Aram Football notes: Los Altos’ midnight practice, St. Francis QB update and Schurr’s Lance Babb II headline

By Aram Tolegian
Why ruin a good thing?
That’s the way first-year Los Altos High School football coach Hector Spathias is approaching many of his new school’s traditions, both new and old
Early Thursday morning, Spathias and his team embraced the midnight practice concept started by former head coach Dale Ziola and reserved for the team’s first workout in pads. So, there the Conquerors were into the wee hours of the morning, banging away on each other under the lights.
“We don’t want to take their identity away, we just want to build on it,” Spathias said. “It’s easier to build on what’s there and take it to the next level. So, it was good. It was fun for the kids. It was their first day in pads.
“We’ve been going in the day and it’s been really hot, so the kids really enjoyed practicing at night.”
Spathias estimated the practice was over by 3 a.m., at which point the kids left, presumably headed directly for their beds at home. The team was given the rest of Thursday off.
The Conquerors have a lot of holes to fill this season after losing last year’s dynamic senior class to graduation. The Conquerors went 13-1 in 2016 and won the Hacienda League. Ziola resigned shortly after the season.
Spathias was offensive line coach at Montebello last season, but prior to that he turned in a solid showing at Bassett, where he made a struggling program into something competitive despite battling low player turnout.

St. Francis head coach Jim Bonds confirmed Tuesday that Crespi transfer Darius Perrantes has won the Golden Knights starting QB job. Now the question is will he be eligible when the season starts?
Perrantes is currently listed on the CIF website as a sit-out-period player with eligibility for football beginning on Oct. 2. Bonds expects he’ll have his starting man, however, when the season starts after the school submits a new filing with CIF for a valid change of residence.
Perrantes won a spirited offseason battle for the quarterback position. The sophomore will have plenty to work with as St. Francis has a standout in receiver Greg Dulcich, who was also part of the quarterback competition at one point. Experienced running back Elijah Washington is also back.

The college offers continue to roll in for Schurr receiver Lance Babb II. Just this week, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado State have joined the fray seeking Babb’s services next season.
Among others, Babb already has offers from Air Force, Army and Idaho. He’s part of a loaded Schurr offense that has returning experience at all of the skill positions. Babb had 57 receptions for 1,153 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

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Charter Oak players and coach Lou Farrar talk about the summer, recruiting and expectations

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Let the countdown to the high school football season begin …

First day of the high school football season is roughly three weeks away and what I’ll do is post football schedules, results and stories for Whittier, Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here on the blog throughout the season as well as two-minute drills and predictions.
As a countdown to the football season, we’ll unveil a best of the best all-encompassing top ten that combines the Tribune, Star-News and Whittier Daily News beginning Monday featuring the tenth-ranked team, and continue the countdown daily until we crown No. 1 on Aug. 18, roughly a week before the season begins. Between now and then, if you have story ideas, transfer news to share or anything you think our readers need to know, email me at or hit me up on twitter at @sgvnsports. Until Monday, here is a look at the Week 0 football schedule. It opens with a triple-header that features Glendora and South Hills in games Thursday night, followed by Bishop Amat taking on Mater Dei Friday along with Northview thinking it can upset Charter Oak the same evening. On Saturday, the weekend closes out with one of the areas best rivalries, the Smudge Pot, featuring San Dimas and Bonita.

Thursday, Aug. 24

Glendora vs. Kaiser at Citrus College, 7 p.m.
Pasadena at Buena Park, 7 p.m.
Crenshaw vs. South Hills at Covina District Field, 7 p.m.
Poinciana vs. Whittier Christian at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Kissimmee, FL, 6 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 25
Alhambra vs. South El Monte at Moor Field, 7 p.m.
Alta Loma at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m.
Arcadia at La Salle, 7 p.m.
Baldwin Park at El Monte, 7 p.m.
Burbank at Monrovia, 7 p.m.
Cantwell-Sacred Heart at Glendale, 7 p.m.
Chaparral at Rancho Cucamonga, 7 p.m.
Covina at Arroyo, 7 p.m.
Damien at Chino, 7 p.m.
Gabrielino at Costa Mesa, 7 p.m.
Ganesha at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m.
Gladstone vs. Wilson at Citrus College, 7 p.m.
Hawthorne at La Canada, 7 p.m.
Keppel at Malibu, 4 p.m.
La Habra at Upland, 7 p.m.
Orange Lutheran at La Mirada, 7 p.m.
Maranatha at Rim of the World, 7 p.m.
Marshall vs. Duarte at Pasadena High, 7 p.m.
Mater Dei at Bishop Amat, 7 p.m.
Montclair at San Gabriel, 7 p.m.
Muir at Compton, 7 p.m.
Nogales at Garey, 7 p.m.
Northview at Charter Oak, 7 p.m.
Norwalk vs. El Rancho at Excelsior Adult School, 7 p.m.
Pasadena Poly at Temple City, 7 p.m.
Rosemead at South Pasadena, 7 p.m.
Rowland at Walnut, 7 p.m.
San Marino at Los Altos, 7 p.m.
Santa Fe at Cathedral, 7 p.m.
Savanna at Bassett, 7 p.m.
Schurr at California, 7 p.m.
Sonora vs. Whittier at La Habra, 7 p.m.
Southlands Christian at Arrowhead Christian, 7 p.m.
Viewpoint at Mountain View, 7 p.m.
West Covina at Colony, 7 p.m.
Workman at La Puente, 7 p.m.
Bakersfield Centennial at Diamond Ranch, 7 p.m.
Garfield at Montebello, 7 p.m.
San Diego Montgomery at Pioneer, 7 p.m.
St. Paul at Venice, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 26
San Dimas vs. Bonita at Citrus College, 7 p.m.
La Serna vs. La Costa Canyon, 7 p.m.

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Charter Oak QB Matt Takata transfers to La Mirada

Just a month before the high school football season begins, Matt Takata, who had been battling for the starting quarterback spot at Charter Oak, left the school to enroll at La Mirada and is already practicing with his new team.
Takata, one of a handful of quaterbacks that platooned for the Chargers when Brett Clemetson was lost to a broken collarbone, completed 45 of 82 passes for 811 yards and four TDs. He had his best game against Chino, throwing for 409 yards and three TDs.
It appeared the Chargers’ starting QB spot was Takata’s to lose, but in the Battle of the Beach summer passing tourney and during a recent scrimmage with Bishop Amat, Jalen Palacios, a senior, improved his stock and may have pushed himself ahead of Takata on the depth chart.
Palacios, who was a WR and DB last season, was not part of the many QBs who platooned last year following Clemetson’s injury because he was recovering from an injury of his own. Palacios tore his ACL early in the season against Glendora and was lost for the year.
With Takata now at La Mirada, you can pencil in Palacios as the starting QB. No word on whether Takata will be eligible right away or if he will have to wait for the sit-out-period to end.

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Los Altos’ Savannah Diederich and coach Lydell McCullough top 2017 Tribune Softball All-Area Team

By Fred Robledo
@SGVNSports on Twitter

Los Altos high school was the area’s biggest surprise of the 2017 softball season and it came with the emergence of junior pitcher Savannah Diederich, who dominated in the circle and carried a big stick for the Conquerors.
Diederich, a junior who is verbally committed to the University of Mississippi, struggled along with the Conquerors just a year ago, finishing 11-13-1 and third in the Hacienda.
Amazing what a year of work will do.
Diederich was dominant this season, finishing 22-7 with a 1.40 ERA and 219 strikeouts while leading the Conquerors to an undefeated Hacienda League title run and 24-7 overall record.
Diederich also performed well in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs, leading the Conquerors to the quarterfinals before losing a pitching duel to Ayala, 1-0.
What made Diederich even more threatening is what she did with a bat in her hands, hitting .437 with three homers, 10 doubles and 24 RBIs to earn Hacienda League player of the year honors.
For her efforts, Diederich has been named the Tribune’s 2017 softball player of the year.
Joining Diederich with top honors is Los Altos coach Lydell McCullough, who was named the Tribune’s coach of the year.
McCullough had coached previously with Los Altos, but after Los Altos struggled to a losing season a year ago, it brought McCullough back and he quickly restored the tradition with a league title and quarterfinal playoff run.
Joining Diederich and McCullough on the Tribune first team are 16 standouts led by a deep arsenal of four pitchers.
South Hills’ Natalie Lugo, a three-time Tribune player of the year and headed to the University of Florida in the fall, was strong in the circle again, but didn’t have the defensive help as years past.
She put up her usual solid numbers, finishing 9-9 with a 1.43 ERA with an area-leading 233 strikeouts in 144 innings.
St. Lucy’s Dakota Casper helped carry the Regents to the Division 2 semifinals, throwing a gem in a 4-0 quarterfinal victory over Villa Park before losing a heartbreaker in the semifinals to Camarillo, 1-0.
Casper, the Baseline League MVP, finished 19-6 with a 2.29 ERA while also batting .275 with three home runs.
Glendora junior pitcher Noemi Flores was named the Palomares League MVP after leading the Tartans to the league title, finishing 11-4 with a 2.50 ERA.
Charter Oak senior pitcher EmaRae Flores rounds out the first team of pitchers. She was solid all season, finishing 18-5 with a 2.26 ERA and leading the Chargers to the Division 2 quarterfinals.
Two underclass catchers were named to the first team, St. Lucy’s sophomore Audrey Sellers and Charter Oak junior Jantzen Owen. Both were not just extremely solid defensively, they also brought a lot of offensive firepower.
Sellers, a Baseline first-team selection, batted .476 with nine home runs, 10 doubles and 32 RBIs.
Jantzen, a Hacienda league first teamer, batted .377 with six home runs, four doubles and 38 RBIs.
Seven infielders landed on the first team, which included two super sophomores in Wilson’s Janelle Meono and South El Monte’s Chasity Martinez.
Meono, a University of Arizona commit and Valle Vista first-teamer, helped lead the Wildcats to the Division 6 semifinals, batting a ridiculous .667 with eight triples, five doubles and three home runs.
Martinez led the Eagles to the Mission Valley League title and was league MVP. She led the Eagles to the Division 5 quarterfinals, batting .451 with four homers, nine doubles and 37 RBIS.
Bishop Amat featured two infielders on the first team with senior shortstop Gabby Bracamonte and third baseman Madeline Ramirez, who were both named to the Del Rey first team.
Bracamonte batted .400 with five doubles and two triples while Ramirez hit. 419 with three home runs, six doubles and 17 RBIs.
Los Altos junior Kelly Monroy, Glendora’s Amanda Woods and St. Lucy’s Samantha Garcia also were named first team infielders.
Woods, a Palomares first-teamer, batted .357 with 20 RBIs and Garcia, a Baseline first-teamer, batted a whopping .543 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs.
Monroy, a shortstop, was named to the Hacienda first team after batting .500 with 10 doubles and 22 RBIs.
Three outfielders made the first team, which included Glendora sophomore Chloe Bahruth, Los Altos’ Melissa Felix and San Dimas senior Brooke Jackson.
Jackson, also the Valle Vista League MVP, batted a team best .455 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs.
Bahruth, named to the Palomares first team, batted .325 with a team-best 30 RBIs.
Felix, a junior named to the Hacienda first team, batted .443 with 18 RBIs.

Player of the year: Savannah Diederich, Los Altos, Jr.
Coach of the year: Lydell McCullough, Los Altos

Pitcher: Natalie Lugo, South Hills, Sr.
Pitcher: EmaRae Flores, Charter Oak, Sr.
Pitcher: Dakota Casper, St. Lucy’s, Sr.
Pitcher: Noemi Flores, Glendora, Jr.
Catcher: Jantzen Owen, Charter Oak, Jr.
Catcher: Audrey Sellers, St. Lucy’s, So.
Infield: Janelle Meono, Wilson, So.
Infield: Kelly Monroy, Los Altos, Jr.
Infield: Samantha Garcia, St. Lucy’s, Jr.
Infield: Madeline Ramirez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Infield: Amanda Woods, Glendora, Sr.
Infield: Gabby Bracamonte, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Infield: Chasity Martinez, South El Monte, So.
Outfield: Chloe Bahruth, Glendora, So.
Outfield: Melissa Felix, Los Altos, Jr.
Outfield: Brooke Jackson, San Dimas, Sr.

Pitcher: Kennedy Cuevas, Edgewood, Jr.
Pitcher: Destinee Lopez, Bonita, Sr.
Catcher:: Clareese Santiago, Glendora, So.
Catcher: Giselle Bahena, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Utility: Andrea Wood, Los Altos, Sr.
Utility: Nevaeh Castruita, South El Monte, So.
Infield: Shynia Torrez, Arroyo, Sr.
Infield: Mia Ayala, Wilson, Fr.
Infield: Taylor Tetone, Glendora, Sr.
Infield: Camyl Armendariz, Bonita, Fr.
Infield: Karissa Duran, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Outfield: Morgan Salgado, Charter Oak, Fr.
Outfield: Clarissa Reynoso, San Dimas, Jr.
Outfield: Ruth Munoz, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Outfield: Katie Greep, St. Lucy’s, Jr.
Outfield: Alyssa Avalos, St. Lucy’s, Sr.

1. St. Lucy’s (19-7)
2. Los Altos (24-7)
3. Glendora (20-9)
4. Charter Oak (21-8)
5. South Hills (18-13)
6. Bishop Amat (14-12-1)
7. South El Monte (24-4)
8. San Dimas (18-10)
9. Wilson (17-11-2)
10. Edgewood (18-1)

Baseline: Upland
Del Rey: St. Joseph
Hacienda: Los Altos
Miramonte: Edgewood
Mission Valley: South El Monte
Montview: Sierra Vista
Palomares: Glendora
Valle Vista: San Dimas

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Nogales’ Jonathan Guardado and Walnut’s Paul Acosta top 2017 Tribune All-Area Baseball team

By Fred J. Robledo
There were plenty of amazing seasons for East San Gabriel Valley baseball players, but it was hard to match the total package of Nogales High School pitcher and catcher Jonathan Guardado, who helped lead the Nobles to the CIF Southern Section divisional semifinals for the first time since 1978.
Guardado pitched the Nobles to the semifinals, throwing a two-hitter in a 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Capistrano Valley in the Division 4 playoffs, but the Nobles fell in the semifinal game, spoiling a chance for Guardado to possibly lead the Nobles in a championship final.
Guardado, who is signed to play at the University of Arizona next, finished the season a perfect 14-0 with a 0.33 ERA, allowing just four earned runs in 84 innings. He also threw four no-hitters and finished with 145 strikeouts
When Guardado wasn’t pitching he was catching for the 27-3 Nobles, and also led the team in several offensive categories, batting. .488 with 36 RBIs and 13 doubles.
For his efforts, Guardado has been named the Tribune’s 2017 player of the year.
Guardado also was named the Montview League player of the year, and was selected to USA Today’s High School All-American second team.
Walnut coach Paul Acosta led the Mustangs to the divisional championship game for the second time in three years, and this time the Mustangs sealed the deal, defeating Righetti 13-2 to claim the Division 3 championship to give the Mustangs their first title since 1982.
Acosta, who won Tribune coach of the year honors in 2015 after knocking off previously undefeated and USA Today’s number one San Dimas in the CIF semifinals, has been named the coach of the year for 2017, giving him top honors in two of the last three years. Walnut also won the Hacienda League and finished 25-9.
The 2017 Tribune first team was loaded with 15 standouts, led by five amazing pitchers.
South Hills junior Brandon Dieter, who won player of the year in 2016 after leading the Huskies to the Division 2 title, had another amazing season, earning Palomares League co-most valuable player honors while dominating on the mound and at the plate.
Dieter finished 9-2 with a 0.85 ERA while also hitting .355 with 17 RBIs and seven doubles.
Glendora’s Hayden Pearce was equally impressive for the Tartans and shared Palomares MVP honors with Dieter.
Pearce finished 9-2 with a 1.24 ERA and batted .333 with 10 RBIs while helping the Tartans to the Division 2 quarterfinals.
Bishop Amat pitcher Isaac Esqueda was named the Del Rey League pitcher of the year and helped the Lancers win the league title and advance to the second round of the Division 1 playoffs. Esqueda finished 6-3 with a 1.01 ERA while also belting five doubles and homer.
San Dimas’ Lorenzo Llorens also was named to the first team after leading the Saints to the Valle Vista league title and earning league MVP honors. Llorens was 9-2 with a 1.33 ERA while also hitting .434 with 24 RBIs.
Walnut’s Brandon Godoy, only a junior, was named the Hacienda League MVP while also leading his team to the Division 3 championship. Godoy finished 11-1 with a 1.57 ERA while also batting .355 with 18 RBIs.
Godoy’s teammate, senior Andre Alvarez, was the lone catcher named to the first team after earning Hacienda first-team honors while batting. 417 with 24 RBIs and three home runs for the CIF champions.
The first team included six infielders, which featured South Hills senior Jacob Amaya, a Cal State Fullerton commit who was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round of Major League Baseball’s draft last week.
Amaya, a shortstop, was a Palomares first team selection for the fourth straight season, batting. .323 with 15 RBIs and three homers.
Bishop Amat shortstop and Vanderbilt-bound Jayson Gonzalez was named MVP of the Del Rey League and deservedly so after hitting . 375 with five homers, four doubles, three triples and 14 RBIs in helping the Lancers to the Division 1 second round.
Nogales shortstop and Montview first-teamer Steven Ordorica had the highest batting average on the first team, batting a whopping .517 with 19 RBIs and seven doubles.
Glendora junior shortstop Bryce Wooldridge, named to the Palomares first team, batted .383 with 21 RBIs and 14 doubles. And Damien third baseman Harrison Spohn, a Baseline first-teamer, batted .379 with seven doubles and three triples.
Charter Oak infielder Dino Miranda rounds out the first team infielders. He was selected to the Hacienda first team, batting .431 with 18 RBIs and nine doubles.
There were three outfields named to the first team, which includes Damien’s Isaiah Paige, South Hills’ Karlos Morales and San Dimas’ Dante Palacio, who all made first team all league.
Paige batted .313 with 14 RBIs while Morales hit .291 with 13 RBIs, three doubles and two triples.
Palacio batted. .372 with 24 RBIs and nine doubles.

Player of the year: Jonathan Guardado, Nogales, Sr.
Coach of the year: Paul Acosta, Walnut
Pitcher: Isaac Esqueda, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Pitcher: Brandon Dieter, South Hills, Jr.
Pitcher: Brandon Godoy, Walnut, Sr.
Pitcher: Haydon Pierce, Glendora, Sr.
Pitcher: Lorenzo Llorens, San Dimas, Sr.
Catcher: Andre Alvarez, Walnut, Sr.
Infield: Steven Ordorica, Nogales, Sr.
Infield: Bryce Wooldridge, Glendora, Jr.
Infield: Harrison Spohn, Damien, Sr.
Infield: Jacob Amaya, South Hills, Sr.
Infield: Jayson Gonzalez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Infield: Dino Miranda, Charter Oak, Sr.
Outfield: Karlos Morales, South Hills, Sr.
Outfield: Isaiah Paige, Damien, Sr.
Outfielder: Dante Palacios, San Dimas, Sr.

Pitcher: Matt Rodriguez, Wilson, Sr.
Pitcher: Julian Rodriguez, Charter Oak, Sr.
Pitcher: Elias Jauregui, Pomona, Jr.
Pitcher: Mario Huizar, Sierra Vista, Jr.
Catcher: Jesus Maldonado, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Catcher: Daniel Genna, South Hills, Jr.
Catcher: Jarrett Lindsay, Bonita, Sr.
Infield: Arty Zambrano, Wilson, Sr.
Infield: Joseph Bahna, San Dimas, Sr.
Infield: Andy Rodriguez, Walnut, Sr.
Infield: Jacob Gonzalez, Glendora, Fr.
Infield: Julian Valera, El Monte, Sr.
Outfield: Jacob Garcia, Walnut, Sr.
Outfield: Michael Landeros, Nogales, Jr.
Outfield: Dylan Zavala, Walnut, Sr.

Final Top Ten
1. Walnut (25-9)
2. Glendora (26-7)
3. South Hills (22-8)
4. Nogales (27-3)
5. Bishop Amat (20-10)
6. San Dimas (21-6)
7. Charter Oak (17-6)
8. Wilson (19-8)
9. Sierra Vista (16-8)
10. Bonita (15-11)

League Champions
Baseline: Etiwanda
Del Rey: Bishop Amat
Hacienda: Walnut
Miramonte: Pomona, Garey
Mission Valley: El Monte
Montview: Nogales
Palomares: South Hills, Glendora
Valle Vista: San Dimas

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Bonita baseball coach Samuel Lopez resigns after one year with the team; Delgado leaves for South Hills

Bonita baseball coach Samuel Lopez told his players Thursday that he is resigning after one year on the job, school officials confirmed. Lopez took over for longtime coach John Knott, who had built Bonita into a powerhouse and won a CIF title in 2012.
Lopez guided the Bearcats to a 15-11 overall record, but the Bearcats, accustomed to making deep playoff runs, failed to reach the Division 1 playoffs.
Lopez had left Carter High for Bonita after a successfull five-year tenure, compiling a 98-40 record, making the playoffs in all five years, and winning a league title three times. Sources said Lopez left to take another job closer to home. Also, senior-to-be Tommy Delgado, an infielder, transferred to South Hills. Delgado was injured for part of the season, but as a sophomore, he had a monster year, batting. 388 with five homers and 33 RBIs.

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