CIF RANKINGS: Not much respect here for the locals, but then, you gotta earn it …

This week’s CIf-SS Southern Section rankings don’t show a lot of local
teams among them, but then rollercoaster seasons — i.e. win two, lose
one; win three, lose two; win one, lose two — don’t stimulate the
voters to pay much attention.
In baseball, Cantwell Sacred Heart (14-4, 8-2 in league) is the only
area team ranked, but dropped from a solo No. 9 to a tie for No. 10 in
Division V, despite extending its win streak to six.
Whittier Christian (12-8, 5-1), had a 3-1 win over Alpha League leader
Brentwood sandwiched between victories over Crossroads for a three-win
week that gained a share of the league lead and earned the Heralds a
spot among “others receiving votes.” In softball, La Serna (15-2,
4-0) held steady at No. 3 in Division III, but La Mirada (19-2-1, 8-0),
despite clutch wins over Norwalk and John Glenn, slipped a notch to No.
9 in Division II, testimony that winning 15 in a row and 16 of 17 isn’t
as impressive as the loss if it happens late in the season.
Cantwell Sacred Heart (14-8, 5-0) is playing well enough to hold it’s
Camino Real League lead and No. 6 spot in Division VI, but not well
enough to move up.
In tennis, Whittier Christian remained No. 4 in Division V, and La Serna
cracked the poll at No. 10. Schurr, which had held No. 9 the past
three weeks, dropped out of the top 10 in Division IV.
In boys volleyball, El Rancho slipped a spot to No. 9 in Division III,
despite big wins last week over La Serna and Whittier, their main
challengers for the Del Rio League title. Whittier Christian was listed
again among others receiving votes.

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FOOTBALL: El Rancho staff set

The second phase is complete in El Rancho High School’s restructuring of
it football program.
The first phase was replacing former coach Willie
Reyna, and the hiring of Gene Parsons took care of that.
The second phase was putting together a staff, and Parsons’ confirmed Friday that
he has one in place, although he said he “might add one or two more” at some point down the line.
For the record, he listed the following:
Offensive coordinator – Joe Ledesma
Defensive coordinator – Roddy Hiatt
Running backs – Tony Gonzales
Secondary/receivers – David Cervantes
Offensive/defensive line – Bob Barajas, Louie Zamora
Parsons said that Ledesma would help out with the line, and that he
would handle the quarterbacks.
Ledesma was a Dons assistant coach under Greg Setlich.
Hiatt is a former head coach at East Los Angeles College.
Zamora was on Reyna’s staff.
The next step is getting the players to buy into the program, and apparently that is happening quickly.
“We’ll be ready for spring ball,” Parsons said during an interview last month. “We’re looking forward to it.”

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The scheduling seems to be working

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The caller wanted to know why Del Rio League baseball teams play
so many games (three) against each other?
Couldn’t the teams be better served to just play a home-and-home league
schedule and thereby gain experience by playing non-league games against
teams of their own choosing?
Putting it that way makes some sense, but so does playing each team three times, especially when two of the games are back-to-back in the same week.
Most often, it means the same pitcher can’t be used to dominate an opponent.
And the three games provide a built-in tiebreaker.
Granted, there are some coaches who would prefer to have more nonleague games against opponents selected on the basis of helping to better prepare for the league race.
But the way the Del Rio League, as well as the Almont League among others, is doing it seems to be
working, so if nobody has a better idea, and it ain’t broke, let’s leave
it alone.

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WRESTLING: Former SFHS coach to be honored

The time element is a little restricted, but it’s never too late to acknowledge someone’s efforts to build a high school program that eventually became one of the CIF Southern Section’s best.
The Santa Fe Wrestling Alumnni Association will hold its first Awards
Luncheon Fundraiser Sunday at the Clarke Estate, 10211 Pioneer Blvd., in Santa Fe Springs.
At the same time, they will honor Rick Sowers, who coached wrestling
at Santa Fe High School from 1969 to 1982, and in the process, laid the
ground work for the successful program the Chiefs now enjoy.
“He was the program’s founder,” said Tom Thomson, who wrestled for
Sowers and then carried on the winning tradition as the Chiefs’ coach before
retiring two years ago.
“He laid the foundation for the Santa Fe legacy that continues to this
day.”
Sunday’s festivities are from 1-4 p.m. and are open to the public.
Tickets are $25 per person, and checks should be made payable to Santa
Fe Wrestling, with ‘Sowers’ in the subject line. Proceeds will go to the
inception of the non-profit Santa Fe Wrestling Alumni Association.
For more information, contact Chris Vigil at (562) 651-5162, or Thomson
at (562) 972-9302, or e-mail www.SantaFeWrestling.net.

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Making the turn for home

With six games to play, nearly every one of them is crucial one way or another.
Whether it’s between two title or playoff contenders, or if one is a contender and the other a pretender bent on spoiling someone’s season.
Here is a list of key games for the rest of this week:
BASEBALL
Wednesday: Brentwood at Whittier Christian, 3:15 p.m.
Alpha League lead on the line.
California at Whittier, 3:15 p.m.
Cal challenging for DRL lead; Whittier for playoff spot.
Santa Fe at La Serna, 3:15 p.m.
La Serna needs win to keep playoff hopes alive.
La Habra at Sonora, 3:15 p.m.
Highlanders’ playoff hopes can’t afford another loss.

Thursday: Bishop Montgomery at St. Paul, 3:15 p.m.

Friday: Cantwell at Don Bosco Tech, 3:15 p.m.
No. 2 at No. 1 in Camino Real League.
Whittier at California, 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday’s winner would like to make it a sweep.
La Serna vs. Santa Fe, at Lake Center Athletic Center, 3:15 p.m.
Same pressure as in Wednesday’s game.
Sonora at La Habra, 3:15 p.m.
Crosstown rivalry adds spice to this one.
SOFTBALL
Thursday: Montebello at Schurr, 3:15 p.m.
Visiting Oilers can’t let rivals spoil their Almont League title hopes.
Cantwell at Gardena Serra, 3:15 p.m.
Host Cavaliers could be major threat to Camino Real Leaders.
St. Paul at Lakewood St. Joseph, 3:15 p.m.
Teams are tied for Del Rey League’s third playoff spot.
California at La Serna, 3:15 p.m.
One of area’s best rivalries, Condors would love to put damper on DRL-leading Lancers’ remarkable season.

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It’s almost time for Showtime

La Mirada High School’s fifth annual Showtime Tournament will offer local softball fans a chance to see four of the area’s best teams competing against each other.
The eight team field begins play Saturday with each team playing two games, and concludes May 5, with all the games being played at La Mirada’s Regional Park.
In addition to La Mirada, local entrants are La Habra, El Rancho and St. Paul.
Seeing them play each other should provide fodder for discussion of which is the area’s best team and who are the area’s best players.
Saturday’s schedule:
Pool A (Field 1): 9 a.m. — La Habra vs. Cerritos Valley Christian, 11 a.m. — Cerritos Valley Christian vs. La Mirada; 1 p.m. — Lakerwood vs. La Habra; 3 p.m. — Lakewood vs. La Mirada.
Pool B (Field 2): 9 a.m. — Long Beach Poly vs. Norco; 11 a.m. — Norco vs. St. Paul; 1 p.m. — Long Beach Poly vs. El Rancho; 3 p.m. — El Rancho vs. St. Paul.
Saturday, May 5 schedule :
Pool A (Field 1): 9 a.m. — La Habra vs. La Mirada; 11 a.m. — Lakewood vs. Cerritos Valley Christian.
Pool B (Field 2): 9 a.m. — El Rancho vs. Norco; 11 a.m. — Long Beach Poly vs. St. Paul.
The championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. (Field 1); 3rd/4th places, 1 p.m. (Field 2); 5th/6th places, 3 p.m. (Field 1); and 7th/8th places 3 p.m. (Field 2).

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