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From LA Times,0,3647082.story

I am not sure why Newbury Park made the list and I also wonder why there are so many Div IV teams on the list.

Rk. Team (2009 rec., Sec.-Div.) Comment
1 EDISON (23-6, SS-Div. I) Lake Elsinore's Storm Stadium will become Edison Field on June 5.

2 CRESPI (21-11, SS-Div. II) On a scale of 1-10, ace Ryon Healy was 11-0 last season.

3 JSERRA (22-7, SS-Div. I) Catcher Austin Hedges is such a threat to opponents, "Danger" should be his middle name.

4 BISHOP AMAT (26-6, SS-Div. IV) Lancers loaded with so many college-bound players that theme for season could be "Committed."

5 CAPISTRANO VALLEY (26-6, SS-Div. I) Having won three CIF titles at Angel Stadium and three at Dodger Stadium, Cougars to try Petco Park.

6 ORANGE LUTHERAN (18-11, SS-Div. I) Lancers return 10 starters and bad taste from playoff loss to Capistrano Valley.

7 MATER DEI (24-6, SS-Div. I) Homer-happy Cory Hahn is back to lead Monarchs in quest to go deep in playoffs.

8 PALM DESERT (22-6, SS-Div. IV) Top desert attractions now include premier golfing, high-end restaurants and Aztecs baseball.

9 WEST RANCH (21-8, SS-Div. I) If outfielder Allen Sarkissian goes to Washington, football coach may try to say they're related.

10 CHATSWORTH (30-4, City-Div. I) Only thrill Chancellors haven't had at Dodger Stadium is Vin Scully calling their game (hint, hint).

11 ROYAL (19-7, SS-Div. I) Pitcher Cody Buckel schedules workout for pro scouts following "American Idol" audition.

12 YUCAIPA (27-3, SS-Div. II) Thunderbirds hope to save some runs -- and victories -- for the playoffs.

13 FULLERTON (21-8, SS-Div. IV) Cal State Fullerton Coach Dave Serrano trims recruiting expenses by nabbing a pair of Indians.

14 ST. JOHN BOSCO (14-11, SS-Div. I) When you think "shortstops" and "St. John Bosco," naturally you think Dante Flores.

15 CYPRESS (19-10, SS-Div. II) Eight returning starters should be enough for Centurions to make extended postseason run.

16 QUARTZ HILL (19-9, SS-Div. III) Pitcher Jack Sheeley is so unflappable that he could be described as a Rebel and a bulldog.

17 MARINA (22-7, SS-Div. I) Surf City USA will become Hardball Central each time Vikings take on Sunset League rival Edison.

18 REDLANDS E. VALLEY (23-7, SS-Div. II) Wildcats suffer loss before opener when outfielder Tyler Shreve is dismissed from team.

19 UPLAND (20-5, SS-Div. II) Heavyweight pitcher Scott Frazier scores his knockouts via fastballs.

20 LA MIRADA (18-12, SS-Div. II) No chance of a sophomore slump for Matadores since roster is composed of seniors and juniors.

21 NEWBURY PARK (20-10, SS-Div. I) Panthers lag behind Newbury Park Pony Baseball, which has its own Facebook group.

22 LONG BEACH POLY (15-16, SS-Div. I) When was last time students at football power said "Wait 'till baseball season?"

23 CHINO (19-8, SS-Div. II) Cowboys strive to change image from hick town on "The O.C." to baseball town.

24 WESTLAKE (12-16, SS-Div. I) Infielder Christian Yelich provides big bat, but can Warriors overcome lack of power arms?

25 EL SEGUNDO (23-9, SS-Div. IV) Rankings nod a tribute to the late John Stevenson, the winningest coach in California history.
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I'm not sure what Royal has beyond Buckel on the mound. NP has Sherfy on the mound and some decent hitting but once again I'm not sure about the depth of the staff. There are often other issues at Westlake but they've got the best 1-2 punch on the mound that I know of with Cuneo and Nieves. Cuneo may not be a power arm but he is a very good pitcher and Nieves is a power arm. Moorpark has some serious depth in the field and although their pitching is untested it may be roughly equivalent to Westlake with a power arm in Barker (88-90) and a crafty lefty in Swenson. Agoura seems to have put together a contender somehow with a lot of kids signing with colleges but one has to see what happens with them once the season starts. Overall, I think the Marmonte league is a tossup this year and the only teams that I think are probably relatively weak are TO, Simi, and Calabasas.
Last edited by CADad
Re: "not sure why Newbury Park made the list"....

Ok....I'm more of a lurker and generally avoid predictions. I'm a bit superstitious and don't want to bring on bad karma or appear delusional. But I'll go out on a limb and take the bait....

There is optimism at NP this year for a number of reasons:

1) Coaching - Coach Matt Goldfield takes the head coaching helm this year. He has many years of coaching experience at NP, but this is his first stab at the head job. He is well respected by the players, and is giving a sense of direction after NP suffering the last couple years of a revolving door at head coaching spot.

Returning pitching coach Rich Rodriguez brings over a decade of MLB pitching experience, along with great chemistry and honesty to his coaching. His ability to maximize the talent he has to work with is unmatched and the kids listen and do what he says, making them believe in themselves. His ability to fix flaws in mechanics and techniques has made a huge difference. Which leads to #2 below...

2) Pitching - In a long season, depth is a key factor. Sherfy (Oregon) and Brower (Cal Poly) again fill the top spots in the rotation for the Panthers. Both were very effective last year and have only improved since then. But NP has several arms behind them that would be legitimate #2/#3 guys on other teams. With some squads, you can knock out the starter and then feed on the leftovers - a strategy that won't work when facing NP this year. No first round MLB draftees here, but sufficient talent and depth to stay in every game.

3) Hitting - The single biggest area of improvement over last year. NP was a very young team last year, and a number of the young bats now have a year of varsity experience under their belt. This year's team is not built to knock down fences in the outfield, but showed notably more power in the fall/winter than was present last year. Similar to the pitching situation, a solid lineup from #1 - #9, with well-coached situation hitting as a strong point.

4) Experience - Three of the returning seniors were starters on the team that beat Bishop Gorman (28W, 1L) two years ago. NP returned last year, and took second place to B.G. after major wins over powerhouses Galena (#2 in Nevada) and Vauxhall (Canadian national academy). While the past is no indicator of the future, the core of the team has regularly faced and had success against national talent, so the Panthers aren't likely to be intimidated by anyone on their schedule.

BOF - In regards to your not being sure why NP is listed by the LA Times, I'm sure it's a mis-print and I would strongly encourage you to have your team bring up freshman each time you face NP....

Disclosure: the above assessment includes any biases I may have based on my association with NP...
PSD: I get some of why they have NP ranked now. 2 D1 bound pitchers will certainly keep you in games.

From the outside there has been lots of turmoil in the coaching at the school and normally it takes a couple of years for a new guy to get grounded, so normally this would be considered a negative. You finished third in Maramonte last year, and this is one of the toughest divisions in SoCal and you held your own against a very powerful Simi last year.

What happended two years ago means very little IMO in HS baseball. I took a look at your roster and you have quite a few Sr's so this really helps a team IMO.

So I guess I understand the ranking a little more..time to go show um. Good luck in your season and it's great to have some additional input from some others in SoCal. I don't understand why such a baseball hotbed has so few posters.

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