Bankhead Signs Letter Of Intent!

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mariah_CPPPOMONA, Calif. – Cal Poly Pomona women’s basketball head coach Danelle Bishop announced Friday that Mariah Bankhead has Read more

Football Uses Spring As Measuring Stick!

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Coach-lanceFootball: Burbank: Bell-Jeff still organizing under new coach. Fauria took over at Bell-Jeff for David Machuca, who a Read more

Monique Landini Named CIF MVP!

June 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

monique_CIF-hsBURBANK — Monique Landini was focused on one thing this season: Helping her Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team capture the CIF Southern Section Division VI championship.

The senior shortstop saw that wish come to fruition June 1 when the Guards defeated Mary Star of the Sea, 8-4, to secure the title at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine. Landini contributed mightily to the win, hitting two home runs — one a three-run shot — to power Bell-Jeff to the victory.

With her focus on the ultimate team goal, Landini said she wasn’t even thinking about individual accolades. But with the championship long since secured, Landini was able to enjoy a personal accomplishment Tuesday when the All-CIF lists were released.

Landini earned the division’s top award, as she was named the Division VI Player of the Year.

Joining Landini in Division VI was junior catcher Samantha Casarez, who was a first-team honoree.

Burbank had a first-team selection in sophomore pitcher Caitlyn Brooks. It is the second straight year Brooks has been an All-CIF recipient.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Landini said of the honor. “I just always try and work as hard as I can and when something like this comes, it’s like a reward for me. It just shows that hard work pays off.

“We set a goal as a team going into the season that we wanted to win a CIF championship and we were able to do that. It was a great season.”

monique_MVPLandini batted .410 (41 for 100) for the Guards. In addition, she drove in 25 runs, scored 31 runs and had six doubles, seven triples, four home runs and a .730 slugging percentage. She was also honored as the Santa Cruz League Player of the Year.

“I’m so happy that Monique was able to win it, especially her being a senior,” said Bell-Jeff Coach Florencio Galindo, who was named the division’s coach of the year. “I told the girls I’m not really big on individual awards, but we just worked good as a team, and sometimes those things just iron themselves out.”

Casarez was a steady contributor for the Guards this season. She finished with a .412 batting average (42 for 102) and had 15 RBI and 31 runs scored.

“Sam was able to fill in when we were missing some players and she played a lot of different positions for us,” Galindo said. “And when she was catching she was a real leader behind the plate for us. She worked real hard for us this season.”

In addition to the CIF title, Bell-Jeff went 23-10 and captured its fourth straight Santa Cruz League championship.

Brooks proved to be a dominant force for the Bulldogs (25-3) as a pitcher and on offense, helping the team capture its first Pacific League championship and first league title since 1987.

In the circle, Brooks was 25-3 with a 0.78 earned-run average and opponents batted just .174 against her. In addition, she had 309 strikeouts and just 25 walks. She also tallied double-digit strikeouts in 24 games.

In addition to her success as a pitcher, Brooks was Burbank’s leading hitter. Along with a .526 batting average, she had 40 hits, 35 RBI, seven doubles, 12 home runs and 42 runs scored. Along with a 1.118 slugging percentage, Brooks had a .617 on-base average.

“I don’t really strive to get the accolades and the awards, I just think it’s cool that I was able to win something like this,” Brooks said. “But being named All-CIF is a real honor and I’m so excited to get it.

“But my team really helped me out. They made me better and they always had my back no matter what. All the players and our coaches helped me to have the kind of season that I had.”

By Jeff Tully,

Landini Named League MVP!

June 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

monique_MVPBURBANK – There was no doubt that the Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team was the class of the Santa Cruz League this past season.

The Guards captured their fourth straight league championship, going undefeated with an 8-0 record. The closest game the Guards experienced in league play was a 5-1 victory over St. Matthias. The other games weren’t even close.

That success carried over into the playoffs. The Guards capped their season June 1 by defeating Mary Star of the Sea, 8-4, in the CIF Southern Section Division VI championship, giving the program its first title.

With that kind of success, it’s not surprising that Bell-Jeff cleaned up when the All-Santa Cruz League awards were handed out. In fact, seven Guards earned all-league accolades.

Leading the way was senior shortstop Monique Landini, who was named the league’s player of the year. Teammate Mia Acosta, a junior pitcher, was singled out as the league’s pitcher of the year for the second consecutive season.

Making the first team was junior second baseman Tiffany Galindo, junior catcher Samantha Casarez, junior third baseman Cristina Colon and sophomore first baseman Sofia Palacios. Junior outfielder Priscilla Panizo was a second-team selection.

“Our team chemistry was amazing this season, and that’s why we were able to be so successful,” Landini said. “It’s been more of a family with us this season. We all got along really well and that showed on the field.”

Bell-Jeff Coach Florencio Galindo said Landini has been a valuable asset to the program since she broke in four years as a freshman and instantly earned a starting job.

“In her four years she really saw it all, and she was able to come through every year for the team,” said Galindo, whose team finished the season 23-10. “Along with her great offense skills, she was also the anchor for us on the defense. It’s an asset any time you can have a player like her up the middle.

monique-landini_sfball“We asked her to do a lot this season and she was able to come through, on offense and defense. She was a real leader for us.”

Landini batted .410 (41 for 100) for the Guards. In addition, she drove in 25 runs, scored 31 runs and had six doubles, seven triples, four home runs and a .730 slugging percentage.

The senior carried her league success over into the playoffs. In the Division VI championship game, Landini belted two home runs to pace the Guards to victory.

Now that her high school career is over, Landini — who won four league titles during her four seasons — will move on to St. Johns.

“Sometimes I’m a little nervous when I think about going and playing in college, but I’m also really excited to be going because it gives me a chance to keep playing,” she said.

Acosta was a stalwart in the circle for the Guards. She compiled a 16-3 record with 102 strikeouts and had a 1.68 earned-run average in 116 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .192 off her. Acosta was also accomplished at the plate, hitting .446 (37 for 83) with 38 RBI, 24 runs, six doubles, four triples and five home runs.

“We always knew with Mia out there she was going to do her job as a pitcher,” Galindo said. “It was just a matter of us getting the hits to help her out.”

Casarez proved to be a steady contributor for Bell-Jeff, finishing with a .412 batting average (42 for 102) with 15 RBI and 31 runs scored. Tiffany Galindo hit .327 (34 for 104) with 13 RBI and 27 runs, Colon batted .352 (37 for 105) with 22 RBI, 31 runs and eight doubles and Palacios hit .391 (36 for 92) with 26 RBI, 23 runs and four home runs.

Rounding out the Bell-Jeff honorees, Panizo had a .352 batting average (31 for 88) with 22 RBI, 19 runs and two home runs.

Jeff Tully

Landini Lifts Bell-Jeff Softball to CIF championship!

June 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

softball_cif-champsIRVINE — Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball player Monique Landini had felt the sting of losing two straight CIF Southern Read more