Santa Fe’s Geren opts for family over coaching

No surprise here.
His wife Veronica is with child and due to deliver within a very short time, and Santa Fe basketball coach Mike Geren was faced with a dilema.
Continue coaching and miss valuable time with their first child, or give up coaching and be home with his son.
A no brainer.
Geren resigned and the school is looking for a replacement. The search has been narrowed to a half dozen candidates and athletic director Steve Hendry says he hopes to fill the position within the next two to three weeks.
Geren’s coaching record was under .500 (117-166), but he leaves on a high note after back-to-back Del Rio League championships in 2007 and 2008, sharing the latter with California.
Geren said he was leaving the door open for a possible return to coaching, but definitely not for a while, and not in any form..
And then again, perhaps not at all.

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It’s official: El Rancho taps Zepeda

Needing to fill its head football coaching position for the second time in as many years, El Rancho High School has named Whittier resident Rick Zepeda to replace Gene Parsons, who resigned after just one season.
Zepeda, 33, who is an independent businessman but has significant coaching experience, will be a walk-on coach for the Dons.
He is a graduate of St. Paul High School (class of 1988) and Lousiana State University (1994). He began his coaching career at St. Paul in 1994 under Marion Ancich and stayed 10 years.
In 2004 he moved to Long Beach Jordan where he was the defensive coordinator two years. The past three years he has coached linebackers at East Los Angeles College.
“He has coached under some legendary coaches,” Dons athletic director Lynn Lawson said. “He has a very good foundation to work from, and he has been a head coach at the lower levels (freshman, junior varsity at St. Paul).”
Zepeda, who smiles as he says he started his engineering contracting business so he could keep coaching, said he knows that because he comes “from outside (the community) and from over the bridge,” he has a lot to prove, but that he is “well-schooled in the Ernie Johnson tradition of run-oriented offense,” and that he doesn’t plan to “change very much” from what was done last season.”
“I thought Gene Parsons did a heckuva job taking them from 0-10 the year before to the playoffs in one year,” Zepeda said. “The kids are doing a good job with what they know.”
He calls the Del Rio League “one of the most competitive leagues in the (Southeast) division. He’s not as concerned about rivalries as he is the entire season.
“Just about every school El Rancho plays is a rival because the competition is so tight,” he said. “In any case, I can’t get the guys ready to play one game (against a rival). I have to get them ready to play 10.”
Or 14, if you want to count playoffs.
Zepeda met with the players Monday afternoon and called it a “great meeting. After talking to and with them, I’m even more excited about the future.”
He also emphasized his philosophy concerning the seniors on the team.
“I want to give them a chance to win,” he said. “I don’t want them to think this will be a throw-away season or that they’ll be sacrificed (for a younger player and the future).”
Zepeda said he already has a core staff selected and that by the end of Friday he’ll hopefully have a complete staff.
He added he will handle the defensive cordinator responsibilities and probably coach the secondary.

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Castillo to leave CIF-SS post

Paul Castillo, Assistant Commissioner of Athletics for the CIF Southern Section the past eight years, is retiring effective June 30.
Castillo has worn a number of hats during 42 years of being afilliated with education and athletics. He was a teacher, coach and athletic director at Paramount High School for more than 31 years before joining the CIF-SS office where he has administrated the sports of basketball, boys and girls track and field, boys and girls cross country and boys and girls tennis.
In addition to his stint at Paramount High, he has been a teacher at San Fernando Junior High (physical education) and Compton Community College (English).
He served has served on various committees for the CIF-SS, CIF-State, San Gabriel Valley League, Paramount Unified School District and Paramount High School. He was recognized during the 1991-92 school year as the California State Athletic Directors Association (CSADA), Southern Section Athletic Director of the Year, and in 2002, he was inducted into the CIF-SS’ Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as tennis coach at Paramount High.
It is certain that those who dealt with him will miss the energy and committment he gave to his many endeavors.

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25 locals listed on 605 Football Classic rosters

CIF Southern Section division champions La Habra and St. Paul each have five players
listed among 25 area athletes listed on the rosters of the East and West
teams that will participate in the 41st Annual 605 All-Star Football
Classic to be played June 7 at Cerritos College. Game time is 6:05 p.m.

East Offense
Quarterbacks
Chris Morales (La Habra), Michael Vanderipe (Cypress)
Wide Receivers Javan Andrews (John Glenn), Tony Burnett (Mayfair), Ryan Cress (Sonora), Kevin Norrell (Long Beach Poly), Petey Puga (La Habra)
Running Backs Jason Davis (La Habra), Lorance Davis (St. John Bosco), Aubrey Haynes (St. Paul), Robert Penny (Norwalk).
Tight ends Andre Ortega (Pioneer), Matt Rush (La Mirada)
Offensive Line Moses Alvidrez (Mayfair), Frank Chavez (Whittier Christian), John Cullen (La Mirada), David Krattenmaker (St. Paul), Marcus Falanai (Long Beach Poly), Jeff Houser (St. John Bosco), Ruben Mejia (St. John Bosco), Justin Richardson (La Habra), Douglas Spacht (Long Beach Poly), Manuel Rojas (Fullerton), Ethan Wardle (Cypress).
Kicker Jonathan Heinze (Long Beach Poly)

East Defense
Defensive Line
Jurrell Casey (Long Beach Poly), George Flores (Fullerton), Jack Francis (La Mirada), Daniel Llovio (California), Aaron Novikoff (La Habra), Ryan Rosenthal (St. Paul), Brandon Scott (Mayfair), Spencer Wilhelm (Cypress)
Linebackers Nick Alvarez (La Serna), Joe Dankert (La Mirada), David Flores (St. Paul), Mac Levao (Artesia), Jesus Lopez (Whittier), Romeo Robinson (Long Beach Poly), Ruben Willis (Mayfair).
Defensive Backs Sheldon Armstrong (Long Beach Poly), Keith Gaines (Santa Fe), Drew Harris (California), Jeffrey Johnson (Long Beach Poly), Matt Lopez (St. Paul), Thomas Sheehan (Fullerton), Tyree Toomer (St. John Bosco).
Punter Morris Keseloff (La Serna)
Head Coach Raul Lara (Long Beach Poly)

West Offense
Quarterbacks
Dominique Blackman (Carson), Chris Smith (Compton Centennial), Antonio Mendez (Downey)
Wide Receivers Bonyae Coleman (Lynwood), Nick Daziel (St. Anthony), Brian Diaz (Lakewood), Robert Hatchett (Compton Centennial), Alex Valdez (Schurr), Jorge Valdovinos (Huntington Park), Mike Willie (Long Beach Wilson)
Running Backs Davion Biddle (Dominguez), Tylik Carter (Long Beach Jordan), Donald Green (Compton), jackSula (Carson), Deonta Woodward (FB, Cantwell)
Tight end Ralf Weissenberger (Cantwell).
Offensive Line Charles Burton (Millikan), Efrain Gonzalez (Garfield), Matt Hunt (Carson), Dalton Jasso (Lakewood), Chris McCoy (Bell Gardens), Steve Montanez (Warren), Michael Salvatierra (South Gate), Ron Sioasi (Lakewood), Calvan Williams (Dominguez).
All Purpose Rueben Laurente (Lakewood)

West Defense
Defensive Line
Jiovany Bautista (Garfield), Jeremy Cutler (Lakewood), Ruifatu Laumea (Compton), Chris Merez (Millikan), Daniel Steart (Bellflower), Kalolo Utu (Carson).
Linebackers Vincent Abbot (Lakewood), Adam Acosta (Montebello), Richard Barnes (Dominguez), Dujan Grant (Dominguez), C.J.Harris (Long Beach Wilson), David Sausau (Carson), Cameron Woo (Downey).
Defensive backs Roderick Cohn (Millikan), Ryan Diaz (Don Bosco Tech), Diego Delgadillo (Bell Gardens), Bernard Griffin (Compton), Cedric Moore (Lakewood), Raul Pintado (St. Anthony), Thomas Walker (Dominguez)
Head Coach Thadd MacNeal (Lakewood)

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Boys Volleyball Top Five

Caption: Whittier’s Pat Guy digs a ball from the floor as the Cardinals play El Rancho in their league boys volleyball game at Whittier on Friday, April 11. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/Sports)

As the season is heading into the final weeks, here is the WDN Volleyball Top 5.

1. La Serna (9-3, 7-0)

The Lancers are just head and shoulders above everyone else in the area. Senior Kyle Smith dropped 24 kills on Cal-Hi on Wednesday. Could clinch a share of the Del Rio League title Friday with a win over 3-time champion El Rancho. A win over Santa Fe next Wednesday gives the Lancers the title outright

2. Santa Fe (11-6, 5-2)

Chiefs are a solid No. 2 in the Del Rio League after sweeping El Rancho in three on Wednesday. Santa Fe faces Pioneer on Friday and then hosts La Serna in a huge match Wednesday.

3. Cantwell-Sacred Heart (14-2, 6-1)

While the Cardinals travel to St. Paul tonight at 6:30, they know their big game is next Tuesday on the road at St. Monica. A win would would put them in a position to share the Camino Real League title.

4. California (10-10, 3-4)

Coach Jennifer Eastlake knows the talent is there, but the Condors are just too inconsistent and sloppy at times. While their five-game loss to La Serna Wednesday is evidence of their ability, their loss to Santa Fe last Friday shows that they need work.

5. Whittier (5-5, 3-4)

This was a team talking about a league championship during the preseason. But Whittier has suffered some tough losses at home, including a five-game defeat to El Rancho last week. Next Wednesday’s game against Dons might determine who gets the DRL’s final guaranteed spot. Big game Friday against Cal-Hi.

On the bubble:

El Rancho (5-12, 3-4)

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Whittier softball is for real

Whittier High School’s softball program raps 13 hits – and not a cheapie among ‘em – in beating Santa Fe, 7-5, Tuesday afternoon.
To wonder if the girls are trying to keep up with the rapidily developing baseball program would be a disservice to the girls, but whatever the motivation, whatever coach Sandy Vera and her staff has them doing, it’s working.
And it’s being done with just three travel ball players.
Impressive, indeed!

Now if they could get some testimonials from their faithful on the blog, …

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A couple of things …..

…. Whittier High School’s two-run rally in the seventh inning came within a run of upsetting co-Del Rio League leader El Rancho Wednesday, losing 3-2. The Cardinals came back Friday and finished the job with a 5-4 upset that knocked the Dons out of the league lead when Jovany Avila homered in the seventh inning. Whittier already had earned the stamp of legitimacy with an upset of La Serna earlier this season.
…. While El Rancho and La Serna have stolen most of the spotlight in the DRL’s baseball race, California has quietly kept pace. With El Rancho’s loss to Whittier and the Condors’ come-from-behind, then-win-it-in-the-seventh, 6-5 victory over Santa Fe Friday, California is tied for second with two games this week against La Serna. Condors are at La Serna Wednesday, at home Friday.
…. While Santa Fe is struggling, Whittier can ill-afford to look past the Chiefs this week. The upsets of La Serna and El Rancho will lose their luster, in terms of the title chase, should Santa Fe put a dent in the Cardinals’ playoff hopes.
…. And how about Whittier’s softball program. The Cardinals get nine hits off Holly Consterdine, arguably the area’s best pitcher, in a 6-3 loss.
No doubt about it, they, too, have earned their ‘legitimate’ stamp.
…. A football note: Pioneer reportedly has just fewer than 1,700 students this school year. In some circles, it is being said the Titans’ numbers could drop to fewer than 1,400, maybe even lower for 2008-2009.
If so, it will make a dramatic hit on the athletic programs in terms of competitive capability.
The open enrollment opportunity allowing freshmen to transfer is being cited.
Here’s hoping the major migration, or is defection the better word, doesn’t come to pass.
The Titans’ athletic programs deserve better.

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Three Highlanders tabbed for OC All-Star football game

A trio of La Habra High School CIF Southern Section, Southeast Division champion football players have been selected to participate in the Orange Country All-Star Football game scheduled to be played July 11 at Orange Coast College.
Playing for the North Squad will be quarterback Chris Morales, running back Jason Davis and defensive back Petey Puga.

No place kicker is listed, but Puga could easily fill that position, too.

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La Serna ranked in three of four sports this week

Long-time and most-often bitter rivals Bishop Amat (13-4, 4-0) and St.
Paul (14-6, 5-1) are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in this week’s
CIF Southern Section, Division V weekly baseball poll.
The two teams will meet in back-to-back Del Rey League games at Amat
on April 22 and at St. Paul on April 25.
The only other area team ranked in baseball this week is El Rancho
(13-3, 6-1), which is No 6 in Division III.
In softball, Del Rio League leader La Serna (11-3, 2-0) is No. 6 in
Division III, and Camino Real League co-leader Cantwell Sacred Heart
(9-6, 2-0) is No. 6 in Division VI.
In boys tennis, La Serna’s DRL-leading Lancers (12-1, 6-0) are No. 8
in Division V.
In boys volleyball, La Serna (6-3, 4-0) is No. 7 in Division III.

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All-Star games will cap area high school basketball season

The Fourth Annual High School All-Star Basketball Games, boys and girls, scheduled Saturday night at Whittier College and sponsored by Sargent’s Sportring Goods, figure to be a crowd pleaser for everyone, players and crowd alike.
The coaches have a common philosophy in that it is an all-star game and should showcase the participants’ talents.
Therefore, they’ve promised a wide-open, up-tempo approach that will favor transition scoring and one-on-one matchups, all within the team concept.
Twelve of the 24 players on the two boys teams were members of the 2008 Daily News All-Area first, second and honorable mention selectees. Fifteen of the 24 girls were All-Area honorees.
Tickets are priced at $10 for adults, with children ages 1 and under admitted free.
tickets can be purchased at Sargent’s, 6546 Comstock Ave in Whittier.
For more information, call (562) 696-2120.
And bring the family

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