SPORTS BRIEFS: Football scrimmages begin next week

DOWNEY − The Downey High School football team is busy preparing for their fall 2015 schedule. The Vikings will have a scrimmage against the Trinity League’s Orange Lutheran at Downey High School next Friday night at 6:30 p.m. 

The scrimmage will be an excellent opportunity for Coach Williams and his staff to make some final adjustments before the start of their regular season. Downey will open up their season at home against San Pedro the following Friday, August 28.

Downey will be led on offense by returning junior quarterback Trevor Hill (6’1, 175) and senior running back Daevon Vigilant (5’10, 180). Hill was the starter as a sophomore last season but was limited with a hand injury mid-season. Hill returned to the lineup and helped lead Downey to the C.I.F. Southeast Division title game. 

Hill will be joined again by senior running back Daevon Vigilant. Vigilant was one of the area’s best rushers and helped lead Downey to the title game as well. Vigilant was a durable back last season and will carry a heavy load again this season.

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Jalen Thompson (5’11, 175), senior offensive lineman Andrew Gonzalez (5’8, 190) and senior offensive lineman Alan Gomez (6’1, 235) will all play key roles in moving the Downey offense.

Dominguez, Paramount and resurgent cross-town rival Warren will look to challenge the Vikings this year. Downey was the S.G.V.L. champion last season, with Dominguez and Paramount earning the other two Southeastern Division playoff spots, respectively.    

•••

The Warren High School football team will host a scrimmage against Burroughs at Warren on Friday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. 

The scrimmage will provide an excellent opportunity for head coach Raul Lara and his staff to make some final adjustment before the Bears take on St. Paul Friday, September 4, in their opener. Warren will have their bye week the first week of the season (scrimmage-August 28) and play ten consecutive games through November 6.

The Bears finished last season with an overall record of 5-5 and were 2-3 in S.G.V.L. play. Warren narrowly missed making the playoffs with a close loss at Paramount in week 10. The Bears look to finish over .500 this season and qualify for postseason play. The Bears have not had a winning season since Jesse Callier led the Bears to the S.G.V.L. championship and C.I.F. playoffs during the 2010-11 season. 

Warren is poised to have a winning season. The Bears finished the 2011-12 season 1-8-1, the 2012-13 season 0-10 and the 2013-14 season 0-10. Warren has improved over the past two seasons under Coach Lara and this year’s season should reflect that improvement. The offense will be led by returning senior quarterback Jordan Yancy. Yancy’s continued development in watching film, lifting in the weight room and on the field decision making will carry the Bears as far as they will go.

A few games to circle on the schedule will include Paramount at Warren on October 9, cross-town rival Downey at Warren on October 23 and at Dominguez the following week October 30. If Warren plans on making a postseason appearance, the Bears need to win at least one of those games. 

•••

The Sweetwater Valley Little League team from Bonita, near San Diego, is the southern California representative in the western region for the Little League World Series.

The Western Region bracket is comprised of six teams. There are state champions from Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah and a northern and southern California team. The tournament started Sunday and will run through Saturday at Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino. The western region championship game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. tomorrow evening.

The Sweetwater Little Leaguers defeated the Hawaii state champion, Waipio, 16-9 on Sunday evening in it’s regional opener and then defeated the Nevada state champion, Paseo Verde Little League, 11-2 on Monday evening. Sweetwater faced Snow Canyon Little League of Utah yesterday (score unavailable at press time). Utah was the only other undefeated team in the western region.

On Sunday, Arizona defeated northern California 1-0 and on Monday Utah (1-0) defeated that same Arizona (1-1) team 11-1. Northern California played Nevada and Hawaii played Arizona in elimination games on Wednesday (scores unavailable at press time). 

In the Hawaii game, Sweetwater Valley hit six home runs including two each by sluggers Walker Lannom and Levi Mendez. Mendez did not allow an earned run in four innings of relief work and was credited with the win. 

In the Nevada game, Sweetwater continued their offensive onslaught by jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning. Sweetwater added a run in the third inning, two in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth to seal the win. Antonio Andrade had four hits and Levi Mendez had three hits to lead Sweetwater. Sweetwater is now two victories away from a Little League World Series berth and improved to 14-0 in it’s four tournaments.

•••

The 2015 edition of the prep baseball Area Code Games have come and gone. 

The Area Code Games feature the top returning underclassmen in a showcase of talent. Eight teams compete over the course of a week in early August at Blair Field in Long Beach. Each year an All-Area Code Games Team is selected recognizing standout performances.

Catcher Cooper Johnson of the White Sox, first baseman Chris Winkel of the Yankees, second baseman Bo Bichette of the Nationals, third baseman Austin Shenton of the Royals and shortstop Nolan Jones of the Yankees were all selected to the All-Area Code Team.

Outfielders Blake Rutherford of the Brewers, Mickey Moniak of the Brewers, Brandon Mcllawain of the Yankees and designated hitter Ulysses Cantu of the Rangers were also selected to the All-Area Code Team.

Five pitchers were given All-Area Code Team honors as well. Riley Pint of the White Sox, Jason Groome of the Yankees, Jesus Luzardo of the Nationals, Reggie Lawson of the Brewers and Kevin Gowdy of the Brewers were all selected.

The Brewers were the team who represented southern California. Of the 14 players selected to the All-Area Code Team, four were southern California products. Blake Ruthorford plays in Canoga, Mickey Moniak plays in Carlsbad, Reggie Lawson plays in Victorville and Kevin Gowdy plays in Santa Barbara.

The Area Code Games continue to be a popular venue in Long Beach. It is an excellent way for local talent to be seen and put on the radar for their senior seasons. Scouts are out in numbers watching and evaluating the future’s stars.