Schurr Runs Past Santa Ana Valley, Earns Long Ride to Santa Maria

November 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Schurr High School will have a long bus ride Friday as the top-seeded Spartans travel to Santa Maria for a CIF Southern Section Division 12 quarterfinal.

The 10-1 Spartans rolled to their seventh straight victory by overwhelming Santa Ana Valley, 49-14 in the first round. Schurr built a 28-0 halftime lead and cruised to the win.

Santa Maria (7-4) was as equally impressive in its first round victory as the Northern League champion Saints defeated Carpinteria, 49-28 for their fifth straight win.

Schurr amassed 537 yards of total offense in its victory over Santa Ana Valley last Friday with quarterback Miguel Aguero and running back Kevin Lopez accounting for most of it. Aguero passed for 362 yards and four touchdowns as the senior completed 23 of 29 passes.

Kevin Lopez takes off on a 33-yard touchdown run in the second quarter last Friday to help lead Schurr High School to a 49-14 victory over Santa Ana Valley. The top-seeded Spartans play Santa Maria in a CIF Southern Section Division I2 playoff quarterfinal Friday. (Photo by Mario Villegas)

Kevin Lopez takes off on a 33-yard touchdown run in the second quarter last Friday to help lead Schurr High School to a 49-14 victory over Santa Ana Valley. The top-seeded Spartans play Santa Maria in a CIF Southern Section Division I2 playoff quarterfinal Friday. (Photo by Mario Villegas)

Lopez rushed for 160 yards, including three touchdowns, on only 14 carries.

Francisco Remigio caught three touchdown passes and finished the game with seven receptions for 130 yards. Sebastian Ramos and Aaron Silva each had six receptions for 95 and 81 yards, respectively. Lance Babb caught three passes for 53 yards, including a touchdown reception.

Linebackers Adam Handy and Aaron Rosales led Schurr defensively. Handy had 12 total tackles and Rosales was next with 11. They led a relentless Spartan pass rush that recorded 12 sacks. End Isaiah Cruz was credited with 4.5 sacks and Rosales had three. Angel Rodriguez, who had eight tackles, had 1.5 sacks.

Montebello advanced to the quarterfinals in the Division 10 brackets after going on the road to defeat Pasadena Poly, 28-24 in the first round. The Oilers (7-4) will have their hands full Friday night when they play No. 1 seed Apple Valley at Montebello. The undefeated Sun Devils (11-0) destroyed Twentynine Palms, 75-0 in the first round.

In the City Section quarterfinals, Garfield plays El Camino Real in a Division I quarterfinal Friday night at Garfield that is a matchup of teams with identical 6-5 records. Garfield, the fourth seed, defeated Taft 43-7, while fifth seeded El Camino Real beat Hamilton, 30-18 in their first round games.

Eagle Rock (10-1), the No. 1 seed in Division II, plays South East (4-7) at home Friday. The Eagles defeated Hollywood, 50-13 in the first round for their seventh straight win. South East advances after beating View Park, 28-20.

Roosevelt will square off against Eastern League rival Huntington Park Friday at H.P. The Rough Riders defeated the Spartans, 28-18 when the teams met two weeks ago to finish league play. Roosevelt (6-5), the No. 7 seed, edged Washington, 22-20 in the first round. Second seed Huntington Park (8-3) beat Belmont, 40-8.

In Division III, Torres (7-4) plays Verdugo Hills (6-5) at home. The Toros beat Jordan, 34-6 last Friday behind another outstanding game by Tiquan Gilmore, who rushed for 214 yards, including three touchdowns on only 10 carries. Andrew Morales also had a big night with 122 yards on 15 attempts.

Sixth seed Wilson (6-5) will play at third seed Locke (9-2). The Mules defeated Poly, 28-14 in the first round.

Schurr High School Coach Arrested, Accused of Sexual Abuse

September 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A tennis coach at Schurr High School in Montebello was arrested Monday after being accused of having a sexual relationship with a student that lasted three years.

Van Phuoc “Timothy” Dang, 26, of West Covina, was charged Wednesday with 12 felony counts of meeting a minor for lewd purposes, oral copulation of a person under 18, unlawful sexual intercourse and sodomy of a person under 18, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Van Phuoc “Timothy” Dang, 26, a tennis coach at Schurr High School is accused of sexually abusing a student. (Monterey Park Police Department)

Van Phuoc “Timothy” Dang, 26, a tennis coach at Schurr High School is accused of sexually abusing a student. (Monterey Park Police Department)

He was arrested Monday by detectives from the Monterey Park Police Department after a concerned citizen alerted school police about an alleged sexual relationship between the tennis coach and a student.

According to authorities, Dang had an inappropriate sexual relationship with the unnamed female student that began when she was 14 years old. Investigators determined the majority of the crimes occurred in Monterey Park.

He is being held at the Monterey Park Police Department Jail on $100,000 bail but prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $690,000.

Authorities believe there may be other victims. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Monterey Park Police Department Investigations Bureau at (626) 307-1236.


Update: Sept. 15 11:10 a.m. including information from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.


Schurr High Student Wins National Poetry Award

April 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A Montebello high school student has joined an elite group of poets from across the country, wining national recognition in a contest that drew over 300,000 entries.

Roberto Miranda may only be a junior at Schurr High School, but the young poet has the heart of an old soul, according to the announcement from the Montebello Unified School District.

Miranda’s poem “Gatherings” demonstrates a perspective beyond his years, earning him a Silver Medal in the prestigious 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Out of the 300,000 submissions, only the top one percent is honored for exceptional achievement, according the District.

“Every student at Montebello is encouraged to think critically and creatively – both within the classroom and about their future,” Montebello Unified Board President Edgar Cisneros said. “We are so proud of Robert for this impressive accomplishment and for being a stellar example of how greatly we value the arts and its capacity to pave the way for bright futures for our students.”

The selection by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers in New York puts the 16-year-old Miranda in an esteemed group of past award winners such as documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, “Girls” creator Lena Dunham and author Sylvia Plath.

An “avid reader” since the eighth grade, Miranda draws upon an eclectic range of scholarly influences from British playwright Oscar Wilde to American surgeon and essayist Dr. Richard Selzer.

“What I like about Selzer is the lyrical quality of the language,” Miranda said. “It’s poetry in prose and beautiful writing.”

Under the tutelage of English instructor Betty Harbison, a 27-year teacher at the school and founder and sponsor for the campus writer’s group, Spartans of the Plume, Miranda’s writing flourished. “I’m the one dashing off to the post office moments before the deadline,” Harbison said. “It is well worth it. We have so many talented writers.”

In 2014, Miranda’s entry for the National PTA Reflections Arts Program advanced to the state level, he also garnered plaudits in the annual Creative Communications Poetry Contest. Previously, “Gatherings” won a Gold Key for poetry in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards regional level, while his short story “A Requiem” – a harrowing piece about a man with terminal cancer more concerned with his ailing mother – took a Silver Key.

“I’m only starting to realize the implications of winning this award,” Miranda said. “I feel humbled because I didn’t expect my poem to go this far.”

Miranda is the opinion editor for his school newspaper Spartan Scroll and his latest piece advocates the return of teaching cursive writing.

Woman Charged in East L.A. Teen’s 2002 Kidnapping, Murder

March 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the October 2002 kidnapping and murder of a 15-year-old East Los Angeles girl who was abducted on her way to school in Montebello and found dead a day later.

Rosemary Chavira, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with murder in connection with Brenda Sierra’s killing, which detectives have linked to an East Los Angeles gang.

The teenager disappeared on Oct. 18, 2002, while walking from her home to a friend’s home in the East Los Angeles area to catch a ride with a friend to Schurr High School.

The high school sophomore’s body was discovered the next day in San Bernardino County. She had died of blunt-force trauma to the head, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Rosemary Chavira, 27, was charged in connection with the murder of Brenda Sierra in 2002. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

Rosemary Chavira, 27, was charged in connection with the murder of Brenda Sierra in 2002. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegations that Chavira was murdered during the commission of a kidnapping and a rape, along with an allegation that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

Detectives said Tuesday they believe Sierra was targeted to send a message to the community that there is a price to pay for cooperating with police. Sierra’s older brother had witnessed a gang-related shooting in East L.A. less than two weeks before her murder, said Sheriff’s Homicide Det. Larry Brandenberg. The brother was one of the witnesses who alerted police, according to Brandenberg.

Rosemary Chavira’s brother Eddie Chavira was one of the suspects arrested for the shooting, said Brandenberg. “They wanted to send a strong message, ‘You do not snitch on us,’” said the detective.

Deputies say Sierra was kidnapped at Whittier Boulevard and Leanard Avenue and taken to a home in the 600 block of Williamson Avenue in East Los Angeles where she was raped.

She was then taken to the 900 block of Miller Avenue in Los Angeles where her attackers bludgeoned her to death.

Brenda Sierra, pictured, at age 15. (EGP photo archive)

Brenda Sierra, pictured, at age 15. (EGP photo archive)

A man walking with his dog found sierra’s body Oct. 19, 2002.

County supervisors previously authorized a $150,000 reward for information leading to a conviction, however officials declined to comment on whether they received information in response to the reward offer.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Chavira cannot face the death penalty because she was only 15 when Sierra was kidnapped and killed. She could face a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Chavira was arrested Friday by Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators and has remained in jail since then without bail. She is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom April 1, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require her to stand trial.

Detectives believe Sierra may have known Chavira who lived in East L.A. at the time and also attended Schurr High School, but they emphasized “in no way was [Sierra] affiliated with any gang.”

Sheriff’s officials said Tuesday they anticipate charges will be filed against at least three other suspects in connection with the killing over the next month. One of the three suspects is already in custody on other charges, they said.

A fourth suspect, Marcos Guzman of East Los Angeles, was killed about six months after the murder of Sierra, said Brandenberg.

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