Sports

Survivors and stadiums move along

THE PACIFICA softball team is ready for some more glory as it plays a second round CIF-SS Division 1 game on Tuesday against South Hills High of West Covina (OC Tribune photo).

Five local baseball and softball teams survived into the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs, but four of them will have to win on the road on Tuesday if they want to advance to the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Two of the games include the top-ranked baseball teams in the state. Huntington Beach is rated number one in California by Maxpreps.com, while Moorpark is ranked number two.

In baseball Division 1, Huntington Beach (26-4) will visit Servite (19-12). In Division 3, Edison (19-12) will be the home team against Moorpark (26-3). In Division 5, Garden Grove (17-8) will visit Campbell Hall of North Hollywood (17-8-1).

On the softball side in D-1, Pacifica (21-7) will hit the road to play South Hills (18-12) of West Covina. In D-6 action play, Santiago (23-2) will play the host to Schurr (20-3-1) of Montebello.

Check with the school for the latest information on locations, times and even days. By mutual agreement of both schools, they can be changed.

STADIUMS FAST AND SLOW

As you’ve probably heard by now, the new football Taj Mahal under construction for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers will be delayed by a season because of unexpected record rainfall that hit the area earlier this years. That means that the “Champions Field” won’t be open for business until 2020, leaving the Rams to continue at the Coliseum and the Chargers at the StubHub Center in Torrance.

There is an upside to this, at least for the Rams. After the 2017 season is finished, major renovations to modernize the Coliseum will get underway. The changes will include reducing stadium capacity from 93,607 to 77,500 in order to add more aisles, widen the seats and improve legroom. Ram fans will be able to enjoy that for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and – if the rains return – maybe the 2020 season as well.

ARTIST’S RENDERING of the Michael Monsoon Memorial Stadium now under construction at Garden Grove High.

Meanwhile, closer to home, constriction on the Michael Monsoor Memorial Stadium at Garden Grove High is well underway and appears to be on schedule. The smaller (5000 to 3500 capacity) but state-of-the-art facility will be the gridiron home not only for the Argonauts, but also the Santiago Cavaliers and the Los Amigos Lobos.

The grand opening is set for Friday, Sept. 8 with the red-and-white hosting Woodbridge High of Irvine.

Their first season in the new digs will, ironically, be the final season for the Argos in the Garden Grove League, as they are slated to be re-aligned into the Golden West League, with Loara High of Anaheim set to replace them in the not-so-Garden Grove loop.

However, that doesn’t mean that the long tradition of local schools playing each other has to cease. Pacifica was moved into the Empire League, but the Mariners play Grove annually on the football field, and a season without the Argos’ longest rival – Rancho Alamitos – would be unthinkable.

Most high school teams today play five non-league games. If Grove and Rancho and Pacifica could find a spot on each other’s schedules, that would go a long way toward easing the pain of the unpopular re-leaguing done earlier this month.

Monday Morning Coach is written by Pete Zarustica.

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