Week 9 pick’em: It ain’t gettin’ any easier

Montebello running back Fernando Toy on his way to a 10-yard gain in the Oilers’
20-7 win over Mark Keppel. Toy finished with 145 yards, two TDs in 13 carries.

Up to date:
Roger Murray: Last week – 5-3; Season 68-19
Andrew Campa: Last week – 2-6; Season 56-31

Friday games:
California vs. Whittier, at California HS: Murray (California), Campa (California)
Pioneer at El Rancho: Murray (Pioneer), Campa (Pioneer)
La Serna vs. Santa Fe, at Pioneer HS: Murray (Santa Fe), Campa (Santa Fe)
Verbum Dei at Cantwell: Murray (Cantwell), Campa (Cantwell)
Buena Park at La Habra: Murray (La Habra), Campa (La Habra)
La Mirada vs. John Glenn, at Excelsior HS: Murray (La Mirada), Campa (La Mirada)
Montebello at San Gabriel: Murray (San Gabriel), Campa (San Gabriel)
Bell Gardens at Schurr: Murray (Schurr), Campa (Bell Gardens)
Alemany at St. Paul: Murray (St.Paul), Campa (St. Paul)
Marshall vs. Whittier Christian, at Whittier College: Murray (WhChristian), Campa (Whittier Christian)

Best chance for upset: Murray (Whittier), Campa (Montebello)

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Week 8 pick’ems: Rivalries make it difficult

A couple of intraleague rivalries spice this week’s area high school
football. The difficulty in picking a winner is that either team in both
cases is a legitimate potential victor.

Up to date:
Roger Murray: Last week – 8-1; Season – 63-16
Andrew Campa: Last week – 7-2; Season – 54-25

Tonight’s game:
El Rancho vs. Whittier, at California: Murray (Whittier), Campa (Whittier)

Friday’s games:
Artesia at La Mirada: Murray (La Mirada), Campa (La Mirada)
Mark Keppel at Montebello: Murray (Montebello), Campa (Montebello)
La Habra at Fullerton: Murray (La Habra), Campa (La Habra)
La Serna at California: Murray (California), Campa (La Serna)
Santa Fe at Pioneer: Murray (Santa Fe), Campa (Pioneer)
Schurr at San Gabriel: Murray (San Gabriel), Campa (Schurr)
Chaminade at St. Paul: Murray (St. Paul), Campa (Chaminade)

Saturday’s game:
Whittier Christian at Brentwood: Murray (Whittier Christian), Campa (Brentwood)

Potential for upsets: Murray (Pioneer), Campa (St. Paul)
2-Mi tune Drills
Chaminade vs St. Paul
La Serna vs Calhi

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Coming Down the Final Stretch

With only a few league games left for most area teams, here is the Whittier Daily News latest TOP 5

Keep your heads up La Mirada.

1. Cal-Hi (13-0)
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
Received votes in Division III-AA, but unranked

The Condors are making Del Rio League play seem easy even though it isn’t. Against the supposed contenders to the DRL crown, Cal-Hi defeated Santa Fe in three and La Serna and El Rancho in four. Cal-Hi has three games left, including the last two against Santa Fe and La Serna. However, by the time they get to the La Serna game, the league title may have been decided. The only mystery left is what it takes to get ranked by the CIF-SS.

2. La Habra (17-4)
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
Ranked No. 4 in Division II-AA

Sooner or later, the Highlanders had to lose A GAME. La Habra, however, has stretched its match winning streak to nine and is crushing Freeway League opposition in a pretty convincing manner. While league play appears to be little more than a cupcake, the Highlanders have a super matchup this Saturday against Division I-AA No. 5-ranked Redondo Union. Yeah, that same Redondo team that took down Alex Klineman and National No. 1 ranked Mira Costa last season. Good Luck girls!

3. St. Paul (20-5)
Last Week’s Ranking: 5
Ranked No. 6 in Division IV-AA

It’s been a pretty good few days for the Swordsmen. First, St. Paul takes third in the Gabrielino Tournament on Saturday. Then the team welcomes back Victoria Polo from injury Monday. Then on Tuesday night, St. Paul goes out and wins the first team league title in 40 years. What’s next, a CIF championship? Well, let’s not get too far ahead here. Two more league games before the playoffs, then we can start talking CIF playoffs.

4. La Mirada (18-4)
Last Week’s Ranking: 4
Ranked No. 8 in Division III-A

Boy, Wednesday afternoon at Mayfair was brutal. Up 2-1, the Mats couldn’t close out a proud Mayfair bunch. It appears both teams will split the Suburban League title. However, La Mirada can’t overlook Cerritos at home next Wednesday. The good news for the Mats is that they get Miranda Doing back from injury. The bad news is that this team only has two games left to a find a consistent scorer and offense for that matter.

T5. La Serna (12-9)
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
Unranked in Division III-A

Last week’s loss to El Rancho was disappointing but not unexpected, especially for such a young team. The Lancers finish up with three solid challenges starting with Santa Fe today. Kavanagh’s team cannot overlook Whittier next Tuesday before Thursday’s league finale against Cal-Hi.

T5. El Rancho (7-8)
Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked
Unranked in Division III-A

Way to go Coach Ida Picon. The Dons looked dead early on with a 1-5 record while losing to average teams like Bell Gardens and Temple City. However, El Rancho has rallied around the strong play of senior middle blocker Megan Barr and looks in good position to snatch up either a Del Rio League second or third seed. The Dons season finale against Santa Fe coupled with the La Serna-Cal game may decide whether El Rancho is second, third or fourth in league.

On the bubble:
Santa Fe (8-5) and Montebello (8-6)

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Week 7 results: Cal, La Serna win to set up DRL titanic

Gerardo Avila (51), Jonathan Ruiz (97) and some of their California buddies greet
an unidentified Santa Fe ball carrier on this play in the Condors’ 19-7 victory.

Thursday’s result:
La Serna 38, El Rancho 18

Not much spectacular here, just another efficient performance by Lancers.

California 19, Santa Fe 7
Condors seem for real, Chiefs continue to be suspect

Crespi 13, St. Paul 0
Swordsmen defense sparkles, but offense can’t hold its own

Bellflower 27, La Mirada 5
No matter how hard the defense works, five points won’t win many games.

Whittier 38, Pioneer 16
Cardinals keep pace, Titans find their backs to the wall

Whittier Christian 21, Downey Calvary Chapel 0
Camarillo, Schwerdt, now Edwards; where do the Heralds find these guys?

Schurr 35, Montebello 0
Host Spartans make Oilers resurgence last week short lived.

La Habra 62, Sunny Hills 7
Free wheeling Highlanders are having more fun than should be allowed.

Cantwell 40, St. Monica 7
Even with defensive standouts Weissenberger and Perez out, Cards breezed.

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DRL title: Can a team lose two and still win it?

La Serna’s Rudy Jordan reaches for extra yards under an El Rancho pile of defender

La Serna’s impressive 38-18 victory over El Rancho Thursday night illuminates the need for Del Rio League teams to avoid losing.
It begs the question: Can a team lose two league games and still win the league championship?
The first reation is probably not, at least not outright. A two-loss team might manage a share of the title.
But then the reality of the league’s balance sets in, and it might be feasible.
It seems more likely that two teams might tie with a single loss.
Unless …

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Latest Daily News Volleyball Rankings

We’re halfway through league play and several girls volleyball teams find themselves on a roll.

Here’s the Daily News new Top 5. Guess who’s No. 1?

1. Cal-Hi (10-0)
DN Preseason Ranking: 1
Received votes in Division III-AA, but unranked

When you haven’t lost a match this season it’s hard to be anything other than No. 1. The Condors are the area’s deepest squad and have at least four girls that could post 10 kills a match in Marissa Rangel, Channelle Puou, Kelsey Stehle and Dannielle Beauvais. Cal-Hi has already defeated La Mirada, Whittier Christian, La Serna and St. Paul this season to name a few local programs. The last game of the season against La Serna should be great. Only oddity is that while the Condors win, they keep on falling on the CIF-SS polls.

2. La Habra (16-4)
DN Preseason Ranking: 3
Ranked No. 5 in Division II-AA

La Habra has only lost ONE GAME in the last month and has reeled off eight straight wins. It’s hard to pick against the towers of Jocelyn Neely (6-foot-1) and Whittany Radcliffe (6-foot-2). It’s a good thing the Highlanders are competing in the Redondo Tournament later on in the month because this league schedule isn’t really preparing them for the playoffs.

3. La Serna (8-7)
DN Preseason Ranking: Unranked
Unranked in Division III-AA

Winners of 7-of-9, the Lancers had a bit of a setback Tuesday against Cal-Hi in a four-game defeat. However, Mollie Kavanagh’s bunch knows that they can play with the best in the area and will be primed for the end of the season rematch against Cal on Nov. 1, which will likely be for a league title. It’s been exciting to see the rapid development of sophomores Karli Nelson (OH) and Kelcie Randazzo (S).

4. La Mirada (17-3)
DN Preseason Ranking: 2
Ranked No. 8 in Division III-A

La Mirada has the most wins of any area squad and has been crushing teams left and right in an average Suburban League. La Mirada did beat La Serna earlier in the year, however, both teams have changed since that game. Like La Habra, the Matadores haven’t had much of a challenge in league and have been led by the solid play of Kiki Salazar and Jodi Watkins. One area of concern comes in the kill ratio department, where the Matadores need to be more proficient if they are to make a run in the postseason.

5. St. Paul (15-3)
DN Preseason Ranking: 4
Ranked No. 7 in Division IV-AA

Any other year and the Swordsmen would be higher on this list. St. Paul’s three losses have come against quality opponents and the Swordsmen seem to be a shoe-in for a Camino Real League title. While much attention has been given to star hitter Katie Saavedra, St. Paul’s Victoria Polo (2.6 kills a game) and Shannon Young (1.8 kills a game) have proven that this team is not one-dimensional. The bad news for St. Paul is that play in an incredibly tough Division IV-AA. We’ll see how they do come playoff time.

On the bubble: El Rancho (6-7), Santa Fe (6-4) and Montebello (6-5).

Agree or Disagree with the rankings? What’s your opinion…

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Week 7 football: More ‘toss-up’ games to deal with

Get used to it.
The rest of the season isn’t going to be easy pick’ens for prognostigators. The Del Rio League balance is scary but exciting, and isn’t that the way it should be?
And La Mirada’s and Montebello’s up-again, down-again performances are tough to figure.
And is La Habra the only sure thing the rest of the way?

Up to date:
Roger Murray: Last week – 6-4; Season 55-15
Andrew Campa: Last week – 5-5; Season 47-23

This week’s picks:
Tonight’s game:

El Rancho vs. La Serna, at California HS: Murray (La Serna), Campa (El Rancho)
Friday’s games:
California vs. Santa Fe, at Pioneer HS: Murray (Santa Fe), Campa (Santa Fe)
Crespi at St. Paul: Murray (Crespi), Campa (Crespi)
Pioneer vs. Whittier, at California HS: Murray (Whittier), Campa (Whittier)
La Habra vs. Sunny Hills, at Buena Park HS: Murray (La Habra), Campa (La Habra)
Montebello at Schurr: Murray (Schurr), Campa (Schurr)
Bellflower at La Mirada: Murray (La Mirada) Campa (La Mirada)
Downey Calvay Chapel vs. Whittier Christian, at Whittier College: Murray (Whittier Christian), Campa (Whittier Christian)
Saturday’s game:
Cantwell Sacred Heart vs. St. Monica, at St. Bernard HS: Murray (Cantwell), Campa (Cantwell)

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Ladies, Gents, time to chill. At least a little.

Yo, good folks, it is time to step back and take a deep breath.

This blog is meant to be a source for exchanging ideas and opinions,
an opportunity for creating dialogue with others who share same or
different interests.

It is understandable there will be issues about which some
participants will harbor more interest than others and be more vocal in
expressing it.

There will be some whose passion for a subject is greater than
others, causing them to be more direct with their language as they
communicate their feelings.

Many who post comments participate just to inform or to be informed,
and there are those whose involvement is meant merely to enjoy the
online experience.

It is natural to use the blog for sparring with others who express
opinions perhaps at the end of the spectrum opposite from your’s. But
sparring is one thing, attacking is something else.

It is becoming more apparent lately that many of the posts are based
upon personal agendas, and that the subject matter is merely an
opportunity to get something off one’s chest.

Even that is OK so long as the post doesn’t become a personal,
vitriolic attack on someone. Name calling and offensive, off-color
language, often seemingly used for emphasis, doesn’t fit the bill.

It would be nice if everyone would agree to disagree, and then do so
sans the vindictive overtones.

Just a suggestion.

Sort of.

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Area HS football providing excitement as expected

La Habra’s football team gets a warm welcome as it walks through the traditional
fog prior to Friday night’s 29-22, come-from-behind victory over Troy.

A pair of nail-biters, one won, one lost, and some more surprises, not
necessarily who won but by how much, highlight Week 6 area football.
It all merely indicates nothing is certain this season, and most assuredly, more of the
same surprises are in store.
And that means more headaches for the experts who post on this blog.

Week 6 results:
La Habra 29, Troy 22
RON-nie HILL-man, RON-nie HILL-man, RON-nie HILL-man! (Turned a 10-yard
pass into a 49-yard, game-winning touchdown inb the final minute.)

El Rancho 19, Santa Fe 13 (OT)
Second half comeback in Week 3 21-20 victory over Montebello showed
Dons’ potential; this win validated it.
NOTE: Loss ends Santa Fe’s six-year, 30-game winning streak in league

California 40, Pioneer 9
QB Drew Harris only three completions but for three TDS; RBs Matt
Urquiza (146) and Jasper Meza (139) combine for 285 yards. Titans not
the same after QB Ronnie Palacios injured in first quarter.

La Serna 28, Whittier 21
Lancers outlast Cardinals as QB Ben Burke runs for 81 yards, passes for
94, including 38-yard game-winner to Austin Estrada.

La Mirada 14, Norwalk 10
Wow! Prevously struggling Matadores survive their late lost fumble and
resulting Lancers’ go-ahead FG with a determined drive highlighted by a
double-pass play that set up Jack Francis’ game-winning touchdown.

Montebello 18, Alhambra 10
Wow! Wow! Who knows what these Oilers might accomplish if they’d show up
to play every game like this.

Schurr 41, Mark Keppel 0
The Aztecs have been the Almont League’s whipping boy for years, so it
was important for Spartans to win big. Like that.

Whittier Christian 54, Campbell Hall 34
After playing in the shadow of other Herald running backs in his career,
versatile Mark Edwards stepped up and carried 28 times for 242 yards and
four touchdowns, and also sparkled at defensive end.

Cantwell Sacred Heart 23, Mary Star of the Sea 6
Host Cardinals couldn’t sustain an offense but used big plays (70-yard
pass play, 65-yard fumble return, blocked punt) and a stingy defense to
offset 129 yards in penalties.

Bishop Amat 31, St. Paul 30 (3 OTs)Swordsmen’s sparkling defensive stand at end of regulation wasted as two-point converstion attempt to win on last play of third OT foiled by
a wet, slippery field.

Are the area rankings in line for a major shakeup?

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Week 6: Some tough choices as league play begins

Just thinking …
League favorites playing each other to open the league schedule.
What a shame.
Several years ago, two teams that were consensus picks to finish 1-2, were scheduled to play the league opener but switched it to the last game of the season.
Too bad Troy and La Habra didn’t do that this year.

Season prognostications:
Roger Murray: Last week – 7-2; Season – 49-11
Andrew Campa: Last week – 7-2; Season – 42-18

This week’s picks:
Alhambra vs. Montebello, at Schurr HS: Murray (Alhambra), Campa (Alhambra)
California at Pioneer; Murray (California), Campa (California)
Campbell Hall vs. Whittier Christian, at Whittier College: Murray (WhChristian), Campa (Campbell Hall)
La Mirada vs. Norwalk, at Excelsior Adult School: Murray (Norwalk), Campa (Norwalk)
Mary Star of the Sea at Cantwell Sacred Heart: Murray (Cantwell), Campa (Cantwell)
Santa Fe at El Rancho: Murray (Santa Fe), Campa (Santa Fe)
Schurr at Mark Keppel: Murray (Schurr), Campa (Schurr)
Troy at La Habra: Murray (La Habra), Campa (La Habra)
Whittier vs. La Serna, at California HS: Murray (La Serna), Campa (La Serna)
St. Paul at Bishop Amat: Murray (St. Paul), Campa (St. Paul)

Best potential for upset: Murray (Whittier), Campa (Troy)

Agree or disagree?

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