Porter, Esparza lead Rotary All-Star selections

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

La Habra High School’s Aaron Porter and Maleena Esparza lead the selections for the 16th Whittier Rotary All-Star Classic, the rotary club announced this week.
The 16th annual baseball game, which features the top seniors in the area, is scheduled for York Field on June 6 at 6 p.m. The 10th annual softball game will be at 3 p.m., also on June 6.
Porter, the reigning Daily News Football Player of the Year and who could be picked in the early rounds of the upcoming Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, led the area in home runs with eight, and RBIs with 34. He finished the season with a .489 batting average to help La Habra win it’s first Freeway League title since 2004. The Highlanders finished 17-11 and advanced to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Divsion 4 playoffs, losing to Jurupa Valley, 6-3.
Esparza, is the reigning Daily News Softball Player of the Year. She has an area-best 12 home runs and 35 RBIs. The senior is also hitting .562 for La Habra, which is 23-8 and has advanced to next week’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4 semifinals. The Highlanders beat Dos Pueblos, 2-1, on Thursday.
Porter is one of four players from La Habra to be selected to the Blue Team, joined by Chad Ferreira, Spencer Long and Josh Staumont. Also selected to the Blue Team are El Rancho’s Juan Aguilar, Victor Garcia, Marcos Martinez and Kevin Rodriguez; La Serna’s Daniel Balzano, Alex Garcia, Taylor Lowinger and Jared Wight; Pioneer’s Patrick Jimenez; Schurr’s Oscar Sarabia; Sonora’s Mitchell Downing, Brandon Munoz, Nick Piraino and Brandon Quintero and Whittier Christian’s Billy Grant and Mark Sandison.
The Blue Team is coached by El Rancho’s Frank Llanes.
California’s Nathan Blount and La Mirada’s Ali Anthony, two of the better pitchers in the area this spring, led the Red Team selections. Also on the squad are California’s Michael Davis, Keith Gallardo and Luis Gallegos; La Mirada’s Michael Hemenway and Austin Rojo; Montebello’s Tony Monroy, Raymond Orozco and Sivestre Sanchez; Santa Fe’s Bryce Brooks, Ramon Lizarraga, Gilbert Medina and Romeo Prado; St. Paul’s Jonah Jimenez, Kevin Romo and Jorge Zepeda and Whittier’s Brandon Fortenberry, Jose Romero and Damain Salcedo.
The Red Team is coached by Santa Fe’s Pierre Romo.
Esparza is one of three players from La Habra named to the Red Team. She is joined by teammates Shanin Thomas and Cami Jacob. Also selected to the Red Team are California’s Meah Lopez, Christina Pantages and Karly Perez; El Rancho’s Samantha Alvarez, Alejandra Barcenas, Katherine Flores and Jamie Ramirez; Pioneer’s Cynthia Quintana; Santa Fe’s Reina Bernal, Jazzmin Espinoza, Elena Gallego, Arianna Hernandez and Jazzmin Hernandez and Whittier Christian’s Mandi Perez.
Santa Fe’s Randi Berg will coach the Red Team.
Selected to the Blue Team are Anisa Carrasco, Danielle Elizrraraz, Alendrina Pichardo and Jackie Valdez; Montebello’s Valerie Aguilar, April Marquez and Celeste Rodriguez; Schurr’s Alexandra Campo, Jamee Rivera, Jessica Rivera, Aishia Ruiz and Monique Troncoza; St. Paul’s Justine Almanza, Jackie Mendoza and Breana West and Whittier’s Larissa Andrade, Alexandra Romero and Ilene Ruiz.
Schurr’s Jackie Montanez-Ramirez is the Blue Team coach.
The event, which helps support the Whittier Rotary Club’s charitable organizations, will also feature a luncheon at the Radisson Hotel on June 5 at 11:45 a.m., and a home run derby before between the baseball and softball games.
The luncheon will feature former MLB player Al Martin as guest speaker. Tickets for the luncheon are $15, which also includes admission to the game-day events. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or by calling R.D. McDonnell at 562-907-4426.

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  • It will be nice to see AJ Carrasco of La Serna play in the All Stars with her ol team mates of Montebello High School!

  • anonymous

    Alright Dons, nice representation. Play hard Dons and good luck, both boys & girls squad

  • jeff

    Whoaaa… what happend to Alex Garcia he had at least 9 homeruns and at least 40 runs batted in! but of course porter would get all the attention Ramirez never says anything positive about La Serna and what About Jared Wight? Easily the best pitcher in the area,and his leauge if he dosent get any awards something is seriously wrong! And why wouldnt Garcia get Whittier Daily POY if he dosent there are going to be a lot of angry curios people but isnt it always Politics politics politics……

  • Sports Fan


    You might want to blame it on Gonzalez for not updating the stats. It’s easy to blame the WDN, but it’s not their responsibility to keep stats for every team and player.

    According to maxpreps, Garcia has 4 home runs with 13 RBI’s. WDN will get final stats from teams when they do the all area squads. There’s no bias against LS, so no need to go there. Fact is LS was not worth writing about this season bc A third place team isn’t going to get the attention of the newspaper and the city.

    Porter gets all the attention because he’s putting up stats and is the player who is heading to UCLA to play both football and baseball. Not many area athletes can say they’ve done that or will get the shot to do it.

    Jealously of other teams and players is sad in this area. Look at why a team isn’t getting coverage before jumping to conclusions.

  • Steely Don

    Just wondering, Jeff, where were all these La Serna aces in the loss to lowly PIONEER? Shouldn’t there be some sort of government ordinance which forbids the players of a team which screws up this badly to be honored as allstars?

  • Rod ER

    @ Jeff; I agree, Alex Garcia had a big bat this season. We (El Rancho) made the mistake on pitching to him with first base open. And he made us pay, at one ER home game and one at LS.

  • mike

    Yes you may be okay but thw whittier daily news clearly is putting false information saying porter led the area when alex had 9 homeruns and won the triple crown in his leauge when was the last time thats been done???? and porter had 8 …… and sports fan: you must know porter or be good friends with him yes i totally understand he is a wonderful player but because he is so amazing should we not follow any one else??? and yah thats true but wight did not pitch against pioneer and isnt it true anything is possible in baseball???? and not worth writing about? wow you must not like la serna or cal or any one besides la Habra thats what it seems like im just trying to get a fair opinion for all the good players that run this leauge and area i mean porter is great and wish him luck but can we all get fair looks in the area…. i mean anyone could put stats into maxpreps who knows if they are all done in all honesty?

  • Chris

    thats all true we are just trying to get a fair look for everyone …. if it was up to sports fan: he would give every award to porter. and hes going for football only i spoke with him personally and he said mabey on baseball.. but either way mike is right garcia is a triple crown in his leauge and he got co mvp now thats politics a guy does what someone hasnt done in the del rio in years and he gets co mvp??? But porter is a great player dont get me wrong/… but we are talking baseball so leave whatever talk about football for the 605 all star game!! Garcia is a something special regardless if hes going to ucla or a junior college

  • Softball fan

    Go meah!

  • Money Talks

    To all who are bemoaning the exclusion of their favorite player, understand that this small charity, the Rotary club (not associated with Mazda), isn’t really current on who’s ultimately deserving of participating in this festive ballgame.

    Criticizing their judgement in this matter isn’t likely to persuade them to add your boy to the roster. What MAY work, since this event is being sponsored by a CHARITY, is to throw a little donation their way, along with the name of the player you desperately need to see on the field. It’s the American way.

  • DonsBaseballFan

    Congratulations to all of these local players selected to play in this all star event. Looks like the Del Rio league didn’t miss anyone that should be there so everybody should lighten up. For the comment about throwing a few dollars donation around to get your favorite player selected, thats just ridiculous. I know having watched Del Rio league games all year, that the names of those selected is pretty much accurate, and theres nobody there who doesn’t belong, or who got the vote because of some donation. Just wish El Rancho would get a little bit more respect thrown their way. Nathan Blount was a nice pitcher, but to say he’s one of the better pitchers in the area, well…. I was there the day League Champion Cal High was shutout 2-0 at home by El Rancho when all stars Marcos Martinez and N. Blount squared off head to head. Who else in the league could say that? Marcos gets the “also selected to play” line where Blount is mentioned as one of the areas best. And that kid from La Serna, Alex Garcia, phenomenal hitter, by far the biggest threat in the league, can’t wait to see both he and Porter competing on the same side in this one…

  • Anonymous

    Tomorrow at Dodger stadium, all teams playing for CIF championship will be public schools. What happen to the big bad private schools! All year we heard the hype about Mater Dei, #1 in the nation. Now sitting at home, lol.

  • El Rancho

    Big congratulation to Bonita and Justin Garza, you young man (JG) is the real deal Be proud Alhambra you are just as good, however someone has to loose..

  • Bottom Line

    These allstar events are nice for everyone to have one last outing as the school year ends, but in no way do they approach the meaning and intensity of a CIF playoff game. I’m positive that any kid would gladly trade his place on the Rotary Club roster for a CIF championship ring, or even just one more playoff victory.

    In the arena of individual honors, the real prize is being offered a scholarship to play college ball or a contract to play professional sports. By this metric, Aaron Porter stand heads and shoulders above the local crowd and deserves the praise he is getting.

  • anony

    @ Bottom line, Okay Captain obvious Whats your point, other than the understandable?….

  • A Fan

    All Stars is just that, one last time to get together with the best senior players in the area. It’s competitive, fun, memorable, friends playing against each other or with each other and nothing more. For someone to say that a player would gladly trade places on the Rotary Club roster for a CIF championship ring doesn’t even make sense.

  • Bottom Line

    My point, Anony, is that the complaints on this thread about somebody’s favorite player not making the list are much ado about nothing. Ditto for screaming at Ramirez about his preferences.

    To make sense for ‘A Fan’, I would ask you to reflect on the importance of the NBA or NFL allstar games versus the NBA finals and the Superbowl. I know Kobe Bryant would relinquish his spot on the allstar roster to win a championship, or even a playoff series. And what NFL player wouldn’t trade his spot in the Pro Bowl for a Super Bowl ring? If you still insist that this Rotary Club thing is the pinnacle of the season, by all means knock yourself out.

  • A Fan

    sigh…….Please people…….NBA, NFL, Superbowl? wow….. It’s an end of the year for high school seniors. Best of luck to all the seniors in the All Stars. I’ll be there!

  • Joe Dankert

    Try being Justin Dankert..the only Del Rio League Football player to earn a college football scholarship. All the players we read about, being praised by their coach, All League first team, all Cif, even from a team which earned the Cif finals..but only Justin Dankert..only the 2nd position player from Cal in at least a decade to get a College football scholarship. His stats were more than deserving to be nominated by his coach to play in the 605, but no…he and his Dad do not get along..how else? No way…his stats …3 year career were awesome…and what a blocker too. Did not even let community colleges know about his talent (also ran 4.67 and 4.82 in National Ultimate 100 SoCal Combine) as he did for 3 or 4 other players.
    The Dankert Family thanks God that college coaches know exactly what they are doing and selected him to play for them and get plenty of scholarship $$$$ for tuition. Not even ST. Paul guys. Yes I realize that JOey Davis would have gotten one but he won the nation in wrestling is is going that route.
    And this blog says nothing negative about any players, some others in the league and St. Paul may have deserved $$$ to play at next level. I would never say anything like that. That LB at LS is awesome. The TE at St. Paulthe same!
    But Justin is included with Porter, Bartelone, Fox, Gramaho, and others.