Above: George Frazier, aka G5, is in a battle for the starting job.
By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
MONROVIA – George Frazier V is no Nick Bueno. Blake Heyworth isn’t, either.
Neither Monrovia High School junior quarterback claims to be the next coming of Bueno, the 2011 CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division offensive player of the year who led the Wildcats to a CIF-SS championship last season.
“I play a different style than Nick,” Frazier said. “I’m not as shifty and I won’t run as much.
“People say the pressure is there. In my eyes, I’m a whole different person. It’s a whole other year, a whole other team.”
Both quarterbacks, however, hope to be taking the most snaps this season and replicate Bueno’s feat.
“You can’t replace (Bueno),” coach Ryan Maddox said. “He was a special player, but we have some very good young kids.
“It’s going to look a little different. We’re not going to ask Blake or George to do what Nick did. They are different types of quarterbacks. We’ll take what they do well and work from that.”
Bueno was the Wildcats’ quarterback for three seasons. Last year, he completed 108 of 201 passes for 1,828 yards and eight touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,513 yards and 14 scores.
Below: Blake Heyworth during practice Thursday.
CLICK ON THREAD TO CONTINUE READING
By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
ROSEMEAD – It’s a cross between a family reunion picnic and organized chaos.
Some Bosco Tech football players carry teammates on their back. Others hop 100 yards down the home sideline. More run laps around the track.
The drills are something new to the Tigers this season.
“We wanted to try to do away from the condition that gets them tired,” coach Chris Shockley said. “We wanted to do more sports-specific things, to get them ready to play football. We start by putting them in situations they’re going to be in on the football field. The movements are more football-specific.”
Shockley, in his 13th year with the program, said the coaches picked up on the football-related drills while attending various clinics and seminars.
“It makes it more scary,” senior wide receiver C.J. Alvarez said of the new drills. “You don’t ever know what you’re going to be working on. It’s tiring, but it gets in the work. Hopefully it will help us out on the field.”
Coaches have more than 50 dynamic, metabolic and neurological drills, all football-related, that they can throw at the players at any time during practice. They can plan out a certain drill, but then they can take the initiative to change the plan to another drill at a moment’s notice.
“We switch it up every session,” Shockley said. “We think it has kept it fresh for them, because it’s a new drill. It has kind of kept them on their toes because they don’t know what to expect.
“We’re getting more out of these guys. They’re working on mastering the drill. When it’s the same drill for three days, they know how to do it and you don’t get as much out of them. They’ve responded really well.”
CLICK ON THREAD TO CONTINUE READING
Aram Tolegian, AKA Chemical AT, ambushed Covina’s practice earlier today. In his “Practice Ambush!!!!”, Aram gets a closer look at Covina’s behemoth defensive linemen. You can hear him in the video ask if Monrovia should be worried. I don’t know that I would go that far, but you can see what Aram’s talking about in the 3:13 mark, and those guys do look huge.
Muir opponents probably know where the Mustangs are going with the ball this season.
That would be to Washington-bound senior Tairen Owens.
But the question teams, such as San Gabriel in the Sept. 2 season opener, will have to figure out is: Where will they find Owens?
Muir coach Ken Howard plans on lining up Owens in the backfield, playing him in the slot and at wide receiver. He will also play cornerback.
“He’s going to make a whole lot of guys look pretty stupid,” Muir coach Ken Howard said. “Our offense alone is going to make it tough for defenses. It’s not that we have just him.”
Muir began two-a-day practices on Monday and will put on full pads either today or Thursday.
Owens has been thrust into a role as a leader both on and off the field; a leader by example of the exceptional season he had last year on the field, and a leader based on being one of only seven seniors on the team this year.
“I just tell them to keep their heads up and work hard,” he said. “We are young.”
Howard said he is truly counting on his seniors this season.
“All the seniors have to step it up, and not just a couple of notches,” he said. “They have to step it up to a level that they never imagined. We’re so young. It’s a lot of inexperience and a lot of talented kids.”
Last year, Owens accounted for just more than 1,300 yards in total offense. In his second year starting, third in the Mustangs’ playing rotation, he rushed for a team-high 822 yards and 10 touchdowns. He caught 21 passes for 206 yards and four scores, returned six punts for 77 yards and returned five kickoffs for 205 yards.
“I’ve been waiting for (the start of practice) for like forever,” Owens said. “I just like touching the ball and having the chance to score.”
When Anthony Harris was hired as La Salle’s new athletic director, his mission was to transform La Salle into a prominent program, saying “there’s a lot of competition out there now. Maranatha, Alemany, they have a lot of kids from Pasadena. I would like La Salle to be a household name.”
The new logo is the start to a wave of changes to come ahead.
“Absolutely,” Harris said when reached by phone early this afternoon. “What we’re trying to do is create a college prep athletic environment that matches our college prep academic environment. In a college prep school, in my opinion, we are preparing kids to graduate from college, not to go to college. On the athletic side, we are preparing guys to be college athletes. If they’re lucky enough to continue into the next level, then hopefully we would have done our job so they’re prepared.”
Also, say goodbye to La Salle’s old “LS” logo (below).
La Salle will use a new “LS” logo (below) in sports but will keep the old logo for academics.
La Salle also has a new school website complete with photos, schedules, rosters — all things that any fan and even a local reporter would want from a school website. To tell you the truth, it really does look like a college sports website, which is the look and feel Harris was going for. And if you follow La Salle’s Twitter account, you can get score updates and final game statistics.
As far as feedback regarding the new logo?
“They love it,” Harris said. “It’s intimidating. Kids feel pride and really motivates kids. We painted our weight room, our offices, slogans. We’re really trying to step it up a notch. That’s what i was hired for and that’s what we’re doing.”
ALHAMBRA – This football season isn’t about wins and losses for Alhambra High School’s Demitrias Russell.
It’s about redemption.
Russell is on track to getting there, and by season’s end he’s hoping the comeback bid is complete, as far as football goes.
It was during the start of spring practice when Alhambra coach Lou Torres informed Russell he no longer would be on the team and wouldn’t allow him to take part in team activities.
It was the culmination to a season in which Russell, a 5-foot-10 standout wide receiver, was suspended from the Moors’ third game of the season because of what Torres called “conduct detrimental” to the team. Torres politely declined to give specifics as to what led to the suspension – and ultimate dismissal from the team – but the consequences of his misguided actions were enough to jolt Russell back to reality.
Russell needed to earn his way back to playing for the Moors, a case that lasted well into summer.
The turnaround has been impressive, to say the least.
“A complete 180 turn,” Torres said. “He’s academically eligible, he’s been to every practice, he’s putting in the work that we wanted to see from him.
“All we wanted was for him to show, and he’s gone above that.”
Russell, who’s been playing football since he was 5 and grew up playing youth football with the Alhambra Thunderbirds, needed to get back to what he loved doing most and playing for the team he’s loved most. His determination can be heard in his voice.
“No more messing around,” Russell said. “After this, it’s manhood. I need to step in and do it now.”
Russell has gone from team suspension and dismissal to one of seven team leaders this season who figures to be one of the most explosive weapons in the Moors’ arsenal. With soft hands and a knack for running the proper routes, Russell could have the breakout season he’s been hoping for.
He didn’t figure to play defense this year, but it’s looking like he could see significant time at cornerback or safety.
“He’s just that good,” Torres said. “With his off-field problems gone he can focus with on-field performances, and his progress is showing.”
Russell has made a comeback before.
When he was 12, he broke his left ankle in practice. He was in a cast that covered his entire leg.
“It was really scary at the time,” Russell said before adding he was walking again in just four weeks.
Russell stood out as a freshman, moved up to varsity and started as a sophomore.
With off-field issues in the past, Russell hopes to improve after an inconsistent junior season in which the Moors finished a disappointing 1-4 in the Almont League.
“It was disappointing, for sure,” Russell said. “We had the talent, but we didn’t put in the work. I’m working a lot harder this year.”
The comeback kid not quite, but he’s close.
When: EVERY Tuesday at 7 p.m.
What: The best players and coaches in the area as guests.
Where: Any of the blogs will have a LIVE player
August 16 guests: Former Charter Oak standout and Super Bowl champion Jason David, Former Bishop Amat and Florida St. quarterback Chris Rix and La Habra head coach Frank Mazzotta.