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High Schools | SPOTLIGHT ON BOYS' SOCCER

Coach Wants Los Alamitos, Polls Apart

January 03, 2002|John Ortega

Coach Trey Scharlin understands why rankings exist, but he prefers his Los Alamitos High boys' soccer team not be included in them.

Particularly in the first month of the season.

That is a time for his team to develop the chemistry and skills necessary for making a run at a league title, according to Scharlin, not to concern itself with polls.

"I've seen what rankings can do to a team," said Scharlin, who is in his fourth season at Los Alamitos. "My first year here, we had 19 seniors on the team and they were all excited because we were ranked second in [Orange County] in one poll. But they seemed to forget that they had to win games to maintain that ranking. So ever since then, I've tried to keep a low profile until later in the season."

So Scharlin refrains from calling newspapers with results from his team's games during the first part of the season and does not return preseason questionnaires until the season is several weeks old.

"I avoid any early press for my team," Scharlin wrote in an e-mail last week. "Many teams and players get wrapped up in the rankings and results and forget to focus on the job at hand, winning games and returning as league champs.... Thanks for your understanding and not ranking us."

Los Alamitos (12-1-1) could be in The Times' rankings as early as next week if the Griffins defeat sixth-ranked Fountain Valley in a Sunset League opener on Friday.

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Clamoring for attention: While Scharlin has downplayed his team's accomplishments, Quartz Hill player Kiel McClung said he and his teammates have been overlooked.

Before beginning play in the Simi Valley Royal tournament Wednesday, Quartz Hill had outscored opponents, 52-9, and posted six shutouts during a 10-0 start.

"I think the attitude out there is, 'Oh, they can't be that good. They're from the Antelope Valley,"' McClung said. "'They're just those valley boys who can't be that good in soccer."'

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An encouraging performance: Santa Margarita lost to touted Irvine Woodbridge, 2-0, in the championship game of the Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills tournament Saturday, but it was hard for Coach Curt Bauer to find fault with his team.

The Eagles (14-2-2) were missing six starters, including All-Southern Section Division III second-team selection Matt Basin, because of injuries or concussions, and they started three junior varsity players.

"I think our depth is going to be helped [by having played all these different players]," Bauer said. "But we lack continuity. Our set plays are a mess right now because we haven't had anyone together for very long. They haven't been together long enough to know what the other guy is going to do."

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A depleted roster: Temecula Chaparral (11-1-1) will be without three starters for games against Mira Loma Jurupa Valley today and Norco on Friday.

Matt Bush, a defender, will miss the games after suffering a concussion last week.

Garreth Moore, a sweeper, and Steve Berg, a midfielder, will be on vacations with their families.

Bush was knocked unconscious early in the second half of last Thursday's game against Rialto.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

THE TIMES' RANKINGS

A look at the top 10 boys' soccer teams in the Southland:

1. Irvine Woodbridge (12-1, SS-Sea View)

Warriors outscored five opponents, 14-2, in rolling to Trabuco Hills tournament title last week.

2. Long Beach Millikan (15-1, SS-Moore)

A win or tie in Monday's game against Lakewood would extend Rams' league unbeaten streak to a Southern Section record-tying 45 games.

3. Alta Loma (13-0-2, SS-Mt. Baldy)

Braves drop two spots after shootout loss to Nogales in championship game of Upland tournament Saturday.

4. Temecula Chaparral

(11-1-1, SS-Southwestern)

Pumas suffered their first loss of season to Riverside Rubidoux in Riverside Poly tournament last week.

5. La Puente Nogales (11-1-1, SS-Sierra)

Nobles move up three spots after shootout victory over Alta Loma in championship game of Upland tournament.

6. Fountain Valley (10-0-2, SS-Sunset)

Barons open league play Friday against tough Los Alamitos squad.

7. Santa Margarita (14-2-2, SS-Serra)

Eagles hanging tough despite numerous injuries.

8. Dana Point Dana Hills

(11-3-1, SS-South Coast)

Dolphins are 8-0-1 since 3-3 start.

9. Quartz Hill (10-0, SS-Golden)

Rebels started Royal tournament play Wednesday with game against defending City Section champion Woodland Hills El Camino Real.

10. Huntington Beach Marina

(10-1-3, SS-Sunset)

Vikings suffered first loss of season--to Dana Hills--in semifinals of Marina tournament Friday.

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