SPORTS: Battle for SGVL supremacy will be tough

DOWNEY – The San Gabriel Valley League will once again be a very competitive league. 
Downey will once again be the team to beat as they were 5-0 a season ago and return many players. Paramount is always tough and Gahr made a nice run last year to earn a postseason spot. Dominguez always has talent and Lynwood competes hard too. Cross-town rival Warren won a share of a league championship two years ago and look to get back to that form. 

The San Gabriel Valley League certainly puts some good teams on the field and into the playoffs.

Downey finished last season with an overall record of 10-2 and were 5-0 in league play. Paramount finished last with an overall record of 8-2 and were 4-1 in league play. Gahr finished last season with an overall record of 8-3 and were 3-2 in league play.

Downey, Paramount and Gahr all qualified for postseason play. Downey was defeated by Charter Oak 35-21 in the second round of the C.I.F. Division 4 playoffs. Paramount was defeated by Los Altos 49-41 in the second round of the C.I.F. Division 6 playoffs and Gahr was defeated by St. Anthony of Long Beach 24-21 in the first round of the C.I.F. Division 10 playoffs. 

Warren finished last season with an overall record of 2-7-1 and was 2-3 in league play. Lynwood finished last season with an overall record of 4-6 and was 1-4 in league play. Dominguez finished last season with an overall record of 2-8 and were 0-5 in league play. Warren, Lynwood and Dominguez did not qualify for postseason play last year but are looking to do so this year.

All San Gabriel Valley League coaches and players are looking forward to the start of league play. Games should be competitive and fun to watch. It will be interesting to see which three league teams earn playoff spots this year. All S.G.V.L. action begins tonight. Check out these high school kids playing and working hard. 

■ The Downey High School football team scrimmaged against Orange Lutheran at Downey High School last Friday night. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for players on both offense and defense to demonstrate the skills they have been working on since the end of last season. 

Orange Lutheran and Downey took turns running their offenses and defenses. Players were rotated in and out in order to see what each player could do at their respective position(s). Orange Lutheran is a Division One school who competes in the Trinity League with powerhouses like St. John Bosco and Mater Dei. It is always a good test to see how Downey stacks up against such quality competition.

Coach Williams enjoys the scrimmage and sees it as a vital way to get ready for the season. The Vikings have scrimmaged Orange Lutheran several times over the past few years and it has helped prepare each team for the rigors of each season.

Downey will kick off their season later today against Santa Margarita. Santa Margarita is another school from the Trinity League. The Eagles finished last season with an overall record of 7-5 and were eliminated in the second round of the C.I.F. Division One playoffs by eventual C.I.F. and state champion St. John Bosco 54-14.

Downey finished last season with an overall record of 10-2 and were 5-0 in S.G.V.L. play. The Vikings were eliminated by Charter Oak 35-21 in the second round of the C.I.F. Division 4 playoffs. Coach Williams, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of the 2017 football season and making another run at a league and C.I.F. title.   

■ The Warren High School football team scrimmaged against Bellflower at Bellflower High School last Friday night. The scrimmage proved to be an outstanding opportunity for players on both offense and defense to demonstrate the skills they have been working on since last season ended. 

Bellflower and Warren took turns running their offenses and defenses. Players were rotated in and out in order to see what each player could do at their respective position(s). Bellflower is a school who competes in the Suburban League with the likes of La Mirada, Mayfair and Norwalk. Bellflower finished last season with an overall record of 2-8 and were 2-4 in league play.
Coach Lara enjoys preseason scrimmages so he can see how his players perform in game like situations. This scrimmage also presented an excellent opportunity for players wanting more playing time to establish themselves as reliable options.

Warren will kick off their season later today against Don Lugo. Don Lugo is a school from the Mt. Baldy League. The Conquistadores finished last season with an overall record of 10-3 and were 5-0 in league play. Don Lugo was eliminated in the third round of the C.I.F. Division Eight playoffs by the Burbank Bulldogs 44-14.

Warren finished last season with an overall record of 2-7-1 and was 2-3 in S.G.V.L. play. The Bears did not qualify for postseason play. Coach Lara, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of the 2017 football season and competing for the San Gabriel Valley League title. Cross-town rival Downey will once again be the team to beat.

■ The St. John Bosco High School football team scrimmaged against Long Beach Wilson last Thursday night. The scrimmage proved to be an outstanding opportunity for players on both offense and defense to demonstrate the skills they have been working on since last season ended. Since the scrimmage, St. John Bosco has flown across the country to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to take on 2016 7A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas tonight.

In the scrimmage, St. John Bosco and Long Beach Wilson took turns running their offenses and defenses. Players were rotated in and out in order to see what each player could do at their respective position(s). Long Beach Wilson is a school who competes in the Moore League with the likes of Long Beach Poly, Lakewood and Cabrillo. Long Beach Wilson finished last season with an overall record of 10-3 and a Moore League record of 5-1. The Bruins only league loss was to Long Beach Poly 32-7.

Preseason scrimmages provide valuable insight to coaches. It gives them a god idea as to who can do what in game-like situations. It also gives players an opportunity to showcase their talents.

St. John Bosco will kick off their season later today against St. Thomas Aquinas. The Raiders are the defending 7A Florida state champions. St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Plant High School 45-6 in the state title game last season. 

St. John Bosco finished last season with an overall record of 13-2 and were 4-1 in Trinity League play. The Braves defeated Mater Dei 42-28 in the C.I.F. title game and defeated Concord De La Salle 56-33 in the state championship game. Coach Negro, his staff and players are all looking forward to the start of the 2017 football season and defending their C.I.F. and state titles.
Mark Fetter, contributor