Los Angeles Preps: Saugus

The La Canada softball team is the No. 1 team in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs, but coach K.C. Mathews said he isn’t too concerned about rankings in the middle of May.

“We talk about setting goals and we want to be playing late in May,” Mathews said. “Our goal is to be playing softball in June. We want to come out and play the best softball we can each and every day.”

La Canada will play the winner of the wild-card game between Lompoc and Gladstone.

With senior Lauren Cox in the circle, the Spartans (21-4-1) have been nearly unbeatable. Cox (19-3) has 15 shutouts, a 0.63 ERA and 254 strikeouts in 156 1/3 innings. Teams are hitting .099 against her.

“The pitching that we have, we have a chance against everybody,” Mathews said. “Our lineup, somebody different is getting it done every game.”

La Canada is hitting .312 as a team. Catcher Catherine Horner and infielder Alyssa Stolmack lead the team with four home runs apiece. Horner is hitting .450 with 28 RBIs. Stolmack, who has a 2-1 record as a pitcher, is hitting .305 with 17 RBIs.

Annie Monroe is batting .349 with nine stolen bases and has scored 17 runs.

In the Division 1 softball playoffs, Norco earned the top seed.

West Ranch, the Foothill League champion, is the No. 7 team in the Division 1 poll and opens the playoffs against El Modena on Thursday.

Simi Valley opens playoffs against the winner of the wild-card game between Riverside Poly and Foothill.

Saugus plays La Palma Kennedy in the first round.

In the Division 2 playoffs, Mission Viejo is the No. 1 seed. Camarillo is the No. 2 seed and will play the winner of the wild-card game between Diamond Bar and Rialto.

Click here for the rest of the CIF Southern Section softball playoff brackets.

Four swimmers within 50 freestyle record

May, 10, 2012

Three swimmers are within a second of the CIF Southern Section Division I meet record in the girls 50-yard freestyle.

The leader of the trio is a freshman at Saugus High School, a relative newcomer to swimming who is headed to the U.S. Olympic Trials in June to compete in two events.

Abbey Weitzeil is the top seed in the 50 freestyle for the Southern Section Division I meet at Riverside City College. Her top time is 23.38 seconds.

The record is 22.75 seconds set by Courtney Cashion of Irvine High in 2004. Lynrea Baudino from Los Alamitos and Kaitlyn Albertoli from JSerra are within a second of Cashion’s record. La Canada’s Sarah Olson is the fourth seed in the 50 freestyle at 23.80 seconds.

Weitzeil, who is also qualified in the 100 freestyle for the Division I championships, is making quite a splash in the high school swim scene. She didn’t start swimming at the club level until she was in the seventh grade. She has competed at the national level for less than a year.

Her coach said Weitzeil is far from flawless in the 50 freestyle. But she is extremely talented and that helps her overcome a lot of mistakes.

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Valencia's Chang wins Newhall Cup again

May, 2, 2012
Valencia's Jonathan Chang won the Newhall Cup golf tournament for the third year in a row, shooting a 2-over 74 at TPC at Valencia on the second day of the two-day tournament.

Chang was 4-over for the tournament and won the Newhall Cup by one stroke over West Ranch's Joey Downey.

Both golfers shot 74s on the second day of the tournament. They were both 3-under on the back nine.

Chang shot a 1-over 73 in the first day of the tournament, one shot better than Downey.

Chang also won the Foothill League MVP and was one of seven players from the Foothill League to qualify for the CIF Southern Section individual playoffs. West Ranch, Valencia and Saugus will play in the team portion of the Southern Section golf playoffs.

Saugus baseball stuns West Ranch

March, 28, 2012

The Saugus baseball team scored four runs in the fourth inning and handed West Ranch its first Foothill League loss of the season.

Saugus second baseman Austin Rodriguez drove in two runs and led the Centurions to a 6-4 win over West Ranch.

Saugus starter Justin Donatella pitched six strong innings, giving up two runs against the dangerous West Ranch lineup.

Saugus took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Nick Shrode.

The Centurions went up 5-0 in the fourth inning scoring two runs on a errant throw on a sacrifice bunt. Andru Cardenas knocked in a run on a groundout and Rodriguez capped the rally with an RBI single.

“He struck out looking twice,” Saugus coach John Maggiora said about Rodriguez. “He could have gone in the tank right there, but he didn’t. He did a great job.”

West Ranch, ranked No. 14 in the state by ESPN HS, scratched across a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jake Bird’s RBI single cut the Saugus lead to four runs, 5-1.

West Ranch’s J.C. Cloney made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.

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L.A. North: Five playoff games to watch

February, 20, 2012
Bishop Montgomery (23-4) vs. Crespi (22-6): The Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs are filled with interesting matchups this week. Third-seeded Bishop Montgomery travels to play sixth-seeded Crespi in the quarterfinals Tuesday night. Crespi stumbled at the end of the Mission League season, falling from first place to third place and going 2-5 in the final seven games of league. But Crespi has won its first two playoff games and is coming off a 62-56 win over Sierra Canyon on Friday night. The return of Michael Milligan Jr., who missed three games with a concussion, has helped the Crespi cause. He scored a team-high 21 points against Sierra Canyon in the second round. Bishop Montrgomery, meanwhile, has won five games in a row, but narrowly escaped with a one-point win over Morningside in the second round. Bishop Montgomery won, 55-54, after Larry Taylor III hit a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining in the game. Don’t expect a lot of points in this one. Strong defense will be preached throughout the game.

Harvard-Westlake (20-9) vs. Serra (26-2): The Wolverines have a chance to knock off the top-seeded team in the Division 4AA playoffs. Their win over JSerra Catholic in the second round was a little too close for comfort though. Harvard-Westlake won, 53-49, but nearly blew a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter. JSerra outscored Harvard-Westlake, 19-7, in the final period, but the Wolverines held on to advance. Another area of concern is that only four players scored for Harvard-Westlake against JSerra. The big three for Harvard-Westlake, Derick Newton, Zena Edosomwan and Josh Hearlihy combined to score 49 of their team’s 53 points. Serra has won 11 games in a row and held its first two playoffs opponents to 30 points or less. Playoff opponents are scoring an average of 27.5 points per game against Serra. Edosomwan can score 27 points by himself. He will need significant help if Harvard-Westlake is going to pull off the upset.

Oaks Christian (22-5) vs. La Verne Lutheran (21-6): The Lions have won seven of their past eight games, including a 63-57 win over Chaminade in the second round of the Division 4AA playoffs. They have a great shot at knocking out La Verne Lutheran, the second-seeded team in the playoffs. Not only is Oaks Christian on a hot streak, but La Verne Lutheran might not have one of its best players for the game Tuesday night. Eric Cooper Jr., the team’s second leading scorer at 16.2 points per game and top 3-point shooter, has a broken finger. He might not play in the game against Oaks Christian. Playing without Cooper hasn’t affected the Lutheran offensive output that much. The team is averaging 70 points per game in the playoffs. Oaks Christian has a balanced offensive attack led by Chass Bryan’s 15.3 points per game.

Mater Dei (25-2) vs. Palmdale (20-6): It’s a tall order, but Palmdale can shake up the Division 1AA playoffs with a win over top-seeded and national power Mater Dei in the second round. The teams from the Golden League have proven to be a force in the Division 1AA playoffs so far. Quartz Hill eliminated fifth-seeded Oxnard and Knight ousted 15th-seeded Los Alamitos in the first round. Palmdale, the first-place team from the Golden League, has won 12 games in a row and might surprise Mater Dei. Senior Ryan Wright leads Palmdale with 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. However, Palmdale is on the road and Mater Dei has a 12-game winning streak of its own against significantly tougher competition. The Monarchs haven’t lost since Jan. 7 to Gill St. Bernard from New Jersey. It’s a longshot for Palmdale, but that’s why they play the games.

Saugus (19-9) vs. Norco (15-13): Megan Dawe scored 24 points in her team’s 57-29 win over Claremont in the first round of the Southern Section Division 2A playoffs. She needs four more points to set the school record for scoring. Gabby Conn holds the Saugus record with 1,267 points over her high school career at Saugus. Dawe, who’s headed to New York University for college, already has the single-season scoring record at Saugus with 562 points. Seventh-seeded Saugus might have a couple of more games left in its season as well. The Centurions have won three games in a row and 10 of their past 11. Norco is 4-5 in its past nine games, but beat Citrus Hill, 50-42, in the first round of the Division 2A playoffs.

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

January, 16, 2012
  1. The El Camino Real boys soccer team played on Friday night two days after goalie Francisco Rodriguez Jr. was shot and killed outside his home in Winnetka. El Camino Real shut out Reseda Cleveland, 2-0, in an emotional game that not only was played in tribute to Rodriguez, but in celebration of his love of soccer.

    “We talked about the emotional roller coaster we were going to be on,” El Camino Real coach David Hussey said after the game. “We talked about that we are all going to be crying at times. We are all going to be laughing at times. I think they were prepared for it.”

    El Camino took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Lucas Ladek in the first half. The Conquistadores were going to be tough to beat on Friday night. The players maintained an energy level throughout the game that any team would be challenged to match.

    “Lukas is the Energizer Bunny for our team,” Hussey said. “I think today everybody had just a little more energy. There wasn’t really a dropoff for some of the guys. If our team can match Lukas’ intensity and energy, then I don’t think we would lose many games. He just flies all over the field. He has no regard for his body. At times we’re just cringing back there. He’s feisty.”

    The El Camino Real soccer team will be back on the field on Wednesday at Birmingham in Lake Balboa.
  2. The East All Stars won the 16th annual Daily News All-Star Game at College of the Canyons, 31-7, over the West. Highland quarterback Christian Tago was the MVP of the game. The San Jose State commit passed for 94 yards and two touchdowns in addition to rushing for 31 yards. Arleta’s De’Jon Coleman was the East team MVP. He rushed for 64 yards on eight carries and scored a touchdown. Crespi receiver Chris Harper was the West team MVP. He caught nine passes for 115 yards.
  3. Alemany freshman Nia Britt won the shot put at a track and field meet at Oaks Christian and qualified for the California state indoor invitational next week in Fresno. Her throw of 42 feet, 10 inches with an 8.8-pound shot put earned her a spot in the state meet at the Save Mart Center. All three of her throws at the meet at Oaks Christian were beyond 41 feet. She set the AAU national record with a 6-pound shot put at 51 feet, 6 inches in August. After the meet at Oaks Christian, Britt scored two points for the Alemany girls baksetball team in a 57-49 win over Etiwanda at St. Bernard High.
  4. The Oaks Christian boys basketball team beat Village Christian, 73-61, and snapped the Crusaders’ 16-game winning streak on Saturday. Chass Bryant scored 29 points and dished out six assists for Oaks Christian. The last time Village Christian before Saturday night was on Nov. 30, 60-44, to Renaissance Academy in the Burbank Tournament. One of Village Christian’s super sophomore transfers, Bryan Alberts, did not play against Oaks Christian because he had food poisoning. Marsalis Johnson, the other sophomore transfer, had a big game for Village Christian with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
  5. The Saugus girls soccer team has an impressive streak of its own. The Saugus girls have lost a Foothill League match in nearly two seasons. The Centurions beat Hart, 2-1, on Friday and have won 16 league games in a row. The last time Saugus lost a Foothill League game was a Feb. 2,2010, against Hart. Angie Weiner, who was the kicker on the Saugus football team, scored the game-winner in the 43rd minute. Monica Allen had two assists, including a header to Weiner that produced the second goal for Saugus.

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

January, 9, 2012
  1. Crespi’s Christian Johnson came up with some big shots in his team’s 75-73 win over Loyola to open Mission League play last week. Teammate London Perrantes calls Johnson the team’s secret weapon. “He’s a baseball player first, but I definitely think he’s a great shooter for us,” Perrantes said. Johnson scored 14 points against Loyola and came on strong in the fourth quarter. He hit a 3-pointer, his only 3-point attempt of the game, to give Crespi a four-point lead, 71-67, with a little over two minutes to play in the game. He made five free throws in the final period to help his team maintain a slight lead. He finished the game 4-of-5 from the field and had seven rebounds. Perrantes, who scored 17 points to lead Crespi in scoring against Loyola, added that Johnson isn’t going to be the player opposing teams key on. If Johnson gets hot, he can be a dangerous player.
  2. The opening of the Mission League boys basketball season lived up to the hype at the expense of Loyola. Crespi, Alemany and Harvard-Westlake won their first two games of league play. Crespi opened with a tight, two-point win over previously undefeated Loyola. The Celts followed with a 71-50 win over St. Francis. After Alemany won its league opener against Chaminade, the Warriors took care of Loyola, 69-63, to hand the Cubs their second loss in a row. Loyola opened the season by winning its first 11 games. Harvard-Westlake had a good news, bad news type of week. The Wolverines won their first two league games without much struggle, but also lost senior Josh Hearlihy to a knee injury. He isn’t expected back until playoffs. Luckily, sophomore Derrick Newton has filled in nicely by leading the team in scoring with 19.1 points per game. In the meantime, Crespi is home against Alemany on Wednesday night in a game for first place in league, for the time being.

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Some local Ducks in the Rose Bowl

January, 2, 2012
Football players from Southern California are sprinkled all over the Oregon roster. Here is a look at some of the players from the L.A. North region playing against Wisconsin in today’s Rose Bowl:

Hroniss Grasu is a redshirt freshman from Crespi and the starting center for Oregon.

Darrion Weems, a Woodland Hills Taft alum, is a senior and the starting left tackle.

Troy Hill from St. Bonaventure, a redshirt freshman at Oregon, has been one of the starting cornerbacks for the past three games.

Anthony Giddon, who graduated from Oaks Christian, is a senior cornerback who has been splitting time with Hill.

Here are the reserves from the L.A. North region on Oregon’s roster:

Bryan Bennett, redshirt freshman quarterback, played high school at Crespi.

Ramsen Golpashin, offensive lineman who player at Saugus.

Miles Johnson, wide receiver who played at Woodland Hills Taft.

Saugus XC coach draws attention

December, 16, 2011
Rene Paragas, the Saugus cross country who guided the girls cross country team to its sixth CIF state championship in a row, is featured as one of the Faces in the Crowd in Sports Illustrated this week.

Paragas, a 10th-grade history teacher at Saugus High School, became the first coach to capture six straight state titles in cross country for a boys or girls team. The Saugus girls won the Division II state title.

He also led the Saugus girls to their sixth straight national meet appearance at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore.

Simi Valley's Baxter wins national race

December, 3, 2011
Simi Valley sophomore Sarah Baxter won the Nike Cross National girls championship race in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. She completed the 5K course in 17 minutes, 38 seconds, the third-fastest time in meet history.

Baxter, a two-time cross country state champion, paced the Simi Valley girls, running as the Simi Valley XC Club, to an 11th-place finish in the national cross country meet. Erika Barr was 54th, Karla Vernola was 70th, Desirae Jones was 80th and Rachel Vinas was 82nd.

Haley Pierce of Tatnall High in Wilmington, Del., was second in 17:42. Katie Knight from North Central High in Washington was third in 17:45.

Hagen Reedy from Buchanan High School in Clovis was seventh in 17:57. Rebecca Mehra from Palos Verdes was 16th in 18:18. Madeleine Ankhelyi from Vista del Lago was 20th in 18:23.

Marina’s Laura Hollander was 27th, Karis Frankian from Saugus was 38th and Rachel Bush from Redondo Union was 39th.

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

November, 28, 2011

1. After a shaky first-round playoff game against Redondo, St. Bonaventure left no doubt in the quarterfinals against Canyon. The Seraphs, the third-seeded team in the Southern Section Northern Division playoffs, eliminated Canyon from the playoffs for the second year in a row and will face Oaks Christian, the reigning Northern Division champion, in the semifinals. The last time St. Bonaventure and Oaks Christian met was in the second week of Marmonte League play. Oaks Christian won 36-24, but the game was not without controversy. The lights went out at the Oaks Christian football stadium during a punt in the second half. St. Bonaventure was rallying and was about to take over possession. The lights went out at the stadium while the punt was in the air and the ball was downed on the St. Bonaventure one-yard line. Not only did St. Bonaventure have terrible field position to start its next drive, the game was delayed for nearly 30 minutes to restore the lights. St. Bonaventure’s Montre Lee and Patrick Kenney, who each scored key touchdowns against Canyon, said a rematch with Oaks Christian has been a motivating factor for the team. But St. Bonaventure might not be at 100 percent. Running back Shaun Wick has been limited because of a calf injury in the two playoff games. He was the team’s leading rusher after the first 10 games but has only carried the ball four times in the last two games. He did not have a carry against Redondo and gained 57 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown, in four carries against Canyon. While Wick has been sidelined, freshman Marcus Chambers has emerged as an effective back in the playoffs. He rushed for 47 yards and scored a touchdown against Redondo. He had 41 yards in eight carries against Canyon. He’s also a player that Oaks Christian hasn’t seen, so St. Bonaventure might have a bit of a surprise factor in the rematch.

2. On the other side of the Northern Division playoff bracket is Westlake, the newly dubbed No. 1 team in the ESPN Los Angeles Top 25 rankings, against a depleted Thousand Oaks team. It’s an all-Marmonte League final four. Westlake is undefeated and has outscored its two playoff opponents, Eastside and Hart, 101-26. Thousand Oaks coach Mike Leibin said only 38 players dressed for last week’s playoff game against Moorpark. The Lancers have won three games in a row, but the two playoff games have been challenging. Thousand Oaks traveled to Quartz Hill in the first round and beat the Rebels, 20-7. Against Moorpark, the Lancers needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat the Musketeers, 21-14. If Thousand Oaks is to have any chance of pulling an upset over Westlake, the team will need big games out of Blake Howell and Nathan DeBeikes. Howell caught four passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns against Moorpark. DeBeikes rushed for 106 yards, taking all 26 carries for Thousand Oaks, and scored a touuchdown. Westlake, on the other hand, has a multitude of offensive weapons. The Warriors scored 28 points in the second quarter against Hart en route to a 42-14 win. Running back Dashon Hunt scored three touchdowns against Hart. Receiver Connor Cook caught two touchdown passes. Jarius Bishop scored a touchdown and rushed for 30 yards.

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Canyon used ineligible player in 2 games

November, 16, 2011
The Canyon football team keeps slipping in the Foothill League standings even though the season ended on Friday night.

The Canyon coaches and administration informed the CIF Southern Section offices that the team used an ineligible player in two games, the season finale against Golden Valley and in the preceding game against Saugus.

CIF Southern Section Director of Communications Thom Simmons said, per CIF rules, Canyon will only have to forfeit one game, the initial game, for the ineligible player.

“Therefore, Canyon will only be forfeiting their win over Saugus,” Simmons said in an e-mail. “That forfeit will not affect the Northern Division playoff bracket or the Foothill League entries.”

Valencia won the Foothill League championship, its third in a row, and is the No. 4 seed in the Northern Division playoffs. Canyon was the Foothill League co-champion with Valencia before the forfeit. Both teams finished with 4-1 records in league, but Valencia beat Canyon and thus earned the top seed from the Foothill League teams.

However, as a result of the Canyon forfeit, Saugus improved to 4-1 and can claim a share of the Foothill League title with Valencia. Canyon dropped to 3-2 and into a third-place tie with Hart in the league standings.

Canyon coach Rich Gutierrez said he filed transfer paperwork for the player in question. But Canyon administrators did not process the paperwork and the CIF Southern Section has yet to receive the transfer papers.

“We have not received the official letter from the Canyon administration,” Simmons said in an e-mail. “However, they have informed us they had an ineligible player participate in two contests (Saugus and Golden Valley). However, the player in question would have been eligible if the proper paperwork had been filed by the school in question.”

The Northern Division playoff pairings will not change despite the forfeited game by Canyon. Saugus will open on the road against Highland and Canyon will be home against Palmdale in the first round on Friday night.

L.A. North: Pick six games of the week

November, 11, 2011
Valencia (5-4) vs. Saugus (6-3), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
This is essentially the Foothill League championship game. Valencia is in search of its third league championship in a row. Saugus won the Foothill League championship in 2008. Canyon is tied with Valencia and Saugus for the lead in the Foothill League standings, each with 3-1 records. Valencia can actually win the title outright if Golden Valley can pull off the greatest upset in school history by beating Canyon tonight. Valencia would have to beat Saugus too. Most likely scenario is Canyon will share the Foothill League championship with the winner of the Valencia-Saugus game.

No. 15 Chaminade (8-1) vs. No. 25 Serra (7-2), Friday (7 p.m.)
This could be a night of out with the old, in with the new. Both Chaminade and Serra have perfect 4-0 records in the Mission League standings. Serra is the reigning Mission League champion and beat Chaminade 35-21 last season. That was of course with Marquis Lee and George Farmer. This time around, Chaminade has the six-game winning streak and the offensive stars with running back Terrell Newby and quarterback Logan Scott. Winner takes the Mission League championship and most likely the No. 1 seeding in the Western Division playoffs.

No. 23 Crespi (7-2) vs. No. 17 Loyola (7-2) at L.A. Valley College, Friday (7 p.m.)
This game means more to Crespi than to Loyola. The Celts need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Cubs are already in the playoffs no matter if they win or lose this game. Still, no team wants to head into playoffs on a losing note. This is a big game in the Serra League with all sorts of playoff implications.

Burroughs (5-4) vs. Burbank (4-5) at Arcadia High School, Friday (7 p.m.)
The “Big Game” is bigger for Burroughs than for Burbank. At stake for the Indians is the Pacific League championship and a favorable seeding in the Southeast Division playoffs. Burbank can play the role of spoiler and still make the playoffs with a win. Burbank is in a tie for fifth place with Muir in the Pacific League standings. The top-four teams in league make the playoffs.

Sierra Canyon (9-0) vs. Calvary Chapel (5-3) at Downey High School, Friday (7 p.m.)
Sierra Canyon can punctuate its first Alpha League championship with a win over Calvary Chapel and cap an undefeated regular season. Calvary Chapel has lost two games in a row and hasn’t scored a point in eight quarters. Paraclete and Brentwood shut out Calvary Chapel in consecutive weeks.

Cathedral (3-6) at St. Francis (7-2), Friday (7:30 p.m.)
St. Francis can clinch a playoff spot with a win over a Cathedral team that hasn’t won a Mission League game this season. The Knights started out hot, winning their first six games. But St. Francis has lost two of its last three games, both to Mission League opponents. The Knights are coming off a 28-22 win over St. Paul, so things are looking up for St. Francis. Cathedral was shut out by Chaminade, 33-0, last week, and it could have been much worse. Chaminade scored only three points in the second half.

L.A. North: Five things from weekend

November, 7, 2011
  1. Let’s try to make sense of some of the league standings and playoff possibilities on this all-important week of regular season finales. First, the Serra League. Alemany, with a 28-14 win over Loyola, already has at least a share of the league title. The Warriors have yet to lose a Serra League game since joining last year. They are in the Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs regardless of what happens Friday night. The other two teams from the Serra League that will make the playoffs is anyone’s guess. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Loyola actually control their destiny. If Loyola beats Crespi, the Cubs are in the playoffs and the Celts are out. If Notre Dame beats Alemany, the Knights are in and Crespi and Bishop Amat are out. “Notre Dame is a solid team,” Alemany coach Dean Herrington said after the Loyola game. “They might be playing for a playoff spot. We gotta come ready to play.” Amat is on a bye and needs a lot of help to make the playoffs. The Lancers are 1-3 in league but can still get in if Notre Dame and Crespi lose. Amat, Crespi and Notre Dame would each have 1-3 records in league and coin flips would decide which team makes the playoffs. The Pac-5 Division has no wild-card berths, which means some very good teams are going to see their seasons end prematurely.
  2. The playoff picture in the Marmonte League is a little more clear but not by much. Westlake heads into its season finale with St. Bonaventure with an 8-0 league record and all alone in first place. St. Bonaventure is tied for second place with Oaks Christian at 7-1. Believe it or not, Oaks Christian still has a chance to win a share of the Marmonte League title if the Seraphs, at home at Ventura High School on Thursday night, can beat Westlake. Whichever team wins the Marmonte League title will most likely earn the top seeding in the Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. The last guaranteed playoff spot from the Marmonte League will go to either Moorpark or Thousand Oaks. Both teams are tied for fifth place with 4-4 records. Moorpark is home against Simi Valley, the surprise of the Marmonte League and sitting comfortably in fourth place. Thousand Oaks ends the Marmonte League schedule at home against Calabasas, a team that hasn’t won a league game all season.

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Duo rewriting Canyon record book

October, 20, 2011
Quarterback Jonathan Jerozal and receiver Drew Wolitarsky are rewriting the football record book at Canyon High School.

Jerozal broke the record for career touchdown passes last week against Saugus. He threw three touchdowns against the Centurions and has 62 in his career, breaking the mark of 61 set by Nate Longshore from 2001 to '03.

“I knew I was coming up on it,” Jerozal said. “I wasn’t sure how many I needed. I wasn’t really paying that much attention to it. It’s an amazing feeling, such a feat to hold that record now.”

Wolitarsky set the school receiving and touchdown reception marks this season. He has 3,049 receiving yards and 28 touchdown catches over his career. Sean Coen held the old records of 2,600 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns playing at the same time as Longshore.

Jerozal needs 157 passing yards to break Longshore’s career passing record of 6,789 yards.

The senior quarterback looks back on his career as one of good fortune and opportunity. His coach said Jerozal turned what was a tumultuous time in the football program into a reason to celebrate.

Jerozal was forced into the starting quarterback role as a sophomore, probably a little before he was ready to take over the offense, because several players, including the quarterback, quit the team.

“Bringing Jonathan up, I think we all knew he could play at that level,” Canyon coach Rich Gutierrez said. “Coming in, although he was somewhat young, I think Jonathan had been preparing his whole life to be a quarterback. We were very aware of his natural ability and his instincts. Sometimes, sadly, through unfortunate events, you actually get something that comes out to be just a beautiful thing.”

Canyon, which won a CIF state bowl game in 2003, had one of its worst seasons in 2009, Jerozal’s sophomore season. The Cowboys went 2-9 and missed the playoffs. Jerozal finished his sophomore season with 2,124 passing yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Was he asked to be the starting quarterback at Canyon too soon?

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