Football: La Salle QB’s vying for starting spot, etc …

As coaches call back to give me the low down I’ll be posting here with the latest information on your favorite teams. Here’s La Salle …

Antoine Peterson was probably hired too late last season in terms of not having time to install his own summer and offseason program. Then, the season began and the Lancers’ roster was depleted with injuries. The fallout led to Chase Rettig’s transferring to San Clemente High and a shakeup in the coaching ranks (Eddie Howard, special teams coach, and Pat Walker, offensive coordinator, are the only returning coaches).

Now’s the time for the Lancers faithful to forget the 1-9 season.

Fall camp started today and the final two-a-days end Saturday with afternoon workouts beginning Monday.

Peterson has turned the leaf and said his staff and players are all now on the same page, which clearly wasn’t the case last season.

Case in point: Chase Rettig was the only player taking snaps last season even during practice. Had he gone down with an injury there would have been no viable backup with the necessary reps. Sure, Kishon Sanders was designated the backup quarterback but never took a snap.

This season, four quarterbacks have taken plenty of snaps, and so far junior Will Harriety and sophomore Mike Novell are neck-in-neck for the starting spot. Mike Alexander is probably the third QB with Kishon Sanders also available if needed; he took most of the spring snaps.

This clearly is a different scenario from last year when the offensive coordinator limited snaps to Rettig.

Pat Walker, secondary coach last year, was promoted to offensive coordinator this season. In having a four-player rotation at quarterback Walker is giving the Lancers depth at a key position.

The coaching staff is all brand new this season (Ed Ramirez, defensive coordinator; Robert Maxie, wide receivers coach; Harold Johnson, running backs coach; Casey Hilland, offensive line coach; and David Shaw, offensive line coach) and the Lancers will look just as different on the field.

Gone is the spread offense Rettig was supposed to thrive in last year. In comes a balanced attack in an effort to rid the predictability La Salle fell victim to last season.

On paper, the Lancers look like a formidable team that’s back with vengance on its mind.

They return 14 starters from last year’s team and its entire offensive line, including Andrew Pankow (6’3, 270 pounds) who is drawing interest from a score of small schools and some major Division I programs. He’s taken a trip to Penn State.

With a revamped staff and an energized team, expect the Lancers to make a run for the Camino Real League championship and a sure spot in the playoffs.

How this year’s Maranatha-La Salle game will match last year’s epic battle is uncertain, but expect a battle from start to end for supremecy among two small school powers.

I wonder if La Salle will have In-N-Out …

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  • Tom S

    Man, you know I can’t wait for 9/11 and the local small school game of the year! I hear bbq tri-tip. No In-N-Out

  • Goldenarm

    prep footballers,

    enjoy your Friday night…you are going to have calf cramps and sore abs next Friday, and won’t care who is having a party, what babes are going to be there or who is texting you about it.

  • Pepper R

    Good luck to both. you are all re-building

  • Anonymous

    Do you really think La Salle can bounce back that quickly – the kids play not the coaches

  • The Lancer

    I went to some of the passing leagues and a couple of the hell week practices for La Salle, Mike Alexander played q.b. better than both quarterbacks in my opinion. Novell is supposed to be pretty good, he was unable to play spring ball tho, due to some injury. This is the first year I have no real connection to La Salle and from what I see, they could be pretty good. Obviously I root for them, but they really do look better. They have to play Mike Alexander at W.R. he is just too much of a play maker. Hopefully someone can get him the ball…or the coaches can get creative. I feel athletically he is the best player on the field. With that said Kishon Sanders is a beast too. I really look forward to watching him run over some kids. It is kind of nerve wrecking not knowing who will get these two the ball, but both are far too good to play at quarterback and from the little I have seen harrity and novell have a lot of upside, but are not as dynamic as Alexander and Sanders. So it makes sense to have Novell and Harrity battle it out. Oh and there offensive line better make some noise this year, they have been together for almost three years now. Really something for the fans to be optimistic about, I am just going to sit back and hope for the best. Good Luck Lancers!!!

  • Anonymous

    la salle wins no more than 3 games….”balanced attack” means no more than 10 passes a game… hope we dont forget that most offenses scored at will against La Salle Last year…great hatchet jobs on the coaches that are no longer there…Last year it was the fault of the previous staff that left late, now it is the coaches that have moved on…when does Peterson begin to hold himself accountable?

  • Amused Reader

    Good for La Salle trying to regroup. And too bad the prima donna took all the snaps last year. Since he already has a scholarship why did he really leave? We found out last year, he’s not that great.

  • goteamgo

    I think the decision made to look at Harrity and Novell comes down to the fact that Alexander and Sanders are athletes; when both are healthy (they were both injured last year) they can make an impact. They can do many things (not only play receiver or QB, but return kicks and punts; Alexander is also a good DB). Harrity and Novell are basically QB’s – they pretty much play one position.

    We Lancer supporters as you know are always optimistic, but I am concerned about turning the QB position over to a junior and a sophomore who have never played one varsity game. It is always a wake up call when they look over the line, see some D-lineman who is about 240 lbs and spitting fire, and they realize how big they are. Toto, you’re not in Kansas anymore.

    If they tell these young QB’s “here is the game plan, stick to the plan, and execute the plan, and do not put yourself in a position to make mistakes” it may be all right. This is what Monrovia did last year with a sophomore QB, they did well, and Bueno is now more experienced and confident.

  • Goldenarm


    Good points – there is only so much you can do if your QB lacks arm strength or throwing accuracy. One thing you DON’T want to do, is call plays that will highlight the weaknesses, or have a 50/50 shot of incompletion/interception. Keep the throws under 20 yards and out of traffic, set up off tackle or roll, or do whatever ups the completion % for that particular kid. One thing that really makes all the difference is throwing before the break….too many QB’s are throwing late nowadays – giving the advantage to the DB. Not enough emphasis in practice on the timing of the drop/break and release of the football. Ideally on the 3rd, 5th, or 7th drop step, the throw should be coming immmediately off the first step forward…providing the target is open, of course.

    My feeling is if you have a QB that can win games solely on his athleticism, you are very fortunate.

    The situation at TC is somewhat similar to yours at La Salle…I hope both work out well.

  • Really?

    Tom S. not as many people care about MHS football as you like to think. My kids have graduated but I have a nephew there, ever wonder why the less than 1/6 of the students show up to a game. Even after they canceled a day of school so the kids would be basically forced to watch them lose the league title you still think it’s the greatest in the world.

    I love football, but I like to balance it out with soccer, track, swim, tennis.

    Small school game of the year, really? That diluted? St. Francis, Matier Day, those are programs and those produce games.

  • football is here!

    miguel so who is coming out front page of the football preview? usually the area’s best player reutrning right?
    d. reiley
    m. crockam.
    i. valdez
    m. ruckle
    that would be a good front page
    be creative with the pose

  • illest


    If you have attended last years la salle and maranatha game you would understand why your statement doesnt make sense that 1/6 of the school attends games. Also the schools that natha plays arent located around here as much as other high schools such as sf, la salle, muir, etc…

  • lshsplayer

    ok so im a player for la salle and im jus goin to say that we are working really hard and we are going to do our best win games. i love this team and i love the coaching staff we have. we are all looking forward to a great season.

  • Tom S

    Really? said:
    Dude, you weren’t at last year’s Maranatha – La Salle game. Must have been somewhere around 2,500 people jammed the field at Maranatha to see a great LOCAL small school game. Not sure where you come up with “less than 1/6 of the students show up to a game.” but that’s your take. While don’t you come to La Salle on 9/11 and see what 1/6th student body looks like.

  • Goldenarm


    You may be the only player in the SGV that would freely say he loves his coaching staff during hell week….maybe at the end of season or the banquet…but during hell week?

    Love and happiness must in the air at La Salle.
    Good luck to the Lancers.

  • Really?

    I was there Tom, it was crowded, so was homecoming. My point is the average game has very few students despite the school canceling classes so kids would attend. I was pretty upset when it happened twice last year. They keep trying to make it a football school, new uniforms again this year, 10 coaches and 25 kids on varsity?

    I have no big issue with the program (and Murphy is a good guy and taught my kids well) just your overzealous hype, do the programs that produce CIF Wins get this much hype? CC, Baseball or Swim? This is why I quit the boosters.

    If you love the school, love it all, not just football.

  • Amused Reader

    Tom S I doubt those tiny stands at Maranatha hold 2500 people. 1000-1500 maybe but that place is tiny. It’s no bigger than the stands at RHP. The visitors side is a small baseball stand.

  • goteamgo

    La Salle gets a story on the blog, and it turns into a Maranatha blog. Out of the last 8 comments 5 are Maranatha fans bashing it out. I visit to see any new posts to update/provide insight on La Salle, and all I read is two guys bashing it out about Maranatha.

    Come on guys – go put your blog on the story about your one and done QB.

  • MHS fan


    Didnt your momma ever teach you growing up that if you have nothing good or positive to say about someone or something the right thing to do is probably keep your thoughts to yourself? All you do is come off on this blog sounding like a disgruntled parent and big time hater who seems to have serious issues with the football program. Did you personally poll the entire student body to come up with your not as many people care about MHS football as you like to think You obviously have some sort of inside know about the program to detail the new uniforms, coaching staff and how many players are on the varsity. Why dont you do yourself a favor and jump on board and come on in for the big win. Oh and it is spelled Mater Dei not Matier Day. Nothing like an admirer of high school football butchering up the name of one the of most prominent football programs in Orange County or the state for that matter.

  • just wondering…

    Did La Salle conduct any background checks on their new coaching staff? If that is the same Harold Johnson I know of they are in trouble. Ask around at St. Francis! Come on Lancers…You deserve better.

  • Goldenarm

    we got muckraking of personalities and
    the ol’ spelling bee insults….kickoff must be approaching

  • sgv football

    Miguel, I can’t believe you give La Salle all this press for a team that had one win. What about PHS, Muir and Blair, the home teams. La Salle will win maybe 3 games this year at best. Peterson has a track record for poor hires; this is not a dig but facts. Two previous Peterson referrals to the staff were asked to leave, then last year’s fiasco. Lots of injuries may have been due to the training but we’ll not know until this year.

    Miguel four QB’s is good, I do not think so. If Alexander is the best athlete then he should play QB. It sounds like there is pressure to showcase him in some other position for recruiting opportunities, Ha. LaSalle is not a football factory and playing D11 HS football is far from the talent one faces at the higere levels. As for Rettig, he has an arm but has never faced the talent he’ll face this year. Might be interesting.

  • The Lancer

    sgv football,

    Where to begin…Firstly what are you talking about all this press, it is one article…Don’t worry Muir, PHS, etc. will get theirs, and they already have…Secondly how is La Salle not a home team, they are right in Pasadena, is the paper now called Pasadena Public Star News.
    Now in terms of football where do you come off saying La Salle will only win three games, bold prediction not knowing much about La Salle football (or do you, not too many people know about Peterson’s hiring resume, maybe little Johnny didnt get into La Salle). La Salle is trying to win football games and if they have two quarterbacks that are comparable to Alexander why not put him at receiver, especially considering the other two don’t play anything but quarterback.
    Lastly, if you knew anything about football the scouts will find you if you do a little advertising for yourself, and if the talent is there. La Salle is in Division 10 by they way, why don’t you put your favorite team (one of the Home schools) in that division and try starting the season knowing in order to win the championship you have to go through Cathedral, Serra, Oaks Christian, etc.
    Please change your name from sgv football to sgv, because you clearly dont know a whole lot about football. Response requested.

  • goteamgo

    sgv football:

    Maybe the reason La Salle got this story is due to the fact that PHS, Muir and Blair started their “hell week” a week after La Salle? I am sure more stories will come. TC got a story, and I understand MM is working on a Monrovia story. I am sure there will be others.

  • BigFatFan

    SP starts practicing tomorrow (thursday). their first game is Sept. 11th.

  • sgv football

    To the Lancer:

    First of all I know football intimately. No need to cite resume but suffice to say 3 games will be a good season for La Salle. I have no ax to grind and kids are grown, just seems too much press for a poor team.

    D10, 11 is much the same and Oaks Christian is a football factory which cannot be compared to the other schools. As for their talent the only match up between Oaks and La Salle was 60+ to 0. Case closed.

    I also hold to my belief that this is a poor decision not to place Alexander at QB. Let’s face it LS had a tough enough time with offensive gurus Gallagher/DiFiori – Peterson is definitely not in their caliber.

  • King

    Thats weird but didn’t La Salle play for the Division Title a few years back when “offensive gurus” Gallagher/DiFiori were both still on the coaching staff?

    I’m trying to remember the last time a local team played for a title? Muir gets bumped in the 1st round just about every year, PHS not sure when they last made the playoffs, Blair one good run a few years back, Arcadia/Monrovia/TC/SM usually show fairly in the playoffs with a win or two.

  • The Lancer

    Im pretty sure La Salle beat some pretty good area schools that year too, ie Temple City, Monrovia, etc. Doesnt sound like DiFiori and Gallagher struggled too much.

    SGV Football,
    Three wins is never a good season!!! In terms of Oaks Christian, Serra is fairly comparable, I mean Oaks is far and beyond better than just about any school in southern california (calpreps has them as the favorite to be in the open bowl championship). Still Serra is REALLY good too.
    In terms of starting Alexander, that probably is a mistake by the coaches, he should be starting, but only time will tell. I really hope they utilize him correctly if he is not the starting qb. Oh, and with the too much pub, come on its one article, spread the love its a new season, and people want to know.

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