All-Area Baseball: Cal’s Daniel Alvarez is Player of the Year

Daniel Alvarez from California High School was selected as the Whittier Daily News All-Area Baseball Player of the Year on Tuesday June 16, 2015. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

Daniel Alvarez from California High School was selected as the Whittier Daily News All-Area Baseball Player of the Year on Tuesday June 16, 2015. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

By Steve Ramirez
Daniel Alvarez has arguably been the top pitcher in the area the past few seasons.
He saved the best for last.
Alvarez was again No. 1 in the area, while also adding some big-time moments when the Condors needed it most. For his efforts, the senior is the Whittier Daily News Baseball Player of the Year.
Alvarez was also selected to the Louisville Slugger All-American Team for the second consecutive season.
“I like when (the pressure) is on me,” Alvarez said. “I like coming in a close game. I like helping my team win.”
He did that often for California this spring. The senior, who was 14-4 during his sophomore and junior seasons, went 10-2 with a 0.86 ERA in helping the Condors to their fourth consecutive Del Rio League title and a second straight trip to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 semifinals.
Alvarez, who also had 119 strikeouts in 90 innings, came up big in the postseason, including getting a key save in a 2-1 victory over Santa Ana Calvary Chapel in the second round. He also had two shutouts and won his final six decisions.
“We came in this year knowing we could do big things,” Alvarez said. “We made it to the semifinals (last season), so we came into this season … we felt confident we could do it again. We made it happen.”

Now Alvarez will concentrate on the next level, which has him ticketed for major college baseball with UC Irvine, and perhaps a future in pro baseball.
“It’s amazing,” Alvarez said. “All my life I’ve been preparing for this. Now that I can take a step closer to my goal, it’s amazing. It’s a good feeling.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
TONY NIETO, CALIFORNIA
TNIETO
Tony Nieto, along with long-time assistant coach Jeff Ramirez, has built the Condors into an area power the past few seasons.
California finished 26-6 and won it’s fourth consecutive Del Rio League title this season. The Condors also won the league for the sixth time during the past seven seasons. The Condors advanced to the CIF-Southern Division 4 semifinals for the second consecutive season.

“We had an exciting and memorial season,” said Nieto, who finished his 13th season at Cal. “It was a big task of myself and the rest of the coaching staff to get back to what we wanted, which was to win another Del Rio League title for the fourth year. But we felt with the pitching we had and a few key pieces back, we could make a deep run in the playoffs. The key was we got off to a great start and we made a great run over the past 10 games.’
JONPAUL SARRO, PITCHER, SONORA, SENIORJPSARRO
Sarro was a key to the Raiders winning another Freeway League title and a third consecutive trip to the CIF-SS quarterfinals. He went 11-4 with a 1.35 ERA, with the 11 wins ranking tops in the area. He also had 78 strikeouts in 82 innings.
JAKOB JOHNSTON, PITCHER, CALIFORNIA, JUNIORJJOHNSTON
Cal’s strength on the mound did not start and end with Daniel Alvarez. There was also Johnston, who would have been a No. 1 starter on most teams in the area. He went 10-2 with a 1.37 ERA. The 10 wins tied him for No. 2 in the area behind Sonora’s JonPaul Sarro and even with Alvarez.
COOPER HUGHES, CATCHER, WHITTIER CHRISTIAN, SENIORHUGHES
Hughes keyed the Heralds run to the playoffs. He was solid behind the plate and ranked among area leaders on offense. Hughes hit .376 with 21 RBIs. He was first team All-Olympic League.
JAKE ROSANDER, INFIELDER, SONORA, SENIORROSANDER
Rosander was the offensive key for the Raiders, who won the Freeway League and advanced to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive season. He was a tough out in the middle of the lineup, hitting .381 with 22 RBIs.
ALEX GONZALEZ, INFIELDER, CALIFORNIA, SENIORGONZO
Gonzalez helped the Condors both in the field and at the plate. He was one of the top fielding shortstops in the area while also providing a late spark at the plate. He finished with a .286 batting average and had 14 RBIs and scored 24 runs.
ETHAN LOPEZ, INFIELDER, LA MIRADA, SENIORLOPEZ
Lopez combined solid defense with one of the top bats in the area. He helped the Matadores recover from a slow start to make the playoffs. Lopez hit .374 with 19 RBIs. He also scored 19 runs and had nine doubles. He signed with Hawaii.
STEVEN GENERA, INFIELDER, WHITTIER, SENIORSGENERA
Genera was a key to the Cardinals’ turnaround, which saw them recover from a last-place finish in 2014 to the playoffs this season. He hit .422 with 21 RBIs.
MIKE ELLIOTT, OUTFIELDER, CALIFORNIA, FRESHMANELLIOTT
Elliott was the top newcomer in the area. He also played a part in the Condors winning another Del Rio League title and a second trip to the semifinals. He hit .313 with 22 RBIs. Elliott scored 22 runs and also had two saves.
RJ LAN, OUTFIELDER, LA MIRADA, SOPHOMORELAN
Lan is one of the top young players in the area. He helped La Mirada win 14 of its final 21 games to make the playoffs. Lan hit .317 with 19 RBIs. He also scored 25 runs and had five home runs and eight doubles.
ELI LEDESMA, OUTFIEDLER, SENIORLED
Ledesma led the Chiefs to one of the better seasons in recent memory. He hit .396 with 12 RBIs and scored 20 runs. The senior, who hit .496 in league play, also was 5-3 on the mound with a 2.15 ERA.
EMILIO SANSORES, UTILITY, ST. PAUL, SENIORSANSORES
Sansores was one of the top pitchers in the area. He helped St. Paul to a share of the Del Rey League title. Sansores ranked among area leaders in wins and ERA and earned All-Del Rey League.
SECOND TEAM
Pitcher: Shawn Dumser, La Mirada, Jr.
Pitcher: Michael Corona, Schurr, Jr.
Infielder: Luis Murillo, Cal, Sr.
Infielder: Adam Rubio, Montebello, Sr.
Infielder: Andy Munoz, Montebello, Jr.
Infielder: Tony Rosario, Schurr, Sr.
Outfielder: Jordan Smith, La Habra, Sr.
Outfielder: Daniel Jung, La Mirada, Jr.
Outfielder: Jayson Clayton, Sonora, Jr.
Utility: Travis Miller, La Serna, Sr.
FINAL TOP 10
1. California (26-6)
2. Sonora (20-9-1)
3. La Mirada (17-15)
4. Montebello (14-10)
5. Santa Fe (14-16)
6. St. Paul (15-14-1)
7. Whittier (18-13)
8. La Serna (19-11)
9. La Habra (17-11)
10. Schurr ( 18-8-1)
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
Almont: Montebello
Camino Real: Mary Star of the Sea
Del Rey: St. Paul, Bishop Amat, Cathedral
Del Rio: California
Freeway: Sonora
Olympic: Village Christian
Suburban: Glenn

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La Serna’s Jamie Wren tops area CIF-SS baseball, softball selections

La Serna's Jamie Wren was selected Division 3 Player of the Year (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

La Serna’s Jamie Wren was selected Division 3 Player of the Year (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

La Serna High School’s Jamie Wren, who helped the Lancers to the school’s fourth softball title, led the area selections when the CIF-Southern Section released it’s All-Division lists for baseball and softball.
Here are the area picks:

SOFTBALL
Division 3

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jamie Wren, La Serna
Coaches: Mike Reed, Mike Orona, La Serna
First Team
Lyzette Reveles, Santa Fe, Sr.
Taylor Becerra, La Serna, Sr.
Niko Walker, St. Paul, Sr.
Division 5
First Team
Arianna Alvarez, Montebello, Jr.
BASEBALL
Division 2

RJ Lan, La Mirada, So.
Division 4
Daniel Alvarez, Cal, Sr.
Elias Ledesma, Santa Fe, Sr.
Jon Paul Sarro, Sonora

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All-Area Girls Track and Field: St. Paul’s Sarah Hernandez is Athlete of the Year

St. Paul High School's Sarah Hernandez won a CIF Southern Section shot put title and is the Daily News Athlete of the Year. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

St. Paul High School’s Sarah Hernandez won a CIF Southern Section shot put title and is the Daily News Athlete of the Year. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

By Keith Lair
Championships are not supposed to have a relaxed atmosphere.But St. Paul High School senior Sarah Hernandez was not feeling any anxiety or nervousness during the CIF Southern Section track and field championships at Cerritos College. Hernandez showed that in the shot put competition. She had a personal-best throw of 39 feet, 9 3/4 inches to win the CIF-SS Division 4 crown.The title, the only one earned by a Whittier-area athlete, earned her Daily News track and field Athlete of the Year honors. It was her first CIF-SS Finals appearance.“I had felt really relaxed,” she recalled. “That had never happened before in a meet. At the (CIF-SS) prelims I was a nervous wreck. I was surprised that it happened.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mando Padilla, California
FIRST TEAM
Symone Addo, La Serna, senior (100, 200, long jump)
Lauren Anderson, California, sophomore (discus, shot put)
Stephanie Cortez, California, senior (800, 1,600)
Brenda Dorantes, Whittier, junior (1,600, 3,200)
Kelsey George, California, sophomore (200, 400)
Samantha Huerta, La Mirada, junior (400, 800, 1,600, 3,200)
Michelle Reed, La Serna, senior (200, 400)
Crystal Rodriguez, El Rancho, senior (discus, shot put)
Gabriella Smith, La Mirada (100, 200 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles)
Rochelle Viramontes, Whittier, sophomore (1,600, 3,200)
SECOND TEAM
Giselle Burgos, El Rancho, senior (800, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles)
Suyan Carcedo, California, senior (high, long, triple jumps)
Jasmyn Crawford, California, junior (100, long, triple jumps)
Leslie Flores La Habra, sophomore (800)
Kassandra Herrera, El Rancho, senior (100, 300 hurdles)
Lauryn Jordan, La Habra, sophomore (shot put)
Piper Lowinger, La Serna, junior (100, 300 hurdles)
Madison Ortiz, El Rancho sophomore (100, 200)
Diana Phimpasouk, Montebello, senior (high, long, triple jumps)
Sophia Sousa, Whittier, sophomore (800, 1,600)
HONORABLE MENTION
Ilse Cacho, California, senior (1,600, 3,200)
Maddison Fitzpatrick, La Serna, senior (shot put)
Alexis Garfias, Schurr, senior (800, 1,600)
Alexis Kolshefski, La Habra, senior (discus)
Na’lon Smith, St. Paul, sophomore (100, 200)

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All-Area Boys Track and Field: Cal’s Jorge Zapien is Athlete of the Year

California’s Jorge Zapien, who won finished first in the at the Arcadia Invitational, is the Whittier Daily News boys track and field athlete of the year. (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

California’s Jorge Zapien, who won finished first in the at the Arcadia Invitational, is the Whittier Daily News boys track and field athlete of the year. (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

By Keith Lair
Jorge Zapien was Mr. Consistent while on the pole vault runway this season.The California High School senior won nearly every competition he was in, and if not, he was on the podium. The result was a berth in the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet and Daily News Athlete of the Year honors.“I did so much for myself and my coaches did so much for me,” he said of the season. “I can’t ask for anything more. All this (postseason competition) was extra.”Zapien won two invitational competitions, the Jim Polite Invitational in Walnut and the Friday competition of the Arcadia Invitational.That Arcadia win was a big weekend and the telltale sign of things to come. The day before Arcadia, he cleared a then-season-best 14 feet, 8 inches in a dual meet against La Serna. On the first day of the prestigious Arcadia Invitational, he bettered 15 feet for the first time, jumping 15-3, an improvement by 7 inches. He then finished sixth in the Saturday morning portion of the Arcadia Invitational.The next big step was the CIF-SS Division 1 finals. Zapien cleared 15-6 to finish second in the meet.“I was just trying to go to the Masters Meet,” he said after that finish. “I could have not asked for anything more. If I had no-heighted at 13-6, I would have been content.”

COACH OF THE YEAR
Mando Padilla, California
FIRST TEAM
Samuel Bautista, California, senior (1,600, 3,200)
Nick Capranica, Schurr, senior (100, 200)
Josh DeFrancesco, St. Paul, senior (long, triple jumps)
Mark Diego, California, junior (shot put)
Aleksie Dominguez, St. Paul, senior (800, 1,600)
Christian Duran, La Serna, senior (1,600)
Andrew Hernandez, Montebello, senior (discus, shot put)
Da’Juan Massenberge, Santa Fe, senior (100, 200)
Thomas Medina, Santa Fe, senior (200, 400)
Ricky Rodriguez, California, junior (110 hurdles, high jump, triple jump)
SECOND TEAM
Lance Babb, Schurr, freshman (100, 200, 110 hurdles)
Kedrick Conner, El Rancho, senior (100, 200, long jump)
Vincent Cuevas, El Rancho, junior (110 hurdles)
Miguel Fuentes, St. Paul, junior (100, 200, triple jump)
Joe Gallardo, St. Paul, junior (discus, shot put)
Landon Jones, La Mirada senior (100, high jump, long jump)
Eric Lancaster, La Habra, junior (110, 300 hurdles)
Matthew Marshall, La Serna, sophomore (100, 200)
Craig Rogers, Whittier, junior (110, 300 hurdles)
Garrett Silva, California, sophomore (pole vault)
HONORABLE MENTION
Donald Brown, El Rancho, sophomore (1,600, 3,200)
Ben Lyzenga, La Habra, senior (1,600, 3,200)
Abraham Roman, La Habra, junior (800)
Nick Martin, Schurr, senior (300 hurdles)

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All-Area Girls Swimming: Sonora’s Taylor Ault is Swimmer of the Year

Swimmer of the year, Sonora''s Taylor Ault in La Habra, Calif., on Friday, June 12, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Swimmer of the year, Sonora”s Taylor Ault in La Habra, Calif., on Friday, June 12, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)


By Stephen Ramirez
Taylor Ault entered the 2015 season as arguably the top swimmer in the area, and she lived up to the billing.The sophomore improved on a stellar freshman season, adding two more CIF-Southern Section titles to the lone one she won in 2014 while also leading the Raiders to the Freeway League title.For her efforts, Ault is the Whittier Daily News Girls Swimmer of the Area.“My goal (coming to Sonora) was to try an win (a CIF-SS) title all my four years of high school,” Ault said. “It was reassuring to win my sophomore year. I was real happy with that.”

COACH OF THE YEAR
Todd Jacobsen, Sonora

FIRST TEAM
Sarah Stacer, Sonora, Sophomore
Lavonna Harper, Sonora, Freshman
Bianca Preciado, California, Freshman
Sarah Albright, La Mirada, Junior
Prescilla Cobian, La Mirada, Sophomore
Faith Palmer, Whittier Chr., Sophomore
Becca Ayers, Sonora, diver, Sr.
April Martinez, Sonora, Sophomore
Isabella Osuna, La Serna, Junior
Carissa Perez, La Serna, Sophomore

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