Sports briefs: Vikings hold their own in Division I scrimmage

DOWNEY -- The Downey High School football team finally got to hit someone else besides themselves last Thursday night as they hosted a highly competitive scrimmage against Division I and Trinity League foe Orange Lutheran.Both teams worked on their respective offenses and defenses while several players got time in game-like situations. Overall, the scrimmage provided an excellent opportunity for both teams to get better. The defending C.I.F. Southeast Division champion Vikings held their own without the services of standout running back Justin Huff or wide receiver Jacob Cook. The Vikings did have quarterback Jorge Reyna, running back Eric Carrillo and San Gabriel transfer Ricky Wong step up and make plays on offense. On defense, defensive lineman Anthony Florido, Anthony Garcia and outside linebacker Tristan Esparza all played well and made some nice tackles. Downey will host Mayfair this evening in both teams' season opener. Downey won last year's game, 30-20, at Mayfair. Mayfair finished last season with an overall record of 3-6 and a Suburban League record of 2-3. The Monsoons did not qualify for post season play. La Mirada (9-2, 5-0) was the Suburban League champion, Bellflower (5-5, 3-2) finished second and Norwalk (8-3, 3-2) finished third. Downey will travel to Vista Murrieta next Friday, Sept. 6. The two teams did not play last year. Vista Murrita finished last season with an overall record of 13-1 and a Southwestern League record of 5-0. The Broncos were undefeated league champions who lost in the C.I.F. Inland Division championship game to Corona Centennial, 30-28. Vista Murrieta was ranked 26th nationally and 7th in California last year. ** While both Downey and Warren high schools will start their respective academic school years Wednesday, the Viking and Bear summer sports programs have been going on all summer, with each sport taking the C.I.F. mandated three weeks off in observance of the "dead period." Each sport took different weeks off so there was some sport going on throughout the summer, not to mention summer school for student-athletes trying to earn or make up credits. Football, boys and girls cross country, girls' volleyball, girls' golf, girls' tennis and girls' water polo are the fall sports being participated in at this time. Downey football coach Jack Williams, boys' cross country coach Robert Gleason, girls' cross country coach Amy Overgaauw, girls' volleyball coach Andrea Sims, girls' golf coach Jason Bean, girls' tennis coach Denise Diego, and girls' water polo coach Stephen Judy have put countless hours into their sports, not to mention their lower level coaches. Warren football coach Gil Jimenez, boys' cross country coach Ramon Miranda, girls' cross country coach Jay Waldron, girls' volleyball coach Scott Lane, girls' golf coach Tina Schmid, girls' tennis coach Mary Starksen and girls' water polo coach Josie Cordero, along with their assistant coaches, also have put in a lot of work this summer. Hundreds of student-athletes participate in these sports and continue to improve with consistent coaching, encouragement and instruction. As we recognize all of our excellent and future student athletes, let's not forget the countless coaches who dedicate themselves to their student-athletes and their respective sports. Interestingly, these are only the fall sports. Winter and spring sports were not even mentioned, but they will be soon. ** The Warren High School football team squared off against fellow C.I.F. Southeast Division and Del Rio League foe Whittier High School in a scrimmage last Friday. Whittier finished last season with an overall record of 3-7 and a Del Rio League record of 0-5, failing to qualify for post season play. La Serna (12-2, 5-0), Santa Fe (8-5, 4-1) and California (8-3, 3-2) were the three playoff teams from the Del Rio League. Whittier is hoping to turn things around this year, as are the Bears. Warren does not have a game scheduled for tonight, Aug. 30, but will open their season at home next Friday against the South East Jaguars at 7 p.m. South East won last season's matchup, 24-21. South East finished last season in a three-way tie for the Eastern League title. The Jaguars (11-2, 5-1) shared the title with Garfield (6-6, 5-1) and Roosevelt (8-3, 5-1), respectively. South East won the 2011 C.I.F. Los Angeles City Section Division I championship but lost in the 2012 semifinals to San Fernando, 24-13. The Bears will then travel to Norwalk and face the Lancers at Excelsior Adult School on Sept. 13. Norwalk (8-3, 3-2) finished last season as the third place finisher in the Suburban League. La Mirada (9-2, 5-0) and Bellflower (5-5, 3-2) were the Suburban League's champion and second place finisher, respectively. Coach Jimenez, his staff and his players are looking forward to the start of the 2013 football season. ** The Warren High School girls' volleyball team is gearing up for their fall season and looking to improve on last year's overall record of 12-12 (6-4 in league). The Lady Bears finished third in the final S.G.V.L. standings and lost in the first round of the C.I.F. playoffs. The cross-town rival Lady Vikings (10-0) were the 2012 S.G.V.L. champions and Gahr (8-2) finished second, respectively. The Lady Bears have several returners back from last season, including senior Kendall Sonico, senior Jackie Navarro, senior Janae Graham, senior Julissa Juarez and junior Gabby Vizcarra, all with more experience and skill under their belts. The Lady Bears have been working hard this summer and managed to practice around the gymnasium floor being resurfaced. Coach Lane is very pleased with the new surface and can't wait to put it to use. The Lady Bears started their summer practice schedule on Aug. 5, after observing the C.I.F. mandated "dead period" for three weeks in July. The Lady Bears have been practicing at Apollo Park five days a week. Coach Lane is pleased to bring Alexis Cormier in as his assistant coach. Cormier was at Cal State Northridge for 10 years and also has ties to West Los Angeles College. Lane maintains that passing and playing defense is, and will be, the focus of this team. Lane mentioned that having his volleyball players sixth period right after the 2012 volleyball season ended has been a huge help in practicing, evaluating talent and for recruiting other on-campus athletes to play volleyball.

********** Published: Aug. 29, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 20