Should there be an ambulance at games?

In case you missed it….

A scary moment in the final minutes of La Canada High School’s 21-17 nonleague loss to Alhambra last Friday fortunately turned for the better.

Joe Hughes, a 5-foot-9, 260- pound senior lineman, suffered a concussion after a hard tackle. He did not attend school Monday but is expected to be OK.

La Canada High School principal Damon Dragos confirmed Hughes did suffer a concussion but did not know the grade of its severity.

Because there wasn’t an ambulance on site, the game was delayed 30 minutes while paramedics arrived to transport Hughes to a hospital.

Thom Simmons, the CIF-Southern Section spokesman, said the only thing the section requires of the host school is to have current physical examination paperwork on file.

“Having an ambulance on site is a school-district issue,” Simmons said. “What happens on their property is their responsibility.”

School districts who require an ambulance on site, like many in Orange County, will delay the start of the game if there is none present.

La Canada, however, does follow its guideline of having a doctor on site for its football games.

There have been a few times when I’ve gone to cover a game in Orange County and the referees would not allow the game to start until an ambulance arrived. Now, that’s a school-district rule.

I can’t imagine what the parents of Hughes were going through during that moment as his son lay motionless on the field, the moment intensifying more because of the long day for an ambulance to arrive.

Fortunately Hughes will be OK.

But that got me thinking, should schools be required to have an ambulance present at football games like many schools in Orange County?

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McConnell: Moors football rich in tradition

This story comes from longtime staffer Jim McConnell, the man we call, “The King” around the office. He writes a weekly Then & Now column. McConnell, a journalist for over 30 years, began his career with the now-defunct Pomona Progress-Bulletin and currently works for the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, which includes the Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News, and San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Along the way, McConnell has garnered numerous awards from The Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Society for American Baseball Research, and the Los Angeles Press Club. This week he writes Alhambra’s rich tradition in football. Enjoy.


When you talk about prep football dynasties, old or new, you have to include Alhambra High’s remarkable streak of sustained excellence.

From 1927 to 1947, under the guidance of George Hobbs, the Moors were a true CIF-Southern Section powerhouse. Alhambra had four undefeated seasons during that span and won CIF-SS Large Schools titles in 1928, 1939 and 1946. The list of Moor alums who went on to play major college football is indeed a long one.

Hobbs was named Alhambra football coach for the 1927 season. The school had fielded a football team since 1912 but had not experienced any real success until Hobbs arrived on campus.

Hobbs brought home a winner in his first season, with Alhambra compiling a 4-3-2 record in 1927 while competing in the rugged Coast League. The Coast League, featuring athletic powerhouses San Diego, Pasadena and Long Beach Poly, easily was the toughest prep football league in the state.
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….Celebrating the Big 25….

Shout out to my boy Jaime Cardenas formerly of The Times but now one of the PR honchos for the L.A. Galaxy. My boy took me out for a nice steak dinner in downtown Fullerton at Stubriks Steakhouse for my 25th birthday, which of course is today. Had myself a tasty broccoli soup and then a juicy 12 oz. steak with garlic mashed potatoes with gravy and vegetables.

And for dessert, this:

It’s called the Banana Foster. Bananas flambed in a rum and brandy caramel over vanilla bean ice cream. It was awesome and possibly the best dinner I’ve ever had (that’s probably because I didn’t have to foot the $120 tab; good looking out).

Good times. Coming up later today, my mamma’s spaghetti and sweet flan for dessert.

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….Star Picks….All football, all the time (updated)

Star-News preps writer Keith Lair and I will be going head-to-head throughout the season, and I will update our records each Monday on the “Star Picks” thread.

Melendez: Last week: 11-5; Overall: 37-20
Lair: Last week: 12-4; Overall: 40-17

Sorry it took a while to put up this first post. Everything technical-related is down in Pasadena, which means I’m relegated to work from the Tribune office in West Covina where I’m forced to listen to how much Bishop Amat fans cry about not being ranked No. 1 for a whole week. Ugh.

Anyway, here are this week’s games with predictions. Note there are no Thursday games.

There are some pretty games this week. I’m still deciding on which game to go. My top two in no particular order is Rosemead at Temple City and Monrovia at La Salle. San Marino should get a pretty good test when they play host to Cantwell; Hoover was way too easy last week. Both the Panthers and Rams are coming off losses while the Lancers and Wildcats are coming off victories. I wonder if the Rams D will be able to stop Tra Sumlar, one of the best running backs in the area. Sumlar didn’t play last week against Harvard-Westlake so that Rosemead team was not the same Panthers team you got used to seeing the first few games.

Lair and I have almost identical picks with the exception of the SM-Cantwell and Marshall-Godinez games. He picked Cantwell and Godinez while I picked SM and Marshall. Godinez, if you don’t know, is a new high school in the heart of Santa Ana. This is their first year of varsity competition.

Friday’s Games
Rosemead at Temple City, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Rosemead); Lair (Rosemead)
Monrovia at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Monrovia); Lair (Monrovia)
Cantwell Sacred Heart at San Marino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (San Marino); Lair (Cantwell)
Muir at Glendale, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Muir); Lair (Muir)
Alhambra at South Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Alhambra); Lair (Alhambra)
Burbank vs. Pasadena at PCC, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Burbank); Lair (Burbank)
Hoover at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Arcadia); Lair (Arcadia)
Mojave at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Maranatha); Lair (Maranatha)
Duarte at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Duarte); Lair (Duarte)
Flintridge Prep at Webb, 3:30 p.m. — Melendez (Flintridge Prep); Lair (Flintridge Prep)
Pomona at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Pomona); Lair (Pomona)
Bosco Tech at Salesian, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Salesian); Lair (Bosco Tech)
St. Francis at Rio Mesa, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (St. Francis); Lair (St. Francis)
Firebaugh at La Canada, 7 p.m. — Melendez (La Canada); Lair (La Canada)
Godinez vs. Marshall at Muir, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Marshall); Lair (Godinez)
Blair at Brawley (San Diego), 7 p.m. –Melendez (Brawley); Lair (Brawley)

Saturday’s Game
Pasadena Poly at Brentwood, 3 p.m. — Melendez (Brentwood); Lair (Brentwood)

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Saturday Morning Quarterback Postgame: La Salle wins, Monrovia impressive, Temple City succumbs. Time to talk your smack or cry me your wimpy river!


San Marino came away with a 52-6 victory but that is no surprise. The Titans (3-0) had six penalties and helped Hoover (0-3) move the ball in its favor with a few chances to score.

Credit to Emmanuel Sells who recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter after the Indians penetrated into Titans territory. Unfortunately, it was a Sells blown coverage that led to Hoover’s scoring.

All in all, San Marino showed it can throw the ball, albeit it came against a weak team. Still, Hoover needs to find a way to give the ball to backup quarterback Aj Pule. The kid can really throw the ball and is very accurate. He’s mobile and not afraid to take a hit down the field. He helped Hoover record a few first downs in the fourth. If he can get some players to step up Hoover might be decent next year.

Here’s an interesting note. I was wearing a new suit today (celebrating my b-day after I leave the office here) so I decided to cover the game from the press box to avoid getting it sweaty or dirty. When I sat in the press box, two Hoover coaches walked into my side of the box to send signals to the coaches on the field. It got crowded but it didn’t last fast.

After Dooley’s 55-yard run with 3:37 left in the first quarter, both coaches slammed the table, got up off their seats and left. It was as if they threw the white flag.

I found that kinda strange but a bit comical.

Tonight’s Scores with my thoughts
San Marino 52, Hoover 6 — Dooley looked great, Wright looked good but there were six Titans penalties. Yikes.

San Gabriel 28, Temple City 21 — I’m not gonna say I told you so. I’m not gonna say it. The Matadors needed a final 90-yard drive in the final minutes to get the victory. How does that happen? The score was 7-7 at the half. Joey Stewart had 18 carries in the first half but he was used sparingly in the second half. He had only seven carries for 44 yards. TC had a fourth and 2 at about midfield but Stewart was stuffed on his last carry for a no gain that pretty much ended the game.

Alhambra 21, La Canada 17 — Moors come from behind again to win.

Lynwood 27, Arcadia 7 — No Golper, no win. Can’t say I’m surprised. I should have known but at least the Apaches didn’t get blown out like some thought.

Glendale 48, South Pasadena 7 — Nitros coming out of nowhere.

Monrovia 32, Beckman 7 — Beckman looked terrible but it’s a credit to the Wildcats D. I said it earlier this week: It’s only a matter of time until they all click with the Wing-T.

Jefferson 27, Blair 6 — Neither team could do anything but Jefferson’s ground attack proved to be too much. Jefferson threw only four passes.

South Hills 48, Duarte 6 — Gutsy for the Falcons to even play Huskies.

La Salle 19, Bosco Tech 14 — Lancers offense still staggering but at least they came out on top, finally.

Mountain View 28, Keppel 8 — What else is there to say, really.

Village Christian 14, Gabrielino 6 — Gabrielino offense an enigma.
Rio Hondo Prep at Sage Hill, 7 p.m. — Waiting….

Flintridge Prep vs. Campbell Hall at Occidental College, 7 p.m. — Waiting….

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