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scene in the Southland | CITY SECTION REPORT

Roosevelt Making Big Pitch for Respect

March 30, 2000|GARY KLEIN

Based on its performance in 1999, the Roosevelt High baseball team was expected to do well this season.

But few would have predicted an 11-0 start, a championship in the Costa Mesa tournament and a convincing shutout of highly regarded Wilmington Banning.

The Roughriders are riding high and have a chance to further their reputation Saturday when they meet Lakewood in the third round of the Redondo tournament.

Roosevelt has been led by junior pitcher and outfielder Joram Iboa, junior pitcher and first baseman Phillip Valdez and senior third baseman Tony Gonzalez, all of whom helped the Roughriders compile a 19-5 record last season.

Roosevelt also has received consistently good play from senior catcher Brian Pearson, a transfer from Santa Ana Calvary Chapel who is the son of first-year Coach Scott Pearson, and senior outfielder Danny Lezo, who transferred from Downey Warren.

The Roughriders have won four games in their final at-bat.

"There is not an easy out in our lineup," said Scott Pearson, a former assistant at South Gate and Calvary Chapel.

Roosevelt beat Banning, 12-0, in the Redondo tournament last weekend and defeated Huntington Park, 11-0, Tuesday in an Eastern League game.

The Roughriders came close to defeating Chatsworth in last year's City playoff quarterfinals and, along with Carson and Banning, could help end the San Fernando Valley's stranglehold on the City baseball title.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Pearson said of his team. "But these kids believe they can win."


Rhuben Williams of Eagle Rock was named boys' athlete of the meet at last weekend's Pasadena Games.

Williams, the defending state champion in the shotput, won that event with a mark of 61 feet 8 3/4 inches, beating his nearest competitor by more than 10 feet. He also won the discus with a mark of 169-10.

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