Pasadena Southwest Little League Roundup

Photos by Kiera Wight / OUTLOOK
Timber Rattlers players congregate around an infield hit.

Majors
Blue Jays 15, Orioles 8 – The Blue Jays pecked away at the Orioles’ pitching staff, collecting 14 hits with Nathan “Momo” Cai, Lars Dietrick, Zach Attanasio, Mark Hiddleson and Mason Slater racking up two hits apiece. The Jays played strong defense, with DeAngelo “DLo” Bridge robbing Aidan Epstein of an extra-base hit with a nice catch in center field. Although the Orioles tried to mount a late-game rally, Jays ace pitcher Cai clipped their wings in the final inning, retiring the side to end the game.

Dodgers 8, Nationals 6 – In an exciting game with several lead changes, the teams entered the fourth inning tied 3-3 when the Nationals’ Lucy Schmoke belted a two-run double. In the bottom of the fifth, the Dodgers pulled even with an RBI triple from Becket Halpin and an RBI single from Connor McKinney. The Dodgers took the lead for good in the same inning on a thundering RBI double down the line off the bat of Luke Phillips.

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CIF Southern Section to Conduct Spring Playoffs

Thirteen long months removed from any kind of high school postseason competition, the California Interscholastic Federation’s largest section, the Southern Section, announced last week that it will hold playoffs and championships for spring sports.
With less travel restrictions, coronavirus cases plummeting across Southern California — once the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic — and more residents being vaccinated, the Southern Section will move forward with playoffs for basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, boys’ volleyball and boys’ and girls’ dual meet wrestling.
“We have our eyes on the prize and what we want to try to do,” CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod said during a press conference last week. “So give us a chance to do it. I assure you and promise you we’re giving every effort we can give so that we can make this happen.”
Southern Section officials are also hopeful of having individual championships for swimming and diving, golf, tennis and track and field. They are working with various county health departments to secure approvals to hold the events and looking for venues.
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Mayfield Track Athletes Shine at Simi Valley Invitational

The Mayfield Senior track and field team recently had a strong showing in the Simi Valley Invitational, one of the biggest track and field events so far this season.
Stanford-bound Audrey Suarez competed in the top flight 1,600-meter race and placed first with a time of 4 minutes, 55.43 seconds, edging La Cañada High School standout Ellaney Matarese. The winning time was a new meet record. Cecelia Kvochak ran in the same race and finished in 5:37.51 for 13th place.
In the 100-meter finals, Sade Falese led the Cubs with a time of 13.40 seconds, which was good for 20th. Alyssa Gallardo was 63rd in the race with a time of 14.39, Nikkie Hensley finished in 14.86 for 71st, Zoe Griffin wasn’t far behind to take 76th with a time of 15.03 and Sophia Barriga posted a time of 17.88, which was good for 88th.
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La Salle Falls to Harvard-Westlake at Rose Bowl

By Austin Green
The Outlook

Photo by Eric Danielson / OUTLOOK
The La Salle College Preparatory football team was on the losing end of a shootout at the Rose Bowl, falling to Harvard-Westlake of Studio City 58-40 on April 9. Sophomore quarterback Richard Munoz (pictured above) led the Lancers’ offense, completing 22 of 32 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns. La Salle rebounded from the defeat and ended the shortened season with a 31-7 win over Long Beach St. Anthony the following week.

It was an offensive explosion to behold: 14 points were scored in the game’s first 28 seconds; the two offenses combined for over 700 total yards.
However, the La Salle College Prep football team had its Rose Bowl debut spoiled by Studio City Harvard-Westlake as the Lancers’ comeback against their Del Rey League rival fell short in 58-40 shootout on April 9.
Harvard-Westlake (5-0 overall, 3-0 in league) virtually assures itself at least a share of the league title with the win. La Salle dropped to 2-2 overall (2-1 in league) with the loss.
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PHS Star Receives Rose Bowl Institute Award

Photo courtesy Rose Bowl Institute
Ahmad Jolley (center) received the Rose Bowl Institute’s Sportsmanship Award following the Bulldogs’ victory over John Muir in the Turkey Tussle. Pictured are (from left) Pasadena City Councilman Gene Masuda, Rose Bowl Institute’s Brian Brantley, Mayor Victor Gordo, City Councilman Tyron Hampton, Rose Bowl Institute President Charlie Firestone and Advisory Board member Jen Welter.

Pasadena High School running back Ahmad Jolley was selected as the recipient of the Rose Bowl Institute’s inaugural Sportsmanship Award following the Bulldogs’ 33-6 victory over rival John Muir in the annual Turkey Tussle at the Rose Bowl last Friday evening.
Jolley “showcased continuous acts of sportsmanship throughout the game,” according to a spokesperson.
“For 73 years, we recognize that student athletes from John Muir and Pasadena high schools have left it all on the field – physically and emotionally – at the annual Turkey Tussle here at the Rose Bowl Stadium,” said Pasadena Mayor Victor M. Gordo. “Thank you to the Rose Bowl Institute for starting a new tradition and recognizing the importance of sportsmanship to the game.”
According to an RBI statement, the sportsmanship values recognized and encouraged include appreciation for the game, commitment to the team, respect for others (particularly opponents and referees), playing by the rules, and personal integrity.
The committee members who selected the award recipient included Mayor Gordo, Rose Bowl Institute President Charlie Firestone, Pasadena City Councilmen Tyron Hampton and Gene Masuda, and Rose Bowl Institute representatives Brian Brantley and Jen Welter, who was the NFL’s first female football coach.
“This was a great opportunity for the Rose Bowl Institute to apply our Sportsmanship Award to an important local sporting event at the Rose Bowl Stadium,” Firestone said.
Darryl Dunn, CEO and general manager of the Rose Bowl Stadium, added: “We are very proud of the Rose Bowl Institute and presenting the inaugural sportsmanship award and are thrilled to be part of one Pasadena’s greatest traditions — the Turkey Tussle.”
Pasadena High head coach DeJuan Shamburger heaped praise on Jolley after he received the award. “Man, that’s my guy,” Shamburger said. “We stay on him, his grades are good, he doesn’t complain about anything, he does his job. That’s why he got the Sportsmanship Award.”

Bulldogs Beat Mustangs in Turkey Tussle, 33-6

By Austin Green
The Outlook

Photo courtesy Raymond Quan
Allen Bennett had one of Muir’s highlights in the Mustangs’ 33-6 loss to rival Pasadena when he intercepted a pass and returned it down the sideline in front of the Bulldogs’ bench.

With roughly five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of an unprecedented spring edition of the Turkey Tussle, Pasadena High School head football coach DeJuan Shamburger gathered his team on its sideline at the Rose Bowl. With the game’s result all but assured and things predictably getting chippy between the Bulldogs and archrival Muir Mustangs, Shamburger urged calm among his players by reminding them what they were about to accomplish.
“The (Victory) Bell is coming back to the eastside,” Shamburger said, “so relax.”
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Maranatha, La Salle Victorious

Photo courtesy David Thomas
Isiah Johnson scored four touchdowns to help Maranatha defeat Sun Valley Village Christian, 42-35, in the Pasadena team’s final game of the season last week. The Minutemen, guided by former NFL star LaVar Arrington, finished with an overall record of 3-0.

Isaiah Johnson showed he can do it all and led the Maranatha High School football team to a 42-35 victory over visiting Sun Valley Village Christian last Thursday.
The sophomore tallied four touchdowns, including a 4-yard run into the end zone that allowed the Minutemen to recapture the lead with 5:32 remaining in the final quarter. On the ensuing play, Johnson faked a run to the left and threw a short pass to Cardell Mayfield for a two-point conversion to give Maranatha a seven-point lead late in the game.
Last week’s contest was the final one this season for Maranatha. Head coach LaVar Arrington guided his squad to a perfect 3-0 record with victories over Northridge Heritage Christian and La Habra Whittier Christian in the first two weeks.
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Poly Narrowly Falls, 8-7, in Rose Bowl

Photo courtesy Raymond Quan
Poly running back Sam Howell evades Rio Hondo Prep defensive back Jonathan Guerrero during Poly’s 8-7 loss. Howell finished with Poly’s lone touchdown of the game.

By Austin Green
The Outlook

There is leaving it all out on the field, and then there is what the Polytechnic and Arcadia Rio Hondo Prep football teams did at the Rose Bowl last Friday evening. The grand old mecca of college football has hosted countless games of all types in its century of existence, but none quite like what the two longtime Prep League rivals had in store in both schools’ first time playing at the historic stadium.
In their lone game of the 2020-21 academic year, Poly fell to Rio Hondo by a score of 8-7 when the Panthers’ field goal attempt with time running out was blocked.
Poly led for nearly the entire second half before Rio Hondo scored on its final drive of the game with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Kares head coach Mark Carson opted to go for a two-point conversion, and his gamble paid off when fullback Ryan McCulloch bulldozed his way into the end zone to give Rio Hondo the lead and, eventually, the win.
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Pasadena Southwest Little League Roundup

Photos by Austin Green / Outlook

Majors Division
Nationals 7, Orioles 5 – The Nationals scored all seven of their runs in a decisive fourth inning. Nico Wilson and Will Thorell led the Nationals with two hits apiece. Demond Cassidy threw two strong innings for the Nationals, allowing two runs and striking out three. Matthew Caceres earned the save in the final inning. Ben Sandman led the Orioles with two scoreless innings on the mound with one strikeout. Landon Baylon recorded an RBI with a first inning double for the O’s.
Dodgers 5, Blue Jays 2 – It was a real pitching duel through two scoreless innings with the Blue Jays’ Nathan “Momo” Cai and the Dodgers’ Connor McKinney both holding their opponents in check. Finally, in the third inning, the Dodgers Luke Phillips drove in two runs. Connor McKinney and Matthew Favella added back-to-back triples to make the score 5-0. The Blue Jays got onto the board with the help of back-to-back doubles from Cai and Cayden Doan but in the end, it was not enough to complete the comeback. Continue reading “Pasadena Southwest Little League Roundup”

Pasadena Southwest Little League Season Opens To Smiles, Relief

Photo by Austin Green / OUTLOOK
Pasadena Southwest Little League president George Hasbun, who also serves as the Triple-A Cubs manager, talks to his team before their Opening Day game against the Giants at Allendale Park.

By Austin Green
The Outlook

Opening Day at Pasadena Southwest Little League could not have taken place on a more beautiful spring Saturday. Birds chirped along to the sound of a light breeze through the trees at Allendale Park, the sun was out, the air was clear and the temperature read 75 degrees on the dot.
Stan Gray Field was once again filled with the usual voices of children and adults in the midst of a full day’s slate of youth baseball games. Kids ran around to get their final warmups in before their respective games, or made a beeline to the nearby playground after. Coaches yelled instruction and encouragement. Parents settled into the stands and chatted to each other.
All around the diamond, the sights and sounds were brilliantly normal. Which, in the age of COVID-19, is exactly what made them so extraordinary.
“It’s as close as we’ve felt to normal in a year, so it’s been great,” said Chris Murphy, a PSWLL parent.
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