Warren High swimming pool nears completion

DOWNEY – The Warren High School pool is nearing completion. For the first time in recent days the pool at Warren High School has water in it. 

A crew was cleaning and sweeping out the pool late last week, the plastering was then finished and the water finally flowed a short time later. It was certainly a site to be seen from the adjacent staircase on the second floor of Justice Stadium

There are two large blue shade covers on the north side of the pool and an impressive scoreboard is being placed at the east end of the pool attached to the west side of the gymnasium’s outer wall. The south side features state of the art locker room and outdoor showering areas. The west side features a newly gated entrance. Outer area concrete will be poured once the inside is completed. The final touches are currently being put in the locker rooms and around the pool area. 

Warren Athletic Director Russ Heicke said that the pool should be completed by August 15, a day before fall classes begin at Warren. Heicke continued to say that all aquatic competitions will be played at Warren this fall and the Bears will host their first game at the end of August. 

All Warren aquatic coaches, as well as the faculty and staff, are extremely excited to have the pool finally operational. 

Heicke concluded by saying that he is grateful to Downey High School throughout the construction time frame and would like to thank Viking Nation for their accommodations and hospitality throughout this process. 

■ The Warren High School baseball program continues to offer summer camps for young student-athletes. 

The camp is being run by former Warren Bear standout Miguel Mendoza and focuses on aspects of the game from pitching to catching to hitting to base-running and more. Warren head coach Scott Pearson mentioned that there are currently about twenty kids in the camp, including his son, and that players are having fun while they are learning the fundamentals of the game.

The Warren High School baseball program has also engaged in the “Hard Yards Challenge.” The “Hard Yards Challenge” is four weeks in duration and takes place three days a week. The focus is centered around hitting, defense and weight training. The program also addresses agility work and conducts mental lectures to understand the game better. 

Scrimmage games are played once a week and participants receive a fitted hat, two dri-fit t-shirts and a pair of shorts. The “Hard Yards Challenge” is open for high school players in grades 9-12. 

Details and registration information can be found online at diamondskills108.com. Warren head baseball coach Scott Pearson can be contacted at spearson@dusd.net with questions regarding the Warren baseball program. 

■ The Downey High School football program is busy preparing for the 2017 season. 

The Vikings have several key players returning to a league championship team from a season ago. Running back Baraq Ross (All-C.I.F.), defensive lineman Eli Garcia, offensive tackle Steven George, wide receiver Chris Atkins (All-C.I.F.), linebacker/tight end Robert Barron, offensive lineman Diego Casillas, defensive lineman Brennan Fields, athlete Nick Whitney, linebacker Malcom Perry, athlete Edward Esparza and athlete Noah Skobis all return with more experience and skill under their belts.

Coach Williams likes the progress of his offensive and defensive lines. Williams has also been impressed with junior starting quarterback Kijon Foots as well as running back Baraq Ross. Newcomers to keep an eye on include Shane Olden and Daniel Mena. Williams believes the strengths of this year’s team will be his offensive and defensive lines and team speed on the outside.

Williams expects his players to play together and from whistle to whistle. His focus for this year’s team is all about “sacrifice.” Williams believes all ten games on the schedule will be tough and present different challenges. The Santa Margarita game stands out because the Eagles return 10 of 11 starters on defense and eight of 11 starters on offense from a season ago. 

Santa Margarita finished last season with an overall record of 7-5 and lost in the second round of the C.I.F. Division I playoffs to eventual California state champion St. John Bosco 54-14. 

■ The Downey High School football team will be fun to watch this fall. 

The Vikings welcome back defensive tackle Eli Garcia. Garcia had 61 tackles, including 12 for a loss and 5.5 sacks a season ago. Garcia is a three- year varsity starter and a two-year captain. Garcia is the strongest guy on the team and looks better than ever. 

Nick Whitney had 67 tackles a season ago from the safety position as well as two interceptions, one was returned for a touchdown. Defensive tackle Brennan Fields had 59 tackles, including 16 for a loss and 8 sacks last season. Fields is fast and strong and has all the traits to be a big-time defensive lineman.

Jack Chapman is a linebacker who recorded 57 tackles, including eight for a loss last season. Chapman is an intense player who brings a lot of heart and physicality. 

Some new additions to this year’s team include Chris Ledesma, Brenden Hodge and Jacob Manetta. Ledesma is a corner who has shown flashes of being a lockdown type corner. He contests every ball thrown his way. Hodge is a corner/safety who dominated on the freshman team last season and is looking to contribute/start this season. His technique is very good. Manetta is an outside linebacker who was a rotational player last season. He is bigger and faster this season and is physical and smart.

Coach Thomas Hollington III maintains that all 10 games on the schedule will be tough this season. He maintains that consistency on defense will be the key for the team’s success. 

SportsMark Fetter