Los Angeles Preps: Connor Wingenroth

  1. Hart freshman receiver Trent Irwin had quite a debut. He caught five passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 35-21 loss to Tesoro. Both of his touchdown catches came in the fourth quarter, when Hart was deseperately trying to rally in the closing minutes. Making those touchdown passes was sophomore quarterback Connor Wingenroth, who also ran for a 71-yard touchdown in the first half to keep the game close. Irwin didn’t start and Hart coach Mike Herrington sounded like he might reconsider that decision in future games. “He probably could have had more,” Herrington said. “He didn’t start the game for us, but he’s a player. He’s a go-to guy, runs great patterns and catches the ball well. He’s going to have a great future.” Hart struggled at times against Tesoro, but there were some bright spots. Still, it looks like Hart might be a year away from being a power again in high school football.
  2. West Ranch running back Jeff Coprich has a pair of records that might not be broken for a while, at least in the Foothill League anyway. He rushed for a school record 213 yards in his team’s 53-21 win over Nordhoff. Coprich, a transfer from Golden Valley, holds the single-game rushing record for at his old school as well. He rushed for 202 yards against West Ranch on Oct. 22, 2010. Coprich had quite a game against Nordhoff. He scored four touchdowns, two on a pair of 85-yard runs and one on a 70-yard interception return.
  3. The Serra League teams not only went undefeated in the opening week of high school football, three teams posted impressive wins. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame pulled off the stunner of the weekend, beating No. 25 Gardena Serra by 23 points, 35-13. Notre Dame was 2-8 in 2010, so it looks like the rebound is well on its way. Not to be lost are wins by No. 11 Crespi and Loyola. Crespi beat No. 19 Compton Dominguez by 42 points, 48-6, and Loyola won by 14 points, 28-14, over Mira Costa. No. 7 Bishop Amat might have had the least impressive victory, shutting out Garfield, 14-0, as if a shutout is anything but impressive. No. 5 Alemany, the reigning Serra League champs, beat Pasadena, 55-0, and it could have been worse. The game went to a running clock in the third quarter.
  4. It looks like the Westlake football team dodged a couple of bullets against Del Oro in its season opener in Northern California, dubbed the Battle at the Capital. Westlake won the game, 30-27, in overtime on Saturday night, but not before Warriors kicker Alex Ball missed a field goal that would have won the game in regulation, according to a story in the Sacramento Bee. Ball made up for the miss, making a 27-yard field goal to win the game in OT. Del Oro was knocking on the goalline in the overtime period, but turned the ball over on downs after a fourth-and-goal play that ended inside the 1-yard line. Westlake drove down the field and gave Ball another chance to win the game. He didn’t squander his second attempt. Westlake has a bit of break. The next game for the Warriors is Sept. 16 at home against Calabasas.
  5. Burroughs senior cross country runner Anthony Monroy set the course record at the 21st Burbank all-city cross country meet at Johnny Carson Park. He won the race over the 2.6-mile course in 12 minutes, 50 seconds, breaking the mark set by Western Nelson of Burroughs, who held the record in 12 minutes, 59 seconds, in 2007. Christina Shamirian of Burbank won the girls race, the first of her high school career, in 16 minutes, 28 seconds.

Football: Tesoro 35, Hart 21

September, 2, 2011

VALENCIA -- Tesoro running back Nate Tago didn’t get his hands on the football that much against Hart, but he made the most of his touches.

The junior running back scored four touchdowns and led his team to a 35-21 win over Hart at College of the Canyons in the season opener for both teams Friday night.

Tago only carried the ball 11 times for 61 yards, but he scored on runs of 6, 2 and 3 yards. He also caught three passes for 70 yards.

“I just told my linemen, give me a hole. I’ll make the rest happen,” Tago said. “That’s what they did. The thing you do with linemen is give them compliments. That gets them fired up, makes them block more.”

His longest play from scrimmage came on a 46-yard touchdown swing pass from quarterback Matt Adam. Tago scored three touchdowns in the first half to give Tesoro a 21-7 lead at halftime.

“The first half started really slow, four and out the first drive,” Tago said. “Matt wasn’t hitting his targets. I told the line, I’m going to step up right now. The line did a great job blocking, three touchdowns, it was just good work for the linemen.”

Tesoro opened the third quarter scoring a pair of touchdowns in 47 seconds. The first came on a 25-yard run by Adam that put Tesoro up, 28-7, with 6:47 to play in the third quarter. The second touchdown came on a 3-yard run by Tago, his fourth touchdown of the game.

Tesoro coach Brian Barnes said the two quick touchdowns in the third quarter were the difference makers.

“It helped solidify the game for us,” Barnes said.

(Read full post)

LA North: Game of the Week, Hart vs. Tesoro

September, 1, 2011
The Hart football team is in a bit of a rebuilding mode. The team missed the playoffs for the first time in coach Mike Herrington’s career in 2010. The Indians won only one Foothill League game, against Golden Valley, which is looking for its first league win in school history.

The 2010 season was a forgettable one for the proud program at Hart.

Herrington and Hart can give their fans a boost on opening night against a tough Tesoro team from Rancho Santa Margarita at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Friday.

Tesoro comes from the South Coast League with Mission Viejo and San Clemente. The Titans finished in third place in league and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Pac 5 Division playoffs last year.

But Hart will need a big game from sophomore quarterback Connor Wingenroth. He is getting the start against Tesoro because starter Cory Mayes is recovering from mononucleosis and missed a good chunk of summer practices.

“He just got cleared yesterday (Tuesday) and he hasn’t got to practice much,” Herrington said. “We’re going with the back-up Connor Wingenroth. We have confidence in Connor.”

Aside from Mayes, Herrington said the rest of his players are healthy and ready to go.

“We’re pretty healthy right now, some bumps and bruises, nothing serious,” Herrington said. “We’re looking to be pretty strong the first game.”

Tesoro has an experienced team that includes junior running back Nate Tago who led the team in rushing and touchdowns last season as a sophomore. He rushed for 419 yards and eight touchdowns and gained 4.8 yards per carry.

“They’re a big, physical team,” Herrington said. “They have a lot of returning starters from last year. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

Other games:

Canoga Park at Jefferson, tonight (7 p.m.) -- Canoga Park opens on the road against Jefferson. Canoga Park’s Randy Uzoma, who is being touted as the fastest football player in the San Fernando Valley, will have his first chance to shine against Jefferson. Jefferson was 9-2 and lost in the first round of the City Section Division II playoffs to Franklin in 2010. Canoga Park went 5-5 and did not make the playoffs last season.

Pasadena vs No. 5 Alemany at Alemany, Friday (7 p.m.) -- It looks like Alemany might be easing into the 2011 football season. After a undefeated run through the Serra League and a run to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Pac 5 Division playoffs in 2010, Alemany opens at home against a Pasedena team that went 4-6 and finished in fifth place in the eight-team Pacific League last year.

No. 11 Crespi vs. Dominguez, Friday (7 p.m.) -- Crespi has a tough opener, on the road against Dominguez. The two teams met in the season opener last season and Dominguez won, 14-11.

Palos Verdes vs. Moorpark, Friday (7 p.m.) -- Moorpark’s preseason consists of one game and Palos Verdes will be a good test. Palos Verdes went 10-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs in 2010.

Serrano vs. Paraclete at Antelope Valley College, Friday (7 p.m.) -- Paraclete won the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division championship and opens against a Serrano team that made it to the semifinals of the Southern Section Eastern Division playoffs.

Bellevue vs No. 8 Oaks Christian at Mission Viejo High School, Saturday (8:30 p.m.) -- Oaks Christian will playing in prime time on Prime Ticket to open the season. Bellevue is the reigning Washington 3A state champions and the top-ranked team in Washington.

Del Oro vs. No. 14 Westlake at Del Oro High School, Saturday (8 p.m.) -- Westlake starts the high school football season with a long road trip to Northern California. Del Oro won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship in 2010.

Follow Tim Haddock on Twitter @thaddock.