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.