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Final Week Features Crucial Football Matchups


Are you ready for some football showdowns?

The final week of the prep football regular season is often one of the best because usually there are plenty of teams fighting for a league title or a playoff berth.

This year is no exception.

There are three games involving unbeaten league opponents. Top-ranked Mater Dei and Capistrano Valley, both 4-0 in the South Coast League, collide Friday at Capistrano Valley. Pacific Coast League foes Laguna Hills and Aliso Niguel go one better; both are 9-0, 4-0 and are ranked among the county's top 10. They meet Thursday at Mission Viejo. Canyon and Foothill are 4-0 in the Century League and meet Friday at Tustin.

Those won't be the only league titles on the line.

El Dorado can win the Empire League outright with a victory against Kennedy Friday at Western. Should the Hawks falter, Loara or Cypress can win a share of the championship; they play Friday at Glover Stadium.

Freeway League opponents Buena Park and Sunny Hills are 3-1 and play each other Friday at Buena Park. Troy, also 3-1, hosts Sonora at Fullerton Friday.

If Servite is upset by Westminster at Cal State Fullerton, Tustin would share the Golden West League championship if the Tillers defeat Santa Ana at Santa Ana Stadium Friday. Each would finish 4-1.

Anaheim and Valencia are 3-1 in the Orange League, but the Colonists' only league loss was to the Tigers. Should Valencia beat Savanna at home Friday, it would earn the 11th league title it has won outright or shared in the last 13 years. Anaheim last shared the championship in 1992 (with Valencia and Western); the Colonists are at Brea Olinda on Friday.

Santa Margarita (4-0) clinched a share of its first Sea View League title last week and can win it outright by beating Corona del Mar Thursday at Saddleback College. If the Eagles lose, Newport Harbor can join them as league champions with a victory over winless Woodbridge at Irvine High Thursday.

Esperanza (4-0) will win its second consecutive outright Sunset League title if it defeats Fountain Valley Friday at Huntington Beach. If the Aztecs slip, Fountain Valley and Los Alamitos, both 3-1, are waiting to grab a piece. The Griffins host Huntington Beach at Veterans Stadium Thursday.


Fountain Valley girls' volleyball Coach Lori Biller and her husband, Tracy, are expecting their first child in about three weeks.

Fountain Valley, 14-2 overall, is top-seeded in the Southern Section Division I-A playoffs, which begin today.

Biller's due date falls about a week after the Southern Section final, but the Barons might still be contending for the State title at that point.

"We're cutting it close, here," said Biller, whose maiden name was Lori Zeno when she played at UCLA from 1983-87. "If anyone knows how to make sure your baby stays in full term, give me a call."


Veronica Lopez, a pitcher at Canyon, has orally committed to play softball next year at Cal State Northridge.

Lopez, a two-time All-Southern Section player, was 12-6 last year.

She also played third base for the Comanches and batted .468 with 15 runs batted in.


Rosary's Lesley Fulton has orally committed to attend Miami (Ohio) to play softball.

Fulton, dogged by a sore arm last season, played outfield for the Royals. She had pitched and played third base as a sophomore and made The Times Orange County first team as a designated hitter, batting .475 with 31 RBIs and 30 runs scored.

Last season, Fulton played only 14 games and batted .400 in 35 at-bats.


Canyon baseball players Jeff Leuenberger and Mike Tomarelli have orally committed to Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton, Canyon Coach Mike Najera said.

Both were integral parts of Canyon's 1996 team, which won 27 games and the Division II championship.

As a right-handed pitcher, Leuenberger--a Times all-county first-team selection--was 13-2 with a 1.78 earned-run average. He also batted .473, with one home run and 28 RBIs.

Tomarelli, a second-team all-county pick, batted .478 with four home runs and 33 RBIs, and recorded an 8-0 record and 2.37 ERA as a right-handed pitcher.


Tyler Lang of Foothill has orally committed to play baseball at Duke. Lang, who also plays quarterback on the football team, batted .500 with one home run and 18 RBIs.


Servite pitcher Jim Munroe has orally committed to Texas, Servite Coach Tom Tereschuk said. Munroe was 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA.

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