Todd Golper sits out tonight

Talked to Coach Jon D yesterday and said Todd Golper will not play tonight. Despite the news I’m sticking with my Arcadia pick.

Golper has a broken big right toe and has not received clearance to practice or play. It’s looking like he’ll sit out against Hoover, too, and hopefully be ready to play against Glendale.

Golper has been swimming to keep himself in shape.

Brian Rambeau, who was also injured against St. Francis, has been doing well and had a good week of practice. He’s going to play tailback and safety. With Golper out and Rambeau taking the load at tailback, I’m expecting QB Garrett Tuck to step up and have a good passing game.

“We’ve been banged up,” Dimalante said. “We’ve had to tailor back and simplify the offense more. Garrett will be ready to throw the ball.”

By the way, check out this Scout.com story about the nation’s No. 1 linebacker Manti Te’o, from Honolulu. He took his official trip to UCLA last week and mentions Golper in the story. (I didn’t post the link because it’s a fee-access story on their site)

Scout.com

Scout Recruiting
Te’o Talks About First Official Visit

By Brandon Huffman
SuperPrep.com Sep 23, 2008

The #1 linebacker in the nation, Manti Te’o, from Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou, took his first official visit last weekend, to UCLA, and he talks with Scout.com about the visit and the timeline of his other four trips…

Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou linebacker Manti Te’o (6-2,225) went on the first of his five official visits this past weekend, taking in a trip to UCLA.

“It was a great experience and I got to spend some time with the coaches and the players,” said Te’o. “And getting to see California and UCLA was great. I’ve been to California twice before but this was the first time I ever really got to see UCLA. I saw it from the outside a few years ago.”

Te’o was greeted by UCLA’s offensive coordinator, and Punahou alum, Norm Chow.

“Coach Chow picked me up from the airport so I mainly talked with him when I got there. We started to get to know each other from then on,” said Te’o. “The host I had was (UCLA freshman quarterback) Kevin Prince. He and I talked about the mission process (Prince and Te’o are both LDS), and he said he was still thinking about taking his mission. We had some good talks.”

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No. 1 USC shocked by Oregon State, 27-21!!!

I feel the same as my boy Freddy Robledo. I feel bad, I really do =)P

Ha, at least I’ll have something to cheer about Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

I covered the Sanchez at Mission Viejo High so I feel for him. A little. Especially after reading Sanchez’s story written by my good friend Jorge Arangure Jr. over at ESPN The Magazine.


Above: Manny Ramirez celebrates with a bottle of champagne. I got to cover a few of these celebrations, drenched in champagne. Good times.

What a day: USC loses, Dodgers clinch … can it get any better? Oh yeah, b-day weekend celebration coming up. Thanks for the early present Beavers.


Above: The Oregon St. football team probably trying to send their b-day wishes and maybe handing me the game ball?

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Thursday Night Recap: St. Francis the real deal

LA CAADA — “Bring ‘em out, bring ‘em out, bring ‘em out”

That’s the beginning of the T.I. song that was blaring from the speakers before the start of the St. Francis High School football game against Burroughs.

Well, there was some truth to it.

I spotted a caravan of Muir players and coaches leaving the game late in the fourth quarter when the Golden Knights all but had it wrapped up, followed by a slew of Burbank players who for whatever reason were wearing their white jerseys.

The crowd on hand witnessed a defense-dominating St. Francis team that rolled to a 30-5 victory over the visiting Indians on Thursday night in nonleague action at St. Francis High.

Our very own Keith Lair covered the game for the paper but after work around 5 p.m. I decided to head out to the game and take my video camera and shoot some of the action. After I finish this blog I’ll head to the video room and try to put it all together. If you don’t see it up in a day or two then for sure by Monday, I hope.

It’s been a long 14-hour day but alas I got to see the top-ranked team. St. Francis proved its worth.

Let me say this: Dietrich Riley hands down is the best player in the San Gabriel Valley.

Period.

(Lair thinks Riley was much better last year but added he came away impressed with Riley on defense. I obviously didn’t see Riley play last year but fair enough.)

The junior returned punts, made some hard-hitting tackles at DB and rushed for close to 100 yards on 18 carries. It’s far away from his performance against Crescenta Valley where he rushed for 213 yards and three touchdowns. But his impact definitely was felt.

With all this talk about Riley people are forgetting about the other guys on the team. Justin sciarra is solid. Malik Speed is a great speedy back that can give you some very good plays and Evan King can push as many as three defenders like when he scored from about 6 yards out. Rian Younker had a pretty good game, too.

It was a close game in the first half, St. Francis (3-0) leading, 10-3. But in less than a minute the Golden Knights scored 14 points. Before you knew it, Burroughs found itself trailing big in the second half as St. Francis went up big. The Indians got their final two points after St. Francis muffed a long snap in its end zone that gave Burroughs a safety.

Burroughs for some reason went for it twice on fourth down, once on fourth and 5 and then again on fourth and 2, both times they gave St. Francis good field position to work with.

To the Indians credit, they did run the ball well especially down the middle. Their line is big and can make good pushes and create holes, but a stingy Golden Knights defense kept the running game on check.

Unfortunately, the Indians (2-1) lost star running back Dalton Williams to a severe ankle sprain on their second play of the second drive. As if that wasn’t enough, they then lost their backup running back Eddie Lopez to almost the same injury.

Before the game, Burroughs was doing drills and warm-ups. After finishing they went back into the locker room but two coaches stayed and watched St. Francis’ warm-ups, perhaps to get an edge.

It didn’t work.

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Casual Fridays on Thursday: St. Francis proving worth

Click here for quarter-by-quarter updates!

Tonight’s Showdown with predictions
Burroughs (2-0) at St. Francis (2-0), 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (St. Francis); Lair (St. Francis)

Tonight’s game Burroughs-St. Francis game promises to be a good one. So good I might head over after I leave the office and check it out myself.

The top-ranked Golden Knights had a tough time last season battling injuries that ultimately put halt on their playoff hopes.

St. Francis is healthy and have arguably the area’s best running back in Dietrich Riley who of course is only a junior. Rian Younker is a strong force on the D-Line. There are lots of reasons the Golden Knights will be scary-good this season and having a balanced team is the big reason. A potent ground attack and an air assault when needed by Justin Sciarra. The offense against Crescenta Valley last week had 315 total yards led by Riley’s 213 on the ground. Malik Speed is a player not to be overlooked. His speed compliments the offense well. And lets not forget a defensive unit that has an offensive mind, too.

It should be noted that Burroughs is 2-0 and are coming off a 30-7 victory over South Torrance. The Indians have a big line up front on both sides of the ball, can spread their receivers and have lots of motion which potentially can be confusing. With such a good pass-rush from the Golden Knights expect Burroughs to be in shotgun formation almost the entire game.

I will be covering Hoover at San Marino. I know Hoover has a big line up front but the reality is the Titans will prove to be too much with a powerful running back tandem in Scott Dooley and Benny Hung. To be honest, the Temple City-San Gabriel game is much more intriguing but I won’t be there because I’m thinking of covering the Rams when they visit Rosemead next week.

The TC-SG game has all the makings of an offensive showdown. The Rams did not play to their potential against the Moors last week. Morgan Hatch can wreak havoc in the air for opposing defenses so I expect him to bounce back strong against the Matadors. Joey Stewart is very underrated and I came away impressed with how strong he is, gaining most of his yards running up the middle and breaking blocks.

This could be a close game and I see the Matadors pulling away, though I’m not as convinced as many people think.

Isaac Valdez, a junior, will prove his worth. The Rams defense, led by Nick Conora, will have to contain receiver Isaac Villalobos who’ll probably be Valdez’s favorite target. Arthur Brown is a speedy back who can make big plays like when he broke off a 52-yard touchdown run before it was called back for a holding penalty. True, the 54-14 victory came against a down South Pasadena team, which is why I don’t see either team blowing each other out. No matter what you think, Serra and Cathedral are two tough teams. The kid from Cathedral is going to USC for a reason. There’s a reason why it went from Heisman-U to Tailback-U. There were no moral victories for the Matadors and not once did I say they were. But they were losses San Gabriel learned from and can see where they stand against the rest. This game is much more important for the Matadors because it is their first true test against an area team. TC has proven itself with a shutout win and a game they should have won against Alhambra.

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….High School Heisman Watch 2008….

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious award in college football. Florida QB Tim Tebow last season became the first sophomore ever to win the coveted award.

The award is named after the great John W. Heisman who made countless contributions to the game, including the forward pass which became legal in 1906 after three years of writing and pestering Walter Camp and the rules committee. Much of the official rule book in the day adopted Heisman’s suggestions word for word, according to the Heisman Trophy’s website.

The equivalent of our Heisman is the Area Player of the Year. For football purposes we’ll call it our High School Heisman.

I will have a top 5 list every Wednesday with my “High School Heisman Watch”. The list of player is in no particular order and you’ll note some players will jump in and out depending on their performance.

Without further adieu, The List:

1. Dietrich Riley, St. Francis, RB, Jr.

2. Matt Schilz, Maranatha, QB, Sr.

3. Joey Stewart, Temple City, RB, Sr.

4. Marcus Graves, Muir, WR, Sr.

5. Mitchell Crockom, Alhambra, WR, Jr.

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