Kim Brooks returns to classroom at La Mirada but not to field

La Mirada High’s Kim Brooks has returned to his teaching position on the campus, he confirmed Tuesday, but is still suspended as athletic director and baseball coach.
Brooks was suspended by the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District last month after an audio tape of a profanity-laced tirade directed at the baseball team was released. He confirmed Tuesday he’d returned last week to his position as a social studies teacher but said there had been “no word” as to whether he’d return to his positions in the athletic department.
Brooks took part in Monday’s graduation ceremony, and many of his supporters showed up to an NLMUSD public meeting last week.
Brooks’ suspension came just before the Matadore baseball team began the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs in late May. Many of the players dedicated their playoff performance to Brooks, and the team reached the semifinal round in an emotional run. Assistant coach Jimmy Zurn took over the head coaching duties during the playoffs.
Calls to the district office and to La Mirada principal Bill Seals were not immediately returned Tuesday.

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Area players among state’s Hot 100 in Class of 2015

Area players Gligorije Rakocevic, Balsa Dragovic and Kendall Laudersale have all been ranked among the top 100 seniors-to-be in California in the 2015 Cal-Hi Sports Hot 100.
Rakocevic and Dragovic are both 6-foot-9 post players from Cantwell-Sacred Heart. Each dealt with foot injuries at the beginning of the season but came on strong at the end, helping the Cardinals reach the CIF State Division 4 SoCal final. Rakocevic averaged 10.6 points and 8.6 rebounds and developed the ability to finish with either hand. Dragovic ended the season as a rebounding and shot-blocking force, and he can also step out and knock down a 3-pointer when called upon. Rakocevic is ranked No. 20 among the Class of 2015, Dragovic No. 44.
La Mirada’s Lauderdale, at 6-8 and 220 pounds, already possesses a Division I frame, but didn’t play to his size early in the season and had trouble finishing around the basket. After Christmas, however, he blossomed, topping 20 points 10 times. He finished the season averaging 16.1 points and 9.6 rebounds. He is ranked 60th.
All three players were Whittier Daily News All-Area first-team selections as juniors.

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Former Cal State Dominguez Hills BB coach Damaine Powell hired at St. Paul

Former Cal State Dominguez Hills men’s basketball coach Damaine Powell has been hired as St. Paul High’s new boys basketball coach, athletic director Casey Morales confirmed Tuesday.
“To find someone with the experience and credentials he has is tremendous,” said Morales. “To have a guy like that … is something we’re really thrilled with.”
Powell coached CSUDH for nine seasons after leading Compton College to a pair of state community college championships. He also played and coached at USC.
He replaces Shawn Clingan, who stepped down following the 2013-14 season. The Swordsmen struggled to a 3-23 record last season, including a 1-9 mark in the Camino Real League. Next season, St. Paul will play in the Santa Fe League.
According to Morales, Powell has also accepted a full-time teaching position on the Santa Fe Springs campus.

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One more meeting between St. Paul, La Serna coaches

The softball coaches from St. Paul and La Serna will face off for the fifth time since March when the Red and Blue teams meet Wednesday at York Field for the Rotary Club of Whittier’s All-Star Softball Classic.
St. Paul’s Jim Maier and his staff will coach the Red all-stars while Mike Reed and Mike Orona of La Serna will lead the Blue team in the 11th installment of the postseason, senior-only contest. The Swordsmen and Lancers met four times during the just-completed season, and split those meetings, although St. Paul scored the biggest victory by defeating La Serna 2-1 in the CIF-SS Division 3 final.
The Red all-stars will feature Del Rey League MVP Lovie Lopez and Pitcher of the Year Koreen Orozco from St. Paul, Del Rio League MVP Trisha Trujillo of Cal and Montebello’s Evelyn Hernandez, the Almont League Pitcher of the Year. The Blue side will have Almont League MVP Byanka Diosdado of Schurr and Del Rio League first teamers Molly Bourne, Dana De La Torre and Dani Garcielita from La Serna.
First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The 18th edition of the baseball all-star game will follow at 6 p.m. La Serna’s Tony Gonzales will coach the Red all-stars, with Suburban League MVP Jeff Murray from La Mirada leading the way. Del Rio League Defensive Player of the Year Tony Ceron of La Serna is also part of the Red lineup.
The Blue all-stars will be coached by Pioneer’s Bobby Ramirez. Del Rio League Player of the Year Ruben Pinedo and DRL Offensive POY Fermin Beza, both from Cal, will play as well as Del Rio League first teamers Jerald Johnston (Cal), Jesse Perdomo (Cal), Robert Barraza (Cal), Esteban Solis (El Rancho), Justin Gonzalez (El Rancho), Ryan Palomar (El Rancho) and Josh Prickett (Pioneer).
Here’s the complete lineup for each team:
Red All-Stars
La Mirada

Jeff Murray
Eric Tapper
Blake Wilson

La Serna
Mark Abbate
Paul Barraza
Gavin Callender
Tony Ceron
D’Andre Sanchez

Santa Fe
Victor Arreola
Harley Messenger
Tony Olivarez
Martin Serna

St. Paul
Nicholas Delgado
Jon Hernandez
Kevin Lugo
Aaron Pinto
Brian Stark

Whittier Christian
Mike Rafter
Jake Rivera

Johnny Salgado
Moe Vasquez

Coach: Tony Gonzales, La Serna

Blue All-Stars

Robert Barraza
Fermin Beza
Robby Blount
Jerald Johnston
Jesse Perdomo
Ruben Pinedo

El Rancho
Justin Gonzalez
Ryan Palomar
Esteban Solis

La Habra
Andrew Gallegos
Robert Lefler
Chris Nuanes
Austin Saad

Ryan Orozco

Carlos Hernandez
Josh Prickett
Adrian Ramos
Nathan Yorba

Gavin Blodgett
Henry Bustamante
Jose Gomez
Maricio Guadarrama
Andrew Piraino

Coach: Bobby Ramirez, Pioneer

Red All-Stars

Carley Espinoza
Joslyn Macias
Miranda Perez
Brigid Ruiz
Rachel Shumaker
Trisha Trujillo

Evelyn Hernandez
Alyssa Soneff

St. Paul
Taylor Ancona
Bryanna Campos
Krystal Gutierrez
Lovie Lopez
Koreen Orozco

Santa Fe
Amanda Flores

Katie Amaral
Leandra Jew
Brandi Landino

Coach: Jim Maier, St. Paul

Blue All-Stars
El Rancho

Miranda Armas
Aiyana Leal-Robles
Anissa Sanchez

La Habra
Camille Manzo
Hope Moreno
Taylor Pierce

La Serna
Molly Bourne
Dana De La Torre
Dani Garcielita

Byanka Diosdado
Stephanie Guido
Melissa Lopez

Whittier Christian
Celeste Adriano
Melissa Martene
Katelyn Wagner

Vanessa Perez

Co-coaches: Mike Reed, Mike Orona, La Serna

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