Football: San Gabriel on dead period, Matadors Jude Oliva still has a quarterback battle in his hands.

San Gabriel goes as of now is on dead period. The Matadors return in a couple weeks and begin their fall season. There are still a couple questions left unanswered as summer ends for the Matadors. The obvious note of concern is who will emerge as the starting quarterback at San Gabriel? There are two very good options who are vastly different. Senior Andy Guerrero looks like the front-runner. He’s a pocket guy who has the patience and posise to wait out for a play to develop. Don’t count on him to make plays with his feet, though. He’s not elusive and can’t extend plays, but with viable receivers (notably Alex Villalobos at wide receiver) he might not have to. His mechanics are not the best, but you can tell he has the makeup of a promising quarterback. Guerrero’s wind-up makes him vulnerable for a pocket collapse, but with time in the pocket he can sling it pretty well. He looked solid in a passing game against South Pasadena making solid decisions and not overly pursuing plays. Junior Eric Alvarez is the complete opposite. He’s a 6-foot-1 quarterback who has speed and has, at times, shown signs of elusiveness. Oliva is high on him because he can extend plays like a fella named Isaac Valdez used to do, running circles around opposing secondaries. Alvarez certainly has the potential. He showed as much helping direct the offense as a sophomore starter in the season opener against Muir last year. At the very least, Oliva must like the fact each will push each other as fall camp is getting underway. The friendly rivalry undoubtedly will make the conest that much more intense. Already both quarterbacks throw friendly jabs, each saying it’s their job to lose. Both will have to prove they’re ready. Guerrero showed he was the go-to guy last year before breaking his ankle, thus giving Alvarez real playing time in the latter part of the season. Whatever the case, one will soon have to emerge to help build the kind of chemistry the Matadors will need as it approaches a tough nonleague schedule followed by what’s surely to be an exciting Almont League with the likes of Alhambra, Montebello, Schurr and Bell Gardens all making legitimate arguments to contend. How so? For example, Alhambra coach Lou Torres told me the other day that this year’s team reminds him of the mid 1990’s team that went undefeated. Are the stakes high? You bet they are.

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