Los Angeles Preps: Rio Ruiz

Locals off board early in Day 2 of draft

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
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Right-handed pitcher Chase DeJong of Long Beach Wilson was selected 81st overall by the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday in the second round of the MLB Draft.

DeJong, a USC signee, has some family history with the Blue Jays. His older cousin, Jordan DeJong, played briefly with Toronto in 2007. DeJong was 4-3 with a 0.82 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings in his senior season at Wilson.

Joe Muņoz, a shortstop from Los Altos who has signed with San Diego State, went 90th overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tyrone Taylor of Torrance was picked 92nd overall by the Milwaukee Brewers. Taylor, an outfielder who also starred on the gridiron, is a Cal State Fullerton signee.

Bishop Amat infielder Rio Ruiz, a two-sport star who was projected as a possible first-round selection before a blood clot sidelined him for most of his senior season, was taken by the Houston Astros with the first pick of the fourth round, 129th overall. Ruiz, a USC signee, was an AFLAC All-American selection and played on the U.S. youth national team last summer.

Kieran Lovegrove, a right-handed pitcher from Mission Viejo, was picked in the third round by the Cleveland Indians. He was the 110th overall selection.

In the sixth round, the Seattle Mariners selected Huntington Beach Edison shortstop Timmy Lopes, the 191st overall pick.

Ron Miller, a third baseman who left Gardena Serra after his junior season, was selected in the 10th round by the Miami Marlins.

Hunter Virant, a left-handed pitcher from Camarillo, was selected in the 11th round by the Houston Astros. He is committed to UCLA.

Trey Williams from Valencia High, a power-hitting shortstop, was picked in the 11th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .378 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in his senior season. Williams is committed to Pepperdine.

Jordan Guerrero, a left-handed pitcher from Moorpark High School, was selected in the 15th round by the Chicago White Sox.

AUDIO: Prep football Week 9 previews

November, 3, 2011
11/03/11
3:49
PM PT
Sean Ceglinsky, Fred Robledo and Marc Lecair join Pete Fox to preview key preps matchups in Week 9, including No. 6 Santa Margarita vs. No. 16 St. John Bosco, the Dorsey-Crenshaw matchup, the big Charter Oak-Damien game in the Sierra League and a discussion about Bishop Amat quarterback Rio Ruiz, who was injured last week in a loss to Loyola.

Here the entire podcast at this link.

Report: Amat QB Ruiz's status in doubt

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
4:50
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Rio RuizCourtesy of Dean ManersBishop Amat quarterback Rio Ruiz injured his left knee on this play against Loyola last week. His status for this week and beyond is uncertain.

It is unclear whether Bishop Amat senior quarterback Rio Ruiz will play football again this year after a left knee injury forced him to leave Friday night's home loss to Loyola. According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Ruiz will have an MRI exam this week to determine the severity of the injury.

"He's very sore and we don't have anything official yet without the MRI," Ruiz's father Rudy told the newspaper. "The good thing is that he's walking around the house without his crutches."

Ruiz is one of the area's top baseball players and a projected first-round selection in next year's MLB draft. He homered at Dodger Stadium in June to lead Amat to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 title.

Before the season, Ruiz was scheduled to miss three nonleague games to play for the U.S. Under-18 national baseball team in Colombia. Ruiz stuck with football when the tournament was postponed due to inclement weather. He started the season off slow following a summer-long baseball tour but seemed to find his form in a road win at Crespi on Oct. 21, throwing for 231 yards and two touchdowns on 18 for 24 passing.

The Lancers (6-3, 1-2 Serra) can clinch a spot in the Pac-5 Division playoffs with a win at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame on Friday.

L.A. South: The Top 10

October, 30, 2011
10/30/11
11:48
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The south Los Angeles County top 10 rankings heading into Week 9:

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (7-1)
The Jackrabbits earned their first shutout of the season, showing no signs of rust following a bye week. Nick Pope was impressive in place of quarterback the injured Chaiyse Hales (concussion). Last week: Beat Millikan, 54-0. Next: at Long Beach Wilson, Friday.

2. (2) Loyola (7-1)
The defense came up big, helping the Cubs earn a crucial Serra League win on the road. They benefited from the return of Chaz Anderson, a versatile athlete who had been down because of a knee injury. Last week: Beat Bishop Amat, 14-3. Next: at Alemany, Friday.

3. (3) St. John Bosco (6-2)
The Braves played Servite close, proving that they’re good and, perhaps most important, a serious threat if they reach the Pac-5 Division playoffs. Another tough test awaits. Last week: Lost to Servite, 35-27. Next: vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback College, Friday.

4. (5) Charter Oak (7-1)
Naturally, it’s difficult not to look toward next week’s highly anticipated contest against defending Sierra League champion Chino Hills. The Chargers, though, have no cakewalk this week. Last week: Beat Claremont, 49-12. Next: vs. Damien, Friday.

5. (4) Bishop Amat (6-3)
The Lancers were doomed when quarterback Rio Ruiz left Friday’s game because of a knee injury. He’s as important a player as there is in the area and the offense couldn’t get it rolling without him. Last week: Lost to Loyola, 14-3. Next: vs. S.O. Notre Dame, Friday.

(Read full post)

No. 15 Loyola 14, No. 14 Bishop Amat 3

October, 28, 2011
10/28/11
11:21
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LA PUENTE—One standout player returned from a knee injury Friday night, while another hobbled away on crutches.

Chaz Anderson of Loyola, injured four weeks ago in a non-league loss to Upland, returned to provide a lift against Bishop Amat in a Serra League game. The Boise State-bound receiver and defensive back caught a key third-down pass late in the first half to set up Loyola’s second touchdown in a 14-3 victory at Bishop Amat.

Just minutes before the reception, Bishop Amat quarterback Rio Ruiz had to be helped off the field after suffering a left knee injury when he was sacked by Loyola linebacker Bryan Christensen.

Ruiz, expected to be selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft in June, watched the remainder of the game from the sideline, a large ice bag taped to his knee and his leg supported with crutches. The shortstop and right-handed pitcher homered at Dodger Stadium in June to lead the Lancers to the SS-Division 4 title.

Bishop Amat coach Steve Hegarty did not have an update on Ruiz’s injury at the end of the game, but his mother, Dolores Ruiz, said at halftime that she didn’t believe the injury was serious.

Even with Ruiz in the game, the Lancers struggled to move the ball and couldn’t do much in the second half as sophomore Koa Haynes took over behind center.

"It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it," said Loyola coach Mike Christensen.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: Helmet stickers, Week 7

October, 24, 2011
10/24/11
6:30
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Tough to keep the list short this week with the bevy of clutch performances across south Los Angeles County. But here are the five honorees for Week 7 in our helmet stickers feature:

Rio Ruiz
Blair Angulo for ESPN.comBishop Amat quarterback Rio Ruiz passed for 236 yards in the Lancers' win over Crespi.
QB Rio Ruiz (Bishop Amat): Committed to USC for baseball, the senior quarterback showed Friday why he's more than just a highly regarded third baseman. Ruiz passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns, keeping the Lancers in Serra League contention with a key win at Crespi.

QB Troy Williams (Narbonne): The junior quarterback scored the go-ahead touchdown against rival Carson on a three-yard sneak Friday. He also threw for 231 yards and two scores.

RB Anterio Bateman (Serra): Bateman's 26-yard touchdown scamper sealed the upset victory over previously unbeaten St. Francis. He finished with 176 yards rushing and three scores.

RB DaVonte Young (St. John Bosco): Young ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns in 23 carries to lead the Braves to a dominant 24-3 Trinity League win against streaking Mater Dei.

QB Brandon Martinez (El Monte): Five touchdown passes and 282 yards for Martinez in Friday night's 50-14 win against Mountain View. He took a seat midway through the third quarter.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

No. 16 Bishop Amat 28, No. 14 Crespi 14

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
11:01
PM PT
ENCINO -- Rio Ruiz is known as a baseball player, first and foremost. More than a few scouts project him as a first-round draft pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Friday night, however, the senior from La Puente Bishop Amat played the part of football player. And then some. Ruiz completed 19-of-25 passes for 236 yards and pair of touchdowns to guide the visiting Lancers to a 28-14 Serra League victory over Crespi.

“Every week, this is what we get from Rio, he's a gamer,'' Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty said. “We know baseball is his first priority, we have no problems with that. We're just happy to have him around during football season. We'll go as far as he takes us.''

That was apparent from start to finish against the Celts (6-2, 1-1), no. 14 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings. Ruiz was on point for the No. 14 Lancers (6-2, 1-1).

“Baseball is my first love, but I'm a competitor, that's why I play football,'' Ruiz said. “Tonight, I would not have been able to do anything without my offensive line. They rewarded me with time, I rewarded them with touchdowns. Things worked out good for all us.''

The fact the Celts had four turnovers didn't help their cause.

Crespi's Corey Peoples suffered what appeared to be a stinger at the 5:49 mark of the fourth quarter. A 30-minute delay followed because of the injury. He had use of his lower extremities, but was taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital as a precautionary measure.

Once play resumed, Bishop Amat scored again. Jalen Moore took off on an 18-yard touchdown run to extend the advantage to 28-14 with 5:14 remaining in the game.

When all was said and done, Moore had 157 total offensive yards.

(Read full post)

No. 8 Bishop Amat 38, Venice 35

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
11:10
PM PT


VENICE -- Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty trusted the process, which included giving Jalen Moore his carries. And more carries. And then some more.

The senior tailback rushed for 214 yards in a whopping 38 carries Friday night, scoring three touchdowns to help the Bishop Amat Lancers fend off a pesky Venice team, 38-35. Moore's final score gave Amat a 10-point lead with 2:11 to go. It took Venice only 52 seconds to respond, with standout receiver Gabriel Marks hauling in a 25-yard touchdown pass to make it a three-point game.

The Lancers covered up the onside kick and Moore, rather fittingly, milked the clock with a handful of bruising runs.

When informed that he had 38 carries on the night, Moore's eyes got big.

"I like that. No, I love that," he said.

Hagerty did too.

"Gosh," Hagerty said. "I just know he runs the ball hard. He's our guy, I guess. He always comes up big for us. Thank God we have him."

Amat (5-1), the No. 8 team in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings, was in trouble when it trailed 21-7 late in the first half. Marks, verbally committed to play at Southern Methodist, lined up behind center, in the wildcat formation, and blew through a hole for a scintillating 89-yard score that gave the Gondoliers (1-4) a two-touchdown edge.

The large Amat crowd was silent but it was as close as Venice got to the upset.

Moore scored from five yards out with 36 seconds remaining in the first half to give his team momentum heading into the locker room. Receiver Adam Sanchez tied it, 21-21, early in the third quarter on his second reverse run of the game.

(Read full post)

Football: No. 1 Servite 49, No. 7 Bishop Amat 14

September, 9, 2011
9/09/11
11:50
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NORWALK -- Cody Pittman says he's hungry but, judging by how he looked Friday night, the senior quarterback might be selling himself a bit short.

Starving seems more appropriate.

Pittman threw for 139 yards, ran for 75 more and had three total touchdowns, leading top-ranked Servite to a 49-14 drubbing of Bishop Amat at Cerritos College. The Friars did what the Friars do, feasting on a helpless opponent by controlling the trenches.

"When we come out and play our game," Pittman said, "this should be the outcome against most of these teams we've got coming up. ... I want to get back to that point that we were at last year. I want to prove to everyone that last year [against De La Salle] was an upset, that we can bounce back from it."

The Lancers, a trendy Pac-5 Division sleeper pick and the No. 7 team in ESPNLA.com's Top 25 football rankings, were supposed to give Servite a tough test. It never truly materialized, with the Friars (2-0) pulling away to a 28-7 halftime lead. A noticeable amount of Bishop Amat fans filed out of the stadium at the start of the fourth quarter when things appeared meager, but what else did they expect?

"Well, I don't know exactly what went wrong," Lancers coach Steve Hagerty said. "I'll have to look at [the tape] and see. I think they're physically better than us up front, bigger and stronger. Our kids are fighting the good fight but sometimes it's not the best thing."

There wasn't much doing on either side of the ball for Amat (1-1). Senior quarterback Rio Ruiz was just 8 of 17 passing for 73 yards, throwing for a touchdown but, also, two interceptions. One of his picks set Servite up nicely near the goal line, the other came inside the red zone when the game was still within reach.

Amat's only score of the first half was a beauty, with Ruiz hitting Adam Sanchez for a 31-yard touchdown on a crucial fourth and 12. Ruiz beat triple coverage, hitting a diving, sprawling Sanchez in the back of the end zone. The touchdown made it 14-7.

It was all Servite from there.

Friars tailback Charlie Etiaki eased his way through monstrous holes, running for 114 yards on just nine carries. He had two touchdowns, one through the air and another through the ground. Andrew Moore also approached the century mark and had a score.

"The running attack starts with our offensive line and they were getting a push," Pittman said. "When you have that and you have the running backs that we have, it's going to be unstoppable."

Seventh-year coach Troy Thomas was all smiles after the game, complimenting his defense for the job it did against Ruiz and tailback Jalen Moore (20 carries, 73 yards). And, perhaps most notably, the Friars proved they're capable of returning to the Home Depot Center come December, maybe for a rematch against Northern California powerhouse De La Salle.

"We don't really gear ourselves to winning a championship or anything like that," Thomas said. "We're just trying to be champions in our lives. We believe champions win championships. When you do that, then you have a chance in the end."

And, if Pittman has anything to say about it, a little hunger won't hurt either.

L.A. South: Top five games - Week 1

September, 7, 2011
9/07/11
4:33
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The opening week of high school football has passed and, soon, the contenders will start distancing themselves from the so-called pretenders. As part of our weekly feature, here are this week's five must-see games in south Los Angeles County, in no particular order:

Glendora at Monrovia, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- Defending Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia, idle last week, begins its quest to repeat. Glendora (0-1), which lost to Charter Oak last week, must contain the Wildcats' Ellis McCarthy, the area's top-rated defensive tackle who has offers from the likes of Cal, Florida, Oregon and USC.

No. 8 Carson vs. No. 4 Long Beach Poly at Veterans Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m. -- USC-bound receiver Darreus Rogers had 11 catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns to carry Carson (1-0) to a thrilling comeback against Mater Dei. Will that carry over against the Jackrabbits (1-0), who were 24-23 winners at Sacramento Grant and also have their share of momentum?

No. 12 St. John Bosco at No. 15 Lakewood, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Let the air show begin. Standout Bryce Treggs had 161 receiving yards and a touchdown for St. John Bosco (1-0) in its win against visiting Mission Hills. The Lancers (1-0) were 46-22 winners against Locke and, as expected, were led by their deep stable of receivers. You can catch the game live on FOXSportsWest.com as part of the website's Prep Zone platform.

Inglewood at Mira Costa, Friday, 7 p.m. -- For these two teams, stakes are as high as they'll be this early in the season. Both lost their openers -- Inglewood to Westchester, 27-21 in overtime, and Mira Costa to Loyola, 28-14 -- so one will get back on track and the other will go back to the drawing board.

No. 7 Bishop Amat vs. No. 1 Servite at Cerritos College, Friday, 7:30 p.m. -- The first meeting between Amat and Servite since 2005 promises to be a lively affair. It's an opportunity for the Lancers to prove that they're a real contender in the Pac-5. "I can't wait. We'll just see what happens," Amat quarterback Rio Ruiz told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. "It's going to be a dogfight for four quarters." The game will stream live on FOXSportsWest.com as part of the website's Prep Zone platform.

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. Follow @ESPNLAPreps for live in-game updates, final scores and news.

Report: Bishop Amat's Rio Ruiz will stick to football

September, 5, 2011
9/05/11
1:20
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Top baseball prospect Rio Ruiz, also a quarterback for La Puente Bishop Amat, will remain with the Lancers football team for the remainder of the season, Ruiz told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

Ruiz was scheduled to miss three non-league games beginning next week to play for the U.S. Under-18 national baseball team in Colombia. The tournament was recently postponed to November, conflicting with the high school football playoffs.

"I'm not leaving my team," Ruiz told the newspaper Monday.

Ruiz threw for 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 62 percent of his passes as a junior last season. He led the Lancers to the CIF Division 4 baseball championship in the spring.

Bishop Amat, the No. 7 team in ESPNLA.com's Top 25 rankings, plays No. 1-ranked Servite on Friday.

Football: Bishop Amat seeks role players

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
3:32
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Steve Hagerty and Rio RuizAlex Gallardo for ESPNLA.comBishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty, right, will have plenty of experienced players at his disposal this season, including quarterback Rio Ruiz.

LA PUENTE -- With seven returning starters on each side of the ball, Bishop Amat is one of the most experienced teams in the Southland. In other words, there shouldn't be many surprises when the Lancers take the field Friday night against Garfield. By now, there's plenty of film floating around for Amat's opponents to dissect.

So, when it comes to filling the vacancies on the roster, coach Steve Hagerty is not looking for a dramatic game changer. Or, maybe, he's keeping hush on potential sleepers.

"I hope some kids are going to make contributions, but we don't quite know," said Hagerty, who enters his fourth season at the helm. "We have a lot of healthy competition going on right now and that's a good thing for us because high school kids, when they get complacent, they feel like things are theirs. We have a good culture here of making sure that kids earn theirs. Nothing is handed out."

Last season, quarterback Rio Ruiz threw for 2,000 yards and tailback Jalen Moore ran for 1,634 and 23 touchdowns. Zachary Shay accumulated 907 yards of total offense in five games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Bishop Amat's junior varsity team went 7-3.

"I know a lot about the kids that played on JV last year and we're hoping that they'll make a splash, but we're pretty much an experience-oriented team," Hagerty said. "The experienced players are going to be the playmakers and the ones that carry us through the year."

The Lancers went 9-0 to start the 2010 season but lost to Alemany in the Serra League title game and then to Tesoro in the first round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs. Amat is No. 7 in ESPNLA.com's preseason rankings.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Football: No. 7 Bishop Amat

August, 28, 2011
8/28/11
3:22
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Zachary Shay made one cut on the dewy grass and a collective cringe soon followed from those at Bishop Amat's Kiefer Stadium. Shay had suffered a nasty ankle sprain on the fifth play from scrimmage, leaving Amat without one of its top playmakers. The Lancers still had enough firepower to defeat Crespi on Oct. 15 last year, but the injury proved to be a downer the rest of the way.




After a 9-0 start to the season, Bishop Amat lost to Alemany in the Serra League title game and fell at home to Tesoro in the first round of the Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Shay, who had seven touchdowns and accumulated 907 total yards before the season-ending injury, is back for his senior season and, if he maintains a clean bill of health, should form a powerful tandem with quarterback Rio Ruiz and tailback Jalen Moore.

Here’s a closer look at the Lancers:

Team: Bishop Amat.

Coach: Steve Hagerty, fourth season.

2010 Record: 9-2, lost in first round of the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Returning starters: 14 total. Seven on offense, seven on defense.

Key players on offense: QB Rio Ruiz (USC baseball commit), RB Jalen Moore, RB Zachary Shay, WR Joseph Cook

Key players on defense: DB Rio Ruiz, DB Ajee Montes, DB Adam Alcantara, LB Jalen Moore

Difference maker: Ruiz, a top baseball prospect who will miss three nonleague games while he plays for the U.S. youth national team, is arguably the best quarterback in the San Gabriel Valley. He's expected to build off the 19 touchdowns and 2,000 yards he threw for last season. Moore, who rushed for 1,634 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior, will have to carry a heavier load during Ruiz's absence.

Newcomers: To be determined, according to Hagerty.

Not to be missed: vs. Alemany, Friday, Oct. 14. This matchup will likely decide the Serra League, and Bishop Amat doesn't want a repeat of last year's disheartening 38-30 loss in the final week. The Lancers pretty much have the same team coming back, so you figure players will be mentally prepared.

Coach’s comment: "I think we do a good job as a staff of evaluating things day to day and that's what we'll continue to do," Hagerty said. "I know newspaper guys don't like that. You want predictions and all that stuff, but I know we'll be fine. Our kids play hard, are aggressive and are going to be physical. We're going to have a shot to win every game we play this year, with or without Rio."

Final analysis: The Lancers return major contributors from an offense that averaged 35 points per game last season. Barring any injuries, expect something in the same neighborhood from this group. Amat's overall success, though, appears to hinge on defensive improvement and minor contributions from role players. The Lancers have the potential to duplicate last year's No. 4 seeding in the Pac-5 Division bracket, but it's expected that they actually advance out of the first round this season.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Top returning QBs in south L.A. County

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
6:20
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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:

Bishop Amat QB Rio Ruiz shines on the diamond

August, 15, 2011
8/15/11
10:45
AM PT
Is Rio Ruiz a baseball player that also happens to play football? Well, he's a pitcher with a cannon right arm and a hitter with a smooth left-handed swing. One scouting service ranks Ruiz No. 2 nationally among all two-way players. The 6-foot-2 senior is committed to play baseball at USC.

With that being said, Ruiz also plays quarterback for Bishop Amat. It's a high-profile position on high-profile team, meaning the attention -- and pressure -- escalates. He threw for 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 62 percent of his passes last season.

And that's where the debate begins: what happens when one sport interferes with the other? Ruiz has spent his summer on the baseball diamond while his football teammates, very much relying on their star signal caller this season, prepare without him. He has excelled, most recently on Sunday when he went 1-for-1 with two RBIs, two walks, a run and a stolen base at the Perfect Game All-American Classic in San Diego. Ruiz is a top prospect and potential first-round draft pick next June, so you can't fault him for jumping at every opportunity to wow major league scouts.

The Lancers, meanwhile, have been bracing for life without Ruiz, who is scheduled to miss three non-league games while he's in Colombia competing for the U.S. 18-under national team in September. Sophomore Koa Haynes is the front-runner to fill in, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Ruiz, though, is expected to play in Amat's toughest non-league matchup, against defending Pac-5 Division champion Servite on Sept. 9 at Cerritos College.

Will the skeptics come out if Ruiz doesn't shake off the rust by then? And, perhaps most importantly, will the pressure high schoolers face to "choose" one sport ever dissolve?

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