Gardena, CA
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Articles by Joe Snyder

Led by preseason all-American and University of Southern California all-around player Mique Juarez, North Torrance High’s football team was hoping to get off to a good start with a non-league game at Redondo last Friday.

A slow start prevented the Saxons from pulling the game out as they fell short to the Sea Hawks 26-21.

Oluwole Betiku         Serra High

Football         Defensive End

Serra High defensive end Oluwole Betiku recently committed to playing football at UCLA and is a preseason All-American. Betiku was All-CIF Southern Section PAC Five and All-California State last season. He keyed the Cavaliers to the Mission League tri-championship with La Puente Bishop Amat and Encino Crespi. The Cavaliers begin their 2015 season at Lakewood High Friday at 7 p.m. 

— Joe Snyder 

In last Thursday’s scrimmages against Rosemead Don Bosco Tech and Norwalk John Glenn at Gardena High, the Panthers already showed hopes that they want to show the rigorous Marine League that they will no longer be any pushover.

Of course, the Panthers were embarrassed by CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I champion Narbonne 65-0, City Division I runner-up Carson 64-0 in their homecoming game, San Pedro 42-7 and Banning 42-8, in their 2-8 (1-9 on the field) campaign last year.

Betiku looks to lead Serra to state Open Division title

By Joe Snyder

Sports Editor

Two years ago, Serra High football standout defensive end Oluwole Betiku immigrated to the United States from Nigeria not even looking to play football.

As a sophomore in the 2013-14 school year, Betiku moved to Maryland where he attended Bishop McNamera High. He, then, moved to the Los Angeles area where he went to Serra last year. He ended up playing football and learned the sport fast.

Adrian Altamorano         Freeman Park Rays

Baseball

Adrian Altamorano was the winning starting pitcher and got the save for the Freeman Park Rays in edging their park rival Brewers 7-6 last Thursday at Freeman Park. He also had a key run-scoring hit.

— Joe Snyder

The host Freeman Park Rays got off to a slow start in trailing 5-0 before letting loose for 10 unanswered runs in a 10-5 victory over the Mas Fukai Park Dodgers in the Gardena Parks and Recreation semifinal last Saturday.

The Rays move on to play in the championship against the Fukai Brewers, who defeated the Mariners 11-4 in their semifinal Saturday at Rowley Park. The game will be today at 6 p.m. at Freeman Park.

Down 5-0, the Rays got things going that was highlighted by a grand slam home run from Shane O’ Brien to give them a 6-5 advantage.

Shane O’Brien         Freeman Park Rays

Pee Wee Baseball

Shane O' Brien hit a grand slam home run and had two other hits to key the Freeman Park Rays to a 10-5 win over the Mas Fukai Park Dodgers in the Gardena Parks and Recreation Pee Wee baseball semifinals last Saturday at Freeman. They host the Fukai Brewers for the championship today at 6 p.m. at Freeman. The Brewers eliminated the Mariners 11-4 Saturday at Rowley Park. 

Photo by Joe Snyder

Fukai Park Braves         Bantam Baseball

The Fukai Park Braves captured the Gardena City Bantam Baseball championship with a 5-3 win over the Athletics Saturday at Rowley Park.

— Joe Snyder

It was just two days before last Saturday’s Gardena City championship Bantam baseball final between his Braves and the Athletics at Rowley Park that Malachi Garcia lost his 20-year-old uncle, Ricky Compeau, who was killed while swimming in a cave below Inspiration Point in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Despite the death in his family, Garcia went ahead and played in the championship game and was a key in the Braves’ 5-3 victory over their Mas Fukai Park rival A’s.

The Mas Fukai Marlins are in second place in the Gardena Parks and Recreation Pee Wee baseball action after topping the host Freeman Park Rays 8-6 last Thursday.

The two teams were tied at six after three innings before Julian Dinora doubled in two runs which proved to be the difference.

Winning pitcher Robert Mickido held the Rays scoreless in the fourth as the game was stopped after that due to a 90-minute time limit.

Sonny Steinberg added a two-run home run for the Marlins.