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Sports Briefs: Jabari Ruffin tears ligament
USC linebacker and 2012 Downey High grad ruled out for the season.
WRITTEN BY :   Mark Fetter, Contributor

DOWNEY – Former Downey High School standout and current USC Trojan Jabari Ruffin has seen his 2014 football season come to an end.

Ruffin, an outside linebacker, tore ligaments in his knee last Sunday at football practice and will be out for the rest of the season. Jabari was looking to play a key role for the Trojan defense this season. Ruffin’s injury comes just three weeks before the start of the season.

USC head coach Steve Sarkisian must now make an adjustment to the Trojan defense. Trojan safety Su’a Cravens and linebacker Quinton Powell will look to pick up the slack left by Ruffin’s injury. Without Ruffin, USC will only have 66 healthy scholarship players.

Ruffin’s injury marks the second season ending injury for the Trojans thus far. Defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow has also been lost for the season.

Ruffin has been a constant at Jack Williams’ Viking Skills Camp along with offensive lineman Zach Banner. Ruffin, a 2012 graduate of  Downey High School, has worked extremely hard at USC and continues to give back to Downey High School with his time and advice for younger student-athletes. Look for Ruffin to rehab his injury, continue to study the game and get ready for next season.

In the meantime, Ruffin will stay positive and continue to support his teammates from the sideline.

USC will open up their season against Fresno State at the Coliseum on Aug. 30.

•••

The 2014 Area Code Games have concluded at Blair Field in Long Beach.

The annual baseball event, this year held from Aug. 4-9, drew scouts from all 30 Major League teams and the Major League Scouting Bureau. There were also college coaches from many of the top college baseball programs in the nation in attendance.

Local prospects, including Long Beach Wilson catcher Chris Betts (Tennessee), Lakewood shortstop Brendon Davis (Cal State Fullerton) and Downey pitcher Randy Labaut (Arizona), all participated in the six-day tournament.

The Area Code Games featured eight teams divided by geographic regions from around the United States. The southern California area team was the Brewers. Other teams included the Yankees, Rangers, Nationals, White Sox, Reds, Royals and Athletics.

The Brewers defeated the Rangers 5-4 on August 4, did not have a game scheduled on August 5 and then defeated the Yankees 9-8 on August 6 in a thrilling come from behind victory. The Brewers finished their five game schedule with games against the Athletics on August 7, the Royals on August 8 and concluded with a game against the White Sox on August 9.

Labaut, who pitched a scoreless fifth inning on Monday against the Rangers, recorded two strikeouts and had one walk in his effort.

“It’s good seeing all these scouts here, it’s a great experience,” commented Labaut. “I tried not to look up in the stands. I just tried to clear my mind, focus, throw strikes and just hit my spots.”

Labaut will lead the Downey baseball team next season as a senior. Labaut finished the 2014 season with a 5-1 record, 2.10 ERA and had a .360 batting average, playing a key role in Downey’s S.G.V.L. championship and Division 3 playoff run.

•••

Quarterback Josh Rosen and the St. John Bosco football team open their season next Friday against St. Louis High School of Honolulu at Aloha Stadium.

Rosen, at 6’4 and 206 pounds, has already committed to play at UCLA next season. Not being satisfied with the idea of redshirting next season, however, Rosen will graduate from Bosco in time for spring practice at UCLA.

Rosen is the owner of 4.0-plus GPA at St. John Bosco due to AP (Advanced Placement) classes he has taken. According to former Bosco receiver and current UCLA safety Jaleel Wadood, “he’s such a smart quarterback. He knows basically what the defense is doing, what all the receivers are doing. He knows where everybody was going to be. He has a second knowledge, and he had it even as a young player, as a sophomore and then as a junior too.”

“I’m probably one of the few quarterbacks who doesn’t focus on my throwing motion,” said Rosen. “I feel like I should keep as close to a natural throwing motion as possible. If you’re not natural, then that could be on the course for injury.”

Former Bosco center and freshman at Amherst College Elijah Zabludoff said of Rosen, “He’s just a big physical guy and he’s not afraid to put his head down and really, he wasn’t afraid to pull the ball at any time.”

Rosen is hoping to improve upon last year’s impressive numbers. Rosen passed for 3,200 yards, 39 touchdowns and completed 68.6 percent of his passes. Rosen only threw seven interceptions.

He also rushed for 416 yards and eight touchdowns en route to leading the Braves to league, state and national titles. The future is certainly bright for Josh Rosen.

•••

The Warren High School girls’ volleyball team has been working hard this summer in preparation for the start of their 2014 season.

After observing the C.I.F. mandated “dead period” from June 21-July 7, the Lady Bears have been practicing from 1-4 p.m. five days a week and will start their pre-season schedule at the Molten Classic in Lakewood on Sept. 1.

Head coach Scott Lane held two camps this summer in which 55 girls attended the first camp and 80 girls attended the second camp.  Lane also had over 150 girls tryout for the Lady Bear volleyball team.

The Warren girls’ volleyball program has three competitive teams and continue to attract athletes who want to play volleyball. Coach Lane, now in his third season back with the Bears, has certainly started something at Warren.

The Lady Bears lost seniors Kendall Sonico, Jackie Navarro and Julyssa Juarez to graduation but have seniors Jessica Tellez, Gabby Vizcarra and Eryka Garcia all returning with more experience and skill under their belts.

Coach Lane sees the San Gabriel Valley League as wide open this season. Lane said that Downey and Gahr are always tough and that Paramount will be competitive due to several talented younger players moving up to play varsity this season.

Warren finished last season with a 7-3 league record and were the No. 3 entry from the San Gabriel Valley League in the Division 2AA playoffs after losing to Gahr in the second round of league play. Lane hopes to change Downey’s dominance of the San Gabriel Valley League.

 

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Published: Aug. 14, 2014 – Volume 13 – Issue 18



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