Friday Night Final: And then there were none…Crescenta Valley ends area football season, rallies to knock off La Serna, 41-36

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By Stephen Ramirez
GLENDALE >> La Serna High School’s Lancers have lived all season with the mantra that the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division football championship is theirs until someone takes it away from them.
Crescenta Valley took the honors of ending that reign Friday night.
Brian Gadsby threw for 324 yards and scored on a 1-yard run with just over a minute to play to lead the Falcons to a 41-36 victory over La Serna in the semifinals at Glendale High School.
Crescenta Valley, also getting 93 yards and two touchdowns from Jonathan Jun, improved to 13-0 and advanced to face Downey, which beat Salesian, here next Friday for the title.
Enrique Pacheco threw for 158 yards and three touchdowns for La Serna, which finished 10-3.

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Enrique Pacheco earning his own place for La Serna High School

By Stephen Ramirez
WHITTIER >> There’s an old adage that says you never replace the legend, you replace the guy who replaced the legend.
La Serna High School quarterback Enrique Pacheco is disputing that belief this season.
While former Lancer Frankie Palmer, who led La Serna to the school’s only CIF-Southern Section football title last season, will likely never be forgotten, Pacheco has made a strong accounting for himself while still living in a legend’s shadow.
pachecoHe’s been a big key for the Lancers, who face Crescenta Valley in a CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division semifinal game at 7 p.m. on Friday at Glendale High School.
Enrique Pacheco: “Frankie was one of the greatest quarterbacks that this school has ever seen. He taught me a lot, he taught me about the game. He taught me a lot about this offense, showed me the ropes. He prepared me, knowing when he was gone, I’d be the next guy. I just try to take everything that he gave me and incorporate it into my style. I was always told there was big shoes to fill, but I didn’t try to outplay my own abilities. I just tried to keep it simple and lead the team as best as I can.”
La Serna coach Margarito Beltran: “You will never replace Frankie. He was a special talent who took us to the championship game three years. Going into the year, (Pacheco) knew what he was up against. He had been back up the last couple of years, but they are different type of quarterbacks.Enrique does a great job of running our offense and being a leader out there. He has presence, and that’s what we expected from him. We knew we had a very good quarterback in the waiting. We knew he was going to perform, and he’s met and exceeded our expectations.”

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Girls Volleyball: St. Paul sweeps Elizabeth, travels to Alta Loma on Saturday

St. Paul's Hannah Tostado scores against Elizabeth in the first game of a CIF State volleyball playoff game at St Paul Catholic High School in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

St. Paul’s Hannah Tostado scores against Elizabeth in the first game of a CIF State volleyball playoff game at St Paul Catholic High School in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> St. Paul High School felt it left a little bit on the table when it lost in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA semifinals last week.
The Swordsmen were determined not to make the same mistake twice.
Riley Kelly had 13 kills and Cheyanne Little had 10 as host St. Paul rolled to an easy 25-9, 25-16, 25-18 victory over Elizabeth Learning Center in a CIF State Division IV first-round game on Tuesday.
Hannah Tostado and Marissa Aguilar had six kills each and libero Katie Engle was nearly perfect in receiving percentage for the Swordsmen, who improved to 31-7 and will travel to region top seed Alta Loma for Saturday’s regional semifinals. The Braves swept Kingsburg of the Central Section.
Valerie De la Cruz had five kills for the Bulldogs, who finished 26-8.
“When we lost in the semifinals, we thought we were done with our season,” Kelly said. “So when we got the news that we were in the state playoffs, we were pretty excited. We want to win and go all the way. We wanted to play that way tonight.”

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So who is player, coach of the year?


Well, we are down to two remaining football teams in the Whittier area, so it’s probably the right time to ask: Who is the Coach of the Year, and who is the Player of the Year?

Here’s a list of candidates
Margarito Beltran, La Serna —
The Lancers are one of two football team still playing. Yes, they finished second to El Rancho in the Del Rio League, but isn’t playoff success the final judge?
Mike Moschetti, La Mirada — The Matadores had a remarkable turnaround, going from 4-7 the previous season to 9-2 and Suburban League champs. They also beat a decent Tesoro team earlier in the year.
Vinnie Lopez, El Rancho — Lopez has changed the culture at The Ranch. This year, he unseated La Serna’s reign in the Del Rio League. Yes, the Dons lost in the first round, but winning a league title is a good first step for this program.
Kim Taylor, Cantwell Sacred Heart — The Cardinals also enjoyed a solid turnaround and shared the South Catholic League title.
Pete Gonzalez, Montebello — While Moschetti and Taylor enjoyed turnarounds from season to season, Gonzalez was able to do it within season. The Oilers, with a tough schedule, started equally slow, but have rebounded to win the Almont League and are in the Mid-Valley Division quarterfinals.
Andrew Perea, El Rancho —
Accounted for 2,671 yards and 29 touchdowns in leading the Dons to the Del Rio League title.
Christian Lara, La Mirada — The Santa Fe transfer threw for nearly 2,200 yards and 28 touchdowns in helping the Mats to the Suburban League title
Tony Brown, La Mirada — Had 38 receptions for nearly 1,000 yards and 11 scores.
Eric Barriere, La Habra — Ranked among the leaders in several offensive categories in helping the Highlanders to the Freeway League title.
Jacob Maier, St. Paul — Accounted for 1,300 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Jean-Luc Dauphiney, Cantwell — Rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and seven TDs in leading the Cardinals to a share of the South Catholic League.

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Boys Basketball Preview: Another banner year expected for Cantwell

By Stephen Ramirez
Since George Zedan’s arrival at Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School four years ago, the Cardinals boys basketball program has enjoyed an upward spiral.
The success has included the school’s first CIF-Southern finals appearance in 2012 and three consecutive trips to the CIF State playoffs, including a run to the Division IV regional final.
The trend is expected to continue this season, where Cantwell could be one of the top teams in the Southern Section, led by inside players Gligorije Rakocevic and Balsa Dragovic. The duo, who averaged 22 and 20 points per game, respectively, last season, signed with Oregon State and Harvard, respectively, last week.
“Our goals are always the same, “ said Zedan, who is 70-15 in his three previous seasons at Cantwell. “We set the bar really, really high. Our objective is to try to win league, try to win CIF and try to win a state championship. We’ve come up short the last few years, but I like the way we’ve progressed. We’ve had some serious successes over the last few years.
“This year, obviously we have size and experience with the two bigs (Dragovic and Rakocevic), but the rest of our team is basically brand new. There’s going to be some ups and downs this year. Our goal is to be ready for playoffs. Hopefully we can have success in the CIF and state playoffs.”

1. Cantwell
2. Sonora
3. La Mirada
4. California
5. Whittier
6. La Habra
7. Pioneer
8. Whittier Chr.
9. Montebello
10. Schurr

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