SPORTS BRIEFS: Area Code Games have local flavor

DOWNEY − The 2015 installment of the Area Code Games returned to Long Beach this week and many of the top prep baseball players in the country are participating. 

The Area Code Games feature over 240 of the top underclass high school players in the country. The games are being played at Blair Field. 

The Area Code Games are a weeklong event that feature eight teams made up of players who live in different area codes from across the country. Each team will play five games against some of the nation’s best players.

The Chicago White Sox feature players from the Indiana/Illinois area, the Washington Nationals feature players from the Florida/Georgia area, the Kansas City Royals feature players from the Washington/Oregon area and the Cincinnati Reds feature players from the Utah/Colorado area.

The Milwaukee Brewers feature players from southern California, the Texas Rangers feature players from Texas, the New York Yankees feature players from northern California and the Oakland Athletics feature players from the New York/New Jersey area.

The Milwaukee Brewers do not have a player from Downey, Warren or any other San Gabriel Valley League team on their roster. However, Downey standout pitcher Randy Labaut did pitch last year in the Area Code Games and will be pitching at the University of Arizona this year.

Local talent on the Brewers’ roster includes outfielder Dominic Fletcher of Cypress, pitcher Kyle Mora of Los Alamitos and third baseman Spencer Steer of Long Beach Millikan.

Tuesday’s games featured the Royals vs. White Sox at 12:30 p.m., the Reds vs. Rangers  at 3:30 p.m. and the Athletics vs. Brewers at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday’s games featured the Yankees vs. Nationals at 12:30 p.m. and the Rangers vs. Athletics at 3:30 p.m.

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The Downey High School girls’ lacrosse program was recently featured on MundoFox Channel 22 (KWHY). 

Reporter Gustavo Vargas was on campus at Downey High and interviewed head coach Marvin Mires as well as several players, including team captain Ashley Guerrero.

The video shows Lady Viking lacrosse players going through basic warm-up, passing and catching drills followed by short interviews. Vargas even took time to dance with the Lady Viking goalkeeper who was preparing for her quinceanera.

The video clip highlights the program’s six years in existence and how it has improved each season. This summer, the girls’ lacrosse program had between 30-35 players attending workouts. Mires stated that “these are the hardest working athletes I have seen. They train hard and learn fast.”

The Lady Vikings have high expectations for the upcoming season. Mires maintains that this will be an exciting year with so many quality players returning. Senior midfielder Ashley Guerrero is the reigning Ocean League Most Valuable Player, senior defense Ashlye West is the returning defensive MVP, senior midfielder Melissa Ramires returns as does senior defense Ariel Hernandez.

The Lady Vikings are currently taking August off as their “dead period” and will get back to work once the school year begins. Coach Mires believes that this team has an outstanding chance to not only win the South Los Angeles Section title, but to defeat the Orange County Section winner too. 

You can watch the Downey girls’ lacrosse video clip at youtu.be/eMcI6yoicFA

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The 2015-16 middle school sports schedule will be significantly different from last year. More sports teams have been added and as a result, more athletes will be included in each school’s respective sport’s teams.

Football and girls’ volleyball is the first rotation and has undergone the most change. This year there will be three football teams. There will be an eighth, seventh and sixth grade football team. Last year, there was one team comprised of eighth, seventh and sixth grade athletes. Girls’ volleyball will also have three teams. There will be an eighth, seventh, and sixth grade team. Last year there was an eighth grade team (varsity) and a seventh/sixth grade (junior varsity) team.

Boys’ volleyball and girls’ soccer is the second rotation. There will be three boys’ volleyball teams which will include an eighth, seventh and sixth grade team. Girls’ soccer will have two teams. There will be an eighth grade (varsity) team and a seventh/sixth grade (junior varsity) team.

Basketball and boys’ soccer is the third rotation. There will be three boys’ and three girls’ basketball teams. There will be an eighth, seventh and sixth grade boys’ basketball team. There will also be an eighth, seventh and sixth grade girls’ basketball team. Boys’ soccer will have an eighth grade (varsity) team and a seventh/sixth grade (junior varsity) team. 

Baseball and softball is the fourth rotation. There will be two boys’ teams. There will be an eighth grade (varsity) team and a seventh/sixth grade (junior varsity) team. There will also be two girls’ softball teams. There will be an eighth grade (varsity) team and a seventh/sixth grade (junior varsity) team. 

Track and field is the fifth and final rotation. There will be three boys’ teams and three girls’ teams. There will be a boys’ eighth grade team, a seventh grade team and a sixth grade team. There will also be a girls’ eighth grade team, a seventh grade team and a sixth grade team.