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Sports briefs: Downey athletes earn scholarships
Also: Warren High boys cross country wins CIF Div. I championship.
WRITTEN BY :   Mark Fetter, Contributor

DOWNEY – Downey High School has announced the signings of three more student-athletes to college scholarships: Erin Freeman (girls tennis), Gabe Llanes (baseball) and Rachel Rodriguez (softball).
Coaches Denise Diego, Jess Rodriguez and Micah Karzen are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication each athlete has contributed to their respective programs.
Senior standout girls’ tennis player Erin Freeman has committed to Utah State University. Freeman is a four-star recruit and is the reigning 2013 San Gabriel Valley League individual champion.
During her senior season at Downey, Freeman had 23 wins over other four-star recruits and rose to the 123rd ranked prep player in the country. Freeman led Downey to the 2012 San Gabriel Valley League championship and to a second place league finish in 2013.
Freeman plans on majoring in exercise science.
Senior standout right handed pitcher Gabe Llanes has committed to Fresno State University. Llanes was also being recruited by San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine.
Llanes was a first team All-S.G.V.L. selection in each of the past two seasons. Last season Llanes was 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA in 15 innings of work and hit .330 with 14 RBIs.
Senior standout middle infielder Rachel Rodriguez has committed to New Mexico State University where she will play alongside her older sister and reigning Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year Staci Rodriguez.
In her three seasons playing varsity, Rodriguez has helped Downey to a league title and two second place finishes.
Rodriguez was named to the All-S.G.V.L. second team this past season with a .465 batting average. She also had 19 stolen bases.
The Warren High School boys’ cross country team are the 2013 C.I.F. Division I champions.
The Bears defeated previous Southern Section top ranked Arcadia, 69-77, last Saturday in the C.I.F. Finals at Mt. SAC.
Dana Hills finished third with a score of 111, Loyola finished fourth with a score of 139, Crescenta Valley finished fifth with a score of 166, El Toro finished sixth with a score of 166 (criteria) and Great Oak finished seventh with a score of 181.
The Bears were paced by junior Benjamin Gonzalez, who finished sixth overall in a time of 14:45.
Gonzalez was followed by 19th place finisher junior Jonathan Rodriguez in a time of 15:01, 20th place finisher senior Micheal Hernandez in a time of 15:02, 44th place finisher junior Andres Barragan in a time of 15:14 and 81st place finisher senior Faustino Diaz in a time of 15:29.
Matthew Sanchez finished in a time of 15:50 and Miguel Cabada finished in a time of 15:59 to round out the Bears’ seven runners. Only the top five times are counted. Warren’s team time of 15:31 was the second fastest time in course history.
Arcadia finished in a team time of 15:38. Senior Estavan De La Rosa paced the Apaches to their second place finish. De La Rosa finished fifth overall in a time of 14:44. De La Rosa was followed by 10th place finisher sophomore Phillip Rocha in a time of 14:50, 27th place finisher senior Josue Gonzalez in a time of 15:05, 60th place finisher senior Jarrick Winslow in a time of 15:23 and 99th place finisher senior Bryan Ngo in a time of 15:36.
Warren High’s fifth place finisher, Faustino Diaz, sealed the Bears win by outsprinting Arcadia’s Bryan Ngo to the finish line. Diaz’s seven seconds were the margin of victory for the C.I.F. champion Bears.
The 2013 fall sports schedule has come to an end, with the exception of boys’ cross country, and winter sports are now gearing up with holiday practices and preseason tournaments.
Football, boys’ water polo, boys’ and girls’ cross country, girls’ tennis, girls’ golf and girls’ volleyball are now over and wrestling, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer and girls’ water polo are getting ready to go.
At Warren High, football struggled this year but look to work hard and get better next year. Boys’ water polo lost in the wildcard round of the C.I.F. Division 4 playoffs to Atascadero 17-9.
Boys’ and girls’ cross country teams advanced to the C.I.F. Division I finals by finishing first and fifth in their respective heats at the C.I.F. prelims. The boys’s team won the Division I final 69-77 over Arcadia and are on their way to the state meet November 30th in Clovis.
The girls’ tennis team finished S.G.V.L. play with an 11-1 record and league champion honors. Warren defeated Downey in two of three matches that went down to criteria decisons after 9-9 scores.
Girls’ volleyball saw their season come to an end at M.L. King High School 25-13, 25-12 and 25-11 in the first round of the C.I.F. Division 2A playoffs.
Wrestling looks to compete for a league title but must go through perennial league foes Downey and 2013 league champion Paramount to do so.
Boys’ basketball are the reigning 2013 S.G.V.L. champions but have lost several players from last year’s team including standout point guard Joseph Campos to graduation. Coach Palmer and her girls’ basketball team are excited for the season to start.
Boys’ soccer is reloading for another run at a C.I.F. title and are clearly the hunted team in S.G.V.L. play. Girls’ soccer advanced to the second round of the Division 4 playoffs last year but lost to eventual semi-finalist South Torrance 2-1. The Lady Bears must replace graduated senior “the woman” Celinna Montano.
Coach Cordero and the girls’ water polo team will once again reload and compete for a C.I.F. title. A vigorous preseason schedule filled with ranked opponents will prepare the Lady Bears for another league title and C.I.F. Division V championship run. The Lady Bears are ranked third in the November 25th poll while league foes Cerritos and Downey are ranked fifth and ninth, respectively.
Downey’s football team won another tri-league championship but were eliminated in the first round of the C.I.F. Southeast Division playoffs at home by Diamond Bar 63-29.
Boys’ water polo earned the number two S.G.V.L. seed behind league champion Cerritos but were eliminated in the first round of the C.I.F. Division 4 playoffs at Arroyo Grande 12-4.
Boys’ and Girls’ cross country teams sent runners to C.I.F. prelims at Mt. SAC. Junior Marissa Pluma advanced to C.I.F. Finals where she placed 84th with a time of 18:26.
Girls’ tennis finished in second place behind cross-town rival Warren. All three matches were nailbiters with two of three matches going down to criteria after 9-9 results. Senior standout and reigning S.G.V.L. individual league champion Erin Freeman earned a scholarship to play tennis at Utah State University.
Girls’ volleyball won another S.G.V.L. championship but were eliminated by Oak Park at Downey in the first round of the C.I.F. Division 2A playoffs 21-25, 26-24, 27-25 and 25-23.
The Lady Viking soccer program is gearing up for another league title and run at defending their C.I.F. Division 4 championship. New boys’ soccer coach Marvin Mires looks to have a breakout season. Wrestling returns captains Juan Soto (152) and Anthony Florido (215) to the mat and boys’ head basketball coach Larry Shelton always fields hard working, competitive teams.
Girls’ basketball split with Warren last year and Coach Nate Harris looks to build on that.
Girls’ water polo looks to close the gap with cross-town rival Warren but must do so without graduated senior standout Meghan Nevarez.

Published: Nov. 28, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 33

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