With less than a minute left in the second quarter in last week’s second round of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs, Schurr was forced to punt after facing fourth and 4 at its 44.
Waiting for the punt was Nick Bueno. He caught the ball and returned it for a small gain before he was tackled. As he lay on the ground, a Schurr football player wearing jersey No. 32 began punching Bueno’s right leg. The Schurr player landed at least two clean punches before getting up and walking to the Spartans sideline.
There were no flags thrown, but the poor sportsmanship was in full display. I knew that things happen when in a pile, but I’ve never in my career as a sportswriter ever seen someone blatantly stoop so low and disregard complete sportsmanship. Punch the star athlete to slow him down?
Bueno didn’t complain. He got up, walked to the sideline for the play call and hussled back to the huddle. I asked Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox if he got to see it happen during film.
“They played hard, they’re a good program, but, yeah, they’re a little dirty,” Maddox said. “They cut a couple of our kids. I don’t know if that’s coaching or if that’s just the kids. I know the defensive coordinator pretty well. He’s a good guy. You hate to see it. You don’t want to see anybody intentionally hurt and you hope the refs protect the kids.”
Schurr’s roster doesn’t list a player with a No. 32 jersey. Would I have published the kid’s name to begin with? Yes, because this athlete showed total disrespect for the game, himself, his teammates and, of course, Bueno. I’m baffled as to how someone can do such a thing and seemingly think he can get away with it. It’s not what sportsmanship is about, and it’s not the way to slow down Bueno.
Moving on …
MONROVIA SAW MORE and more pressure come at them last week as the first half against Schurr wore on. The Wildcats made adjustments, and it paid dividends.
“They were taking advantage of our snap count,” Maddox said. “So in the second half we adjusted, gave them a couple different looks and got them to jump offsides. That gave us momentum.”
If you remember, Schurr jumped offsides twice in Monrovia’s first possession in the second half that led to Bueno scoring from 24 yards. Schurr suddenly became penalty-prone and little by little, the Spartans succumbed.
I BROUGHT UP the no-huddle concept Monrovia went into after playing San Dimas early this season, and Saints coach Bill Zernickow said he doesn’t think it’ll affect them much, if at all.
“No, because every time they look to the sidelines we’re going to check on the defense,” he said. “We’ve seen a couple no-huddles throughout the playoffs and regular season. It’s a new trend, the new thing to do. Now, if (the Wildcats) were doing it at Oregon speed, that’d be different.”
That Monrovia’s limiting the amount of players going both ways will work wonders for the, Zernickow said.
“Because they’re always coming in fresh,” he said, “and it also allows them to get more kids on the field. It’s going to be good for the program and they’re able to maintain success. When more kids are playing, kids are happy. That’s an awesome thing to do.”