The valley’s perennial football powers have begun to rise toward the top in their divisions after the latest CIF Southern Section fall sports polls were released on Monday. La Quinta, coming off a high-scoring 63-42 victory against Xavier Prep, moved up to No. 8 in Division 5 from No. 10 a week ago. The Blackhawks are one of only two teams undefeated in Desert Valley League play and will face the other, Shadow Hills, at 7 p.m. Thursday at La Quinta High School.
Palm Springs, who originally lost its first three games of the season, has moved into the ranking conversation as a team receiving votes outside the top 10 in Division 4 coming off a 21-14 home win over Cathedral City. The Indians will face Palm Desert on the road Friday.
READ MORE: Indians continue streak against rival Lions
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The Rancho Mirage-Coachella Valley game result only made a difference for one of the two ranked teams this week. The Arabs, who were No. 1 in Division 11 three weeks ago, received votes but were not among the top 10 this week before they host Yucca Valley. The Rattlers remained at No. 5 before they prepare to host Twentynine Palms.
READ MORE: Rattler run game dominates Coachella Valley
After the team’s rout of rival Desert Chapel, 72-6, Desert Christian Academy moved up one spot to No. 8 in Division 2 of eight-man football. The Conquerors will have a tough battle on their hands Friday hosting No. 7 Bloomington Christian.
In girls volleyball, the valley gained its fourth ranked team with some minor shifts this week. Palm Desert moved into the Division 4 top 10 at No. 10 after receiving votes outside the top 10 for several weeks. Rancho Mirage jumped into the Division 8 top 10 at No. 7, and Shadow Hills moved up to No. 4 from No. 8 in Division 6. In Division 5, La Quinta maintained its No. 2 spot even after losing in four sets to Palm Desert, while Xavier Prep fell out of the rankings from No. 10.
In boys water polo, Xavier Prep maintained its claim as the only local sports team with a No. 1 ranking in Division 6, while La Quinta moved into the No. 10 spot in Division 4 after narrowly beating fellow division and league foe Palm Desert, 10-9. Shadow Hills maintained its No. 4 spot in Division 7.
The Rancho Mirage girls remained the only ranked tennis team, staying at No. 3 in Division 5, and the Xavier Prep boys (No. 10, Division 5) and girls (No. 7, Division 5) stayed still as the only ranked local cross country teams.
Volleyball for a cause
Thursday night, two local high schools will hold and sponsor community events in conjunction with their teams’ volleyball matches that evening.
Palm Springs’ match against Cathedral City will pay tribute to the two fallen Palm Springs Police Department officers shot and killed in the line of duty Saturday. Adult tickets, normally $5, will be $6, and students who normally get in free will be charged $1 so that $1 from every ticket purchase can be donated to the PSPD memorial fund to help the families of the two officers.
Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon, along with members of the PSPD and Palm Springs Fire Department, are expected to attend. There will be a small ceremony scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. that will include a moment of silence. Other donations for the two families will be accepted.
READ MORE: PSPD officer killed weeks from retirement
Xavier Prep will host its annual Dig Pink game Thursday against Palm Desert, one that normally acts as a fundraiser to support a local cancer agency. This year, instead, the Saints will hold raffles, auctions and a pre-game dedication to honor and support Riley Rose Sherman, a 5-year-old La Quinta girl fighting cancer. The ceremony before the match is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
Elite 11 player leaves team
After battling a turf toe injury for the entirety of the 2016 season, Cathedral City senior quarterback Cameron Lee has left the team, according to coach Richard Lee. The QB suffered the injury just days before the team’s season opener against Coachella Valley, and he sat out the first four games of the season before attempting to mount a comeback in the Lions’ DVL opener against Shadow Hills almost three weeks ago.
Lee managed to play some in the first half, going 2-8 for 43 yards through the air and four rushes for minus 13 yards on the ground. The injury, though, persisted, and Lee made the decision to end his comeback attempt after the loss to Shadow Hills.