Baseball: Cal holds on to beat La Serna to remained tied for first in Del Rio with El Rancho, Whittier, who also won

STAYING IN THE HUNT: California players celebrate after scoring a 4-2 victory over rival La Serna to remain in a three-way tie for
first in the Del Rio League.
(Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
It looked all too familiar.
But this time the California High School baseball team was ready.
The Condors, after letting a lead slip away from them the last time they hosted rival La Serna, wasn’t about to let it happen again.
They didn’t.
Relievers Robert Barraza and Ruben Pinedo saved the day and host California remained in a tie for first in the Del Rio League Friday with a 4-2 victory over the Lancers.
The Condors, also getting two RBIs from Jesse Oropeza, improved to 15-6 overall and 8-3 in league play. California remained tied for first with El Rancho and Whittier, who beat Pioneer (10-1) and Santa Fe (6-3), respectively.
La Serna, which was denied after loading the bases with two outs in the seventh, slipped to 12-9-1 and 6-5. Ryan Cordova had two RBIs for the Lancers.
La Serna also had chances in the final two innings.
The Lancers, getting a lead-off double by Goethe in the sixth, had runners on first and second with one out when Calander drew a walk on a check swing.
But Goethe was running on the play and when California catcher Daniel Marquez threw low to third, the ball ticked off third baseman Michael Davis’ glove and Goethe tried to advance. But Davis’ throw easily beat him home for the second out.
Barraza then struck out Kyle Dow to end the threat.
La Serna loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. Garcia hit a double to left to advantage pinch-hitter Austin Johnson, who had singled with one out, to third. Goethe was walked intentionally before Pinedo induced Mark Abbate to hit a pop up to right that second baseman Anthony Von Slomski was able to track down to end it.
California coach Tony Nieto: “We lost to them (here) the last time and felt we gave it away. It was pretty much the same situation. We got the lead and they came back. I’m incredibly proud of my players. We didn’t crack today. We knew they were going to challenge us and come back. But we stood strong and we got a big win.”
La Serna coach Anthony Gonzalez Jr.: “We had a lot of chances. We’re always going to battle. It just didn’t happen today.”

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ALL-AREA WRESTLING: Surprise! Santa Fe senior Davis is Wrestler of the Year

TOP CHIEF: Joey Davis from Santa Fe High School was selected
as the Whittier Daily News All-Area Wrestler of the Year. The senior
has won two state titles in the past two years and also won two
national titles.
(Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
Santa Fe High School senior Joey Davis, who won back-to-back national championships, might be the best wrestler in area history.
But while some look to his athleticism as the main key to his success, his best trait is one that can’t be measured – his heart and determination.
For his efforts, Davis Whittier is Daily News Wrestler of the Year. Davis, who won the award for the second consecutive season, is joined on the All-Area team by Santa Fe teammates Nico Sanchez (103 pounds), Kioni Villalobos (113), Loucian Ponce (132), Daniel Contreras (136) and Dillon Crouch (152); La Habra’s Elder Cruz (195) and Jacob Rosales (120); Montebello’s Nelson Lucha (160) and Mark Green (heavyweight); California’s Adrian Chavez (126); La Mirada’s Stephen Hart (145); Schurr’s Nicholas Lucero (182) and La Serna’s Travis Graham (220).
Santa Fe’s Sal Garcia is Area Coach of the Year.
“I think of myself, my season like the movie `Troy,’ because Achilles (Brad Pitt) was the best at what he did and everyone knew he was the best,” Davis said. “That was my theory to the season to be like (Achilles). It sounds kind of funny, but that’s how I went into my season.
“I just wanted to be unstoppable, and doing what I had to do to be the best.”

WOY – Joey Davis, Santa Fe, Senior
COY – Sal Garcia, Santa Fe

106-Nico Sanchez, Santa Fe, Sophomore
113-Kioni Villalobos, Santa Fe, Senior
120-Jacob Rosales, La Habra, Junior
126-Adrian Chavez, California, Sophomore
132- Loucian Ponce, Santa Fe, Senior
136-Daniel Contreras, Santa Fe, Senior
145-Stephen Hart, La Mirada, Junior
152-Dillon Crouch, Santa Fe, Senior
160-Nelson Lucha, Montebello, Senior
170-Grant Escobar, Whittier Chr., Senior
182-Nicholas Lucero, Schurr, Senior
195-Elder Cruz, La Habra, Senior
220-Travis Graham, La Serna, Senior
Hwt-Mark Green, Montebello, Senior
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Softball: La Habra takes over first in Freeway League with 7-2 victory over Sunny Hills

TIME TO CELEBRATE: La Habra players mob Amanda Akles (#99) after hitting a home run in
the Highlanders’ 7-2 victory over Sunny Hills Thursday.
(Staff photo by Keith Durflinger)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
La Habra High School didn’t win the Freeway League softball championship Thursday.
But the Highlanders took a major step toward a four-peat.
Maleena Esparza and Amanda Akles each hit two-run home runs in the sixth inning and Vanessa Ciocatto was steady in the circle and La Habra took over first place with a 7-2 victory over Sunny Hills.
The Highlanders, also getting a two-run single from Racquel Manzo in the third, improved to 16-8 overall and 5-1 in the Freeway League.
Sunny Hills, which handed La Habra its only league loss on April 3, slipped to 10-9 and 4-2.
“I’d rather have a one game lead than be behind by one game with two weeks left,” La Habra coach Frank McCarroll said. “This is the third time we played them. We beat them in the Brea Tournament and they beat us, 6-2, at their place, so you can look at the two scores and decide who is the big dog.
“I thought today we pitched well, we were strong, defensively, and we got some timely hits. Maleena showed why she’s been Area Player of the Year (with the home run). But our freshmen — (Manzo) and (Akles) — had some key hits. They’ve been doing it all year long.”
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Baseball: Cal, Whittier stay in first with wins over La Serna, Santa Fe…No word on El Rancho

Here is today’s scoreboard from the Del Rio League, which began the day with a four-way logjam for first place:

California 4, La Serna 1,
Whittier 6, Santa Fe 0
El Rancho vs. Pioneer — no word as of yet.

So, That would put Cal and Whittier tied for first at 7-3…El Rancho would join them with a win over Pioneer. La Serna is a game back at 6-4.

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Build It and They Will Come: Plan in place for new football stadiums at California and Pioneer high schools

Above: A rendering of the proposed football stadiums for California and Pioneer high schools.

California High School was ridiculed for its football stadium prior to hosting the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division football championship game between La Serna and West Covina high schools.
The complaints centered around a dearth of seats for a championship football game and inadequate field conditions. But under a plan announced by the Whittier Union High School District, California – and its fellow WUHSD school, Pioneer, could have the best high school football facilities around. The proposed $18-million dollar project for each facility would give each the best stadiums in the area.
The bad part of the plan is that Santa Fe, which plays its home games at Pioneer, and the Titans will be without a home next year, with a plan in place to play only nonleague and league road games. The exception would be when the two rivals meet, with a possibility of playing that game at Cal High. California, Whittier and La Serna will face similar fate the following year.
Construction for the Pioneer project is not scheduled to begin until this June with completion in time for the 2013 football season. Cal High’s project will not begin until possibility early 2014 and be completed in time for the 2014 season.
Both stadiums will feature seating for 7,000, a press box and elevator and an artificial turf field.
California football coach JIm Arnold: “In looking at the architectural plans, they probably could be among the best stadiums in the area.”

Click here to read staff writer MIke Sprague’s story

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CIF-SS Rollback: Transfer policy may get makeover

10:12 UPDATE: I just heard from Aram that the the CIF-SS council voted to vote yes on rule at the CIF State executive meeting. The CIF-SS vote was 41-40. There were five abstentions

Are the times a changin.’ That’s what most are expecting to happen at The Grand in Long Beach when officials for the 86 leagues that comprise the CIF-SS are slated to vote for a new transfer policy, which basically will allow non-change of address transfers to sit out just 30 days, as opposed to the present one-year requirement.
Personally, I think this new rule, while a step in the right direction, doesn’t go far enough. I would lift the sit-out time and have good ol’ open enrollment. This is America, after all. But that’s me. If anything, this should make CIF-SS’ job a little easier. Read staff writer Aram Tolegian’s story below, and you decide, and don’t be afraid to make a comment or too. Keep it civil. Looking for a good intelligent discussion. We will have a live show about 2:30 p.m. to discuss it, with myself, Fred and Aram.

By Aram Tolegian
Staff Writer

The complexion of the CIF-Southern Section’s transfer policy on high school athletes is set to get a major makeover today.
Representatives from the 86 leagues that comprise the Southern Section will vote on a proposal that will dramatically revise the rules for transfers in all varsity sports. The new transfer rule proposals will be the headliner of what should be the most anticipated Southern Section council meeting in recent history.
It begins at 9 a.m. at The Grand in Long Beach.
Under current rules, the transfer of a student athlete with or without a valid change of address can be challenged by the student-athlete’s prior school under the pretense it was athletically motivated. If the student-athlete cannot prove otherwise, he orshe must sit out a calendar year before regaining varsity eligibility.
The new proposal will make it so that all student-athletes who produce a valid change of address upon transferring will gain immediate eligibility.
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ALL-AREA GIRLS WATER POLO: La Serna’s Dorado is Daily News Player of the Year

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: La Serna’s Monique Dorado earned top honor.
(Staff photo by Keith Durflinger)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
La Serna High School came up short in 2010-11 in its quest to win the Del Rio League girls water polo championship and make a good showing the CIF-Southern Section divisional playoffs.
The Lancers made up for it this past season, and one of the big keys was senior center/utility player Monique Dorado, who helped La Serna go undefeated in the Del Rio League and advance to the Division 3 semifinals for the first time in recent memory.
For her efforts, both as a scoring option and team leader, Dorado is the Whittier Daily News Girls Water Polo Player of the Year.
The senior, who was part of a three-pronged scoring attack for the Lancers, is joined on the All-Area team with La Serna teammates Gabby Pierandozzi, Jenel Rivera and Jacqui Verdugo; the Montebello trio of Niki De Leon, Zyania Morales and Jasmine Villalpando; and El Rancho utility Angelica Hernandez.
La Serna’s Erin Brown is Area Coach of the Year.
“We really came together as a team this year,” Dorado said. “Having that, being part of a great team, really helped us go further than we have in the past.
“It was a bad year for me (in 2010-11). We got all our bad experience and made it into a better experience this year. That made me want to work more than I used to do.”

Player of the Year – Monique Dorado, La Serna,Senior
Coach of the Year – Erin Brown, La Serna

Jenel Rivera, La Serna, Junior
Gabby Pierandozzi, La Serna, Junior
Niki De Leon, Montebello, Senior
Zyania Morales, Montebello, Senior
Jasmine Villalpando, Montebello, Senior
Angelica Hernandez, El Rancho, Senior
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Baseball: Montebello puts away Schurr early in 20-2 rout

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
Montebello High School still has designs on winning an Almont League baseball title.
The Oilers weren’t about to let rival Schurr spoil those plans Tuesday.
Andrew Gallegos and Silvestre Sanchez had three hits and three RBIs each and host Montebello had a pair of 10-run innings en route to a 20-2 victory over the Spartans in a league game that was halted during the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.
The Oilers, who began the day one game behind first-place Alhambra with six league games remaining, improved to 10-9 overall and 8-2 in league play. Montebello also got two RBIs each from Chris Gonzalez and Jose Morales.
Schurr, which broke the shutout on a two-run double by Jacob Tumasian, slipped to 4-11 and 3-7. The two teams will complete their season series at Schurr on Friday.
“We have to think that every game is for our championship, and hoping that Alhambra can drop one,” Montebello coach Rafael Gutierrez said. “We tell the kids focus on the game at hand, and whatever happens outside of our games, will let happen.
“I’m pleased the way we stung the ball today.”

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Softball: Santa Fe stays in first, beats La Serna, 5-4

Above: Santa Fe had to scramble against El Rancho last week, but was on the other side of a dropped ball against
La Serna on Tuesday.
(Staff file photo by Leo Jarzomb)

By Red Williams
Sometimes the pressure on high school softball players can be a bit overwhelming.
An easy fly ball was bobbled and fell safely to the grass, allowing Santa Fe’s Chiefs to squeak by visiting La Serna, 5-4, in Del Rio League action Tuesday afternoon.
La Serna’s shortstop, A.J. Carrasco seemed to have the ball in range, but rightly gave way to left-fielder Lauren Rodriguez. But center-fielder Danielle Garcielita also was homing in on the ball. It hit her glove as she and Rodriguez collided.
Santa Fe’s Miranda Hernandez, looking for an opportunity to score from third, was heading toward the plate when she saw the ball trickle from Garcielita’s glove for an error. She tapped home with the winning run.
The teams were fighting for the top spot in the Del Rio standings, and now Santa Fe (11-7) has taken a positive step, improving to 4-1 as the first round comes to a close. La Serna is 10-9 over all and 3-2 in the league.
La Serna coach Ginger Larsin: “We didn’t lose the game on that play, though. Sure there was a lack of communications, but we made too many mistakes, base-running gaffes and errors, and so forth. That’s what lost the game. For two teams in first place, it was a mighty sloppy game. I would call it bizarre.”
Santa Fe coach Randi Berg: “We played five tough innings, then allowed them to sneak back in. You can’t take anyone lightly, no matter the score. We knew it was going to be a tough game. There were a couple of huge double plays that helped.”

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