los Osos, which got an RBI single from D.J. Porter, slipped to 9-12 and 4-7.
Glendora, after being held hitless during the first three innings took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Griffen Herrera led off with a single and scored on a triple to right-center field by Peters. Cage followed with a single for a 2-0 advantage.
Glendora’s Kale Morton: “It feels good, because last year (Los Osos) beat us on our home field to win the league. It feels good to come here and get the win.”

Glendora coach Dan Henley: “This means its an outright league championship and the last time we’ll be in this league, which is a quality league, so we’re really happy to be in this position. Kale Morton has been great all season and he came through again today.”

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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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