Rosemead football coach Matt Koffler, upset by his team’s lack of physical play last season, is ditching the Panthers’ usual maroon helmets for a pure-white color that’s intended to remind his players of the old-school brand of smash-mouth football the school is synonymous for.
“We want to express to the kids that we’re not happy about what happened last year,” Koffler said. “Giving up over 200 yards on the ground to San Marino and not being able to run on them left a bad taste in our mouths. This was a change we’ve been wanting to make and the kids are excited about it.
“They understand that this year they’re going to play that Rosemead, hard-nosed football. Last year, it just wasn’t there. It wasn’t our style. This year, we’re going with that old school, I don’t care if I have a face mask style. I don’t care if I have shoulder pads or how they look.”
Koffler speculated the school hasn’t worn all-white helmets since the 1960s.
Aram’s take: You absolutely gotta love it.
Bassett High School has named Craig Cieslik to be its next football coach, replacing Leon Ward.
Cieslik’s last job was at La Sierra where he was the head coach for the 2007 and ’08 seasons before resigning just prior to the ’09 season due to personal issues. He is the youngest coach to ever reach a CIF title game, something he did at A.V. Christian in 1991 at the age of 18. His offense is “No huddle double wing fly” … which means Wing T with absolutely no breaks between plays. His teams have set state and national records for plays run per game (71) and points in a quarter (58), according to Cieslik.
Here’s the bad news, though. Cieslik reports he’s practicing with about 20 players in the week since he’s taken over. Not good! Cieslik says most of the players are sophomores because the returning upperclassmen don’t feel like they have to show up. Again, no bueno.
“It’s going to be tough,” Cieslik said of his task at Bassett. “I come from a completely different background of you’re going to show up and you’re going to run. So I don’t know if that’s scary to the kids, or they’re just not used to showing up.”
Whittier Christian defensive coordinator Pete Karavedas has withdrawn from the running to be the next coach at Temple City.
Karavedas was a finalist along with Pasadena coach Mike McFarland, a source said last week, but has withdrawn his name.
Aram’s take: Seriously, how hard is it to hire a football coach? When are schools going to understand that the football is the most important position on campus? And the football program means EVERYTHING to the school. You have a good football program and I guarantee you’ve got a good everything else. It’s kind of like what obesity is to health problems, but in a good way. Trust me. So an administration and/or school board HAS TO make this hire the most important thing around. No teaching position? OK, cut one of the 10 asst. principals every school has but doesn’t need. What? Do I need to run for school board and show people how it’s done? This has nothing to do with AD John Van De Veere (he’s actually a football guy with his hands tied) and everything to do with the administration/school board. Word is that Karavedas got tired of waiting on a school that’s dragging its feet. So does this make McFarland the man? Either guy seems like a great choice, so hopefully the school doesn’t lose out on McFarland, too.
South Hills lineman Sioasi Aiono and Glendora QB Chad Jeffries earned MVP at their respective position over the weekend at the NFTC at USC.
Here’s an excerpt of what ESPN had to say about Aiono:The talent at the guard position was especially strong, led by Sioasi Aiono (West Covina, Calif. South Hills), who took home the MVP for the group. Though he sports only two offers at this time, he continues to impress whenever we see him. He took reps inside and out, but projects to guard. He has a quick set and good punch. Aiono plays with good knee bend and moves his feet well to be able to mirror rushers.
… and something from Rivals about Jeffries:Boise State is the main school showing interest in Glendora, Calif., prospect Chad Jeffries and after Sunday’s performance it’s easy to see why. Jeffries looked good in his drops, scanned the field well, showed off a strong, consistent arm and usually seemed to hit the receivers right in the numbers. Jeffries won the MVP award and Los Angeles Loyola’s Jerry Neuheisel was right there with him.
“He’s just the most solid overall,” quarterbacks coach Matt James said of Jeffries. “He and Jerry Neuheisel were the best two kids mechanically-speaking and depths in their drops, understanding of the game, their reads and throwing the ball, timing of throwing the ball. Jeffries and Jerry both had really good days.”
Whittier Christian’s Jeff Worthy also competed and had a strong showing.
Aram’s take: I guess we’re starting to see who the top recruits in the area are. If Aiono and the rest of South Hills’ lines are as good as advertised, then the Huskies should be able to handle the boost in league and division.
Congrats go out to Diamond Ranch’s Charles Brown, who was selected by the Saints in the second round and West Covina’s Walter Thurmond III, who was taken with the 111th overall pick by the Seahawks.
Brown, an offensive tackle out of USC, will play for the Super Bowl champs. Thurmond, a cornerback out of Oregon, was injured for most of his senior season.
Aram’s takes: Brown played TIGHT END at Diamond Ranch. I think he was pre-Roddy, during the Tommy Leach era. Nonetheless, the entire SGV is proud. As we are of Thurmond, who led WestCo to the CIF-SS Division VII championship in 2004. I can still feel Thurmond’s jarring hit on Blair’s Sean Smith on the VERY FIRST PLAY of the ’05 Hall of Fame All-Star Game. And now they’re both in the NFL!!!!!