Los Angeles Preps: Covina

Whirlwind of SGV coaching resignations

January, 10, 2012
It has been a dizzying start to the new year in the San Gabriel Valley, where four head football coaches have stepped down in recent days: Bob Burt (Hacienda Heights Wilson), Darryl Thomas (Covina), Eric Podley (Bonita) and Steve Bogan (South Hills).

Bogan won four CIF-Southern Section titles and 13 league crowns in his 19 years at South Hills. He will remain a teacher at the school, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported. The Huskies went 3-7 in each of the last two seasons.

Thomas spent the last 15 years as Covina's coach, reaching the playoffs 10 times. The Colts were 11-2 last season, losing to two-time Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia in the semifinals. Thomas will remain as Covina's athletic director and will hire his replacement.

Podley was Bonita's head coach for 12 years, highlighted by the Bearcats' appearance in the 2010 Southeast Division championship game. Adrian Medrano, who served as Bonita's special teams coordinator, will replace Podley, who will remain on the staff as offensive coordinator.

Wilson went 1-9 under Burt in his first and only season. Nick Christos was named the school's new head coach, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Elsewhere, Pasadena La Salle will announce Russell Gordon as its new football coach, according to the Pasadena Star-News. Gordon, who spent 15 seasons at Campbell Hall, replaces Antoine Peterson, who was fired after four seasons.

Dorsey-Narbonne: strength vs. strength

November, 30, 2011
DorseyBlair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comDorsey gets its chance for respect Friday when it takes on Narbonne in the City semifinals.

On a Saturday earlier this month, the Dorsey Dons were in the film room when coach Paul Knox walked in ready to share two bits of information. The good news: Dorsey had received one of four seedings for the City Section Division I football playoffs. The bad: The Dons were seeded third despite winning their league and losing just once, on the road to highly regarded Redlands East Valley.

Adding salt to the wound was the fact that Narbonne, the Marine League runner-up to top-seeded San Pedro and loser of three games, received the No. 2 seeding.

Coliseum League champion Dorsey (11-1) gets a chance to state its case under the lights Friday in Harbor City.

"We want to make skeptics believers," Dons defensive end Jeremiah Allison said.

It doesn't promise to be an easy task. Narbonne (9-3) averages 48 points per game behind dual-threat quarterback Troy Williams, one of the city's top junior prospects. Williams touts single-game highs of 385 passing yards and 124 rushing yards this year.

"I know he has a pretty good feet on him," said Allison, who has been credited with 14 sacks.

But Williams is aware of what he and the explosive Gauchos offense is up against. The Dons are quick defensively and haven't given up more than 26 points in a game this season. On average they give up only 10.

"It's the best defense we've see all year," Williams said.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to the Dec. 10 championship game at East L.A. College. Marine League foes San Pedro (12-0) and Carson (7-5) square off in the other semifinal.

Here are four other top third-round playoff games in south Los Angeles County on Friday (with ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings):

City: Carson (7-5) at No. 11 San Pedro (12-0), 7 p.m. -- The top-seeded Pirates won 21-0 when these two met in Carson on Oct. 28. Senior quarterback Kenny Potter looks to lead San Pedro to its first title-game appearance since 2008. The Colts, meanwhile, hope to get back to the championship game after losing to Crenshaw at the Coliseum last year.

Western: No. 20 Santa Monica (11-1) at No. 22 Culver City (9-3), 7:30 p.m. -- A chance at redemption for Culver City, which wasn't even expected to make it past Gardena Serra in the opening round. The Centaurs lost to Santa Monica, 17-14, during the regular season. The Vikings pulled that one out thanks to a pair of late-game takeaways.

Southeast: Muir (8-4) vs. La Serna (9-3) at California High, 7 p.m. -- What resolve the Muir Mustangs have shown without coach Ken Howard, who has been on administrative leave since Week 4 following an on-campus incident with a student. Muir has won its two playoff games by scores of 39-7 and 48-0.

Mid-Valley: Monrovia (9-3) vs. Covina (11-1) at Covina District Stadium, 7 p.m. -- After this one is over, either defending division champion Monrovia or top-seeded Covina will be eliminated. The Wildcats, behind big defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, have been playing their best football lately and could give the Colts a serious scare.

L.A. South: The Top 10

November, 27, 2011
Long Beach Poly fell out of the region's top spot for the first time this season following its second-round loss to Santa Margarita. Last week's second- and third-ranked teams -- St. John Bosco and Charter Oak, respectively -- also stumbled. Now, three of the region's top four squads come from the City Section. Marine League champion and top-seeded San Pedro is the only remaining undefeated team in the south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into the third round of the playoffs:

1. (4) San Pedro (12-0)
The top-seeded Pirates eliminated the two-time defending City Section Division I champs Friday, securing another matchup with fifth-seeded Carson. The Marine League champs defeated the Colts 21-0 on Oct. 28. Last week: Beat Crenshaw, 31-7. Next: semifinals vs. Carson, Friday.

2. (1) Long Beach Poly (10-2)*
The lack of consistency from the quarterback positions was a season-long concern for coach Raul Lara. That turned into a nightmare Friday when the Jackrabbits were intercepted five times. The good news: Gerard Wicks returns next season. Last week: Lost to Santa Margarita, 49-16.

3. (5) Narbonne (9-3)
Junior quarterback Troy Williams had six total touchdowns, and the emerging Tray Boone had two more to propel the Gauchos to their third straight 50-point performance. They now face perhaps the city's top defense. Last week: Beat West Adams, 59-20. Next: semifinals vs. Dorsey, Friday.

4. (6) Dorsey (11-1)
The fast and talented Dons defense had six takeaways Friday, and USC-bound receiver Jaydon Mickens had four total touchdowns to go along with six receptions and 82 yards. Last week: Beat Birmingham, 45-13. Next: semifinals at Narbonne, Friday.

5. (2) St. John Bosco (8-4)*
Bosco twice cut its deficit to four on Friday but the defense couldn't come up with stops. Still, the Braves made their first playoff appearance since 2006, so they've got nothing to hang their heads about. Last week: Lost to San Clemente, 42-24.

(Read full post)

CIF-SS playoffs: Mid-Valley Division

November, 13, 2011
The Covina Colts received the top seeding Sunday, a mere formality considering that they'd been the division's top-ranked squad for quite some time. Valle Vista League winner Covina (9-1) opened the season with a six-point loss to rival and defending Southeast Division champion West Covina but rolled the rest of the way. Coach Darryl Thomas has his group in good position. Here’s a breakdown of the division:

The seeds: No. 1 Covina, No. 2 Arroyo, No. 3 San Dimas, No. 4 Monrovia.

Best first-round matchup: Pomona (6-4) at Monrovia (7-3) -- Pomona, which lost to the top seed by only two points, could very well leave Monrovia with a victory if the Wildcats don't play inspired.

Toughest road: Monrovia (7-3) -- It appears as if defending Mid-Valley champion Monrovia will have to go through top-seeded Covina in the third round. That's a lofty task.

Potential shocker: Maranatha (8-2) at San Gabriel (6-4), first round -- The possibility for an upset is there any time an elite-level quarterback is involved. The Maranatha Minutemen have that in junior Andrew Elffers.

Darkhorse: Azusa (7-3) -- The Montview League champion Aztecs have won seven straight and have already seen their potential second-round opponent, San Dimas.

Final analysis: It's hard to imagine anyone beating the Colts, especially if quarterback Billy Livingston stays healthy. They will likely have to go through defending champion Monrovia but the Wildcats, despite the presence of top lineman Ellis McCarthy, have been very beatable in 2011. Second-seeded Arroyo, behind record-setting signal caller Steven Rivera, should have no problem advancing out of the lower bracket.

Championship prediction: Arroyo vs. Covina -- The Colts will sneak past Monrovia in one semifinal and ride that momentum. Arroyo's high-powered attack will find difficulty against Covina's tough defensive front. Final score: 31-20, Covina.

Link to the Mid-Valley Division bracket on CalPreps.com

L.A. South: Five games to see live

October, 19, 2011
Here are five of this week’s must-see games in south Los Angeles County:

[+] EnlargeBryce Treggs
Blair Angulo for ESPNLA.com Bryce Treggs leads all Pac-5 Division receivers with 744 yards so far this season.
No. 25 Mater Dei at No. 19 St. John Bosco, Friday, 7:30 p.m. -- They've been waiting for this in Bellflower for a while. The St. John Bosco Braves (5-1), playing at home for the first time in more than a month, can make a loud statement by beating revitalized Mater Dei (3-3), which is coming off a rather shocking upset of previously unbeaten Santa Margarita. A loss Friday would deal a major blow to Bosco's Trinity League hopes, a win would cement them as a serious contender for one of the league's three playoff spots. Cal-bound Bryce Treggs leads all Pac-5 Division receivers with 744 yards and ranks third with seven touchdowns.

Carson at No. 24 Narbonne, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Think a fractured finger is going to keep Carson receiver Darreus Rogers out of this one? No chance. The USC commit suffered a hand injury in last week's 30-9 victory over rival Banning but that hasn't stopped him from predicting a three-touchdown performance Friday. The Carson Colts (3-3) have won 15 straight Marine League games, though that carries little weight against the confident Narbonne Gauchos (4-2) and talented quarterback Troy Williams. A possible No. 1 seeding for the City Section Division 1 playoffs is on the line.

Lakewood at Cabrillo, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Quick, name the leading passer in the Pac-5 Division. It's not Utah-bound Travis Wilson (999 yards) of San Clemente or Conner Sullivan (1,193) of Orange Lutheran. It's not Crespi's Cody Cordell (1,354), St. John Bosco's Rene Medina (1,376) or even Mission Viejo's Alex Bridgford (1,724). The division's top passer? It's Cabrillo's Derek Stewart, who has 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns for the upstart Jaguars (6-1). The Lakewood Lancers (5-2), behind standouts Darius Powe and Malik Gilmore, are hungry for a win after last week's loss to Moore League favorite Long Beach Poly.

St. Francis at Gardena Serra, Friday, 7 p.m. -- It's a different feeling in Gardena, where the Serra Cavaliers (4-2) are, at least by their standards, on a down year. And even though they've lost two games in a season for the first time since 2007, don't count them out of the Mission League race just yet. Coach Scott Altenberg's bunch is a perfect 1-0 in league and a victory Friday against undefeated St. Francis (6-0) would speed up the rebuilding process. Dual-threat quarterback Jalen Greene, a sophomore who averages 185 yards of total offense per game, gives Serra hope.

San Dimas vs. Covina at Covina District Field, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Opening weekend didn't unfold how these Valle Vista teams had hoped -- San Dimas lost to Bonita, Covina lost to West Covina. There's been nothing but wins since. The San Dimas Saints (5-1) have won five straight games, outscoring opponents 221-52 behind a strong Wing-T offense. Quarterback Billy Livingston (shoulder) was successful in his return to action last week for the streaking Covina Colts (6-1). A league title is at stake here, as well as serious consideration for a No. 1 ranking in the Mid-Valley Division.

L.A. South: Helmet stickers, Week 6

October, 17, 2011
Travis SantiagoCourtesy of Jeff SerpaCharter Oak quarterback Travis Santiago continued his stellar season with a big game vs. South Hills.

With league action underway across the Southland, we introduce our weekly helmet stickers, given to five football players from south Los Angeles County schools who had standout performances. The honorees for Week 6:

QB Travis Santiago (Charter Oak): The senior threw for 325 yards, ran for 54 more and had five total touchdowns in a 63-28 win against South Hills in the Sierra League opener.

RB Brandon Edmond (Mira Costa): He had 390 rushing yards in 27 carries and the Mustangs needed every last bit of it to open Bay League play with a come-from-behind victory.

QB Billy Livingston (Covina): What injured shoulder? Livingston completed 16 of 23 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns, leading Covina to its sixth straight win in his return.

QB Kenny Potter (San Pedro): Threw four early touchdown passes in a blowout before sitting out the entire second half. The senior finished with 145 yards for the undefeated Pirates.

RB Desmond Reed, (Azusa): Reed sat out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons but still finished with 168 yards rushing and four touchdowns in Azusa's 45-10 win against Duarte.

Valle Vista contenders on collision course

October, 5, 2011
San DimasBlair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comSan Dimas could be the biggest obstacle for Covina's back-to-back title hopes in the Valle Vista League.

A pair of Valle Vista League football teams sputtered to start the season. Defending champion Covina suffered a gut-wrenching loss to rival West Covina in the opener; San Dimas was blown out by rival Bonita in the annual Smudge Pot game. Coincidentally, both defeats came against the competitive Hacienda League.

A month later, it sure seems as if Covina and San Dimas have regained their footing.

The Covina Colts (4-1) have allowed a combined 30 points in four games since losing to West Covina, 26-20. They kicked off league play with a 16-14 win at Pomona last week despite the absence of record-setting quarterback Billy Livingston (shoulder). Coach Darryl Thomas has the Colts in position to repeat as league champs.

San Dimas (3-1), the league's top team in 2009, might present the biggest obstacle to Covina's back-to-back hopes. The Saints shocked defending Mid-Valley Division titlist Monrovia, 31-14, on the road last week. In the 20-point loss to Bonita, senior quarterback Shawn Kennedy threw the ball 19 times. Get this: In the three games since, Kennedy has only 19 pass attempts. That's a sign the Wing-T offense, led by Devante Brown and Domonic Jollevet, is getting the job done.

According to the CIF-Southern Section week 4 polls, Covina and San Dimas are ranked second and third in the Mid-Valley Division, respectively. Needless to say, it should be an interesting battle for the hardware.

The teams could very well be heading toward a winner-take-all scenario when they meet at Covina District Stadium on Friday, Oct. 21.
Defending Southeast Division champion West Covina avenged its only loss from 2010 Saturday night, beating rival Covina, 26-20, in an overtime thriller.

The Bulldogs did it without standout tailback/safety Chris Solomon, who was on crutches after suffering an ankle injury in the first half. Solomon, a senior with offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Nevada, is one of the area's top returning rushers. He ran for 1,790 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, guiding West Covina to a 13-1 record and the Hacienda League title.

"I don't think it's serious," West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said, adding that Solomon had X-rays and was walking normally.

Jimmy Frazier shouldered a heavier load and ran for 102 yards and a touchdown. Aaron Salgado had the game-winning, two-yard touchdown run in overtime.

"We had guys go down all night," Maggiore said. "Things just kept going wrong for us and we kept playing hard. I was proud of our effort. We showed a lot of character."

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.
Carson ColtsAlex Gallardo For ESPNLA.comCarson played in the City Section title game last season and is looking for big things in 2011.

Get your seat cushions and pom-pons ready, high school football is finally here.

And to get you even more prepared, we present this weekly feature that highlights five must-see games in south Los Angeles County. The opening week -- or zero week -- offers a handful of doozies. Keep in mind that some highly anticipated contests, such as Long Beach Poly at Sacramento Grant, are not included on this list because they are scheduled to take place outside the "L.A. South" boundaries.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Bonita vs. San Dimas at Citrus College, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- This annual battle, locally pegged as the "Smudge Pot," might be as competitive as it has ever been. Bonita is coming off a runner-up finish in the Southeast Division but graduated a deep group of seniors. San Dimas lost to eventual Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia in the semifinals last year and also looks to avenge a 41-20 defeat at the hands of the Bearcats. The Saints lead the all-time head-to-head series, 22-16-1. For more analysis on this game, check out the San Gabriel Valley Tribune's "Two-Minute Drill."

No. 11 Crespi at No. 19 Dominguez, Friday, 7 p.m. -- It's the classic offense versus defense matchup. Despite losing record-breaking quarterback Kenny Stenhouse and top receiver Devin Lucien (UCLA) to graduation, Crespi figures to feature a strong offensive attack. On the other side of things, Dominguez might have the best defense in the area, with highly touted defensive back Brandon Beaver leading the way. The Dons eked out a 14-11 win last season and we might be in for a repeat of that on Friday.

No. 12 Mater Dei at No. 9 Carson, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Carson coach Elijah Asante knows that Mater Dei will be plenty motivated, given that the Colts upset the Monarchs, 14-10, in 2010. Asante's group is the early favorite in the City Section, and a favorable outcome here could validate expectations. Colts fans will get their first opportunity to catch a glimpse of Kevin McMahon, a senior quarterback transfer from South Torrance who Asante has dubbed "The Cannon." A win here gives Carson good momentum heading into difficult games against No. 4 Long Beach Poly, No. 6 Santa Margarita and No. 3 Mission Viejo.

Notre Dame at No. 25 Serra, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Gone are standouts George Farmer (USC), Marqise Lee (USC) and Conner Preston (Southern Methodist). It doesn't end there, though. Cavaliers coach Scott Altenberg must fill a void at nearly every spot, with only five total returning starters. Serra undoubtedly begins a reloading phase, hoping to get back to a CIF State bowl game in the near future. This matchup serves as a solid first test. Can't make it out to Gardena? The game will stream live on FOXSportsWest.com as part of the website's Prep Zone platform.

Covina vs. West Covina at Covina District Field, Saturday, 7 p.m. -- The lone hiccup for West Covina in 2010? A season-opening loss to Covina. How it went down is perhaps even more agonizing for the defending Southeast Division champion Bulldogs. West Covina led 21-2 late in the fourth quarter before Covina scored 25 unanswered points to pull off the improbable comeback. The Bulldogs reeled off 13 consecutive wins and captured the hardware, but the Colts have had area bragging rights for a year.

Don't agree with this list of top games? Does another game deserve more notoriety? Leave a comment on this post or contact ESPNLosAngeles.com preps writer Blair Angulo directly on his Twitter page.

Top returning sackmen in south L.A. County

August, 25, 2011
With the start of the high school football season just a little over a week away, we give you a list of the top 15 returning sackmen in south Los Angeles County, sorted by last year’s totals. Keep in mind that players from schools in the San Fernando Valley, Orange County and Inland Empire are not included.

Jeremiah Allison (Dorsey) is the area's top sack artist. He's quick, unforgiving, and projects as a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker in college. The most sought-after recruit on this list is five-star defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia). ESPNU ranks McCarthy as the fifth-best player in the state in the class of 2012. He has offers from all over, including the two local schools.

Rank / Name (Year, School) / 2010 Sacks

1. Jeremiah Allison (Senior, Dorsey): 20
2. Nathan Hamming (Senior, Pasadena Poly): 16
3. Johnny Carrillo (Senior, Lincoln): 14
4. Mau Lauaki (Junior, St. Monica): 13.5
5. Justen Meaders (Senior, West Covina): 12

6. Ellis McCarthy (Senior, Monrovia): 11
7. Nick Hynes (Senior, Covina): 10.5
8. Chris Collins (Senior, Santa Monica): 10
8. Avery Crump (Senior, Verbum Dei): 10
8. Michael Turner (Junior, Bishop Montgomery): 10

11. Byron Barahona (Senior, Bell): 9
11. Raymond Sierra (Junior, Hacienda Heights Wilson): 9
13. Hassan Allison (Junior, L.A. Cathedral): 8.5
13. Eric Ortiz (Junior, Charter Oak): 8.5
13. Johnny Padilla (Senior, Covina): 8.5

Here is Allison's highlight tape:

Top returning WRs in south L.A. County

August, 24, 2011
With the start of the high school football season just a little over a week away, we give you a list of the top 15 returning receivers in south Los Angeles County, sorted by last year’s yardage totals. Keep in mind that players from schools in the San Fernando Valley, Orange County and Inland Empire are not included.

Darreus Rogers (Carson), a USC pledge and first-team All-City Section member, headlines the list. Bryce Treggs (St. John Bosco), a Cal commit who checks in at No. 4, is perhaps the top playmaker I saw all of last season. He'll be a major force in the Trinity League this fall. The most glaring omission is senior Derrick Woods (Inglewood), who had a versatile role in the backfield last season but is projected as a receiver at the next level. He has offers from USC, Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma, among others. Jabari Ruffin (Downey) and Malik Gilmore (Lakewood) aren't on the list either but should make their quarterbacks very happy.

Rank / Name (Year, School) / Yards / Touchdowns

1. Darreus Rogers (Senior, Carson): 1,347 yards, 8 TD
2. Delshawn McClellon (Senior, Gahr): 1,116 yards, 9 TD
3. Vinny Venegas (Senior, Covina): 1,064 yards, 12 TD
4. Bryce Treggs (Senior, St. John Bosco): 1,010 yards, 12 TD
5. George Katrib (Senior, Diamond Bar): 984 yards, 11 TD

6. Adam Aguirre (Senior, Cantwell-Sacred Heart): 981 yards, 11 TD
7. Christian Mack (Senior, St. Bernard): 976 yards, 10 TD
8. Darius Powe (Senior, Lakewood): 822 yards, 6 TD
9. Alex Jackson (Senior, Culver City): 814 yards, 13 TD
10. Alex Villalobos (Senior, San Gabriel): 802 yards, 8 TD

11. Robert McCovery (Senior, L.A. Jordan): 736 yards, 10 TD
12. Harold Johnson (Junior, West Adams Prep): 733 yards, 5 TD
13. James Simmons (Senior, Chadwick): 707 yards, 9 TD
14. Chris Gilchrist (Senior, Charter Oak): 704 yards, 5 TD
15. Peter de la Cruz (Senior, Covina): 700 yards, 4 TD

Here is a highlight tape of Treggs' junior season:

Top returning QBs in south L.A. County

August, 18, 2011
With the start of the high school football season less than two weeks away, we give you a list of the top 15 returning quarterbacks in south Los Angeles County, sorted by last year's passing totals. Andrew Elffers, a junior at Maranatha in Pasadena, headlines the list. Arcadia's Myles Carr, No. 13 on this list of leaders, is the top-rated senior quarterback in the southern part of the county, according to ESPNU recruiting rankings.

Rank / Name (Year, School) / Yards / Touchdowns-interceptions

1. Andrew Elffers (Junior, Maranatha): 3,328 yards, 37-10
2. Billy Livingston (Senior, Covina): 2,838 yards, 25-8
3. Hank Trumbull (Senior, Chadwick): 2,829 yards, 31-19
4. Troy Williams (Junior, Narbonne): 2,597 yards, 23-9
5. Travis Santiago (Senior, Charter Oak): 2,418 yards, 21-10

6. Hayden Rettig (Junior, L.A. Cathedral): 2,217 yards, 17-20
7. Christian Smith (Senior, St. Bernard): 2,171 yards, 24-3
8. Rio Ruiz (Senior, Bishop Amat): 2,000 yards, 19-7
9. Steven Rivera (Senior, Arroyo): 1,963 yards, 21-4
10. Dallas Lopez (Senior, Downey): 1,940 yards, 16-4

11. Jihad Vercher (Junior, Salesian): 1,937 yards, 26-5
12. Manuel Santa Cruz (Senior, El Monte): 1,924 yards, 14-19
13. Myles Carr (Senior, Arcadia): 1,872 yards, 26-4
14. Justin Lewis (Junior, L.A. Jordan): 1,868 yards, 16-17
15. Garren Edwards (Senior, View Park): 1,858 yards, 23-7

Here is Elffers' nearly eight-minute long sophomore highlight tape:

  1. The Harvard-Westlake girls track and field team won the CIF Southern Section Division III championship behind a school-record performance in the 4 x 400 relay. The team of Lauren Hansson, Cami Chapus, KC Cord and Amy Weissenbach won the 4 x 400 relay in 3 minutes 48.14 seconds. Chapus won the Division III 1,600 and 3,200 races. Weissenbach, the reigning state champion in the 800, won the Division III 800 race in 2:08.61. She was also third in the 1,600. Hansson was second in the Division III 400 race. The Harvard-Westlake girls scored 66 points. San Luis Obispo was second with 52.
  2. Agoura’s Jonathan Cabral broke the CIF Southern Section Division III record in the 110 hurdles and won two events at the Division III track and field meet at Cerritos College. He won the 110 hurdles in 13.54 seconds, breaking the mark set by Steve Kerho of Mission Viejo in 1982. Cabral also won the 300 hurdles in 37.17 seconds. The Sherman Oaks Notre Dame boys track and field team showed off its depth and won the Southern Section Division III championship. The Notre Dame boys didn’t win a single event, but Khalfani Muhammad was second in the 100 and 200 behind Covina’s Remontay McClain. Notre Dame had three runners place in the top five in the 100. Eric McDaniel was fourth and Jon Simon was fifth.
  3. The Saugus girls track and field field finished second in the CIF Southern Section Division II meet at Cerritos College. Senior Kaylin Mahoney won her second Southern Section championship, taking the Division II 3,200 race in 10 minutes 38.03 seconds. It was her second CIF Southern Section championship. She won the 3,200 as a sophomore two years ago. Mahoney was one of three runners from Saugus to finish in the top five in the 3,200. Stephanie Bulder was third and Karis Frankian was fourth. Bulder won the Division II 1,600 race in 4:53.51. It was her first CIF Southern Section championship. Jenna Vincej, the reigning Division II 400 champion from Saugus, finished second in this year’s race in 56.60 seconds. She was also on the 4 x 400 relay team with Nicole Penick, Jessica Gill and Emily Orr that finished fourth in the Division II race in 3:55.59. Vincej also finished sixth in the Division II 200 race.
  4. The Granada Hills High School boys volleyball team won the CIF City Section Division I championship, sweeping Palisades at Venice High. Granada Hills won its fourth CIF championship in the past six years. It was the eighth CIF City Section championship in school history and the fifth in Division I. Granada Hills won the match, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19. The Highlanders lost only one game in the playoffs. All-City setter Jose Juarez guided a balanced offense with 25 assists. Robert Nguyen had 15 digs.
  5. The Verdugo Hills boys volleyball team lost the Southern Section Division II championship match in four games to LA Jordan. Verdugo Hills was playing for its first CIF championship in boys volleyball. CJ Suarez had 13 kills and Michael Sanders recorded 35 assists for Verdugo Hills. The Burroughs of Burbank boys volleyball team lost the Southern Section Division III championship match in four games to Valley Christian of Cerritos. Burroughs came in to the final match as the top-seeded team in the Division III bracket. Valley Christian was No. 2. Sophomore Daniel Jacobs led Burroughs with 11 kills.

LA South: Games of the week

November, 25, 2010
Lakewood will have the services of Allie Long when it hosts No. 3-seeded Alemany in the second round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs on Friday night. The senior tailback left last week's 24-7 home win over San Clemente holding his left wrist and watched the final three quarters with a bag of ice on his hand.

Rashad Wadood picked up the slack, fighting through a sprained ankle that held him out of No. 11 Lakewood's final three Moore League games. He rushed for 201 yards after Long left the game. Lancers coach Thadd MacNeal said Wadood's ankle has improved, which should be a good sign for Lakewood (10-1) fans.

But will two good ankles -- plus Long's participation -- be enough to upset No. 5 Alemany (11-0)? Can Lakewood's stingy defense contain Warriors quarterback Vernon Adams?

"Adams is a dynamic guy," MacNeal said. "He throws the ball as well as he runs the ball, makes a lot of plays. When things break down he seems to have an answer."

Things seem to break down more often than not when Lakewood's Todd Barr has his way up front. The highly touted defensive tackle missed the second half of last week's game after receiving a crunching helmet-to-helmet hit while playing tight end. Barr sat out practice early this week, MacNeal said he has recovered fully. He has 17 1/2 sacks this season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Follow the action at twitter.com/bangulo for periodic updates.

Three more to see:

City Section Div. I: Taft (8-3) vs. No. 4 Dorsey (10-1) at Rancho Cienega Park, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Taft hopes its season doesn't end the way it began: with a loss at Dorsey. The Dons scored the game's first 20 points back on Sept. 9, getting three touchdown passes from quarterback Joseph Gray on their way to a 37-24 win. The 24 points were a season-low for the Toreadors, who have won six straight.

Western Division: Inglewood (9-2) vs. No. 4 Paso Robles (9-2) at Flamson Middle School, Friday 7 p.m.

Will Inglewood take Interstate 5 or the more scenic Route 101 to Paso Robles? Regardless, it will take more than four hours and 200 miles to get there. Barring a wild, multi-overtime thriller, Inglewood will spend more time on the bus than it will playing the game. Paso Robles, winners of eight straight, will welcome them with open arms.

Mid-Valley Division: No. 4 Covina (10-1) vs. Whittier Christian (10-1) at Whittier College, Friday, 7 p.m.

Valle Vista League champion Covina made easy work of La Canada last week, but faces stiffer competition this week. Whittier Christian has only once allowed 27 points this season -- and that came in a 35-28 loss at Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart. Reason for concern? Half of Covina's wins have come when scoring 27 or less.

LA South: The Top 10

November, 16, 2010
Some slight changes in the final regular-season top 10 rankings. Bishop Amat stays at No. 2 despite its loss at Alemany. We'll take that defeat over Crenhsaw's road loss at Norco and favor the Lancers for playing in the challenging Serra League. Dorsey falls a few spots following the 53-12 loss to rival Crenshaw on Friday.

1. (1) Serra (10-0)
The Mission League champs look unstoppable heading into the Western Division playoffs. Last week: Beat Cathedral, 53-10. Next: vs. Beverly Hills, Friday.

2. (2) Bishop Amat (9-1)
No perfect regular season, but Amat is seeded in the Pac-5 despite missing out on the Serra League title. Last week: Lost to Alemany, 38-30. Next: vs. Tesoro, Friday.

3. (3) Crenshaw (8-2)
Not receiving the No. 1 seeding for the City Section Div. I playoffs was the only thing that soured Crenshaw's weekend. Last week: Beat Dorsey, 53-12. Next: vs. Granada Hills, Friday.

4. (4) Long Beach Poly (8-2)
The Moore League's apparent down year means a tougher draw for Poly in the Pac-5 playoffs. Last week: Beat Compton, 47-6. Next: vs. Mater Dei, Friday.

5. (5) Lakewood (9-1)
After failing its biggest test of the regular season, Big Red looks to step up when it matters. Last week: Beat Long Beach Wilson, 60-7. Next: vs. San Clemente, Friday.

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