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2312 posts
  • Track

A funeral for former Crespi and Reseda track and field coach Steve Caminiti will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Paschal’s Catholic Church in Thousand Oaks. He died on July 1 after a battle with pancreatic cancer at age 71.

Caminiti was a star hurdler during his high school days at Crespi in the 1960s. He set two national records on May 9, 1964, running the 120-yard highs in 13.7 seconds and the 180 lows in 18.1. He went on to run for New Mexico.

He spent 35 years coaching track and cross-country at Crespi and Reseda.  He was the recipient of several outstanding coach honors at Reseda and helped shape the lives of numerous student-athletes through his years of teaching and coaching.

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  • Football

Santa Ana Mater Dei is the preseason No. 1 team in the High School Football America top 100 football rankings.

St. John Bosco is No. 4 and Mission Viejo No. 29.

Other schools ranked include Corona Centennial at No. 40, Orange Lutheran at No. 42, Chaminade at No. 74 and Narbonne at No. 76.

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  • Baseball

The West Valley League powers are still playing well in summer baseball. The same three teams that advanced to the City Section Open Division semifinals — El Camino Real, Chatsworth and Cleveland — have earned spots in the Valley Invitational Baseball League semifinals.

Chatsworth will host Saugus and El Camino Real will host Cleveland in semifinals on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Stevan Gomez threw five innings and had two hits and four RBIs in Chatsworth’s 14-2 quarterfinal win over Royal.

  • Baseball

The Arizona Diamondbacks made Beckman shortstop Matt McLain a first-round draft pick and offered him the slot value of $2,636,400 to sign.

He turned them down to fulfill a dream he’s had since third grade to attend UCLA and play baseball for the Bruins.

“It was a hard decision,” he said Sunday night. “It was the best choice for my career and future.”

  • Basketball
He scores 26 points in 71-51 win over Sir Francis Drake

It’s summer break and time to look back at some of my favorite videos, stories and moments. Chaminade’s 2014 Division III state basketball championship, led by guard Michael Oguine, produced quite a performance.

Oguine wasn’t particularly highly recruited in high school. He committed to Montana. But he was athletic, could shoot the three and delivered in big games.

In the Division III championship game in Sacramento, he scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half as Chaminade defeated Sir Francis Drake 71-51. He was three of five from three-point range. His coach, Todd Wolfson, always believed in him.

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  • Football
Ryan Hilinski, Bryce Young, D.J. Uiagalelei all in action

It didn’t take much time for former St. John Bosco offensive coordinator Chad Johnson to make an impact as head coach at Mission Viejo. Johnson has been spending the summer putting in his new offense, and it must be going well, because the Diablos made it to the championship game of the Edison seven on seven passing tournament on Saturday.

They beat St. John Bosco in the Gold Division semifinals on a touchdown catch by Jojo Forest from quarterback Joey Yellen.

In the other semifinal, Mater Dei defeated Orange Lutheran.
In the championship game, the Monarchs triumphed, just like they did last summer on their way to a 15-0 season.

  • Softball

Seven Los Angeles area softball players are participating in the Softball Elite Development Invitational operated by Major League Baseball and USA Softball this weekend in Vero Beach, Fla.

There’s 90 softball players from around the USA attending the one-week development camp.

Among the participants are Celeste Carbajal, Mayfair; Nina Hill, Hamilton; Molly Kozasky, Alhambra; Isabella Leon, Bell; Destiny Sanchez, Lincoln; Tabitha Sanchez, Lincoln; Alyssa Tejada, Bishop Conaty of Loretto.

  • Baseball

Dan Burchfield, an assistant baseball coach at Moorpark High, PA announcer for the football team, drama department head and history teacher, honors his late son, Joel, every year by walking more than 100 miles to raise money for a scholarship program.

In 1996, Joel was 11 when he was swept away trying to cut across the rain-swollen Arroyo Simi and drowned. Dan and his wife established a scholarship fund for Moorpark seniors.

Each year, he walks and walks. Next Sunday, July 15, he’ll leave from Rincon Point in Carpinteria and walk to Ventura Harbor. He’ll go on to Cal State Channel Islands, Newbury Park, Agoura, Malibu, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach and Torrance before ending in San Pedro on July 21. He will walk 105 miles.

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A group of Southern California high school baseball players are among the 54 athletes invited to the 15U national team trials that begin on July 29 in Cary, N.C.

They will be competing for a spot on the 20-man national team that will play in the COPABE Pan Am AA championships in Panama next month.

The players include Eldridge Armstrong from Oaks Christian; Josiah Chavez from Rio Mesa; Justin DeCriscio from Orange Lutheran; Gage Jump from JSerra; Rheego McIntosh from Chaparral; Matthew Porchas from Santa Margarita; Brian Uribe from Camarillo; Charlie Saum from St. Bonaventure; Cody Schrier from JSerra. Also invited is Aaron Perez, who lives in Santa Ana.

6-foot-6 senior at Corona Centennial thrives in QB role

Former Corona Centennial quarterback Tanner McKee will board a flight Monday to San Antonio, then to São Paulo, Brazil, to begin his two-year Mormon mission. He’s bringing with him two footballs to a country that loves the other fútbol.

He has been studying Portuguese and will spend six to eight weeks in training in São Paulo before heading off to Curitiba, a city of 1.8 million. He’s 6 feet 6, so it might be hard for him to keep a low profile. But he’ll be on his own for the first time.

“I think I’m ready,” he said Tuesday after spending a day at the beach with friends in one of his final days before departing. “I’ve been looking forward to it.”

He’ll be able to email or write a letter once a week. He can call his family only on Mother’s Day and Christmas.

The goal, as he put it, is to “become a man” and help others as part of his church mission.

“There’s a ton of life lessons,” he said.

His fans in Corona didn’t exactly get a final chance to celebrate his many contributions at Centennial. He was stuck on the sideline in his team’s final football game last fall, the Division 1 semifinals, a 62-34 loss to St. John Bosco. He lost consciousness briefly in a game the week before and had to undergo concussion protocol.

“I was trying to get cleared but it didn’t look good from the start,” he said. “I was trying to be a good teammate.”

He was more than that. He earned great respect from teammates and opponents alike the way he played the game. His athleticism and intelligence enabled him to accept a football scholarship to Stanford, the school he will attend when he returns in the summer of 2020.

He has been watching the World Cup and rooting for Brazil. As for his fútbol skills, McKee said, “It’s all right. Not great, especially for the standards down there. Hopefully they will improve.”

He will get one hour each morning to work out. He’’ll be looking for kids and other volunteers to catch his passes when he throws a football each day during his eight-week training session. After that, he might get to throw once a week.

Either way, football is on hold. He has chosen to spend the next two years learning about life far away from home. You can bet he’ll be making a difference. And when he returns, his friends, family and fans will be ready to root for him in his comeback on the football field. It will go fast, and soon he’ll be a Stanford Cardinal.