SPORTS BRIEFS: teams focus on fast-approaching season

DOWNEY - Head coach Jack Williams and the Downey High School football staff will be hosting a one day skills camp this Sunday at Allen Layne Stadium on the campus of Downey High School.The camp will focus on speed training, tackling techniques, and offensive and defensive drills. The camp cost is $40 and will last from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The skills camp will be open to all youngsters ages 6-14 who want to learn more about team building and football. This camp will feature several players from USC, as it did last year. Last year, USC players senior safety T.J. McDonald, freshman offensive tackle Zach Banner and freshman linebacker Jabari Ruffin were all in attendance offering their advice to the young campers. T.J. McDonald was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the third round (71st overall pick) in the NFL's 2013 spring draft. Banner and Ruffin return to USC with more experience and skill under their belts. Coach Williams was very pleased with the turnout from last year, "with over 80 young athletes in attendance," and hopes to surpass that number this year. Please contact head coach Jack Williams at (562) 869-7301 ext. 5323 with any questions or by e-mail at Are you ready for some football? * The Downey High School wrestling program continues its summer wrestling practices. Coach Soto and his staff have been busy working with the varsity team from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and the junior varsity team from 2-4 p.m. The varsity workouts have consistently had 30 wrestlers in attendance while the junior varsity workouts have consistently had 25 wrestlers in attendance. Varsity wrestlers have been attending wrestling on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at John Glenn High School in Norwalk and on Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. at Arroyo High School in El Monte. The Downey wrestling program will also be attending the Mt. San Antonio College commuter wrestling camp Aug. 10-11 in Walnut. Coach Soto, his staff and his wrestlers are certainly gearing up for the winter wrestling season. Interestingly, girls' varsity basketball head coach Nate Harris had his team playing South Gate in the gymnasium Wednesday afternoon, freshmen football coach Gordon Weisenburger had his players doing conditioning drills on the new and improved football field and the flag and color guard were busy practicing their routines on the blacktop just east of the tennis courts. Please keep in mind that the fall semester doesn't begin for students until Sept. 4. * The Warren High School girls' cross-country team is gearing up for another season. The Bears will no longer have standout runner Lali Avila as she has now graduated and will be running for Cal State Long Beach. Warren does have, however, several top runners returning from last year's team. Senior Yajaira Zarate, sophomore Janeane Hernandez, sophomore Gwendolyn Hurtado, senior Silvia Gonzalez and junior Sofia Ramos all return with more experience and speed. Freshmen Blanca Robles and Jessica Egizii are two runners to keep an eye on. Coach Waldron has had over 130 girls participate in Lady Bear summer workouts and certainly sees potential. The Lady Bears will continue their summer practice schedule by participating in the XC Summer Series at Gahr High School on Thursday, Aug. 1 and Aug. 15. The Lady Bears will then participate in the Nike Sunrise in the Park Race on Aug. 25. Warren will then compete in the Laguna Hills Invitational on Sept. 14, and the Woodbridge Invitational on Sept. 21. Warren will start league competition in the first league cluster meet on Sept. 26, at Hollydale Park in South Gate. The second league cluster meet will be held Oct. 17, at Wilderness Park in Downey and the final league cluster meet will be held Nov. 6, at the La Mirada Regional Park in La Mirada. Coach Waldron believes that cross-town rival Downey will provide solid competition due to the runners they have returning from last season. * The Warren High School boys' water polo team has just concluded their summer workout program. The Bears have been in the pool conditioning and practicing since June 24. The Bears' last summer practice concluded yesterday, July 25. The boys' water polo program will now observe their C.I.F. mandated "dead period" for the next three weeks. Practices will start back up again in mid-August. Coach Nichols is pleased with the progress he has seen from his team. The Bears lost several key players from last year's team. Gone are standout All-S.G.V.L. performer Johnathan Iglesias (UCSD), Jordan Galvez, Diego Lucas and David Romero to Cerritos College, Brandon Yi (UCSB), Micah Lopez (APU) Oscar Orozco (LMU) and sprinter Leon Yao. Players stepping up are junior drivers Ethan Harrison and Ethan Lopez. Freshman utility player Ignacio Sixtos is also primed to contribute early. Coach Nichols has had 55 players workout over the summer, including 20 freshmen. Coach Nichols believes that Cerritos and Downey will once again be the teams to beat in S.G.V.L. play. Warren starts their pre-season schedule on Sept. 10 at Warren against Santa Fe. The Bears will then compete in the El Rancho Tournament Sept. 12-14 at El Rancho and then travel to Cal High on Sept. 17. Warren will start league play against Gahr at Cerritos College on Oct. 8. Warren will then host Downey at the Downey Aquatics Center on Oct. 15, travel to Cerritos Park East to play Cerritos on Oct. 22, host Whitney on Oct. 29 and then travel to Paramount to play the Pirates on Nov. 5. The first game of the season is quickly approaching.

********** Published: July 25, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 15