CHS early sports season looks quite promising

The Claremont High School fall 2019 sports season is underway, with many teams already racking up results. The football team won their first game, while cross country’s Cool Breeze invite is in the books. Here is a sports news round up.

 

Girls tennis

Claremont will be the team to beat this year in Palomares League, with a strong crew of returning players mixed with a few new faces. Standout singles player Goldie La is now a junior and will seek to improve on her quarterfinal finish in last year’s CIF individual tournament. Sophomore Jacqueline Pearsall returns at number two, and Claremont has a freshman in the third slot—none other than La’s sister Sydney La.

The Pack’s rival last year, Ayala, graduated several top competitors, so they will attempt to rebuild this season, which could be good news for the Pack. Both teams get to see how they stack up when Claremont hosts the Bulldogs for its league opener September 24.

Last weekend, the girls were in the Beckman Fall Classic tournament and although they did not win, it was a valuable experience because of the strong competition. That arduous schedule will continue when the Pack travels to Anaheim next week to face a tough Troy High School.

“Playing against better people is how you get better,” Coach Kathy Settles said during practice on Monday.

On Monday the team was working on live ball drills that help with accuracy and consistency. It’s all about practicing in game-like situations. Coach Settles is also on the hunt for doubles team members.

Last season the Pack won league with a 9-0 record, then advanced to the quarterfinal match of the CIF team tournament. In addition to Goldie La, Jahday Drewery and Salma Mohideen qualified for the CIF individual tournament as a doubles team.

“We are blessed to have another strong group [of girls] who are all interested in getting better. And so it’s really satisfying to coach them,” Coach Settles said.

Girls volleyball

The frustrating turnover at the top spot continues with the exit of Angel Posada, who coahced for two years. Coach Posada’s tenure was actually twice as long as the average stint in recent years. However, this time the new coach is Dan Reighter, who was the head coach in 2016, but had to resign because of outside commitments.

As reported in last week’s COURIER, the girls opened the season, by going 5-1 in the Azusa Tournament snagging the runner up trophy.

During a recent practice, Assistant Coach Mariah Price was leading the team through drills as they prepared for Upland High School, which took place Wednesday.

Like the tennis team, girls volleyball is playing strong teams early on to prepare for tough league play. Upland was no exception with the Pack losing 3-1. But Claremont demonstrated some flexibility and quick learning. After losing the first two sets, 25-15 and 25-13, they fought back to take the third, 27-25, before losing the final set, 25-10.

“We are pretty well put together team and we are stacked with a lot of big hitters and a lot of defenders. I think we should take top three [in league],” Coach Price said.

It’s a very young team with just four seniors, so they are starting fresh with many girls brought up from last year’s JV team. That large JV contingent could be a benefit because Coach Price was their coach last year so she is familiar with and understands this group of girls.

Senior Emma King is the libero—the key defensive position—and is also a co-captain. She’s been on varsity for three years and is the best passer with the most consistency. “She is definitely very valuable for the season,” Coach Price said. The team’s second captain is junior Analise Kusleika.

Glendora is the biggest competition in league, as was the case last year when the Tartans went undefeated on the way to a league pennant. Claremont was fourth with a 5-5 record.

Up next for the Pack is an away game against Alta Loma on Friday.

The other two fall sports yet to be profiled, boys water polo and boys golf, will be featured in a later edition, as the COURIER was not able to connect with coaches before deadline.

 

Sports round up

Cross Country

Claremont boys cross country sent a strong message to the competition last weekend, taking second place at the sixth annual Cool Breeze Invite at Brookside Country Club in Pasadena. Only Great Oak defeated the Pack, in the biggest Cool Breeze yet with 120 teams. The girls took fifth place which was a good showing, even if it was a bit disappointing given Claremont’s domination the last few years.

“We were in first place after the top three runners,” Coach Bill Reeves said about the girls’ race. However, the next two runners brought the Claremont’s team score down. “We need to work on our depth,” he said.

Chris Coles took first place in the sophomore race with a time of 15:26, the fifth fastest of the entire meet.

The varsity teams will be traveling to the Richard Spring Invite in Peoria, Illinois September 19-22, while the other runners are headed to the Woodbridge Invite in Norco that same weekend.

Football

Claremont brought their record up to 1-1 with a solid 48-14 win over Diamond Bar last Friday in Diamond Bar.

Coach Shane Hile put in junior Ricky Murillo as quarterback and he completed seven in 13 attempts, gaining 143 yards and two touchdowns.

Top offensive stats include: Senior Logan Moran had 18 carries for 126 yards and an impressive four touchdowns; Justin Catchings had 15 carries for 100 yards and one touchdown; Alex Sotolongo caught two passes for 44 yards and two touchdowns; and Ryan Campuzano caught four passes for 83 yards.

On defense the Pack put in a solid team effort, with Eddie Flores leading the way with nine tackles, followed by Luke Pruitt and Christopher Lopez with six tackles each.

Up next for Claremont is a home game against Pomona at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Webb girls volleyball

The Gauls had a very long night on Tuesday in Anaheim, but eventually came away with the 3-2 win over Connelly. The two teams traded sets all night, but Webb pulled out the win by topping the Koalas, 20-18, in the tie breaker.

Webb Football

Webb’s early season record improved to 2-1, with a tidy 33-24 win over

Stevenson last Friday in Claremont. Quarterback Ethan Caldecott completed 20 in 34 attempts, with an impressive 253 yards and one touchdown.

Chris Haliburton had 17 carries for 100 yards and four touchdowns. Jake Baiz caught seven passes for 128 yards and one touchdown.

This Friday the Gauls travel to take on Riverside Prep.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com

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