Girls’ Basketball’s Rout Providence

January 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Claire Borot _BJ-Girls BBTwo seasons ago, the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball team opened the 2014-15 campaign with a 48-point defeat at the hands Read more

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Bell-Jeff Girls’ Hoops Start League With A Win

January 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

bjavatarBellarmine-Jefferson 60, St. Pius-St. Matthias Academy 20: The Guards jumped out to a 12-1 first-quarter lead and coasted the rest of the way to win Tuesday evening in their Santa Fe League opener.

Bell-Jeff, the top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division V-A, improved to 12-3.

Dalila Rincan had 16 points and Cosette Balmy added 15 for the Guards.

– Burbank Leader

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Etter, Oses Named To All-CIF First Team!

March 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

BJB_EttterThe Bellarmine-Jefferson High boys’ basketball team had its share of talent this past season.

But in the midst of all that talent was a consistent and formidable one-two punch in senior Abid Oses and junior Isaac Etter. The two gave the Guards a “pick your poison” aspect, as the two were rarely stopped in any given game.

The pair spearheaded a successful Bell-Jeff campaign that included a Camino Real League championship and a march to the CIF Southern Section semifinals. Oses and Etter were rewarded for their exploits Monday, when the CIF Southern Section office unveiled its All-CIF first-team selections across 12 divisions.

Oses was rewarded with his second-straight first-team selection, while Etter made the first team after being a second-team honoree a year ago.

“I think Abid and I worked well together,” Etter said. “He was really strong inside. He just worked hard all year. And for me, I just tried to spread the floor and sink some shots when the team needed it.

“Helping my team to win is always first for me. But getting an award like this is nice; it shows all the hard work has paid off for me. It’s an honor to get an award like this.”

The leader in scoring for the Guards was Etter, who averaged 17.8 points to go along with 1.9 steals and 1.6 assists per game. He was also an outside threat, converting 91 three-pointers, earning him All-Camino Real League first-team honors.


bj_bb-CIFOses averaged 14.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.1 steals and one block per game. He also made 20 three-pointers. Oses was a unanimous choice for league player of the year.

“I was really trying to win [the division] player of the year,” Oses said. “That really wasn’t my goal, but I was hoping for that. But you have to get to the championship game to win that.

“But winning All-CIF for two years in a row is very nice. It is good to get that in my last year at Bell-Jeff.”

Bell-Jeff (25-6) went 10-0 and won the championship in its first season in the Camino Real League. It was the Guards’ first league title since 2011, when they were a member of the Santa Fe League.

Seeded No. 1 for the CIF Southern Section Division playoffs, the Guards fell in the semifinals to No. 5 St. Bernard, 67-52.

“We would have liked to get to the championship, but it was still a very successful year for us,” Bell-Jeff Coach Julian Andrade said. “We did a lot of good things and were able to accomplish a lot, and Abid and Iassc were a big part of that.”

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Football Back On Field w/ JV Team!

September 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

bj_jvfoootball2014Football: After canceling majority of 2013 season, Guards have small contingent on board this year.
There is a small, but dedicated group Read more

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Bell-Jeff Football Falls To Campbell Hall!

October 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

max-belsitoBURBANK — It has been a challenging season so far for the Bellarmine-Jefferson High football program, as the Guards continue to struggle with a low turnout of players and a general lack of experience. It began with three canceled games, with one going down as a forfeit, and then, after finally taking the field, a stumble resulting in lopsided defeat against a high-ranking inter-division opponent that was called in the middle of the fourth quarter by first-year coach Lance Fauria.
However, in their home opener Saturday night at Memorial Field, the Guards had an opportunity for the first time to get their feet solidly on the ground, taking on an opponent in Campbell Hall that had also lost games to forfeit and cancellation this season.

In the battle of struggling programs, it was the Vikings who came out on top, 28-0, and garnered their first victory of the campaign, but Bellarmine-Jefferson took steps forward, as this time they competed from the opening kickoff until the final whistle with the clock reading all zeros.

“We were able to play a full game,” Fauria said. “It was close, though. The thing is with 13 players [suited up] the kids played as hard as they could.”

Bell-Jeff (0-3) was to have played Pasadena Poly on Thursday, but instead rescheduled to face the Vikings, who two weeks ago canceled their game against that same Poly squad. Campbell Hall was to have played Brentwood, but instead swapped opposition with the Guards for a more even match-up.

“I think it was a good game for both of us as opposed to playing the other two teams we were going to play,” Fauria said. “I think we got something out of this.”

Campbell Hall (1-3) pulled out ahead with two one-yard touchdown runs by quarterback Nick Friedich on its first two possessions. The first came on the Vikings’ third snap on offense and the second was set up by a 41-yard reception by one of actor James Caan’s sons, Jimmy.

The Vikings’ third possession saw the Guards defense spring to life. Bell-Jeff’s Max Belsito led the way with sacks on consecutive plays. Campbell Hall would not score again before the break.

“A lot of our players haven’t played before, so this was their first full game,” Belsito said.

On the first snap of the second half, the Bell-Jeff defense stiffened again when Guard Daniel Miranda stripped Oliver Heffron after a long run and the home team recovered. The visitors did add two more touchdowns later in the third quarter on a 20-yard pass from Friedich to Heffron and a two-yard run by Ricardo Centeno.

Bell-Jeff simplified its offense and concentrated on the run game, working a majority of the time with no-receiver sets. Fullback Brandon Gooden led the way with 28 yards on nine carries. Devoughn Roberts, who played quarterback in the first half and tailback in the second, had 17 carries for 27 yards. AJ Navarro ran seven times for 13 yards and played quarterback the second half, attempting the Guards’ only pass, which fell incomplete.

“We were playing our starters,” said Vikings Coach Scott Napier, who gave the Guards some encouragement after the game. “I went over and told them I respect the heck out of them. They just need to believe in themselves and believe in the coach and things are going to work. We’re kind of in the same boat.”

Throughout the contest, the game clock was allowed to run liberally in between the action on the field, including after some incomplete passes. Then late in the third quarter after a Viking player broke his leg and was taken away by ambulance, the running clock became official and no more points were scored.

“Each time [we’re] going to get a little better and learn a little bit more,” Fauria, whose team will play Santa Clarita Christian next week, said. “They’re seeing the physicality of the game now.”

By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Leader


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Volleyball’s Unbeaten League Streak Halted!

October 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Liz-Fundora_2014-volleyballLONG BEACH – St. Anthony d. Bellarmine-Jefferson, 25-11, 25-19, 25-12: The Guards lost the Santa Cruz League opener Thursday on the road and the defeat snapped a 52-league match winning streak by Bell-Jeff.

It was the first league loss for the seven-time defending league champions since 2006.

“We were extremely undermanned because of injuries,” said first-year Bell-Jeff Coach Brandon Johnson, whose team is 4-1. “They served very well and that took us out of our game. We just didn’t have enough [Thursday].”

Sam Cesarez had 16 digs and Amanda Maalouf had seven digs and 10 assists for the Guards.

Burroughs d. Hoover 25-12, 25-11, 25-12: Caitlin Cottrell had 14 kills Thursday to pace the Indians to a Pacific League victory.

Danielle Ryan added seven kills, Katie Rutecki had 19 assists and Lizzy Gunn had 13 assists for Burroughs (7-5, 4-1).

Burbank d. Glendale, 25-14, 25-23, 25-22: The Bulldogs (8-5, 3-2) picked up the Pacific League victory Thursday.

Burbank d. Hoover, 25-12, 25-12, 25-22: Allison Tiegs tallied 12 kills to pace the Bulldogs to a Pacific League victory Tuesday.

Rose Cowart added seven kills, Denise Daniel had five kills and seven digs, Sara Treadway had 13 assists and Justine Quinteros had 10 assists for Burbank.

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Girls’ Volleyball Keeps Streak Alive vs Providence!

October 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Emely-Arrue_girls-vballBURBANK — Already hobbled by a partially hyper-extended right knee, Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ volleyball player Amanda Read more

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CIF Softball Title Leads List Of Accomplishments!

September 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

cif-champs2013As was the case the previous two seasons, it was again the Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team that stood out at the school during the year.

There was no doubt that the Guards were dominant in the Santa Cruz League this past season. Bell-Jeff captured its 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.

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 at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine, giving the program its first title.

The Guards were able to win a title after losing the Division VII championship game the previous two years.

It was the first championship at the school in four years across all sports. It was also only the third crown in school history (the previous two were in girls’ basketball).

monique_CIF-hsWith 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. In addition, Landini was named the Division VI Player of the Year,

Landini batted .410 (41 for 100) for the Guards, 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.

The team also had a standout in junior pitcher Mia Acosta. 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.

taryn-all-cifAnother tradition for Guards teams occurred in the fall, as the girls’ volleyball team put together another outstanding campaign behind senior outside hitter Taryn Nelson.

Nelson was selected to the All-CIF Southern Section Division IV-A first team and was named the Santa Cruz League Player of the Year.

Nelson was a driving force for a Bell-Jeff (17-10-1) team that captured its seventh consecutive Santa Cruz League championship and ran its league unbeaten streak to 52. In addition, the Guards advanced to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

A tough player to contain from the outside, Nelson was often double- and triple-blocked. Nevertheless, she still tallied 315 kills, 89 aces and 282 digs. She ended her tenure at Bell-Jeff with 840 career kills.

Also during the fall, the Bell-Jeff football team went 4-7 (2-2 in league). Bell-Jeff qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division Northeast playoffs, losing to No. 2 Rio Hondo Prep, 57-6. Rio Hondo Prep went on to win the division title, downing Mission Prep, 28-21.

josh_all-cifThe team had an outstanding player in senior running back Josh Martinez, who earned All-CIF first-team honors. Martinez had 237 carries for 1,813 yards (181.3 yards a game) and averaged 7.7 yards a carry. In addition, he tallied 26 rushing touchdowns. In total, Martinez chalked up nearly 2,100 total yards and had 29 touchdowns and 38 two-point conversions for a total of 250 points on the season.

During the winter season, it was the Guards’ boys’ basketball team that enjoyed a prosperous campaign. The squad was paced by junior Malcolm Regisford, who was an All-CIF second-team pick in Division V-AA.

Regisford, who earned All-Santa Fe League first-team honors, averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds a game.

Bell-Jeff (17-12) was runner-up in the Santa Cruz League and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs, falling to talented Village Christian, 70-63.

The Guards also took part in a nonleague game at Staples Center against San Gabriel Academy. Bell-Jeff came away with a 64-51.victory.

malcolm_cifIn girls’ basketball, Bell-Jeff saw its string of five straight Santa Cruz League championships snapped. The Guards placed second in league, finished with a 12-9 record and fell in the first round of the Division IV-AA playoffs to St. Bernard, 66-32.

In the spring, the softball team was the lone Bell-Jeff squad to qualify for the playoffs.

Jeff Tully

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Football Tries To Move Forward After Game Cancellation!

September 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

coach-lanceBeing a former college football player, Bellarmine-Jefferson Principal Michael Stumph said it was a difficult decision to have to cancel a portion of the Guards season, as word about the cancellations were made official by the school on Wednesday via press release.

Stumph, who played as offensive guard at Indiana Universityfrom 1992-94, said although the administration had to scrap the program’s first three nonleague games to start the season, the school does plan to field a team. He added that in addition to a low turnout, the cancellations were due to players coming out for the team late for preseason practices and the athletes were just not prepared for competition.

“The decision that we had to make didn’t come lightly,” said Stumph, who is in his first school year at Bell-Jeff. “But because we had players coming out late, we knew they just weren’t where they should be in terms of being prepared for the season.

“We do have enough players now to field a team. I think there are 19 to 20 kids out there now. The coaches are doing their best now to get those players ready for the season.”

Word of the cancellations came Wednesday afternoon in a press release from first-year coach Lance Fauria. In the release, Fauria began by emphasizing “Bellarmine-Jefferson will have a football team this season.” However, the release also read that the school had to cancel its first three games and the problem of low numbers still lingers.

“We have been out there practicing and the kids we do have out have been working very hard,” Fauria said. “We have had to look around the school for players to help fill out the team. But the big thing is with the enrollment at the school. We have to increase the enrollment at the school to get the numbers up.”

Stemph agreed about the need to increase the school’s enrollment.

“This is something that we have to work hard to do,” he said. “Hopefully we can add some classes and do other things to attract students to the school.”

The enrollment at Bell-Jeff in 2011 was more than 300. That number has dipped below 200 this school year.

The Guards were scheduled to open their season Friday against North Hollywood. Also scrapped was the Sept. 6 game against Brentwood and the Sept. 14 contest against Bishop Montgomery.

“The Bell-Jeff coaches and administration have contacted North Hollywood, Brentwood and Bishop Montgomery to let them know we will not be ready to play. We made the decision in hope that these teams might be able to find another game in their schedule,” the release read.

Brentwood Athletic Director Amanda Kelson confirmed Wednesday that she was contacted about the cancellation just last week by the Bell-Jeff administration.

“That didn’t leave us a lot of time to try and find a replacement game,” Kelson said. “That was going to be our season opener. We are still waiting to hear from teams if we can get a game.”

With the cancellation of the three games, Bell-Jeff will instead try to play a modified seven-game schedule.

“Bell-Jeff will play a seven-game schedule beginning on Sept. 21 at Chadwick High School,” the release read. “The extra time to prepare will allow our student-athletes to be in a position to be competitive over the shorter season.”

The Guards also still have nonleague games scheduled against Pasadena Poly (Sept. 26) and Santa Clarita Christian (Oct. 5) before opening Santa Fe League play Oct. 12 at St. Monica.

One of the teams on Bell-Jeff’s Santa Fe League schedule is defending champion Salesian.

“I did hear the program was struggling,” Salesian Coach Roddy Hiatt said. “Bell-Jeff hasn’t had a JV team to play us for a few years now.”

Fauria took over at Bell-Jeff for outgoing football coach and athletic director David Machuca, who accepted the job as offensive coordinator under coach John Rome at Glendale Community College.

Last season, Bell-Jeff had a 4-7 record (2-2 in Santa Fe League). The Guards qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division Northeast playoffs, losing to No. 2 Rio Hondo Prep, 57-6. Rio Hondo Prep went on to win the division title.

It was the first time the Guards qualified for the postseason in three years.

Machuca said it’s difficult to see the program struggling.

“It’s hard because it’s a program that’s been around so many years and had some good teams over the years,” said Machuca, a Burbank High graduate. “But it’s harder for someone like my brother [Bobby], who is an alumni and who played football there. I didn’t go to the school; I was only a coach there. I just hope they don’t have to cancel the rest of the season.”

Machuca had to deal with the departure of a handful of players midway through last season. And with the Bell-Jeff enrollment declining in recent years, he said it became more difficult keeping the numbers in the program up.

“It wasn’t so much that I saw the writing on the wall,” he said. “There were just so many difficulties with the school, especially with the enrollment. But I would have thought that they would be able to at least field a team. I know that they would probably struggle in football, but I didn’t think they would struggle this much to get a team on the field.”

Bell-Jeff struggled the previous two seasons before Machuca’s arrival, finishing last in the Santa Fe League both years. The Guards went 5-15 (0-8 in league) in the two years.

However, it was only a few years ago that Bell-Jeff enjoyed its share of success. In just his second season as coach in 2000, the Rolando Aguirre-coached Guards won a share of the Santa Fe League title. It was the program’s first crown in 46 years. Bell-Jeff also captured undisputed championships in 2004 and 2007, as the teams finished with 9-2 records both seasons.

In 2008, Bell-Jeff (8-4) placed second in the Santa Fe League and advanced to the Northeast Division playoff quarterfinals. The Guards defeated Fairmont Prep, 28-21, in a first-round playoff game to earn their first postseason win in more than 50 years. Bell-Jeff fell in the quarterfinals to Linfield Christian, 26-0.

One of the most successful players in Bell-Jeff football history is Brendon Doyle, who graduated in 2004. The hard-throwing quarterback was a three-time All-CIF Southern Section selection before going to Glendale Community College and helping the Vaqueros to a victory in the Western State Bowl in 2006. Doyle also played at Weber State on a team that captured a Big Sky conference title in 2008 and competed in the American Indoor Football Assn., an arena league.

Doyle said he was surprised when he heard about the troubles facing the Bell-Jeff program.

“I know the school has been struggling, but not to be able to field a football team for the first few games is pretty disheartening,” Doyle said. “I thought it might be bad, but I didn’t know it was that bad.

“It’s really tough to see. Bell-Jeff is my alma mater and I enjoyed my time there. I just want them to get back on track, and not to a championship level necessarily, but just to be able to compete and put a team on the field.”

Despite the cancellations, Fauria said the Guards are hard at work and are looking forward to the opening of their season. Athletes who the coach expects to make significant contributions are sophomore offensive and defensive lineman Max Belsido (6 feet, 220 pounds), senior running back/defensive back Miles Hopkins (5-7, 175) and sophomore quarterback Issac Etter (6-0, 165).

“It’s a tough situation for us, but hopefully we will be able to work through it,” Fauria said.

Jeff Tully

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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,

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