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.

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.

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
Kaelynn Armenta, St. Paul, Senior
Jessica Davis, Santa Fe, Senior

Ashley Holmes, La Serna, Sophomore

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

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

Melanie Bensema, La Habra, Senior

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

Dana Garcia, La Mirada, Junior

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

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

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
Tyler Leibert, California, Senior
Chris Villalobos, El Rancho, Senior

Chris Carrillo, St. Paul, Junior

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

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

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

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

Jovany Avila, Whittier, Senior

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

Austin Estrada, La Serna, Senior

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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