High School Football: California Condors riding the power of three

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By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

WHITTIER – California High School’s Aaron Garcia, Josh Perez and Manny Espinoza have emerged as quite the triple threat.

The running backs are three big reasons why the undefeated Condors (7-0 overall, 2-0 in the Del Rio League) are flying high.

The Condors, with their strong start and a No. 4 ranking in the latest CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division poll, understandably have high hopes that include postseason aspirations.

“(Our goal is) definitely a CIF championship,” Espinoza said.

Garcia added, “That’s what we’re playing for.”

Perez said, “We’re playing for CIF.”

The three running backs pace a Condors offense that averages 263.9 rushing yards per game.

Garcia, a senior, has a team-leading 626 yards and eight touchdowns on 89 carries. Espinoza, a junior, ranks second with 442 yards and four scores on 77 attempts. Perez, a senior, has added 288 yards and six touchdowns on 49 carries.

The trio credited their offensive line as a major reason for their collective success. The Condors’ line includes German Ponce, Jacob Gamboa, David Escamilla, Ronnie McMinn and Christian Quinones.

“The offensive line has worked really hard,” Garcia said. “We wouldn’t be where we are without them.”

Perez said, “They have opened holes for us. They have worked hard all season.”

Espinoza added, “We have very experienced seniors on the offensive line.”

Read more: High School Football: California Condors riding the power of three

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High School Girls Volleyball: Whittier Christian keeps winning streak alive by beating Village Christian

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By John Sherrard, Correspondent

LA HABRA – It might not be the playoffs just yet, but if Tuesday’s Whittier Christian High School girls volleyball match is any indication, the Heralds are ready.

Three season-high marks were broken as the Heralds, the top-ranked team in CIF-Southern Section Division 2A, defeated visiting Village Christian High, 25-8, 25-18, 21-25, 25-17, in an Olympic League match.

The outside hitting tandem of Kylee Wolfe and Deanna Blaine accounted for 17 and 19 kills each, with Blaine’s kills a season best.

Also adding season-high marks was junior libero Nicole Santos with 26 digs and junior setter Jennifer Washle with 51 assists.

Whittier Christian (27-3, 5-0), with only three remaining league matches, is in the driver’s seat for another league title.

Tuesday’s match marked the first time in league that the Heralds have lost a game, having previously swept their four league opponents.

“I think our girls showed a lot of resiliency (Tuesday) in coming out with a win,” Whittier Christian coach Shawn Hunter said.

Hunter was referring to the tremendous effort by Village Christian (14-3, 2-3). After trailing two games to none, Village climbed back into the match with a game three 25-21 win and led early in the fourth game.

Read more: High School Girls Volleyball: Whittier Christian keeps winning streak alive by beating Village Christian

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High School Football Notebook: La Serna racking up the points in Del Rio League

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

La Serna High School delivered its second consecutive dominating performance last week when it defeated Whittier, 45-7.

That triumph, which followed the Lancers’ 62-0 victory over Pioneer the previous week, lifted the Lancers to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the Del Rio League.

The Lancers’ ground attack did most of the damage against the Cardinals, rushing for 261 yards.

Bryce Oliver paced the Lancers with 59 yards on six carries. Daniel Moreno added 46 yards on seven carries.

Gio Long, Luke Gonzales and Nick McCarty each scored rushing touchdowns for the Lancers. Long scored twice while rushing for 26 yards on four carries.

Gonzales (three carries, 41 yards) and McCarty (five carries, 37 yards) added to the team rushing total.

Lancers quarterback Frankie Palmer only attempted 10 passes but did complete six of them for 92 yards and one touchdown. The TD toss went 15 yards to McCarty.

La Serna’s defense also starred in the win against the Cardinals, recording five sacks and forcing four turnovers.

Luis Camacho led the way with two sacks while John McFarland, Isaiah Osorio and Aaron Gomez each had one.

The Lancers intercepted two passes and recovered two fumbles. La Serna’s two interceptions were by D’Andre Sanchez and Long. Sanchez returned his interception for a 30-yard touchdown.

Read more: High School Football Notebook: La Serna racking up the points in Del Rio League

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High School Football Notebook: La Mirada gets break in the schedule

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

La Mirada High School continued its roll through the Suburban League on Friday with its 51-9 victory over Glenn.

Friday’s contest, however, will be the last football game the Matadores (7-1 overall, 4-0 league) will play until Nov. 2 when they host Mayfair.

The Matadores were scheduled to play against Cerritos this Thursday but that game was cancelled when Cerritos decided to drop its varsity football program for the rest of the season last month.

Facing a two-week bye, La Mirada will focus on making improvements.

“As a program, we can only worry about the things we can control,” La Mirada coach Mike Moschetti said. “We have a lot of young guys who haven’t got a lot of reps. We are going to let them get a lot of reps this week.”

Moschetti added, “We want to keep growing as a team, learn from our mistakes and hit the weight room. It’s going to be a good week.”

Matadores quarterback Gerry Myres turned in another impressive performance against Glenn, completing 15 of 20 passes for 247 yards and five touchdowns. It marked the second consecutive week that Myres threw five touchdown passes.

Myres has now thrown for 1,499 yards and 19 touchdowns with only one interception. He has completed 102 of 145 attempts.

Wide receiver Dallis Shipp and tight end Tyler Luatua are Myres’ top two targets.

Read more: High School Football Notebook: La Mirada gets break in the schedule

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High School Cross Country: California boys shine again during second Del Rio League cluster meet

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

The California High School boys cross country team continued its impressive 2012 season by capturing first place in Thursday’s second Del Rio League cluster meet at La Mirada Park.

The Condors, who are ranked No. 3 in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 1 poll, had a winning time of 1 hour, 19 minutes, 22.16 seconds.

California’s top five runners included Jose Pacheco, Sam Bautista, Leo Corcoran, Steven Vera and Matlazomatli Rojas. The Condors quintet placed in the third through seventh spots.

Pacheco posted the top time for the Condors, finishing in 15:50.65. Pacheco was followed by Bautista (15:50.77), Corcoran (15:51.08), Vera (15:54.59) and Rojas (15:55.07).

Santa Fe’s Kevin Ramirez captured first place overall, winning the race in 15:39.74. El Rancho’s Zachary Mejia finished second with a mark of 15:41.86.

The El Rancho duo of Daniel Avila and Geofry Sarco-Climaco and Whittier’s Allan Virula rounded out the individual top 10.

Avila turned in the eighth-best time of 15:59.02 and was followed by Virula (16:01.88) and Sarco-Climaco (16:03.47).

El Rancho and Whittier were second and third, respectively, in the boys team standings, compiling times of 1:20:48.79 and 1:22:28.64.

The Whittier girls took first place in the team standings, finishing with a time of 1:39:08.29.

Marylu Pulido paced the Cardinals by earning first place overall at 18:42.48.

Read more: High School Cross Country: California boys shine again during second Del Rio League cluster meet

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Saturday Night Final: Whittier Christian defeats Heritage Christian

By John Sherrard, Correspondent

NORTH HILLS – Whittier Christian High School junior quarterback Ryan Esslinger ran for three touchdowns and passed for three more to help keep the visiting Heralds undefeated in the Olympic League with a 47-21 victory over Heritage Christian on Saturday.

Esslinger, who has thrown for 24 touchdowns this season, tossed for scores of 36, 12 and 1 yards. He ran for 126 yards on 22 carries and rushed for TDs of 7, 1 and 4 yards.

“He’s a warrior and just doesn’t want to come out,” Whittier Christian coach Sergio Gradilla said. “He hurt his arm a few weeks ago and it’s still a little sore. He’s just a good quarterback.”

The victory sets up a showdown with Maranatha on Friday, with the winner in the driver’s seat for the league title.

Whittier Christian (5-3, 2-0) scored first on an 18-play, 77-yard drive, culminating with a 7-yard run by Esslinger for the early 7-0 lead.

Senior running back J.P. Marquez (32 carries, 149 yards) gave Whittier Christian a 13-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.

After an 88-yard kickoff return by Heritage Christian wide receiver Alex Alcala (six catches, 136 yards), Esslinger ran for two of his three rushing touchdowns to give the Heralds a 26-7 lead at the half.

The Warriors (4-4, 0-2) struck early in the third quarter on a 55-yard pass from junior quarterback Tyler Noe (13 for 26, 157 yards) to Acala to trail 26-14.


Read more: High School Football: Heralds’ Esslinger accounts for six touchdowns

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Saturday Gameday: Whittier Christian visits Heritage Christian

By Eric Terrazas, SGVN
twitter.com/WhittierPreps

Whittier Christian High School will seek to maintain momentum as it visits Heritage Christian in today’s Olympic League game scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Heralds (4-3 overall, 1-0 league), who have won back-to- back contests, opened league play last week by defeating Village Christian 28-21.

“It’s a little different because it’s a day game,” Whittier Christian coach Sergio Gradilla said. “We don’t play too many day games. It’s a different type of atmosphere. We have to be prepared.”

Heralds quarterback Ryan Esslinger is putting together an impressive season, having completed 158 of 218 attempts for 1,643 yards and 18 touchdowns. He turned in a superb performance against Village Christian, throwing for 323 yards and three touchdowns on 24 of 33 attempts.

Cody Bronkar, Sergio Ramirez and Noah Evans have formed a productive receiving trio for the Heralds.

Bronkar leads Whittier Christian with 47 receptions, 540 yards and seven touchdowns. Ramirez has 38 receptions, 461 yards and five scores. Evans has added 46 receptions for 383 yards and five touchdowns.

Heralds running back David Fischer led the ground game last week, rushing for 118 yards and one score on 27 carries.


Read more: High School Football: Whittier Christian looks to keep win streak going

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Friday Night Final: La Serna dominates Whittier; Santa Fe squeaks by El Rancho; St. Paul falls to Chaminade

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La Serna and Santa Fe were the two Del Rio League winners on Friday while St. Paul lost its first game under interim coach Casey Morales. La Mirada, La Habra and Montebello all won to remain undefeated in their respective leagues.

Friday’s final scores
Cantwell Sacred Heart 8, Bosco Tech 7
Chaminade 63, St. Paul 13
Santa Fe 44, El Rancho 41
La Mirada 51, Glenn 9
La Serna 45, Whittier 7
Montebello 48, San Gabriel 41
Bell Gardens 27, Schurr 24
La Habra 41, Sunny Hills 18

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