There are five new coaches in town. Some want to change the perception of their teams and others want to continue the rich football tradition.
Below are the new coaches and my $0.02 on my impression of them. I will have more about them in a feature I’m working on that’ll run with our high school football preview.
Miguel’s Take: I haven’t talked to Raul Solis. Our very own Andrew J. Campa wrote the Almont League preview for our football tab. The Aztecs have a 27 game losing streak so it’s safe to say Solis has his work cut out for him.
Miguel’s Take: Coach Gary Parks spent the better part of his coaching career at Verbum Dei and he played college ball at the University of New Mexico, the new home of former preps editor Scott Galletti. He’s going to make quite a lot of changes but good changes. Like starting the first annual Blair Alumni football game that he’s calling Viking Family Day. There’s talk about doing more fundraising to buy a scoreboard and buy bleachers. Parks envisions a Blair stadium with bleachers so they can play under the lights and use Pasadena City College no more. Among other things, Parks also hired an academic counselor for the football team and the school followed suit by hiring another academic counselor for the sports program. That has never been done before at Blair. Parks is enforcing academics first and he says he believes in being a student first. He’s implemented a one hour session for academic counseling that is mandatory, and any player who doesn’t make that class will not suit up. Nice.
Miguel’s Take: Antoine Petersen is no stranger to the Lancers program. He has been involved with the school for nine years and now heads the football team. I don’t imagine there being many changes. The Lancers will build on a 4-0 league record last season and going forward from there. Petersen sounded to me like a man with a good head on his shoulders.
Miguel’s Take: Ricky Pickens has been involved with the program for a few years unofficially but now comes on board as the head coach. Pickens is a natural motivator and that’s something Marshall has lacked over the last few seasons. I spent about an hour on the phone with PIckens and the words he mentioned most were “motivate” and “heart”. Pickens job from the start is to get Marshall to compete. He says he CAN teach heart and if Marshall can play with heart like Pickens thinks they can then don’t expect another winless season.
Miguel’s Take: I wrote an earlier entry about Monrovia and new Coach Ryan Maddox. He spent about 10 years coaching at West Covina coaching various positions. He understands the tradition at Monrovia and wants to continue that with a bit of his own flavor.