Prep rally: Which baseball teams are up to the hype?


Hello and welcome to another edition of Prep Rally. My name is Eric Sondheimer. It’s a month into the high school baseball season and it’s time to see which players are teams living up to their preseason rankings.

baseball stars

Servite second baseman Agustin Gutierrez (24) scores Orange Lutheran’s Bryan Martinez (23) during a preview near third base at Servite High School on March 15.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

Orange Lutheran lives up to its preseason hype and continues to maintain the No. 1 ranking in high school baseball. A surprise for the Lancers is the development of pitcher Oliver Santos, a transfer from Mater Dei. He became an ace at the start of the season. Casey Borba, head coach’s son Eric Borba, showed his power. The junior is committed to Texas.

The Trinity League remains a very competitive league. Only the top three teams have guaranteed spots in the Division 1 playoffs, so some good teams might not make it. It’s an all out battle with Servite, Santa Margarita and JSerra. St. John Bosco is in Division 3, so he can get a spot off if he doesn’t finish in the top three. Servite had a big week with a three-game sweep of Santa Margarita.

Gardena Serra is 11-3, 4-0 in the Del Rey League. second year pitcher Jaden Harris is 4-0.

Villa Park are 12-1 under manager Call Burtwho was fired several years ago in Santa Ana Mater Dei.

In the City section, the pitching was impressive among the top teams, Birmingham, Granada Hills, Roosevelt and Palisades. Granada Hills beat Roosevelt 1-0 in eight innings in which Lino Zepeda struck out 14 for Roosevelt.

Long Beach Millikan showed a quality pitch thanks to Myles Pattonwho beat Long Beach Wilson’s Charles Royle 1-0 last week. Travis Scott is 6-0 for Estancia.

Among the batters, there were big starts for Calabasas junior Phoenix call and Norco Junior Cameron Kimboth of which beat above .500. Andre Lemon of Harvard-Westlake is 20 to 36. Eastvale Roosevelt senior Patrick Fregoso has 25 hits and 22 RBIs.

Torrance is 15-1-1. Arlington is 16-1. Neither was in the pre-season rankings.

Here are this week’s top 25 rankings from The Times.

Harvard-Westlake Fast Times

Harvard-Westlake soccer star Alyssa Thompson is ready to make an impact by running the 100, 200 and 400 in track and field.

Harvard-Westlake soccer star Alyssa Thompson is ready to make an impact by running the 100, 200 and 400 in track and field.

(Eric Sondheimer/Los Angeles Times)

A sweatshirt that says ‘United States of America’ is the only clue the 17-year-old strolling the Harvard-Westlake campus in Studio City is someone Los Angeles sports fans in London could one day recognize as easily as James LeBron.

Alyssa Thompson is no ordinary high school athlete. This month, she won a gold medal playing for the United States Women’s National U-20 Soccer Team at the CONCACAF Championships. She was the second youngest player on the team and the fastest. A year ago, as a sophomore, she was honored as the National Women’s Soccer Player of the Year at Gatorade. This season, she did not play for her high school team as she prepared to represent her country.

She’s back in the classroom after spending three weeks in the Dominican Republic training and competing. It was the longest time she had been away from family and friends. At the airport, her mother was in tears as she greeted her. There were signs and flowers. Her second-grade sister, Gisele, another football star, was there, with his 10-year-old sister Zoe, another phenomenon in the making.

Now it’s off to track season and what a first race she ran. Here is a profile.


Azusa Pacific’s maintenance crew will need weeks to clear the scorch marks on the track following Saturday night’s Meet of Champions Distance Classic.

Many state and national records were broken as a Newbury Park senior Colin Sahlman and his teammates put on a show never before seen in the history of the event.

Sahlman clocked 1 minute 48.84 seconds to edge out his younger brother Aaron (1:48.91) in the men’s 800m, smashing the meet record of 1:50.10 set by Placentia Valencia Sean Krinik in 2010. The brothers’ times are the fastest in the country this year.

Here is an overview of the other records set.

The Arcadia Invitational in two weeks promises to be one hell of a meeting.

Rodrick Nice de Gardena Serra ran his first 100 meters of the season at the Texas Relays. He was definitely happy with an opening time of 10.39.

Max Thomas of Servite set another record by winning the 100m at the Orange County Championships in 10.41 seconds.

Tied to UCLA Jaydn Marshall of St. Mary’s in Northern California ran 13.35 in the 110 hurdles at the Texas Relays. He’s coming for the Arcadia Invitational.

There is going to be a great triple jump competition between Jonathan Yu of the Valley of the Fountain and Camryn O’Bannon of Saint John Bosco.

Dalia Frias de Mira Costa has been running faster than any distance runner in years.

Soft ball

The best softball teams have become quite clear.

Southern California’s top 20 rankings from last week from

1. (1) Villa Park

2. (2) Oak Christian

3. (3) Camarillo

4. (4) Eastvale Roosevelt

5. (5) Murrieta Mesa

6. (6) Los Alamitos

Here are the remaining teams.

Harvard-Westlake water polo coach Brian Flacks leaves for Stanford.

Harvard-Westlake water polo coach Brian Flacks leaves for Stanford.

(Eric Sondheimer/Los Angeles Times)

Brian Flacks, the highly regarded Harvard-Westlake aquatics director at Studio City who turned the boys’ program into a high school powerhouse, has been hired as a water polo coach at Stanford.

He replaces John Vargas, who retired to Stanford after 20 years and two NCAA championships.

It’s quite a promotion, going from high school head coach to varsity head coach at Stanford, but that’s what can happen in water polo, where many high school coaches have experience with American water polo and have earned respect as developing talents.

Flacks is one of those rare coaches with a promising future on many levels. Here’s a look at what Stanford gets.

Remarks . . .

Strategist Nico Yamaleava of Long Beach Poly announced that he had committed to Tennessee. …

Former Chaminade infielder Carter Graham entered last week, leading Stanford in batting with a .385 batting average, including six homers. …

Taft’s former football manager Aaron Gideon is the new head coach of Escondido. …

Russell Gordon, former head coach of Campbell Hall and La Salle, is Quartz Hill’s new football coach. …

McDonald’s All-American basketball games will be played Tuesday in Chicago. Gabriela Jaquez from Camarillo is in the girl’s game with Amari Bailey and Kijani Wright of Sierra Canyon in the boys game. Action at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

From the archives: Christian Koloko

Christian Koloko of Arizona.

Arizona’s Christian Koloko dives alongside Washington’s Nate Roberts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, in Seattle. Arizona won 92-68. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

(John Froschauer/AP)

When Christian Koloko Arrived at Birmingham High School from Cameroon for his first year, he was your typical 7-footer – awkward, insecure and trying to learn how to play basketball in a body he was still learning. He wore glasses. He was not a standout and did not dominate games.

There was flashes of potential. He would then be transferred to Sierra Canyon to maintain his US visa. Arizona recruited him seeing his potential. And what a player he has become.

He is expected to be an NBA lottery pick. In the first half last week against Texas Christian, he made eight of nine shots and had 18 points. Many call him the most improved player in college basketball.

here is a history of 2020 when it was called “a project”.


Of Seattle Times, a story about former Birmingham wide receiver Johnny Tincher.

From the Los Angeles Times, a story about how former Camarillo standout Jaime Jaquez Jr. became UCLA’s toughest player.

Since Jpost.coma story about former Valley Torah basketball player Ryan Turell’s attempt to become the NBA’s first Orthodox Jewish player.

Tweets you may have missed

Until next time…

Have a question, comment, or something you’d like to see in a future Prep Rally newsletter? Email me at [email protected]and follow me on Twitter at @latsondheimer.

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