It’s hard not to regress after winning the CIF championship by 63 points.
But could West Covina High School’s football team could conceivably dip to, say, one win in its first four games and still have a shot to win the Hacienda League? We’re about to find out.
The two-time defending CIF and league champions lost most of the group that carried it to an 84-21 win in last season’s CIF title game and have begun the season 1-3 as they enter league play tonight. Of course, one of those losses is a forfeited 34-0 win over Covina and the other two to prolific teams in the Pac-5 and Inland Divisions.
Considering the level of dominance the last two years by West Covina in the playoffs, much less the Hacienda League, nobody is taking them anything but seriously.
“I still think they’re a force to be reckoned with,” Bonita coach Adrian Medrano said. “It’s too early in the season to say anything about them dropping off. They’re playing big-boy football.”
Cordell Broadus needed only to hear the first portion of the question before starting into his answer.
“I want to be known as Cordell Broadus first,” the Diamond Bar High School receiver said. “I want to be known as Snoop Dogg’s son second. I want to make a name for myself.”
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound sophomore already is on his way to establishing a separate identity from his famous rap-star father.
If you’re looking for legitimacy, look no farther than the scholarship offer Broadus picked up this summer after attending UCLA’s football camp. Bruins head coach Jim Mora Jr., for one, never said a thing to Broadus about his father. Mora later told Diamond Bar head coach Ryan Maine he didn’t find out until after the offer Broadus was the son of the mucic icon.
Two, as in two-time defending CIF-SS Southeast Division champion, isn’t the most memorable number from the West Covina High School football team’s 2011 season. Eighty-four, the number of points it dropped on Whittier La Serna in a 63-point victory in the title game, is such a shocking figure it may even overshadow the feat it achieved.
Riding an unrivaled high, West Covina enters the 2012 season as the unquestioned team to beat in the Hacienda League, which has advanced at least one team to the CIF-SS championship game each of the last four seasons.
“It’s hard to keep replacing players every year,” Diamond Ranch coach Roddy Layton said. “But West Covina has found a way to do it.”
Diamond Ranch, which finished second to undefeated West Covina last season, has played the league champions with a title on the line each of the last two years. West Covina’s average margin of victory in the two contests was 29.5 points.
Diamond Bar High School receiver Cordell Broadus wants to stay as low profile as the son of an iconic rap artist can. At the UCLA football camp on Friday, there was at least one person unaware Broadus’ father was Snoop Dogg, Bruins head coach Jim Mora as he offered the 6-foot-2, 185-pound sophomore his first scholarship.
“Jim Mora called me on Sunday to tell me why he offered him and said he didn’t find out until after that he was Snoop’s son,” Diamond Bar coach Ryan Maine said. “He said he liked his competitive nature, his size and his frame, especially for him only being a sophomore.”
After spending his freshman year at Long Beach Poly, Broadus transferred in October to Diamond Bar, where his father owns a home. Broadus’ arrival in the Inland Valley was no secret, but his arrival on the Pac-12 radar came sooner than expected.
“I was surprised he got an offer this early,” Maine said. “I thought it might come after he started playing this season. He was real humble about it and didn’t even want anybody to know because he didn’t want anything to get blown out of proportion. He knows a lot can change in three years with coaching staffs and things like that.”
MVP: Justin Garza, Bonita, Sr.
Utility: Tyler Heslop, Bonita, Sr.
Catcher: Steven Camberos, Los Altos, Sr.
Infielders: Zeph Walters, Diamond Bar, Jr., Joe Munoz, Los Altos, Sr., Thomas Castro, Bonita, Sr., Justin Row, Bonita, Jr., Tommy Delgadillo, Diamond Bar, Jr.
Outfielders: Ernie Rivera, West Covina, Sr., Austin Szulczewski, Diamond Bar, Jr., Joey Franco, Los Altos, Jr., Nolan Henley, Bonita, Sr.
Pitchers: Henry Omana, Diamond Bar, Sr., Parker Merritt, Bonita, Jr., Christian Dorado, West Covina, Jr., Jayson DeLaPena, Los Altos, Sr.
Unlike the thriving softball teams, two rounds into the CIF-SS baseball playoffs only one local team remains alive, Division 3 No. 1 seed Bonita.
After a first-round 18-1 victory, the Bearcats ran into more resistance in Tuesday’s second round but prevailed in a two-run game against Garden Grove. In Friday’s quarterfinals, Bonita will host Paramount, the third-place team from the San Gabriel Valley League that has knocked off two league champions in as many postseason games.
The Damien baseball team, a Division 2 at-large playoff team from the Sierra League, failed in its bid to defeat a second league champ as Mission Viejo ousted the Spartans in the second round, 9-1. Alta Loma also went down in Division 2 as the Baseline League champions ran into the No. 2 seed and Mt. Baldy League winner Don Lugo lost to the Rio Hondo League champs in the second round.
True to the playoff mantra, there was drama Friday on the Bonita High School baseball field.
It lasted one inning.
After the top seed in CIF-SS Division 3 allowed an uncharacteristic run in the first inning, Bonita quickly pulled away for an 18-1 victory over San Gorgonio in the first round of the playoffs.
It may have only been one run, but considering the circumstances, it qualified as dramatic.
Bonita pitcher Justin Garza, who has signed with Cal State Fullerton and is sure to be selected in the Major League Baseball draft in June after leading the Bearcats (27-2) through a dominant regular season, walked eight batters in 65 regular-season innings. He walked the first batter of Friday’s game.
Through the eyes of a teenager, football typically is viewed as the destination, not the vehicle. Football sometimes begets a free college education courtesy of the small number of lucrative scholarships, but in the case of the four captains of the Diamond Ranch High School football team, it’s quite the opposite.
Whether it’s congressmen or Ivy League school officials in the meeting room, game film never is a request, but football might be the most appealing extracurricular activity available. Jacob Ardron believes he likely wouldn’t have been admitted to Columbia without the football prowess that made him an all-CIF middle linebacker. Andrew Fischer, a track-star receiver, was on the radar of Pacific-12 Conference schools but physics programs don’t get much better than those he’ll be in at Harvard next year. Blake Benjamin and Peter Neise will head off to Navy and Army, respectively, next year after completing rigorous application processes that required more time than they devoted to football.
Each of the four Diamond Ranch captains will sign with their respective schools Wednesday, national signing day, but their all-expenses paid educations are what they are most happy to be cementing. Each of the seniors maintain grade-point averages greater than 4.5 on a four-point scale, literally off the charts for your average high school student but fairly pedestrian in the Ivy League.