Lopez, Puga WDN Athletes of the Year

They have three CIF championship rings between them, all from different sports, but the manner by which they received them was similar.
Because of their commitment, work ethic and success, La Serna’s Lee Lopez and La Habra’s Petey Puga are the 2007-2008 Daily News High School Girl and Boy Athletes of the Year.
Among Lopez’s accomplishments this year were winning the CIF Southern Section and the CIF State individual golf championships.
Puga was a key factor in the success of teams that won CIF-SS championships in both football and soccer.
Lopez, a senior who carried a 4.0 grade point average and will attend Long Beach State on scholarship, was named the Miramonte League Most Valuable Player after winning the individual championship at the league finals.
It marked the fourth consecutive season (the first three in the Suburban League) Lopez has won both her league’s individual championship and MVP honors.
Qualifying again for the southern section playoffs, she reached the finals where she shot 4-under par 69 on the Diamond Bar Golf Course to tie with Los Altos’ Tiffany Lua, then birdied the first playoff hole to win the championship.
Lopez advanced to her fourth consecutive CIF-SS regional playoff at the SCGA (Southern California Golf Association) Golf Course in Murrieta, where she finished with a 4-over par 72 for a tie for fourth place and earned a berth in the state championship.
Three days later, at Poppy Hills GC at Pebble Beach, Lopez scored a 2-under par 70 to edge Torrance High School’s Jane Rah by two strokes to win the state title.
In January, she was named winner of the SCPGA’s 2007 Toyoto Cup Player of the Year, and was acknowledged as a Junior Amateur Golf Scholar (JAGS) Silver Award winner for excellence in the classroom as well as on the course.
Puga, who carried a 3.8 GPA his senior year, earned all-CIF honors in both football and soccer.
Last fall, the 5-foot-10, 165-pounder’s fingerprints were all over the Highlanders’ football program that was 13-0 overall and 4-0 atop the Freeway League (game against Fullerton was cancelled because of bad air quality due to the devastating southland fires).
As a tough wide receiver, he had 49 catches for 819 yards (16.7 yards per catch) and scored nine touchdowns.
“A clutch, big play receiver,” coach Frank Mazzotta said. “Definitely one of the best around. Can go deep or across the middle. Fearless.”
On special teams, Puga had five punt or kickoff returns for touchdowns, three of them in the playoffs and two of those against Ocean View in the opening round.
As a punter, his 36.9-yard average does not adequately explain the effectiveness of his “outstanding hang time and great pin-point corner kicks,” according to Mazzotta.
As perhaps the area’s most consistent placekicker, Puga made five of six field goals, with a long of 45 yards.
“He’s everything you’d want in a football player,” Mazzotta said.
Last winter, he was a defender deluxe as La Habra made it back-to-back CIF soccer championships and posted the school’s best record in the sport, 26-4-1.
Puga’s contributions were critical to the Highlanders recording seven shutouts and holding opponents to one or fewer goals in 24 of 31 games.
“He was the glue of the defense, the reason we were so successful,” coach Steve Aanderud said. “While most people focused on our offense, our defense was just as impressive. We wouldn’t have done as well without Petey.”
Puga is undecided about where he will continue his education and athletic careers.

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La Mirada’s France heads WDN girls All-Area swim team

Kylie France was the area’s only individual champion in the recent CIF Southern Section, Division III swimming and diving championships. She clocked 2:07.08 in taking the 200yd individual medley title, then missed by .09 of a second of winning the 100 breaststroke.

2008 DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA GIRLS SWIMMING
Swimmer of the Year –
Kylie France, La Mirada, senior
Coach of the Year – Chris Schneider, Whittier
Name, School, Class (events)
Michaela Pierandozzi, La Serna, senior (50 free, 100 free)
Michelle Berman, La Mirada, senior (100 fly, 500 free)
Jenel Lopez, La Serna, senior (50 free, 100 free)
Jessica Marsh, Whittier, freshman (200 free, 500 free)
Lisa Perdue, Whittier, freshman (200 I.M., 100 fly)
Sandrine Urias, La Serna, sophomore (200 I.M., 100 breast
Stephanie Cobau, La Serna, senior (200 free, 500 free)
Simone Garcia, Schurr, junior (200 I.M., 500 free)
Laura Lopez, Montebello, freshman (200 free, 500 free)
Lily Martinez, Montebello, junior (200 free, 500 free)

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La Serna’s Hentzen heads boys WDN All-Area swimmers

Kit Hentzen, the last in the line of his family’s outstanding swimmers
that includes sisters Courtney, Morgan and Whitney, heads this year’s
Whittier Daily News All-Area swimming team.
The 2008 group includes a freshman and two sophmores, who capped their season with performances in the CIF Southern Section, Division III championship finals.

2008 DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA BOYS SWIMMING
Swimmer of the Year –
Kit Hentzen, La Serna, senior
Coach of the Year –CF> Dave Rooks, La Serna
Name, School, Class (events)
William Cobau, La Serna, freshman (500 free, 100 back)
Matt Villanueva, La Serna, senior (100 breast, 200 I.M.)
Felix Gonzalez, Montebello, senior (100 free, 200 free)
Shuichi Matsumoto, Montebello, junior (100 breast)
Jon Theo, Schurr, junior (100 breast)
Aaron Mayberry, La Serna, senior (100 fly)
Matt Mendoza, La Serna, senior (100 free)
Michael Toledo, Callifornia, sophomore (100 free, 200 free)
Brian Rodriguez, Montebello, senior (100 fly)
Erick Gonzalez, Montebello, sophomore (50 free, 100 free)

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Softball First/Second Team All-Area

The Team

Player of the Year: Holly Consterdine, La Serna, Senior

Coach of the Year: Ginger Larsin, La Serna

First Team
Pitchers
Kaelynn Armenta, St. Paul, Senior
Jessica Davis, Santa Fe, Senior

Catcher
Ashley Holmes, La Serna, Sophomore

Infield
Vanessa Alvarado, La Mirada, Senior
Marissa Rangel, California, Senior
Rebecca Walker, La Mirada, Sophomore
Lauren Yao, Cantwell, Junior

Outfield
Brooke Putich, La Serna, Senior
Jacqueline Lopez, Montebello, Freshman
Crystal Ruiz, Schurr, Senior

Utility
Melanie Bensema, La Habra, Senior

Second Team
Pitchers
Kelsey Marker, La Serna, Senior
Courtney McGee, Whittier Christian, Sophomore

Catcher
Dana Garcia, La Mirada, Junior

Infield
Elizabeth Lopez, Whittier, Junior
Amanda Perez, La Serna, Senior
Ashley Ramirez, La Serna, Senior
Jalisa Rock, Cantwell, Sophomore

Outfield
Janelle Carrasco, California, Sophomore
Courtnie Everidge, Santa Fe, Senior
Pauline Monreal, La Mirada, Senior

Utility
Tara Allis, St. Paul, Senior

Honorable Mentions
California: Ashley Beza, Monica Robles Cassandra Davis; El Rancho: Rochelle Romero, Joanna Avila, Marilyn Toriz; La Habra: Julie Pecina, Paige Gomez, Kayla Klein; La Mirada: Lauren Moreno, Danielle Klewein; Montebello: Doralicia Loza, Krysti Galaviz; Pioneer: Jessalyn Trujillo, Jenny Martinez; Santa Fe: Ariel Mendez, Brittany Poirier; Schurr: Danielle Lugo; St. Paul: Ashley Larios; Whittier: Ariana Atwater, Priscilla Licon; Whittier Christian: Julianna Bohlen, Natalie Sanchez.

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Baseball First/Second Team All-Area

The Team

Player of the Year: Victor Soto, La Serna, Senior

Coach of the Year: Casey Morales, St. Paul

First Team
Pitchers
Tyler Leibert, California, Senior
Chris Villalobos, El Rancho, Senior

Catcher
Chris Carrillo, St. Paul, Junior

Infield
Bryan Aanderud, La Habra, Senior
Antonio Andrade, Cantwell, Senior
Josh Bryant, La Mirada, Senior
Andrew Chico, St. Paul, Sophomore

Outfield
Francisco Fuentes, Santa Fe, Junior
Ray Madrid, El Rancho, Senior

Utility
Gabriel Encinas, St. Paul, Sophomore
Matt Rush, La Mirada, Senior

Second Team
Pitchers
Gilbert Murillo, California, Senior
Casey Serna, La Serna, Senior

Catcher
Jovany Avila, Whittier, Senior

Infield
Ernie Aguilera, El Rancho, Senior
Rudy Casillas, Santa Fe, Senior
Casey Flores, St. Paul, Senior
Enrique Murillo, California, Senior

Outfield
Austin Estrada, La Serna, Senior

Utility
Ben Burke, La Serna, Junior
Chris Franco, Montebello, Senior
Ryan Tornell, La Habra, Senior

Honorable Mentions
California: Raul Garcia, Karl Perez; Cantwell: Ralf Weissenberger; El Rancho: Aaron Flores, Marcus Aldecoa; La Habra: John Mendoza; La Mirada: Andres Rodriguez, Andy Bruce; La Serna: Steven Oertel, Brandon Montoya; Montebello: Steve Peinado; Pioneer: Tony Hernandez, Steven Real, Ronnie Palacios; Schurr:Andy Villa; St. Paul: Ryan Ball, Bobby Santoyo, Anthony Gonzales, Will Thomas; Whittier: Ivan Garcia, Daniel Enriquez; Whittier Christian: Phil Hughes, Jake Cokely, Mark Edwards.

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All-area teams release dates

These are the updated publication dates for the Daily News All-Area teams
Boys Track, was Friday, June 20
Girls Track, Saturday, June 21
Baseball, Sunday, June 22
Softball, Monday, June 23
Boys Swimming, Tuesday, June 24
Girls Swimming, Wednesday, June 25
Boys Volleyball, Thursday, June 26
Boys Tennis, Friday, June 27
Boys and Girls Athletes of the Year, Sunday, June 29

And as usual …. all subject to change at a moment’s notice.

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St. Paul hands-down has area’s toughest football schedule

After posted responses, there’s no real problem here in determining which high school overall has the toughest road through the area’s preleague football schedules.
With four Division I opponents, and another potential challenger in L.A.’s Garfield, the Swordsmen will have little time to lollygag their way to Mission League play.

Rating the rest of the area’s Top 5 preleague schedules:
2) La Habra: Dangerous Downey looks easy compared to next four games
3) Santa Fe: Could be 0-3 going into Week 4
4) Pioneer: Charter Oak, Cypress, St. Paul … whew!
5) La Mirada: First four teams won 35 games last season (I know, I know, that was last season)

A look at the rest:
6) California, 7) La Serna, 8) Schurr, 9) El Rancho, 10) Whittier
Christian, 11) Whittier, 12) Cantwell, 13) Montebello.

These ratings are based on the competitive potential of the opponent vs.
the area school involved … and, of course, subject to revision at a
moment’s notice.

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It’s too early to be saying things like this, but …

Among Del Rio League football teams, it appears Pioneer and Santa Fe
face the biggest preleague challenges. Pioneer gets Southwest Division
finalist Charter Oak, Cypress and then Western Division champion St.
Paul, along with what is expected to be an improved South El Monte team
that was 7-5 last season. In between, in Game 2, don’t ignore Mid-Valley
Division (XI) South El Monte’s potential.

Santa Fe opens with Warren from the always tough San Gabriel Valley
League, faces Division I San Clements in Game 3 and takes on always
physical Downey in Game 5. In between, the Chiefs can’t afford to look
past speedy Littlerock and always dangerous Bell Gardens.

At the other end of the spectrum, some folks are putting down La
Serna’s schedule as weak and ineffective, but La Mirada in Game 3
figures to be much improved, Warren in Game 4 will be a legitimate test, and Los
Altos will be, well, perennial contender Los Altos, even though the Conquerors will have a new head coach.

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Try a couple of these nonleague schedules on for size …

You’ve had a look at the preleague football schedules for the Del Rio League members.
Here’s the preleague schedules for the area’s non-Del Rio League schools.
Which of non-DRL teams has the toughest pre-league test, and which has the easiest?

Reasoning is welcome and, as always, brevity, … well, you know the drill.

(Below: day, date, site, opponent, record, league, division)
Non-Del Rio League area pre-season schedules:
Team (2007 records)
CANTWELL (7-4, 3-1)

Fr 9/12 @ Salesian (3-7), Santa Fe (Northeast XIII)
Fr 9/19 – BASSETT (1-9), Monteview (Mid-Valley XI)
Fr 9/26 – ST. PAUL (10-4), Mission (Western III)
Fr 10/03 @ San Marino (5-4-1), Rio Hondo (Mid-Valley XI)
Fr 10/10 @ Don Bosco Tech (5-5), Del Rey (Northwest X)
Fr 10/17 – CATHEDRAL (5-5), Del Rey (Northwest X)

LA HABRA (13-0, 4-0)
Fr 9/12 @ Downey (3-7), San Gabriel Valley (Western III)
Fr 9/19 @ South Hills (10-3), San Antonio (Southeast VII)
Fr 9/26 – WESTMINSTER (8-4), Golden West (Southern IX)
Fr 10/03 – LOS ALAMITOS (7-3), Sunset (Pac-5 Div. I)
Fr 10/10 – SAN CLEMENTE (7-3-1), South Coast, (Pac-5 Div. I)

LA MIRADA (4-7, 3-3)
Fr 9/05 @ Tesoro (7-4), South Coast (Pac-5 Div..I)
Fr 9/12 @ Fullerton (9-4), Freeway (Southeast VI)
Fr 9/19 – CALIFORNIA (11-2), Del Rio (Southeast VII)
Sa 9/26 – LA SERNA (8-4), Del Rio (Southeast VII)

MONTEBELLO (2-8, 2-3)
Fr 9/05 @ Norwalk (5-6), Suburban (Southern IX)
Fr 9/12 @ Baldwin Park (7-4), Valle Vista (Mid-Valley XI)
Fr 9/19 – ROWLAND (3-8), San Antonio (Southeast VII)
Fr 9/26 – EL RANCHO (5-6), Del Rio (Southeast VII)
Th 10/03 – HACIENDA HEIGHTS WILSON (6-6), Miramonte (Southeast VII)

SCHURR (8-5, 4-1)
Fr 9/12 @ B/Burroughs (4-7), Pacific (Southeast VII)
Fr 9/19 – DOWNEY (3-7), San Gabriel Valley (Western III)
Fr 9/26 @ Hacienda Heights Wilson (6-6), Miramonte (Southeast VII)
Fr 10/03 @ California (11-2), Del Rio (Southeast VII)
Fr 10/10 – WHITTIER (6-4, Del Rio (Southeast VII)

ST. PAUL (10-4, 2-1)
Fr 9/05 @ Servite (9-3), Trinity (Pac-5 Div. I)
Fr 9/12 – GARFIELD (11-3), (LA) Eastern (Invitational)
Fr 9/19 – BYE
Fr 9/26 – CANTWELL (7-4), Camino Real (Northwest X)
Fr 10/03 @ St. John Bosco (3-6), Trinity (Pac-5 Div. I)
Fr 10/10 – PIONEER (6-4), Del Rio (Southeast VII)
Fr 10/17 – LOYOLA (4-6), Serra (Pac-5 Div. I)
Fr 10/24 @ SO/Notre Dame (8-3), Serra (Pac-5 Div. I)

WHITTIER CHRISTIAN (6-6, 3-2)
Fr 9/05 – COCHRANE (Alberta, Canada)
Fr 9/12 – SANTA PAULA (4-6), Frontier (East Valley XII)
Fr 9/19 – SAVANNA (7-4), Orange (Southwest VI)
Fr 9/26 @ St. Margaret’s (14-0), Academy (East Valley XII)
Fr 10/03 @ Mission Prep (SLO, 7-3), East Sierra (Central CA, Div. V)
Fr 10/10 – KERN VALLEY (5-6) High Desert (East Valley XII)

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In whose path lies the roughest road??

Time time to consider the following and tell who in the Del Rio League has the
toughest nonleague schedule. Guaranteed, when it comes to evaluating a
team’s strength later on, these games will weigh in heavily on the
prognosticator’s opinion.

While you’re at it, which team has the easiest nonleague schedule?
Reasoning is welcome and, as always, brevity is encouraged.

(Below: day, date, site, opponent, record, league, division)

Del Rio League pre-league schedules: (2007 records)
CALIFORNIA (10-3, 4-1)

Fr 9/12 @ Rowland (3-8), San Antonio, Southeast Division VII
Fr 9/19 @ La Mirada (4-7, Suburban, Southern IX
Th 9/25 – GG/PACIFICA (10-3), Empire, Southwest VI
Th 10/02 – SCHURR (8-5), Almont, Southeast VII
Th 10/09 @ El Monte (5-5), Mission Valley, Mid-Valley VI

EL RANCHO (5-6, 3-2)
Fr 9/05 @West Covina (6-6), San Antonio, Southeast VII
Fr 9/12 – CERRITOS (1-9), Suburban, Southern IX
Fr 9/19 @ Bell Gardens (5-5), Almont, Southeast VII
Fr 9/26 @ Montebello (2-8), Almont, Southeast VII
– 10/03 BYE
Fr 10/10 – ST. FRANCIS (4-6 ), Mission, Western III

LA SERNA (7-4, 3-2)
Fr 9/12 – JOHN GLENN (2-8), Suburban, Southern IX
Fr 9/19 – NORWALK (5-6), Suburban, Southern IX
Sa 9/27 – LA MIRADA (4-7), Suburban, Southern IX
Fr 10/03 – WARREN (6-5), San Gabriel Valley, Western III
Fr 10/10 @ Los Altos (5-5), Miramone, Southeast VII

PIONEER (6-4, 2-3)
Fr 9/12 @ Charter Oak (10-2-1), Miramonte, Southeast VII
Fr 9/19 @ South El Monte (7-5), Mission Valley, Mid-Valley XI
Fri 9/26 – CYPRESS (10-3), Empire, Southwest VI
Fr 10/03 @ GG/Bolsa Grande (3-7), Garden Grove, Southern IX
Fr 10/10 @ St. Paul (10-4), Mission, Western III

SANTA FE (5-6, 2-3)
Fr 9/12 – WARREN (6-5), San Gabriel Valley, Western III
Th 9/18 @ Little Rock (3-7), Golden, Western III
Fr 9/26 @ San Clemente (7-3-1), South Coast, Pac-5 I
Fr 10/03 @ Bell Gardens (5-5), Almont, Southeast VII
Fr 10/10 – Downey (3-7), San Gabriel Valley, Western III

Whittier (6-4, 1-4)
Th 9/11 – Bell Gardens (5-5), Almont, Southeast VII
Fr 9/19 @ Warren (6-5), San Gabriel Valley, Western III
Fr 9/26 – LA Roosevelt (6-5), LA Eastern, Invitational
Fr 10/03 @ Firebaugh (freelance)
Fr 10/10 @ Schurr (8-5), Almont, Southeast VII

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