Girls Volleyball: St. Paul, Whittier Christian and La Serna crack inaugural SGVN poll

Welcome to the inaugural SGVN all-encompassing girls volleyball top ten poll. For the first time, we’re ranking teams from the Whittier Daily News, Pasadena Star-News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune coverage areas to create a more prestigious and tougher-to-crack, girls volleyball top ten poll from our core readership at SGVN. With social media bringing us all closer together, we thought we’d share coverage beyond print boundaries to give you a more comprehensive feel of the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier. Keith Lair will update his rankings each week on the blogs, websites and newspapers.

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Above: Emily Develle, left, Kayla Lund, and Sophia Coffey, are team members of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Girls Volleyball team Friday, August 22, 2014. (Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News)

By Keith Lair, Staff Reporter
It will be difficult for San Gabriel Valley and Whittier volleyball teams to top 2013.
La Salle and Whittier Christian high schools won CIF-Southern Section championships. Mayfield played
Whittier Christian for the 2A title. Flintridge Sacred Heart and St. Paul both went to the semifinals, the Tologs losing to eventual champion La Salle. Two other teams made it to the quarterfinals.
This season, however, could be just as successful. There are a lot of returning starters for the area’s top teams, but there are challenges: four of the teams in the Top 10 move up a division.

1. Flintridge Sacred Heart
The Tologs return five players who contributed heavily to the team’s CIF-SS semifinal run last year.
But coach Ernest Banaag still has questions.
“We are a lot younger that last year,” he said. “We do have a lot of experience and core knowledge.
But we’re young and that might show in some games.”
The Tologs graduated six seniors from a team that went 26-5 and lost to eventual division champion La Salle in four tough games in the semis. They return four seniors, four juniors and two sophomores who all played. Two freshmen will play this season.
“They have a lot of club experience within their age group, but they are 14-year olds now competing against 18-year olds,” Banag said.
Continue reading

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We want your fall results for girls volleyball, boys water polo, cross country, etc, etc.

VAMAT
We want your high school results posted in the Whittier Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Pasadena Star-News and there are a few ways to do it. You can email results to sports@sgvn.com, but need to make sure you leave the final score for both teams, leaders for both teams, records and any information that would help us write a short brief of of the game. And always leave a contact number in case we have questions. You can also phone in results Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., to 626-544-0992 or 626-592-0991. Also, it would be really helpful if you used our twitter account, @sgvnscores, to share scores and highlights of the game so we can share it with our followers. The more you can do to help, the more we can do to highlight your team and its players.

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Tribskin Pick’em hits Whittier: Aram and I will go head-to-head during the football season

The game: In this year’s Tribskin Pick’em, Aram will I will do it a little differently. We’ll pick all games from the SGVN coverage areas of the Tribune, Whittier Daily News and Pasadena Star-News for an all-encompassing, all-out bragging right for 2014, since nobody ever pays the dinner bet. I won last year, ending Aram’s two-year win streak.

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tribskinWEEK 0: Lot of great games to choose from Thursday through Saturday to start the season. Northview coach Marcel Perez was extremely confident in a conversation this summer, so I’m taking the Vikings on Thursday along with La Puente. On Friday, the tide has turned and it’s no longer an upset to take San Dimas over Monrovia, which I’m doing with confidence. Bishop Amat will turn some heads in Orange County with a victory over Santa Margarita and Charter Oak will get knocked off by some team from Nevada. Diamond Bar will get a win at Montebello for its new coach and Wilson will do the same for Greg Gano. I like Arroyo, but like San Marino better (drinking the Steve Ramirez Kool-aid). Same goes with Muir, good team but Salesian probably better. On Saturday night, South Hills is at least a three-touchdown favorite over Covina. So there you go, we’ll come back next week and find out who we did. But go ahead, make your own picks and lets play. Aram is on vacation today and will make his predictions on Tuesday.

Thursday’s games
Rosemead vs. Northview at San Dimas HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Northview); Aram (Rosemead)
Ralston Valley vs. La Serna, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Serna); Aram (LS)
Verbum Dei vs. La Canada at LA Southwest, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Verbum Dei); Aram (VD)
Sierra Vista at La Puente, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Puente); Aram (LP)
Friday’s games
Monrovia at San Dimas, 7 p.m. — Robledo (San Dimas); Aram (SD)
Bishop Amat vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BAmat); Aram (Amat)
Green Valley, NV., at Charter Oak, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Green Valley); Aram (CO)
Diamond Bar at Montebello, 7 p.m. — Robledo (DBar); Aram (DB)
Tesoro at La Mirada, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Tesoro); Aram (Tesoro)
Bonita at Schurr, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Schurr); Aram (Bonita)
El Toro at La Habra, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Habra); Aram (LH)
Claremont at El Rancho, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Claremont); Aram (ER)
Firebaugh at St. Paul, 7 p.m. — Robledo (St. Paul); Aram (St. Paul)
Santa Fe at Santa Maria St. Joseph, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Santa Maria); Aram (SM)
Whittier vs. Sonora at California HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Sonora); Aram (Sonora)
Arroyo at San Marino, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SMarino); Aram (SM)
Muir at Salesian, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Salesian); Aram (Salesian)
Bassett at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Maranatha); Aram (Maranatha)
Alhambra at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Alhambra); Aram (Arcadia)
Pasadena at South El Monte, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Pasadena); Aram (Pas)
Compton at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Salle); Aram (LS)
Blair vs. Flintridge Prep, at Oxy, 7 p.m.– Robledo (FPrep); Aram (FP)
Duarte at Cerritos Valley Christian, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Cerritos); Aram (Duarte)
Keppel at Ganesha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Ganesha); Aram (Ganesha)
Ribet Academy at Rio Hondo Prep, 7 p.m. — Robledo (RH Prep); Aram (RHP)
San Gabriel at Montclair, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Montclair); Aram (Montclair)
Baldwin Park at El Monte, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BPark); Aram (BP)
Workman vs. Wilson at La Puente HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Wilson); Aram (Wilson)
Diamond Ranch at Nogales, 7 p.m. — Robledo (DRanch); Aram (DR)
Santa Monica at Los Altos, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Los Altos); Aram (LA)
Gladstone at Jurupa Hills, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Jurupa Hills); Aram (JH)
Alta Loma at Rowland, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Alta Loma); Aram (AL)
Walnut at Don Lugo, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Walnut); Aram (Lugo)
West Covina at Colony, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Colony); Aram (WC)
Saturday’s games
Covina vs. South Hills at Walnut HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SHills); Aram (SH)
Bosco Tech at Pasadena Poly, 2 p.m. — Robledo (Bosco Tech); Aram (PasPoly)

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Some changes in Whittier Prep Sports to include Fred Robledo, Aram Tolegian, Keith Lair and Steve Ramirez

fjsandimasAs most of you know, the Whittier Daily News is part of the San Gabriel Valley newspapers coverage and its team of reporters, local sports editor Fred Robledo, football writer Aram Tolegian (aram.tolegian@langnews.com) and reporters Steve Ramirez (steve.ramirez@langnews.com) and Keith Lair (keith.lair@langnews.com). Former prep editor Dave Felton is now on the sports desk, leaving it to the four of us to provide prep news in Whittier and the San Gabriel Valley. Look at us as one team that serves three newspapers, the Whittier Daily News, Pasadena Star-News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune. We don’t view local news as just what’s happening in Whittier, we view local news as what’s going on in Whittier and the surrounding areas. The digital world is evolving and so is your taste for local news coverage. Whittier teams are part of leagues and CIF-SS playoffs divisions that compete against teams in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, so why limit your prep news to JUST Whittier. While Aram will cover most football he also will keep Whittier readers entertained with his SGVN “In the Huddle” football blog. Aram will provide most of the football content for you, so feel free to email him anytime with tips. Keith Lair and Steve Ramirez will focus on other sports like girls volleyball, water polo, cross country, etc. Feels free to contact them anytime. We’re all here for you and hope to make this another fun and entertaining season. Feel free to reach out to any of us with tips or story suggestions. Also, if you’re a high school sports fan interested in covering high school football games in Whittier, send Fred Robledo an email to chat about it

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Prep Xtra 2014 Football Season Preview is online: Columns, video, rankings, league breakdowns

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trevonsidneyLEAGUE PREVIEWS: League previews for every team in the Star-News, Tribune and Whittier Daily News areas, as well as rankings in Whittier and Pasadena.

COVER STORY: Bishop Amat’s Trevon Sidney, Muir’s Taeon Mason and La Mirada’s Tony Brown lead way

ARAM’S SEASON PREVIEW COLUMN: CIF football playoff groupings set the stage for new rivalries, champions

BEST GAMES: Fred Robledo’s week-by-week look at the areas best games

RECRUITING RANKINGS: Bishop Amat football’s Trevon Sidney heads list of area’s top recruits

TRIBUNE PRE-SEASON ALL-AREA TEAM: Find out who made the pre-season all-area team

TRIBUNE RANKINGS: No Surprise, Bishop Amat starts at No. 1

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ALS #IceBucket challenge a cool way for coaches to spread the word about a great cause

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By Aram Tolegian
At 68 years old, the last thing Charter Oak High football coach Lou Farrar needed was a bucket of ice water dumped over his head.
But there the veteran coach was last week, surrounded by his team and in front of cell phone cameras, documenting his acceptance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that’s sweeping the country.
“It was shocking,” Farrar said of the experience. “My assistant coaches were joking that they had the paddles ready to go in case my heart stopped. But I think the cause is important. If that means getting doused by some football players on a hot afternoon to raise awareness, then it’s a very small thing to do. I was very happy to bring some awareness to the issue.”
Awareness and the subsequent donations are the ultimate goal of the challenge, which has gone viral thanks to social media. Quite simply, the challenge is getting a bucket of ice water poured over your head, then posting video of the ceremony on social media and extending the challenge to somebody else.

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Bishop Amat’s John Johnson an inspiration to all

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By Aram Tolegian
John Johnson might be 52-years-old, but he often feels like he was born in 1984.

That was the year when Johnson’s life changed completely. Some would say for the worse judging by the wheelchair he now calls home. Most would say for the better judging by the thousands of kids whose lives he has touched.

It was March and Johnson was some place not uncommon for him to be back in those days — in the air over the San Gabriel Valley hang gliding. Johnson’s journey that day started at Mount Wilson went over Glendora and ended tragically on the ground at Royal Oaks Elementary School in Duarte.

“I was in the air for about four hours,” Johnson said. “I had landed at that school a half-dozen times. I was having a little trouble getting down close enough to the ground because it was, I don’t want to say turbulent, but we used to call them poppy days.

“And when I came down, I obviously made a mistake and cartwheeled in. I broke my neck. I don’t remember the last few seconds of the crash. What I remember is that my right wing tip hit the ground and that made me cartwheel and I made contact with my forehead with some part of the glider. Albeit I had all the equipment I should be wearing, I hit the glider so hard with my head that it caused my neck to hyper-extend.”

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La Serna, Santa Fe, El Rancho all host summer FB competition this week

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.

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Lancers’ effort in passing league barely makes the grade for coach

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.

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St. Paul’s Orozco, Maier take home top honors in CIF Division 3

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:
Softball
Division 2

Annie DiPillo, La Mirada, Senior
Division 3
Lovie Lopez, St. Paul, Senior
Taylor Becerra, La Serna, Junior
Jamie Wren, La Serna, Junior
Division 5
Alyssa Soneff, Montebello, Senior
Division 6
Amanda Garcia, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Senior
Anissa Loera, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, Senior
Baseball
Division 2

Blake Wilson, La Mirada, Senior
Division 3
Aaron Pinto, St. Paul, Senior
Division 4
Daniel Alvarez, Cal, Junior

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