Williams, Vodicska top all-area basketball

La Miada’s Derrick Williams and St. Paul’s Lesley Vodicska are the 2008 Daily News Players of the Year for boys and girls basketball.
St. Paul’s Robert Miller and Whittier Christian’s Bill Crammer are the boys and girls Coaches of the Year.

Daily News 2008 All-Area Boys Basketball Team
Player of the Year: Derrick Williams, La Mirada
Coach of the Year: Robert Miller, St. Paul

First team
Guard - Jordan Sachs, La Habra
Guard - Maurice Cole, Santa Fe
Center - Drew Harris, California
Forward – Alex Valdez, Schurr
Forward - Dominique Moreno, La Habra

Second team
Guard -
Steven Saenz, St. Paul
Guard - Justin Sasada, Schurr
Center – Fernando Alvarez, La Serna
Forward - Andrew Torres, Montebello
Forward - Kevin Pitzer, La Habra

Honorable mention
California -
Tim Palomino, Greg Perea
El Rancho - Jeremiah Salcedo
La Habra – Randall Nygren
La Mirada - Ryan Kelly, Cameron Gillett, Mark Nichiporuk
La Serna - Jeremy Madrigal
Pioneer – Michael Saldana, Michael Crosby
Santa Fe - Frank Corona
St. Paul – Dont’e Webb, William Duff, Adrian Flores
Whittier – Daniel Enriquez, Andy Leonette
Whittier Christian - Jake Cokely, Zach Torres.

Daily News 2008 Girls All-Area Basketball Team
Player of the Year: Lesley Vodicska, St. Paul
Coach of the Year: Bill Crammer, Whittier Christian

First team
Guard -
Lyanna Augborne, California
Guard - Luna Amico, Whittier
Center - Jessica Vingerelli, Santa Fe
Forward - Elissa Ronquillo, Whittier Christian
Forward – Skye Savini, St. Paul

Second team
Guard -
Kala Amico, Whittier
Guard – Callie Rohrbacker, Whittier Christian
Center - Sonia Martinez, California
Forward - Brittany Aranda, Santa Fe
Forward - Jacqueline Joseph, Whittier Christian

Honorable mention
California –
Ericka Arroyo-Villeza
Cantwell – Patricia Luna, Valerie Carrasco
El Rancho - Megan Barr, Adriana Favela
La Habra – Whittany Radcliffe
La Mirada – Nicole Martin, Keisha Washington
La Serna - Kristina Ortega, Briana Vasquez
Montebello - Roxanna Canales
Pioneer - Darlene Luevano
Santa Fe – Shelby Magallon
Schurr - Keimi Lew, Jeannette Ramirez
St. Paul - Daisy Bueno, Andrina Rendon
Whittier - Loren Gurrola
Whittier Christian - Kristen Schaefer, Amy Woodward

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Highlanders’ rings ceremony set

La Habra High School’s 2007 CIF Southern Section, Southeast Division football championship team members will be celebrated under the lights at a gathering Friday beginning at 7 p.m. in the school’s football stadium.
The players will receive their championship rings and their faithful and members of the community are invited to join the festivities.
Wearing the school’s colors is encouraged, and there will be opportunities to take pictures of and with the players, coaches, friends and families.

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And it went to PKs

Breaking News:

The Del Rio League wins 5-4 in penalty kicks in the 2nd Annual Almont League versus Del Rio League boys soccer classic.

The game went into PK’s after a 3-3 tie through 90 minutes of regulation (I think the refs forgot this was a high school game).

With the score at 5-4 in pk’s, Schurr’s Christian Mendoza shot wide right, just over the corner of the net, ending a wild game.

California’s Arturo Hernandez put his team up for good in the first of sudden death pk’s (both teams tied 4-4 after 5) when he nailed a shot into the upper right corner of the net past Montebello goalie Jorge Sainz. That’s when Mendoza went up and just missed a heart-breaking shot.

Del Rio League goals were scored by Santa Fe’s Byron Galdamez (Santa Fe’s Manuel Rodriguez assist), California’s Christian Soto (Santa Fe’s Gonzalo Rodriguez assist) and Whittier’s Pablo Duarte (Soto assist). La Serna’s Tony Aceavado turned into four saves while Santa Fe’s Joseph Anguiano registered two additional saves.

For the Almont Leaguers, goals were scored by Schurr’s Michael Mendez (unassisted), Mendoza (from Mendez) and Bell Gardens’ Gregory Vasquez (Bell Gardens’ Damien Franco). Sainz had a game-high 7 saves.

Soto was named the game’s Offensive MVP.

Check out tomorrow’s paper for more info.

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El Rancho was good, Santa Fe wasn’t, but it’s early

El Rancho defeated Santa Fe today, 9-1, combining impressive hitting
with some charitable Santa Fe pitching (nine walks, one hit batsman) in their Del Rio League opener.
El Rancho is good and deserves to be the DRL favorite.
But the Dons faithful should be cautious in their evaluations, and
Santa Fe’s followers should not despair.
Little was learned about the Chiefs’ current status today other than they have trouble
throwing strikes, at least for this one.
If that becomes the norm rather than the exception, then there will be
reason for concern.
Above all, keep this one in proper perspective.
It was one league game. There are 14 more to play.

On a brighter note, bunches of kudos to the Santa Fe program for
building a first-rate baseball facility — and doing it without district
money.

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Who’s better — the Almont League or Del Rio?

That question will be taken to the soccer field this Friday evening at Bell Gardens High School, as the boys soccer all-stars from the Almont League will host the Del Rio League all-stars at 6:30 p.m.

The 2nd Annual All-Star challenge is only open to seniors and includes Montebello and Schurr from the Almont League and El Rancho, California, La Serna, Santa Fe, Whittier and possibly Pioneer from the DRL. Coaches for the Almont League are Montebello’s Jesus Garcia (head coach) and Brian Mejia (assistant) while La Serna’s Alex Clark will lead the DRL team.

While the Almont League team is yet to be finalized, the DRL squad will include among others Christian Soto (California), Emilio Dominguez (El Rancho), Frank Casillas (El Rancho), Keanan Smith (La Serna), Byron Galdamez (Santa Fe), Manuel Rodriguez (Santa Fe) and Jonathan Quezada (Whittier).

Best of all folks, admission is free. Hope to see you there.

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Not Quite Ready to Hang It Up

I know it’s news that’s slightly out of the area, but the Almont League would be interested to know that long-time Alhambra High School football coach Gil Ruedaflores will return for another season, which may very well be his last.

Ruedaflores had told the Pasadena Star-News in February of last year that the 2007 season would be his final. It appeared to be so up until about a month ago when Ruedaflores had begun to ponder returning for a 21st season (the Star-News has him as coaching for 20 years while Alhambra AD Lou Torres said 2008 will be his 20th season).

With both him and his family in relatively good health, Ruedaflores is back for a final year (of course he’s been saying that for a while) and will make a formal announcement soon.

Does Ruedaflores’ return shake anything up in the Almont League? Given that Alhambra, San Gabriel and Schurr all sustained heavy losses, who’s the favorite returning next year?

Personal Note: Having seen the way Alhambra lost the Almont League No. 1 seed against Schurr in the season finale and how they lost to La Serna in the first round, it’s good to see coach come back for one last year.

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La Mirada, La Serna Lead Girls Selections

It was the Lancers and Mats who represented the area well in the All LA84 Southern Section Selections (formerly All-CIF).

La Mirada, fresh off a Division III co-championship shared with Mayfair, had seven players and coaches selected to the Division III team.

Sophomore Natalia Ledezma, whose sublime 30-yard game-tying free kick ensured La Mirada’s 1-1 tie with Mayfair in the Division III championship game, was the named the Division III Defensive Player of the Year.

Mats Coach Dennis Guerra was also named the Division III Co-Coach of the year along with Mayfair’s Sal Marroquin. Guerra helped guide La Mirada to an 18-7-6 record and the program’s first-ever divisional title in its first appearance. La Mirada had to pull off three straight upsets just to reach the title game with heavily favored Mayfair.

Here’s the rest of the Mats on the Division III list:

First Team
Forward – Jasmine Herrera, So.
Midfield – Lauren Nanez, So.
Goalie – Kiki Salazar, Sr.

Second Team
Defender – Krystal Gomez, Sr.

Third Team
Midfield – Tatiana Cortez, Jr.

As for the Division IV-champion Lancers, La Serna has eight representatives and swept the top three awards.

Dynamic forward Nicole Reed, who led the area with 23 goals and 21 assists, was awarded as the Offensive Player of the Year in Division IV.

Stellar defender, Elyssa Quijada, who is only a sophomore, spearheaded a defense that did not allow one goal in five postseason games. For her efforts, Quijada was named the Defensive Player of the Year.

Finally, the coaching duo of Tessa Troglia and Amanda Broussard were named Coaches of the Year. Both guided La Serna to a team-record 26 wins along with earning the program’s first title in three tries with a dominating 4-0 win over Granite Hills.

Included on the Division IV list are:

First Team
Forward – Alex Marin, Sr., California
Forward – Stacey Cervantes, Sr., La Serna
Midfield – Jordin Dolbin, Sr., La Serna

Second Team
Forward – Mariah Palmer, So., La Serna
Midfield – Jasmine Martinez, So., California
Goalie – Nicole Godinez, So., La Serna

Third Team
Defender – Christina Ortega, Sr., California

Overall, I felt that the girls above were deserving but I was surprised to see that no one from La Habra made it in Division III or Schurr or Montebello in Division V.

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All-CIF Team Includes 12 Locals

The All LA84 Southern Section Selections (formerly All-CIF) have been released for boys soccer with some expected names and a few surprises.

La Habra High School’s Edgar Bran, fresh off a 37 goal and 15 assist season, was named the Division III Offensive Player of the Year. Bran helped clinch the honor by scoring both goals in the Highlanders 2-1 win over top-ranked Saddleback in the Division III title game.

Highlanders coach Steve Aanderud was also honored with the Division III Coach of the Year award for leading La Habra to its second straight divisional title as the Highlanders finished the season 26-4-1.

Here are the other Division III honorees:

First Team
Forward – Christian Soto, Sr., California
Forward – Marco Ruvalcaba, Sr., La Mirada
Midfield – Bryan Aanderud, Sr., La Habra
Defense – Daniel Magdaleno, Sr., La Habra

Second Team
Midfield – Jonathan Prieto, Jr., La Habra
Defense – Petey Puga, Sr., La Habra
Defense – Pedro Contreras, Sr., California

Third Team
Midfield – Jaime Colon, Sr., California
Midfield – William Maurer, Sr., La Mirada
Midfield – Tony Montalvo, Sr., La Mirada

While all the boys were deserving it was sad to see no one from El Rancho, the Del Rio League champion, made it. In Division I, no one from the entire Almont League (Montebello and Schurr) made a 1st, 2nd or 3rd team. No one from St. Paul in Division VI or any other local school. That’s a shame because there were several others that should have been included.

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Parsons Bows Out

Breaking News

After a successful one-year tenure in which he turned around the El Rancho High School football program, coach Gene Parsons has stepped down.

Parsons, who as late as last Friday said he would be returning for a second season, cited “family reasons” for his sudden departure.

The 61-year Parsons said that rumors and speculation about the future of the program did not play into his decision.

Parsons led El Rancho to a 5-6 record and its first postseason berth in three years. There will be more in the paper coming soon.

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La Mirada names Moschetti, Lynch to head football program

Mike Moschetti and Ollie Lynch have been named co-head coaches for La Mirada High School’s football program.
They are replacing Dave Rush, who posted a 16-17 record in three seasons as the Matadores’ head coach.

Moschetti is a former standout quarterback for the Matadores, who went on to play professional baseball before returning to play football at Mt. San Antonio College and then the University of Colorado. He was an assistant coach at Mt. SAC this past season.
Moschetti will handle the offense this fal.

Lynch went to high school in Santa Cruz before playing football at Whittier College. He has been on Rush’s staff the last three years, including serving as the offensive coordinator this past season.
He will take care of the defensive responsibilities in his new position.

Athletic director Kim Brooks, long-time defensive coordinator during head coach John Mele’s reign, will be part of the coaching staff in a role as yet to be determined.

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