WHITTIER – Whittier High School probably won’t be playing in next week’s CIF-Southern Section boys soccer playoffs. But the Cardinals weren’t exactly complaining Wednesday afternoon. Whittier, using a commitment to defense, instead was all smiles after scoring a 1-0 victory over host California in a Del Rio League game. The Cardinals, who scored the only goal on a header by Pablo Duarte, finished 7-8-2 overall and tied La Serna for fourth place, both with 4-4-2 league marks. California (11-8-1, 5-5), despite the loss, is the league’s No. 3 playoff representative by virtue of its five league wins. Whittier and La Serna, which tied Santa Fe on Wednesday, can receive at-large bids. “I’m very proud of my kids. They are very happy to beat Cal High,” said Whittier co-head coach Sal Mendoza, whose team swept the Condors in the season series. “This game was not big just because we had a shot at CIF, but we wanted to end the season with a win and beat a team like Cal High.” The Cardinals did it with defense. They held California to eight shots and constantly frustrated the Condors by controlling the middle of the field. “It was a hard day,” California coach Dave Rolfe said. “They shut the door on us. Once they got that goal (in the second half), they just packed it in.” The score in question came early in the second half. Mario Equer started the run by sending in a deep pass down the right sideline to Heder Guillen. The senior forward then dribbled in before launching a crossing pass to Duarte, who was in perfect position to head the ball to the left of goalie Johann Harich in the 42nd minute. Cal’s best chance came in the 66th minute on a throw-in by Michael Paz. The ball first bounced off goalie Gustavo Anaya, but Freddy Limon’s rebound shot was wide. “I did drop everybody back,” Mendoza said. “But I shifted over to Paz because I knew he could decide the game.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3061 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
SANTA CLARITA – Scores of Los Angeles County firefighters fought a fast-moving brush fire Saturday south of Gorman. Fanned by winds up to 40 mph, the blaze scorched more than 2,000 acres within four hours as it quickly spread over the rugged, unpopulated terrain. “Fire has been burning in inaccessible areas; we’re using helicopters to get into (there),” said Mike Brown, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “Hand crews are fighting from the ground.” Flames were spotted just before 2 p.m. on the southbound side of the Golden State Freeway, north of state Route 138, but winds quickly spread the blaze. The freeway was not closed and traffic was moving normally, he said. Hand crews who hiked into the remote area planned to work through the night, hoping to cut a containment line around the flames. Authorities said the cause of the blaze is unknown but an investigation is under way. [email protected] (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Late Saturday, crews were still struggling to contain the fire near the unincorporated community of Gorman in northwestern Los Angeles County about 30 miles north of Santa Clarita. No structures were immediately threatened, but officials warned that if the wind changed direction, homes south of Quail Lake Road in Hungry Valley could be in danger. Record low rainfall has left the region parched and created critical fire conditions. On Friday, Caltrans announced plans to expedite brush-clearing projects on its land in areas of high fire danger. At least 30 county engines, eight hand crews and three water-dropping helicopters responded to Saturday’s fire. The city of Los Angeles also deployed a helicopter. The flames scorched acreage in the Angeles and Los Padres national forests, where a fire warning was issued earlier this week. U.S. Forest Service strike crews from both areas responded, Brown said.
Former Newcastle United player Lee Bowyer claims Derby County manager Steve McClaren would be perfect for the job at St. James’ Park.Current Toon boss John Carver has seen his side lose six consecutive games and win just twice in 2015, meaning chairman Mike Ashley is likely to look for a new manager at the end of the season.If the Newcastle lose to Swansea this weekend, they will set a new club record with seven Premier League losses on the bounce.And Bowyer, who made 79 Premier League appearances for the Magpies believes former England manager McClaren, who guided Middlesbrough to the 2004 League Cup coupled with his success at Derby County, makes him perfect for the Tyneside job.“I think he’d be perfect, because he’s managed England and there is a lot of pressure in that job, and there is a lot of pressure to manage Newcastle so I think he’d be perfect for it,” he told the Weekend Sports Breakfast.“Derby don’t look like they are going to go up, unless they go up through the play-offs.”Talking about his other former employers, West Ham United, Bowyer believes manager Sam Allardyce is still the man for the job at Upton Park, claiming he has done an exceptional job at the helm.“He’s done what they’ve asked and got the team back into the Premier League and now they have been established,” Bowyer said.“They’re always finishing mid-table, which I think is good for West Ham and sometimes I think you have to be careful with what you wish for.”