Wolfe was at her best when Heralds needed her most

Kylee Wolfe
Whittier Christian, Senior

When it was vital that she perform like the best player on the floor, Whittier Christian’s Kylee Wolfe did just that.
The outside hitter and Heralds co-captain raised her already prolific game to new levels as the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs progressed in 2013. In a four-set semifinal on the road against Troy, Wolfe recorded a season-high 26 kills. She added 15 more in the 2A final against Mayfield, a three-set sweep that gave Whittier Christian its second consecutive 2A title, and had another 15 kills in the first round of the CIF State Division 2 playoffs.
Wolfe was selected the CIF-SS Division 2A Player of the Year, and has earned the Daily News All-Area Girls Volleyball Player of the Year honor as well. Whittier Christian won its sixth consecutive Olympic League championship and reached the 2A final for the third season in a row, finishing with a 33-7 overall record.
“It was a great season,” Wolfe said, “a great way to finish off my senior year.”
At 6 feet, Wolfe was part of Whittier Christian’s powerful 1-2 punch from the outside, and she was second on the team with 299 kills. Her accuracy led to a team-leading .359 hitting percentage, and her 4.0 kills per set was best on the team as well.
“She’s very strong offensively,” said Heralds coach Shawn Hunter. “She passes well, she’s very smart, she serves consistently … She’s a great all-around player.”
Wolfe is also an excellent student, and will continue her volleyball career at the University of Rhode Island, which she chose over Fresno State. She wants to major in kinesiology and become a physical therapist.
“I fell in love with the school,” she said. “It seemed like a great fit.”
“Rhode Island is gonna get somebody who works hard and who is not gonna complain about what she has to do,” Hunter added. “She’s gonna enjoy her teammates and enjoy the game of volleyball.”

Shawn Hunter
Whittier Christian

Whittier Christian was the only team in the Daily News area to win a CIF-SS divisional crown, and the only one to reach the CIF State playoffs, where they advanced to the second round. For those efforts, Shawn Hunter has been selected Daily News All-Area Girls Volleyball Coach of the Year. The Heralds finished with a 33-7 overall record and Hunter was selected Division 2A Coach of the Year.

Katie Engle
St. Paul, Sophomore

Engle was a defensive stalwart for the Swordsmen from her libero position, setting a school record for serves received in a season with 561. She also led the team with 501 digs, which was nearly double the second-leading total. Engle was recognized by the Camino Real League as a first-team selection.

Deanna Blaine
Whittier Christian, Senior

Blaine teamed with Player of the Year Kylee Wolfe as the Heralds’ outside threat and led Whittier Christian to its second consecutive Division 2A championship. Blaine finished her senior season with 418 kills – almost 4.0 per set – and 65 aces to lead the team. She was an All-Olympic League and All-CIF Division 2A first-team selection. She has committed to Loyola Marymount.

Nada Dragovic
Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Senior

Dragovic claimed All-CIF Division 4AA first-team honors after recording 474 kills for the Cardinals, averaging 6.2 kills per set. The 6-foot-2 outside hitter also led the team with nearly one block per set as well. Dragovic was selected as Camino Real League MVP and she led Cantwell-Sacred Heart to the quarterfinal round of the Division 4AA playoffs. She has committed to Cal State Northridge.

Riley Kelly
St. Paul, Junior

Kelly paced the Swordsmen to a Division 4AA semifinal appearance by recording a team-high 439 kills as well as 61 aces from her outside hitter position. Under Kelly’s leadership, St. Paul won the Camino Real League title for the second year in a row and advanced to the Division 4AA semifinals. Kelly was an All-Camino Real and All-CIF Division 4AA first-team selection.

Melissa Martinez
La Serna, Senior

Behind Martinez’s strong defensive play at the net, La Serna went unbeaten in Del Rio League play and earned the No. 2 seed in the Division 3AA playoffs. Once there, the Lancers reached the quarterfinal round. Martinez was selected to the All-Del Rio League first team and then honored as an All-CIF Division 3AA first teamer.

Samantha Neely
La Serna, Junior

Neely’s powerful swings made her the best outside hitter in the Del Rio League and earned her the league’s Most Valuable Player award. Neely’s proficiency drew the attention of multiple defenders every match, which opened up other players in La Serna’s attack. For her efforts, Neely was selected to the All-CIF Division 3AA second team.

Nicole Santos
Whittier Christian, Senior

Santos was the Heralds’ back-row leader at libero, and her energy on the defensive end fed the offense as well. She averaged 5.1 digs per set, easily the most on the team, and her 58 aces were second. Santos, who has committed to Concordia, closed her Whittier Christian career as a two-time Division 2A champion. She was an All-Olympic League first-team selection.

Jennifer Washle
Whittier Christian, Senior

Washle orchestrated the Heralds’ attack beautifully as the setter, feeding outside hitters Deanna Blaine and Kylee Wolfe with perfectly placed balls to tee off upon. Defensively, Washle was among the team’s dig leaders with 209, and she was third in aces with 46. Washle was selected to the All-Olympic League and All-CIF Division 2A first teams.

Corinne Bell, La Habra, Senior
Ariel Bonderov, St. Paul, Senior
Kylie Cooke, Whittier Christian, Senior
Tammy Doelker, La Serna, Senior
Krystal Ferreira, Cal, Senior
Lexi Kolschefski, La Habra, Junior
Judith Martinez, Montebello, Senior
Victoria Martinez, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Sophomore
Alexis Meraz, La Mirada, Senior
Nicole Miller, Cal, Junior
Candy Munoz, Pioneer, Junior
Ryana Murch, La Habra, Junior
Natalie Reynoso, Pioneer, Junior
Crystal Rodriguez, El Rancho, Junior
Jillian Saenz, St. Paul, Junior
Stephanie Stevenson, Whittier Christian, Senior
Paige Tillman, La Serna, Sophomore
Ali Valverde, La Serna, Senior
Kyli Watkins, La Mirada, Junior

CIF-SS Division 2A Final
Mayfield vs. Whittier Christian
Nov. 23

Loaded with seniors who’d seen it all before, Whittier Christian never batted an eye when Mayfield jumped to early leads in each game of the 2A finale. Patient and confident, the Heralds withstood Mayfield’s early momentum and rallied each time for a 25-19, 25-19, 25-19 victory at Santiago Canyon College. Division 2A Player of the Year Kylee Wolfe led Whittier Christian with 15 kills and senior middle blocker Stephanie Stevenson added 10 as the Heralds claimed their second consecutive 2A title.

Almont League

San Gabriel

Camino Real League
St. Paul

Del Rio League
La Serna

Freeway League

Olympic League
Whittier Christian

Suburban League

TOP 10
1. Whittier Christian
2. La Serna
3. St. Paul
4. Cantwell-Sacred Heart
5. La Habra
6. Cal
7. Schurr
8. Pioneer
9. Whittier
10. La Mirada

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Palmer couldn’t have written a better script for his finale

Frankie Palmer, QB
La Serna, Senior

It was vintage Frankie Palmer, and a fitting way for his high school career to come to an end.
Palmer capped a remarkable three-year career as La Serna High’s quarterback in the CIF-SS Southeast Division final with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Rosales. It came on fourth down, in double overtime, and with La Serna trailing top-seeded Norwalk by a field goal. Palmer came to the line of scrimmage with thoughts of running for the first down, but when a large Norwalk defender blocked his path, Palmer’s improvisational nature took over. He reversed course and bought time until Rosales found an open area, then delivered the ball on target for a 19-yard TD and a 41-38 victory.
“It couldn’t have ended (more) perfectly,” said Palmer, who suffered championship-game losses as both a sophomore and junior. “Losing in the manner we did … winning was such an amazing feeling.
“It was a blessing to be back (in the final) again … and to see the fruits of our labor pay off in the last game.”
Palmer made a habit of late-game heroics, engineering final-drive victories against Westlake and Burbank as well. He possesses the rare combination of athletic prowess, intelligence and a calm demeanor in the midst of chaos. That confidence spread to the rest of the team, and it never believed it was out of a game.
“It was more like a belief in each other,” Palmer explained, “believing in your brothers.”
Palmer was selected Southeast Division and Del Rio League Player of the Year, and threw for 2,451 yards and 21 TDs. He also ran for nearly 800 yards and scored 12 times, numbers that would have been much higher if he hadn’t spent most of the second half cheering on La Serna’s reserves in blowout victories.
But the most impressive number attached to Palmer is 44. That’s the number of football games he won as a starting quarterback in four years at La Serna, including 34 in 42 chances as the varsity starter.

Margarito Beltran
La Serna

La Serna’s business is unfinished no more.
After consecutive losses in the CIF-SS Southeast Division final, the Lancers adopted the “Unfinished Business” motto for the 2013 season. And under Margarito Beltran’s guidance, La Serna took care of business in a most impressive way, claiming the school’s first CIF football championship since 1967.
Loaded with a deep and experienced senior class, the Lancers overcame early season-ending injuries to a pair of starters and continued to improve through their nonleague schedule. There were losses to Inland Division playoff qualifiers Los Osos and Norco, and a final-drive score was needed to beat Westlake, but La Serna was rounding into shape.
Once Del Rio League play opened, the Lancers were clearly the class of the league, allowing just 36 combined points while compiling their second consecutive 5-0 league record. Starters rarely played more than a series or two in the second half, and by getting his reserves involved as well, Beltran built a sense of ownership in the team’s success among the entire squad.
And once the playoffs came, the Lancers were ready. Two blowout wins were followed by a pair of squeakers, including an epic double overtime victory over Norwalk in the Southeast Division final.
With Beltran leading the way, La Serna finished the season on a nine-game winning streak with a 12-2 record.

Isaac Mendibles, RB
Montebello, Sophomore

Mendibles burst onto the Whittier area scene with a terrific sophomore season, leading the area with 1,775 rushing yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. His excellent footwork, great vision and breakaway speed led the Oilers to the Almont League title and a second-round playoff run. He topped 200 rushing yards in a game four times, and scored at least four TDs twice. Mendibles was honored as the Almont League Co-Player of the Year and was an All-CIF Mid-Valley Division first-team selection.

Luis Camacho, LB
La Serna, Senior

Camacho was the heart and soul of La Serna’s stellar defense, and was selected All-CIF Southeast Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year after a remarkable senior season. Camacho recorded an amazing 15 quarterback sacks to go with 65 solo tackles and four forced fumbles, and he seemed to be at the center of every big defensive play the Lancers made. Camacho was an All-Del Rio League first-team selection.

Daniel Campos, LB
La Serna, Sophomore

Campos stepped into a veteran, talented team and immediately proved himself to his teammates. Campos led the team with 126 tackles and added six quarterback sacks and a forced fumble. At 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, he flew around the field, making plays against the run and in pass coverage as well. Campos was an All-Del Rio League second-team selection and was honored as Southeast Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Eric Barriere, QB
La Habra, Sophomore

Barriere had a terrific varsity debut for the Highlanders, completing over 59 percent of his passes as La Habra claimed yet another Freeway League title. Barriere is definitely good on the run – his seven rushing TDs are evidence of that – but he looks to pass first. He completed 133 passes for over 2,400 yards and 29 touchdowns, and threw only six interceptions.

Adam Carrasco, RB
La Mirada, Senior

Carrasco was La Mirada’s workhorse, often carrying piles of defenders with him for extra yardage. A weight room fanatic, Carrasco piled 215 pounds onto his 5-6 frame and punished would-be tacklers while leading the Matadores to the Southeast Division playoffs. Carrasco ran for 1,486 yards and scored 21 touchdowns, earning All-CIF Southeast Division and All-Suburban League recognition.

Isaiah Clay, OL
Montebello, Senior

The Oilers ran for nearly 2,800 yards behind Clay, who is quick and agile despite weighing close to 290 pounds. With holes opened by Clay & Co., Montebello’s offense averaged over 36 points during a seven-game winning streak, and the Oilers earned a first-round playoff victory. Clay was selected the Almont League Co-Lineman of the Year and was an All-CIF Mid-Valley Division selection.

Noah Evans, WR
Whittier Christian, Junior

With his 6-4, 215-pound body, Evans was the Heralds’ most consistent offensive threat. He caught at least 10 passes three times and topped the 100-yard mark in six games, including 173 yards and two TDs in the season finale. Evans finished the season among the area leaders in recpetions (71), yards (994) and touchdowns (10). He was an All-Olympic League first-team selection.

Enrique Huerta, OL
La Serna, Senior

Huerta anchored the Lancers’ quick and agile line and provided quarterback Frankie Palmer the time to make plays down the field. With Huerta at right tackle in the spread attack, La Serna averaged nearly 40 points a game and ended the season on a nine-game winning streak. For his efforts, Huerta was recognized as an All-Del Rio League and All-CIF Southeast Division selection.

Toa Lobendahn, OL
La Habra, Senior

It took Lobendahn a while to be cleared to play after his transfer from Lakewood, but he made the most of his time on the field. With Lobendahn in the lineup for Freeway League and postseason play, the Highlanders averaged over 44 points per game and went 6-1. The 6-4, 295-pounder was an All-Freeway League and All-CIF Southwest Division honoree.

Enrique Lozano, PK
Montebello, Sophomore

Lozano proved to be both an accurate kicker and a long-range scoring threat for the Oilers on their run to the second round of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs. Once he took over the full-time duties in October, Lozano was 100 percent accurate on field goals and PATs, and more than half his kickoffs were touchbacks. Lozano was 3 for 3 on field goals vs. Bell Gardens, including a 49-yarder, and he made a 54-yard field goal vs. Northview.

Carlos Martin, RB
La Habra, Junior

Martin rebounded from an injury-filled sophomore season by shining the next. He led the Highlanders in rushing with 1,156 yards and found the end zone 16 times. His 94-yard TD run ignited La Habra’s offense after a slow start in its Southwest Division playoff opener vs. Anaheim Canyon, and he ran for 151 yards and two TDs in the Highlanders’ season-ending loss to Newport Harbor. Martin was a first-team All-Freeway League and All-CIF Southwest Division selection.

Kevin Ramos, All-purpose
La Serna, Junior

Ramos rarely left the field for the Lancers, and will forever be part of school lore for his 75-yard return of a blocked field goal for a TD in the final moments of the Southeast Division fina vs. Norwalk. Ramos rushed for 670 yards and nine TDs as part of La Serna’s backfield rotation, and he recorded 47 tackles and nine sacks as a linebacker. Ramos was a first-team All-Del Rio League pick.

Matthew Rosales, WR
La Serna, Senior

Rosales was La Serna’s go-to receiver in big situations, and none was bigger than his game-winning TD catch in the Southeast Division final. He led the Lancers with 48 catches for 988 yards and 10 touchdowns, and was recognized as the Del Rio League Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Rosales was also an All-CIF Southeast Division first-teamer.

Brandon Takata, WR
Santa Fe, Senior

With seven games of 100 receiving yards or more, Takata led the Whittier area with 1,152 in his senior season. His best effort was a 185-yard, three-TD performance against Pioneer, and he averaged over 123 yards in Del Rio League play. Takata was selected Del Rio League Co-Offensive Player of the Year and was an All-CIF Southeast Division honoree.

Nofo Ti’i, OL
La Mirada, Senior

Ti’i was a three-year varsity starter for the Matadores and “one of the best we’ve had around here,” according to La Mirada coach Mike Moschetti. At 6-2 and nearly 300 pounds, he cleared the paths that allowed Adam Carrasco to gain nearly 1,500 yards on the ground. Ti’i was selected to the All-Suburban League first team.

Jake Tourville, OL
La Habra, Senior

From his spot at center, Tourville led the way for the Highlanders’ high-powered offense. At 6-2 and 290 pounds, he was quick and mobile enough to dominate at the demanding position. “He’s a hell of a player,” said La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta. Tourville was recognized by the Freeway League as a first-team selection.

Jose Aguero, LB
Schurr, Senior

Aguero was among the hardest hitters on a punishing defense that allowed just 37 points in Almont League play. Equally skilled as a pass rusher, run stopper and pass defender, Aguero recorded 48 solo tackles, six tackles for loss, four interceptions and two quarterback sacks for the Spartans. He was an All-Almont League first-team selection.

Malachi Allen, DL
El Rancho, Sophomore

Allen proved to be one of the area’s very best interior defensive players in his first varsity season. He led the team with 8.5 sacks, including two on the hard-to-corral Frankie Palmer in the Del Rio League finale, and added 19 solo tackles, two pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Allen was selected to the All-Del Rio League first team.

Eric Amezquita, Punt
Cal, Senior

Amezquita had the biggest leg in the Del Rio League, and several of his booming kicks elicited audible gasps from college coaches watching from the sidelines at Cal High. He averaged over 41 yards per kick and had a season-long of 61 yards. Amezquita was an All-Del Rio League and All-CIF Southeast Division selection.

Richard Bramble, LB
Santa Fe, Senior

Bramble led the Chiefs with 101 tackles, more than double the next-highest total, and his three quarterback sacks were tied for second on the team. Against Godinez, recorded 16 solo tackles and he had 14 more against La Serna. Bramble also had an interception and two pass deflections, and he was an All-Del Rio League first teamer.

Alex Bush, LB
La Habra, Senior

At 6-2, 215 pounds, Bush was a punishing tackler and defensive leader for the Highlanders. In Freeway League play, La Habra held four of five opponents to two TDs or less, and two opponents never crossed the goal line. Bush’s stellar play was recognized by the Freeway League, which selected him its Defensive Player of the Year.

Jordan Fowlkes, LB
Montebello, Senior

Fowlkes locked down the middle of the field for the Oilers, defending the pass and the run with equal effectiveness. His 36 solo tackles were third on the team, and he added four pass deflections, three hurries and a sack. Fowlkes was recognized at the Almont League Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-CIF Mid-Valley Division selection.

Greg Gaines, DE
La Habra, Senior

At 6-1 and 300 pounds, Gaines is an athletic marvel, able to beat blockers with his quickness off the line or with sheer brute strength. He’s so athletic, in fact, La Habra used him as a short-yardage back as well. The three-year varsity starter has committed to Boise State, and he was selected the Freeway League MVP. Gaines was also an All-CIF first-team honoree.

Aaron Gomez, DL
La Serna, Senior

Gomez provided relentless pressure on opposing offenses and helped set the tone for La Serna’s stingy defense. He finished the season with 54 tackles, including seven in the Southeast Division final while taking on Norwalk’s enormous offensive line, and added four sacks. Gomez was selected to the All-Del Rio League and All-CIF Southeast Division teams.

Adrian Lomeli, DE
La Habra, Senior

Lomeli bookended Greg Gaines on the Highlanders’ defensive line, and was nearly as effective as his highly recruited teammate. With them sealing the edge so soundly, opposing offenses were forced to run at the teeth of La Habra’s defense, usually without much success. Lomeli was selected by the Freeway League to the all-league first team.

D’Andre Sanchez, DB
La Serna, Senior

As a two-way starter for the Lancers, Sanchez recorded 51 tackles and provided excellent pass coverage from his safety position. He also led the team with four interceptions, including a crucial pick-six in the Southeast Division semifinal that tied the game in the second half. Sanchez was recognized as an All-CIF Southeast Division selection.

Javon Thompson, DL
La Serna, Senior

Though he gave away close to 100 pounds to some of Norwalk’s linemen, Thompson was vital to La Serna’s stout defensive effort in the Southeast Division final. He had four hard-earned tackles in that game and 44 for the season to go with five sacks. Thompson made both the All-Del Rio League and All-CIF Southeast Division teams.

Jesus Verduzco, LB
El Rancho, Senior

Verduzco was the Dons’ most active player, and his 100 tackles led the team by a wide margin. He also added two quarterback sacks and recovered three fumbles, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Verduzco recorded double-digit tackles in six games, including 22 against Whittier. He was selected the Del Rio League Defensive Player of the Year.

Derek Brush, PK, Whittier Christian, Senior
Javier Carrillo, WR, El Rancho, Senior
Christian Casas, WR/RB, La Habra, Senior
Darrell Cloy, TE, La Habra, Senior
Aaron Handy, All-purpose, Schurr, Senior
Christian Lara, QB, Santa Fe, Junior
Tyler Luatua, TE, La Mirada, Senior
Bryce Oliver, RB, La Serna, Junior
Eddie Orta, FB, Whittier, Junior
Matthew Perez, OL, Schurr, Senior
Devon Smalls, OL, Whittier, Senior
Dallis Todd, WR, La Mirada, Senior
Abel Troncoza, RB, Schurr, Senior

Daniel Alvarado, DL, Santa Fe, Senior
Michael Cano, Punt, Pioneer, Senior
Tony Ceron, DB, La Serna, Senior
Tristan De La Rosa, DL, La Habra, Senior
Jonathan Enriquez, LB, Schurr, Senior
Johnny Godinez, DB, Whittier, Junior
Jack Huitt, LB, Whittier Christian, Senior
Nico Gonzalez, LB, Cal, Senior
Gerry Pantoja, DB, Whittier, Senior
David Ramos, LB, El Rancho, Senior
Isaac Razo, LB, Whittier, Sophomore
Joel Viera, LB, La Serna, Senior

Matt Acosta, WR, Whittier, Senior
Daniel Aguilar, RB, St. Paul, Senior
Andy Alaniz, DB, El Rancho, Senior
Ryan Araujo, QB, El Rancho, Senior
Ramiro Arreola, LB, Montebello, Senior
Jeremy Bashford, OL, Whittier, Senior
Ezekiel Belevosky, Punt, Whittier, Junior
Jacob Bertram, LB, St. Paul, Junior
Chad Busse, WR, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Senior
Jean Lue Dauphiney, RB, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Junior
Ryan Esslinger, QB, Whittier Christian, Senior
Edgar Gonzalez, WR, Montebello, Senior
Jonathan Jimenez, QB, Pioneer, Senior
Israel Lorenzo, OL, Schurr, Senior

Jake Maier, QB, St. Paul, Junior
Devin Melendez, LB, La Habra, Senior
Matthew Molina, LB, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Senior
Anthony Olivares, DB, Santa Fe, Senior
Alex Pastrana, OL, Whittier, Senior
Randy Portillo, DB, Montebello, Senior
Julio Reynoso, WR, Pioneer, Junior
Parker Subia, OL, Whittier Christian, Senior

La Serna vs. Norwalk
CIF-SS Southeast Division final
Dec. 7, 2013

With 11 ties and lead changes and three fourth-down touchdowns, the Lancers and the Lancers provided a double OT championship battle for the ages. Down eight points late in the game, La Serna needed a miracle, and got it in the form of a blocked field goal that was returned for a game-tying TD and 2-point conversion. The next miracle came in the second overtime period, when quarterback Frankie Palmer found Matthew Rosales for the game-winning touchdown on fourth down, earning La Serna a 41-38 victory and its first CIF football title since 1967.

Mid-Valley Division

San Dimas

Northwest Division

Southeast Division
La Serna

Southwest Division
Huntington Beach

Western Division

Almont League


Del Rey League
La Salle

Del Rio League
La Serna

Freeway League
La Habra

Olympic League

Suburban League

TOP 10
1. La Serna
2. La Habra
3. El Rancho
4. Montebello
5. Santa Fe
6. Schurr
7. La Mirada
8. Cal
9. Whittier Christian
10. Whittier

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