Football: Muir’s Ken Howard hasn’t been forgotten.

After ringing the Victory Bell to celebrate Muir’s win over Pasadena in the Turkey Tussle, the second thing Muir WR Kevon Seymour did after the game ended was break out the pretty cool t-shirt (above) specially made in support for Ken Howard, the longtime football coach who was placed on administrative leave four weeks into the football season for an alleged altercation with a student.

This season the Mustangs have dedicated their season to fallen teammate Brandon Jackson, but it’s also safe to say that every win can’t be fully celebrated without thinking about Howard, a man who has spent the better part of a decade at Muir High giving back in more ways one can count.

He’s more than just a football coach, and he’s meant as much even to those who are not athletes. He’s the man hustling in the background getting his players recognized on this blog and in the pages of the Star-News. He was a constant presence at home basketball games making sure the event ran as smoothly as possible. I know he made my life a hell of a lot easier when I needed help accessing football players for interviews, photos, and even helping arrange for parking and a comfortable seat, table and outlet for my laptop whenever I covered at Muir home basketball game against Pasadena.

When plans were in the works for our first Turkey Tussle magazine last year, the first person I phoned to deliver the news was Howard, who undoubtedly was excited about helping promote not just his players, but also Pasadena and the rivalry itself that captivates an entire city come November. When working on the magazine, Howard helped arrange for every Muir projected starter to be on campus and ready to have their photos taken. The entire process lasted all but 30 minutes. The process was so efficient that we simultaniously held a photo shoot of QB Jeffrey Davis for a special feature/story in the magazine. Howard’s absence during this year’s work on the Tussle was noticably absent, to say the least. When we began working on the Tussle magazine we had hoped for the same efficiency we had last year, but to no avail. Ken Howard was not there to help make this an easy move, and that’s no coincidence. What lasted a mere 30 minutes last year lasted just under three hours this season. Howard would have never allowed that. It was his relentless sense of urgency that made potentially chaotic situation at the very least managable, if not steady.

The message is clear, and Seymour wanted it to be known how he and his teammates feel about their coach, and the shirt speaks for itself.

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Football: Bonita well aware of Arcadia’s prowess.

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer

Given how things looked at the mid-point of the season, the Bonita High School football team really can’t complain too much about getting powerful Arcadia in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs.

At 8-2, the Apaches are thought by many to be the second-best team in the division and the team most likely to give No. 1 seed West Covina its best game.

Unfortunately for Bonita, though, Arcadia enters the postseason as the No. 2 team out of the Pacific League and that opened the door for a matchup like Friday’s.

“I’m not the greatest bracketologist in the world, but looking at them on film, they’re an outstanding team,” Bonita coach Eric Podley said.

“They’ve got a lot of talent, good discipline and a great record. They’re a tough draw, without question.

“I kinda thought we’d get them or Mayfair. Either one of them would be tough teams.”

Considering Bonita was last year’s runner-up, Friday’s game with Arcadia is almost too good to take place in the first round. But the Bearcats started the season 2-4 and even making the playoffs was a real long shot until a big fourth-quarter rally against Los Altos on Oct. 21. That win sparked a four-game win streak for Bonita that has the Bearcats hitting their stride at just the right time.

“We still don’t feel like we’re playing to the full extent of our potential, but that’s a good thing that we still have room to go,” Podley said. “At some point, you need the potential and it better be pretty quick because these guys (Arcadia) are pretty good.”

Bonita junked the more wide-open offense it was using earlier in the season for a more run-based system. The Bearcats haven’t been complicated, but they have been brutally effective. Running backs Cameron Griffin (907 yards) and Reggie Turner (748) have proved to be quite the duo.

Bonita had better hope its ground game can eat clock and keep a talented Arcadia offense off the field. The Apaches are averaging 37.6 points per game. Arcadia quarterback Myles Carr cannot be counted on to make mistakes either, as evidenced by his 25-to-3 touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio.

“You guys have been talking about them all year, so it wasn’t a shock to see their skill talent,” Podley said. “I do read the papers, so I guess I’m not shocked by it. They’re definitely a good team and from what people have said, this is one of their best teams that they’ve had in a number of years.”

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Football: The picks are in. I’ve done my job, go do yours.

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE WITH PREDICTIONS
Thursday’s game
San Marino (RHL 2) at No. 3 San Dimas (VVL 2) — San Dimas

Friday’s games
Alhambra (Almont 2) at La Puente (Montview 2) — Alhambra
Pomona (VVL) at No. 4 Monrovia (RHL 1) — Monrovia
Maranatha (Olympic at-large) at San Gabriel (Almont 1) — Maranatha
Pasadena (5-5) at California (7-3) — Pasadena
Bonita (6-4) at Arcadia (8-2) — Arcadia
Muir (6-4) at #2 Santa Fe (6-4) — Santa Fe
St. Francis (Mission at large) at Paramount (San Gab. Valley 1) — St. Francis
Hamilton (Arrowhead 2) at Rio Hondo Prep (Prep 1) — Rio Hondo Prep
Bosco Tech (Del Rey 4) at Nordhoff (Tri-Valley 1) — Nordhoff

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South Pasadena is not one of four at-large teams; Maranatha at San Gabriel is an intriguing matchup; Alhambra-La Puente, too; Muir earns Southeast Division at-large; Arcadia goes from No. 2 to not being seeded.


Hear sportswriter and coaches reactions to the CIF-Southern Section playoff pairing on PrepXtra Live!!! Playoff Pairings Show at 11 a.m.

When: Sunday, 11 a.m.
Where: Any of the SGVN prep sports blogs
Who: Coaches and sportswriters react to the playoff pairings.

MID-VALLEY DIVISION
Top Half
South El Monte (MVL at-large) at No. 1 Covina (VVL 1)
Alhambra (Almont 2) at La Puente (Montview 2)
El Monte (MVL 2) at Whittier Christian (Olympic 1)
Pomona (VVL) at No. 4 Monrovia (RHL 1)
Bottom Half
San Marino (RHL 2) at No. 3 San Dimas (VVL 2)
Cerritos Valley Christian (Olympic 2) at Azusa (Montview 1)
Maranatha (Olympic at-large) at San Gabriel (Almont 1)
Sierra Vista (Mont at-large) at No. 2 Arroyo (MVL 1)

SOUTHEAST DIVISION
Top Half
Norwalk (3-7) at #1 West Covina (9-1)
Pasadena (5-5) at California (7-3)
Bonita (6-4) at Arcadia (8-2)
Crescenta Valley (6-4) at #4 La Mirada (6-4)
Bottom Half
Los Altos (7-3) at #3 Burbank Burroughs (6-4)
La Serna (7-3) at Mayfair (7-3)
Bellflower (7-3) at Diamond Ranch (5-5)
Muir (6-4) at #2 Santa Fe (6-4)

WESTERN DIVISION
Top Half
Culver City (Ocean at large) at Serra (Mission 1)
Downey (San Gab. Valley 2) at Righetti (Pac 7 2)
Channel Islands (Pacific View 2) at Santa Monica (Ocean 1)
Dominguez (San Gab. Valley at large) at Ventura (Channel 1)
Bottom Half
Chaminade (Mission 2) at Inglewood (Ocean 2)
San Luis Obispo (Pac 7 at large) at Adolfo Camarillo (Pacific View 1)
St. Francis (Mission at large) at Paramount (San Gab. Valley 1)
Dos Pueblos (Channel 2) at Arroyo Grande Pac 7 1)

NORTHEAST DIVISION
Top Half
Viewpoint (Prep at large) at Bishop (High Desert 1)
Desert Christian/L (Desert Mtn at large) at Calif. Military Inst. (Arrowhead 1)
Chadwick (Prep 2) at Mojave (Desert Mtn 2)
Santa Clarita Christian (San Joaquin 2) at Salesian (Santa Fe 1)
Bottom Half
St. Genevieve (Santa Fe at large) at Boron (Desert Mt. 1)
Kern Valley (High Desert At large) at Saddleback Valley Chr. (San Joaquin 1)
St. Monica Catholic (Santa Fe 2) at California City (High Desert at large)
Hamilton (Arrowhead 2) at Rio Hondo Prep (Prep 1)

NORTHWEST DIVISION
Top Half
Verbum Dei (Del Rey at large) at Lompoc (Los Padres 1)
Centennial/Compton (Pioneer 3) at Bishop Montgomery (Del Rey 2)
Santa Ynez (Los Padres 4) at Torrance (Pioneer 1)
Bosco Tech (Del Rey 4) at Nordhoff (Tri-Valley 1)
Bottom Half
Oak Park (Tri Valley 3) at Cabrillo/Lompoc (Los Padres 2)
Cantwell Sacred Heart (Del Rey 3) at El Segundo (Pioneer 2)
Templeton (Los Padres 3) at Carpinteria (Tri-Valley 2)
South Torrance (Pioneer at large) at St. Bernard (Del Rey 1)

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Friday Night Aftermath: Arcadia beats CV, 31-7, will go as second-place team in playoffs; PHS finishes third; Muir can hope for at-large berth; La Salle, Cantwell invovled in a brawl after Lancers’ 29-12 loss, details to come.

LA SALLE-CANTWELL BRAWL UPDTAE NO. 2 (1:44 a.m.) We have learned through a source the La Salle football player who was punched was Stjepan Vinski. He is usually No. 56 but switched to 25 for this game.

LA SALLE-CANTWELL BRAWL UPDATE NO. 1 (11:28 p.m.) — Montebello police Sgt. Julio Calleros confirmed there was one arrest for battery on a man affiliated with Cantwell-Sacred Heart. He was led off the field in handcuffs and Calleros confirmed the arrest. From our reporter there who witnessed the whole thing, the brawl erupted after the teams exchanged handshakes. Players then began spatting back and forth, prompting coaching staffs from both teams to meet at the center of the field. Chaos erupted shortly after as people began wrestling, people were knocked to the ground. A La Salle player wearing jersey No. 25 (not listed in any roster on MaxPreps or on La Salle’s athletic website) was knocked down from behind by a person in the melee (this incident occurred five feet from our reporter). Our reporter cannot confirm whether the man arrested for battery is the same man he witnessed making the assault. There were multiple waves of chaos, our reporter said. Police responded with multiple units and an air unit as well. The La Salle player (No. 25) was talked to the most by police, which took statements from a myriad of people, including our reporter Nathan Cambridge. Photos were taken of of the La Salle player’s side of his head. We want to make this clear: the man affiliated with Cantwell was NOT coach, but rather a person from the sidelines or from the stands, according to Cambridge. Our reporter added that the No. 25 kid from La Salle confirmed to him that he was OK. When asked, “Are you OK” the player said, “Yes.” He followed up with, “You’re fine?” and the player responded, “Yes.” We will get more details when they become available.

Friday’s results

Arcadia 31, Crescenta Valley 7 — The Apaches finish as Pacific League co-champions with Burroughs, but the Indians go to the Southeast Division as the No. 1 representative out of the Pacific League, with the Apaches at second, PHS at third and CV at fourth. PHS is third because the Bulldogs won the coin flip between CV and Muir. CV is fourth because the next tiebreaker is head-to-head competition, leaving Muir out in fifth place. The Mustangs, however, could still make the playoffs as the at-large team, and in that scenario would likely face West Covina, the No. 1 team in the Southeast Division. Here’s another wrinkle: Arcadia for the last few weeks has been the No. 2 seed in the Southeast Division. CIF rules, however, state that a second-place team cannot be seeded higher than its league champion. Meaning Arcadia could drop from No. 2 to make room for Burroughs. Pacific League coordinator and CV coach Paul Schilling said there’s a possibility Burroughs could get a No. 4 seed as a league champion (four league champions in the division) with Arcadia at No. 5, perhaps even lower. Crazy, right?

St. Francis 54, Cathedral 8 — St. Francis scored 35 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Christian Hess returned the second-half kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Cathedral turned the ball over on four consecutive drives and the Golden Knights scored on all four takeaways. Two fumbles were recovered and returned by Matt Casciani and the other was returned by Raul Castillo. Cathedral had just one pass attempt (incomplete) the whole game.

Cantwell-Sacred Heart 29, La Salle 12 — According to our reporter there, the teams were involved in a brawl after the game. I just got a Twitter update that read, “Players and coaches in full scale brawl!” Our reporter just updated me that there’s a strong police presence at Cantwell. Read the Star-News on Saturday for details. According to sources, a police helicopter hovered over the scene as well.

Rio Hondo Prep 49, Webb 7 – Ken Drain records his 100th career win with the Kares as Rio Hondo Prep wins its fifth consecutive Prep League championship. The Kares in that span have lost only one game, to Chadwick in 2008. Quarterback Colby Rivera was 5 of 10 for 101 yards and two touchdowns that included a 57-yard strike to Ty Loomis for a touchdown. The Kares headed into the half with a 35-0 lead and closed the game with two touchdowns.

Chadwick 46, Flintridge Prep 14 — Tough season for the Rebels.

Viewpoint 35, Pasadena Poly 14 — The Panthers are eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.

Bosco Tech 37, Mary Star 12 — The Tigers head to the playoffs as the fourth place team in the Del Rey League, according to Bosco Tech coach Chris Shockley.

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Thursday Night Aftermath: Muir extends Turkey Tussle win streak to 13 with 14-6 win over rival Pasadena; Villalobos leads San Gabriel to Almont League title with 21-10 win over Schurr; Alhambra clinches second; Temple City wins final game, 56-0.


CLICK HERE FOR FINAL SCORES

Thursday’s Results
Muir 14, Pasadena 6 — Josh Washington led the second-half charge, capping a clock-chewing 18-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He then connected with Kevon Seymour on a 44-yard touchdown pass to beat Pasadena and win its 13th straight win in the Turkey Tussle. Riian Simpson returned a punt 57 yards in the first quarter to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. But Pasadena could not convert three red zone possessions and had three turnovers in the second half to seal the game.

Monrovia 34, South Pasadena 22 — Marquise Bias had a big night with 118 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. Luke Williams had three catches for 103 yards and a touchdown and an interception that set up a Wildcats score. Blake Heyworth went 8 of 18 for 225 yards and a touchdown. South Pasadena had five turnovers, the ball game.

Alhambra 27, Bell Gardens 24 — Moors had a 13-point halftime lead before Bell Gardens scored the next 17. By the end of the third quarter, though, Alhambra had the lead when Josh Mendoza connected on a 38-yard touchdown pass to Ezra Broadus. Moors finish second in Almont League behind San Gabriel.

San Gabriel 21, Schurr 10 — Quarterback Andy Guerrero led a balanced attack, rushing 22 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. He completed 12 of 20 for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Villalobos had five catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns. The San Gabriel defense created five turnovers, and that was key.

San Marino 37, La Canada 13 — Kwame Do had a monster night for the Titans, rushing for 224 yards on 32 carries and four touchdowns. The Titans defense recorded five sacks and recorded a safety. San Marino finishes in second in the Rio Hondo League with a 4-1 record.

Temple City 56, Blair 0 — Rams had a strong running attack, led by Jamie Dea, who had a 116 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. Roger Tsung had 123 yards and one touchdown on nine carries. Temple City coach Mike McFarland said it was a great way to finish off a rough season, and that next season expect the Rams to be competitive again.

OTHER SCORES
Montebello 39, Keppel 0
Gabrielino 7, Mountain View 6
South El Monte 33, Rosemead 31
Sierra Vista 27, Duarte 21

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Signing Day: Athletes make college commitments official

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

PASADENA – Fifteen area athletes made their college choices official during the early signing day period on Wednesday.

There were those who have high aspirations of a possible professional career and national championships, while others wanted a perfect blend of academics and athletics.

Baseball and softball produced the most area athletes headed to top Division I programs.

La Salle’s Bowdien Derby, who committed at the end of the summer, is headed to San Diego State. St. Francis standout David Olmedo-Barrera signed with CalState Fullerton, Temple City’s Corey Copping signed with UCSanta Barbara and Alhambra’s Gary Acuna is headed to San Jose State.

Derby, a two-time Star-News All-Area selection, was nothing short of spectacular his junior season. He clocked at 91 mph in his final game of last season, going 10-1 in 15 appearances with seven complete games, five shutouts, 101 strikeouts and a 0.94 ERA.

Derby said he’s being recruited as a pitcher as well as a shortstop. He batted .435 with three home runs, 19 RBIs and 12 doubles.

Derby has taken several unofficial trips to San Diego State but will make his official visit next week. He also considered UC Santa Barbara, Loyola Marymount, Arizona and Oregon.

Olmedo-Barrera is a two-time All-Area selection. The talented shortstop said he was leaning hard toward UCLA, but then Bruins assistant coach Rick Vanderhook accepted the head coaching position at Cal State Fullerton.

CLICK ON THREAD TO CONTINUE READING
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Signing Day: Send your photos here and I’ll post them; Star-News group photo takes place TODAY AT 2:30 P.M.


Above: St. Francis baseball star David Olmedo-Barrera with his family during Signing Day.

Baseball
Bowdien Derby, La Salle, San Diego State
Gary Acuna, Alhambra, San Jose State
Corey Copping, Temple City, UCSB
David Olmedo-Barrera, St. Francis, Cal State Fullerton

Basketball
Michelle Miller, Pasadena Poly, Princeton

Volleyball
Micheal Saeta, Pasadena Poly, UC Irvine
Diamond Ridley Pierce, La Salle, Northern Colorado

Water polo
Alegra Huesa, Pasadena, USC

Swimming
Bella Schamber, Maranatha, University of Illinois
Caroline Lepesant, Pasadena, Savanna College

Tennis
Sarah Gealer, San Marino, Maryland

Softball
Alexis Watanabe, San Marino, Lehigh University
Colleen McWilliams, La Salle, Marist College
Lauren Cox, La Canada, University of San Diego
Catherin Horner, La Canada, Tulsa

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