Los Angeles Preps: Christian Tago

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

January, 16, 2012
  1. The El Camino Real boys soccer team played on Friday night two days after goalie Francisco Rodriguez Jr. was shot and killed outside his home in Winnetka. El Camino Real shut out Reseda Cleveland, 2-0, in an emotional game that not only was played in tribute to Rodriguez, but in celebration of his love of soccer.

    “We talked about the emotional roller coaster we were going to be on,” El Camino Real coach David Hussey said after the game. “We talked about that we are all going to be crying at times. We are all going to be laughing at times. I think they were prepared for it.”

    El Camino took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Lucas Ladek in the first half. The Conquistadores were going to be tough to beat on Friday night. The players maintained an energy level throughout the game that any team would be challenged to match.

    “Lukas is the Energizer Bunny for our team,” Hussey said. “I think today everybody had just a little more energy. There wasn’t really a dropoff for some of the guys. If our team can match Lukas’ intensity and energy, then I don’t think we would lose many games. He just flies all over the field. He has no regard for his body. At times we’re just cringing back there. He’s feisty.”

    The El Camino Real soccer team will be back on the field on Wednesday at Birmingham in Lake Balboa.
  2. The East All Stars won the 16th annual Daily News All-Star Game at College of the Canyons, 31-7, over the West. Highland quarterback Christian Tago was the MVP of the game. The San Jose State commit passed for 94 yards and two touchdowns in addition to rushing for 31 yards. Arleta’s De’Jon Coleman was the East team MVP. He rushed for 64 yards on eight carries and scored a touchdown. Crespi receiver Chris Harper was the West team MVP. He caught nine passes for 115 yards.
  3. Alemany freshman Nia Britt won the shot put at a track and field meet at Oaks Christian and qualified for the California state indoor invitational next week in Fresno. Her throw of 42 feet, 10 inches with an 8.8-pound shot put earned her a spot in the state meet at the Save Mart Center. All three of her throws at the meet at Oaks Christian were beyond 41 feet. She set the AAU national record with a 6-pound shot put at 51 feet, 6 inches in August. After the meet at Oaks Christian, Britt scored two points for the Alemany girls baksetball team in a 57-49 win over Etiwanda at St. Bernard High.
  4. The Oaks Christian boys basketball team beat Village Christian, 73-61, and snapped the Crusaders’ 16-game winning streak on Saturday. Chass Bryant scored 29 points and dished out six assists for Oaks Christian. The last time Village Christian before Saturday night was on Nov. 30, 60-44, to Renaissance Academy in the Burbank Tournament. One of Village Christian’s super sophomore transfers, Bryan Alberts, did not play against Oaks Christian because he had food poisoning. Marsalis Johnson, the other sophomore transfer, had a big game for Village Christian with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
  5. The Saugus girls soccer team has an impressive streak of its own. The Saugus girls have lost a Foothill League match in nearly two seasons. The Centurions beat Hart, 2-1, on Friday and have won 16 league games in a row. The last time Saugus lost a Foothill League game was a Feb. 2,2010, against Hart. Angie Weiner, who was the kicker on the Saugus football team, scored the game-winner in the 43rd minute. Monica Allen had two assists, including a header to Weiner that produced the second goal for Saugus.

L.A. North: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
Westlake and Sierra Canyon reached the CIF State Bowl Games. The Trailblazers from Chatsworth rallied to beat Le Grand in the Division IV bowl game and capped an undefeated season.

The Warriors from Westlake lost to perennial powerhouse Concord De La Salle in the Open Division bowl game.

Despite the loss, Westlake remains the No. 1 team in the L.A. North top 10 rankings.

Here’s a look at the top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (14-1) – Concord De La Salle shut out Westlake, 35-0, in the Open Division bowl game. It was the only loss of the season for Westlake. The Warriors lose Colorado-bound defensive ends Justin Solis and Johnny Stuart and most of the offensive line to graduation, but the team will be in good hands. Quarterback Justin Moore and Dashon Hunt, who’s already committed to UCLA, are juniors.
  2. (2) Oaks Christian (11-3) – Oaks Christian reached the Southern Section Northern Division championship for the second year in a row. That’s 2-for-2 since moving up to the Northern Division last year. Oaks Christian’s only three losses came against Bellevue from Washington in the first week and twice to Westlake. Record-breaking quarterback Brandon Dawkins is only a sophomore.
  3. (3) St. Bonaventure (10-3) – What a crazy season for St. Bonaventure. The Seraphs opened the season with a two-point win over Corona Centennial. They lost to Oaks Christian in a game in which the lights went out in at the stadium in the fourth quarter. They lost to Oaks Christian again in the semifinals of the Northern Division playoffs. Because of injuries, St. Bonaventure was able to show off a little freshman gem in Marcus Chambers at the end of the season. The running back rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown in two playoff games.
  4. (4) Sierra Canyon (15-0) – The Trailblazers grew up fast. They won their first CIF state bowl game in their short football history. Sierra Canyon only started playing 11-man football three years ago. The seniors on this team remember when Sierra Canyon was an eight-man team. Coach Jon Ellinghouse said after his team won the Division IV bowl game that he wanted to make Sierra Canyon a yearly bowl contender. He’s on the right track.
  5. (5) Chaminade (10-3) – The Eagles stumbled at the end of the season after posting some impressive wins early in the year. They lost to Gardena Serra and consequently loss the Mission League championship. They had two tough road games in the Western Division playoffs and ultimately lost to eventual champion Arroyo Grande. The good news is running back Terrell Newby is only a junior. He, his 2,117 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns are expected back for his senior season.

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L.A. North: The Top 10

November, 27, 2011
It’s that time of year when only the strong survive. Westlake has been the strongest of the strong and continued its undefeated season. The Sierra Canyon football team moved another step closer to its first CIF championship and also stayed undefeated.

Ventura picked the wrong time to lose its first game and was eliminated from the Western Division playoffs.

Highland, Moorpark and Canyon, all ranked in the L.A. North top 10 last week, lost and were eliminated from the Northern Division playoffs.

Here’s a look at how this week's L.A. North top 10 and how they fared:
  1. (1) Westlake (12-0) – The Westlake scoring machine keeps rolling, this time to the tune of 42-14 against an overmatched Hart team in the Northern Division quarterfinals. Receiver Connor Cook caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Justin Moore. The junior quarterback also rushed for 125 yards in five carries. Running back Dashon Hunt scored three touchdowns and gained 99 yards in nine carries.
  2. (2) Oaks Christian (10-2) – The Lions trounced Highland, 55-21, behind a record-breaking night from sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins. He threw a school record seven touchdowns against Highland. That’s a pretty impressive record considering Jimmy Clausen and Nick Montana were quarterbacks at Oaks Christian.
  3. (4) St. Bonaventure (9-3) – The Seraphs ended Canyon’s playoff run for the second year in a row, 38-17, at Ventura High School. St. Bonaventure won impressively, but there are two areas of concern. Quarterback Marc Evans threw three interceptions against Canyon and running back Shaun Wick had only four carries. Wick, the team’s leading rusher for the first 10 games of the season, is nursing a calf injury from the Marmonte League season finale against Westlake.
  4. (5) Chaminade (10-2) – If the Eagles want to win the Western Division championship, they’ll have to play like road warriors. Chaminade has its second tough road game in the playoffs against second-seeded Arroyo Grande on Friday night. Chaminade had to rally by scoring a touchdown in the final two minutes of the game to beat San Luis Obispo on the road in the quarterfinals. Running back Terrell Newby is putting on his best Mad Max impersonation, carrying the ball 28 times for 251 yards and three touchdowns against San Luis Obispo.

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L.A. North: Pick six games of the week

November, 23, 2011
No. 2 Westlake (11-0) vs. Hart (8-3) at College of the Canyons, Friday (7 p.m.)
Hart is back in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, but the Indians are about to get a taste of what it will take to start winning CIF championships again. Westlake hasn’t really been tested since Week 1, an overtime win over Del Oro in Loomis in Northern California. This game could be over by halftime and a feast of sacks for Justin Solis and Johnny Stuart. Westlake will be able to rest up its starters before the Northern Division semifinals.

No. 9 Oaks Christian (9-2) vs. Highland (9-1), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Oaks Christian has rattled some of the top quarterbacks in the Marmonte League, but Highland has a special one in Christian Tago. The senior has thrown for 2,323 yards and 25 touchdowns. He is headed to San Jose State next fall. Oaks Christian has a good quarterback in sophomore Brandon Dawkins, who has thrown for 1,927 yards and 21 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 176 yards and three touchdowns. There should be lots of scoring in this one.

Canyon (9-2) vs. No. 11 St. Bonaventure (9-2) at Ventura High School, Friday (7 p.m.)
This is a rematch of last year’s Northern Division quarterfinals. St. Bonaventure won, 45-21, before losing in the semifinals. Canyon is coming off a 21-0 shutout over Palmdale in the first round. Junior receiver Drew Wolitarsky had a nice game with four catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. St. Bonaventure escaped a first-round scare, 19-10, over Redondo. It took nearly a half before the Seraphs woke up and erased a 10-0 deficit. Running back Zack Green rushed for 137 yards and Marcus Chambers gained 47 yards in 10 carries, scoring the first touchdown for St. Bonaventure in the second quarter. Shaun Wick, St. Bonaventure’s leading rusher with 885 yards and 11 touchdowns, did not play against Redondo.

Birmingham (9-2) vs. No. 16 Dorsey (10-1), Friday (7 p.m.)
Birmingham needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to beat Arleta, 21-18, in the first round of the City Section Division I playoffs. Quarterback Trae Smith passed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and scored the winning touchdown on a three-yard run with a little over a minute to play. Dorsey is the third-seeded team in the City Section playoffs and clobbered Fairfax, 35-13, in the first round.

No. 22 Chaminade (9-2) vs. San Luis Obispo (8-3), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Chaminade receiver Elijah Dunston caught two passes for 74 yards and scored two touchdowns in his team’s 45-15 win over Inglewood in the first round of the Western Division playoffs. He wasn’t the only Chaminade player who made the most of his touches. Running back Terrell Newby scored three touchdowns in 12 carries and gained 70 yards. San Luis Obispo won a shootout, 54-28, against Camarillo in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers exploded for 28 points in the third quarter and extended a 13-point halftime lead to 41 points in the fourth quarter.

St. Francis (9-2) vs. Arroyo Grande (10-1), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Arroyo Grande is the team no one wants to face in the Western Division playoffs. The Eagles made it to the championship game and lost to Serra last season. Arroyo Grande has won 10 games in a row and hasn’t lost since opening night against Lompoc. The Eagles won convincingly, 41-6, over Dos Pueblos in the first round of the playoffs. St. Francis is a tough team too. The Golden Knights have won three games in a row, including, 45-28, over Paramount in the first round of the playoffs. Quarterback Jared Lebowitz threw for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Luke Anderson rushed for 44 yards in nine carries and scored three touchdowns.

L.A. North: The Top 10

November, 13, 2011
Two of the undefeated teams in the L.A. North Top 10 earned No. 1 seeds in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. Westlake, as expected, is the top seed in the Northern Division playoffs. Sierra Canyon is No. 1 in the East Valley Division playoffs.

Ventura, the other undefeated team in the L.A. North top 10, is the No. 4 seed in the Western Division playoffs.

It was a rough end to the regular season for a few teams in the top 10. Crespi lost to Loyola in the Serra League season finale, then lost coin flips to determine the third and final team from the Serra League to advance to the Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Chaminade lost to Gardena Serra in the Mission League season finale and dropped from the No. 1 to the No. 3 seed in the Western Division playoffs.

Simi Valley cracked the top 10 for the first time this season and proceeded to lose to Moorpark in the Marmonte League finale and ultimately was eliminated from playoff contention in the Northern Division on coin flips.

Here is a look at the L.A. North top 10:
  1. (1) Westlake (10-0) – Coach Jim Benkert will never admit it, but his team comfortably beat St. Bonaventure, 35-14, in the Marmonte League championship game. Quarterback Justin Moore picked apart the St. Bonaventure defense throwing for 163 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 69 yards and scored the last touchdown of the game on a quarterback sneak.
  2. (2) Alemany (8-2) – Receiver Steven Mitchell had a huge game, catching nine passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, in Alemany’s 21-14 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the Serra League finale. Maybe a little too close for comfort for coach Dean Herrington, but Alemany earned the No. 4 seed in the Pac-5 Division playoffs with the Serra League championship and an undefeated record in league play.
  3. (5) Oaks Christian (8-2) – With a 42-7 win over Newbury Park and a St. Bonaventure loss to Westlake in the Marmonte League finales, Oaks Christian earned the No. 2 seed in the Northern Division playoffs. The reigning Northern Division champs went up 42-0 at halftime behind four touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins.
  4. (6) Ventura (10-0) – The Cougars didn’t play last week, polishing off the Channel League championship with a 41-0 shutout over San Marcos two weeks ago. The Cougars have had two weeks to prepare for the start of the Western Division playoffs. They will look to extend a perfect season and make a run at a CIF championship.
  5. (3) St. Bonaventure (7-3) – The 1-2 punch of Shaun Wick and Zack Green wasn’t as effective as anticipated against Westlake. Green rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns, but Wick was a little nicked up and only gained 22 yards on 10 carries. If St. Bonaventure faces Westlake again with a healthier Wick, it might be a different outcome.

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L.A. North: The Top 10

November, 6, 2011

Westlake, Ventura and Sierra Canyon, the three undefeated teams in the L.A. North top 10, had impressive wins over the weekend.

Westlake won big, as expected, over an Agoura team that has won only one game all season.

Ventura completed its first undefeated regular season since 1984 and won its first Channel League championship since 1996.

Sierra Canyon added a touch of legitimacy to its undefeated record with a 10-point win over Alpha League rival Paraclete, the reigning Southern Section East Valley Division champion.

Here's a look at how the L.A. North top 10 fared:
  1. (1) Westlake (9-0) – The Warriors dismantled Agoura, 45-9, behind a nearly perfect game from quarterback Justin Moore. He completed 12-of-13 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran in a touchdown in Westlake's prep game for the Marmonte League finale with St. Bonaventure.
  2. (2) Alemany (7-2) – Maybe those two one-point losses are producing some dividends. Tied 14-14 in the fourth quarter, Alemany scored two touchdowns in the final minute to beat Loyola, 28-14, and improve to 3-0 in the Serra League. The Warriors are guaranteed at least a share of the league title. A win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on Friday night, by no means a gimme in the eyes of Warriors quarterback Devon Dunn, and Alemany will win its second Serra League title in a row.
  3. (4) St. Bonaventure (8-1) – The Seraphs didn’t mess around against Calabasas. St. Bonaventure was up 29-0 after the first quarter and 53-7 at halftime en route to a 60-7 win. Shaun Wick carried the ball four times, scored two touchdowns and gained 125 yards. That’s 31.2 yards per carry if you're keeping score at home. It's safe to say the Seraphs are ready for their game against Westlake on Thursday night.
  4. (3) Chaminade (8-1) – No disrespect to Chaminade, 33-0 winners over Cathedral, but the Mission League has been anything but challenging for the Eagles. Chaminade was up 30-0 at halftime, cruised to its sixth win in a row and has outscored its Mission League opponents 150-19. Chaminade travels to play Gardena Serra, also 4-0 in the Mission League, on Friday night.
  5. (5) Oaks Christian (7-2) – Two close calls in a row, but Oaks Christian keeps on winning. This time the Lions needed a last-minute field goal to beat Moorpark, 17-14, and keep pace with St. Bonaventure in the Marmonte League standings. Oaks Christian wraps up Marmonte League action against Newbury Park on Thursday night.

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L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

October, 31, 2011
Dejon ColemanTim Haddock For ESPNLA.comArleta's Dejon Coleman set a school record with 330 yards rushing vs. Jefferson last week.

  1. Upon further review, Arleta running back Dejon Coleman rushed for 330 yards and set a school record against Jefferson in his team’s 45-7 win on Friday afternoon. Coleman scored three touchdowns in the game and has 36 touchdowns on the season. El Camino Real running back Kawan Rally had a record-setting weekend too. He rushed for four touchdowns against Chatsworth and set a school record with 62 touchdowns for his high school career. El Camino won, 49-20, over its West Valley League rival.
  2. A week after committing to San Jose State, Highland quarterback Christian Tago had one of his best games of his high school career. He passed for 294 yards and two touchdowns in Highland’s 35-0 win over Eastside in a Golden League game. Highland is tied for first place in the Golden League with Quartz Hill and Eastside. Highland receiver Leonard Merriweather caught five of Tago’s passes for 130 yards. He also rushed for 126 yards and scored two touchdowns.
  3. Camarillo receiver Jake Maulhardt caught 10 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns against Pacifica. He has 100 catches on the season, putting him in an elite group of receivers in CIF-Southern Section history. Thousand Oaks receiver Richard Mullaney set the Southern Section record with 122 receptions in his senior season in 2010. Pepe Villasenor from St. Bonaventure and Hayo Carpenter from Ridgecrest Burroughs are second on the Southern Section reception list at 111. Maulhardt has at least two more games and playoffs to move up on the receptions list.
  4. Amy Weissenbach, one of the most decorated and accomplished runners in Harvard-Westlake history, has committed to Stanford. She is the National Federation High School record holder in the 800 and the reigning Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Althlete of the Year. She is a two-time CIF state champion in the 800 and was on the Harvard-Westlake distance medley relay team that set a national high school record. Weissman was on the Harvard-Westlake cross country team that won the CIF Division IV state championship in 2009. Calabasas senior Walker Huddy will commit to Cal and play on the school’s golf team. Huddy won the Marmonte League championship and most valuable player as a sophomore and was an All Marmonte League first team selection in his junior year.
  5. The South Hills girls' volleyball team won the Crescenta Valley tournament, downing Pasadena Poly, 25-17, 25-22, in the gold division championship match. Sydney West earned tournament MVP playing for South Hills. Sydney La Follette and Zoe Herrera from South Hills were selected to the all-tournament team. The Van Nuys girls' volleyball team won the silver division championship, defeating L.A. Baptist, 25-15, 18-25, 15-11. Van Nuys did not win a match in pool play, but beat Righetti in the quarterfinals and Maranatha in the semifinals to reach the championship match.

L.A. North: Recruiting; Agoura homecoming

October, 25, 2011
Cole Huff, a 6-foot-8 forward on the Campbell Hall basketball team, has committed to Nevada, according to the L.A. Times.

Highland quarterback Christian Tago, a three-year starter, has committed to San Jose State, according to the Daily News.

Clay Matthews, a linebacker on the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and an Agoura High School alum, is expected to make an appearance at the Agoura homecoming game on Friday night, according to the L.A. Times.

Agoura (0-7) plays Calabasas (1-6) in the battle for last place in the Marmonte League.

LA North: Games of the week, CIF playoff edition

November, 18, 2010
The Valencia football team has the No. 4 seed in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. On the plus side, two of the top three teams from the Marmonte League are on the other side of the bracket. If the games play out the way they are supposed to, Valencia will face Oaks Christian, the top-seeded team in the division, in the semifinals. More important, the Vikings will avoid Westlake, the reigning Northern Division champ, and St. Bonaventure, the second seed in the playoffs, until the championship game.

Oaks Christian earned the top seed on a coin flip and even coach Bill Redell said he felt a little lucky to see his team in the position it is in.

As for Valencia, the Vikings will be facing a Highland team Friday night at home that is licking its wounds after a costly Golden League season finale against Palmdale.

Highland lost the game, 22-7, but also lost its starting quarterback Christian Tago to a broken leg.

Even without Tago, Valencia coach Larry Muir says he expects Highland to put up a fight in the first round.

“Overall, it’s going to be a good test,” Muir said.

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