Steve Ramirez is asking if San Marino has taken Northview’s spot as best wrestling team in the SGV

cryingBy Steve Ramirez
Northview High School has fielded arguably the top wrestling program in the area for much of the past two decades.
But after the first month of the season, there appears to be a new bully on the block.
San Marino, after a few years of being one of the better up-and-coming programs, looks to be having a break-out season that could result in CIF-Southern Section and State glory. The Titans appear to be that good.
San Marino’s source of optimism is five competitors, who are ranked in the top 10 in the state in their respective weight classes. The group is led by 132-pound junior Julian Flores, who after earning a top-eight state medal each of the past two seasons, is ranked No. 2 in the state by He finished sixth at last month’s Walsh Ironman in Ohio.

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Diamond Ranch football coach Mario Gomez fired after lone 6-4 season

Roddy Layton, who led Diamond Ranch to two CIF-SS football finals as a head football coach, resigned after the 2013 season and became the school’s athletic director. Mario Gomez was hired to succeed season Layton, but after one season and a 6-4 overall record, Layton already has pulled the plug, firing Gomez, “to go in another direction,” according to Layton. Reporter Michelle Gardner has more, but apparently Gomez, who will remain a Spanish teacher at the school, was not happy with the decision. “It’s tough because I bleed black and blue,” Gomez said. “I was really looking forward to my first full season where I can implement on offseason plan. But that’s the decision they made and I have to live with it.” So, who will Layton look to take over the program in 2015?

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Boys Basketball Rankings: Damien leads impressive group after the tournament season

Boys Basketball Top Ten Rankings
1. Damien (12-2) - Jeremy Hemsley on a mission his senior year averaging 20 points a game. But it gets tougher now that the Baseline is about to start.
2. Glendora (13-2) – Normally the Tartans would start getting ready for annual beat downs in the Baseline. But now they’re favorites in the new Palomares. That ought to be fun.
3. Bonita (11-2) — One of the biggest surprises is that the Bearcats are playing so well having won the La Canada tournament.
4. Los Altos (9-3) — Impressive run to close out 2014 by beating Walnut 55-52 to capture the Covina Christmas tournament.
5. Wilson (13-2) – Looked great in the Whittier Holiday tournament, beating Whittier 55-50 in the championship game.
6. Walnut (10-5) - Impressive wins over Upland, Keppel and win over Bonita in the Covina tournament semifinals.
7. Bishop Amat (11-3) — Who would have thought the Lancers’ boys, not the girls, would be the team to watch in 2015?
8. Diamond Ranch (6-3) – Don’t judge the Panthers by their record. When they get all their players back, they’re the favorites to win the Hacienda. They also won the Azusa tournament.
9. Workman (10-4) - Beat Ontario Christian to win the Ontario Christian tournament to close out 2014
10. Diamond Bar (8-6) – Played a tough nonleague schedule and will be a pain to deal with in the Palomares league.

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Boys Soccer Rankings: Damien, Diamond Bar, Sierra Vista and La Puente all impressive

Boys Soccer Rankings
1. Damien (8-2-1) – Impressive start that includes a 2-1 win over Valencia in the NOCC tournament championship game.
2. Diamond Bar (8-3-1) — Has only allowed eight goals and lost two 1-0 games. They should be the Palomares favorites.
3. Sierra Vista (7-1-2) – Only loss to Cerritos Valley Christian with ties against La Puente, Baldwin Park and 2-0 win over Etiwanda.
4. La Puente (6-0-2) – Impressive start with a 2-0 win over Mountain View, and ties against area powers Sierra Vista and Baldwin Park.
5. Mountain View (4-4-2) — Played a tough schedule that includes losses to Salesian, La Serna and Huntington Beach. But does own impressive wins over La Canada and Arroyo.
6. Ganesha (7-2-3) – Only losses to La Mirada and Upland with wins over Muir and Los Osos.
7. Nogales (5-2-3) – With Baldwin Park out of the Valle Vista, the Nobles should be the league favorites.
8. El Monte (5-5-1) — Three losses are forfeit losses, but they’re already 2-0 in the Mission Valley
9. Baldwin Park (3-3-4) - Slow start for the defending CIF champions, but they will be there in the end.
10. South Hills (4-3-2) — Played a tough schedule which includes a close 2-1 loss to No. 1 Damien.

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Girls Soccer Rankings: South Hills, Bishop Amat, Diamond Bar and Sierra Vista lead the way

Girls Soccer Top Ten Rankings
1. South Hills (7-2) — Only two losses to powerful Los Osos in the Claremont tournament. They’re the team to beat in the Palomares.
2. Bishop Amat (6-4) – Has played toughest schedule of all area teams with wins over Newport Harbor, Los Alamitos and Verdugo Hills.
3. Diamond Bar (9-3) – Won the San Dimas tournament with a 1-0 win over Glendora, and another Palomares league contender.
4. Sierra Vista (9-2) – Beat Culver City 1-0 to win the Ganesha soccer tourney and undefeated against other area locals.
5. St. Lucy’s (5-2-4) — Should do well with well-known club coach George Sipa, but don’t expect miracles in the Baseline.
6. Bonita (2-3-3) – Don’t look at record, the Bearcats have played some tough competition and do own a 2-1 win over Los Altos.
7. Los Altos (4-4-3) — Solid win over Glendora, close losses to Bonita, South Hills.
8. Glendora (3-5-3) — Lost several close games and will likely battle for a playoff spot now that it’s out of the Baseline.
9. Charter Oak (6-6-1) — Wins over San Dimas, Covina, Bonita and a close 2-1 loss to Sierra Vista.
10. Baldwin Park (5-0-1) — Areas only undefeated team, but hasn’t played anyone tough, tying Nogales 0-0.

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Girls Basketball Rankings: With Bishop Amat and Bonita falling out of dominance, South Hills, Los Altos and West Covina take over as SGVs top teams

Girls Basketball Top Ten Rankings
1. South Hills (11-4) — Has won five straight, including a 44-38 win over Los Altos to win the Corona Santiago Cavalier tournament.
2. Los Altos (9-3) – Had won nine straight before losing to South Hills in the Corona tournament.
3. West Covina (9-5) — Beat Bishop Amat and Bonita to advance to the finals of the Covina tournament.
4. Duarte (7-6) – Played a competitive schedule outside the San Gabriel Valley and has performed well.
5. Diamond Bar (6-6) — Impressive wins over Walnut, La Mirada and a close loss to Ayala.
6. Walnut (7-4) – Beat Twentynine Palms and Workman in the Ayala Best of the West Tournament.
7. Bishop Amat (5-9) – How important was losing coach Richard Wiard? Well, when can you remember the Lancers EVER starting like this, and losing to teams like West Covina, Diamond Ranch and barely beating Arroyo by two points. And ironically, Wiard is an assistant at Arroyo.
8. Bonita (7-8) — Kind of expected after losing three-time SGV Tribune player of the year Nikki Wheatley.
9. Glendora (10-6) – Will be interesting to watch how the Lady Tartans fare in the new Palomares.
10. Covina (8-7) – Should be the favorites in the Valle Vista, but you never know.

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Los Altos beats Walnut 55-52 to claim Covina boys basketball tournament; Wilson wins second tourney title; West Covina falls in Nogales title game

WILSON BOYS BEAT WHITTIER FOR SECOND TOURNEY TITLE: They don’t give out league or divisional boys basketball championships in December, but if they did, Wilson High School might be on the top of the list.
No area team appears to be playing better than the Wildcats in December.
Justin Chan scored 21 points and Kyle Price had 14 as Wilson won its second tournament of the month with a 55-50 victory over host Whittier to claim the fifth Whittier Holiday Tournament at the Bob Chandler Sports Complex.
Jared Kawamoto also had seven points and eight rebounds for Wilson, which improved to 13-2. Dominic Saldana had 21 points and Anthony Rios 12 for Whittier, which slipped to 11-2.
“The boys have been playing very well,” Wilson coach Willie Allen said. “They’ve been exceeding our expectations and rising to the challenge. We’ve played some good teams, and when the pressure is there, they make big plays.”

Covina Boys Basketball tournament
Monday’s semifinals

Los Altos 71, Cajon 69
Walnut 58, Bonita 67
Tuesday’s Championship
Los Altos 55, Walnut 52

LASHOTCOVINA TOURNEY CHAMPIONSHIP: The Los Altos boys basketball team fended off a comeback from Walnut on Tuesday night to win the Covina Tournament with a 55-52 victory in a game between two Hacienda League teams.
Christian Espinoza had 17 points for the Conquerors (9-3), along with seven assists and five rebounds, and was named tournament MVP. He was guarded all night by Zuri Williams, who limited him to seven shots in the first three quarters. Willaims had 15 points of his own, along with seven assists.
Los Altos led by as much as 10 in the third quarter, but a pair of consecutive 3-pointers by Jefferey Huang in the final three minutes of the game gave the Mustangs their first lead since the first quarter. Williams assisted on both of those treys and made two of his own in the final quarter.

COVINA TOURNEY SEMIFINALS: Los Altos guard Christian Espinoza tallied 30 points in the first three quarters, but his only five points in the fourth quarter, which all came in the last 30 seconds of the game at the free-throw line, were what clinched the Conquerors’ 71-69 victory over Cajon Monday night in the Covina Tournament semifinals.
Espinoza finished the game with 35 points, and made 14 of 18 free throws with six rebounds and four assists. The senior guided his team to a 21-4 run that carried over in the third quarter after a 13-3 run to end the first half.

Nogales Boys Basketball tournament
Monday’s semifinals

Corona Santiago 70, Alta Loma 54
West Covina 70, Montebello 65
Tuesday’s Championship
Corona Santiago 78, West Covina 68

NOGALES TOURNEY FINAL: The West Covina High School boys basketball team gave it everything it had in the 50th Annual Nogales High Christmas Tournament championship game, but fell short to a much taller Santiago of Corona team, 78-68, Tuesday night.
With West Covina (8-6) holding a six point lead late in the third quarter, 53-47, Santiago (12-1) went on a 9-0 run at the end of the quarter to lead by three, 56-53, and never trailed the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs, who were led by all-tournament sophomore guard Nick Hart (game-high 27 points), got within five points, 68-63 with 1:51 remaining, but Santiago built up an insurmountable 10-point lead, 73-63, with just over a minute to play in the game.
“We were right in that game,” West Covina assistant coach Chris Lopez said. “A couple of baskets go in and we were right there.

NOGALES TOURNEY SEMIFINALS: The West Covina High School boys basketball team held off a furious comeback by Montebello and held on to win 70-65 in a semifinal game of the 50th Annual Nogales Christmas Tournament on Monday night. Trailing by as many as 20 points early in the fourth quarter, the Oilers (6-6) outscored West Covina (8-5) 30-15 in the final eight minutes. The Bulldogs will play Corona Santiago (11-1), a 70-54 winner over Alta Loma, tonight at 6:30 p.m. for the tournament championship.

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Tribune Football 2014 All-Area Team: Bishop Amat’s Tyler Vaughns and coach Steve Hagerty lead the way




By Aram Tolegian

Tyler Vaughns, Bishop Amat, Receiver, Jr.
You know your high school football career is going well when fans, media and peers refer to you as “the high school Megatron.”
Such is the case with Bishop Amat receiver Tyler Vaughns, who has emerged as the area’s top box office attraction due to his size, flash and ability to make amazing catches while helpless defenders watch in awe.
This season, Vaughns was a standout on a team full of them. He was the cut-above weapon Bishop Amat used to again become one of Southern California’s elite programs. After leading the Lancers to a share of the Mission League championship and a trip to the semifinals of the Pac-5 Division playoffs, Vaughns is the Tribune’s Player of the Year.
“It was a surprise really and I’m thankful for being known as the Player of the Year,” Vaughns said in reaction to the award. “I feel very good about myself being selected to be in this group (of past winners). I’m just very proud of myself.” At 6-foot-3, 175 pounds and loaded with speed and athleticism, Vaughns is a nightmare match up for opposing defensive backs. He’s exactly the type of talent that Amat needed to compete with the very best teams in Southern California. And Vaughns didn’t disappoint. Vaughns, a junior, finished with a single season school record 83 receptions for 1,183 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had 24 tackles on defense and four interceptions. It wasn’t only about what Vaughns could do with the ball in his hands, but also what meant as a decoy.
“I think what he did was make us difficult to defend on offense,” Bishop Amat head coach Steve Hagerty said. “Teams had to make choices and they would say ‘We can’t let this kid (Vaughns) beat us.’
“He (Vaughns) oftentimes would be on the one-on-one side where a lot of teams put their best kid. You have to make a choice. That’s the effect of Tyler. You could defend him and be on top of him, but he’s still going to win the ball from you.
“That’s why for him to have over 80 catches is pretty amazing because there were a lot of people who said don’t let him catch it and he still did.”
Football success is nothing new for Vaughns’ family. His brother Geoff was a standout running back at South Hills in the mid-2000s. His other brother Aaren was an All-Area standout at Charter Oak just three seasons ago and is now playing at Mt. San Antonio College.
Vaughns credits his brothers for much of his success, but he’s done many other things like personalized coaching and playing on the popular Body-By-Tra seven-on-seven team in the offseason. However, the classroom is another area where he’s improved.
“I think it got three As and a B in four summer school classes,” Hagerty said. “The reason I say that is because I think that always precedes the results. The bottom line is that I don’t think any of us are surprised by where he is today just because we saw the difference in what his approach was.
“I think it’s just maturity. He’s growing up and realizing that if he picks it up, he’s got a lot of things in front of him that are really good.”
Vaughns had six games this season with 100 yards or more receiving. He had three touchdown receptions against Crespi. In the playoffs, he caught 13 balls for 157 yards and a score in a win over Lakewood. Vaughns was later named co-MVP of the Mission League.
His best game, yardage-wise, came against Alemany. Vaughns caught 10 passes for 165 yards. Even in Amat’s playoff loss to eventual division champ Corona Centennial, Vaughns was a force with nine receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
“Our team highlight would be the Notre Dame game,” Vaughns said. “We didn’t show ourselves as well as we could but we came out with the win. But it was humbling. My personal highlight would be Crespi because our scored three touchdowns to help our team go to overtime.”
Vaughns has already caught the eye of recruiters. He’s on the short list of several top college football schools and already has offers from Notre Dame, Tennessee and Oklahoma to go along with the locals UCLA and USC.
But before any of that happens, Vaughns has one more season at Amat, where he hopes to bring home a Pac-5 championship after coming so close this season.
“From December to August, I’m going to go at it like I did last year,” Vaughns said.
And once the season starts, Amat should reap the rewards.

Kam Brown, Charter Oak, Quarterback, Jr.

KamdenBrownKam Brown didn’t have to look far for advice when it came to being the quarterback of the Charter Oak High School football team this season.
Brown’s brother, Kory, knew all too well what his younger sibling was going through. For the two seasons prior to this one, Kory was the Chargers’ quarterback and his huge senior season led to him being honored by making the All-Area Team. This season, his younger brother one-upped him.
Kam Brown won the starting job this summer and the rest was history. When the dust settled, the junior had final numbers that ranked among the Southern Section’s best at his position. For his efforts, Brown is the Tribune’s Offensive Player of the Year.
“It’s absolutely rewarding,” Brown said of the award. “It just puts a stamp on a good year. It makes you feel like all the hard work paid off.”
With Brown at the helm, Charter Oak overcame a rocky nonleague showing against some solid competition to end the regular season in its usual place as a league champion. This year, the Chargers won the Hacienda League after averaging 33.7 points per game.
Charter Oak then advanced to the semifinals of Central Division playoffs before losing to eventual champion Colony. Brown piloted the offense that made all of it possible and finished with a whopping 3,484 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also rushed for 324 yards and three scores.
Not bad for a beginner.
“I didn’t think this was possible because when you start out as a rookie, you don’t expect to do as well as I did,” Brown said. “It helps having a brother who has been through the program and he was also a stud. He helps me read the defense, watch films and go over the mechanics.”
If you’re thinking that the Brown brothers spent time in the yard honing their skills and perfecting Charter Oak’s offense, please stop. Kam Brown said it was more like they played the Madden NFL video game and would go over what the defenses were running.
“We would run offensive plays that our offense ran similar and just read the corner and safety, and write down the coverages on paper,” Brown said. “And then just study your butt off.”
At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and only a junior, Brown has the size needed to play at the next level and should see the college recruiting portion of his career erupt this offseason.
Brown wasn’t given the best of situations to start his career. He operated behind what Chargers legendary head coach Lou Farrar called the smallest offensive he’s ever put out and threw to a cast of very inexperienced receivers.
And yet Brown had some of his best games at the most opportune times. Against Diamond Ranch in the league opener, he threw for 456 yards. When star running back Zion Echols was hurting Brown stepped up and threw four touchdown passes to beat West Covina.
Brown had four games with 300 yards or more passing and 10 with more than 200. He had seven games with three or more touchdown passes and completed just under 60 percent of his passes for the season.
“Ever since the Glendora game, when we lost by one point and we went right into league, it just clicked,” Brown said. “I just started to execute the calls and put up a lot of points. It started to get easier, the game slowed down and I got more confident.
Brown said the highlight of the season for him was the Chargers’ win over San Marino in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Not just because he performed well, but because the offense scored 49 points and the defense did a solid job against the Titans’ high-flying attack.
Next season should be even better for Brown. With Echols back with him in the backfield and the top receivers also returning, Charter Oak could be on the verge of something big. But for now, Brown will keep working hard to make sure the family legacy at Charter Oak continues to grow.

Christian Wiley, Bishop Amat, Linebacker, Sr.

ChristianWileyBack in summer, one could have looked at the Bishop Amat High School football team’s roster full of defensive standouts and never guessed that linebacker Christian Wiley would walk away with the most postseason accolades.
But 108 tackles later, Wiley is the one who is taking home the best hardware. And he can thank himself for an offseason of hard work and honing his craft to a point that coaches were wowed by his instincts when on the field.
After helping Bishop Amat put itself back among the elite programs in Southern California partly because of a defense that allowed only 21.3 points per game against top-shelf competition, Wiley is the Tribune’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“I’m honored, it’s great to be ranked among these superb athletes,” Wiley said of the award. “It’s a great feeling to know that my hard work paid off. Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed this. When I was working in the offseason I wasn’t thinking about the accolades I would receive.
“I was thinking about making my senior the best possible year and making the team the best Bishop Amat had in years.”
Wiley accomplished both his personal and team goals. The Lancers won a share of the Mission League championship and advanced all the way to the semifinals of the Pac-5 Division playoffs before losing a close game to eventual champion Corona Centennial.
For his efforts, Wiley was named co-Defensive MVP of the Mission League. It was a fitting award for a player who not only got better from his junior to senior seasons, but also played the game at a mental level not typically seen in high school.
“There’s plays where he looks like he’s blitzing,” Amat head coach Steve Hagerty explained. “He’s not. He’s reading and hitting. There’s a big difference.
“He’ll study people. He’ll even pick up stuff like against Centennial, when the quarterback shuffles his feet or keeps his feet a certain way, he’s gonna keep it because he positions his foot to run and not to hand off. He’s one of this kids who has the ability to see things.”
Wiley’s top performance came against highly touted JSerra in the second round of the playoffs. It was the win that officially put the Lancers back on the map and Wiley made sure his defense put the clamps on one of Orange County’s top teams by recording a whopping 21 tackles, 15 of them solo.
“Both my individual and team highlight of the season was JSerra,” Wiley said. “Because that was probably the best game we played all year. JSerra was a great team. As a defensive unit, we came out there and held them to 10 points.
“It was a great team effort and I had probably one of my best games. All around, it was just a great day.”
Wiley had two other games in which he finished with double-digit tackles. In the season opener against Santa Margarita, he had 15 tackles, nine of them solo. And against Chino Hills, Wiley had 13 tackles, nine of them solo.

Steve Hagerty, Bishop Amat

SteveHagertyIn 2013, Bishop Amat finished in last place in the Serra League and missed the playoffs. Needless to say, the Lancers needed a bounce-back season in a big way in 2014. All Hagerty did was produced exactly and put the Lancers back on the map with a deep postseason run. All that despite being dealt a serious twist late in the year when his starting quarterback went down with an injury. Still, Hagerty guided the Lancers to a 9-4 record, a share of the Mission League championship and a trip to the semifinals of the Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Tyler Nevens, Los Altos
Nobody knew for sure when exactly Nevens would reach star status on the local scene, but most people weren’t betting on it happening in his sophomore season. Nevens did just that, though, by erupting late in the season as he led the Conquerors back to the CIF finals for the first time since 2003. Nevens finished the season with 1,611 yards and 15 touchdowns. His best games in the postseason with back-to-back 300-yard performances to beat Monrovia and Bonita.

QB, Junior, Glendora

Fink was dynamic with both his arm and legs while helping lead Glendora to a nine-win season. Fink passed for 1,386 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for 725 yards and 10 scores. For his efforts, Fink was named Palomares League MVP and will be one of the top college recruits in the area next season with offers already from Boise St. and Washington.

RB, Junior, Charter Oak

Echols makes the All-Area Team for the second consecutive season after another outstanding all-around showing. Echols rushed for 1,141 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had 553 yards and six touchdowns receiving. Echols was named co-MVP of the Hacienda League after helping the Chargers to the league title. Echols saved his best for the postseason and had a 300-yard, five-touchdown performance in the quarterfinals against San Marino.

RB, Senior, Bonita

Verdugo finally showed what all the hype was about and emerged as one of the area’s top rushers after rolling up 1,373 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had 272 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Verdugo was named first-team all-Palomares League for his efforts. He saved his best for the biggest games, rushing for 170 yards vs. rival San Dimas, 216 yards vs. Kaiser in the playoffs and 158 and 182, respectively, against West Covina and Los Altos, also in the playoffs.

WR, Senior, Baldwin Park

Miller was an all-around standout for the Braves and figures to parlay that into a career playing on Saturdays. On offense, Miller had 42 receptions for 689 yards and nine touchdowns. He also rushed for 223 yards and two scores. On defense, Miller picked off five passes, had 86 tackles, 17 passes broken up, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. For his efforts, Miller was named first-team all-Montview League after helping Baldwin Park finish second in league.

WR, Senior, Bishop Amat

Arconado was a force for Amat both as a receiver and a kick returner. He was one area’s leading receivers with 45 receptions for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a kick returns, Arconado piled up 600 total return yards and often set up his team with good field position. Arconado’s best games came in the postseason as evidenced by his nine catches for 212 yards and two touchdowns against Pac-5 champ Corona Centennial. Arconado was a first-team all-Mission League selection.

WR, Sophomore, Charter Oak

In his first full varsity season, Casteel led the area in receiving with 65 receptions for 1,279 yards and 11 touchdowns. Casteel had seven games with 100 receiving yards or more. Casteel scored touchdowns in all but four of Charter Oak’s 13 games. He was named first-team all-Hacienda League and projects as one of the area’s top college recruits over the next two seasons.

ALL, Senior, Diamond Bar

Diamond Bar may have disappointed this season, but it wasn’t for the efforts of Hull, who shined in a myriad of ways. Hull led the Brahmas in rushing with 1,278 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had 235 yards receiving and two scores, and even threw three touchdown passes. Hull was also dangerous returning kicks where he finished with 526 return yards. Hull also added 38 tackles on defense. He was an all-Palomares League selection.

Offensive line, Senior, Glendora

Northup (6-foot-5, 330 pounds) makes the All-Area Team for the second consecutive season. He was a force up front for Glendora, whose offense piled up 2,859 yards rushing with Northup paving the way. For his efforts, Northup was a first-team all-Palomares League selection. Northup is a verbal commit to Hawaii, but figures to have other suitors come Signing Day.

Offensive line, Senior, Bishop Amat

Lopez is an All-Area Team selection for the second consecutive season after once again being one of the Lancers’ top players in the trenches. Lopez helped pave the way for an offense that avearged over 36 points per game against the toughest schedule in the area. Lopez helped protect two QBs who combined for nearly 4,000 yards passing and a ground attack that tallied 1,749 yards rushing. He was named first-team all-Mission League.

Offensive line, Senior, Duarte

Villanueva Avina was one of precious few bright spots for Duarte this season. Although the Falcons struggled in the win-loss column, their mammoth offensive guard was often a bright spot. Villanueva Avina, who is 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, helped pave the way for an offense that averaged 28 points per game in league. He was a first-team all-Montview League selection and will play next season at Montana.

Offensive line, Senior, West Covina

Considered by many to be the area’s top overall lineman, Quevedo was a force for the Bulldogs this season. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound tackle helped pave the way for another strong West Covina ground game, which piled up 3,155 yards this season. Quevedo also chipped in with 18 tackles on defense. Quevedo was named Offensive MVP of the Hacienda League and figures to be a hot commodity come Signing Day.

Offensive line, Senior, South Hills

It was no secret what South Hills wanted to do this season. The Huskies lined up and pounded opponents, and with Radecki leading the way, who could blame them? The 6-foot-4, 315-pound guard was versatile enough to shine in both run and pass blocking, and was a major reason why South Hills won the Palomares League. For his efforts, Radecki was a first-team all-Palomares League selection.

Kicker, Junior, Glendora

Watkins put on full display this season why he’s the best leg in the area. He was 11-of-14 on field goals, with a long of 49 yards. He made 42 out of 44 extra points. On kickoffs, Watkins averaged over 54 yards per kick with a whopping 36 touch backs. Watkins was also strong at punting as evidenced by his 35 yards per kick average and a 52-yard long. Watkins put the ball inside the opponent’s 20-yard line nine times. He was an all-Palomares League selection at both kicker and punter.

DL, Junior, Bishop Amat

Vasquez’s first full varsity season lived up to the advanced billing. The speedy defensive end piled up 65 tackles and seven sacks to help Bishop Amat’s defense allow just over 22 points per game this season against a difficult schedule. Vasquez’s best game came in the season opener against Santa Margarita when he recorded 10 tackles, eight of them solo. After helping Amat to a share of the Mission League title, Vasquez was a first-team all-Mission League selection.

DL, Senior, Los Altos

Tolmachoff shined on both offense and defense while leading Los Altos to the best postseason showing of any team in the area. On offense, Tolmachoff helped pave the way for a ground game that piled up nearly 3,000 yards this season. On defense, Tolmachoff recorded 88 tackles and 13.5 sacks. He also intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and blocked a field goal. Tolmachoff was named co-MVP of the Hacienda League.

tevitasinaTEVITA SINA
DL, Senior, Los Altos

Sina was one of the best pass-rushing defensive ends in the area this season, as evidenced by his 14 sacks and nine quarterback hurries. He finished the season with 86 tackles, a whopping 31 of them being solo. Sina also chipped in on offense by rushing for 476 yards and six touchdowns. For his efforts, Sina was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection at defensive line.

LB, Senior, Bishop Amat

Camargo was once again the rock in the middle of Bishop Amat’s defense and makes the All-Area Team for the second consecutive. The senior middle linebacker recorded 55 tackles while helping Amat win a share of the Mission League championship and advance to the semifinals of the Pac-5 Division. Camargo also scored 11 touchdowns while on offense. Camargo was named first-team all-Mission League.

LB, Senior, Glendora

Lewallen was instrumental in Glendora’s success this season by being the rock in the middle of the Tartans’ defense. Lewallen was one of the top tacklers in the area with 180. He finished with double-digit tackles in every game this season and his best performance was a 12-tackle night against Kaiser. For his efforts, Lewallen was named Defensive MVP of the Palomares League.

LB, Senior, Charter Oak

Ortiz was a tackling machine for the Hacienda League champion Chargers. He ranked among the area’s leaders in tackles with 145. His defensive contribution didn’t end there, however, as he recorded four sacks, seven quarterback hurries, intercepted a pass, blocked a field goal, recovered a fumble and caused three fumbles. For his efforts, Ortiz was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection.

FrederickPadillaRICKY PADILLA
LB, Senior, Northview

A big reason for Northview’s 11-2 breakout season was the Vikings’ defense where Padilla was a force all season. Northview allowed just 14.8 points per game this season and at the heart of it all was Padilla, who recorded a team-high 92 tackles. He also had four sacks and caused two fumbles en route to being named the Defensive MVP of the Valle Vista League.

DB, Junior, Bishop Amat

Sidney was last season’s Tribune Newcomer of the Year and followed it with another dynamic season. On offense, Sidney caught 38 passes for 540 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, Sidney was Amat’s top cover corner and picked off four passes while making 47 tackles. Sidney was also a good kick returner, with an average of 31.8 yards per return. He was an all-Mission League selection.

AlexanderCamachoALEX CAMACHO
DB, Senior, Northview

Camacho had one of the finest all-around seasons of any player in the area. On offense, he rushed for 960 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with 34 receptions for 426 yards and four touchdowns. On defense he was a force all over the field with 86 tackles and 9.5 sacks. For his efforts, Camacho was named MVP of the Valle Vista League.

DB, Junior, Northview

Hooper was one of several Northview players to have outstanding all-around seasons as the Vikings won 11 games and swept the Valle Vista League. Hooper led Northview in rushing with 1,127 yards and seven touchdowns. At defensive back, Hooper intercepted four passes and recorded 40 tackles, 32 of them solo. Two of Hooper’s interceptions came at the most opportune time in the playoffs.

DB, Senior, Azusa

Maldonado was a jack of all trades for the Aztecs this season, especially on defense where his versatility allowed him to play multiple positions in the back seven. On offense, Maldonado lead Azusa in rushing with 1,262 yards, including over 100 yards in the firs five games of the season. He also scored 14 touchdowns. On defense, Maldonado had 29 tackles, 25 of them solo. He was named first-team all-Montview League after helping Azusa win the league championship.

P, Senior, La Puente

Gonzales led the area in punting with a 38.9 yards per punt average. He put seven of his punts this season inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. His season long was 65 yards. Gonzales was also a force on defense where he recorded 128 tackles. Gonzales finished with double-digit tackles in eight of La Puente’s 11 games. He was a first-team all-Miramonte League selection.


QB — Edward Dominguez, El Monte, Jr.
RB — Dylan Thigpen, Damien, Jr.
RB — Jesse Garcia, South Hills, Sr.
WR — Danny Gelalich, Bonita, Sr.
WR — Dominic Ramirez, Azusa, Jr.
WR — David Cotero, Arroyo, Sr.
ALL — Pearnell Smalley, Covina, Sr.
OL — Jake Carmona, South Hills, Sr.
OL — Steve Magallanes, Los Altos, Sr.
OL — Matt Brayton, Bishop Amat, Jr.
OL — Eric Castillo, Los Altos, Sr.
OL — Yousef Hanna, San Dimas, Jr.
K — Jaren Surdo, Charter Oak, Jr.
DL — Ryan Munoz, Bishop Amat, Jr.
DL — Jaron Reed, Northview,
DL — Josh Herrera, West Covina, Sr.
LB — Tyler Ili, West Covina, Sr.
LB — Cruz Garibay, Bonita, Sr.
LB — Christopher Osorio, Wilson, Sr.
LB — Carlos Mejia, Los Altos, Sr.
DB — Jacob Underhill, Charter Oak, Sr.
DB — Paul Cooper, Northview, Jr.
DB — Quinn Cotter, South Hills, Jr.
DB — Aaron Austin, Bishop Amat, Jr.
P — Damian Garcia, Bishop Amat, Jr.

1. Bishop Amat (9-4)
2. Charter Oak (8-5)
3. Glendora (9-3)
4. Pomona (10-4)
5. Northview (11-2)
6. Los Altos (8-6)
7. West Covina (8-4)
8. South Hills (6-5)
9. Bonita (8-5)
10. San Dimas (8-4)
11. Azusa (8-4)
12. Diamond Ranch (6-4)
13. Damien (4-6)
14. Rosemead (7-5)
15. Covina (6-5)
16. Baldwin Park (6-5)
17. La Puente (7-4)
18. El Monte (6-5)
19. Arroyo (4-6)
20. Rowland (5-5)

HACIENDA: Charter Oak
MISSION: Bishop Amat, Crespi, Serra
PALOMARES: South Hills
VALLE VISTA: Northview

Tribune players of the Year (1969-present)
1969 Fred McNeil, Baldwin Park RB
1970 Pat Haden, Bishop Amat QB and John McKay Jr., Bishop Amat WR
1971 Mike Vicino, Royal Oak RB
1972 Rob Hertel, Los Altos QB and Ron Himes, Walnut QB
1973 Dennis Sproul, Los Altos QB
1974 Brian Bethke, South Hills QB
1975 Richard Nyden, Azusa QB and John Van Vuren, South Hills RB
1976 Bob Epps, West Covina DL
1977 Don Roberts, Temple City RB
1978 Ron Stivers, West Covina RB
1979 Ray McNeill, El Monte WR and Danny Trejo, Baldwin Park WR
1980 Bill Stone, Royal Oak RB
1981 Blake Smith, Los AltosQB
and Steve Lauter, Los Altos WR
1982 Mike Smith, Los Altos QB
1983 Randy Tanner, Bishop Amat; Paul Hewitt, Monrovia
1984 Michael Johnson, Baldwin Park QB
1985 Eric Bieniemy, Bishop AmatRB
1986 Eric Bieniemy, Bishop Amat RB
1987 Bill Gallis, Northview QB
1988 Jason Martin, Los Altos TE/DB
1989 Marshawn Thompson, Bassett RB
1990 Jason Patterson, Bishop Amat FB/DE
1991 Marc Ruiz, Baldwin ParkQB
1992 Lawrence Phillips, Baldwin Park RB-DB
1993 Miguel Meriwether, West Covina QB/DB
1994 Daylon McCutcheon, Bishop Amat RB/FS
1995 Oscar Interiano, Sierra Vista RB
1996 Oscar Arzu, Sierra Vista RB
1997 Nick Covarrubias, Covina QB/DB
1998 Steve Stevenson, Charter Oak WR/RB/DB
1999 Jason Wright, Diamond Bar, RB/DB
2000 – Felipe Aguilar, Los Altos, QB
2001 – Donnie McCleskey, Bishop Amat RB
2002 – Daniel Drayton, Randall Brown, Los Altos RBs/DBs
2003 – Brigham Harwell, Los Altos DE
2004 – William Wagner, Bishop Amat RB
2005 – Mike McDonough, Covina QB
2006 – Mike McDonough, Covina QB
2007 – Dorian Wells, South Hills, RB
2008 – Chris Allen, Charter Oak, RB
2009 – Adam Muema, Charter Oak, RB
2010 – Chris Solomon, West Covina, RB
2011 – Steven Rivera, Arroyo, QB
2012 — Brandon Martinez, El Monte, QB
2013 — Joseph Mayorga, San Dimas, RB
2014 — Tyler Vaughns, Bishop Amat, WR/DB

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Nogales boys basketball tournament starts Friday

Nogales Boys Basketball Tournament
Friday’s First-Round

Montebello vs. Notre Dame (Riverside), 11 a.m.
Alta Loma vs. Jurupa Valley, 12:30 p.m.
Rowland vs. Vista Del Lago, 2 p.m.
Don Lugo vs. Santiago (Corona), 3:30 p.m.
La Serna vs. Del Sol (Las Vegas, Nevada), 5 p.m.
West Covina vs. Nogales, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday’s quarterfinals
Top Bracket
Del Sol vs. Alta Loma-Jurupa Valley winner, 2 p.m.
Santiago vs. Rowland-Vista Del Lago winner, 3:30 p.m.
Bottom Bracket
Don Lugo vs. Montebello-Notre Dame winner, 5 p.m.
La Serna vs. West Covina-Nogales winner, 6:30 p.m.
Semifinals: Monday, Dec. 29
Finals: Tuesday, Dec. 30

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Diamond Ranch wins Azusa boys basketball tournament after Gabrielino buzzer-beater rattles off the rim

By John Honell
It looked like a repeat of the 2013 championship game of the Azusa Boys Basketball Tournament
Defending champion Gabrielino, which won on a buzzer-beater last year, once again had a shot at the buzzer against Diamond Ranch but this time the ball rolled off the rim and the Eagles dropped a 59-58 decision to the Panthers.
“This was stressful,” Panthers first-year coach Eric Cooper said. “They got all the way to the basket and with five seconds left, you have to cut off that drive. I guess I’d rather be lucky than good.”
The Panthers had trailed 58-51 with 2:21 left in the game when they rallied for eight consecutive points and the victory.
“There were a couple of plays in a row where we gave it up,” Eagles coach John Carney said. “We tried to be aggressive against their press where we had some success earlier but, we gave it up.”
Tyler McLean came up with a huge block on a fast-break layup attempt by the Eagles with 1:20 left in the game and the Eagles leading by five points.
“We had an opportunity to take it up strong and finish it,” Carney said. “But, they got the block and the momentum.”

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Mt. SAC baseball team to deliver toys to Queen of the Valley Hospital children’s ward

mt. sac baseball

The Mt. San Antonio College baseball team is getting into the holiday spirt.
Members of the team will deliver the toys it has collected as part of its second consecutive toy drive to the children’s ward at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina. The players are scheduled to visit the hospital at 2 p.m.
“I wanted our players to enjoy the season of gift-giving, but in a way that they could appreciate it in a better way for those who are suffering,” Mt. SAC coach Kevin Smith said. “Every one of our players contributed to this toy drive and I’m very appreciative of that.”
– Correspondent John Sherrard contributed to this post

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Adrian De Horta leads South Hills baseball toy drive on Sunday

One0time Tribune Baseball Player of the Year Adrian De Horta will return to his alma mater South Hills to lead a toy drive that will benefit the children’s ward at Queen of the Valley in West Covina.
The toy drive will be held Sunday at the South Hills baseball field from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
De Horta, now playing professionally in the San Diego Padres organization, will be at the field along with members from the current Huskies baseball team to accept any unwrapped toys.
The toys will be collected and dropped off at Queen of the Valley later this month.

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With this season in the books, Bishop Amat’s Ryder Ruiz ready for the next

I guess after watching Corona Centennial beat St. John Bosco for the Pac-5 title 48-41, the same team that beat Bishop Amat by inches 38-37 to reach the title game, a certain QB at Amat started getting hungry for next year

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Colony crushes Los Altos 35-7 to claim Central Division football title

Photo Gallery
CIF SCOREBOARD: For updates of Saturday’s CIF-SS championship games
CIF-SS Central Division Title
Saturday’s game
Colony 35, Los Altos 7

It wasn’t painless, but at least it was quick.
The Los Altos High School football team fell behind early to Colony in the CIF Southern Section Central Division championship at Cerritos College and never recovered in a 35-7 loss on Saturday night.
colonycele“Colony is a good team and they did a helluva job tonight,” Los Altos head coach Dale Ziola said. “We knew they were fast, we just didn’t get the push we thought we’d get some times. The lead just got too big and the rest is history.”
Los Altos, which needed to win its final two regular-season games just to make the playoffs as the Hacienda League’s third-place team, finished the season 8-6. The Conquerors were bidding for the 12th title in school history while making the program’s 15th finals appearance. Colony (12-2) was just too fast and it was apparent from the start. The Titans scored on a 63-yard touchdown run by Ryan Kinard on the game’s third play and didn’t look back.


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Pomona seals the deal, wins fist championship since 1951 with 37-29 victory over Paraclete in Mid-Valley Division title

Pomona photo gallery: “We were playing harder and harder and that’s all we did,” linebacker Andre Walker said. “We believed we could and we really stepped up.”

CIF-SS Mid-Valley Division Title
Pomona 37, Paraclete 29
Pomona makes history with first title since 1951: Pomona High School waited 63 years to get a shot at winning its second CIF-Southern Section football championship.
The Red Devils didn’t waste the opportunity Friday. Darreon Lockett threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns and Pomona captured its first CIF title since 1951, winning the Mid-Valley Division with a 37-29 victory over Paraclete in the championship game at Antelope Valley College.

Pomona’s defensive stands make the difference: Offense might be the first reason to determine why Pomona High School won its first CIF-Southern Section football championship since 1951.
For good reason. The Red Devils piled up the points and the yards in Friday night’s 37-29 Mid-Valley Division victory over Paraclete at Antelope Valley College. Quarterback Darreon Lockett came up with big passing numbers, 366 yards and three touchdowns.
But overlooked would be the Red Devils’ defense. The Spirits, the tournament’s top seed, were held to one offensive touchdown.

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Jeremy Hemsley scores 22 to lead Damien to 67-53 win over Glendora in Sierra Vista/Covina tourney boys final

The semifinals of the Sierra Vista/Covina tournament moved to Northview for the semifinals and championship on Friday and Saturday.

Friday’s semifinals at Northview HS
Glendora 72, Colony 69
Damien 77, Thousand Oaks 38
Saturday’s Championship at Northview
Damien 67, Glendora 53

Glendora advances to meet Damien in finals: Defending tournament champion Glendora fought off a challenge from an aggressive Colony team to beat the Titans 62-59 in a semifinal game of the fifth annual Sierra Vista Winter Tip Off Tournament on Friday night at Northview High School.
The second-seeded Tartans (5-0) will face top-seeded Damien, a 77-38 winner over Thousand Oaks, in the championship game at 7:30 tonight at Northview.
After falling behind 18-15 early in the second quarter the Tartans went to a match-up zone defense that started them on a 15-3 run and a 30-24 lead at the half.
“We’ve been trying to switch up our defense,” Tartans coach Mike LeDuc said. “We’re trying to not stay in the same thing too long but they’re just a tough team to play against.”
The Tartans built a 14-point lead, 39-25, before the Titans battled back to close the gap to seven points at the end of the third quarter.

hemsley2Damien knocks out Diamond Ranch in quarters: Damien, the Tribune’s boys basketball preseason No. 1 team, broke open a close game in the second half and pulled away for an 85-58 win over Diamond Ranch in the quarterfinals of the Fifth Annual Sierra Vista Winter Tip Off Tournament on Thursday night.
The Spartans (3-0) will play the winner of the Keppel-Thousand Oaks game at 7:30 tonight in the semifinals at Northview High School.
Two-time Tribune Player of the Year Jeremy Hemsley and Malik Fitts sparked a 23-8 run from the two-minute mark of the third quarter to the 3:24 mark of the fourth as the Spartans put the game out of reach.
“We settled down a little in the second half,” Damien coach Matt Dunn said. “(Diamond Ranch) doesn’t have a lot of depth right now. We know they’ll be a lot better in January when their transfers are eligible so I thought we wore them down because of their lack of depth.”


Thursday’s Quarterfinals
Damien 85, Diamond Ranch 58
Thousand Oaks 46, Keppel 43
Glendora 65, LA Fremont 35
Colony 69, Walnut 68

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Can Los Altos stop Colony’s Ryan Kinard? Pomona’s offensive line big reason Red Devils are playing for a title

Colony graduated some key football players from a team that advanced to the Central Division semifinal a year ago. Among those top receiver Kyle Curry and top running back Devan Imbach. So head coach Steve Randall was looking for someone to step up.
He got exactly what he wanted.
Versatile senior Ryan Kinard has been the Titans jack-of-all-trades. He is the leading rusher and a big-play threat on special teams. As the situations and games got more important he was also used at cornerback.
That huge contribution has boosted the Titans (11-2) into the CIF championship game against Los Altos (8-5) on Saturday at Cerritos College.

POMONA’S OFFENSIVE LINE LEADS THE WAY The consensus at Pomona High School is that the football team has been missing one component the last 63 years.
Before and since the Red Devils’ last CIF championship in 1951, the school never had a shortage of athletes. The unit responsible for bridging the gap during Pomona’s run to Friday’s CIF-SS Mid-Valley championship game is the offensive line.
Acting head coach Keith Richardson graduated from Pomona in 1989 and has been on staff for 10 of the last 15 years. In other words, he is deeply versed in the team’s history.
“The achilles heel has always been the offensive line,” Richardson said. “We’ve had good players on the offensive front before, but the cohesion this group has shown is the difference.”

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San Dimas Tournament: Upland too much for the host Saints

By Stephen Ramirez
SAN DIMAS >> Eventually, the light will go on for the San Dimas High boys basketball team.
But until then, the Saints will just have to live with the growing pains.
Wednesday night was another hard lesson for the San Dimas.
Isaiah White scored 20 points and Chris Sanchez had nine to lead Upland to a 53-46 victory over the host Saints in the San Dimas Gary Prestesater Classic.
Ryan Ocampo had 18 points and Donnell Leffridge 10 for San Dimas, which slipped to 0-2. Upland improved to 1-1.
“We’ve played two tough teams,” said San Dimas coach Gordon Hamlow, who is in his first season with the Saints after more than a decade at Rowland. “Alta Loma and Upland are good teams. We played hard … We’re still a work in progress. We’ve got things to learn. It’s not four years of guys learning the same things. It’s learning new stuff.”

Victor Valley 67, Arcadia 65
Rancho Cucamonga 70, Rowland 51
Burbank Burroughs 72, Roosevelt 70

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Championship Week: Los Altos’ David Tolmachoff tells legendary story of totaling a car with his bike

CIF-Southern Section Central Division championship
At Cerritos College, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Colony (11-2) vs. Los Altos (8-5)


By Aram Tolegian
here’s not too many people who can take on a car moving at 30 miles per hour and win. Los Altos High School lineman David Tolmachoff is one of the exceptions.
The experience wasn’t by choice. It certainly provided a scare and lots of pain. Yet the unintended consequences like adding to Tolmachoff’s almost folklorish presence at school have been priceless for his teammates and coaches.
Tolmachoff will get one last chance to add to his legacy Saturday when the two-way standout lineman leads Los Altos against Colony in the CIF-Southern Section Central Division championship.
“We really just keep him around for the entertainment value,” Los Altos head coach Dale Ziola said of Tolmachoff. “But he’s a huge asset to the team. We’re glad he’s on our side and not someone else’s side.”

Continue reading

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Mission League Football All-Area: Bishop Amat’s Tyler Vaughns named Co-MVP


Mission League Football All-Area 2014
Co-Players of the year: Tyler Vaughns (Bishop Amat); John Huston (Serra)
Co-Offensive players of the year: TJ Brumfield (Crespi); Khalil Tate (Serra)
Tri-Defensive players of the year: Christian Wiley (Bishop Amat); Rasheem Green (Serra); DJ Beavers (Crespi).
MVP Lineman: Oluqokie Betiku (Serra); Vaimoe Sekona (Crespi).

First Team Offense
Jalen Starks, RB, Crespi, Jr.; Brandon Arconado, WR, Bishop Amat, Sr.; Deontay Burnett, WR, Serra, Sr.; Desean Holmes, WR, Alemany, Sr.; Dymond Lee, WR, Chaminade, Jr.; Brandon Pierce, WR, Alemany, Sr.; CJ Sanders, WR, Notre Dame, Sr.; Robert Alexander, OL, Serra, Sr.; Matt Brayton, OL, Bishop Amat, Jr.; Josh Davis, OL, Serra, Sr.; Andrew Lopez, OL, Bishop Amat, Jr.; Bar Milo, OL, Chaminade, Sr.; Marcus Moore, OL, Crespi, Jr.; Moyo Uili, Crespi, Sr.

First-team Defense
Brandon Burton, DB, Serra, Jr.; Zari Leacock, DB, Crespi, Jr.; Chris May, DB, Crespi, Sr.; Chris Pollard, DB, Serra, Jr.; Trevon Sidney, DB, Bishop Amat, Jr.; Marvell Tell, DB, Crespi, Sr.; Andrew Vasquez, DL, Bishop Amat, Jr.; Austin Swanson, DL, Notre Dame, Sr.; Christian Rector, DL, Loyola, Sr.; Tyree Thompson, DL, Alemany, Sr.; Ryan Munoz, DL, Bishop Amat, Jr.; Brandon Lawless, DL, Crespi, Sr.; Anthony Camargo, LB, Bishop Amat, Sr.; Nolan Jackson, LB, Alemany, Sr.; Tysyn Parker, LB, Serra, So.; Mike Ramos, LB, Notre Dame, Sr.; Blake Walls, LB, Serra, Jr.

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