Summer football continues this week, with La Serna hosting a pair of area teams tonight and Santa Fe and El Rancho hosting big tournaments Saturday.
La Serna will host Whittier Christian, Santa Fe and Gahr on its practice field at 5 p.m. tonight in 7-on-7 drills. A week ago, the Lancers didn’t compete to coach Margarito Beltran’s expectation level when they passed against Sonora, Corona Santiago, Mark Keppel and Mountain View.
On Saturday, Santa Fe will host its annual Tournament of Champions, which will include 7-on-7 drills and lineman competitions. Approximately 30 schools, including some from Arizona and Utah, will participate in the all-day event, which will begin at 9 a.m. at Mahlsted Field. The same day, El Rancho will host the Rumble at the Ranch, which will feature approximately 25 teams.
Also tonight, Montebello will host Rosemead in passing drills. Schurr will visit Arroyo on Thursday and Mission Viejo on Saturday.
Ever the teacher, Margarito Beltran gave his team a “C” for its performance in 7-on-7 passing drills Tuesday evening after Corona Santiago, Sonora, Mountain View and Mark Keppel visited the Friendly Hills campus.
Beltran felt the Lancers didn’t compete at the level he’d like to see, making the same mistakes on a consistent basis and not correcting them. Last week, he felt La Serna did a much better job competing when it faced teams like Serra, Dorsey and Westlake at Saugus High.
“We should have done better (Tuesday),” Beltran said. “This team is trying to find its own identity from last year’s team, and it’s a process. … But I wasn’t very happy with the way we competed.
“We made too many mistakes, and we didn’t correct those mistakes. … Overall, I wouldn’t give u more than a ‘C.’”
Cantwell-Sacred Heart will continue its summer-long Wednesday 7-on-7 drills when Montebello visits tonight, and Whittier will host Villa Park at 5 p.m. Thursday. On July 12, El Rancho will host its Rumble at the Ranch, which will feature St. Bonaventure, San Clemente, Bonita, Palmdale and others.
On the same day, Santa Fe will host the 25-team Tournament of Champions, which will feature 7-on-7 passing and lineman competitions as well. Teams from across Southern Californa, Arizona and Utah will compete.
The postseason just keeps getting better for St. Paul’s Koreen Orozco.
After leading the Swordsmen to the CIF Division 3 softball title, Orozco was selected this week as the Division 3 Player of the Year. She finished the season with a 20-2 record, and she went 5-0 during the playoffs, holding four opponents to one run or less. In the final against rival La Serna, Orozco limited the Lancers to just two hits.
“She really did peak (in the postseason),” said St. Paul coach Jim Maier, “and it was all due to her confidence. She really peaked at the right time.”
CIF didn’t forget about Maier, who was selected Division 3 Coach of the Year after leading St. Paul to the title in the first season of his second stint with the school. The Swordsmen finished with a 28-4-1 record and closed the season on a 15-game winning streak.
Other Whittier-area players honored by CIF:
Annie DiPillo, La Mirada, Senior
Lovie Lopez, St. Paul, Senior
Taylor Becerra, La Serna, Junior
Jamie Wren, La Serna, Junior
Alyssa Soneff, Montebello, Senior
Amanda Garcia, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Senior
Anissa Loera, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Senior
Blake Wilson, La Mirada, Senior
Aaron Pinto, St. Paul, Senior
Daniel Alvarez, Cal, Junior
A pair of the Whittier area’s brightest football prospects were on display Thursday when Whittier Christian traveled to La Habra for some 7-on-7 work.
Whittier Christian senior receiver Noah Evans and La Habra junior quarterback Eric Barriere were both outstanding during the drills, which also included Los Amigos High. Evans, at 6-4 and 230 pounds, showed off his sure hands and excellent routes throughout the workout. With his superior size, Evans kept defenders at bay while rising high for several balls over his head, and only dropped one pass that he had a reasonable chance to bring in.
“It’s hard (for defenders) to get around him,” Whittier Christian coach Sergio Gradillo said.
Herald quarterbacks Cooper Hughes and Joe Hernandez alternated series, and both looked good at times as the team worked a few wrinkles into its offense.
“We’re still running the spread and no-huddle,” Gradillo said, “but it’s a little different.”
Barriere consistently made excellent throws downfield and spread the ball around to Edrick Flores, Prince Ross and Amon Fellows. He also showed good patience by finding receivers on shorter routes when the deep pass was covered.
Sophomore backup Joey Gutierrez was also impressive while working with the second stringers.
“He’s battling with Eric, as he should be,” La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta said. “All I ask him to do is compete.”
Cantwell-Sacred Heart’s football team showed off some serious speed while Schurr had several skill position players perform well when the teams met in 7-on-7 play Wednesday on Cantwell’s campus.
Cardinal senior Jean Lue Dauphiney displayed some serious separation speed during drills, taking several short passes around the corner and pulling away from defenders. For the Spartans, senior receivers Tristan Rojas and Andrew Rosales made several nice catches against the defense of Cantwell and Marshall Fundamental, which also participated.
“Our timing is improving slowly,” said Schurr coach Marco Ramirez, “and Tristan and Andrew played well. They’re taking (forward) strides every day.”
Dauphiney was on the receiving end of several Matthew Valencia passes Wednesday, and CSHM coach Kim Taylor hopes an improved passing attack will loosen up defenses that routinely used nine run-stopping defenders against the tailback last season.
“That’s gonna be a big factor for us,” Taylor said.
Taylor was disappointed, however, by a brief dust up between the Cardinals and Spartans following a play when Schurr was on offense. It began with two players but soon involved the majority of each team and coaching staff, although it was quickly difused. Following the drills, Taylor apologized to Ramirez.
“(The 7-on-7) went well for us, but what I didn’t like was the (skirmish) with Schurr,” Taylor said.
Cantwell will host different schools each Wednesday in 7-on-7 play.