Is Colony crumbling under first year head coach?

A new coach, an emergency quarterback and the toughest schedule in school history. There are several places to look for an explanation for Colony High School’s 0-3 start to the football season.

Steve Randall literally was drawing up plays in the dirt during summer passing league. The former Ontario head coach wasn’t hired by Colony until the end of May, which allowed him two weeks of practice prior to a dead period. Of course, the quarterback who threw for him during passing league transferred out of Colony, along with one of his best receivers, just prior to the season.

“We’ve been behind the eight ball ever since,” Randall said. “This isn’t the start anybody taking over a program would want. We’re just trying to play catch-up.”

The Titans also play a schedule set up for the program that reached the semifinals last season as it built steam in its second year under former head coach Matt Bechtel, now an assistant at Chino Hills. Randall labeled it the toughest schedule in school history and Colony has yet to face the most revered member of that slate. This week the Titans pay a visit to undefeated Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro, a CIF-SS Pac-5 Division semifinalist last season.

The first three on the schedule were West Covina South Hills, Corona and Glendora, which are a combined 5-2 this season. One of those losses is to a defending CIF champion.

It was against Corona that Colony was forced to employ its emergency quarterback after a back injury to Jonathan Trucks, whose primary position was expected to be punter this season. Nerve damage to the junior could keep him out for several weeks.

It’s not that the Titans are in bad hands. After all, their emergency quarterback is a receiver committed to Arizona. But Samajie Grant is so versatile that limiting him to the backfield may be a disadvantage.

“Jonathan tried to suck it up and play for a couple of weeks, but his back was just getting to a point where he was starting to have a hard time even walking and we just couldn’t do it anymore,” Randall said. “With Samajie, he’s got a tremendous arm and he’s our best athlete.

“You’ve got people saying that it’s great to have the ball in his hands every play but that also limits the other things he does.”

Grant threw two touchdowns and ran for another in Friday’s 47-29 loss to Glendora, the only one of three games to get out of hand. Even then, the Titans trailed by just a touchdown entering the fourth quarter, but a young linebacking corps allowed Glendora running back Cade Lindsey to finish with 315 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

The Titans nearly began the season with the momentum rolling in the opposite direction but gave up 21 consecutive points in the second half of a season-opening loss to West Covina South Hills.

Of course, once Mt. Baldy League play arrives Sept. 21, Colony will begin anew.

The four league teams that made the playoffs last season have a combined record of 2-10 thus far.

“When I saw the schedule after I got the job, I told the kids we could go 0-4 and still be a good football team,” Randall said. “I’ve been places where the expectation is to win and that’s why I came here, ’cause I want to win. But I understand that the fan base at a place like Colony can get impatient when you start 0-3.”

  • Colony Titans

    Really simple, they should have done whatever was necessary and kept Bechtel around or at the very least, they should have hired one of his assistants to keep some continuity. Instead, they hire Randall. I’m sorry, but even if he was hired in January the results would be the same. This guy can’t win. Look at Ontario, new coach with a little energy and they are doing as good as they did with him and by all accounts playing with more enthusiasm than when he was there. Bechtal had the program moving to another level. Randall summed it up – we will win in league. Colony still has a huge talent pool compared to most of the teams in the Mt. Baldy League. Anyone and I mean anyone can lead Colony to the playoffs in the Mt. Baldy League. A good coach, however, would have won a couple of the preseason games. That is the definition of a good program. Colony will never be a good program under the current regime. But this is what happens when you don’t have administrators who really view a successful football program as an important cog in the school wheel.

  • Foolishness

    Sounds like a crybaby to me.

    Coach Randall had more than enough time to get these kids the basics of his offense. If he hasn’t gotten it done and was drawing plays in the dirt, that’s his fault. Sure these kids were dealt a bad hand when SEVERAL players left, Simko, Walker, Williams, Martinez, but pointing fingers isn’t going to get the job done. When he was coaching them during the summer passing leagues, perhaps he should have been coooaaaaccching instead of being a critic. Maybe he should have done something about his coaching staff and their need to play favorites with better kids sitting on the bench.

    Coach Randall is crying a river now so he can lessen the blame later. Who hired this winner or should I say whiner?

  • Surprises coming

    …and the three Mt. Baldy League teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year combine for a 6-3 record, so far this year…

  • Clay Fowler

    That’s a good point. It is certainly possible that Ontario, Montclair and Garey have improved enough to challenge for playoff spots this season. Last year Ontario only lost by a touchdown against Chaffey, the third-place team a season ago.

  • Titan Parent

    Foolishnes, Colony Titan.
    Colony Titan said (Randall Can’t win?) Wow lets not forget all of the CIF rings that he has obtained from La Habra and other programs that he was successful with. How many CIF RINGS does the COACH THAT LEFT THE KIDS have (BECHTOL) “0″. Colony Titan Said (Colony will never be a good program under the regime) Way to be positive!! are you a Colony Titan Fan that would like to see the kids do well. NO MATTER who the HEAD COACH IS. or are you a FORMER COACH or a PARENT whos KIDS is not playing HUMM!
    Colony Titan Said (But this is what happens when you don’t have administrators who really view a successful football program as an important cog in the school wheel. (Again. You can’t be a COLONY titan When you BAD MOUTH!! SCHOOL ADMNISTRATION!

    Foolishness said: when he was coaching them during the summer passing leagues, perhaps he should have been coooaaaaccching instead of being a critic. (Again sounds like another parent that is PISSED. And sounds VERY FOOLISH to really Demote a coach that would REALLY NOT WANNA COAACHHHHHHHH his kids. WOW, Great thinking there FOOLISHNESS!!

    Foolishness said :Maybe he should have done something about his coaching staff and their need to play favorites with better kids sitting on the bench.)

    OK not sure what games that you have been to. BUT #25 being the better kid. HAS NOT BEEN ON THE BENCH.

    Bottom line here is that it would be nice to have people on the forums be positive and supportive. Especially when it comes to young athletes. If you are upset that RANDALL got the job. BOARD MEETINGS are pretty much every other TUESDAY, you can go and VOICE your thoughts. Also. When Randall steps down. (WHICH WILL BE NEVER) Fill free to place your COACHING APPLICATION consider YOU( COLONY TITAN and FOOLISHNESS) Have it all FIRUGRED OUT.
    Thanks
    Titan Parent

  • Hold On

    Before you start crowning Ontario, Montclair, and Garey as the power of the Mt. Baldy league, let’s look at records of their schedules: OHS, Mont, Garey combine record of schools played 5-18. Record for schools against Colony, Chino, Chaffey 19-5, big difference i think. We will all see, who’s what in November.

  • Brown Noser

    Hey turbo! Slow down with your ramblings and add a few periods and new sentences. Nice point about the rings except he never won them as a head coach. He was an assistant. If Randall steps down – won’t happen. He’ll be fired when they get a new principal someday then I would love to apply. However, maybe Colony should hire the guy he coached under when he won those rings. His name is Frank Mazotta.

  • Colony Titans

    Clay, let’s be real. If Colony played Montclair, Garey, or Ontario’s schedule they would be 3-0 right now. That is my point. You don’t have to be a magician to go 4-2 in the MT. Baldy League with the type of talent Colony has. In fact. Anything less than second place every year she be considered an utter disappointment. My point is that with the new regime, the ceiling will be set to that standard. They will be perfectly happy with being a dominant Mt. Baldy team and nothing more.

    Titan Parent be mad at the former coach all you want but you know the truth.And you can’t blame someone for leaving a bad situation for a better one. Heck kids at your school do it and are doing it. You should direct some of that anger at the people who made him want to leave.

  • Clay Fowler

    I absolutely agree… Colony would be 3-0 against any of those teams’ schedules with the possible exception of Garey’s (the Vikings played Carter last week). I’m definitely not claiming that any of those three teams will leapfrog Colony, but they could contend for a playoff spot this year.

    Colony did appear on the way to becoming a force outside of its league under Bechtel, but no matter the coach this season I think the Titans would be hard pressed to be CIF-championship caliber with new additions to the Central Division Riverside North, Summit, Kaiser and Heritage joining Rancho Verde. With the rate at which players transfer out anytime a new coach arrives, in Randall’s defense, it’s tough to come right in and pick up where the former coach left off.

  • Somewhat Impartial Observer

    I’ve seen all three of Colony’s games. The problem is not on offense. The problem is the defense’s inability to stop the run. Most of the yardage given up has been right up the middle. The 2 players I’ve seen play the middle line backer (MLB) position have been totally ineffective. I’ve never seen MLB’s be out of position, blocked, and even pancaked as much as these 2 players. The defensive tackles are being handled as well. Coach needs to try someone else at those positions to see if they can get more production. They couldn’t possibly do any worse. They gave up 315 yards to one player last week.

  • Titan Parent

    I’m not happy about an 0-3 start and I don’t think anyone else is either. Randall came into a tough situation with expectations being high. He brought with him a crew that was not effective at Ontario and maybe some of that has been carried onto our field. He brought 4 or 5 coaches, I think.

    I’m waiting for league, but I hope that the head coach does his job and if his crew can’t make this happen for him, he gets the kind of staff that will. If he really was a part of a staff that won CIF rings, then he should know what it takes to win, and that may be surrounding himself with a more effective staff.

    You can’t blame it all on schedule or timing. None of those things played a role at Ontario and the results were the same. There had to be some talent there. Why couldn’t they make use of it? Now, we’re in the same boat… sinking. Maybe the boys who left knew something. Let’s hope it all gets better during league.

  • Another Parent

    I’ve been at all of Colony’s games and after the win against Rancho (Scrimmage) I was happy, until I found out that Rancho only ran 2nd and 3rd string players.

    I agree with SIO, the defense has been a major problem and so are our wide receivers. Both of those coaches should be replaced. The boys don’t like or respect them and it shows.

    Grant can’t do everything. He’s a great player, but geez, he’s going to get burnt out or worse, hurt. The coaches have to find the talent that is not yet being used and then use it. C’mon, figure it out! BEFORE the season is over!

  • Admins Know Nothing

    Guess this just proves that high school administrators know absolutely nothing about: #1 Keeping a GREAT head coach happy and at their school #2 Hiring the RIGHT head coach if the one you had previously left because “their” agenda was more important than anything else. The principle and the AD are the ones to blame for Colony’s mess, not Randall. While yes, he is the head coach, he was not the best qualified of those who applied, he is simply someone who the admin can push around. Until the current principle and AD are replaced, Colony will never be what they were with Bechtal. Chino, Ontario and Montclair are all getting just a little bit better and Colony is getting WORSE.

  • Foolishness

    @ Titan Parent:

    You’re making a lot of ASSumptions and you know what ASSumptions do for a person?

    First, let me clarify something for you to put to rest your ASSumptions. I’ve had two kids go thru Colony. One son who played under Rice and a daughter currently enrolled. I was looking forward to my youngest playing for Bechtel and was at all the games last season. I’ve been to the passing leagues, a few practices and 2 of first 3 games and what I’ve seen, the lack of coaching fundamentals, practice tempo and overall interaction between the players and the coaches is disturbing.

    You can cry Randall’s tears for him, but he applied for the job. He laid out a plan for the program that the Administration liked. So they hired this winner. Obviously the football program isn’t the focus of the athletic director, nor the principal. If it was Bechtel would have still been there and the kids that left probably would have still been there as well.

    You said, “You can’t be a COLONY titan When you BAD MOUTH!! SCHOOL ADMNISTRATION!”

    Who say’s you can’t? You? Being a Titan gives me and any other Colony parent the right to be critical of the school and the program.

    You said, “OK not sure what games that you have been to. BUT #25 being the better kid. HAS NOT BEEN ON THE BENCH.”

    Who said I was talking about that kid? More ASSumptions.

    Randall will never step down? He won’t have to, he’ll be fired by the next principal or quality athletic director that views the football program as being important to the schools identity, student morale, campus enthusiasm, and participation.

    All that said, I’ve done my homework on Randall. He left Ontario with an 18-36 record. So much for hiring the best! Those other CIF titles you bragged he won? He was an assistant. My point is, he applied for the job and got it. Whining about players leaving and pointing fingers doesn’t get the job done. As for the administration, there was and is several busses worth of qualified candidates, but word is out about Colony. If you can’t keep a good coach for longer than two years (Rice with his faults and all) and another for two years (Bechtel that asked for what he was promised), quality coaches are not going to apply.

    Perhaps trying to defend the indefensible has got your brain fried. Try looking at the problem first and ask why before you attack those that are pointing at the problem.

  • Air Force

    But if you look at his history, he did the same thing at Ontario. He put his best athlete at QB and ran the option or lined up in crazy formations to get a numbers advantage so his QB could direct snap and run the ball. So regardless of why Grant is at QB, it is a similar satyle of offense to Ontario. I hope you Colony people like the Air Force offense because it’s coming.

  • Frustrated Titan

    First, I would like to start off by saying that blaming the defense or anyone of these young men for the 0-3 start is completely unacceptable. Calling out players, not necessarily by name but by position, is not only out of line, but flat out wrong! Sure, the defense is a big area of concern, but when the offense is going three and out, turning over the ball and if I remember correctly, only getting 3 first downs in an entire game, they are going to wear down. If you really attended all three games, each one of them were very competitive at half, its the lack of depth as well as experience and size that has contributed to our current situation. From my observation, our team is built on speed, not size. Does anybody out there realize that the opposing coaches see that as well, thus the larger amount of running plays versus passing?? I might be wrong and dont quote me on this, but I do believe all three games combined, we have given up roughly 100 yards in passing.

    These problems all boil down to the administration. Why would a head coach leave to take a job as an offensive coordinator? Now, Im no rocket scientist, but isnt that a step in the wrong direction? If the relationship between the head coach and the administration was not able to be salvaged, why did the rest of the coaching staff leave as well? It looks to me like the support from the administration for the athletic department as well as the student athletes is minimal at best! I dont know nor want to know all the particulars behind his or their departures, I can only ASSume, as foolishness puts it, but that decision is now rearing its ugly head!

    As for Coach Randall, I dont know how many of you people in this forum have ever coached any sport, but here is a quick lesson for those who havent. Everybody is HAPPY when you are winning, but once the losing starts, its the coaching staff that takes the beating. I can almost guarantee this would not be going on if we were 3-0! Now, Im just as frustrated as most and maybe a little to vocal, but look at what these young men have been through, loss of coaches who they trusted as well as teammates. Everybody struggles with change, it is how we adapt and accept change that makes us better human beings. Instead of sitting on an anonymous forum all day, which these boys can read, blasting coaches and coaching styles, maybe we should be teaching our young men how to cope with adversity and overcome obstacles they will surely face not only in athletics, but throughout their lives. If anybody is wondering, yes, I do have a son that plays on this team.

  • Somewhat Impartial Observer

    Frustrated Titan
    Let me define Somewhat Impartial. I do not have a son on the team. I have a friend that does. I have supported this young man for quite some time dating back to pop warner. Therefore, I am not as emotionally involved as a parent would be, so I can look at things a little more objectively. That being said, I love the game of football , and I want this team to be successful. Observer, I call it like I see it. I just posted what I saw. If you doubt that, get the game films, and see for yourself. My intent was not to place blame on the players, but suggest that maybe there might be other untapped talent available. Some of the words I used might seem harsh, but the intent is to fire up those players to get better, and do some dominating of their own.
    Sure the offense goes 3 and out sometimes, but I dont expect any offense to score on every drive. What I did see were some talented players on offense that can get the job done. It will help a lot when they get a little healthier.
    I agree that the Titans were competitive in all three games. They were in complete control of the South Hills game at the half. The opposing coach made an adjustment at halftime that changed the game. He committed to running the ball. He continued to run the ball until Colony could prove they could stop it. That, by the way, is what smart coaches do. When they run plays that are successful, they continue to run them until the opposition can prove they can stop it. Corona, one of the key offensive weapons was injured and couldnt play. The starting QB gets injured, and you have to put in your best offensive weapon as the emergency QB, and the takes a lot of plays out of your playbook. Glendora, again your number offensive weapon is handcuffed. However, #24 stepped up and had a great game. And even though the score got out of hand, they showed a lot of heart, and never quit.
    I also agree that size, depth, and experience also plays a big part, and I say again, my intent was to suggest that maybe there might be other untapped talent available on the bench with those characteristics.
    As far as the defense not giving up passing yardage, well there was no reason for the opposition to throw the ball. When you are breaking off runs of 6, 12, 20, 60 yards every time you run it, why would you throw it? Any football coach will tell you theres less risk running the ball than throwing. Sure you can fumble, but it is impossible to throw an interception, or an incompletion when you run. Running is safer, and if youre successful, you just keep running it.

  • Foolishness

    I think in league play we’ll do fine. Or at least ok. Based on what I’ve seen, I doubt Randall has the ability to rally these kids and by time league play starts they will be too demoralized to play harder. That’s just a concern of mine personally and I hope I’m wrong.

    I agree with “Frustrated Titan” on how the magnitude of the problem lead a highly regarded head coach to leave a program that came within a game of the CIF finals his second year to become the offensive coordinator at another school. That smells foul. Kind of like that stench when someone’s been lied to when they took that job. Lied, no follow thru, call it what you want, but when lightening strikes twice in that regard, the problem isn’t isolated.

    I question Randall’s coaching ability when he’s pointing fingers over who and how many left the program. Good coaches don’t do that. They bear down and storm forward. I question his ability when the game plan is to run Grant until his legs fall off without developing his other players.

    Will this season be a wash? Maybe. But does that mean you down with a whimper pointing at the last guy and the players that left? Or do you circle the wagons, rally the troops and storm that hill? So far I’m not convinced he’s that guy to do that.

    My wife and I discussed this last night and we’ve decided our youngest, an incoming freshman next year will attend a different school. I cannot, in good faith, have him coach my child. I have zero confidence in him, but more, zero confidence in an administration that thinks so low of it’s football program to have hired this guy.

    Colony has always had good talent, and that alone makes it an attractive spot (minus the cows next door) for a young hungry coach. But for the administration to have selected Randall tells me more about their lack of interest in ensuring Colony’s tradition of athletic performance continues. Maybe the principal is just waiting for his next job and the athletic director is more concerned about his own selfish interests.

  • ExCoach

    It’s amazing to me how all you so called fans can have so much anger and hatefullnes towards one coach at a new school, back in the day coaches wouldn’t put up with this. Sounds to me FOOLISHNESS, (boy does that name fit), you just have it out for this Randall guy. What’s the problem you apply for the job and didn’t get it, or better yet did you want a job and coach told you to hit the road…You’re a jerk! If was coaching I wouldn’t want your son on me team. Hey, Clay where is your professionalism, creating a blogg for haters, sounds like you might even have it ut for this coach by starting this dumb ass blogg…Wow, I always thought Colony had classy parents, guess I was wrong!

  • Realist

    sould have NEVER let Rice leave 3 years ago before bethel came in, he had 2 rings and a CIF semis lose… that administration is TERRIBLE i work in the district and i know first hand, colony will stay in the shape they are in unless the admin is fired or realizes how much sports REALLY mean

  • Colony Blew It

    Hey Randall, Ex Coach is a perfect name to use. Very anonymous!

  • Foolishness

    ExCoach

    You’re not too bright are you? And you certainly didn’t major in psychology either.

    You’re not reading hate. You’re reading anger. There is a difference. Kind’of like being a coach and being an EX coach.

    And that anger isn’t directed at Randall alone. Sure Randall has inspired some of it, but that’s his fault. The other side of the coin is the school’s administration, or did you miss that part?

    You must be one of those EX coaches that wouldn’t say anything about a missed block or a missed assignment because that didn’t involve you or your position. Well here’s the new news for you, it’s ok. You can speak up and say your peace. Trust, no one is going to send you to bed without dinner.

    You called me a jerk because I don’t have faith in Randall’s coaching. How does that make me a jerk? Have you been to his practices? Maybe YOU are Randall or a Randall homer. I have no clue and don’t care. You make the ASSumption that because I said what I said that somehow I’m some disgruntled wanna be coach. I can assure you EX coach, I’m none of the above. Given what you wrote, I probably know more about the game, been further and longer in it, than you ever have. That’s my ASSumption. Here’s another, I’m probably more hard wired into what’s gone on at Colony than you too. That’s another ASSumption. Since you’re an EX coach, I doubt too many people had faith in your coaching ability. Bam! That’s another one. And don’t worry, I wouldn’t want you coaching my kid either, so we’re even.

    The anger at Randall seems pretty consistent on the post, but the anger at the administration is equal if not more. Learn to distinguish the difference between people who care about a program and venting that concern over indifference. There’s another one for you to chew on.

    Part of being a “COACH” EX coach is cooooooaaaaching. It’s teaching, it’s fundamentals. I don’t see too much teaching from Randall. Maybe you do, but then again, you’re an EX coach so maybe that’s fine with you considering “back in the day, coaches wouldn’t have put up with this…” What a bent tool.

    And don’t go crying to Clay about his blog. Clay isn’t your daddy.

  • Administration

    It is not Randall’s fault. He was offered the job. What was he supposed to do say no. I am sure he is trying his best.

    The people at fault for this are the Colony administration and in particular the AD, who had the real say in the hiring.

    First, for not recognizing the chance to build a great program by retaining Bechtel and giving him simple things, like a couple of on campus coaches. They had opportunities to do so and did not. Bechtel, being the smart guy he is, saw an opportuntity to go to a school that is building something and coach and teach.
    Many people I have talked to have said he pushed the issue about support and most good leaders want that in their coach. It’s called passion and enthusiasm. That was a quality that used to be embraced. Nowadays, hopwever, it seems like administrators see that as a negative, a threat. I just don’t understand why.

    Second, when he left, they could have hired one of the assistant coaches. He was respected by the players and the coaches. Had very similar beliefs and traits as Bechtel. There would have been much more continuity and Colony would probably be better off than they are right now.

    But unfortunatley they did not make those choices, either for political reasons or because they really do not care. Either way, it is going to be difficult for Colony to grow into the football power they had the potential to become. Especially under Randall but even more unlikely with the current people in charge. Yes, they will go to the playoffs. Probably almost every year. But they have lowered the ceiling on what they could have become. Colony has other priorities. Football,to them, is a sideshow not a headline.

  • SchoolAdminsSuck

    As an impartial observer both in Colony’s case and Ayala’s case, school administration is at the heart of ALOT of problems on football fields all across America.

    There was no real reason for Bectel to leave. He was going to have a better than average QB and recieving Corps, his coaching staff worked well together. Things appeared to be moving forward (at least from an outsider’s perspective.

    We’ve got Admin issues at Ayala. Outwardly they support Football, but the reality is they do not. Case in point. A group of boys work out together in the off season on the stadium field. During Track season, one of the track coaches complained to then AD Steve Martin, and from what I observed, the boys were then forced to work out on the back field wher gopher holes and no chalk lines are there to help fine tune things. No support. That’s the kind of horse $#!+ that makes coaches leave, makes prospective and current students transfer. Bad Administration! Thankfully Martin retired. Now perhaps the Football Program can get some offseason support from administration.

  • Administration

    You got bigger problems at Ayala than Steve Martin.

  • Randall

    Let’s put this blogg to rest. I am not going to hide behind a screen, I am a real man!Normally, coaches don’t respond to these bloggs, it’s worthless, however, my players read it and that concerns me, can’t help who the coach is and all they want to do is play ball.Those of you making all these comments good, bad, ugly, or just thoughts, are not allowing the boys to work through the challenges they face.

    I consider Rice and Becthal both friends and think highly of them both and what they did for Colony football and they both set the bar at a high level, as well as put countless hours into the they boys coached here. I understand that Colony is about winning. Matt was very professional and helped make the transition as smooth as possible. However, they both decide to leave and do what was best for them and their families. Everybody needs to take a deep breath and relax.

    I am not even going to respond to some of the statements made. I will say that we have a plan that will continue to keep Colony playing at a high level. Foolishness, I can appreciate for loyalty to Matt and concerns for Colony, but you need to gives of a chance. Be part of the soluation not add to the problems, and that goes for all Colony fans. Frustrated Titan Fan, not sure what I can do to change your mind, however you all know where I am at you don’t need to use blogg to express your concerns even if we agree to disagree. To Colony Blew it, now you don’t have to worry about responding to comments I didn’t make.