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Sports briefs: It's time for football
Fall sports season officially gets underway as Downey High hosts Orange Lutheran.
WRITTEN BY :   Mark Fetter, Contributor

DOWNEY – The Downey High School 2013 football season officially started at 5 p.m. last night at Allan Layne Stadium.
The Vikings hosted the Orange Lutheran Lancers in both teams’ season opener (score unavailable at press time).
Orange Lutheran finished last season with a Trinity league record of 1-4 and an overall record of 6-4. The Lancers finished fifth in league play and did not qualify for the Pac-5 Division playoffs.
St. John Bosco, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita were the Trinity league playoff teams from a season ago.
Downey finished last season with a San Gabriel Valley League record of 4-1 and an overall record of 11-3. Downey was a tri-league champion with Dominguez and Paramount, respectively, but won the C.I.F. Southeast Division championship by playing the best football at the end of the season.
Downey defeated Rowland, 55-21, in the first round of the C.I.F. playoffs, Norwalk 45-42 in the second round, Santa Fe 35-3 in the third round, and La Serna 33-25 in the championship game at a rain soaked Cal State Fullerton.
As Downey looks to repeat their feat from a season ago they will have to go through a C.I.F. Southeast Division that will feature the champions of the Del Rio, Hacienda, Pacific and Suburban leagues, not to mention a very competitive San Gabriel Valley League.
The Del Rio League’s La Serna, the Hacienda League’s West Covina, the Pacific League’s Muir, and the Suburban League’s La Mirada, not to mention the S.G.V.L.’s own Paramount and Dominguez, are looking to beat the Vikings and stake their claim to the 2013 C.I.F. Southeast Division title.
The Warren High School girls’ tennis team has been working hard this summer in preparation for their fall season.
The Bears had their summer tennis camp during July and started their fall workout schedule this past Monday. The Bears took three weeks off due to the C.I.F. mandated “dead period” the first part of August.
Coach Starksen has three returners back from last year’s team. Number one singles player Isa Lopez returns as do number two singles player Bohesa Won and number one doubles player Stephanie Sifuentes.
Sifuentes will play without her doubles partner from last year Betty Villareal, who graduated in June.
Starksen is looking forward to this season and is interested to see how her junior varsity squad from last year adjusts to playing at the varsity level. In order for Warren to be successful this season, some of these younger players must step up and play well. Coach Starksen’s goal for her team is to continue to work hard and “to get better everyday.”
Starksen believes that Downey and Paramount will be the teams to beat this year in San Gabriel Valley League play due to the returners both programs have coming back and the overall quality of their programs.
Downey won the 2012 S.G.V.L. title last year. It marked the first time in the school’s history that it had been done.
The Bears start league play on Sept. 14.
The Warren High School football team will host a scrimmage tonight against Whittier at Justice Stadium at 5 p.m.
The Bears do not play their first official game until Sept. 6, when they host the South East Jaguars at 7 p.m.
The South East Jaguars were the C.I.F. Los Angeles City Section champions in 2011 and were semifinalists in 2012.
South East narrowly defeated Warren last season, 24-21, at South East.
In last year’s game, Warren was down 24-6 at halftime and rallied to score 15 unanswered second half points. Unfortunately, the Bears were forced to play catch-up the entire game.
Despite outscoring the Jaguars in the second half, the Bears came up short and suffered their first loss of the season.
Last season the Jaguars were led by the Eastern League player of the year senior quarterback Jonathan Santos and Eastern League offensive player of the year senior wide receiver Alex Alvarez.
Santos passed for 2,809 yards while throwing 39 touchdown passes and averaged 216.1 yards passing per game.
Santos’ favorite target, Alex Alvarez, had 80 receptions for 1370 yards and had an average reception of 17.1 yards. The two offensive weapons fueled the Jaguar offense.
Both of South East’s senior offensive standouts from last season are now gone.
South East (5-1, 11-2) finished in a three-way tie in the final Eastern League standings with Garfield (5-1, 6-6) and Roosevelt (5-1, 8-3). The Jaguars lost to San Fernando 24-13 in the C.I.F. L.A. City Section semifinals last season.
Although the Bears will not see Santos or Alvarez this year they will see senior quarterback Joshua Gonzalez.
Gonzalez filled in for Santos in the San Fernando playoff game and accounted for two touchdowns.
The Downey High School boys’ cross country team is gearing up for their fall 2013 season after ending their C.I.F. mandated “dead period” earlier this summer.
Head coach Bob Gleason has senior Geovany Salinas and juniors Anthony Lopez and Miguel Gutierrez returning with another year of skill and experience under their belts.
Coach Gleason lost several key runners to graduation from last year’s team. Manny Ramirez, Andres Velasco (Cal State Long Beach), Jose Martinez and Christopher Casillas were all lost to graduation in June. Senior Faustino Diaz is now running for Warren after not running last year.
Coach Gleason had a solid showing this summer and mentioned that several non-cross country athletes have been working out with his cross country team to get in better shape for their respective sports. Gleason is looking forward to the challenge of another year and competing for a S.G.V.L. title.
Downey will start league competition in their first league cluster meet on Sept. 26. The second league cluster meet will be held on Oct. 17 and the final league cluster meet will be held Nov. 6 at La Mirada Regional Park.

Published: Aug. 22, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 19

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