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Around the SCV: Final honors; Lilley strikes

COC football’s conference is modified; local swimmers succeed

Posted: February 3, 2010 10:21 p.m.
Updated: February 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Two local athletes have been recognized as some of the best football players in all of California.

Valencia junior quarterback Alex Bishop was named to the 2009 All-State Football Underclass team, while senior defensive back/wide receiver Brock Vereen made Third Team Defense, the Web site announced Friday.

Bishop had a 78.4 completion percentage during the regular season, which set a new state record. Including the playoffs, he had the third-best completion percentage in California history at 74.6 percent.

Only Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards and Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez finished with higher numbers - 78.1 percent and 74.6 percent, respectively.

Edwards went to Los Gatos High and Sanchez went to Mission Viejo.

Bishop was named the 2009 Foothill League Player of the Year and he was an All-CIF-Southern Section Northern Division and All-Santa Clarita Valley first-teamer after throwing for 3,416 yards, a school-record 36 touchdown and only seven interceptions.

He also rushed for 516 yards.

"That gives me a lot of motivation to even try harder (next season) and do better than I did this year," Bishop said. "There is always room for improvement."

The University of Minnesota-bound Vereen racked up 51 total tackles, a team-high eight interceptions and one sack in his senior year.

"It's a great honor. It might seem like an individual award, but I see it as a team award because there are 10 other guys out there on defense with me," Vereen said.

He also racked up 24 receptions for 529 yards and seven touchdowns and was named a first-team defender on the All-CIF-SS Northern Division team, the All-Foothill League team and the All-SCV team.

"It's definitely a great way to, I wouldn't say move on, but go on to a different team," Vereen said. "But my high school years will always be with me."

Last season, Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez was the Foothill League's only representative on the CalHiSports All-State team. He was a third-team selection.

This was the 31st year that the teams were selected.

COC amid new company
The College of the Canyons football team will look to continue its tradition of gridiron success next season, but it will have to do so against a modified field of competitors.

Ratified on Jan. 29 by a 9-1 executive committee vote, the Southern California Football Association has restructured the Southern California community college landscape.

Based off the schools' records and power rankings over the last two years, the top 12 programs were placed into the National Division, Northern and Southern Conferences.

The Cougars' conference - the National Division, Northern Conference - will feature returning programs Bakersfield, Allan Hancock and Ventura, as well as newcomers Cerritos and El Camino.

COC was 18-6 in its last two seasons.

El Camino was 18-5 and Cerritos finished 16-6.

Mt. San Antonio College finished with the best two-year record at 24-3.

Also factoring in geographical location, Pasadena was moved to the Southern Conference, while Moorpark and Glendale were relegated to the new Central Division.

The worst 12 programs were placed in the American Division, Pacific and Mountain Conferences with remaining schools organized into the Central Division, East and West Conferences.

Lilley raises the bar
Hart High graduate Taylor Lilley etched her name into the Pac-10 Conference and University of Oregon record books on Sunday.

Lilley scored a career-high 36 points, including nine 3-pointers, to lead the Ducks to an 85-77 win over USC.

The nine threes broke the previous school record for 3-pointers in a game of eight, which she held alongside Chelsea Wagner and Jessica Schutt.

She also tied former Stanford player Lindsey Yamasaki's conference mark.

Yamasaki set the Pac-10 record in 2001.

Lilley finished the game 12-of-22 on field goal attempts and was 9-of-12 from downtown.

On the season, the senior guard leads the team with 16.3 points per game and is also averaging 3.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 40.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Oregon is currently 13-8 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-10, tied for sixth place with Washington.

The Ducks are in action again on Saturday when they host Oregon State.

Canyons Aquatic
Already in third place on the boys' side and fourth on the girls' side at the Southern California Swimming Junior Olympics, Canyons Aquatic Club will field 17 Foothill League swimmers as action resumes today.

It will be the final time they swim before the high school season begins. The event, held at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, will end Sunday.

Local swimmers include: Canyon's Kearsten Livingstone and Nui Harris; Hart's Konrad Antoniuk, Mitch Johnson, Nicole Antoniuk, Hayley Good, Sam Asencio and Megan Shultz; Golden Valley's Michelle Duraj; Saugus' Caitlyn Baker and Jonathan Morsch; Valencia's Bob Hwang, Stephen Haw, Kevin Martinez and Micaela Velasquez; and West Ranch's Riley Mita and Taylor Polesino.

They will compete against clubs from Orange County to Las Vegas in multiple age groups.

And they will be looking to build on the accomplishments of their younger teammates.

Tanner Olson, 10, won the 100-yard breakstroke in 1 minute, 14.97 seconds last weekend, breaking the club's 9-10 age-group record originally set in 1987.

He also won the 200 individual medley.

Olson added a gold medal in the 200-freestyle relay with Brandon Hwang, Adam Osowski and William Chung.

Kevin Dai, Joseph Ang, Jose Ovalle and Cole Cogswell broke the boys 11-12 team record in the 4x50-medley relay with a time of 1:55.26.

The previous mark was held by Alex Ngan, Mita, Jonathan Hwang and Bob Hwang in 2006.

Maliah Grim, 12, won the 11-12 50 breaststroke in 32.01 and finished second in the 100 breaststroke.

Alexa Skours-Neely won the 100 freestyle in 59.59.


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