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2012 SPRING ALL-AREA TEAMS Area baseball, softball athletes rewarded for great spring seasons

By Loren Kopff

This past spring season was one that could have seen the Gahr baseball and Valley Christian softball teams play for a California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section divisional championship. The former fell in the Division III semifinals to Bonita while the latter was ousted in the Division IV quarterfinals to Kaiser. The John Glenn baseball and Artesia softball teams had remarkable turnarounds with new coaches while the Cerritos softball team played for a Suburban League championship on the last week of the regular season, only to fall short of that goal. Here are the 2012 Los Cerritos Community News Spring All-Area Teams.
BASEBALL
FIRST TEAM
P-Dylan Algra (Valley Christian)
P-Andrew Encinas (Gahr)
C-Tyler McLurg (Valley Christian)
1B-Clayton Granch (Valley Christian)
2B-Shane Stillwagon (Valley Christian)
3B-Kevin Franklin (Gahr)
SS-Jaime Estrada (Gahr)
LF-Adonis Morrison (Gahr)
CF-Brian Burgin (Valley Christian)
RF-Cesar Arzate (John Glenn)
DH-Faustino Colon (Norwalk)
SECOND TEAM
P-Anthony Gonzalez (Norwalk)
P-John Lemos (John Glenn)
C-German Vasquez (Norwalk)
1B-Daniel Gomez (Gahr)
2B-Edgar Morales (Gahr)
3B-Connor Buckley (Valley Christian)
SS-Patrick Avila (Valley Christian)
LF-Jeremy Gaskin (Artesia)
CF-Arturo Loera (John Glenn)
RF-Nico Morandini (Valley Christian)
DH-Rene Gaytan (John Glenn)
THIRD TEAM
P-Carlos Garcia (Norwalk)
P-Freddy Perez (Gahr)
C-Ronaldo Acuna (John Glenn)
1B-Jose Sandoval (Norwalk)
2B-Andy Caro (Norwalk)
3B-Miguel Castaneda (Norwalk)
SS-Jonathan Mura (Cerritos)
LF-Jacob Carr (Norwalk)
CF-Alonso Casillas (Gahr)
RF-Gary Smith (Artesia)
DH-Oscar Reyna (Gahr)
HONORABLE MENTION
P-Jerry Azzato (Artesia)
P-Brian Diaz (Cerritos)
C-Tommy Corrales (Artesia)
1B-Kevin Anderson (Cerritos)
2B-Ricky Padilla (John Glenn)
3B-Jesse Gutierrez (John Glenn)
SS-Cesar Soto (Artesia)
LF-Cody McKittrick (Valley Christian)
CF-Joseph Splung (Artesia)
RF-Anthony Rodriguez (Gahr)
DH-Luis Rosas (John Glenn)
Co-Players of the Year: A pair of middle infielders share this honor as they were lights out for their respective teams. Valley Christian senior second baseman Shane Stillwagon led the Crusaders with a .463 average and tied for the team lead with 31 hits and 20 runs. Only a sophomore, Gahr shortstop Jaime Estrada packed some power as his team-leading .462 average will attest to. Estrada was also tops in hits (37) and runs batted in (30) and was second in runs scored (26) and triples (three). Estrada also led the team with a dozen stolen bases in 12 attempts.
Pitcher of the Year: Dylan Algra capped off his Valley Christian career the way seniors should go out. Algra went 8-2 with a 1.75 earned run average. He struck out 71 batters and went the distance eight times including five in his last six starts. Algra went 7-0 in Olympic League action with six complete games as he guided the Crusaders to the school’s first Olympic League title since 2006. Algra did not lose a game since a Mar. 3 setback to Estancia and his other loss was the season opener on Feb. 25 at Gahr.
Coach of the Year: Jack Brooks, the son of La Mirada legendary head coach Kim Brooks, had to endure a lot of adversity before the first game of the regular season. He had a small team in terms of numbers and the Eagles lost seven of their first nine games and 11 of their first 15. But Brooks guided his team to a 7-4 record down the stretch and the Eagles were a game out of the final automatic playoff spot in the Suburban league. Glenn went from 6-19 last season to 11-15 in 2012.
SOFTBALL
FIRST TEAM
P-Kelsey Hughes (Valley Christian)
P-Jennifer Iseri (Cerritos)
C-Samantha Lujan (Norwalk)
1B-Madison Garcia (Valley Christian)
2B-Jazmin Guzman (Norwalk)
3B-Vanessa Sanchez (Valley Christian)
SS-Erin Clinton (Cerritos)
LF-Madison Lee (Cerritos)
CF-Sarah Smith (Cerritos)
RF-Madison Wright (Valley Christian)
DP-Lilianna Herrera (Cerritos)
SECOND TEAM
P-Kaylilani Minami (Cerritos)
P-Destiny Vasquez (Norwalk)
C-Briana Perez (Artesia)
1B-Celeste Gonzalez (Gahr)
2B-Drianna Drulias (Cerritos)
3B-Maya Varela (Gahr)
SS-Emily Morrow (Valley Christian)
LF-Crystal Cano (Norwalk)
CF-Ashley Snyder (Valley Christian)
RF-Alex Avila (Cerritos)
DP-Kira Ito (Artesia)
THIRD TEAM
P-McKenzie Goff (Valley Christian)
P-Vanessa Venegas (Norwalk)
C-Heather Cameron (Cerritos)
1B-Miki Okazaki (Cerritos)
2B-Leanne Garrels (Valley Christian)
3B-Alyssa Marquez (Cerritos)
SS-Deja Portillo (Gahr)
LF-Valeria Ortega (John Glenn)
CF-Alyssa Nava (Gahr)
RF-Bianca Espinoza (Cerritos)
DP-Vanessa Montanez (Gahr)
HONORABLE MENTION
P-Deidra Genera (Gahr)
P-Dominique Moran (Artesia)
C-Taylor Winters (Valley Christian)
1B-Martha Camacho (Norwalk)
2B-Erica Balboa (Gahr)
3B-Emily Franco (Artesia)
SS-Jennifer Vasquez (Norwalk)
LF-Viviana Gomez (Norwalk)
CF-Dominique Gonzales (Artesia)
RF-Crystal Briseno (Artesia)
DP-Ilene Vasquez (Norwalk)
Co-Players of the Year: As one player leaves the area with tremendous talent, another one showed why she could be among the best for the next three seasons. Cerritos senior center fielder Sarah Smith was again lights out with her bat, leading the Lady Dons with a .493 batting average and 28 runs scored. The Baylor University signee was also tied for the team lead with 35 hits and four home runs. On the other side of town, Valley Christian freshman right fielder Madison Wright helped her team to an Olympic League crown for the second time in three seasons. Wright led the entire area with a .556 average and 40 hits. She was tied for the team lead with 33 runs scored and drove in 20 runs. Wright also had four triples.
Pitcher of the Year: The future of Cerritos High softball was never in doubt with the influx of freshmen this past season, especially with pitcher Jennifer Iseri. The first-year player, who was dazzling as a Cerritos Girls Softball Association All-Star, posted a 12-4 record with a 1.58 earned run average. She struck out 132 batters and had four games of at least 10 strikeouts.
Coach of the Year: Although the team stumbled in Suburban League action, the job that Artesia first-year head coach Jeff Hovis did should send a statement out to the rest of the league that the Pioneers are much better. Hovis coached his team to an 8-17 record, but at one time, Artesia was 7-2 and ranked in the Division II Top 10 poll for the first time in 20 seasons. The eight wins are also the most in about 20 years as well. The Pioneers had not won more than six games in at least the past 15 seasons.

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