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What’s in the gene pool at Valencia?

Around the SCV: A weekly look at what’s going on with local athletes and teams

Posted: July 23, 2008 1:48 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2008 5:03 a.m.
Valencia junior wide receiver Zack Tartabull. Valencia junior wide receiver Zack Tartabull.
Valencia junior wide receiver Zack Tartabull.

There's a lot of good genes on the gridiron and the diamond at Valencia.

Junior wide receiver Zack Tartabull is the son of former major leaguer Danny Tartabull, but he's never tried his hand in baseball at least, at the high school level.

Another junior Brock Vereen is the younger brother of former Valencia standout Shane Vereen, who now plays at California.

But don't make the comparisons just yet.

"Brock is a different style of football player," said Valencia defensive coordinator Rob Waters. "He's very aggressive defensively where as Shane was very smooth."

Brock will start at cornerback this season and also rotate in on offense at running back and slot receiver.
"Hes curt out of the same mold," Waters said.

The baseball team has its own famous last name. Sophomore Shane Zeile, who hit a 3-run home run on Monday is the nephew of former Major Leaguer Todd Zeile.

Vikings brothers Christian and Timothy Lopes, however, are not related to Dodgers great Davey Lopes, as far as their dad Jack Lopes knows.

Can Golden Valley lift itself up: The Grizzlies' football team went 0-5 in the Foothill League last season, but it's trying to beef itself up to the competition.

After less than a handful of players lifted over 200 pounds on the bench press last season, 20 did it on Golden Valley's Night of Champions last Thursday.

"We're stronger across the board, we showed significant gains all the way through," Golden Valley head coach Steve Pinkston said.

Six-foot-2-inch, 278 pound senior lineman Mike Marshall broke school records in the bench, squat, and power clean, lifting 300, 475, and 245 pounds, respectively. He gained 45 pounds on his bench press from last year, but gained just three pounds in body weight.

Joseph Figueroa, a junior and last year's team defensive player of the year, was the best pound for pound weightlifter. Figueroa, who plays linebacker goes about 160 pounds but lifted 718 percent of his body weight in the events.

Sharing the wealth
No one on Saugus' basketball team averaged more than 12.7 points per game and this year the Centurions will be small and balanced again.

"Even more so," first year head coach Derek Ballard said after the Hart Classic earlier this month.

Jawhar Purdy, a 5-10 junior will contribute at the point guard spot to help senior Mark Watanabe, the leading returning scorer and though he wasn't particularly pleased with the way his team played at times in the Hart Tournament, he did like what he saw at tournaments in Fresno and San Diego.

"We do it together, we don't have anyone who's going to be a big-time All-Star," Ballard said.

Valencia Olympians
Juniors Nick Ferry and Josh Duarte of Valencia competed in the U16 Boys Open Division in the Junior Olympics in Salt Lake, Utah. They received a bronze medal, while playing for the Santa Monica beach Club, which went 10-1 in the tournament.

More Viking Glory
Former Valencia Vikings baseball player and Cal State Fullerton first baseman Jared Clark has been added to the United States Baseball National Collegiate Team.

Clark, who replaced Tennessee's Kentrail Davis due to injury, is the third Titans player to join the national squad.

On Tuesday, Clark doubled in the 11th inning of the FISU World Championships pool play game against Canada and scored the game-winning run. The national team improves to 3-0 in tournament action.

This past season, Clark had a .294 batting average, blasted nine homers and drove in 53 runs.

In June, Clark was selected in the 45th round of the Major League Baseball draft to the Los Angels.

Baseball in Belgium
Former Canyon baseball pitcher Chris Gschwender has signed to play with the Brasschaat Braves in Belgium.

Gschwender made the All-Star team, as the squads starting pitcher. Gschwender leads the Belgium Baseball League in strike-outs and ERA.

Heavy Hart hitters
Two Hart graduates are continuing their success in the minor leagues.

Steve Susdorf is starting his professional career off right.

The Phillies' 19th-round draft pick hit his third homer of the season on Saturday and helped his Williamsport Crosscutters team to a 3-0 win.

Chris Valaika, who played in the All-Star Future's Game at Yankee Stadium on July 15, is keeping his streak going with Chattanooga Lookouts.

Valaika is batting .307 and on Saturday he went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a double.

Body surfing, really?

Try this on for size.

I never thought body surfing was a competitive sport but apparently it is.

2006 Valencia graduate and College of the Canyons student K.C. Arbogast placed second in the Junior Men's age group at the third annual Southern California Bodysurfing Championships on Sunday.

College Football is coming
I can smell the astro turf already. Football is in the air.

Former Hart player and UNLV wide receiver Ryan Wolfe was named to the preseason All-Mountain West Conference first team.

Last season Wolfe set a career high 66 receptions and went for 784 yards and two scores.

The Rebels, who are predicted to finish the MWC in last place, finished the 2007 season 1-7 in conference (2-10 overall).


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