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Glendale News-Press Top 10 Boys' Athletes of the Year: Beer stayed sensational, Falcons followed suit

Glendale News-Press Top 10 Boys' Athletes of the Year: Beer stayed sensational, Falcons followed suit
Crescenta Valley High senior Trevor Bell is the 2017-18 James H. Jenkins Glendale News-Press Boys' Athlete of the Year. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

Chosen by the Glendale News-Press sports staff, here are the top 10 boys’ athletes of 2017-18.

1 Trevor Beer, Crescenta Valley baseball — With his dad a fixture as the first-base and pitching coach at Crescenta Valley High and a pedigree of success for his own, Trevor Beer was one to watch when he was a freshman on the varsity roster back in 2015.

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But the Falcons’ talented squad that season did not call upon him all that much.

Since then, though, Beer became a fixture across local diamonds and really across Southern California.

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Always humble, offering team-first sentiments, Beer spoke softly but his play screamed volumes as his reputation grew.

He was an All-Area first-team standout as a sophomore and as a junior was the All-Area Baseball Player of the Year. He matched the latter honor as a senior, but truly took it to another level as the team-first approach he always spoke of was finally matched with the team success he had always strived for since he was a freshman, often riding the pine with his mouth shut and his ears open.

And now he is the 2017-18 James H. Jenkins Glendale News-Press Boys’ Athlete of the Year.

“Our whole staff, we’re really proud of what he did for three years,” Crescenta Valley baseball coach Phil Torres said after the season. “It was an honor to have him here. We’re the lucky ones.”

Beer, who’s moving on to play at UC Santa Barbara, was sensational as a senior, as the left-hander was stupendous to the tune of an 11-2 record with a 0.80 earned-run average, a 0.78 walks/hits per innings pitched and 137 strikeouts to 19 walks in 78 2/3 innings

“He’s one of the best Falcon pitchers of all-time,” Crescenta Valley coach Phil Torres says. “That’s a handful of pitchers you want to give the ball to and he’s on the list.”

. For good measure, he drove in 18 runs, scored the same amount and hit .381 with 37 hits.

He was the Pacific League Pitcher of the Year as he tallied a pristine 7-0 mark in league. He was also once again an All-CIF Southern Section Division II selection.

It was truly the last three starts of Beer’s season — and his Crescenta Valley career — that defined just how outstanding his year was.

In his final Pacific League start, Beer went on the road to face archrival Arcadia. At the time, Arcadia was undefeated on the season, ranked nationally and drawing plenty of media attention. Beer and the Falcons derailed the hype train, though.

He twirled 6 2/3 innings of one-run baseball in what ended as a thrilling 2-1 Crescenta Valley victory, bestowing the Falcons with a share of the Pacific League title.

“They packed the place,” Beer said. “It’s why I play baseball, games like that.”

Two games later, the Falcons had defeated Arcadia again for the outright league championship and were hosting Lakewood in the first round of the Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Beer was outstanding in a 5-2 victory, throwing a complete game with seven hits allowed, no walks and six strikeouts. It was the first postseason win for the decorated hurler and CV’s first since 2015.

That was on a Thursday, and on Tuesday Beer was back on the mound and pitched the Falcons to a win over host Fountain Valley, 5-3.

“He came up big in those playoff games,” Torres said.

A dramatic loss to Yucaipa, the eventual division champion, in the quarterfinals ended the Falcons’ run and Beer’s decorated career.

However, it wasn’t before team success finally matched all the individual talent Beer had showcased for so long.

“On game day going in, this poor kid, everyone just thinks he’s gonna flip his glove and toss a no-hitter. But it’s just not that easy to do what he did,” Torres said. “It’s just remarkable how he went out there and did it every day.”

2 Darius Perrantes, St. Francis football — Having transferred from Crespi High, Perrantes stepped on to center stage at St. Francis and did it all in helping the Golden Knights turn in their most successful season in more than 50 years.

The junior completed the season with 2,917 yards passing in 12-plus games. He completed 155 of 260 attempts (59%) for 28 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.

On the ground, Perrantes proved to be a threat. He rushed for 324 yards and 11 touchdowns in 75 carries.

In four postseason games, Perrantes had 15 total touchdowns to just one turnover, throwing 10 touchdown passes with one interception and added five touchdowns on the ground with no fumbles.

Perrantes helped St. Francis reach the CIF Southern Section Division III title game for its first championship appearance since 1964. St. Francis suffered a heart-breaking 44-42 defeat to fourth-seeded Rancho Verde on a field goal with no time remaining. Perrantes was named the All-Area Football Player of the Year.

3 Colin FitzGerald cross-country and track and field — On his way to the University of California at Berkeley, the Falcons senior paved a path in which he deserves to be in consideration as the school’s greatest cross-county runner and certainly one of its greatest distance athletes ever.

After a junior year full of individual acclaim, FitzGerald took a step back individually during the cross-country season as he won three invitationals and two Pacific League meets, with the highlight coming on Oct. 12 when Crescenta Valley set the course record time at Crescenta Valley Park of 1 hour, 18 minutes.

FitzGerald set the individual record with a mark of 15:10.3, which topped Nathan Sellers (15:18).

Though the senior lost his individual league crown to Burroughs’ Jagdeep Chahal in finishing second at the Pacific League finals at Arcadia County Park on Nov. 1, his Falcons won the program’s first league title since 2007.

In the CIF Southern Section postseason, FitzGerald (14:39.9) finished second to Loyola’s Shane Bissell (14:39.4) at the Division I Championships in Riverside on Nov. 18. More important to him, his Falcons took seventh place and advanced to state.

At the state finals at Fresno’s Woodward Park on Nov. 25, the Falcons turned in their best effort since 2007 by finishing fourth with FitzGerald placing second with a mark of 15:10.1.

In track and field, FitzGerald shined in the 1,600-meters, finishing third in the Pacific League finals (4:14.46), third at the Division I finals (4:14.46), fifth at the Masters Meet (4:12.66) and 13th (4:15.77) at the CIF State Division I prelims.

His mark of 4:12.66 is the second-best in school history.

4 Matthew Molina, St. Francis track and field and basketball — A stellar track and field season included plenty of highs for the two-sport athlete.

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Molina set a personal best and school record in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 8 1/4 inches at a Mission League meet on March 1.

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At the league finals on May 3 at Occidental College, Molina won a pair of championships as he captured the high jump with a 6-7 effort and the 110-meter hurdles in 14.96 seconds.

Molina enjoyed a banner afternoon at the Division III finals at El Camino College in Torrance on May 19. There he won two division championships, claiming both the high jump with a 6-6 effort and the 110 hurdles in 14.73.

At the following week’s Masters Meet back at El Camino on May 26, Molina finished fifth in the high jump with a 6-6 to advance to state, while his season ended in the 110 hurdles with an eighth-place finish of 14.95.

At the CIF championships on June 2 in Clovis, Molina concluded his season with a mark of 6-6 to place sixth.

As for the basketball season, Molina averaged 5.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the Golden Knights, who finished 14-14, but did not qualify to the postseason.

5 Brian Erickson, Crescenta Valley football and baseball — A leader and a hard-nosed hard worker no matter the sport, Erickson was an All-Pacific League, All-CIF and All-Area selection in football and baseball.

As a linebacker in the fall, he led the playoff-bound Falcons with 119 tackles and added nine sacks in 11 games and earned Pacific League Defensive Player of the Year.

In the spring, he was instrumental in Crescenta Valley baseball collecting a Pacific League title and advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division II quarterfinals.

The center fielder and No. 4 hitter hit .402 with 29 runs batted in, 24 runs and a .514 on-base percentage. He also proved to be clutch with a huge home run leading the Falcons to a win at Fountain Valley in the second round of the playoffs and an unbelievable two outfield assists in the quarterfinal loss to Yucaipa as he threw out two runners at home plate.

"He hit .400 basically the whole year and to basically play gold glove defense in center field and he was throwing guys out at home plate ... he really exceeded our expectations," Falcons coach Phil Torres said after the season. "He was open and coachable and the results showed."

6 Blake Howard, St. Francis football and track and field — As the St. Francis High football team advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III championship game, Howard did everything possible and was so recognized as the team most valuable player, an All-Mission League, All-CIF and All-Area first-team selection.

He played linebacker, receiver, punter and kicker. As an outside linebacker, he had 70 tackles, 14 for a loss, four sacks and two interceptions. On offense as a receiver, he tallied 37 catches for 581 yards and seven touchdowns. On top of that, he rushed for a pair of first downs on botched punts and threw for a pair of first downs on fake punts. He averaged 37.4 yards per punt and handled kickoff duties.

"He did so much for us as a kickoff guy, as a punter, outside linebacker, safety, tight end, receiver," St. Francis coach Jim Bonds said after the football season. "Just an all-around great athlete, great football player."

Howard was also an All-Area track and field honoree as his pole vault was tops in the area at 13 feet, 6 inches, which earned him an at-large berth into the CIF postseason and a fifth-place finish in the Mission League. His ascent ended in the CIF Southern Section Division III finals.

7 Evan Pattinelli, Flintridge Prep cross-country and track and field — Flintridge Prep added another great runner to its pantheon in the senior distance athlete.

Pattinelli was a three-time All-Area selection in cross-country, including this season when he picked up five victories and posted eight top-three finishes. While the senior did not defend his Prep League individual championship when he finished second at Pierce College on Oct. 28, his team still captured a league championship.

Pattinelli recovered from that setback by winning his second consecutive CIF Southern Section Division V championship at Riverside on Nov. 18 in 14:51.9.

Pattinelli capped a historic cross-country career by winning the CIF State Division V championship in Clovis on Nov. 25 with a time of 14:51.9. The title was the second in school history for the Rebels.

In track and field, Pattinelli finished second in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the Prep League finals and ended his career at the CIF Southern Section Division IV preliminaries.

8 Azad Markosian, Hoover football, wrestling and track and field: A true three-sport standout, Markosian earned his second straight All-Area second-team selection in football as a defensive lineman after he totaled 37 tackles, four sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and blocked four extra-point attempts. Markosian also played on the Tornadoes’ offensive line.

In wrestling, the senior might have been at his best as he captured a Rio Hondo League individual championship in the heavyweight class for a second straight year.

From there, Markosian advanced to the CIF Southern Section Inland Division Championships on Feb. 17, where he posted a 3-2 record, took fourth in his weight class and became his school’s fourth athlete to advance to the Masters Meet over five years.

At the Masters Meet, he finished 2-2 and did not move beyond the first day.

As for track and field, Markosian took second at the Pacific League finals in the shot put with a personal-best mark of 47 feet, 7 1/2 inches at Arcadia High on May 3.

Markosian’s season ended at the Division III prelims on May 12 at Estancia High when took 19th with a toss of 44-10 1/4.

9 Arman Pezeshkian, Crescenta Valley basketball — Pezeshkian proved to be a scoring dynamo throughout his senior season.

Crescenta Valley finished 16-13, 8-6 for third place in the competitive Pacific League and made it to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division II-A playoffs. Pezeshkian averaged a team-high 25.3 points per game and broke the school mark for most three-pointers made in one season with 102 while scoring 30 or more points in a game 12 times. Pezeshkian collected 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest and was selected to the all-league first team.

Pezeshkian, a senior, dazzled against Pasadena in a league-opening game Jan. 3. He tallied a game-high 39 points to lift Crescenta Valley to a 65-60 home victory. Pezeshkian made eight three-pointers to help Crescenta Valley snap a six-game losing streak against Pasadena.

Pezeshkian averaged 24 points per game in the playoffs and was named the All-Area Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year and earned All-CIF first-team recognition.

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10 Nick Davis, Flintridge Prep football, basketball and baseball — A throwback in that he not only took part but excelled in the three most high-profile high school sports.

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The senior was an All-Area selection in all three and an All-Prep League pick in basketball and baseball (football has no all-league team as Prep is an at-large school in that sport). On top of that, he helped his teams to the playoffs in every sport.

In football, the All-CIF Eight-Man Football Division I selection had 12.5 sacks on defense and 52 receptions for 797 yards and nine touchdowns on offense.

On the basketball court in the winter, he average 11.3 points and 7.1 rebounds.

He wrapped up his Prep and prep career on the diamond, further showcasing his versatility with stellar numbers pitching — was 2-2 with a 2.65 earned-run average with 44 strikeouts over 37 innings — and hitting — batted .314 with 20 runs and 13 RBI.

Honorable Mention: Peter Ford, St. Monica Academy basketball, volleyball; Dallas Kaauwai, Crescenta Valley soccer; AJ Nicassio, Flintridge Prep football, basketball and volleyball; Aidan Schraeder, Flintridge Prep water polo, soccer and baseball.

Darius Perrantes of St. Francis High was the All-Area Football Player of the Year.
Darius Perrantes of St. Francis High was the All-Area Football Player of the Year. (Libby Cline Birmingham)
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