Nine local baseballers receive recognition …

It formerly was called All-CIF Southern Section Baseball teams.
Now, it’s the 2008 All-Southern Section Baseball Teams compiled by
the California Baseball Coaches Association.

Tomatoes, tamahtoes, no big deal, although some of us wish the CIF
was still involved.

Nine area athletes have been acknowledged:

In Division III, California senior pitcher Tyler Leibert, La Serna
senior pitcher/outfielder Victor Soto and El Rancho senior pitcher Chris Villalobos were first team selections.
Named to the second team was El Rancho senior first baseman Aaron

In Division IV, La Habra senior second baseman Bryan Aanderud was a second team pick. He also was a first team pick as a member of the
Highlanders’ CIF championship team.

Division V honorees were St. Paul sophomore shortstop Andrew Chico and sophomore pitcher/outfielder Gabriel Encinas on the first team, and Cantwell senior shortstop Antonio Andrade and St. Paul junior catcher Chris Carrillo on the second team.

Did the committee miss anyone who deserved (legitimate) recognition?

NOTE: We’re still rounding up the softball and boys volleyball

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Where is the support for SFBL, T&F, SWMNG, TNNS, VB??

Bloggers’ comments have been posted concerning the candidates for
all-area player of the year in baseball, but little has been said about
coach of the year, or potential choices for either player of the year and/or coach of the year in softball. Where are the supporters for that sport? And we’ll have
POYs and COYs for boys and girls track&field, boys and girls swimming,
boys volleyball and boys tennis being announced in the next two weeks.
Opinions for those sports, also, are welcome. Love all the football
stuff, but don’t let it intimidate the rest of you.

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Encinas, Chico step up, make tough decision

It is stressed in St. Paul High School football that no one
player will make or break the program. That while the gain or loss of an
individual might be significant in some respects, it will never be
reason for panic or alibi.
Two of the Swordsmen’s fine multi-sport athletes have decided to forgo
playing football this season in favor of concentrating on baseball. Both
played key roles in St. Paul’s march to the CIF-SS, Division V
championship this spring, Encinas as a pitcher/outfielder and Chico at
shortstop and leadoff batter, and both might have figured prominently in
coach Pete Gonzalez’s plans this fall.
“Both young men were up front about it,” Gonzalez said. “They came to us
and explained their feelings. It was their decision.”
Encinas’ reason was basic.
“I’ve known since I was 10 years old baseball was my sport,” said the
6-foot-3, 200-pound sophomore, although he might get a bit of an
argument from those who have watched him on the football field, both as
a quarterback his freshman season at Santa Fe and as a wide receiver on
St. Paul’s CIF-SS, Western Division championship team this past season.
“I know I’m going to play baseball as a career and I just feel it’s
time to start focusing on that.”
Encinas said “a lot of people,” including professional scouts, had been
telling him he should concentrate on baseball.
“It’s time, and I’m sure I’ll miss (football),” he said. “I really
love the game, but I think this (decision) is best for me.”
Chico is a talented athlete who played defensive back for the junior
varsity last fall. At least one observer close to the varsity program
said the 5-foot-11, 155-pound sophomore could have challenged for a
starting berth on the team this fall.
“No football,” Chico said. “I kinda want some time off to concentrate
more on what I want and need to do at home.”
Chico’s mother passed away last year, and he feels a
responsibility to help take care of his 12-year-old sister (Ashley).
“I also want to do really good in school. My grades are good, I just
want them to be better,” he said, citing their importance in obtaining a
scholarship for college.

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Playing in how many all-star football games is enough/too many?

Nine area football players are scheduled to participate in the Hall of
Fame game that will be played Friday, June 27 at Bassett High School.

For two of them, it will be their second all-star game in three weeks.
And two them have indicated they may participate in the LA Army Fiesta
Bowl scheduled June 28 at Los Angeles Wilson High School.

It is a rugged schedule, indeed. Not many bodies are in football
condition at this time of the year, which makes them more susceptible to

The locals in the Hall of Fame game are California center Chris Burns
(listed on the roster at guard) and guard Jose Castellon, and Pioneer
linebacker Andre Ortega, who will be playing for the East Squad, and
Schurr DB/WR Alex Valdez, DB Raul Pintaro and RB/WB Rudy Jordan (yes, he
played for La Serna last fall), Cantwell FB/LB Deonta Woodward, El
Rancho two-way lineman Travis Shaefer and Montebello two-way lineman
Vicente Torres, who are members of the West Squad.

Realizing the amount of time between games is the most important
factor, should one off-season all-star game enough, or is asking one’s
self to play in two, perhaps even three games no big deal?

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A football top 5 (in no particular order?)

1. La Habra - Some big names are gone, Morales, Davis, Tornell, Puga, just to name a few, but weep not for the defending Southeast Division
champion Highlanders. The return of All-Area safety-turned-QB-prospect
Randall Nygren plus versatile running back/receiver Ronnie Hillman means coach Frank Mazzotta has a solid starting point to build around. And of course, programs that reach La Habra’s level of consistent
efficiency don’t have down years.

2. St. Paul - Defending Western Division champion Swordsmen definitely have a target on their backs but addition of impressive transfer running
back Darius Bratcher and a trio of talented quarterbacks to choose from should make things a bit easier for coach Pete Gonzales. The biggest test will be in rebuilding the defense that has become a cornerstone but
lost many key performers who contributed to a brilliant season on their
side of the ball.

3. La Mirada - Not much to show for last season, but there are some
quality remnants to work with this year for newly named co-head coaches
Mike Moschetti and Ollie Lynch. One close observer wouldn’t go into detail but said, “There’s good things happening there.” Two of them might be returning QB Daniel Ponce de Leon and running back Devon Tracy. Another plus is the return to the sideline of A.D. Kim Brooks to oversee the project.

4. Santa Fe - The Chiefs took a beating on a couple of fronts last
season, both in and out of the arena. A lot of folks who had been waiting at least six years for a crack in the program’s armor were quick to kick the big dog when Santa Fe finished under .500 in both league (2-3) and overall (5-6) for the first time since anyone could remember. However, with Aaron Turner, one of the area’s top running backs, the Chiefs may feature a more conservative and efficient ground
game to take the pressure off which ever of the young quarterbacks (Alex , Flores, Cameron Oliver, Ryan Garcia?) is given the reins.

5. La Serna was on the verge of a break-through season a year ago until waylaid by California and then Pioneer in the last league game. The architect of an otherwise successful season was QB Ben Burke, and he’s back to lead again. Burke’s passing hopefully will help make up for the loss of leading rusher Rudy Jordan and his 1127 yards and 18 (overall) touchdowns. Graduated linebacker Nick Alvarez will be the Lancers’ biggest defensive hole to fill.

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Villalobos, Soto Del Rio League baseball co-MVPs

2008 All-Del Rio League
Final Standings

1. El Rancho 13-2, 2. La Serna 12-3, 3. California 9-6, 4. Whittier 7-8,
5t. Pioneer 2-13, 5t. Santa Fe 2-13
Junior varsity
1t. La Serna 11-4, 1t. Whittier 11-4, 3. California 10-5, 4. Santa Fe
9-6, 5. El Rancho 4-11, 6. Pioneer 0-15
1. La Serna 14-1, 2. Santa Fe 11-4, 3. Whittier 7-7-1, 4. El Rancho
7-8, 5. California 5-9-1, 6. Pioneer 0-15.

All-League selections

Co-Most Valuable Player: Chris Villalobos (El Rancho), Victor Soto (La Serna). Most Valuable Pitcher: Tyler Leibert (California)

First Team
P – Chris Vargas (ElR, sr.), Casey Serna (LaS, sr.)
C – Jovany Avila (Whittier, sr.)
Inf. – Enrique Murillo (Cal, sr.), Ernie Aguilera (ElR, sr.), Aaron
Flores (ElR, sr.), Steven Oertel (LaS, sr.)
OF – Ray Madrid (ElR, sr.), Austin Estrada (LaS, sr.), Francisco Fuentes
(SFe, jr.).
Util. – Gilbert Murillo (Cal, sr.)
DH – Ben Burke (LaS, jr.).
Second Team
P – Jared Garcia (Cal., jr.), Sean Magana (Wht, sr.)
C – Tony Hernandez (Pioneer, sr.)
Inf. – Raul Garcia (Cal., sr.), Michael Manriquez (ElR, sr.), Raymond Morrill (LaS, sr.), Rudy Casillas (SFe, sr.)
OF – Aaron Contreras (Cal, jr.), Karl Perez (Cal, soph.), Marcus Aldecoa (ElR, jr.), Daniel Enriquez (Wht, jr.)
Util. – Ronnie Palacios (Pio, jr.)
DH – Jesus Iribe (Cal, sr.)
Honorable mention
California - David Marquez (soph.), Kevin Gallardo (jr.); El Rancho - Esteban Soto (jr.); La Serna – Nathan Garcia (jr.), David Langstaff (jr.), Branden Montoya (jr.), Clark Harris (sr.); Pioneer – Steven Real (sr.); Santa Fe - George Mendoza (sr.); Whittier – Darrin Macias (jr.), Vince Arizmendi (sr.), Jesse Avila (soph.), Anthony Diaz (sr.), Erick Ruvalcaba (jr.).

Final Standings

1. La Serna 10-0, 2t. Santa Fe 6-4, 2t. California 6-4, 4. Whittier 5-5,
5. El Rancho 3-7, 6. Pioneer 0-6
Junior varsity
1. La Serna 10-0, 2. El Rancho 6-3-1, 3. Santa Fe 6-4, 4. Whittier
5-4-1, 5. California 2-8, 6. Pioneer 0-10

All-League selections
Most Valuable Player:
Courtnie Everidge (Santa Fe, sr.); Most Valuable Pitcher: Holly Consterdine (La Serna, sr.)

First Team
California -
Marissa Rangel (sr.), Cassaundra Davis (sr.), Krista Mele (soph.)
El Rancho - Rochelle Romero (sr.), Marilyn Toriz (jr.)
La Serna – Ashley Holmes (soph.), Brooke Putich (sr.), Ashley Ramirez (sr.), Amanda Perez (sr.)
Pioneer – Jessalyn Trujillo (sr.)
Santa Fe - Ariel Mendez (jr.), Jessica Davis (sr.), Brittany Poirier (sr.)
Whittier – Elizabeth Lopez (r.) Ariana Atwater (r.)
Second Team
California –
Ashley Beza (soph.), Monica Robles (jr.)
El Rancho - Joanna Avila (sr.), Kristina Hernandez (jr.)
La Serna - Danielle Cabrera (soph.0, Katrina Castaneda (sr.)
Pioneer - Jenny Martinez (jr.)
Santa Fe - Alex Flores (frosh), Jessica Nordyke (jr.)
Whittier - Priscilla Licon (jr.), Crystal Martin (frosh), Monique Venegas
Honorable mention
California –
Samantha Duran (frosh), Janelle Carrasco (soph.); El Rancho - Bernadett Leggis (jr.); La Serna – Kelsey Marker (sr.), Brandi Rummel (sr.), Briana Arnold (sr.), Liz Medrano (frosh), Monique Gardea (jr.); Pioneer - Maggie Baraja (soph.), Alyssa Hernandez (sr.); Santa Fe - Chantel Bueno (sr.), Andrea Bueno (sr.), Anaysa Huizar (soph.)

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East’s answer to 15-15 tie left standing on the sideline …

For the most part, Saturday evening’s 41st Annual 605 All Star Football Classic that ended in a 15-15 tie was an enjoyable experience, with several area players, most notibly La Habra QB Chris Morales, Santa Fe DB Keith Gaines, St. Paul DL Ryan Rosenthal and La Serna P/K Morris Keseloff contributing impressively among the 25 locals who participated.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is the disappointing tie, a frustration magnified by the way it happened.

They played four overtimes, using the California tie breaker in
which each team begins its series of downs on the 25-yard line. What
followed put a damper on the game for many of the onlookers.

East place kicker Jonathan Heinze and West place kicker Brian Covey each
missed four field goal attempts, one at the end of each OT period.
Heinze, who had kicked three field goals earlier, also had missed a last-ditch, 51 yard attempt on the final play of regulation time.

It is ironic that even though it was obvious Heinze was
feeling the pressure (prehaps enhanced because the defense was not
allowed to rush on FG attempts), East head coach Raul Lara and special teams coach Carlos Lara apparently chose to ignore one of the
southland’s best kickers, La Habra’s Petey Puga, who waited on the
sideline. Puga admitted later he was frustrated after telling members of the East
coaching staff he could kick but they had no response.

“A lot of the other players were telling me I should tell them,” Puga said. “Oh, yeah, I told them I could kick numerous times. I don’t know what was going on in their heads, but (Heinze) is their kicker during the season. I know it was an all-star game and all that, but we also wanted to win.” Puga said he that while he practiced puntiing as a backup to Keseloff during workouts, he hadn’t kicked field goals.

During the regular season, Puga made five of six attempts, the longest from 45 yards, for the Southeast Division champion Highlanders. His only miss (“from about 35 yards”) was against Buena Park right after the disastrious southland fires and he hadn’t practiced kicking for two weeks.
Heinze was seven for 11, with a long of 47 yards during the season.

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Bare and/or painted chests to be a thing of the past?

A story off the AP wire:
– Wisconsin fans of high school sports may soon get this message: Show
your team spirit, but don’t expose anything else. The sportsmanship committee of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association recommended banning fans with bare or painted chests from indoor games last month. The proposal will take effect if a committee of state athletic directors OKs it and the association’s Board of
Control approves it June 19. “People say, ‘Hey, we are attempting to take the fun out of high school sports.’ That isn’t the intention at all,” Tom Shafranski, assistant director of the association, said. –

Hmmmmmm. Good idea, or not? Personally, bare or painted chests can be artistically clever. No problem here.

Instead, how about just controlling those fanatics whose insensitive antics block vision and threaten ear drums of those whose intent to enjoy the event lacks their fervor?

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605Football Classic final rosters updated …. again

La Serna High School All-Area linebcker Nick Alvarez has been added to
the East team for Saturday night’s 41st Annual 605 All Star High School
Football Classic.

Other additions are:
Gahr RB Tavoy Moore, Gahr DB Eric Russell, Gahr LB Chester Woolen, Mater
Dei RB Robert Mojica, Orange Lutheran LB Alex Pemasa, Orange Lutheran DL
Don Williams.

Players removed from the roster (and it gets a bit sketchy here): LB Poly
OL Doug Spacht, LB Poly LB Pat Hill, LB Poly DL Jurrell Casey, LB Poly LB Pete

Sonora WR Ryan Cress suffered a knee injury and will not play but
remains on the roster.

Game time, 6:05 p.m. (Naturally)
Place: Cerritos College (Alondra and Studebaker).

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