By Brandon HENSLEY
Rosemont Middle School is routinely looked at as the team to beat in any sport when the school year begins, and this year again proved why that is the case. In the 2015-16 school year, five of the Spartan athletic teams finished with a winning record, and each of them went undefeated en route to a Glendale District championship.
The Spartan boys’ basketball team turned things around this year, going 6-0 against Wilson, Toll and Roosevelt middle schools, reclaiming the championship after losing two games to Wilson the season before. Coached again by Brent Ballard, the team received string play from Tyler Carlson, Danny Khani and Joel Lee. Carlson, an eighth grader, averaged 15 points per game. The girls, led by first-year head coach Bon Sam, also went 6-0. Denise Dayag averaged 10.3 points per game for the girls’ Spartans.
“I like their intensity. I like their drive … their willingness to learn,” Sam said of his team. The girls had a lot of players on the roster: 21, to be exact. That meant tough decisions for Sam on who would earn playing time.
“I want to be able to use all their abilities,” Sam said. “I know I have a lot of kids, but I want to have a lot of kids.”
Rosemont’s girls’ soccer team was undefeated in the district league with 6-0 record, and in flag football, coach Ryan Dahlstrom had his team firing on all cylinders this year, improving on their 5-1 record last season to go undefeated.
It was the first season for competitive volleyball at Rosemont, and the Spartan girls’ captured the title, going 6-0. Coach Daryl Tanita was surprised by the number of players who tried out – about 80, he guessed – and the school’s enthusiasm for the sport showed on the court. Tanita kept 20 players, and those on the roster made the most of their chances.
“We’re kind of lucky because our team had six girls who play club volleyball. But the girls who weren’t on club, they learned a lot. Volleyball is a very repetitious sport. You have to keep playing,” said Tanita who was assisted by Steve Norkus.
The most important skill the girls had to grasp was being able to serve, because if Rosemont could get the ball over the net, it was a point for the other team. The next biggest skill to learn, Tanita said, was to handle the other team’s serve.
But it wasn’t as if only the non-club playing girls had something to learn this year. Tanita played at the club level at the University of Arizona when he was in college, but he hadn’t had that much coaching experience prior to this season. He said he and Norkus would often watch YouTube videos of what kind of drills to put the team through in practice.
The other lesson he learned was that if he returns as coach next year, he most likely won’t want to carry the same number of players. Trimming the roster might help in giving certain girls more playing time.
“Because our skill was better than the other teams’, the games finished so fast. It was hard to put in the other girls … it was hard to rotate in,” he said.
The main advantage in volleyball Rosemont had this season was the chemistry within the team. Tanita said the club players had their own cheers, and that kind of attitude was infectious.
“When we were in the gym our team was more vocal,” Tanita said. “They would cheer on and say some other chants, whereas the other teams were pretty quiet. So I feel we gelled pretty well.”
Lacrosse and boys’ soccer were the Rosemont teams that struggled a bit. Soccer went 2-3-1, and placed third. Toll and Wilson tied for first place.
CVHS Sports Notes
The Crescenta Valley High School baseball team had a successful year, and now its players are being recognized. Ryan Lynch, the senior second baseman, was named the All-Pacific League co-player of the year. Trevor Beer and Nico Arredondo were selected to the first team. Will Smiley and Scott Vinceri were selected to the second team, and Chuck Weinmann was an All-League honorable mention. The Falcons went 20-8 this season and were co-champions of the Pacific League along with Burroughs High School. CV lost in the first round of the CIF Division II playoffs.
Tryouts for the boys’ basketball teams at CVHS are being held today at 10 a.m. at the school. Summer league action for the Falcons tips off this week. The varsity plays Friday and Saturday at Providence High School. Friday game time is 4 p.m., and on Saturday the team plays at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. The varsity plays again on Monday at 3:30 at Crespi High. The soph/frosh begin summer action on June 6 at Burroughs High School. The boys play Glendale at 7:30 p.m. The JV team plays at Burbank High on June 7. The boys will play two games, first at 4:30 and then at 5:30.