La Canada High vice principal Michael Leininger said Tuesday that school officials are investigating the transfer eligibility status of four players on the girls’ soccer team.
Leininger said the players, whom he did not identify, transferred from Arcadia in December and were cleared for play by La Canada several weeks ago.
South Pasadena Athletic Director Ralph Punaro said he contacted La Canada officials last Thursday, after the Spartans beat the Tigers to claim the Rio Hondo League title, to voice concerns about the players’ status.
Punaro said this week he is satisfied that all is in order.
Underachievers: Prior to the season, the Highland boys’ team seemed a lock for a playoff berth. Playoff participants the past two seasons, the Bulldogs returned eight starters.
What’s to blame for Highland’s 7-13-4 record and postseason absence? Coach Lem Galvao cited bad team chemistry and poor officiating.
“The league knew we were a good team and they didn’t want us to win,” Galvao said.
Galvao was particularly unhappy with a league rule he said was enacted for the season, stating that a player’s season was over after two ejections in league or postseason play.
Galvao said Shawn Borak, the Bulldogs’ standout midfielder, played tentatively after being ejected in the league opener.
Outside looking in: Another disappointing boys’ team was Glendale, which finished fourth in Pacific League play and out of the postseason for the second time in seven seasons.
The area’s most underachieving girls’ team? Agoura, which for the second consecutive season went from a preseason Marmonte League favorite with a talented roster to a playoff spectator.
Reversal of fortune: Valencia (9-11-3), which finished third in the Foothill League in its second year of varsity play, travels to El Monte on Friday for a Division III first-round match.
Five Valencia starters--seniors Michelangelo De Fazio, Caleb Willis, Chris Winslow, J.R. Lloyd and Adam Waddell--started on Hart’s junior varsity as freshmen.
Hart (6-9-9, 1-7-2) missed the playoffs and had its worst season in at least 17 years.
City seedings: Chatsworth, defending City Section 4-A Division girls’ champion, is seeded No. 1.
The Chancellors (13-1) have a bye in the first round Feb. 26.
In the 3-A Division, Mid-Valley League champion Monroe (10-1-2) is seeded second and West Valley League champion Birmingham (12-4-1) is third.
In the boys’ tournament, Valley Pac-8 Conference champion Reseda (15-1-1) is top-seeded. Birmingham (10-1-6), the Northwest Valley Conference champion, is seeded seventh. First-round matches are Friday.
Tough road: Several area teams won or shared Southern Section league titles but must play wild-card matches today.
On the boys’ side, Littlerock and Palmdale were Golden League co-champions. Littlerock (13-4-4) travels to play Saugus (17-4-3) while Palmdale (14-1-7) plays host to Hoover (6-7-4).
In the girls’ draw, Frontier League champion Moorpark (14-5) plays host to Notre Dame (11-10), third-place finisher in the Mission League. Hart (19-1-2) won its fourth consecutive league title and plays host to Palmdale.
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High School Soccer Playoff Matchups
Games at 3 p.m.
Quartz Hill at Santa Monica
Santa Maria at Camarillo
Hoover at Palmdale
Littlerock at Saugus
Nordhoff at Carpinteria
Paraclete at San Marino
Buckley at Campbell Hall
Games at 3 p.m.
Quartz Hill at Thousand Oaks
Palmdale at Hart
Righetti at Ventura
Valencia at Temple City
Notre Dame at Moorpark
Morro Bay at Calabasas
Arroyo Grande at Simi Valley
Santa Maria/Camarillo winner at Rio Mesa
Hoover/Palmdale winner at Royal
Littlerock/Saugus winner at Buena
Atascadero at Burroughs
Bosco Tech at Calabasas
Rosemead at Moorpark
Valencia at El Monte
Notre Dame at Oak Park
Crespi at Fillmore
Nordhoff/Carpinteria winner at Santa Ynez
Paraclete/San Marino winner at La Salle
Morningside at La Canada
Kilpatrick at Windward
Campbell Hall/Buckley winner at Maranatha
Village Christian at Desert Christian
Games at 3 p.m.
Highland at Peninsula
Quartz Hill/Thousand Oaks winner at Arcadia
Arroyo Grande/Santa Monica winner at Simi Valley
Hart/Palmdale winner at Crescenta Valley
Canyon at Santa Barbara
Ventura/Righetti winner at Westlake
Temple City/Valencia winner at Buena
Muir/Notre Dame Academy winner at Harvard-Westlake
Moorpark/Notre Dame winner at Atascadero
Calabasas/Morro Bay winner at La Canada
Ocean View/Redondo winner at Chaminade
Oakwood at Mayfield
L.A. Baptist at Flintridge Sacred Heart
Cate at St. Bonaventure
Thacher at Oak Park
Santa Clara at Paraclete
Villanova Prep at La Reina