High school sports

Western’s title hope; LQ’s Hall of Fame

ANTHONY MUNOZ (pictured in action earlier this season) has thrown for over 4200 yards so far in 2018. He will lead Western High’s Pioneers in the CIF-SS Division 11 final on Friday (Orange County Tribune photo).

Fifteen high school teams serving the communities of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster started the football season in the heat of August, but only one of them will be playing for a CIF-SS section crown this weekend in the cool of late November.

Western, which defeated Beaumont 35-34 on a last-minute safety last week in a Division 11 semifinal, will host Peninsula High of Rolling Hills Estates on Friday. As of this writing, the location has not been announced. The Pioneers are 11-2, while the Panthers are 9-4.

Anthony Munoz has been the standout player for Western. He’s passed for 4,272 yards and 59 touchdowns. He has been intercepted 10 times. The top rushing threat for Coach Dan Davidson’s team is Rahsaan Hester, who’s gained 1,022 yards and rushed for 12 touchdowns. He’s also caught 35 passes for 736 yards and 11 scores.
Peninsula can pass and run, The Panthers top offensive players are Mason O’Connor (579 yards, five rushing TDs) and quarterback Ethan Gretzinger (852 passing yards, 309 yards rushing).

Looking at their schedules, Western should be the favorite. The Pioneers narrowly defeated Garden Grove earlier in the season, and the Argonauts are a Division 9 team that made it to the semifinals.

La Quinta to honor Laird and Demarest

The third annual Athletic Hall of Fame Recognition event for La Quinta High School in Westminster will be held on Dec. 13 in the school gymnasium, starting at 6 p.m.

This year’s honorees will be long-time former Aztec baseball coach Dave Demarest and former professional baseball star Brandon Laird.

Demarest coached and taught math at LQHS for 34 years. As head coach, he posted a 753-213 record, winning 22 Garden Grove League titles (including 15 in a row) along with seven CIF-SS championships.

Laird, a 2005 grad, led the blue and gold to four league titles as a player and was honored as all-CIF, All-County, All-State and All-American.  He was drafted by the New York Yankees and later played for the Houston Astros. In 2014 he signed with a major Japanese team, hitting 34 home runs. In 2016 he hit 39 homers to lead the Pacific League, and also hit the game-winning home run in the fourth game of the Japan Series and a grand slam in the sixth game. He was named series MVP.

Fast-breaking into a new season

As we noted last week in this space, high school basketball action is underway for most – but not all – local teams.

Here’s a quick sampling of how some of the local prep boys’ teams have started out (Monday games not included).

Bolsa Grande 1-3, Garden Grove 1-2, Huntington Beach 1-3, Marina 0-2, Ocean View 2-2, Orange 1-0, Pacifica 1-0, Rancho Alamitos 1-3.

We will check in with girls’ teams next week.

Prep Sport Spotlight is posted on Tuesdays during the high school athletic season. Send news, scores, stats, pics, etc. to us at orangecountytribune@gmail.com.




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