Los Angeles Preps: Santa Margarita

Santa Margarita wins team golf championship

May, 11, 2012
The Santa Margarita boys golf team won the CIF Southern Section team golf championship at Rancho San Marcos in Santa Barbara on Thursday.

Beau Hossler shot a 7-under 65 to lead Santa Margarita to a 363 team score. Long Beach Wilson was second at 370. Andrew Morgan and Chase Nicolai each shot 2-under 70s for Long Beach Wilson.

Great Oak was third at 373. Santa Barbara finished fourth at 374.

The top four teams at the Southern Section team championship advance to the CIF/SCGA regional at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena next week.

Loyola top seed in CIF Southern Section volleyball playoffs

May, 6, 2012
The CIF Southern Section boys volleyball playoffs begin on Tuesday and it looks like there might be a new champion in Division I.

Mater Dei won the Division I championship in a five-game match over Santa Margarita last year.

Servite won the Trinity League championship this year and enter the Division I playoffs as the No. 4 seed. Mater Dei was second in the Trinity League, followed by Santa Margarita in third.

Loyola has the top seed in the Division I playoffs and awaits the winner of the Simi Valley vs. San Marcos wild-card match.

Esperanza is the No. 2 seed and opens against St. Francis. Mira Costa is the No. 3 seed and plays Newbury Park in the first round.

Servite plays Long Beach Wilson in the first round.

Teams from the L.A. North Region dominate Division II. Oak Park is the top seed and has a bye in the first round. Valencia is the No. 4 seed and plays Knight from Lancaster in the first round.

Corona del Mar is the No. 2 seed and has a bye in the first round. Laguna Beach is the third seed and plays Malibu to open the playoffs.

Corona del Mar won the Division II championship in four games against Laguna Beach last year.

Here is a look at the first-round matches in the CIF Southern Section playoffs:

(Read full post)

Santa Margarita on Tuesday announced it was hiring a college basketball coach to replace the retiring Jerry DeBusk.

Jeff Reinert, who coached 24 seasons at the college level with such programs as Fresno State, Oregon State, BYU, and Nebraska and Simpson College, will take over the program beginning next week. Most recently he was the associate head coach at Fresno, where he was also the recruiting coordinator and responsible for defense and the post players.

Reinert served as the head coach at Utah Valley College where he became that program's all-time winningest coach with a 179-77 record. As an athlete, he played at New Mexico before transferring to Gonzaga where he was a teammate to John Stockton and made the West Coast Conference All-Academic team.

Reinert replaces Jerry DeBusk, who was 640-255 overall, 467-136 at Santa Margarita. The team won two state championships and five Southern Section and seven league titles.

Marmonte League headed to Pac-5?

March, 9, 2012
The Marmonte League football teams will play in the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division next season in a realignment proposal released Friday.

The Marmonte League, with Westlake and Oaks Christian, would move from the Northern Division to the Pac-5 Division. Westlake has won two of the past three Northern Division championships, in 2009 and 2011. Oaks Christian beat Westlake in the 2010 Northern Division championship game.

The Pac-7 League would join the Northern Division. Arroyo Grande, the champion of the Pac-7 League, won the Western Division championship last year. The Eagles had a 13-game winning streak and was 6-0 in the Pac-7 League. The Foothill League, Golden League and Bay League would remain in the Northern Division.

The Sunset League would move from the Pac-5 Division to the Southwest Division in the proposal.

The Pac-5 Division would add two at-large berths to the playoffs. The 10-team Marmonte League would get four guaranteed playoffs spots.

Santa Margarita from the Trinity League won the Pac-5 Division championship, 27-13, over San Clemente last year.

Under the proposed realignment, the Trinity League would have three guaranteed playoff spots, the Moore League would have three, the Serra League two and the South Coast League two, if the South Coast League doesn’t add another as expected.

Here is a link to all the proposed changes to Southern Section divisions in all sports.

Stanton starting to carve out niche

March, 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES – In recruiting circles, Johnny Stanton from Rancho Santa Margarita Santa Margarita is well-known on the West Coast. As far as reputations go on the national level, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback from the 2013 class has some work to do.

Nevertheless, Stanton is one of the Southland's most promising prospects around. One need not look any further than his offers from Air Force and Washington for proof. He also recently received varied levels of interest from nearby schools such as UCLA and USC.

“I've been hearing from some teams, but I don't worry about that stuff, my goal is take care of business on the field and things will work out off the field,'' Stanton said.

He made a name for himself this past season with the Eagles. He completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 2,439 yards and 13 touchdowns in the air. Equally effective on the ground, Stanton gained 1,428 yards rushing and found the end zone another 21 times.

If he's able to duplicate that type of production during his senior year, chances are Stanton's name will mentioned in the same sentence as the country's elite signal callers.

“In my 40 years of coaching, I haven't seen many players like Johnny,'' Santa Margarita coach Harry Welch said. “We've had a plenty of scouts at our practices over the course of this season to see him and we're just now starting to hear from colleges from all over the country.

“What people might not know about him is that Johnny also has a very strong academic background, he's a Stanford-type of individual which always looks good in the eyes of college coaches and scouts. Remember, we're talking about a kid who is 6-2 and close to 220 pounds.''

Whether Stanton emerges as a national recruit in the near future still remains to be seen. One thing is certain: He is heading in the right direction. The fact Stanton possesses most of the measurables and stats colleges look for in a quarterback certainly helps his cause.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.
The second round of the Southern Section boys' basketball playoffs -- and in some cases the third -- is in the books. Here's a look at the most compelling news from Tuesday's games.

Biggest upset: Tesoro should be writing a paper on how to shock the world. Its football team upset Servite in the Southern Section Pac-5 football playoffs, and on Tuesday the basketball team followed suit with a 62-56 victory over second-seeded Canyon Country Canyon in Division 2AA. Jalen Bruce scored 17, Jed Abello 13 and and Tyler Lancona (14 rebounds) and Nick Pallas (12 rebounds) scored 11 apiece.

Worst disappointment: Hands down, Ocean View's exit in the second round of the Division 2AA playoffs was a monumental. The Sea Hawks, in their first season ever without Coach Jim Harris -- who died last year after battling cancer -- but coached by Harris' son, Jimmy Harris, were the top-seeded team in the division. They had won 18 in a row, including a late-season victory over Mission Viejo that catapulted them into the No. 2 position in the Orange County Register top 10. They had not lost since Dec. 17 when 7-footer Conor Clifford was out with an injury. Until now. And it wasn't even close. Cristian Rivera scored 24, Kendall Small 13 and Clifford 11, but those efforts weren't enough against a Thousand Oaks team that made 11 of 12 shots from the three-point arc en route to an 82-66 home victory.

Best performance (in a loss): Second-seeded Sun Valley Village Christian had no answer for Mamadou Ndiaye, the 7-foot-5 center for Brethren Christian. Ndiaye scored 43 points in an 81-66 loss in the 5AA quarterfinals. No one else scored more than eight points.

(Read full post)

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA -- They may have finished in fifth place in the Trinity League, but Santa Margarita continued to roll in the Southern Section Division 3A boys’ basketball playoffs.

The fourth-seeded Eagles didn’t just advance to the semifinals with a 61-51 quarterfinal victory over Corona del Mar, but they knocked out the team that a year earlier had upset them in the first round, 64-40.

Revenge was an ample motivator, said Wolfie Wood, who scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as Santa Margarita held off the Sea Kings, who cut a 20-point lead to as few as eight points.

Santa Margarita (17-13) now has the tall task of playing at top-seeded Mission Hills Alemany (26-4), which defeated La Puente Bishop Amat, 68-37, on Friday.

No matter what happens in the future, Tuesday marked the final home game in Jerry DeBusk’s 20-year coaching career at Santa Margarita Catholic.

“I felt like it was good for him, and good for the seniors, because it’s kind of us four bonding,” Wood said of himself, Connor Pope, Evan Edwards and DeBusk. “We know it’s the seniors and Coach DeBusk’s last game, so it was good for us to win this for him, and go out on a high note.”

(Read full post)

The first round of the Southern Section boys' basketball playoffs began Wednesday, and in Orange County, there were a few seeded teams that held form, and two underdogs from the Century League that showed their bite.

Leading the upsets was El Modena (9-18), which finished last in the Century League but took down sixth-seeded Rancho Alamitos (20-5), the champion of the Garden Grove League, 55-54. Austin Payne scored 18 points and Luke Volk 10 as the Vanguards overcame a 43-39 deficit heading into the fourth quarter of the 3AA contest.

In Division 3AAA, Brea Olinda (16-12), an at-large team that finished fifth in the seven-team Century League, scored a 60-50 victory at 10th-seeded Woodbridge (19-8) as Adam Williams scored 13 and Michael Turner 10. Brea pulled away with about three minutes remaining and the score tied at 48-48.

Several county teams that were favored held serve, including No. 5 Tustin, which defeated Sonora, 65-48, and No. 6 Esperanza, which defeated Covina South Hills, 73-47.

(Read full post)

Santa Margarita football coach Harry Welch, who has been on paid administrative leave for nearly four weeks, was reinstated by the school on Wednesday, it was announced in a letter from school President Paul Carey and Principal Ray Dunne.

Welch had been investigated by the Orange County Sheriff for an incident on Dec. 13 in which he allegedly pushed or shoved a player; however, the Orange County District Attorney declined to press charges against the coach because it didn't think they had enough evidence to win a conviction. The victim declined to press charges; the tip that the event occurred came from an anonymous source. The incident took place between Santa Margarita's victories in the Southern Section Pac-5 and CIF State Bowl Championships.

This was Welch's second season as coach; the Eagles are 22-5 in that span after going 6-14 the previous two seasons.

Here are the contents of the letter to parents from Carey and Dunne:
As you may be aware, Coach Harry Welch has been on administrative leave pending a joint review of a situation reported by a parent to the Principal's office. School administration, diocesan officials and local law enforcement have reviewed this matter. That comprehensive review has resulted in returning Coach Welch to his position and duties as Head Football Coach. The safety of our students was paramount in our review and will always remain our first consideration. While some of you may wish to know the details of the report, review, results and conditions of his return to duties, because of the laws of the State of California which protect the privacy rights of employees, neither the school administration nor diocesan officials are at liberty to provide any further detail. This is a protection that belongs to the employee who is not obligated to waive it. We assure you that the actions taken by the school administration and the diocese in this matter were taken to protect our students from risk.

(Read full post)

The Southern Section boys' basketball playoffs begin for Orange County teams playing in the lower divisions on Wednesday. Here's a look at a few games that are worth watching. All games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Sonora (13-14) at Tustin (20-6), 3AAA: These teams opened the season against each other, and they were separated by only five points headed into the fourth quarter. Tustin won, 52-41, but it's interesting to note that Sonora shut out the Tillers in the third quarter. Could the Raiders channel that third-quarter defensive effort and stun the division? For what it's worth Sonora has the best-named player in the county, Jimmy Golden (16.1 ppg). The Raiders also lost eight games by six points or fewer -- and four by three or fewer, including 52-51 to an Anaheim Canyon team that a few weeks later beat Tustin, 68-40.

Brea Olinda (15-12) at Woodbridge (19-7), 3AAA: Coach Jeff Sink won all kinds of playoff games, including state championships, when he directed the Brea girls' program. This is his first season as coach of the boys, and it will be interesting to see what he can do here in an obvious underdog role. He was well-known for throwing all kinds of tricks at the opposition; can his magic work with boys as well? Woodbridge's three leading scorers are all sophomores, Michael Scarlett (11.7 ppg), Ali Lodin (10.0) and Jason Gregson (9.3).

(Read full post)

Santa Margarita football coach Harry Welch was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by the Orange County District Attorney, but the school announced that it wasn't ready to clear him to return to work, so he will remain on paid administrative leave.

School president Paul Carey and principal Ray Dunne sent a letter to football parents saying that just because Welch was cleared by the D.A., doesn't mean he has cleared a joint investigation by the school and the Diocese of Orange, which is still ongoing.

Here's the content of the letter that was sent on Saturday:

As you are aware Coach Harry Welch is currently on administrative leave while Santa Margarita Catholic High School Administration and Diocese Of Orange officials conduct a joint review of the matter. You may have read recent media blogs and elsewhere that the Orange County District Attorney's Office has declined to file criminal charges. This decision does not relieve the school and the diocese of their obligation to completely review the circumstances reported, and until such time, Coach Welch will remain on leave. Because of the laws of California which protect the privacy of employees, neither the school nor the diocese is at liberty to discuss the details or report any further on this matter at this time. We ask for your patience and cooperation while the school and the diocese complete their joint review. The safety of our students is, and will remain, our priority.

The school may take its time and be as thorough as possible given the support it gave to two assistant coaches who had pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana, and then firing them after more information became available.
1. Foothill made a strong bid last week for the Orange County top 10. After beating Anaheim Canyon for the second time, 82-71, to pull even with the Comanches atop the Century League, Foothill avenged a loss to Esperanza with a 60-56 victory on Saturday. James Marinacci scored 16, and Connor Stevens 11 and Justin Davis 10 as the Knights overcame a 47-43 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

2. Santa Margarita coach Jerry DeBusk announced Saturday that he was retiring at the end of this season. DeBusk has coached the Eagles for 20 seasons and has a 463-133 record at the school. Although only 13-11 this season, Santa Margarita was ranked No. 4 in the Southern Section Division 3A poll last week. DeBusk will remain at the school as an instructor in the Auxilliary Studies Program.

3. Ocean View scored 41 points in the first quarter of its 90-45 victory over Orange. According to the CIF-Southern Section Record Book, the record for most points scored in a quarter is 54 by Perris against Norte Vista in 1976-77; the record in Orange County is 44 by Santa Ana Valley against Estancia in 1977-78. For Ocean View, it averaged a point every 11.7 seconds in the quarter. The Sea Hawks led after the first eight minutes, 41-10. The Sea Hawks clearly turned down the heat after that as Cristian Rivera scored only 11 points and Conor Clifford eight; both average 14 per game. The leading scorer was Robby Weaver with 18 points, more than three times his average. For the game, Ocean View shot 58.1 percent from the field, and made nine of 21 three-point baskets.

(Read full post)

Harry Welch slipped a tackle from the Orange County District Attorney on Thursday when it announced that it would not charge the Santa Margarita High football coach with assault.

[+] EnlargeHarry Welch
Jose Marin / Marin MediaSanta Margarita coach Harry Welch will not be charged with assault, it was announced Thursday.
The county sheriff had been investigating Welch because of an anonymous third-part tip that was received by the school via e-mail. Sheriff spokesman Jim Amormino said the coach was alleged to have "pushed or shoved" a player, although neither the victim nor his family wanted to file a complaint.

The incident took place Dec. 13, three days before the Pac-5 champion defeated San Jose Bellarmine, 42-37, for the CIF State Division I Bowl Championship.

"Based on a thorough review of all the evidence and the law, we believe that we can't prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt and that a jury would not return a guilty verdict," said Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

Welch, who has been on paid administrative leave since Friday, remains on leave by decree of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange because it and the school are still conducting their investigation, said diocese spokesman Stephen Bohannon.

Bohannon said he didn't know how long the investigation would take to complete, but they want to be thorough "to make sure everything is covered."

Santa Margarita had been 3-7 each of the two seasons before Welch was hired, but the program went 9-3 in 2010 and 13-2 in 2011. Welch himself has had extraordinary success, guiding three different teams to state bowl championships in six seasons, and he has coached teams to victory in 28 of his last 29 playoff games.
1. There aren't many sports where this quote is acceptable, but wrestling is one of them: "I wanted to go out and beat up on some kids," Miguel Ramirez told the Orange County Register after pinning all four of his opponents Saturday in the Laguna Hills Invitational. Ramirez, a 140-pounder for Laguna Hills, was returning to action after having been out with a back injury. The Hawks won their meet by producing five champions. Ramirez and Yorba Linda's Garret Myers (120) shared lower weight MVP, and Laguna Hills' Jason Newcomer (160) and Edison's Greg Meline (170) shared the award for the upper weights.

2. Mater Dei's girls' basketball team got pushed into the second half on Saturday in its victory over JSerra. With sole possession of first place in the Trinity League on the line, the Monarchs (18-2) held a 33-30 halftime lead and a 51-41 margin before pulling away for a 70-46 victory. Nirra Fields and Jordan Adams scored 24 and 20 points, respectively, for Mater Dei, which was ranked No. 11 in the nation in the ESPNHS Powerade Fab 50. Mater Dei's girls are ranked higher nationally than the boys, who registered at No. 15 last week.

3. Santa Margarita has spent the season in the shadows of girls' basketball, but with freshman transfer student Zaier Williams gaining her eligibility on Friday, the whole complexion of the program changes. The athletic guard can change the landscape, and scored 24 points in her debut, a 57-52 victory over San Diego Cathedral Catholic on Saturday. The Eagles (9-13) have been in rebuilding mode and are winless in four league games; that will probably change.

(Read full post)

How many games should high school teams play?

January, 15, 2012
How many is too many? Are 16 games too many for high school football teams? Are 30 teams too many for CIF state bowl games?

Those are some of the questions the CIF Southern Section is mulling in preparation for the 2012 football season.

Under the current formats, with Southern Section playoffs and CIF state bowl games, some teams could play 16 games or the equivalent of an NFL regular season. Six of the 10 teams in the CIF state bowl games in December played 15 games. None played 16.

Teams would be allowed to schedule another game in the 2012 season, and that might lead to some of the 10 teams in the CIF state bowl games to have 16 games.

Sierra Canyon was the only one among the CIF bowl teams to complete a 15-0 season. Westlake was 14-1, Santa Margarita was 13-2 and Del Oro from Loomis was 13-2.

Some bowl teams only played 13 games. Le Grand, which lost to Sierra Canyon in the Division IV bowl game, was 12-1 and had a three-week layoff between its section championship game and its bowl game.

The Southwestern League submitted a proposal to the Southern Section Council to limit teams to 15 games and allow 30 teams from the 10 sections in the state to participate in bowl games in 2013. Currently, 10 teams play in five CIF state bowl games. The CIF state bowl games expanded from three divisions to five in 2008. An open bowl game and a Division IV bowl game for small schools were added.

The Southern Section Executive Committee voted on Saturday in Palm Springs to recommend the Southwestern League’s proposal. It will be voted on by the Southern Section Council next month.

For the time being, teams will be allowed to play 16 games in 2012 and regional bowl games will be played.

(Read full post)