Hey Amat, is that your QB on the mound at Yankee Stadium? …

Yep, it sure is. How are the rest of you spending your dead period? Robledo’s in Cabo, Rio was in New York, Charter Oak defensive line stud Charlie Avila was in Virginia at the FBU Top Gun Camp along with 120 offensive and defensive linemen from all over the country and Tribune Coach of the Year Bill Zernickow is in Maui, where he even picked up my call to bug him about preview stuff.

Anyway, back to Rio Ruiz. He’s was in New York this week at Yankee Stadium with his “area code team.” I know, you’re wondering what an area code team is. I was too, and Rio explained it like this: About 15 MLB franchises have teams consisting of players between ages 14-18. The teams will get together in Long Beach from Aug. 10-15 and play a bunch of games. Sounds to me like a pretty exclusive internship.

Here’s the kicker, though, you have to be good enough to get invited to be on a team. And naturally, Rio was good enough for the Yanks to want him on their team. So, he went to N.Y. this week to workout with his team, which is made up of mostly New Yorkers.

“I didn’t have to go, but the Yankees are my team,” Ruiz said. “So it was my dream to come out here and play in this stadium.”

The players got a tour of the stadium and then hit the field for a workout. Rio pitched and played third.

“Oh man, we went through the locker room and I saw Jeter’s locker, A-Rod’s locker,” Ruiz said. “I saw all the underground tunnels. You can get lost in that stuff. Then we went out to the field through the dugout.”

When Avila, who plays d-line for Roger Lehigh’s stop unit, wasn’t cracking skulls on the field, he toured the Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown and old Williamsburg with his parents.

“The weather is very hot and humid, but the history of the area is worth visiting,” Avila said.

Part of Avila’s trip included an unofficial visit to William & Mary University after the school’s linebacker coach saw him compete and asked him to visit the campus and football facilities with his dad for a tour.

“William & Mary is over 375 years old and they have one of the best law schools in the country,” Avila said. “They are also the preseason No. 1 team in Division I-AA.”

Aram’s take: So there you have it. Fred’s in Cabo, Rio’s auditioning for his future team, Avila’s planning his life after football with a law degree, Zernickow’s in Maui (game planning, he told me (No BS, he really said that)), and I’m here in the lovely SGV. If anybody is doing something fun and want to share it, drop me a line at aram.tolegian@sgvn.com

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Preseason all-encompassing SGV(N) All-Area Team …

After several careful discussions, this is what I’ve come up with. I don’t pretend to have the area as clocked as I will in a few months, so I leaned on other staffers for key input.

These are the best of the best heading into the season. A couple of things really stood out to me — 1. the area is loaded with offensive and defensive line talent and 2. it’s also loaded at quarterback. I tried to include the college destinations of the choices on this list so you can have an idea just how GREAT the SGVN coverage area is. As always, you’re free to tell me where I went wrong.

QB – Chad Jeffries, Glendora, Sr. (QB MVP of Nike Camp at USC; headed to San Diego St.)
RB – Mikey Vasquez, Arroyo, Sr. (1,361 yards, maybe more if he didn’t sit so many 2nd halfs)
RB – Nate Harris, Chino Hills, Sr. (Speedster also one of the best DBs around)
WR – Dennis Rufus, Charter Oak, Sr. (CO’s top playmaker already has 3 offers)
WR – Aubery Coleman, Walnut, Sr. (Headed to Washington)
ALL – Nick Bueno, Monrovia, Sr. (Mike McDonough-esque 1,461 yards rushing in ’09!)
TE – Travis Talianko, St. Francis, Jr. (All-Star-News performer as a soph.)
OL – Allen Brown, San Dimas, Sr. (All-CIF as a jr., 6-3, 250 leads way for SD ground game)
OL – Christian Orduno, Bishop Amat, Sr. (Another in a long line of stud Amat linemen)
OL – Isaac Luatua, La Mirada, Sr. (Headed to Alabama)
OL – Patrick Carroll, St. Francis, Sr. (Rivals calls him a college-ready body)
OL – Sioasi Aiono, South Hills, Sr. (Headed to Utah)
K – Sean Wale, La Habra, Jr. (6th-ranked kicker in country, according to Chris Sailer)

DL – Jeff Worthy, Whittier Christian, Sr. (Headed to Boise St.)
DL – Ellis McCarthy, Monrovia, Jr. (6-5, 245 was All-CIF in ’09 as a soph)
DL – Donell Wilson, Blair, Sr. (Has offers from Kansas and Tennessee)
DL – Austin Johnson, Chino Hills, Sr. (Cleaned 320 this summer, All-CIF last year as a jr.)
LB – Maurice Dupleasis, West Covina, Sr. (Maggiore calls him the best LB he’s had)
LB – Wardell Crutchfield III, Baldwin Park, Sr. (Headed to UTEP)
LB – Max Gama, La Mirada, Sr. (Headed to Washington St.; 81 tackles last year)
DB – Jacoby Carter, Diamond Ranch, Sr. (35 varsity starts already!)
DB – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Chino Hills. Sr. (Best specimen in the area?)
DB – Demetrius Jackson, Baldwin Park, Sr. (Verbal to UTEP after sitting out jr. season)
DB – Will Peppard, La Habra, Sr. (Hard to believe there’s a better safety around)

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Baldwin Park’s Demitrius Jackson commits to UTEP …

Baldwin Park defensive back and all-purpose player Demitrius Jackson committed to UTEP over the weekend, where he will join current Braves teammate Wardell Crutchfield III, aka WC3, next fall.

Jackson sat out last season after being ruled ineligible by CIF following his transfer from Duarte. He’ll play defensive back and a myriad of skill positions on offense for the Braves this season.

Aram’s take: Congrats to Demitrius! This should make it very easy for Crutch Jr. (former Duarte head coach and current BP defensive coordinator Wardell Crutchfield Jr.) to watch both play at the next level. This is particularly impressive for Jackson, who had to sit out last season after being ruled ineligible by CIF following his transfer from Duarte.

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Charter Oak wins North CountyTournament …

Charter Oak made its only passing tournament of the offseason count by beating Crescenta Valley to win the North County Tournament hosted by Rancho Buena Vista and El Camino high schools.

The Chargers picked up wins along the way against Orange Lutheran and Santa Margarita. Charter Oak also beat defending Division I state bowl champ Oceanside on Friday afternoon. The 32-team tournament consisted of teams from Arizona, Utah, Nevada as well as teams from various California sections.

Aram’s take:
Impressive considering that Charter Oak is replacing quite a bit from last year’s team. Not sure what this means once the pads come on, but I’m sure it helps the confidence of the youngsters. It’s also a good sign that CO won’t miss a beat skill-wise, so the pressure’s really on the rebuilt lines

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