Football: Todd Golper impressive as redshirt at UCLA

Photo courtesy of Golper family

Robert Kuwada (formerly a UCLA beat writer at the OC Register) recently had a long Q&A session for Bruin Report Online with UCLA linebackers coach Clark Lea (click here for the interview, subscription-based). Halfway through the interview, Kuwada asks Lea about the linebackers, and in this excerpt Lea mentions former Arcadia star Todd Golper, who was a redshirt freshman last season. Golper was a two-time All-Star News first-team member.

With the Mikes, where do you see that starting off this spring?

”Well, I think those are discussions that will (come). Right now we’re going through cut ups from last season and kind of figuring out where we are at personnel wise and what we need to work on, and then at the end of this month, in the next couple of weeks I’d say, we’ll probably hammer out a depth chart and really get a feel for where we want to see guys and how we want to see them.

”Right now, I’d be maybe speaking a little premature, but obviously you’ve got Steve Sloan, who has started before, and he is the elder statesman so to speak. He is the older guy. You can anticipate seeing him rolling through there early. And with Patrick Larimore being a guy who has had a year, two years now here, and so he’s getting to know the system and he’s going to push Steve and they’re going to compete, and then Todd Golper being a guy that is also in that mix, a guy that we’re looking to continue to develop. It’s a tough position to fully grasp, though, in your first year because we ask the Mike to do a lot. You saw how Reggie played and how he controlled things. It does take some time to get there.”

Todd Golper, he’s obviously the youngest of that group, but where do you see him?

”Todd is such a conscientious worker and a guy that, to be honest with you, as a player that is redshirting, has done a tremendous job picking up the defense. He really has. I’ve been impressed with him. He’s a guy that’s going to get in there and get his reps and we’ll see where he’s at in terms of his development. You know, obviously, it takes time and so it’s really hard to comment on where he is right now because he spent the fall really working with the scout team. We’ll get him out there and get him going and see where he’s at, and that’s where my job becomes critical. How soon can he be ready? I’ve got to find where his buttons are that need to be pushed and work with him that way.”

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Star-Jibber: OK, now I can really get into the season

It’s 8:42 a.m. as I’m writing this from an IHOP in San Diego. Yes, I’m still here one day after covering Pasadena’s boys basketball team lose in the CIF State Division II Southern California Regionals. I came here a day early anyway to hang out with some friends. We stayed in Seaport Village most of the day and got to see the USS Midway (below) among other cool and crazy things. Later, I’m headed to a friend’s BBQ birthday party. When I get home it’ll be well after midnight, but by then I would have left San Diego and the basketball season well behind me, too. It’s time to really get into the baseball season. I guess in a nutshell I’ll ask, what have I missed? I saw (more like read) St. Francis was dominant against Alhambra in the Elks Tournament finale. When the first week’s top 10 rankings take shape, what movement do you expect to see? What games should we cover? Any surprise players who impressed you during the first week of tournament play?

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BREAKING NEWS: PHS loses in State Playoffs, 81-45

SAN DIEGO – If the first two minutes were any indication of how the Pasadena High School boys basketball team would fare the rest of the game then the Bulldogs sure were in for a dreadful night. Pasadena committed seven turnovers in the first two minutes and couldn’t recover after Lincoln’s 12-0 start to the game, handing the visiting Bulldogs an 81-45 defeat in the semifinals of the CIF State Division II Southern California Regionals on Saturday night. Lincoln (27-2) had too much size, strength and athleticism, proving to be the perfect recipe to deny Pasadena (27-8) a shot at playing for the Southern California championship next week at USC’s Galen Center. Lincoln was in such control that a running clock was instituted early in the fourth quarter when they went up 75-35. Pasadena coach Tim Tucker hollered over to the scorer’s table to inquired and was informed that a running clock is instituted once a team reaches a 40-point lead. “One team showed up and one team didn’t,” Tucker said. “We lost this game in the first five minutes. I thought our guys never got going. We’re definitely better than what we played, but we didn’t show up tonight. They just came and bulldozed us and beat us up. It was sad we couldn’t give them a better game.”

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Baseball: St. Francis, Alhambra to meet in Elks title game




ST. FRANCIS (4-0) vs. ALHAMBRA (4-0) at MOOR FIELD, 11 a.m. – I will be in San Diego covering Pasadena basketball in the semifinals of the CIF State Division II Southern California Regionals. Our Keith Lair will be there and we’ll also have a photographer at the game. If the site and time changes I’ll be sure to let you know. The top 10 rankings will come out Wednesday, and already we’re seeing some shifting with the season one week old. Is St. Francis the real deal? Yes. What about Alhambra? Yes. Is Maranatha still the No. 1 team in the area? Not so sure yet. I guess a lot of it depends on how they fare in the Southern California Invitational. I’ll get to a lot of that Monday. In the meantime, let’s hear your predictions for Saturday’s final. It’s certainly a matchup that wouldn’t have happened if not for the Elks Tournament. That’s what makes this tournament so fun to watch and cover: We get to see a lot of local teams play each other, matchups that otherwise would be unlikely.

Alhambra 5, Arcadia 4 — In the tournament’s other semifinal, Alhambra (4-0) escaped with the victory over visiting Arcadia at Moor Field after the Apaches loaded the bases in the seventh inning. Moors starting pitcher Jonathan Beltran (2-0) pitched 6 1/3 innings for the victory, and also went 2 for 3 at the plate with two singles. Gary Acuna recorded the save. Garrett Tuck (1-1) took the loss for Arcadia (3-1). Apaches leadoff hitter Haram Park started the game by hitting the first of his two home runs.

St. Francis 8, Monrovia 3 — St. Francis High School’s baseball team banged out 14 hits en route to an 8-3 victory over host Monrovia in an Arcadia Elks Tournament semifinal game Thursday afternoon. “That was as close as we’ve come to playing a complete ballgame,” St. Francis coach Brian Esquival said. “Today we swung the bats pretty well and we pitched really well.” St. Francis (4-0) ended the Wildcats’ season-opening, scoreless-inning streak at 22 in the second inning, when No. 9 hitter Brandon Van Horn dropped a single into left-center field that scored Andrew Yu from third base. Yu had reached base on a single to right field off Wildcats starter Aaron Murphree (1-1). “(Murphree) never really had his off-speed stuff going at all, so it pretty much made him a one-pitch pitcher today, and I thought, considering that, he did a pretty good job of keeping us in the game,” Monrovia co-head coach Brad Blackmore said. All of the Golden Knights’ runs came courtesy of seven run-producing singles, most going back up the middle or into right field. Of St. Francis’ 14 hits, 13 were singles. In the fifth inning, St. Francis stroked five consecutive base hits off two Wildcats pitchers to score two runs and push the advantage to 5-0. “We try to preach, `Let the ball get deep and drive it to the right side,’ and the kids did a really good job,” Esquival said. Mark Saatzer managed a double to deep left field in the third inning, during which St. Francis scored two runs on RBI singles by A.J. Berglund and Dave Hubinger. Hubinger finished with two RBIs, as did Van Horn, and senior Ryan Pires led all players with three RBIs, including a two-run single to right field in the seventh. St. Francis’ Chris Longo (1-0) started on the mound for the first time this season and got the victory, leaving in the fifth inning with no outs and a 5-0 lead. The junior gave up just two singles in his five innings of work. Monrovia (3-1) scored two runs in the fifth inning after loading the bases with no outs. Jordan Trujillo hit an RBI groundout, followed by a Matt Stark sacrifice fly.

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CIF State Basketball Playoffs: Pasadena turns up the heat on defense, knocks off Murrieta Valley in overtime; Muir goes toe to toe with Inglewood, but runs out of gas.


“Murrieta Valley and Pasadena traded blows as if a heavyweight belt was on the line, and when four quarters couldn’t decide a victor, overtime was needed. Locked in an epic battle with the sixth-seeded Bulldogs (27-7) before an overflow crowd of more than 2,500 at MVHS —- probably the largest crowd ever for a Valley basketball game —- the third-seeded Nighthawks overcame a dismal 27-percent shooting night by playing their usual tough man-to-man defense and continually going into the paint to earn baskets when the perimeter was blocked.”

“It was one of those classic defensive struggles, the kind where every point has to be fought for and earned. For the first time in while, Murrieta Valley came up short.:

“It was a heavyweight battle of epic proportions, with neither giant throwing in the towel in front of a boisterous standing-room only crowd that roared with every basket. … ‘Man, what a ball game … what a ball game,’ Pasadena coach Tim Tucker said. ‘You can’t ask for a better game from both teams. Overtime, fighting for tooth and nails and neither team wanting to go home.’”

“We’ve been behind by 25 and been in every possible situation this season. There isn’t a scenario we haven’t seen,” said coach Jason Bryant, whose Lincoln Hornets (26-2) started the fourth quarter down by three. “I was very happy we didn’t shoot threes and kept going to the basket. They finally listened.”

Pasadena delivered the final blows in the final minute to knock off Murrieta Valley 49-43 in overtime Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the CIF State Division II Southern California Regionals. Pasadena (27-7) moves on to play at Lincoln of San Diego in Saturday’s semifinals. Murrieta Valley (28-5) ends its history-making season after winning its first CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA championship. The Bulldogs don’t know that feeling, having let that opportunity slip away in the Division 2A final against Eisenhower last week. And perhaps drawing from that hunger, Pasadena didn’t let this win slip out of their hands. The wind was sucked out of the air with 1 minute, 16 seconds left in overtime, Murrieta Valley’s first sign of the end. Pasadena’s Steven Shares made a turnaround jump shot to give the Bulldogs a 44-43 lead. Nick Holden then blocked the Nighthawks’ ensuing possession and Todd Lewis Jr. grabbed the rebound with 1:01 remaining. The dagger came with 35 seconds remaining, courtesy of senior George Toyama. With the shot clock winding down and the crowd on its feet, Toyama drove inside, put a move on the defender, swooped the ball and kissed it off the glass to give the Bulldogs a 46-43 lead. Murrieta Valley missed its 3-point attempt and Shares grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 14.1 seconds. He made 1-of-2, giving the Nighthawks a chance at a miracle. Toyama, however, had other plans. He stole the inbounds pass near midcourt and was fouled with 9.5 seconds. He converted both his free throws to send the visiting crowd into a frenzy.

Muir knew it was going to have to play one of its best games of the season to defeat host Inglewood. The Mustangs, who have not played well of late, stepped into that frame of mind Thursday night and played valiantly before finally succumbing to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA champions, 46-41, in the quarterfinals of the CIF State Division III Southern California Regionals. “We never gave up,” Muir coach Gary Johnson said. “We knew we had a chance. Missed free throws hurt us. But the girls didn’t give up.” Except for the game’s opening minutes, neither team led by more than one trip down the floor until the game’s final two minutes. The lead changed hands nine times. Muir, which lost in the CIF-SS Division 3A title game, took its final lead, 31-28, on a Daysha Thomas 15-footer with 1:51 remaining in the third quarte

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Softball: La Caada, Schurr in Duarte Tourny title game

POOL A: South Pasadena; Duarte; Pasadena; Whittier
POOL B: Temple City, Gladstone, Marshall (Pasadena); Schurr
POOL C: La Canada, Arcadia, Rosemead, Baldwin Park.
POOL D: La Salle, South Hills; Flintridge Prep; L.A. Marshall

All games at Duarte High
Arcadia (2-1, 2nd in pool) vs. La Mirada (2-1, 2nd in pool), 3 p.m. South Field (7th place)
South Pasadena (2-1, 2nd in pool) vs. Temple City (2-1, 2nd in pool), 5 p.m. South Field (5th place)
Whittier (3-0, 1st in pool) vs. South Hills (3-0, 1st in pool), 3 p.m. North Field (3rd place)
Schurr (3-0, 1st in pool) vs. La Caada (3-0, 1st in pool), 5 p.m. North Field (Championship)
Tiebreaker Note: Whittier allowed four runs; South Hills allowed 5 runs; Schurr allowed 3 runs; La Caada allowed no runs.

La Caada 10, Baldwin park 0
Arcadia 8, rosemead 3
Schurr 4, Temple City 1
Gladstone 6, Marshall Fundamental 1

South Hills 4, La Salle 2
L.A. Marshall 8, Flintridge Prep 7
La Caada 1, Arcadia 0
South Pasadena 15, Duarte 1
Whittier 8, Pasadena 1
Temple City 6, Gladstone 0

Baldwin Park 20, Rosemead 7
La Salle 26, Flintridge Prep 0
South Hills 6, L.A. Marshall 2
Schurr 13, Marshall Fundamental 2
Duarte 11, Pasadena 5
Whittier 2, South Pasadena 1

L.A. Marshall 6, La Salle 2
South Hills 11, Flintridge Prep 1
La Canada 10, Rosemead 0
Arcadia 20, Baldwin Park 2
Whittier 12, Duarte 2
South Pasadena 11, Pasadena 1
Temple City 7, Pasadena Marshall 0
Schurr 4, Gladstone 0

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Football: D.C. high school hires first woman head coach

Now this is interesting. The Washington Post is reporting that Coolidge High in D.C. hired Natalie Randolph to coach its varsity football team. The Post reports that according to Sydney Chambers, a sales consultant for the Clell-Wade Coaches Directory, which maintains a database of all coaches at U.S. colleges, high schools and junior highs, there was no woman among the 15,675 listings of public or private high school football coaches last season. Alan Goldenbach at The Washington Post writes:

When reached Tuesday afternoon, Randolph, 29, confirmed she had accepted the position, but declined to comment further. Coolidge Athletic Director Toby Strong referred all questions to school administration.

One person with knowledge of the situation said Randolph was introduced to the team after school on Tuesday. The boys on the team displayed some initial skepticism, this person said, but Randolph, who played professional football with the D.C. Divas, won them over.

“Some of the kids tried to test her knowledge of football, and she just shot them down,” the person said. “At the end, they were clapping for her. They didn’t know she played football.”

The source who described the meeting asked not to be identified because school administration officials requested that this information not be released until Friday’s news conference.

Stephen Spiewak at writes:

Women head coaches in boys sports are rare at the high school level in any sport. Among the more than 16,000 schools that have downloaded varsity football rosters and coaching information onto, no females head coaches could be traced.

I say good for her!

Four years ago, Alan Goldenbach wrote a great piece in the Washington Post on Natalie Randolph being hired as a wide receivers coach.

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CIF State Playoffs: PHS boys, Muir girls advance in hoops; Keppel boys, Pasadena Poly girls fall on the road.

— Liberty of Bakersfield used a 10-0 run in the third quarter to fuel its momentum, and didn’t allow Keppel to get within nine in the first round of the Southern California Regional. The Aztecs (24-7) trailed 29-19 at the half. They were led by Sam Thim’s 19 points. Timmy Wong was held to just eight points. Keppel made its deepest playoff run this season with a semifinal appearance in the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs. It was the Aztecs’ first appearance in the CIF State Playoffs.

PASADENA 64, UNIVERSITY 44 — Pasadena overcame an unmotivated first quarter, kicked it into third gear in the second quarter and took off in the fourth, dispatching University High of Los Angeles, 64-44, in the first round of the Southern California Regional CIF State Division II playoffs Tuesday night. George Toyama finished with a team-high 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Chris Bridges, who finished with five steals in the game, added 11 points. Fellow junior Todd Lewis Jr. also added 11 points. University was led by David Nwaba, who scored 20 points. Anthony Harris added 15. No other Wildcat player scored in double figures. Pasadena will visit Murrieta Valley in Thursday’s second-round action.

— The Mustangs forced 30 turnovers and held visiting Frontier of Bakersfield to 30.6 percent shooting (15 of 49) en route to a 52-38 victory in the opening round of the Division III state playoffs.

— The Eagles rallied from a 29-26 halftime deficit and made a clutch 3-point shot when the Panthers tried to rally back in the opening round of the Division V state playoffs in Fresno. “That week off hurt us,” Poly coach Kim Weber said. “We didn’t know if we were going to be in and out. We lost our wind and that was something that helped us throughout the season. In the first two minutes, I could see the gas already.” The Panthers, who advanced to the CIF-SS Division 5A semifinals, typicall play with only two or three substitutes rotating in and out. Sophomore Michelle Miller, the state’s leading scorer, had 26 points and nine steals. She had to guard 6-foot-4 Paige Armstrong-Maltos, who had 20 points.

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Football: Friedman put St. Francis on the map; This is a must-read for every high school football fan in the SGV.

If you’re a high school football fan, this column from our Jim McConnell is a must read, guaranteed to capture you from start to end. I always wondered about Jack Friedman, and McConnell’s column gives us that, and more. I can’t believe I overlooked it this morning, but I’m posting it here as I’m sure you’re going to love it.


JACK FRIEDMAN was the man who put the gold in the Golden Knights.

The most successful football coach in St. Francis High School history made quite an impact on the sport in the San Gabriel Valley. He’d take on any team at any time.

Despite the surname, Friedman was a devout Roman Catholic. He was a graduate of Loyola High in Los Angeles and Loyola University. He played football for both schools and played it well. However, he really didn’t plan on a career in coaching, according to his son Dan Friedman.

“After college, dad was managing a paint store in Glendale,” Dan Friedman, 59 and a resident of Covina, said. “Then someone in the parish found out he had played football so they asked him to coach the touch football team at Holy Family School there in Glendale.

“Then they opened this new high school in La Ca ada, St. Francis. And dad was asked to take over the football program there. I think you could say it turned out to be the right move, for the school and my dad.”

Friedman, whose coaching idols were Knute Rockne and Woody Hayes, stressed a back-to-fundamentals approach. His St. Francis teams reflected his no-nonsense attitude and became winners.

“Dad always said he knew he was on the right track there in the late 1950s when St. Francis beat Mater Dei, coached by Dick Coury and quarterbacked by John Huarte,” Dan Friedman said. “That proved that his teams could compete with the big boys, even though at the time St.
Francis had a far smaller enrollment than just about any team it played.”

Friedman’s St. Francis teams quickly became known for their intensity. Sturdy defense and a ball-control offense were the Knights’ hallmarks. Friedman also tolerated no interference from fans or parents. You knew he was in charge.

To help set the coaches apart, all of the St. Francis staff wore white sports coats and black ties. Friedman also insisted all St. Francis students wear white shirts to the games. No clean white shirt, no entrance.

Success for the Knights arrived big time in the 1960s.

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Baseball America all over Dylan Covey in 2010 debut

Dave Perkin over at Baseball American just had to take a look for himself and see what the buzz was on Maranatha’s Dylan Covey. In a very detailed piece, Perkins writes that Covey had a sensational start to the 2010 season. He also writes about the major upgrades Jackie Robinson Field desperately needs: Friday night’s contest was played at scenic but aged Jackie Robinson Field, nestled within Brookside Park in Pasadena, only a few hundred yards from the Rose Bowl. To state it bluntly, Robinson Field needs updating. Observed one scout, “They could use a few more bulbs in those lights.” I would add that the field needs new fences and a new scoreboard. But I digress … Covey struck out 12 against Newbury Park. He struck out the side in the first, second, third and fifth innings. He allowed two unearned runs, one walk, and one hit, leading the Minutemen to a 3-2 lead when he left in the fifth. Maranatha, 6-3.

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