Manis Out at Los Alamitos

Chad Manis, formerly the starting quarterback for No. 7-ranked Los Alamitos, was attending classes Monday at Lakewood, his neighborhood school, Lakewood football Coach Mike Christensen said.

Manis had been enrolled at Los Alamitos on an inter-district permit. He did not play for the Griffins in a 38-0 victory over Brea Olinda on Friday. Los Alamitos Coach John Barnes said Monday the senior “was on suspension,” but he did not say whether the penalty was imposed by the team or the school.

Manis is not expected to play football at Lakewood. His replacement for Los Alamitos, Ross Hill, completed 11 of 16 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score. Manis passed for 219 yards and ran for 49 more in a season-opening 35-13 victory over Goleta Dos Pueblos on Sept. 2.

Eric Sondheimer



Newhall Hart running back James Wheeler, who appeared to suffer a serious injury during his team’s 33-21 loss to No. 8 Ventura St. Bonaventure on Friday, is expected to be ready to play this week.

“He got hit in the back of the neck and head and wasn’t responding to anything,” Coach Mike Herrington said Monday. “He’s fine today. He’s going to the doctor this afternoon to get cleared.”

Delano Howell, who sat out the game because of a sprained ankle, is expected to return Friday, when the No. 17 Indians play No. 16 Westlake Village Westlake.


Martin Henderson


Boys’ Basketball

As the ABC Unified School District continues to investigate the Artesia boys’ basketball program, Coach Scott Pera is no longer teaching at the school but remains employed by the district pending outcome of the investigation.

“It shouldn’t be construed as any disciplinary action,” said district spokeswoman Kathy Frazier.

The investigation centers on an apartment near campus that has allegedly been housing players and serving as their official address.

Eric Sondheimer



Girls’ Volleyball

Ashton Basch spent time between the first and second games trading high-fives with fans Monday night at Huntington Beach Edison.

Perhaps she sensed the tide would turn for her Lake Forest El Toro team, because soon after the Chargers came from behind to upset Anaheim Esperanza, 23-25, 25-21, 15-6, and win the Division I title of the Dave Mohs/Orange Country Championships.

Basch finished with 11 kills and three aces and was selected the tournament’s most valuable player after rallying the Chargers (8-1) to their first tournament title.

Trailing, 18-10, in the first game, El Toro came back to within one, at 24-23, before Esperanza’s Ashley Engle closed the game with a kill. Despite losing, El Toro had gained momentum for its late run.

The Chargers, No. 4 in the Southern Section Division I-A coaches’ poll, jumped to 5-0 and 7-1 leads in the second game and then caught Esperanza, No. 1 in Division I-AA, at 4-4 in the third game. El Toro scored the next seven points to take control, with Basch and Katie Denny each having two kills during the pivotal stretch. Engle finished with 10 kills and eight digs, and Christy Hudson had four kills and 18 assists for Esperanza (7-1).

Lauren Peterson




Diego Mercado of West Covina would have lowered the course record even further Saturday night at the 25th Irvine Woodbridge Invitational had he not made a wrong turn early in the three-mile race.

Mercado, a senior, finished in 14 minutes 13 seconds, four seconds better than the previous course record set by Mohamed Trafeh of Duarte in 2003, the first year the races were run at night.

“I know I could have gone like one second faster if I didn’t make that wrong turn,” said Mercado, who last year finished second in the Southern Section Division I final, third at state and third at the Footlocker West Regionals.

Probably the biggest surprise was the runner-up, Danny Mercado, Diego’s twin brother, who finished in 14:26. Danny tailed off at the end of last season, finishing seventh in his heat at the section preliminaries and failing to advance to the finals.

“At two miles to go, I looked back and I saw my brother and I was like, ‘Oh, my God ... ' I was ecstatic, I couldn’t believe it.”

The Mercados are scheduled to race Saturday at the Stanford Invitational.

Dan Arritt



The Times’ rankings

High school football rankings by Times sportswriters (LW-last week):

*--* Rk School (Rec-Div) LW 1 MISSION VIEJO (3-0, Div. II) 1 2 LONG BEACH POLY (1-1, Div. I) 2 3 EDISON (2-1, Div. 1) 3 4 S.O. NOTRE DAME (2-0, Div. III) 4 5 SANTA MARGARITA (2-0, Div. I) 5 6 VALENCIA (2-0, Div. II) 9 7 LOS ALAMITOS (2-0, Div. I) 7 8 ST. BONAVENTURE (3-0, Div. IV) 8 9 ORANGE LUTHERAN (2-0, Div. VI) 10 10 NORCO (2-0, Div. V) 11 11 CORONA CENTENNIAL (1-1, Div. V) 12 12 ESPERANZA (2-1, Div. I) 6 13 MATER DEI (0-2, Div. I) 13 14 OAKS CHRISTIAN (2-0, Div. XI) 14 15 DORSEY (1-1, City) 15 16 WESTLAKE (1-1, Div. IV) 16 17 HART (1-1, Div. II) 17 18 COLTON (2-0, Div. I) 18 19 BISHOP AMAT (2-1, Div. I) 19 20 TAFT (2-0, City) 21 21 MIRA COSTA (2-0, Div. III) NR 22 CRENSHAW (1-1, City) NR 23 RANCHO CUCAMONGA (2-0, Div. II) 22 24 SOUTH HILLS (1-1, Div. VII) 23 25 THOUSAND OAKS (2-0, Div. IV) 24