Above: Mike Mooney in 2010 fall camp.
By Brian Charles, Staff Writer
Former San Marino High School football coach Mike Mooney is due in court on Dec. 15 to be arraigned on a felony charge of grand theft by embezzlement, officials said Monday.
The former San Marino High School assistant principal and football coach – who was placed on administrative leave half way through the 2010 season – declined to comment on Monday.
The felony complaint was filed on Nov. 22, and according to the complaint, with the alleged embezzlement occurring during a two-year period from October 2008 to October 2010.
The funds allegedly stolen by Mooney were embezzled from the Titan Football Boosters club.
Officials from the club declined to comment on Monday.
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By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
Knocked unconscious and bleeding profusely from his head.
That’s how Muir High School quarterback Joshua Muema-Washington was found after the car he was riding in with three other friends was involved in a near head-on collision during the week leading up to the Mustangs’ Oct. 21 game against Glendale.
What was supposed to be a typical ride to a friend’s house – and within seconds of pulling into the driveway – turned into pain that sidelined Muema-Washington almost four weeks.
“We were driving on Los Robles and heading to my friend Charles’ house,” Muema-Washington recalled. “We were about to turn and make a left into the house when out of nowhere this red truck comes right at us.”
The truck, Muema-Washington said, struck the passenger side where he sat.
“I saw the truck,” Muema-Washington said. “But at the same time I didn’t have enough time to embrace the impact. It was coming so fast.”
The 6-foot-3 junior was last to be dragged out of the mangled car in which he was a passenger in the back seat. Muema-Washington admitted he wasn’t wearing a seat belt, which made matters worse.
He suffered cuts that required 13 stitches above his right eyebrow and nine above his left during a five-hour stay at Huntington Memorial Hospital.
“I was scared when I saw the scars and seen how deep it was,” he said. “I had a towel around my head and used a lot of water to wash off as much blood as possible off my face.”
Muema-Washington said he was light-headed for three days. Soreness ensued, limiting his time with the football team. He did not practice or suit up for the Glendale game. He missed the next two games against Burroughs and Burbank and sat out most of the first half against Pasadena in the Turkey Tussle.
“It’s the middle of the season,” he recalled. “I didn’t expect this to throw me off so bad. I thought maybe I’d miss one or two games at the most. But missing all those games I thought I wouldn’t have the momentum leading to the playoffs. Against Pasadena I didn’t play either right away.”
Muema-Washington entered in the final minute of the first half against Pasadena. His first pass was a 26-yard completion that gave the Mustangs (8-4) some rhythm before the half ended. He came back in the third quarter and on Muir’s first drive capped an 18-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. He sealed the game for the Mustangs when he connected on a 44-yard pass to Kevon Seymour to secure a 14-6 win over Pasadena.
Muema-Washington has been on fire ever since. He passed for 220 yards and four touchdowns in a 39-7 win over No. 2 seed Santa Fe in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs. He was at it again last week against Diamond Ranch with 182 yards and three touchdowns on 6-of-14 passing in the Mustangs’ 48-0 win.
It’s no coincidence Muema-Washington’s absence also marked a loss of swagger for Muir. The Mustangs appear to have gotten it back – and then some – with Muema-Washington’s return. The Muir faithful hope it continues on Friday night when it takes on La Serna in the Mustangs’ first semifinal appearance since 1999.
The game, scheduled for a 7:30 start, will be at California High in Whittier.
Muir coach Dave Mitchell knows how instrumental Muema-Washington’s success is for the team. His play, he said, has a domino effect.
“As Josh goes so goes our team,” Mitchell said the week leading up to Muir’s game against Diamond Ranch.
Muema-Washington connected on 59- and 63-yard touchdown passes to Tairen Owens and a 36-yard scoring pass to Seymour against the Panthers.
The Mustangs wanted to make a statement with the long passes on their first two plays of the game.
Leave it to Muema-Washington to deliver the knockout punch.
Conscious and all.
Steve Garrison, the former Monrovia football coach who led the Wildcats to three consecutive championship games in the mid-1990s, is back on the Monrovia sideline.
Garrison, who coached Monrovia for 15 seasons before resigning following the 2007 season, joined Monrovia’s coaching staff at the start of the playoffs. He recently served as an assistant at Northview and agreed to join Maddox’s staff after the Vikings’ season ended. Maddox replaced Garrison in 2008 and guided the Wildcats to the semifinals in his first season, followed by two trips to the CIF-SS Mid-Valley Division finals. They won in 2010.
Garrison joins Monrovia’s staff after revered offensive line coach Phil Lujan accepted an assistant principal position at Glendale High. Maddox said Garrison does not have a definite role, but he is on staff and is getting acquainted with the team before officially taking over as offensive line coach next season. Maddox said he brought in Shawn Holden as offensive line coach on a temporary basis. Holden was part of Maddox’s staff his first two seasons.
“I talked to Steve towards the end of the season about possibly coming on,” Maddox said. “He’s glad to be back and he’ll be in charge of our offensive line next year.
“He’s out there learning and assisting. He’s getting himself acquainted and helping out where he can.”
Lujan’s departure comes as no surprise. He’d been pursuing an administrative position and Maddox knew this day would come.
“It’s not something that was sudden or unexpected,” Maddox said. “He’d been applying for a while and he got his opportunity. He loves it. We miss having him around, but we’re happy for him.”
Monrovia (9-3) will play top-seeded Covina (11-1) on Friday 7 at Covina District Field in the semifinals of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs.
Garrison brings a wealth of experience, and that he coached against Covina and San Dimas (the other semifinalist that plays San Gabriel) will only help the Wildcats.
La Salle’s Antoine Peterson has been fired as the Lancers’ head football coach after four seasons.
Peterson, who went 7-34 in his tenure, was fired a week after the Lancers’ season ended in a postgame brawl following a 29-12 loss to Cantwell Sacred Heart.
La Salle finished 1-9, with its lone win over Mary Star of the Sea, 49-20.
Peterson assembled a top coaching staff that included former NFL player Dwight Hicks and former USC running back Shawn Walters.
“These guys were there for me,” Peterson said of his staff. “Dwight Hicks, former San Francisco 49er, said he was only here for me, he wanted to give back. The team finished recording nine interceptions, and that’s the sad thing. We didn’t have a chance to finish with the senior class.”
La Salle Athletic Director Anthony Harris, who was offensive coordinator upon his arrival as athletic director and through the first two games before giving up the position, said the program needed a change.
“We are going in a different direction,” he said. “Coming in here I really wanted coach Peterson to be successful. I didn’t have an opportunity to overlook the program in the last four years in his time as head coach.
“I knew our program was struggling and I was hoping to get it turned around. It didn’t happen.”
Peterson felt the coaching staff and team, which lost three games by less than nine points or less, were jelling.
“There were some bright spots,” he said. “There were a lot of close games in the season. When Anthony Harris stepped down as offensive coordinator we didn’t catch our stride until maybe (Week 6). This team will return 25 seniors and whoever takes my place will have a hell of a team ready to go.”
The decision proved difficult for Harris, who has known Peterson since the sixth grade at Altadena Elementary School. They played football under legendary coach Jim Brownfield at Muir where Peterson later was part of Brownfield’s staff.
“It was extremely difficult because it’s somebody that I know and care for tremendously,” Harris said. “As an athletic director you have to make some tough decisions. The decision wasn’t all mine, but you’re accurate I did have some input in that.
“Antoine is such a tremendous human being. He’s really well-liked on campus, by his players and his colleagues.”
Harris said the vacancy has drawn more than 60 resumes and he’ll continue to accept applications through Dec. 9, at which point he’ll narrow down the list and name a new football coach by the first week of January “so we can get the kids on board with the offseason program with their new coach.”
Harris would like the new coach to teach at the school, although it’s not a requirement.
“That’s the way it’s been listed,” he said. “If we can find someone that doesn’t need teaching, fine. But ideally we’d love to have a head football coach that is on campus 100 percent of the time.”
Peterson said he hopes to remain a physical education teacher at La Salle.
“I hope to continue on here,” he said. “I’ve been here for over 10 years and developed a relationship, not only with the football players but with the student body as well. This has been home for me.”
Serious hoops fans might travel west to Pasadena High, where coach Tim Tucker has put together another impressive lineup, which includes La Verne Lutheran, Etiwanda, Price, Chino Hills, Ribet Academy and more. The first, and second round schedule is posted below: Coaches or team helpers should call in results to 626-962-8811, ext. 2233 and 2242 or email info to scores@sgvn, and leave a contact number in case we have questions. I’ll update this tournaments daily (with your help, of course). E-mail tournament brackets and updates to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rose City Classic
At Pasadena HS
Roosevelt (Corona) vs. Long Beach Jordan, 3:30 p.m.
Ribet Academy vs. Leuzinger, 5 p.m.
La Verne Lutheran vs. Sylmar, 6:30 p.m.
Arroyo Valley vs. Pasadena, 8 p.m.
Tuesday’s first round at Pasadena
Etiwanda vs. Cleveland, 3:30 p.m.
Canyon Springs vs. Chino Hills, 5 p.m.
Washington Prep vs. Cajon, 6:30 p.m.
Price vs. Birmingham, 8 p.m.
At Muir HS
Tue 11/29 @ Muir HS
3:30 LACES / Jordan (L.A-Watts)
5:00 Marshall (L.A-Los Feliz) / Marshall (Pas.)
6:30 Fremont / Reseda
8:00 Monrovia / Muir
Wed 11/30 @ Muir
3:30 Marshall (L.A-Los Feliz) / Fremont
5:00 Monrovia / LACES
6:30 Marshall (Pas.) / Reseda
8:00 Jordan (L.A-Watts) / Muir
No scoreboard tonight, click on Coveritlive for updates throughout the games.
Covina 49, Alhambra 7
Monrovia 67, Whittier Christian 21
San Gabriel 40, Arroyo 38
San Dimas 30, Azusa 23
West Covina 55, Pasadena 12
La Mirada 31, Arcadia 27
Muir 48, Diamond Ranch 0
La Serna 35, Los Altos 30
Arroyo Grande 49, St. Francis 28
Rio Hondo Prep 55, California City 0
PLAYOFF SCHEDULE WITH PREDICTIONS
Covina (10-1) vs. Alhambra (8-2) at Moor Field — Covina
Monrovia (8-3) vs. Whittier Christian (7-4) at Whittier College — Monrovia
San Gabriel (7-4) at Arroyo (10-1) — San Gabriel
West Covina (10-1) at Pasadena (6-5) — West Covina
La Mirada (7-4) at Arcadia (9-2) — Arcadia
Diamond Ranch (6-5) at Muir (7-4) — Diamond Ranch
Arroyo Grande (10-1) at St. Francis (9-2) — Arroyo Grande
California City (7-4) at Rio Hondo Prep (10-1) — Rio Hondo Prep