Varsity Times Insider
High school sports across the Southland
Boys' basketball: Village Christian is getting 7-foot-3 transfer

Sun Valley Village Christian appears to be the destination for 7-foot-3 Jean Marc Christ Koumadje, a native of Senagal who played last season for Florida Montverde. Zagsblog.com quoted Koumadje's guardian as saying that Koumadje will spend the 2014-15 school year at Village Christian, which returns Bennie Boatwright and will be also getting guard Kahlil Simplis from Campbell Hall. It's a continuing trend of small private schools getting transfer students in basketball. Last week, it was revealed that Pasadena Maranatha is the destination for Chaminade's Trevor Stanback and St. John Bosco's Tyler Dorsey.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Former Corona Centennial QB Taylor Martinez raising money for cancer research

Former Corona Centennial and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez participated in 2013 when Jack Hoffman went 69 yards for an ESPY Award touchdown in Nebraska's spring game. A year later, Martinez is helping the Team Jack Foundation. Martinez is owner of the technology company Magic 3 Apps, Inc. and announced that 50% of profits from the sale of a new App, Risky Road, will be donated to the Team Jack Foundation to support pediatric brain cancer research. The App is available for use on Android and iPhone devices.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Loyola is requiring baseline concussion testing for every student

Loyola High School is taking concerns about concussions very seriously. The all-boys Catholic school has taken the unprecedented step of requiring all 1,270 of its students, whether they are athletes or not, to undergo baseline concussion testing. More than 500 of the students have already completed the 45-minute exam administered by longtime athletic trainer Tim Moscicki and his assistants that assesses the student’s balance and brain functions so it can be used and compared to a similar exam if the student is suspected of having a concussion. As for why non-athletes are being given the test, Principal Frank Kozakowski said the school has experienced increased numbers of students being diagnosed with concussions from such activities as skateboarding and snowboarding and wants a way to know when the student is ready to return to the classroom or the athletic field. “The idea of having a baseline for everyone is a good thing,” Kozakowski said. “Having concrete data, this baseline test,...

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Baseball: Joe Hoggatt is new coach at Bishop Amat

Former Anaheim Canyon Coach Joe Hoggatt is the new baseball coach at Bishop Amat. He replaces Andy Nieto, who took the position at Damien. Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Football: Gov. Brown signs bill restricting contact drills

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law AB 2127, which prohibits football teams at middle and high schools from holding full-contact practices that exceed 90 minutes on a single day, bans teams from holding more than two full-contact practices per week during the season and prohibits teams from conducting contact practices during the off-season. The new restrictions, which take effect Jan. 1, 2015, are designed to help reduce concussions and other serious brain injuries. The California Interscholastic Federation, in charge of high school sports in the state, supported the bill that was sponsored by Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova). “AB 2127’s practice guidelines will reassure parents that their kids can learn football safely through three hours of full-contact practice … to maximize conditioning and skill development while minimizing concussion risk,” Cooley said. Nearly 4 million high school students nationwide suffer head injuries every year, according to the U.S. Centers...

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Boys' basketball: St. Genevieve wins Providence tournament

St. Genevieve has become the latest small private school to move up in the basketball world. The Valiants won the Providence tournament, going unbeaten with wins over Viewpoint and Burbank, among others. Juniors Ross Lee and Dallas Johnson each averaged about 10 points in the tournament. Junior Marcell Burton had 11 three-pointers on the weekend, including six against Burbank. St. Genevieve defeated Providence, 53-31, in the championship game.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Baseball: Alemany finishes summer looking like a top team

The summer baseball season ended on a high note for Alemany, which finished with a 4-0 record in the California Classic on Sunday. While lots of publications are going to have JSerra as the No. 1 team in Southern California next spring, don't forget about the Warriors. So far, Alemany has five players committed to college programs _ outfielder Ruben Cardenas (Nevada), pitcher Brandon Ponticelli (Nevada), outielder Alex Mckenna (Cal Poly SLO), pitcher Carter Yankie (Cal State Northridge) and infielder Adam Bedrossian (Seattle). Outfielder Cristian Montes, pitcher Kyle Merkel and catcher Rece Reagan could join them. It's a strong team, and if the pitchers can come through in the big games, Alemany should be a Division 1 title contender in 2015.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Water polo: Harvard-Westlake defeats Mater Dei _ again

The best rivalry in high school boys' water polo has become the matchups between Harvard-Westlake and Santa Ana Mater Dei. Harvard-Westlake defeated the Monarchs in last year's Southern Section Division 1 championship game, and the Wolverines won again on Sunday, 10-9, in the championship game of the 48-team California State High School Championships at Santa Ana Foothill. Johnny Hooper and Ben Hallock each scored three goals for Harvard-Westlake. Laguna Beach won the girls' title.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Baseball: SoCal players named to play in all-star game at PETCO Park

The Perfect Game All-American Classic will be held on Aug. 10 at PETCO Park in San Diego, and five local players were named to the West team. They include pitcher Kolby Allard of San Clemente, pitcher Kyle Molnar of Aliso Niguel, catcher Chris Betts of Long Beach Wilson, first baseman Devin Davis of Valencia and pitcher Patrick Sandoval of Mission Viejo. The game will take place at 5 p.m.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Baseball: Hart, Saugus, Loyola, El Camino Real reach VIBL semifinals

Tuesday's semifinals for the Valley Invitational Baseball League tournament are set. It will be Loyola playing at El Camino Real and Hart at Saugus in 5 p.m. semifinals. The winners will face off on Thursday in the championship game at 7 p.m. at Birmingham. Hart has displayed outstanding pitching, but Saugus also has good pitching.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Boys' basketball: Ivan Barahona resigns as coach at Pacific Hills

The tandem that helped Pacific Hills win five Southern Section basketball championships and one state title in the last nine years has left. Head coach Ivan Barahona resigned to become an assistant at Cal State Los Angeles. Herman Nash, his top assistant, also isn't coming back. Jim Snodgrass, a former L.A. Marshall coach, is considered the top candidate for the position. He has been interviewed. Twitter:@LATSondheimer

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Sunday night video: The longsnapper and Rubik's Cube expert

For the next few Sundays this summer, I'm going to offer some of my favorite video stories and tell the backstory. This week, let me introduce Tanner Carew, the best longsnapper in Southern California last season at Damien High in La Verne. Last fall, I met him for the first time and was stunned at his intelligence, dedication and easy-going personality. Then again, I've rarely met a kicker or longsnapper who didn't have an entertaining personality. I was looking to do a story on a kicker for my annual list of top kickers and punters, and then I met Carew and decided he was too good to ignore. It was time to focus on longsnappers. The guy can figure out a Rubik's Cube seemingly faster than any teenager on the planet. And as a longsnapper, he's tremendous. He ended up signing with Oregon, where he has spent the summer getting ready to win the starting job as a freshman. He still practices his Rubik's Cube skills. I think we'll be hearing about him for years to come. ...

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