All-Area Boys Tennis: Lin leads the way

NO. 1: Schurr’s Matthew Lin is Boys Tennis player of the Year. (Staff photo by Keith Durflinger)

Player of the Year – Matthew Lin, Schurr
Coach of the Year – Cindy Lippstreu, El Rancho

Jeffrey Bui, Santa Fe
J.R. Mercado, El Rancho
Mark Gazmen/Diego Garcia, Santa Fe

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All-Area Softall: Esparza earns second Player of the Year award to lead first team selections

AREA’S BEST: La Habra High’s Maleena Esparza is the Whittier Daily News’ Softball Player of the Year June 12, 2012. (Leo Jarzomb/Staff Photographer)

Player of the Year: Maleena Esparza, La Habra, Sr.
Coach of the Year: Frank McCarroll, La Habra
Pitcher: Vanessa Ciocatto, La Habra, Jr.
Pitcher: Trisha Trujillo, California, So.
Catcher: Lisa Perez, La Mirada, Sr.
Infield: Breana West, St. Paul, Sr.
Infield: AJ Carrasco, La Serna, Sr.
Infield: Mandie Perez, Whittier Christian, Sr.
Infield: Shanin Thomas, La Habra, Sr.
Outfield: Racquel Manzo, La Habra, Fr.
Outfield: Annie Dipillo, La Mirada, So.
Outfield: Valerie Aguilar, Montebello, Sr.
Utility: Krystal Gutierrez, St. Paul, So.
Pitcher: Evelyn Hernandez, Montebello, So.
Jamie Ramirez, El Rancho, Sr.
Cami Jacob, La Habra, Sr.
Infield: Amanda Akles, La Habra, Fr.
Infield: Christina Pantages, California, Sr.
Infield: Mercedes Gasparovic, La Mirada, Jr.
Infield: Hope Moreno, La Habra, So.
Outfield: Jacklyn Zacarias, Schurr, Jr.
Outfield: Taylor Pierce, La Habra, So.
Outfield: Emily Sanchez, Schurr, Jr.
Utility: Katelyn Wagner, Whittier Christian, So.

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All-Area Baseball: Porter carries football success to the diamond, earns Player of the Year

AREA’S BEST: La Habra High’s Aaron Porter not only is an outstanding football player
but quite proficient on the baseball field as well. (Leo Jarzomb / Staff Photographer)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
Most outsiders viewed La Habra High School’s Aaron Porter as a football player who likes to play baseball during the spring.
The senior showed otherwise this season.
Porter proved to be not only the best player on arguably the best team but also the area’s best.
For his efforts, Porter is Daily News Baseball Player of the Year.
Porter is joined on the All-Area first team by teammates Josh Staumont, who earned a spot as a utility player, and infielder Zack Ferreira. Also on the first team are California’s Jimmy Olguin (pitcher), Michael Davis (infielder) and Michael Esparza (outfield); La Serna’s Jared Wight (pitcher) and Alex Garcia (infielder); El Rancho’s Frank Vargas (catcher); Whittier’s Johnny Salgado (infielder); La Mirada’s Ali Anthony (outfield) and Montebello’s Silvestre Sanchez (outfield).
California’s Tony Nieto is Coach of the Year.
But this was the season of Porter, who after earning Daily News Player of the Year honors in football showed his prowess on the baseball field, which proved to be just as impressive.
The senior, who plans to play football and baseball at UCLA, led the area in several key offensive categories, including batting .489 with 34 RBIs. He also scored 26 runs, had 11 doubles and was second in the area in home runs with eight. Porter also was lights-out as a pitcher. He didn’t give up an earned run and struck out 14 in 12 innings.
Porter was one of three area players to earn All-CIF-Southern Section accolades, joining teammate Staumont and St. Paul’s Jared Paderez.
“Aaron’s our guy,” La Habra coach Paul Caffrey said earlier this season about the senior, “Obviously, we’ve rode him all year.
“To get him (in a key situation), he was going to make (the opposition) pay. In that spot, he just gets it done.”

Player of the Year – Aaron Porter, La Habra
Coach of the Year – Andy Nieto, California
First Team
Pitcher: Jimmy Olguin, Cal
Pitcher: Jared Wight, La Serna
Infield: Johnny Salgado, Whittier
Infield: Michael Davis, Cal
Infield: Zack Ferreira, La Habra
Infield: Alex Garcia, La Serna
Outfield: Michael Esparza, Cal
Outfield: Silvestre Sanchez, Montebello
Outfield: Ali Anthony, La Mirada
Utility: Josh Staumont, La Habra
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All-Area baseball, softball and boys tennis slated for this week

The first of our all-area teams will be released this week. Baseball comes out on Wednesday, followed by softball on Thursday and boys tennis on Friday. Track and swimming will be announced next week, June 27 and 28, respectively. Also of note, Friday will be the annual San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame Game, which will feature seven Whittier area players. Playing for the East squad will be Whittier Christian’s Daniel Abernathy and Ryan Wallace; Whittier’s Mark Hartnell; Cal’s Lance Hludzik and La Serna’s OJ Medina. Playing for the East are Montebello’s Jorge Romo; Schurr’s Chris Aguilar and Cantwell’s Corey Collins, Miguel Garcia and Francisco Gutierrez.

If you are one of the following, please email me at, or call at 626-962-8811, ext. 3061:

El Rancho coach Sylvia Elliot
Adam Aguirre, Cantwell
Cristian Garcia, Santa Fe
Bailee Henry, El Rancho

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You want some football? Here’s a pre-summer look at the area top five and lucky 13 rankings

The opening of the football season is still just over two months away, and with the spring season over, what a better time than to look at who should be the teams to beat in the 562/714/323 this coming fall. Can St. Paul, with a new coach and a new philosophy out duel La Habra, which has been the top dog in this parts over the last decade. And what about the Del Rio League teams, with four new coaches? Here’s a brief look of our rankings, which might change a bit by the end of the summer:


1. St. Paul — The Swordsmen are already one of the top programs in the area. But this year can be special with first-year coach Elijah Asante, who has replaced legend Marijon Ancich. Asante has won wherever he’s coached, and most believe that will not change in Santa Fe Springs. He’s already attracted some top-notch transfers, including former Charter Oak running back Kurt Scoby. The newcombers combined with last season’s holdovers, including quarterback Paul Telles, gives St. Paul the early edge. The schedule is challenging, but look for this team to improve from week-to-week.
2. La Habra – The Highlanders, who saw their four-year reign atop the CIF-Southern Section Southwest Division end in the semifinals, were hit hard by gradutation, including the losses of Division i-bound Aaron Porter (UCLA) and Brett Bartolone. But there is still some good nuggets in the cupboard, including quarterback Sean Sparling. La Habra has always had the ability to simply reload, and this season is expected to be no different.
3. La Mirada — The Matadores were one of the top teams in the area by season’s end, and that progress is expected to improve with some key returners back, including quarterbacks Gerry Myres and Kevin Dillman, tight end Tyler Luatua and running back Johnny Hills. The schedule is challenging with Bishop Amat, La Habra, St. Paul and St. Francis on the schedule. But this is a team that will again be the favorite in the Suburban League, and make a solid run at the Southeast title.
4. La Serna — The Lancers made history the past two seasons, reaching the divisional semifinals and finals in respective seasons. La Serna will enter the 2012 season as the favorite in the Del Rio League. The main reason being junior quarterback Frankie Palmer. But La Serna’s strength lies in numbers, and the Lancers, who lost linebacker Craig Jones and running back OJ Medina to graduation, return a strong nucleus that could find their way back to the division finals.
5. Cantwell — The Cardinals big problem last season was inconsistency. That might be a thing of the past with the return of seniors Tim Walsh at quarterback and Jared Gonzales at running back. But Cantwell did suffer some big losses, including standouts Corey Collins, Adam Aguirre and Jacob Alaniz, all keys to the Cardinals up-tempo passing attack. If consistency becomes a trait, look out!
THE REST: 6. Whittier, 7. Whittier Christian, 8. Santa Fe, 9. Schurr, 10. California, 11. Montnebello, 12. El Rancho, 13. Pioneer.

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