Football: N.C. quarterback finds new home in Pasadena

Above: Cody Keith going through drills at Steve Clarkson’s Quarterbacks Camp. Keith will start at quarterback this fall for Maranatha.(Photo courtesy of Steve Clarkson)

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The word around campus was quickly spreading.

Cody Keith, a transfer from North Carolina, was going to be on the Maranatha High School football field taking part in drills with quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson.

On this unassuming winter afternoon, the football players were making their way to their sixth-period class, the last of the day.

The buzz surrounding Keith’s first scheduled workout was building, and many on the football team wanted to take a look at their new teammate. Some got permission from their teachers to leave class a bit early to witness for themselves what the buzz was all about.

Danny Beckwith was one of those players who watched firsthand. He wanted to see what he was going up against come spring ball. After all, Beckwith was supposed to be next in line to be the starting quarterback.

Beckwith kept an open mind but still was mindful about the sudden quarterback competition, something he clearly had not anticipated.

Thoughts started running through Beckwith’s mind as he watched from a distance. He had a lot of fun playing wide receiver last season but was adamant about his strong desire to be the quarterback his senior year.

“When I went out there I thought, `I could take this guy out,’ ” Beckwith said. “But then he started practicing with us. He was a lot better, and I realized it was a better fit for him to throw to me. He was as good as Matt (Schilz), if not better.”

There was Keith, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound pro-style quarterback, practically auditioning in front of his new teammates at his third school in four years.

Keith’s checkered past was not widely known until a lengthy report appeared last year in the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, painting Cody’s father, Greg, as an over-the-top father who pushed for Cody to become a starting quarterback.

While Greg Keith went to great lengths to abide by the state’s high school sports governing body’s rules, he also said his family was targeted and ridiculed for its decision.

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Star-Jibber: Dealing with “Dead Period” one day at a time

Believe me, you and I are in this together. Not much is going on right now as far as football goes thanks to the annual “Dead Period.” Still, this is no time for our football boys to goof up, party it up and spend late nights watching Conan, playing Guitar Hero and Grand Theft Auto. The team that best stays in shape during this time is the team that will get the best results. It’s as simple as that. I’m no expert on “Dead Period” but a reporter at The Oregonian in Portland contacted yours truly for a story he’s working on. I’m gonna make the long-distance call right now but I want to leave you with some thoughts ….

I have seen enough and listened to plenty of coaches to take a stab at what we might see this season. Later this week, I’ll break down schedules and give you my prediction of which team will make the biggest run this season. Also later this week, a top 5 list of returning wide receivers and running backs. As far as the best returning line, I think we can all agree Temple City has that title hands down. Hope you guys eat it all up because after Friday I’m taking off on vacation and don’t return until Aug. 10. Send all your “miss you” cards to 911 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA …. I digress …. If you have any topics for discussion I should address let me know and I’ll throw a thread up. It’s only Monday but I’m already running on fumes (worked a good deal of the weekend) so your help would be much appreciated.

In case anyone cares, I went on two dates this weekend, both on Sunday, no less, which means I missed Entourage last night. I hope my girl Sloan stays on the show. Anyway, the two chicas have a lot of potential but I think I’m gonna narrow the list to one by this weekend; the one who runs a Claim Jumpers and knows her wines really good (It’s OK to live vicariously through me. All the married guys in the office do anyway). So if you don’t want details on last night’s date I suggest you suggest to me a topic to discuss so I can start a thread, football-related, please…

Below is the cover of last year’s football tab, which by the way no other paper or “media outlet” (Yes, quote, unquote) produced last year. Any thoughts on what to feature for this year’s cover? Top five returning players? Top 5 returning quarterbacks? Have your say ….

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Football: Temple City ready for whirlwind of a season

This story is for my boy Goldenarm and the Rams faithful …

Not to get all lovey-dovey, but what better way to explain what Anthony White has done to the Temple City High School football program since his arrival as head coach.

The former Rosemead football star has swept the Rams program off its feet with a revamped coaching staff, new schemes and philosophies.

The players have bought into what White is selling and they’ve responded with a strong commitment.

The varsity team is averaging about 50 players during the summer. The junior varsity has 40 and the freshman team has 30 players, respectively.

Through the process, White has gained the respect of his players, staff and administrators, and his passion and love for the program has become clearly evident.

“Everyone’s excited,” White said. “They know where my heart is and that’s for Temple City and the boys.”

Change is never easy to accept, but White said the support has been pouring from all angles.

“Some people take change better than others,” White said. “My concern is obviously for the kids first. I can’t really concern myself too much what parents think. I have to do what’s best for the boys and what’s best for our program.”

White and the Rams program recently held a fundraiser at Shakey’s Pizza. White said 300 people showed up to show their support.

White’s arrival meant new offensive and defensive schemes, which meant the Rams would play in more passing league games than they’ve been used to in the past.

“Temple City is not known for playing in a lot of passing leagues but since we’re installing a whole new offense and defense I felt the need to get the boys out there and compete to see how they are without pads.”

Expect the Rams to have a balanced attack. That much is expected when a team has such a stout line like Temple City returns this season.

“We’ll try to open the offense up and not allow people to stack the box anymore,” White said.

Temple City started its dead period today and returns to camp Aug. 17. When they do, they’ll get ready for what’s expected to be whirlwind of a season.

Each of the Rams’ games this upcoming season holds an interesting story line.

Against Arroyo, Temple City takes on a team they knocked out early in the season last year and survived a 7-6 victory in the first round of the playoffs.

The Rams will have vengeance on their mind when they take on Alhambra, which defeated Temple City on a last-minute hail mary pass.

“We’ll be hungry for that,” White said.

Then there’s Arcadia in Week 3. The game is being dubbed the “Brawl for the Mall” but “Backus vs. White” might not be a bad way to market that game either. (OK, maybe not).

Former Rams coach Randy Backus recently joined the Arcadia coaching staff as a linebackers/running backs coach.

Enter Rosemead in Week 4.

White, 27, graduated from Rosemead High where he won the Wendy’s National High School Heisman his senior year. And to add to the drama, White’s younger brother, Matthew Fergoso, is on the Panthers’ football team. White also is currently a teacher at Rosemead High.

That, however, could change pretty soon.

Sources confirmed White interviewed last week for a social science position at Temple City High. More interviews will follow. There is an opening for a social science position at www.edjoin.org.

White could not comment about the teaching position, but did say no storyline will be lacking this upcoming season.

Temple City will undergo two-a-days when it resumes camp. Practice starts at 7 a.m. until 10 a.m., lifting from 10-11, lunch from 11-12, team meeting from 12-1, off time from 1-2 p.m. The second practice begins at 2:30 p.m. and goes to 5 p.m. The day concludes with a team meeting from 5-6 p.m.

This will be White’s first “Hell Week” experience as a head coach but said the experience on his coaching staff will make it a smooth transition.

“They’re helping me to succeed,” White said. “The whole situation here has been great. The support I’ve received from the administration has also been great, so I’m ready.”

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Bloggers: Meet Freddy and I on Saturday in Pasadena


Above: Me likes the one on the far left and second to the right. (Photo courtesy of lagalaxy.com)

I really do hope my buddy amusedreader comes through since he loves my so-called “Galaxy blog”. Hey, it’s not my fault the Galaxy is hosting so many events in Pasadena as they get ready to make their first Rose Bowl appearance since leaving for The Home Depot Center. They’ll take on FC Barcelona next Saturday at 8 p.m. Anyway, the first of several festivities kickoff tomorrow when the Galaxy hosts a viewing party for its game against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday (tomorrow) beginning at 5 p.m. at NeoMeze Bar (20 E. Colorado Blvd.). They’ll have prize giveaways, drink and food specials. Miss L.A. Galaxy will also make an appearance, which means you can come watch Freddy and I in action trying to get Miss Galaxy’s number. We’ll get there at 5:30 p.m. if anyone else wants to show up and hang out. For the record, Freddy owes yours truly a few drinks, so someone help me hold him accountable to it. This will kinda be like the time we went to Coach’s in Lancaster hours before the Rosemead-Paraclete clash in the CIF-SS Mid-Valley Division playoffs. On Tuesday, the Galaxy will host a clinic at the Rose Bowl in Lot H. The free soccer clinic for kids 7-14 goes from 5-7 p.m. Parents must be in attendance to sign a waiver and registration begins at 3 p.m. There is limited space so it’s on a first come, first serve basis. And, next Wednesday the Galaxy will host a block Party from 6-10 p.m. at red, white + blueezz Jazz Club (70 S. Raymond St., Pasadena). I might be there for that one, too, since I only live 5 minutes away.

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