The 2008 season is just a few days away from kicking off and the first recepient of this year’s NFL Southern California High School Coach of the Week honors goes to San Gabriel’s very own Keith Jones.
Every week ABC’s SportsZone with Rob Fukuzaki will honor a high school football coach with the honor and a $1,000 check to be used for the football program.
During Saturday night’s broadcast after the Cal-Michigan State game, Jones was honored with the award. ABC-7′s John Hartung reported from San Gabriel High.
His passion for football and teaching the game are undeniable.
Keith jones has brought energy and winning attitude to the Matadors sidelines.
“I’ve gotta give my coaching staff credit,” Jones said. “Now that we’re starting I can see it working together well and I can see it (winning the Almont League) hapenning (again).”
So what does Jones think of this year’s squad?
“These are the next guys in line and we’re just going to re-load,” Jones said.
I’ve been watching college football all day while also browsing the net. I recognized the stadium in the tease as they headed to commercials when Fukuzaki said they were going to honor the first Coach of the Week honoree. So I immediately opened a new browser and got ready to type as fast as I could whatever reporter John Hartung said about Jones.
Monrovia at Arcadia, 7 p.m.
Pasadena vs. Arroyo Valley at PCC, 7 p.m.
Ayala at Duarte, 7 p.m.
Gabrielino at La Puente, 7 p.m.
Cathedral vs. San Gabriel at St. Matthias, 7 p.m.
Pomona at Keppel, 7 p.m.
Maranatha at Linfield Christian, 7 p.m.
Bosco Tech at Contreras, 7 p.m.
SAN GABRIEL — I headed over to San Gabriel’s practice Wednesday morning. As soon as I walked on to the bleachers there were a handful of architects carrying blueprints while San Gabriel principal Jim Schofield gave the grand tour.
The Matadors field and part of their school will have a significant face lift later rather than sooner and that’s the way the football team would like to have it.
San Gabriel’s field was supposed to get major renovation in June but that was postponed to August. There was talk about the Matadors possibly not playing any home games this season on their field. I’ll have more on that and the rest of the Almont League in Thursday’s paper.
The Matadors looked good on the field. Coach Jones is excited about the team he’s fielding.
It includes junior quarterback Isaac Valdez, a 4.0 student with a respectful demeanor. He went through some growing pains last year and now as a junior is taking on the leader role.
San Gabriel’s former running back Nick Castillo transferred to Schurr after last season, but the Matadors don’t seem fazed by the fishy move that might have CIF violations written all over it.
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.