Category Archives: Sports

2022 MLB Preview & Predictions

By MLB Correspondent D. Higgins

Previewing MLB in 2022

It’s that time again: Baseball season is back. “Let’s go, batter up, we’re taking the afternoon off… It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame!”

Let’s see how my 2022 predictions shake out. Last year, my predictions were a mixed bag, but this time I’m sure to be 100% correct, right? (Probably not…)

Is it a World Championship or bust for the Dodgers? Are the Angels going to finally get Mike Trout back to the postseason? Are the Giants going to surprise everybody again with another 107-win season? Are the Rays going to keep coming out on top in a very competitive AL East? Are the poor Orioles capable of winning more than 60 games? Come back in October to check and see how I did!

Los Angeles Dodgers

Before I get to my overall MLB predictions, let’s take a long look at our home team.

The 2021 Dodgers ran off a historic 106-win season, finishing a game behind the surprising Giants in the division before walking off against the Cardinals in a do-or-die Wild Card game and then beating San Francisco in a thrilling 5-game NLDS. Ultimately, however, the Dodgers were beaten up by injuries and fell short against the eventual World Champion Atlanta Braves in the NLCS.

Re-tooling for 2022, the Dodgers made several key roster changes, but are still the consensus pick to win the World Series this year. Let’s check in on the offseason moves:

•Sticking around:

•Future-hall-of-famer Clayton Kershaw re-signed with the Dodgers the day after the lockout ended for 1 year and $17M. If healthy, Kershaw can still be a top 3 starter. He had a great spring training and appears ready to continue his winning path.

•Outfielder Cody Bellinger agreed to a one-year, $17 million deal. He is in his walk-year, looking to return to his MVP form after an injury-plagued 2021 (although he had some big moments in the postseason).

•Super utility man Chris Taylor signed a four-year, $60 million deal to stay with the Dodgers. He will continue to fill his role all over the field, most likely in LF, as well as taking some at-bats at DH.

New Additions:

Freddie Freeman (1B): It took $162M and a 6-year deal to get Freeman out of Atlanta, the place where he spent the first 15 years of career. He comes back to his SoCal roots to add his All-Star, Gold-Glove, and MVP skills to first base for the Dodgers through the year 2027. Indisputably one of the best hitters in baseball, Freeman also has an excellent track record of being healthy and consistent.

Craig Kimbrel (RHP): Speaking of former Braves… The Dodgers pulled off another surprising trade, acquiring eight-time all-star closer Craig Kimbrel for AJ Pollock on April 1. The trade filled a need for both teams, with the Sox adding a much-needed OF bat and the Dodgers adding to their strong bullpen with a proven veteran closer. He has one year and $16M remaining on a deal he signed with the Cubs 3 years ago.

Daniel Hudson (RHP): The Dodgers added the experienced Hudson to fill valuable bullpen innings. He returns to the Dodgers on a 1-year deal for $7M (he pitched in 40 effective games for the Dodgers in 2018)

Andrew Heaney (LHP): The starter signed a 1-year deal for $8.5M, looking to revive his stuff in the back-end of the rotation after an up-and-down 2021.

Tyler Anderson (LHP): Signing a 1-year, $8M contract, the 32-year-old lefty starter will be expected to eat some innings in the rotation until reinforcements arrive mid-season in the form of Dustin May and/or pitchers acquired via trade.

Hanser Alberto (IF): The Dodgers gave the versatile defender a 1-year, $1.6M deal (with an option for the 2023 season). Alberto can fill in all over the infield and is one of the toughest players to strike out in baseball.

•Who’s Out?

Corey Seager: signed a mega-deal with the Texas Rangers ($324M/10 years)

Kenley Jansen: signed a 1-year, $16M deal with the Atlanta Braves

Max Scherzer: signed for 3 years and $134M with the New York Mets

AJ Pollock: traded to the White Sox for Craig Kimbrel on April 1

Joe Kelly signed a 2-year deal with the White Sox for $17M.

Albert Pujols signed one final contract, reuniting with the Cardinals for one last season on a $2.5M deal.

•Reliever Corey Knebel signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Phillies

•Bench players Matt Beaty, Billy McKinney, Zach Reks, Luke Raley, and Sheldon Neuse were traded away or DFA.

You would think that a team that lost Seager, Jansen, Scherzer, Pujols, Pollock, and Kelly were having a fire sale, but the Dodgers are so loaded that they will pick right up where they left off thanks to major additions like Freeman and Kimbrel. With this mixture of new and old faces, the Dodgers are very determined and talented. The sky is the limit for this team, and they have the depth to withstand any prolonged slumps or injuries.

With MLB getting a late start due to the offseason’s labor issues, the league is allowing 28-man rosters through May 1 (after that, rosters go back down to 26 players, including a 13-pitcher limit). Many pitchers are simply not built up or on track to begin the season, so the Dodgers will go with an enormous 16-man pitching staff and a 12-man position player roster (opening the season against the Rockies with a 3-game series in offense-heavy Coors Field helped with that decision, too).

Keep in mind that this is just the Dodgers’ roster to start the season; they will send many players up & down from the minors to build a championship roster as the year goes on.

*Projected Lineup:

1) Mookie Betts – RF

2) Freddie Freeman -1B

3) Trea Turner – SS

4) Justin Turner – 3B/DH

5) Max Muncy – 2B/DH

6) Will Smith – C

7) Chris Taylor – LF/Util

8) Cody Bellinger – CF

9) Gavin Lux – 2B/Util

*Bench:

Austin Barnes (C), Edwin Rios (IF), Hanser Alberto (IF)

*Minor League Depth:

Jake Lamb (OF), Kevin Pillar (OF), Zach McKinstry (IF/OF), Andy Burns (IF), Eddy Alvarez (IF)

*Position Player Prospects to Watch:

Jacob Amaya (IF), Eddys Leonard (IF), Andy Pages (OF), Miguel Vargas (IF)

*Starting Rotation:

1) Walker Buehler

2) Julio Urias

3) Clayton Kershaw

4) Andrew Heaney

5) Tony Gonsolin

*Bullpen:

RHP: Craig Kimbrel, Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol, Daniel Hudson, Mitch White, Evan Phillips

LHP: Alex Vesia, David Price, Tyler Anderson, Garrett Cleavinger, Justin Bruhil

*On the injured list, but ready soon:

Victor Gonzalez, Caleb Ferguson, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Duffy, Jimmy Nelson, Dustin May

*Pitching Prospects to Watch:

Michael Grove, Andre Jackson, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot

•2022 Predictions:

*Now it’s time for my predictions for the 2022 MLB season. Last year, I predicted a Dodgers vs Yankees World Series (which was wrong on both ends), and my division winners included the Astros, White Sox, and Yankees in the AL, and the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Braves in the NL (not too shabby). My wildcard teams were the Padres and Mets (I was dead wrong); and my AL wildcard teams were the Twins and Blue Jays (even deader wrong).

Here are my predictions for the 2022 standings:

NL WESTNL CENTRALNL EAST
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Diego Padres*
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. Colorado Rockies
1. Milwaukee Brewers
2. St. Louis Cardinals
3. Chicago Cubs
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
1. Atlanta Braves
2. New York Mets*
3. Philadelphia Phillies*
4. Miami Marlins
5. Washington Nationals
* = Wild Card Team
AL WESTAL CENTRALAL EAST
1. Houston Astros
2. Los Angeles Angels*
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Texas Rangers
5. Oakland A’s
1. Chicago White Sox
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Cleveland Guardians
4. Detroit Tigers
5. Kansas City Royals
1. Toronto Blue Jays
2. Tampa Bay Rays*
3. Boston Red Sox*
4. New York Yankees
5. Baltimore Orioles
* = Wild Card Team

(Note: Starting this season, the MLB postseason will feature 12 teams–the three division winners and three wild card teams. The teams will be seeded, with the top two division winners receiving a first-round bye, and the remaining four teams locked into a best-of-three Wild Card Playoff round. After that, the Division Series and Championship Series will commence as they have been for years.)

In the American League, the Blue Jays are a hot pick this year thanks to a young and powerful lineup. The Astros keep plugging along and filling holes after several key departures like Carlos Correa (MIN) and George Springer (TOR) last season, and you can never count them out. Still, I think the White Sox will win the American League pennant due to a balanced veteran lineup, solid rotation, and a shutdown bullpen.

Ultimately however, this is the Dodgers’ year. Anything short of a championship would be a disappointment. As a lifelong fan, I am, of course, rooting for the Dodgers, too. But it’s not just a homer pick–the players, fans, and experts all around MLB feel the same way. Barring a disastrous injury to a key player like Trea Turner, or Betts, Freeman, or Buehler, everything is lining up for a fun & memorable season. They are the class of the National League and should win their fourth pennant in the last six seasons, as well as a championship.

So… no jinxes, no fooling around, I’ll call it out loud — the Los Angeles Dodgers will be the 2022 World Champions, defeating the Chicago White Sox in a rematch of the 1959 World Series.

Eagle Athlete Spring Spotlight: Gabriela Ortega

(Girl’s Volleyball and Softball)

By April Zavala

Senior Gabriela Ortega is John Glenn High School’s star softball player who is known for her fascinating pitching skills that often leave her opponents stunned. She has played softball all four years of high school and is considering playing in college.

Aside from softball, she has also played volleyball all four years of high school. She played middle position for the team and won us our very first game with an ace! She is captain of both teams and plays both sports extremely well while balancing school work and homework on top of it all, which is what makes her our Spotlight Athlete for spring.

Q: How do you feel having been chosen for our Spotlight Athlete?

A: I think it feels good! It is a demonstration of all the hard work I put into the softball field every day.

Q: Considering how young everyone on the team is, what is it like being a mentor/role model to them?

A: I think it is a good thing because my coaches believe I can help whenever they need me to step up; although it can also be a challenge since they don’t always take things seriously.

Q: What are your plans after high school?

A: My plans after high school are to continue my education and hopefully become a surgical nurse or an registered nurse.

Q: If you could play any sport other than softball or volleyball, what sport would you be interested in playing?

A: I think it would be soccer. I’ve never tried to play but it seems really fun. All the plays and cool tricks they do seem intriguing.

Q: What song is stuck in your head at the moment?

A: A song that is currently stuck in my head is “Who’s that Girl?” by Eve.

Eagles Basketball Recap

Successful Season Complete as Boys Get Deep into CIF Playoffs

By Pedro Torres

The John Glenn boys varsity basketball team qualified for the CIF playoffs this season and had a deep run to cap a successful journey. Finishing the season with a record of 14-13.

With a 50-44 win over Pioneer on January 31st, 2022, the boys finished in 3rd place in the 605 League. This was the first time in 22 years that the team had automatically qualified for the playoffs due to league placement (the last time the team went to the playoffs was in 2014 with an at-large bid.)

In the first round of the playoffs, the Eagles defeated River Springs Charter from Hemet 55-24 on February 11, 2022. This is the first time Glenn’s varsity basketball team has won in the playoffs in over 20 years. 

The Eagles made even more school history in round two when they advanced to the quarter finals on Friday, February 15, 2022, with a 61-58 win over Hawthorne MSA here at JGHS. It was such a great game! Thank you to all our staff who attended the game. Our students really had a great time cheering on our team.

In the final playoff game against Fontana, the Eagles’ playoff run came to an end with a 48-40 defeat on February 18th, 2022. In that final game, there were lots of turnovers. Despite the fact that we lost, there were two key 3-pointers by Seyharmony Somchan to get the Eagles back in the game. Yet it was not enough to secure a win. The Eagles trailed just 28-26 at halftime, yet the game got away in the third quarter, as the Eagles were outscored 12-2.

Although the season ended in defeat, Eagles basketball should be proud of a good playoff run with only having 6 players for the season. Next year, the Eagles hope to build another program that can make the playoffs and make some noise.

Track and Field Season Underway

By Daniela Galindo

It was a rough start for the JGHS track & field team when there were very few members, but after winter break, as more students joined, their hopes started to rise. Now the team has about 35-40 members.

Since December, coach Andy De La Torre and captain Javier Reynoso have been training with the members in preparation for their first meet, which occurred in late February. There, sophomore Melanie Hernandez (pictured below) placed top 10 in the 3-mile run and qualified for CIF to represent JGHS at Mt. SAC.

Melanie Martinez proudly displays her medal

A few of the highlights of the team’s second competition for this year at Norwalk on March 10 were that junior Stany Hernandez took 1st place in discus for throwing a disc at 61’ ½”. With an effort of 59′ 3.6”, Jasmine Madina took 2nd place in discus. For the girls shot put throw, Anh Dang took 1st place with a throw of 23’10’’. Mikel Udengwu placed 1st in the Boys Varsity discus with a throw of 116′ 6″ in the competition. Second place went to Gabriel Pasillas, who threw 108′ 10”. Among the boys varsity miles, captain Javier Reynoso (pictured below, with the distance runners) took 4th place. In addition to taking 4th place, he also set a new personal record of 5 minutes, 17 seconds.

Captain Javier Reynoso (back row, third from left) and the Cross Country Squad

During a recent interview with Reynoso, he mentioned that they share great memories from bus rides, especially since they weren’t able to go on bus rides previously due to COVID, and even just attending meets is a great experience, particularly after almost two years of not being able to do so. Additionally, we discussed the goals the team has, such as going to as many competitions as possible and having a good overall performance as a team.

He also noted that the main goal is for every individual to improve. They train hard so they can win against other schools and have personal records at each meet. Communication seems to be the most important key in order for the team to have improvement and win competitions.

Track athletes prepare to start

Boys Volleyball Makes Best of Tough Schedule

 By Oliver Cisneros

The JGHS boys volleyball season is off to a decent start considering we have a relatively new team. Eagles volleyball currently has a record of 2-4 (through March 20).

The team has been struggling to maintain their numbers and have had to practice elsewhere without our gym here at Glenn (the gym is currently under construction as they prepare a new floor). Every day we have to be at school at 5pm to take a bus over to La Mirada High School and practice from 6-8 on just a fraction of their gym. We then take our bus back to Glenn and go home, making us all get home around 9pm. This leaves little time for any homework to do at night.

Despite these setbacks, the team has been able to win against Cabrillo High School and Lynwood High School. Our league games are soon starting and we are hoping for a better position than in previous seasons. With our gym coming back within the next month, we will be able to practice here in our own home and continue to win more games and grow as a team. The two captains, me and Richard Castro, return for their 4th year of playing to help support the newer players and grow as a team.

Eagles Wrestling Champs Again

By Jacob Miranda

With the wrestling CIF finals done, both the boys teams and the girls team have finished their season as 605-League Champions. With Coaches Monico Enriquez leading the varsity team and Adrian Enriquez leading the junior varsity team, the boys were able to obtain a record of 12-3 for JV and 14-7 for Varsity. Despite their best efforts, though, neither team was able to make it past the second round of the CIF tournament, with Daniel Espinoza being the only boy to qualify during the 1st round.

When asked for comments, both coaches agreed that Jacob Enriquez and Julian Rodriguez were highlights of the team, stepping up from their first year (normally first timers are JV) to wrestle for Varsity. They also mentioned how proud they were that Freddie Valdivia finished off his senior year as the varsity wrestling Captain.
The girls wrestling team, on the other hand, are able to win all of the league dual meets. Led by their Coach, former JGHS alum Hector Ramirez, they were able to win the 605-League Championships. Sadly, they weren’t able to progress past the first round of CIF, though. When questioned, Coach Hector mentioned Mia Ramirez and Rain Aranjo as the people he believed went the farthest.

Girl’s Softball Powered by Strong Bats

By: April Zavala

Despite dropping their first 605-League game at Pioneer by a score of 12-11, the Eagles’ softball team proved themselves to be a great team during their pre-season games. At press time (Monday, March 21) the girls currently hold a record of 8-7 (5-1 home and 3-6 away).

The Eagles had an 11-8 lead heading into the bottom of the 6th inning, but Pioneer stormed back with a walk-off win, scoring two in the 6th and 2 more in the 7th to take the first  league game of the season. The teams will have a rematch at Glenn on Friday, April 8.

Some of their amazing preseason wins highlight the booming offense of this team, including defeats of Firebaugh by a score of 19-5, Ganesha (19-6), Cabrillo (20-1), Leuzinger (17-3), and Gabrielino (12-2). They currently stand at 3rd in the 605 League and 18th in the Division VI for softball.

Some of their star players include senior Gabriela Ortega, junior Kaylani Moncada, as well as Julia Cole, Beatriz Galvez, Aileen Lopez, Anais Perez, and Kristy Rodriguez.

We look forward to seeing how great the girls will do during the rest of their 605-League games. The girls would love and deserve your support, especially at home where the Eagles have dominated. Here is the remaining softball schedule:

  • Fri, 3/25 (@ Whitney)
  • Tue, 3/29 (@ Oxford)
  • Wed, 3/30 (vs. Montebello)
  • Fri, 4/1 (vs. Cerritos)
  • Tue, 4/5 (@ Artesia)
  • Fri, 4/8 (vs. Pioneer)
  • Tue, 4/12 (vs. Oxford)
  • Thu, 4/14 (@ Cerritos)
  • Fri, 4/22 (vs. WDVHS)
  • Tue, 4/26 (vs. Artesia)

Super Bowl LVI Prediction

By NFL Correspondent D.Higgins

We have come to my final NFL predictions article — it’s Super Bowl time!

Two weeks ago, I shared my predictions for the NFC and AFC championship games. Let’s see how I did:

Prediction: Chiefs 35 – Bengals 24

Actual Score: Bengals 27 – Chiefs 24 (OT)

Comments: The Chiefs took their foot off the gas and blew a 21-3 lead, shockingly dropping a home playoff game against the underdog Bengals. Cincinnati, who won just 6 games combined from 2019-2020, now has a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1988, when they lost to the Montana & Rice 49ers.

* * * *

Prediction: Rams 31 – Niners 24

Actual Score: Rams 20 – Niners 17

Comments: In a great defensive battle, the Rams prevailed, coming from behind to win the NFC and host Super Bowl LVI thanks to a 13-point comeback after falling behind 17-7 as the fourth quarter began. QB Matthew Stafford threw for 337 yards on 31-for-45 passing. In a 17-17 tie with about 6:30 to go, the Rams marched down field for Matt Gay to kick the eventual game-winning 30-yard field goal.

In the Championship Round, I went 1-1, and overall, my playoff predictions sit at an even 6-and-6. I guess Super Bowl LVI is the tiebreaker! Let’s get to my pick.

Super Bowl LVI

Prediction: Rams 27 – Bengals 24

The Super Bowl returns to Los Angeles where it all began, and for the first time since 1993’s game at The Rose Bowl.

I think this one is going to be a tight game and a classic. The Rams have the Los Angeles home crowd on their side and the better postseason experience. Joe Burrow and the Bengals had a great season and should be proud of how quickly they turned into an AFC powerhouse, but it is the Rams’ time. I think head coach Sean McVay makes all the right calls, and Von Miller, Aaron Donald, and the Rams defense makes the perfect stops at the perfect times.

Of course, in all honesty, I wouldn’t be sad one bit if the Bengals pull through and win this game. It’s hard to root against either team. I’m a Dodgers fan first and foremost, so I always love to root for the Los Angeles teams. But with a young and exciting Joe Burrow at quarterback, a wide receiver named Tee Higgins (my distant cousin, perhaps?), and memories of the Ickey Shuffle, one can’t help but load up on some Skyline Chili and holler “Who dey?” every time the Bengals score.

Still, it feels like the Rams’ time, who have never won a Super Bowl in Los Angeles (the St. Louis Rams beat the Titans in 1999 in Super Bowl XXXIV, and L.A. won a pre-Super Bowl Championship in 1951 over the Browns).

Crank up the Randy Newman, fire up some street dogs, and get ready to party, L.A., because the Rams will be the Super Bowl Champions. 

Farewell John Madden

By Isaiah Almanza 

On December 28, 2021 John Madden, famous NFL coach for the then Oakland Raiders, passed away. As a coach, Madden is famous for his Super Bowl XI win with the Raiders against the Minnesota Vikings (32-14) on January 9, 1977. Madden coached for the Raiders for 10 seasons, finishing with 103 wins, 32 losses and 7 ties. 

He is also famous for his yearly NFL video games which bear his name. The first entry was John Madden Football (1988), and now with its latest release with a shorter name Madden 22 (2021).

Madden was also a great broadcaster, providing commentary for NFL games from 1979 to 2009, earning 16 Sports Emmy Awards along the way.

On January 9, 2022 before the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders game Virginia Madden honored her late husband by lighting the Allegiant torch.

John Madden’s legacy will continue to live on through his wife, Virginia, 2 kids and 5 grandchildren.

Eagles Winter Sports Round-Up: Basketball, Wrestling, Soccer

By Oliver Cisneros

In our first month back for the second semester, winter sports are wrapping up their seasons. Soccer, basketball, and wrestling each have had their own great experiences this season and here is a recap.

SOCCER:

To help recap soccer, here is a quote from Jimmy Torres. Jimmy has been playing soccer for all 4 of his years at Glenn and provided me with a statement about how the team has performed this season: “It’s been a work in progress, the program is trying to build with the potential that the underclassmen have. Upperclassmen play a big role when it comes to the games. Overall, the guys on the team will fulfill their potential in the next upcoming years.”

The varsity boys soccer team defeated Whitney 1-0 on Tuesday, January 25th, the second time they defeated Whitney this year. The team is led by Giovanni Martinez, who scored a hat-trick (3 goals) against Whitney on January 7. In addition to Torres, Junior Jose Navidad also leads the defense at left back.

Aerial photo by O.Cisneros from January 4, 2022

WRESTLING:

For the fourth straight year, JGHS Boys and Girls Wrestling has won the 605-League Championship title. In a meet on Tuesday, January 25th, varsity girls defeated Pioneer 42-15, including junior Trinity Escobar winning her match with a pin. The girls also soundly defeated Artesia 60-12 in a meet on January 24th. The defeat of Cerritos High on January 20th was also notable, as pins by Diana Bravo and Mia Ramirez helped the Lady Eagles win 54-18.

Varsity boys also beat Pioneer by a whopping 66-18 on January 25th. Emmanuel Enriquez, Daniel Altamirano, Diego Lopez, Benjamin Sanchez, and Alex Valdez all won their matches by pins. It has been a dominating finish for wrestling, as the boys also defeated Cerritos in a much tighter contest 39-26, including pins by Freddie Valdivia, Robert Renteria, Diego Lopez, and Jacob Enriquez.

The JV team also finished their season with an undefeated league record.

Initially, our wrestling team was off to a rocky start with the effects of Covid but as their season progressed, it has been pretty successful. All members of the team have been putting in hard work and have pulled through in the end with a much more successful season. In addition to the league matches, Freddie Valdivia, a senior, and junior Emmanuel Enríquez placed 5th at the Monte Claire Classic Bob Bellot Tournament on January 21st.

BASKETBALL:

Finally, the basketball season has been pretty successful this year. The team’s overall score is 9-9 with hopes of making it to the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. Here’s a quote from Natanael Jacobo, a senior who has been playing basketball for all four of his years at Glenn: “As for us we know what we are capable of and I would say we could’ve done much better than what our record says. It’s been really fun and hard but it’s always a rollercoaster when there is success!”

Overall, Covid can be to blame for any of the teams’ lack of performance this season as it greatly impacted the whole school and it’s programs. All the teams this season have worked hard and put in the effort to get to where they are now and will continue to work harder for more successful years to come. 

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