El Monte football player Adrian Castro was killed in Thursday’s tragic bus crash that was carrying students to Humboldt State … RIP No. 1

“Adrian Castro will be missed as a student and football player. He was a good young man with a bright future. He will always be remembered by the El Monte family.” El Monte football coach Joel Sanchez

castroAdrian Castro, an El Monte High School senior who was on the bus that crashed in Orland Thursday was killed, an El Monte school official said.
Castro played on El Monte’s football team and was hoping to attend Humbolt State University, friends said.
Seniors Yohana Martinez and Lilianna Aldama said they were friends with Castro and that they observed a moment of silence for Castro after being told by teachers during their second period class that Castro died.
“Everybody was shocked. I just started crying,” Martinez said.
“He wanted to see his school and now he is gone,” Aldama said. “He just brought so much energy to people, he was always there for you, even if he didn’t know a person, he would talk to them.”

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Girls Soccer All-Area: Los Altos’ Samantha Verduzco and coach Chris Reeder earn top honors

TOP ROW (Left to Right): Jamie Peters (Bishop Amat), Jessica Lopez (Sierra Vista), Morgan Quarternik (San Dimas), Allison Kung (Wilson), Samantha Verduzco (Los Altos), Sophia Seraphin (Bishop Amat), Kelly Richardson (Los Altos).
BOTTOM ROW (Left to Right): Sabrina May (Diamond Bar), Daisy Duran (San Dimas), Evelyn Fierros (Bishop Amat), Hailey Zerbel (South Hills), Shayla Harris (South Hills).

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Samantha Verduzco, Los Altos, Senior

Los Altos coach Chris Reeder maintains he’s had better superstar players in the past, but few could match-up to what Samantha Verduzco gave her team to help win the Hacienda League title and advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 semifinals before finishing the season, 21-3-3.
A target striker, Verduzco used her size to get create havoc on set-pieces, particularly long throw-ins and corner kicks that she could rise up and finish. But she was also nifty with the ball, finding ways to get off her own shot or create better ones for others.
“That’s kind of how she scored all year long, she makes big plays up top,” is how Los Altos coach Chris Reeder described her. “She’s kind of a ball-hawk around the (penalty area).”
The Hacienda League MVP and CIF-SS Division 3 first-team honoree made everyone better for one of the area’s best teams and has been selected the girls soccer player of the year.
Verduzco, who is heading to Biola next, finished with 21 goals and 10 assists.
She scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Diamond Bar that ultimately paved the way for the league title

REEDERCOACH OF THE YEAR: Chris Reeder, Los Altos
By his own admission, few expected the Los Altos girls soccer team to not only win the Hacienda League title but advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 semifinals before losing a heartbreaker in sudden-death overtime, losing on a penalty kick minutes before a penalty shootout to Lakewood St. Joseph’s, falling 1-0. “I’m proud of our girls,” Reeder said following the loss. “This is the best team I’ve ever coached. I’ve had better players, but I’ve never had a better team.”
Reeder, who has been named the Tribune coach of the year for the second time, deserves credit for that. He molded his team into a defensive monster by only allowing five goals in league and only 15 all season before finishing up 21-3-3. It was also the second time in four years that he had led his team to the semifinals.

KELLY RICHARDSON, Los Altos, Senior, Defender

The Hacienda League first-team selection also was named to the CIF-SS Division 3 first-team after leading the best defense in the area as the central back. The Conquerors only allowed 15 goals all season, finishing 21-3-3 and advancing to the semifinals before losing in penalty kicks to Lakewood St. Joseph.

MORGAN QUARTERNIK, San Dimas, Senior, Defender
Was the central defender on the undefeated Valle Vista league champions that only allowed four goals in league. She helped the Saints reach the Division 6 quarterfinals and was named to the Division 6 first team. She also earned league first-team honors for the second consecutive season.

SABRINA MAY, Diamond Bar, Sophomore, Defender
One of two sophomores on the first team, May was named to the CIF-SS Division 3 first team and also was a Hacienda League first-team selection. She was part of a defense that only allowed five goals in league and helped the Brahmas reach the Division 3 quarterfinals.

SHAYLA HARRIS, South Hills, Senior, Defender
Considering how brutally difficult the Sierra League was, earning defensive league most valuable player honors and being named to the Division 2 first team was an impressive accomplishment. She was the central defender on a team that only allowed 21 goals against an extremely tough schedule.

JAMIE PETERS, Bishop Amat, Junior, Midfielder
The Lancers’ attacking midfielder could finish as well as set others up, finishing with 16 goals and 19 assists for the Del Rey league champion Lancers. She started on a CIF championship team as a sophomore and earned league first-team honors this past season in helping her team reach the second round.

JESSICA LOPEZ, Sierra Vista, Senior, Midfielder
The areas leading scorer had another remarkable season in leading the Dons to their fourth straight Montview league title while picking up most valuable player honors for the second straight season. She finished with 35 goals and 30 assists in leading her team to a 21-4 overall record and Division 6 quarterfinal appearance.

DAISY DURAN, San Dimas, Senior, Forward
The goal-scoring machine finished with 29 goals and 14 assists for the Valle Vista league champion Saints, who advanced to the CIF-SS Division 6 quarterfinals. Duran was named the league most valuable player and also was selected to the Division 6 first team.

SOPHIA SERAFIN, Bishop Amat, Freshman, Forward
The only freshman on the first team had an incredible first season, finishing with 28 goals and 16 assists for the Del Rey league champion Lancers, who also advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 second round. Serafin was named the Del Rey league most valuable player and also was named to the Division 3 first team.

HAILEY ZERBEL, South Hills, Sophomore, Forward
Was part of one of the best Huskies teams ever, finishing second in the Sierra League to eventual CIF-SS Division 2 champion Chino Hills while helping her team to an 18-4-2 overall record and second-round appearance in the Division 2 playoffs. She was named to the Sierra League first team, finishing with 21 goals and four assists

ALLISON KUNG, Wilson, Senior, Forward
One of the best attackers in the area, Kung was rewarded by being selected to the CIF-SS Division 6 first team while also earning Valle Vista league first team honors. Kung helped her team to the second round of the Division 6 playoffs, finishing with 24 goals and six assists.

EVELYN FIERROS, Bishop Amat, Senior, Goalkeeper
Was named the Del Rey league goalkeeper of the year, finishing with 14 shutouts while only allowing 24 goals. She helped the Lancers reach the second round of the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs and won a championship as a junior.

Defender: Joni Gener, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Defender: Kelci Boone, South Hills, Sr.
Defender: Jazzmyn Esquivel, Los Altos, Jr.
Midfielder: Leah Kolek, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Midfielder: Hanna Armandariz, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Midfielder: Heidi Serna, South Hills, Sr.
Midfielder: Holly Abdelkader, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Midfielder: Rachel Curley, Bonita, Jr.
Forward: Daisy Ruiz, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Forward: Amber Marinero, South Hills, So.
Goalkeeper: Britain Chaputa, San Dimas, Jr.

1. South Hills (18-4-2)
2. Los Altos (21-3-3)
3. Diamond Bar (18-5-3)
4. Bishop Amat (19-6-3)
5. San Dimas (18-7)
6. Sierra Vista (21-4)
7. Wilson (12-10-4)
8. Azusa (10-6-4)
9. Baldwin Park (9-8-5)
10. Bonita (10-13)

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Boys Soccer All-Area: Sierra Vista’s Michael Flores and Baldwin Park’s Danny Vega share top honors

TOP ROW (Left to Right): Guy Horcasitas (Diamond Bar), Elmer Jacobs (Sierra Vista), Mario Saenz (Sierra Vista), Manny Medina (Los Altos), Alfredo Navarro (Arroyo), Michael Flores (Sierra Vista), Eduardo Suarez (Baldwin Park), Javier Jasso (Baldwin Park)
BOTTOM ROW (Left to Right): Andre Gamboa (Diamond Bar), Jesse Hernandez (Northview), Isaiah Romero (Los Altos), Danny Vega (Baldwin Park), Andy Castillo (Baldwin Park).

SOCPLAYERSCO PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Michael Flores (Sierra Vista); Danny Vega (Baldwin Park)
Both seniors, Sierra Vista’s Michael Flores may go down as the best player in school history while Baldwin Park’s Danny Vega finished off one of the greatest runs in area history to share San Gabriel Valley Tribune player of the year honors.
Flores helped Sierra Vista to one of its best seasons in history, advancing to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 semifinals before losing its only game of the season, a 2-1 loss to Oak Hills, to finish 23-1-2.
Flores was the midfield general, earning Montview league MVP honors as well as being named to the CIF-SS Division 4 first team after finishing the season with 16 goals and 28 assists.
Vega finished among the section leaders in goals scored, finishing with an area-leading 40 that was topped with a clutch playoff run that resulted in the Braves winning the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 championship in a 5-4 penalty shootout over Marshall after a scoreless regulation and two overtimes.
Vega started the playoffs by scoring all four goals in a 4-0 win over Laguna Beach, while also scoring in wins over Diamond Bar, Estancia and notching the final penalty kick in the shootout to help the Braves raise their second championship trophy in four years. Vega was named the Valle Vista league MVP and also was named to the CIF-SS Division 5 first team.

mIRACOACH OF THE YEAR: Ricardo Mira, Baldwin Park
The longtime Braves coach earned his second coach of the year honor after leading the Braves to the Valle Vista league championship and CIF-Southern Section Division 5 title, beating Marshall 5-4 in penalty kicks after a 0-0 tie in regulation and two overtimes.
It was the second championship in four years for the Braves coach, who also won the Division 5 title in 2011 and advanced to the finals in 2010.

JESSE HERNANDEZ, Northview, Senior, Defender
The Valle Vista League first-team selection helped the Vikings to their best season in history, finishing second in league to eventual Division 5 champion Baldwin Park while advancing to the quarterfinals. Hernandez was the central back given the assignment of marking the opposing teams top players.

ELMER JACOBS, Sierra Vista, Junior, Defender
Arguably the areas best defender the junior was named first team all Montview League and was selected to the CIF-SS Division 4 first team. He was part of a team that lost one game all season, in the Division 4 semifinals to Oak Hills, helping his team finish a remarkable 23-1-2 while leading a defense that only allowed 17 goals all season.

EDUARDO SUAREZ, Baldwin Park, Senior, Defender
The smooth defender/midfielder was named to the Valle Vista first-team and also was selected to the CIF-SS Division 5 first-team as part of the Braves’ championship squad. He was pivotal in the final against Marshall, helping his team pitch a shutout to get to the penalty shootout, which the Braves won 5-4 on PKs.

JAVIER JASSO, Baldwin Park, Senior, Midfielder
The architect on the field was a playmaker and goal scorer for the Braves and turned the volume up in the playoffs, culminating with a Division 5 title and earning Jasso Division 5 player of the year honors. He scored big-time goals in the playoffs and also was named to the Valle Vista League first team after helping the Braves to the league title.

GUY HORCASITAS, Diamond Bar, Junior, Midfielder
The Hacienda League first-team selection finished with 16 goals and five assists for the league co-champion Brahmas, who advanced to the Division 5 quarterfinals before losing a heartbreaking game to eventual champion Baldwin Park, 2-1. The attacking midfielder will be a force in 2014-15 along with scoring partner Andre Gamboa.

FREDDY NAVARRO, Arroyo, Junior, Midfielder.
The Knights’ sturdy playmaker was named co-most valuable player of the Mission Valley League in helping the Knights to a second-place finish along with El Monte, finishing only a half-game back of Mountain View in the highly competitive league.

ANDY CASTILLO, Baldwin Park, Senior, Midfielder
One of four Braves players named to the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 first team and also a Valle Vista league first-team selection for the league champion and CIF championship squad. Castillo worked both sides of the midfield, getting back on defense on counters and working the offensive end on breakaways.

MANNY MEDINA, Los Altos, Senior, Forward
Named the Hacienda League most valuable player after helping the Conquerors share the league title along with Diamond Bar. Medina finished with 13 goals and two assists, including a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory over West Covina.

ANDRE GAMBOA, Diamond Bar, Junior, Forward.
One of the areas best pure goal scorers, Gamboa was named Hacienda League co-most valuable player and finished with 22 goals and 10 assists. He helped the Brahmas to an upset over second-seed Monrovia in the second round of the Division 5 playoffs and helped take eventual champion Baldwin Park to the wire before losing 2-1 in the quarterfinals.

MARIO SAENZ, Sierra Vista, Senior, Forward
One of the areas best goal scorers, Saenz finished with 25 goals and four assists, earning Montview League first-team honors as well as being named to the CIF-SS Division first team. Saenz helped the Dons to one of its best seasons in history, finishing 23-1-2 in advancing to the Division 4 semifinals before losing its only game of the season 2-1 to Oak Hills.

ISAIAH ROMERO, Los Altos, Senior, Goalkeeper
Named the Hacienda League most valuable goalkeeper on the co-league championship team. Romero boasted nine shutouts and allowed just 26 goals all season.

Defender: Garret Souza, Damien, Jr.
Defender: Steve Flores, Charter Oak, Sr.
Defender: Tim Ebiner, Damien, Jr.
Defender: Spencer Brose, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Midfielder: Juan Gonzales, Los Altos, Sr.
Midfielder: Eli Sanchez, Damien, Sr.
Midfielder: Miguel Cruz, El Monte, Sr.
Midfielder: Christian Palacios, Northview, Sr.
Forward: Jacob Bianchessi, Damien, Sr.
Forward: Brandon Arconado, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Goalkeeper: Cesar Rosales, Sierra Vista, Sr.

1. Sierra Vista (23-1-2)
2. Baldwin Park (21-5-2)
3. Damien (14-4-4)
4. Northview (17-5-2)
5. Diamond Bar (17-8-3)
6. Los Altos (12-6-6)
7. Bishop Amat (10-7-3)
8. El Monte (12-3-1)
9. Arroyo (12-4-4)
10. Duarte (15-7)

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Biggest Little Track Meet in the Country: Arcadia Invitational starts on Friday

Arcadia Invitational
Friday Night Relays session from 4:30 to 10 p.m.
Saturday Open session from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday Invitational session from 4 p.m. -10 p.m.
Adults, $7
; Students w/ HS ID, $7; 
Children 12 & under, $5.

Saturday (All Day): 
Adults, $15; 
Students w/ HS ID, $10; 
Children 12 & under, $5

ARCADIA INVITE PREVIEW: Track and field in the U.S. might be back on an upswing.
It still may not be the first pulse of the average American adult, but it apparently is hitting heartbeats among the nation’s youth.
Arcadia Invitational track and field meet director Rich Gonzales knows it is happening. It is why he will be pushing for bigger fields in future years,
“Honestly, we’re at the point where we need to find a way to make it larger,” he said. “There are so many people not getting in.
“The demand is obviously there. There are so many people that are turned away and they are good people. Our cutoff on the bottom end gets tougher each year.”
The three-day 47th annual meet, which begins today at Arcadia High School, has nearly 4,000 athletes from 712 high schools in 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand competing. It’s been roughly the same amount of athletes competing for the last several years.


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


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

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Baseball: Damien makes South Hills pay for miscues, routs Huskies, 10-2, to take control of Sierra League race

Damien's Grant Hockin (C), left, celebrates with teammate David Banuelos (C) (18) after scoring in the second inning of a prep baseball game at Damien High School in La Verne, Calif., on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.  (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

Damien’s Grant Hockin (C), left, celebrates with teammate David Banuelos (C) (18) after scoring in the second inning of a prep baseball game at Damien High School in La Verne, Calif., on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
(Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

LA VERNE – When your success relies on pitching and defense and you don’t catch the ball, bad things usually happen.
They did for South Hills High School Wednesday afternoon, and host Damien took full advantage.
Grant Hockin and Jonathan Olsen each had two hits and two RBIs and Hockin was solid on the mound as the Spartans took control of the Sierra League baseball race with a 10-2 victory over the Huskies.
Damien, also getting two RBIs from Jordan Abernathy, improved to 12-2 and 4-0 in league play. Hockin gave up five hits and struck out five in six innings to improve to 7-0. Damien had eight hits.
South Hills, which committed five errors before breaking the shutout with a two-run home run by Francisco Ramirez in the sixth, slipped to 12-2-1 and 3-1.
Hockin got Damien rolling early with a triple to lead off the second inning. He then scored for a 1-0 lead following back-to-back errors. The Spartans pushed it 2-0 in the third on a double by Olsen and a RBI single by Grant Woodward before scoring five unearned runs in the fourth with help from two South Hills’ errors for a 7-0 lead. Hockin and Olsen each had two-run singles as Damien sent 10 batters to the plate.

Damien’s Grant Hockin: “Wining this game means a lot, because now we’re in first place alone. South Hills is kind of like our arch rival, so it feels really good to beat them. They made errors and we capitalized on them. The score showed that.”

South Hills coach Darren Murphy: “This was bound to happen. We’ve played really well, we’ve hit well, we’ve played good defense, we’ve pitched well. When it rains, it pours, and we opened the door against a good team and a good team exposed us.”

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Rankings the Tribune’s best softball pitchers of all-time: You have to go with Charter Oak’s Christy Tucker at No. 1

With South Hills freshman pitcher Natalie Lugo already committed to Florida and one of the best pitchers to arrive on the area scene in years with this much potential, it got me wondering who are the ten best area pitchers of all time (Tribune area). I’m going to take a stab at this, here goes … Pictured below is former St. Lucy’s pitcher Danielle O’Toole, who checks in at No. 9.
1. Christy Tucker, Charter Oak – Won two championships. She led the Chargers to the 1990 4A championship as a freshman and won another title as a senior in Division II in 1993 while also earning D-II player of the year honors after recording 28 wins, which ranks amongst best all time for a single season. Um, family also owns Tucker Tire in Covina, my favorite place.
2. Rhonda Wheatley, Workman — Was named Division 2A co-player of the year in 1983 after leading the Lobos to a 1-0 victory over South Hills in the 2A final. She is the mother of former Tribune player of the year Courtney Gano, and Wheatley was among the NCAA’s best while setting all sorts of records at Cal Poly Pomona.
3. Mary Letourneau, Covina – Led Colts to 3A title in 1989 and was named player of the year. Widely considered among best ever.
4. Monica Messmer — Incredibly, she threw five consecutive no-hitters, which is one shy of the all-time CIF record. She was named co-player of the year with Wheatley in 1983, losing the 2A final in dramatic fashion, 1-0.
5. Jamee Juarez, Wilson — She went 19-3 with a 0.17 ERA and 251 strikeouts in 2002 for the Wildcats and went on to star at Ohio State.
6. Stacy Vogliardo, South Hills – Led Huskies to 1997 Division IV title in 2-1 victory over St. Paul and was named the D-IV player of the year and made the LA Times’ first team.
7. April Valdez, Wilson — Named 2000 Division III player of the year after leading the Wildcats to the title, winning 8-0 over Pacifica.
8. Erica Spano, San Dimas — She led the Saints to the Division IV title in 2001, winning 3-2 over Lompoc. She was named the Division IV player of the year.
9. Danielle O’Toole — The St. Lucy’s pitcher was the best I’ve seen over the last decade. She was named to the All-Area team three times during her stint with the Regents from 2009-12, earning all-CIF honors her senior year. O’toole is turning heads now at San Diego State.
10. Diana Lynn-Patterson – She’s the only back-to-back area player of the year over the last decade, earning the award in 2008 and ’09.

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Softball Rankings: South Hills and freshman newbie pitcher Natalie Lugo lead the way

lugoTribune Softball Rankings
1. South Hills (11-3) — Hearing freshman pitcher Natalie Lugo is the real deal. She’s already verbally committed to Florida and is 7-1 with a 0.25 ERA.
2. Bishop Amat (11-4) — Already 4-1 in the Del Rey. As pitching improves so does its record.
3. Glendora (10-4) — Won San Dimas tournament and hoping to make a run at the Baseline League title.
4. Bonita (7-3) — Clearly the favorite to win the Hacienda after opening with a win over West Covina.
5. Charter Oak (10-4) – Can beat anyone, but also loses a surprising game here and there.
6. West Covina (8-5) – Hit and miss. When Bulldogs are on they’re really on. When they’re not, they’re not.
7. San Dimas (7-6) – Best team in the watered-down Valle Vista.
8. Los Altos (6-4) — Already 2-0 in the Hacienda.
9. St. Lucy’s (6-7-1) – Advanced to the finals of the Northview tournament with a young squad.
1-. Edgewood (9-1) — My alma mater has some hitters and is already gearing up for 2015 in the new Miramonte.

Hitting Leaders (Based on Maxpreps)
1. Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood, .625 (20-for-32)
2. Alex Rodriguez, West Covina, .595 (22-for-37)
3. Celeste Wood, Los Altos, .583 (14-for-24)
4. Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, .576 (19-for-33)
5. Ciara Granado, Edgewood, .576 (19-for-33)
6. Alyssa Yanes, Edgewood, .567 (17-for-30)
7. Jenna Rodelo, Rowland, .560 (14-for-25)
8. Jocelyn Marquez, Northview, .545 (20-for-44)
9. Evelyn Sandoval, Arroyo, .542 (13-for-34)
10. Taylor Muse, Baldwin Park, .538 (14-for-26).

HOME RUN LEADERS: Ashley Diaz, South El Monte (6), Ciara Granado, Edgewood (6); Shannon Skrzynski, Diamond Ranch (5).
RBI LEADERS: Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood (26), Ciara Granado, Edgewood (26), Ashley Diaz, South El Monte (20)
ERA LEADERS: Natalie Lugo, South Hills (0.25), Princess Nava, Covina (0.76), Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak (1.00)
WIN-LOSS LEADERS: Cambria Keefer, Glendora, (8-1); Natalie Lugo, South Hills, (7-1); Nicole Nishimura, Diamond Ranch (6-2).

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Baseball Rankings: No. 1 South Hills and No. 2 Damien both 3-0 in Sierra and meet on Wednesday

Tribune Baseball Rankings
1. South Hills (12-1-1) – Won a tournament in South Carolina and faces Damien for first in Sierra on Wednesday.
2. Damien (11-2) — Spartans’ only two losses by one run each heading into Wednesday’s showdown with South Hills.
3. Glendora (9-4) – Advanced to the semifinals of the tough Boras Classic.
4. San Dimas (9-5) – After a quick start, Tribune’s pre-season No. 1 has lost three straight.
5. Bonita (9-5) — Allowing more runs than in past years, but still Hacienda league favorite.
6. Diamond Bar (10-6) — Why do the Brahmas always lose to Bonita? Oh wait, they finally got them.
7. Bishop Amat (5-6) — Against the best-of-the-best, Amat is an average team with an average record. But still favored to win the Del Rey.
8. Nogales (10-3-1) — Record impressive again, but will it be good enough to make a run at the Valle Vista league title?
9. Sierra Vista (10-2) – Already 4-0 in the Montview
10. Charter Oak (8-5) – Winners of four straight after winning the Don Lugo tournament.

Hitting leaders (based on Maxpreps)
1. Mark Gonzales, Pomona, .600, (14-for-29)
2. David Banuelos, Damien, .543 (19-for-35)
3. Matt Arguello, La Puente, .531 (17-for-32)
4. Jordan Abernathy, Damien, 500 (18-for-36)
5. Brandon Buna, Rowland, .500 (13-for-26)
6. Ryan Viramontes, West Covina, .488 (20-for-41)
7. Michael Guzman, Baldwin Park, .485 (16-for-33)
8. Eric Hernandez, Sierra Vista, .485 (16-for-33)
9. Derian Torres, Sierra Vista, .484 (15-for-31)
10. Erick Morales, La Puente, .457 (16-for-35)

HOME RUN LEADERS: Francisco Ramirez, South Hills (3), Jordan Abernathy, Damien (3), David Banuelos, Damien (3).
RBI LEADERS: David Banuelos, Damien (18), Alex Gonzalez, Bonita (16), Jordan Abernathy, Damien (16).
ERA LEADERS: Gavin Velasquez, South Hills (0.31), Anthony Deeter, West Covina (0.43), Christian Longoria, Walnut (0.67).
PITCHING RECORDS: Grant Hockin, Damien (6-0), Christian Longoria, Walnut (5-0), Anthony Deeter, West Covina (5-0).

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CIF-SS Baseball, softball polls: South Hills baseball No. 2 in D2; Bishop Amat softball No. 4 in D3

This week’s CIF-Southern Section baseball and softball polls are out, and South Hills leads the way among area teams, ranked No. 2 in Division 2 baseball. Six area teams are ranked among the seven divisions. Damien and Glendora are Nos. 8 and 9, respectively, in D2, with San Dimas and Nogales No. 3 and 10 in Division 4 and Sierra Vista No. 6 in Division 5.
In softball, Bishop Amat is ranked the highest, sitting at No. 4 in Division 3 for the second consecutive week. South Hills and Charter Oak are Nos. 6 and 10, respectively, in Division 2, with San Dimas No. 9 in Division 5.


sB polls

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Four-time champion and former South Hills football coach Steve Bogan will take over at Maranatha

STORY: Steve Bogan, who won four CIF championships during a highly successful 20-year run at South Hills, has been named the new head coach at Maranatha.
Bogan resigned from South Hills in early 2012. He won four CIF championships, 13 league championships and was 31-10 in the playoffs. He recently returned to coaching at South Hills, but at the freshman level.

IN THE HUDDLE: Absolute coup by Maranatha. Bogan’s track record is just about unparalleled around these parts and he should be the long-term fit that Maranatha’s been needing to take things to the next level and beyond — Aram Tolegian.


Maranatha press release: Maranatha High School is pleased to welcome Steve Bogan as their new Head FootballCoach. With over 30 years of coaching experience, Coach Bogan brings to Maranatha significant experience in building a quality football program and developing student-athletes. He served as the head coach of South Hills High School for 20 years. During that tenure he led his teams to 10 League Championships, reaching the CIF Quarterfinals 11 years in a row, and made 8 Semi-Final appearances. His teams have reached the CIF Finals 5 times, winning 4 CIF Championships in three different divisions.

Regarded by many as one of the best coaches in Southern California, Coach Bogan was named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune Coach of the Decade (2000-2009), during which time the Tribune and CIF-SS also named him Divisional Coach of the Year twice. He has coached in numerous All-Star games and has been a presenter at a number of coaching clinics throughout the years. Coach Bogan’s teams at South Hills had a 32 – 12 playoff record (73%) covering three league and four divisional moves over a 20-year period.

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South Hills baseball wins Mingo Bay Classic, beats Myrtle Beach 9-0 in South Carolina to improve to 12-1-1

frankieThe Huskies wreapped up the Mingo Bay Classic with their fifth win to claim the championship, defeating Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, 9-0. Frank Ramirez, who was named tournament MVP, went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and RBIs. Gavin Velasquez threw four scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and just one hit allowed to earn the win, improving to 3-1. Marcus Campos pitched two innings in relief and tallied three hits. Johnny Dearth threw the final inning to complete the shutout for the Huskies, who belted outs 12 hits to improve to 12-1-1

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Boras Classic: Slow start dooms Glendora in 4-1 loss to Vista Murrieta

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
Sometimes it’s not how you finish, but how you start that can make the difference in a high school baseball game.
It certainly was the case for Glendora Thursday.
Vista Murrieta took advantage of five walks and an error during the first two innings to score a 4-1 victory over the Tartans in a Boras Classic semifinal game at JSerra Catholic School.
The Broncos, who were held to two hits by Glendora pitchers Ryan Beyer and Jake Nelson, improved to 10-3 and will face either Mater Dei or Temecula Valley for the championship at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Mater Dei. Glendora, getting a RBI double from Nick Kaye, slipped to 9-3. The Tartans will face the Mater Dei-Temecula Valley loser for third place at Mater Dei at 3 p.m.
Glendora coach Dan Henley: “They are a quality ball club. We struggled early with throwing strikes, so they had a lot of opportunities, a lot of base runners. I look at the score, I was pleased we had an opportunity (late). We’re finding ourselves. This (tournament) is a positive experience for us. But if we want to get better, we have to execute early on.”

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Bishop Amat boys, girls find out what Del Rey Leagues (other than football) they will compete in next year if approved


Now that football is settled, the Del Rey League association is divided into three leagues for boys and girls sports starting in the fall. These are the recommendations that will be sent to league principals to get an email vote for approval. If they get approved as expected, they will become final and sent to CIF. But knowing how things have gone, nothing’s ever final until its final.




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Boras Classic: Kale Morton pitches Glendora over San Dimas to advance to semifinals

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
The area was already guaranteed of placing a team in the Boras Baseball Classic semifinals when San Dimas faced Glendora in the tournament quarterfinals Tuesday at Mater Dei High School.
Kale Morton made sure it was the Tartans who advanced.
The senior tossed a two-hitter to lead Glendora to a 5-0 victory over the Saints in a battle featuring two teams ranked in the area top 10.
The Tartans, also getting two RBIs each from Griffen Herrera and Justin Cage, led 3-0 after the first inning. Glendora improved to 9-2 and will face either JSerra or Vista Murrieta in Thursday’s semifinals at 6 p.m. at JSerra in San Juan Capistrano.
San Dimas, getting hits from Josh Avila and Daniel Millwee, slipped to 9-3. The Saints will play the loser of JSerra-Vista Murrieta game in a seventh-place semifinal at 3 p.m. on Thursday at Mater Dei.
Morton, who improved to 4-0, retired the first eight batters and didn’t allow a hit until Avila bunted for a single in fifth. Morton then hit David Vargas, but retired Jessie Garcia to end the inning. Millwee had an infield single in the sixth before Morton retired San Dimas in order in the seventh for the win.
Glendora took a 3-0 lead in the first, taking advantage of three walks by Peter Lambert before Herrera doubled to left for a 2-0 advantage. Cage followed with a RBI single to make it 3-0. The catcher also had a RBI single in the fifth for a 5-0 lead.
Glendora’s Kale Morton: “I felt good today. I commanded the zone, every pitch was working. I liked the first inning when we scored three runs. It gives me less pressure to pitch.”

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Monrovia running back Kurt Scoby signs with Fresno State

“It was either do or die for me and I’m not going to die,” Scoby said. “That’s one thing I’m not going to do. I’m going to be successful and I have something to prove. My reaction is thanking God and proving people wrong. I’ve dealt with adversity for a while and I wanted to prove people wrong and do what people said I couldn’t really do.”


By Aram Tolegian
Monrovia High School running back Kurt Scoby made good on his promise to get his academics in order and signed with Fresno St. on Tuesday afternoon.
Scoby, one of the top running back recruits on the West Coast, originally chose Fresno St. in fall but was unable to sign in February due to some unmet academic requirements. Fresno St. reserved Scoby’s scholarship in hopes of him qualifying and that’s exactly what he did.

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Bob Ramsey’s San Gabriel Valley track rankings and news

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

FROM BOB RAMSEY: The past week brought great conditions and strong competition, and the excellent results contributed to a considerable shakeup in the San Gabriel Valley team rankings. This list is based on the number of athletes and relays in the 2014 SGV Track & Field Rankings through 3/29.

30 – Arcadia (Last Week – 1)
29 – Walnut (2)
27 – Damien* (4)
19 – Monrovia (6)
18 – South Pasadena (NR)
16 – Glendora (5)
14 – St. Francis* (7)
13 – La Salle (9)
12 – Bonita (NR), California (3), Santa Fe (8)

*Single gender schools. We are using their actual number x 1.8. Because math.

trackgArcadia continues to lead in overall and they also lead with rankings in 23 of the 32 events, and with 8 event leaders – G 400, B/G 1600 & 3200, G 4×400, B Shot & B Discus. Walnut follows closely in the “complete team” race, with rankings in 21 events and 5 event leaders. Monrovia also leads the SGV in five events.
Individually, there were two new event leaders in the SGV, while eight other leaders improved their seasonal bests.
The Pasadena Games also produced the only two new SGV Event Leaders for this week. In the 400m, St. Francis junior Ross Niederhaus dropped a huge 48.67 pr while finishing 4th. Not to be outdone, Barrett Weiss (Flintridge Prep/Jr) jumped 14’1-1/2″ to win the pole vault.
SGV leaders Damien, Monrovia, & South Pasadena also competed at PCC. Wildcat senior Cravon Gillespe confirmed his SGV 200m lead with a big 21.70 pr to win the event, and the Monrovia girls 4×100 time of 47.72 extended their SGV lead. 2012 State Champ Claire Kieffer-Wright jumped a seasonal best 5’10″ to win the high jump. Muir senior Tierra Adams match an earlier season best of 43’7″ to win the shot and maintain the top spot in the SGV.
The Arcadia and Walnut traveled to the Mt Carmel Invitational, where Mustang soph Kayla Richardson confirmed her SGV sprints leadership with a pair of second places in seasonal bests of 11.90 & 24.40. Her senior teammate Kyle King took the SGV High Jump lead with a 6’5″ effort to finish 4th. Apache seniors Kyra White and Veronica Yamane improved their SGV leading marks in the 400 (58.07/4th) and 3200 (11:05/5th) respectively.
Elsewhere among the SGV leaders, Bonita made their big meet debut along with Santa Fe at the Covina Invitational, while Div. IV power La Salle went south to the Calvin Christian Small Schools Invite. Glendora and California were idle.

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Boras Baseball Classic Results: Glendora wins, Bishop Amat loses, San Dimas plays today at Noon

San Dimas bench reacts after Logan Murratalla (C) (not pictured) hit a bases loaded double in the fifth inning of a prep baseball game against Northview at San Dimas High School in San Dimas, Calif., on Friday, March 28, 2014. San Dimas won 15-5. (Keith Birmingham/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

San Dimas bench reacts after Logan Murratalla (C) (not pictured) hit a bases loaded double in the fifth inning of a prep baseball game against Northview at San Dimas High School in San Dimas, Calif., on Friday, March 28, 2014. San Dimas won 15-5. (Keith Birmingham/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Boras Baseball Classic Results
First Round (Bracket play)

Aliso Niguel vs. San Dimas, today, Noon
Glendora 5, Granite Hills 1
Vista Murrieta 9, Bishop Amat 5
JSerra 8, San Fernando 2
Valencia 2, Grossmont 1
Temecula Valley 9, Cypress 5
Chino Hills 5, Great Oak 2
Mater Dei 16, Serra 2

Tuesday’s second round
Aliso Niguel winner vs. Glendora at Mater Dei, 3 p.m.
Vista Murrieta at JSerra, 6 p.m.
Valencia vs. Temecula Valley at JSerra, 3 p.m.
Chino Hills at Mater Dei, 6 p.m.

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Gladstone Baseball Tournament

Monday’s Games
First Round

Webb 4, Gladstone 3
Keppel vs. La Canada
South Pasadena vs. Vista Del Lago
Ontario vs. La Puente
Tuesday’s Games

Webb vs. Keppel-La Canada winner, 2 p.m.
Ontario-La Puente winner vs. South Pasadena-Vista Del Lago winner, 10 a.m.
Consolation semifinals
Gladstone vs. Keppel-La Canada loser, 2 p.m.
Ontario-La Puente loser vs. South Pasadena-Vista loser, 10 a.m.
Wednesday’s Games

Semifinals winners, 2 p.m.
Consoaltion championship
Conso semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

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Area College softball: APU splits doubleheader with Hawaii-Hilo as Cougar coach Carrie Webber scores 200th win

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
Azusa Pacific University softball coach Carrie Webber scored her 200th victory Saturday as the host Cougars split a
Pacific West Conference with Hawaii-Hilo.
APU, getting a home run and four RBIs from freshman and former Charter Oak High School standout Nicki Sprague, won the opener, 5-2, before the Vulcans jumped out to a 9-0 lead en route to winning the second game, 13-8. The Cougars are now 27-12 overall and 15-9 in the PacWest. Hawaii-Hilo is 18-16 and 11-10.
Webber is 200-140 in her seventh season at APU.
The Cougars, after falling behind 9-0 in the second game, nearly rallied for the sweep. Abry Moreno (South Hills), who had three hits in the second game, and Sona Babayan, who had two hits in the second and four hits in the doubleheader, had RBIs to cut it to 9-4 in the third inning. Madison Hernandez, who had three RBIs in the second game, then had a two-run triple to highlight a four-run fifth that made it 10-8.
APU fell behind 1-0 in the first game, before Sprague gave the Cougars’ a 2-1 lead with a home run to right field in the first inning. She also had a two-run single in the second inning for a 4-1 lead. Pitchers Narissa Garcia and Carly Xepoleas combined on a seven-hitter for the win.

APU coach Carrie Webber: “That was really cool. I wasn’t really in the mindset of my 200th win. But it just goes to show the progress of what this program has accomplished over the last few years, and how we’re becoming a contender in any conference we’ve been in, (Golden State Athletic Conference) and PacWest. All the credit goes to the girls. The girls are the ones who get the wins. I just stand over here and try to look good while they are doing it. It’s exciting, but I just look forward to the next game.”

APU’s Nicki Sprague (on her home run): “I fouled off the pitch before and was upset that I missed my pitch. I got another one and gave it the same swing that I wanted on the first pitch. I was lucky to get that pitch again. You never try to hit those home runs, they just come.”

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Baseball: San Dimas routs Northview, 15-5

San Dimas bench reacts after Logan Murratalla (C) (not pictured) hit a bases loaded double in the fifth inning of a prep baseball game against Northview at San Dimas High School in San Dimas, Calif., on Friday, March 28, 2014. San Dimas won 15-5. (Keith Birmingham/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

San Dimas bench reacts after Logan Murratalla (C) (not pictured) hit a bases loaded double in the fifth inning of a prep baseball game against Northview at San Dimas High School in San Dimas, Calif., on Friday, March 28, 2014. San Dimas won 15-5. (Keith Birmingham/ San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

SAN DIMAS – The race for the Valle Vista League baseball title is just one week old, but already a favorite as emerged.
San Dimas, the consensus pick to begin the season, has lived up to the billing after rallying for a 15-5 victory over Northview on Friday to complete a two-game sweep in a league opening series featuring the league’s top two teams.
Logan Muratalla had five RBIs and Daniel Millwee had four hits and a RBI for the Saints, who improved to 7-2. Peter Lambert and Michael Starns also had three hits each and two RBIs each for San Dimas, which is ranked No. 2 in CIF-Southern Section Division 4. Starns also got the complete game victory, giving up seven hits with five strikeouts.
Zack Rojo had three RBIs and Jake Harrison two for Northview, which slipped to 4-4.
Northview looked like it might get the split after taking a 5-3 lead in the fifth. But the Saints, considered one of the top hitting clubs in the area, put on a hitting display in its fifth, scoring six runs on eight hits for an 11-5 lead
Starns had the big hit, a two-run single to score Jacob Castillo and Jonathan Longtin for a 6-5 lead. Muratalla then capped the rally with a three-run double. He also had a two-run single in the sixth for a 15-5 advantage.

San Dimas’ Logan Muratalla: “It’s a big win. The guys stepped up today. The bats weren’t there at the beginning of the game, then we stepped up, everybody stepped up. Our coaches always tell us, work like you’re losing. That really helps, and a lot of guys stepped up. We kept getting hits. One guy would get a hit, and we just kept it going.”

San Dimas’ Michael Starns: “I felt like I had a good approach at the plate. I felt if I get these runs in, we’ve got a good chance to win the game.”

Northview’s Jake Harrison: “I was just trying to do what I could do to make the team better. Sometimes I’m not going to contribute, but sometimes I am. I’m always going to be there for my teammates.”

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Area Colleges: Mt. SAC gets the best of Citrus, 9-2

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
Mt. San Antonio College has held a competitive advantage over region rival Citrus in recent years, and that didn’t change Friday.
Stefania Aradillas hit a grand slam and Charlotte Foster had two hits and a home run to lead the host Mounties to a 9-2 victory over the Owls in a nonconference softball game at Mt. SAC.
Alexandrea Simmons had three bunt singles and scored three runs and pitchers Natalie Sanchez (Bishop Amat High School) and Sabrina Garcia combined on a four-hitter and six strike outs for Mt. SAC, which improved to 24-4. Celina Felix also had three hits and scored three runs for the Mounties, who are ranked No. 9 in the state by the CCCAA and No. 6 in Southern California.

Citrus, getting two hits from Raeleen Tellez (Charter Oak), slipped to 16-10. The Owls are ranked No. 10 in Southern California.

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Softball: Bonita scores 6-3 win over West Covina

Bonita, West Covina photo gallery

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)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

LA VERNE – The moment called for something big to happen, and Chloe Melanson didn’t let her Bonita High School softball teammates down Thursday.
The junior right fielder hit a two-run homerun to highlight a five-run sixth inning and the host Bearcats opened Hacieinda League play with a 6-3 victory over West Covina, which is expected to be their chief challenger for a second consecutive league crown.
Veronica Ortega had two hits and Kaelin McFadden was steady in the circle for Bonita, which improved to 6-4.
Jade Nua and Maddy Tickey had two hits each for West Covina, which slipped to 7-5.
The Bulldogs were sitting pretty after taking a 2-1 lead in the sixth on a double by Nua and a fielding error. But the good fortune changed in the bottom of the inning.
Berlyn Benavides reached first on an error to lead off the inning, and Melanson followed with her two-run shot to left field for the 3-2 edge. Singles by McFadden and Leticia Morales and two more West Covina errors allowed the Bearcats to push it to 6-2.

Bonita’s Chloe Melanson: “The first two at-bats I popped up. The coaches told me we really had focus against this team. I didn’t want to be a selfish player, so as soon as we got a rally going, I just wanted to hit the ball hard somewhere. I was so excited, because I wasn’t even thinking about hitting a home run there. Our team was pumped to come from behind. We knew we had it in us, and we got it done.”

Bonita coach Art Montano: “I’m never concerned. That’s the reason you have back-up pitchers.”

West Covina coach Jesse Mendez: “We’re up 2-1 in the sixth. We have to make the routine plays. If you don’t make the routine plays, things like this happen. I thought we played well up to that inning. But I can’t wait until we play them again. Our pitcher Maddy Tickey did a good job controlling their batters. We made some mistakes, but we have to learn from them.”

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Bishop Amat softball loses to rival St. Paul, 7-5

Bishop Amat, St. Paul photo gallery
lariosRound One went to St. Paul on Thursday, but two rounds with Bishop Amat remain.
The Swordsmen softball team scored six times in the fifth inning of its Del Rey League showdown with the visiting Lancers at York Field and earned a 7-5 victory. That leaves both teams at 2-1 in league play, atop the standings.
The victory was the first at any level – freshman, JV or varsity – for St. Paul’s seniors against Bishop Amat.
“It was a big win for us,” said St. Paul senior center fielder Lovie Lopez, “especially because they’re our rival.”

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