Feature: La Serna’s Jamie Wren


By Stephen Ramirez

La Serna's Jamie Wren is again one of the area's best softball players and a key reason why the Lancers are among the favorites for a CIF-Southern Section title. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

La Serna’s Jamie Wren is again one of the area’s best softball players and a key reason why the Lancers are among the favorites for a CIF-Southern Section title. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)


WHITTIER — La Serna High School’s Jamie Wren has been one of the top softball players in the area over the past three seasons, and she’s continued to live up to that billing this season.
Wren, who had a break-out year in the circle last season, is again a key ingredient for the Lancers, who are seeking to get back to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 title game after losing to region rival St. Paul last season.
“She’s dominating,” La Serna co-coach Mike Orona said. “She’s been shutting people out; she’s been doing a great job for us.
“This kid has confidence. When we get one run, we believe we are going to win. Jamie’s just shutting people down.”
She did the same a season ago, earning All-CIF-Southern Section Division 3 after going 25-3 with a 0.55 ERA. She had 112 strikeouts and gave up just 14 earned runs in 177 innings.
Wren is also one of the top hitters in the area. She hit over .400 the past three seasons, including a .500 average with 15 RBis this season.
But the senior’s big value to the Lancers comes in the circle, where she is 12-1 with a 1.01 ERA in helping La Serna to a 13-5 record. The Lancers are ranked No. 2 in Division 3 and No. 1 in the area.
“I just go out and play the same way I’ve always played,” Wren said. “I feel pretty much the same.”

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Email

Wednesday Recap: Valerie Alvarado struck out nine and led La Mirada softball to shutout Artesia 14-0

Softball
La Mirada 14, Artesia 0 — Valerie Alvarado pitched six innings, striking out nine, and Monica Navarrete and Nicole Barrow each had two RBIs to lead the Matadores (6-11, 2-3) to the Suburban League victory. Angel Urbina had a triple and Kaylee Medrano had a double for La Mirada.
Baseball
La Mirada 9, Artesia 0 — Shawn Dumser pitched six shutout innings, striking out five and Omar Myzel went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a double to lead the Matadores (11-10, 4-1) to the Suburban League victory. La Mirada’s Daniel Jung went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a triple.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Email

Baseball: Daniel Alvarez pitches California over Whittier, 8-0

California's Andres Hernandez singles against Whittier in the third inning of a prep baseball game at Whittier High School in Whittier, Calif., Wednesday, April 15, 2015. California won 8-0. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

California’s Andres Hernandez singles against Whittier in the third inning of a prep baseball game at Whittier High School in Whittier, Calif., Wednesday, April 15, 2015. California won 8-0. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)


By Stephen Ramirez

WHITTIER – California High School baseball coach Tony Nieto has a lot of confidence when he hands the ball to pitcher Daniel Alvarez.
The senior showed why Wednesday.
Alvarez tossed six shut-out innings and the Condors moved into a tie for first place with an 8-0 victory over host Whittier in a Del Rio League game.
Alvarez gave up just one hit and struck out six for California, which improved to 15-3 overall and 4-2 in league play. California, ranked No. 2 in the area and No. 3 in CIF-Southern section Division 4, also got two RBIs from Anthony Hernandez and two hits from Eric Sotelo.
Whittier, which committed seven errors, slipped to 12-8 and 4-2. The two teams meet at California on Friday.
California took a 4-0 after three innings, scoring one run in the second and three in third.
Brandon Acosta had a sacrifice bunt to score Sotelo for a 1-0 lead in the second before Luis Murillo had a RBI double and Hernandez for a two-run single for a 4-0 advantage in the third.
Alvarez did the rest.
He allowed just three baserunners in his six innings, giving up a two-out single in the first before striking out Alex Andueza to end the inning. Alvarez, after a one-out walk in the second, retired the final 13 batters he faced.

Cal coach Tony Nieto: “Whenever we give Daniel any run support, we feel good about our chances. He’s arguably the top pitcher in the league. He hasn’t got much run support this season, but he keeps us in the ball game, which is all you can ask of your No. 1 pitcher. But when he gets out there, we have a good feeling of how the day’s going to go. We get him a little bit of run support, we feel a lot better.”

Cal’s Daniel Alvarez: “Last couple of outings, I haven’t been myself. Today, I wanted to step up and make a statement, help my team win. That’s what I did.”

Whittier coach Eric Ramirez: “Lot of errors. It’s been our formula all season. We’ve lost some big games, 6-0, 10-0. Today it was one of those. I think overall they are better than us, at least today. Either way, it didn’t matter if we made errors or not, they were going to beat us. But that’s how it’s gone for us, so Friday maybe we turn it around, have no errors and get a win. “

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Email

St. Paul’s Gabby Walker, Jillian Saenz; Whittier Christian’s Jeanne Reinis make college choices


By Stephen Ramirez
Gabby Walker and Jillian Saenz are two of St. Paul High School’s better student-athletes and Wednesday they were rewarded for their success.
Both signed scholarship letters on Tuesday.
Walker, a girls volleyball and softball player, signed with Eastern New Mexico University, of Portales. Saenz, a girls volleyball player, signed with Clarkson University, of Potsdam, N.Y. Walker will play softball for the Zias.
“The factors I liked was the coach,” said Walker, who has had a limited role for St. Paul the past two seasons. “The school was great. I’m a private school girl, so it’s small enough where it didn’t seem like a big college to me, but not too big for me to be overwhelmed.
“Plus the softball program is really great and I feel I can make an impact.”
Eastern New Mexico is 17-24 this season.
Saenz was one of the top setters in the area, helping St. Paul to a 31-8 record and a spot in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA semifinals. She had 1,105 assists last season.
Saenz will be going to one the top NCAA Division III programs in the country. Clarkson was 37-4 last season and advanced to the national quarterfinals. They won the Liberty League conference tournament.
“(Clarkson is) a really small school, which is what I was looking for, something like St. Paul,” Saenz said. “The volleyball program is very successful. I’m looking forward to (contributing). Everything just fell into place.”
The duo are the second and third St. Paul athlete to sign a scholarship letter in the past week. Girls basketball standout Clarissa Perez signed with Utah State Eastern last week.
Whittier Christian girls volleyball player Jeanne Reinis signed with Molloy College, a NCAA Division II school in Long Island, N.Y.
Reinis, an outside hittier, had 317 kills for the Hearlds last season. Whittier Christian was 18-13 and finished third in the Olympic League. Molloy was 12-17 last season.

Whittier Christian's Jeanne Reinis signs with Molloy College.

Whittier Christian’s Jeanne Reinis signs with Molloy College.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Email

2015 Whittier Daily News Girls Basketball All-Area Team: St. Paul’s Clarissa Perez is Player of the Year

Clarissa Perez of St. Paul HS has been selected for the Whittier Daily News' First Team: Basketball April 1, 2015. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)

Clarissa Perez of St. Paul HS has been selected for the Whittier Daily News’ First Team: Basketball April 1, 2015. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)

GIRLS BASKETBALL
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CLARISSA PEREZ

Clarissa Perez was the St. Paul High School girls basketball team’s most important player. Not so much for her scoring ability, which can’t ben underestimated, but mainly her role as a leader.
It was from that aspect that Perez pushed her team to greatness in 2015, advancing to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A finals. It was St. Paul’s second trip to the finals in the past two seasons and the Swordsmen’s fifth appearance since 2002.
For her efforts, Perez is the Whittier Daily News Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“She was huge for us,” St. Paul coach Robert Miller said. “She was big in terms of leadership in convincing the younger girls to believe that we can play at this level. Her leadership is what inspired everyone to believe we can be in those games.
“Plus, she’s such a great player and draws a lot of attention on the court. She makes the other players on the court better.”
Perez did a little of everything for St. Paul She ranked among the area leaders in scoring, but also is a great passer and was solid on the defensive end. But it’s her leadership quality that keyed the run in 2015.
“We had a great year,” Perez said. “Nobody expected us to make it to the finals. But we did it. I’m very proud of my team. They were a young group of girls.
“I’m very proud of my coaches, helping me become a better leader and learning from my teammates that no matter how young you can do anything you want. I’m glad for our school that we went to (the state playoffs) again and another (CIF) finals.”


But all parties believe it was Perez’ mental aspect that drove the Swordsmen to one of its better seasons.
“Our seniors set this as our goal,” Miller said. “Clarissa’s leadership was huge. She sort of got the younger players on board and convincing them that’s where they wanted to be.”
Perez also leader on the court, and the Swordsmen’s best scoring option. She had no qualms of being a decoy and setting up the other players to achieve, but when they moment called for she was ready to put the team on her back.
She did so in a 4A quarterfinal victory over Notre Dame Academy. Perez scored a career-high 30 points, including eight in the fourth quarter that allowed St. Paul to prevail,64-52.
“The big thing for me this year was that I had to trust my teammates,” Perez said. “I wanted to make sure my teammates stepped up, and they did. We won a lot of big games. I proud of them.”
Perez is now taking her talents to Utah, where she will play next season at Utah State University-Eastern.
“This is where I am as a basketball player and where I want to go,” Perez said. “(Utah State-Eastern) went to the semifinals last year of the national junior college tournament, and I come from a winning program like St. Paul, so I wanted to go to a winning program. I want to learn like I did at St. Paul, and that’s what they offered me.”

COACH OF THE YEAR
ROBERT MILLER, ST. PAUL
RMILLER
Miller has been one of the top coaches in the area since arriving at the Santa Fe Springs campus in the late 1990s. He’s taken the Swordsmen to the divisional finals, including this season when they advanced to the Division 4A title game. The Swordsmen also swept the season series from rival Bishop Amat for the first time in Miller’s tenure.
For his efforts, Miller is the Whittier Daily News Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.
“It’s great to have good players and they make me look really good,” Miller said. “They did that again this year. We were pleased to (get back to the CIF finals). We’d like to win it, eventually, but it will come.”
Sweeping Amat was also special for the Swordsmen and Miller.
“We’d never been able to do that since I’ve been here,” Miller said. “It was great. It would have felt a little bit better if coach (Richard Wiard) was still there. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. But it’s a tremendous rivalry between the two schools.”
FIRST TEAM
GUARD: ADRIANA GONZALEZ, ST. PAUL, JR.AGONZALEZ
The junior was part of the Swordsmen one-two punch with Clarissa Perez. She combined athleticism with solid shooting ability to key St. Paul’s run to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A final. She was first team All-CIF-SS Division 4A.
FORWARD LILY PERKINS, CANTWELL, SO.LPERKINS
Perkins is one of the better all-around players in the area, who can drive to the basket, as well as make outside shots. She’s also a solid defender. Perkins keyed Cantwell’s run to the Camino Real League title and the Division 4A semifinals. She was first team All-CIF-SS Division 4A.
FORWARD: MONIQUE MESA, CANTWELL, SR. MESA
Mesa was a force inside for the Cardinals, who were 22-6 and advanced to the Division 4A semifinals. She missed five games during a January stretch when the team struggled. The senior averaged eight points and eight rebounds per game.
GUARD: SARAH GURROLA, EL RANCHO, SR. GURROLA
Gurrola keyed El Rancho to its third consecutive Del Rio League title, but it’s first outright crown under coach Randy Shigezane. She led the team in scoring at 13 points a came, but also had 5.9 assists per contest. She also helped El Rancho to the CIF-SS quarterfinals and was Del Rio League MVP.
FORWARD: CRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ, EL RANCHO, SR. CROD
Rodriguez combined with Gurrola to give the Dons a formidable scoring tandem that few could stop. She averaged 13 points a game and also was a force inside with nearly 10 rebounds a game. Rodriguez also had nearly three steals per game. She was first team All-Del Rio League.
FORWARD: CASSANDRA HAIR, WHITTIER, SR. HAIR
Hair was one of the top frontline players in the area. She helped the Cardinals to a 17-11 record and a second-place finish in the Del Rio League. Hair averaged 9. 5 points a contest and 7.1 rebounds. She was first team All-Del Rio League.
FORWARD: LAINIE JAMES, SONORA, FR. JAMES
Sonora’s big turnaround from a sub-.500 campaign in 2014 to 21-7 this season can be attributed to James, who along with sophomore Meghann Henderson, gave the Raiders a solid one-two punch. She was that good. James, despite her youth, led the team with a 12. 5 points per game average. She was All-Freeway League.
GUARD: MEGHANN HENDERSON, SONORA, SO. HENDERSON
The sophomore has been solid for the Raiders in her first two seasons. She combined with freshman Lainie James to provide Sonora with a solid scoring duo. She averaged 11 points a game. James was first team All-Freeway League and All-Division 3AA.
GUARD: EMMA ZENER, LA HABRA, SO. ZEN
Zener helped key the Highlanders to a third-place finish in the Freeway League. She proved to be a solid scoring option, making 69 3-pointers en route to averaging 11 points a game. Zener was first team All-Freeway League.
FORWARD: AMANDA CUEVRO, LA HABRA, JR. CUE
Cuevro was arguably the top frontline players in the area. She gave the Highlanders a solid scoring punch with a 10-point average. She also ranked among the area leaders in rebounding, averaging 13 a game, including six on the offensive glass. She was first team All-Freeway League.
SECOND TEAM
Forward: Tia Banks, St. Paul, Fr.
Guard: Stephanie Guerra, Cantwell, Sr.
Guard: Vanessa Espinoza, Cantwell, Sr.
Guard: Marissa Dunn, Sonora, Jr.
Guard: Jazz Shedd, Sonora, Jr.
Center: Hannah Mc Arthur, La Habra, So.
Guard: Alicia Aguirre, Schurr, Jr.
Forward: Lauryn Jordan, La Mirada, So.
Guard: Ashley Miller, El Rancho, Sr.
Center: Christa Evans, Whittier Chr., So.
HONORABLE MENTION
Guard: Marisa Orosco, Schurr, Sr.
Forward: Brianna Olvera, Montebello, Sr.
Forward: Maddy Fitzpatrick, La Serna, Sr.
Guard: Dennisa Gallegos, Santa Fe, Sr.
Guard: Amber Valdez, Whittier, Sr.
Forward: Brittany Corona, El Rancho, So.
Guard: Celeste Chavez, California, Sr.
Forward: Janelle Rocha, Pioneer, Sr.
Center: Desiree Reyes, Santa Fe, Sr.
Guard: Jazpur Bristol, La Mirada, Sr.
FINAL TOP TEN
1. St. Paul (19-15)
2. Cantwell (21-8)
3. Sonora (21-7)
4. El Rancho (20-11)
5. La Habra (14-11)
6. Schurr (14-12)
7. Whittier (17-11)
8. Santa Fe (14-11)
9. La Serna (12-13)
10. Montebello (13-11)
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
ALMONT: Keppel
CAMINO REAL: Cantwell, St. Joseph
DEL REY: Serra
DEL RIO: El Rancho
FREEWAY: Troy
OLYMPIC: Heritage Christian
SUBURBAN: CERRITOS

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Email