Los Angeles Preps: Preston White

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

December, 19, 2011
  1. The Sierra Canyon football team won its first CIF state bowl game and is the only team in Southern California with a 15-0 record. But the school might be better known for having two Kardashian sisters on the cheerleading squad. Here’s a look at some of the top players on the Sierra Canyon football team: Senior quarterback Tyler Stewart threw for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns. A more impressive stat is that he threw only two interceptions in 222 pass attempts. The Trailblazers had a pair of running backs with 1,000 yards. Senior Danny Jordan had 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns. Junior Xavier Menifield had 1,382 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. Three of those TDs came against Le Grand in the bowl game. He also caught 14 passes for 369 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Preston White led Sierra Canyon in receiving with 35 catches for 490 yards and seven touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Patrick McGown led the team with a whopping 17 sacks. Reggie Prince and Brian Tucker shared the team lead for interceptions with three. Each had one pick in the bowl game against Le Grand. Finally, sophomore kicker Noah Zgrabalich made eight field goals, 81 extra points and was second on the team in scoring with 105 points. Only Menifield had more points with 31 touchdowns, a pair of two-point conversions and 188 points.
  2. The Westlake football team might have lost the CIF Open Division bowl game to Concord De La Salle, but one player came out a winner. Westlake kicker Alex Ball won the Chris Sailer award recognizing the best high school kicker in the nation. Ball converted 19 field goals this season and tied for the state lead with Vista Murrieta’s Tyler Rausa. Ball’s 138 points are the most in the nation by schools that reported totals. Ball did not play in the CIF Open Division bowl game because he tore his ACL in his left leg in the Northern Division championship game against Oaks Christian. Even though Westlake lost the Open Division bowl game, the Warriors are not dodging tough teams next season. Westlake will open the season against Granite Bay in the Battle for Veterans Showcase in Sacramento. Oaks Christian and Thousand Oaks are also playing in the Battle for Veterans Showcase. Oaks Christian will play Del Oro, which lost to Helix in the Division II state bowl game. Thousand Oaks squares off against Franklin of Elk Grove. The week after the Battle for Veterans Showcase, Westlake will host Del Oro. Westlake opened the 2011 season against Del Oro and won, 30-27, in overtime.
  3. Providence of Burbank freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. had one of the best basketball games in San Fernando Valley history. He scored a school record 57 points in an 85-74 win over St. Joseph of Santa Maria in the National Prep Classic in Santa Maria. The previous school record was 52 points by Patrick Gonzalez in 2010. LoVett’s 57 points are the most by a player from the San Fernando Valley since 2005 when Grant’s Michael Danielian scored 58 points against Verdugo Hills, according to the Daily News. Providence plays Fremont on Tuesday in the National Prep Classic.
  4. The Harvard-Westlake boys basketball team won the Palos Verdes Tournament, beating Lawndale, 65-63, in the championship game. Derrick Newton scored the winning basket with 13 second left in the game. He was selected tournament MVP and scored 21 points, had 11 rebounds and four blocks against Lawndale. Zena Edosomwan scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds for Harvard-Westlake in the championship game. He was selected to the all-tournament team.
  5. The Chaminade boys soccer team won the Garces Tournament in Bakersfield beating McLane from Bakersfield, 6-1, in the championship game. Karam Gill and Nick Barbarino scored two goals apiece for Chaminade. Zack Khoury and Alessandro Giambrone each notched a goal. In the Arcadia Classic, the Palmdale boys soccer team shut out Monrovia, 2-0, in the championship game. Oscar Torres was selected the tournament MVP and scored both goals for Palmdale. He also scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Arcadia in the semifinals.

Div. IV Bowl: Sierra Cyn vs. Le Grand

December, 14, 2011

Sierra Canyon hasn’t been playing 11-man football for very long. The Trailblazers haven’t been playing any kind of football for very long.

Three years ago, in 2009, Sierra Canyon started its first season in 11-man fooball. Thirty-four wins and a Southern Section East Valley Division championship later, Sierra Canyon is playing for a state championship against Le Grand in the CIF Division IV bowl game at the Home Depot Center on Friday.

Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse started the football program at Sierra Canyon with an eight-man team. He said he invited the challenge of building a program from scratch, but he did admit that making the jump from eight-man football to 11-man was more difficult than he anticipated.

“It’s very different,” Ellinghouse said. “I knew we were going to be 11-man. We were a good eight-man team. It all happened real quick.”

Sierra Canyon has become a good 11-man team in a short amount of time. The Trailblazers (14-0) completed an undefeated season and will have a chance to establish a reputation as one of the best small-school teams in the state.

Senior quarterback Tyler Stewart has thrown for 2,245 yards and 32 touchdowns and is completing 59 percent of his passes. He has only thrown two interceptions. His passing stats have been a little low the past two games. He only threw for 111 yards against Rim of the World on a freezing night in the semifinals. He threw for 131 yards and a touchdown in the East Valley Division championship game against Paraclete at Antelope Valley College.

Running backs Xavier Menifield and Danny Jordan have gone over the 1,000-yard mark this season. Menifield leads the team in rushing with 1,382 yards and 25 touchdowns. Jordan has 1,021 yards and eight touchdowns. The two combined for 314 yards rushing and six touchdowns against Paraclete last week.

Preston White has become one of Sierra Canyon’s top receivers after Julian Brooks went down midseason with a foot injury. White has 35 catches for 490 yards and seven touchdowns.

Sierra Canyon and Le Grand (12-0) are very similar teams offensively. They both have strong-armed quarterbacks, a bruising running game and talented receivers who produce a ton of points.

Sierra Canyon is averaging 46.1 points per games and more than seven touchdowns per game. The Trailblazers didn’t cool off when the playoffs started either, averaging 45.7 points per game in the East Valley Division playoffs.

Le Grand is scoring at a 58.5-points-per-game clip this season. The Bulldogs should be well-rested for the game against Sierra Canyon, too. The won the CIF San-Joaquin Valley Division V championship three weeks ago.

Le Grand coach Rick Martinez said his players have spent the past three weeks fine-tuning their play on the offensive and defensive lines.

Receiver Zachary Moreno leads the team with 1,387 yards and has scored 21 touchdowns. He is being recruited by UCLA, Sacramento State, Fresno State and San Jose State, Martinez said. Moreno is also a basketball player, tall and fast, and a protypical receiver.

“He loves the weight room,” Martinez said. “A great receiver.”

Senior quarterback Alex Bucio has thrown for 2,344 yards and 40 touchdowns. Martinez said Bucio is a very coachable player and doesn’t know how good he can be. Bucio is a converted baseball player, a pitcher and shortstop, who is only in his third year of playing football.

Running back Daniel Guizar is a dominating player on both sides of the ball. He leads the team with 1,906 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns. He also plays outside linebacker and leads the team with eight sacks. On top of all that, he has returned three kicks for touchdowns.

“He epitomizes being a bulldog for us,” Martinez said.

Expect a lot of points and some big plays on offense in this game.