Two months out: Here’s the top-five games of Week 0, and sorry, the Smudge isn’t No. 1 …

We’re talking about Sept. 3, by the way. So save the date, it’s only two months away!!!!

1. Glendora vs. Charter Oak, at Citrus College, until I hear otherwise
— This is supposed to be at Citrus, which is where it should be. But there’s talk of it being moved to Charter Oak. No matter where it’s played, this matchup is filthy. Best QB in the Valley takes on Valley’s top program. Did I say that? Yes, I did. Valley’s top program (sorry Amat, not yet). So can Chad Jeffries and the Glendora receivers get their’s against what should be another strong CO defense? Will CO’s offense show it’s the best around? Again, I want to remind that CO can four-wide with no receiver under 6-feet tall. But more than that, I want to see just how CO’s running game is now that Adam Muema isn’t toting the rock. Two of the SGV’s top-five teams! It’s Big Lou vs. Pasqy! This game will be sick!
Early prediction: Charter Oak 21, Glendora 20

2. Rowland at Baldwin Park
— It takes a big game to keep the Smudge Pot from being even the No. 2 attraction, but that’s what you’ve got here. It’s Michael Ball’s first chance to show last year’s injury is behind him. And it comes against a BP defense that has guys like WC3 and Demetrius Jackson. This is also the game where Jackson can show what all the hype is about. BP was 9-3 last season. Rowland was 8-3. Both teams could be even better this season. But they have questions — for BP it’s at QB and for Rowland it’s the running game. What better way to show everything’s fine than with a win over one of the top team’s in the Valley. That’s what the victor will get.
Early prediction: Rowland 20, Baldwin Park 14

3. San Dimas at Bonita — I’m sure some of you are going to let me have it. Yes, I realize the magnitude of this rivalry. I’ve been to a couple of them. But while San Dimas has certainly held up its end of the bargain, Bonita has not. The last two years the combined score has been 71-56 in favor San Dimas. The Saints are 23-3 the past two seasons, with a CIF title. Bonita is 10-12. You see my point? This rivalry would still be nasty if both teams are 2-8 every season, but in order to be considered a better game than BP-Rowland or CO-Glendora, it’s gotta be good for both sides involved. Obviously, this game is huge for Bonita. The Bearcats are hungry to show they’re back and there’d be no better way to do it than to upset San Dimas. In terms of atmosphere, I will admit the top-two games can’t touch this one.
Early prediction: San Dimas 30, Bonita 21

4. San Gabriel at Muir — Jude Oliva makes his head-coaching debut for the Matadors with a road game in Mustang Country. In terms of the west side of the Valley, this game is very big as it pits two of that side’s best programs. Both teams have several reasons to be optimistic about the season, but both teams also have questions. For San Gabriel, this is a great chance to show its passing game won’t miss a beat without Isaac Valdez. For Muir, it’s a chance to show there’s life after Jarron Williams. The Mustangs think they have the type of line play good enough to win a CIF title. Pushing around San Gabriel would be the first chance to prove it.
Early prediction: Muir 35, San Gabriel 20

5. Covina at West Covina
— The Colts will be decided underdogs against an absolutely loaded Bulldogs squad. If they can hang, then it could be a sign the Valle Vista League has yet another dangerous team. If West Covina rolls, then watch out! Covina got its feet wet last year and has several talented returners back. They remain young. This game will be the varsity of Gevontray Ainsworth, and he’ll be tested right away. Talk about a nice neighborhood game. Let’s hope these two teams make this an annual battle.
Early prediction: West Covina 30, Covina 20

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  • FC

    Aram how can you miss Damien vs Diamond Ranch. Talk about a water shed game!

    Gano has a very young and inexperienced team while Layton has life with out Viramontes. Both programs need to win early to set sail and avoid the unknown. Seriously this game is crucial to both schools in terms of where their programs need to be.

    I think Layton has never lost to Gano if I’m correct and I’m sure Gano remembers all too well losing to DR on the last play of the game ( an 80 yd bomb ) and losing Mc Bride in the process (knee). Tough to think what Los Altos would be today if Mc Bride doesn’t get hurt that game. Talk about bad luck.

    Both HC’s are hugely popular at their schools and both bring great coaching staffs to this match up so you know its going to be fireworks. This will be an alley fist fight where both teams will have to pay a price to win. Talk about a gut check game!

    Aram what do you think of Gano at Damien and the way the program looks today. I know you’re a big Morrison fan but strictly from a football perspective, doesn’t Gano have it going on especially after adding the long time Amat freshmen staff.

    I await your brilliance young Prince !

  • FC,

    Damien-Diamond Ranch is Week 1. This was ranking the best Week 0 games. Believe me, I would not have missed that.

    I do like both Gano and Morrison a lot. I think it’s too early to say how the whole Gano-Damien thing is going. Yes, they won league last year, but that’s not why he’s there. It’s going to take Gano a little time to turn that program into a power. I’m very concerned about the Spartans this season.

  • Aaron

    How dare you!

    Glenn Davis will have a standing room only crowd…possibly about 10,000 souls out there. The Smudgepot is coming back to La Verne and resting in the front office trophy case.

    None of those games have nearly as much history behind it. This game began in the fall of 1972. Where would Bonita be today if San Dimas had never been built? Hint: lots more bling. Alas San Dimas was built to the increase in population and things diverged from there.

    Rivalries are played every year regardless of losing ten in a row or whatever…so it’s obvious and I know you know your history Aram that this is the number one game of the year let alone the week!

    Bonita will be healthy, returns a lot of talent. I can go a whole page, what I do know is that we’ll be ready and it will be coming home.

  • DRanchhhh

    Bonita will absolutely Steam Roll San Dimas. I just SD in a passing tourney hosted by them, and they look like a JV team, Line and all. They must have had a huge drop off in talent. I’m just sayin’

  • FC

    Aram can you imagine the quotes you’ll get before and after that game from Gano and Layton that week! Trust me I’ve spoken to Gano about the game and told him I expect it to be a special night. I won’t go to any practices that week to make sure I’m surprised by what happens, kind of like a USC-UCLA game. You just show up and go what just happened!

    Aram if you’ve been to Damien practices you know Gano is on to something, especially with the kids. Great atmosphere, the parents love him, and with the new “Amat” guys the program is 100% ready to grow. Never seen so many “current” parents so empowered into solid support of the idea that competition is best for all.

    Things happen for a reason. I think it all worked out…. just like I said it would.

  • Steam Roller

    I agree with DRanchhhh, I know it’s only a passing game but what was presented on the field by San Dimas at there passing games was aweful. I too made the comment ” IS THAT THE JV TEAM? “.
    I dont see any problem Bonita steam rolling San Dimas which is why the zero game of the week is Glendora/CO.

  • Not again

    There goes the attention starved FC crying out, “Just like I said it would”. What an unbelieveable braggart you are, don’t you ever shut up? I laugh at every self righteous post your throw out here. And I ain’t the only one. Good for blog hits I guess, thats what Aram and Fred want in the long run. Is there anybody in the SGV you haven’t scouted out yet? Will you please give us a more thorough breakdown and analysis than the Trib? Your shock jock material, you missed your calling.

  • Pop goes the weasel

    Must agree with Not Again. Corona has become the guy everybody loves to hate. He always resurfaces, dropping his 2 cents for the good of us all. He’s a contrarion. An antagonist. Gotta love him. And he’s just warming up. Greatttttttttttttttttt!

  • Smudgepot

    There’s no way people (Aaron, DRanch, Steamroller) should be making predictions saying that Bonita should steam roll San Dimas. Remember SD has won the smudgepot three years in a row and is coming off a CIF championship. They have a ton of returners including Kennedy, Kolbeck, Taylor, Corona, and the entire offensive line. Bonita has a lot of returners and should be improved but they are from a team that struggled mightily last season. I predict San Dimas wins in another close one.

  • tsk tsk tsk!

    Valley’s top program = Charter Oak?

    BA has beat Orange Lutheran, St. Bonaventure, Crespi, SO Notre Dame, and Mater Dei within the past 3 seasons and they are not considered the top program in SGV? Common…they were also one play away from beating Pac-5 champ Long Beach Poly in 2008.

    Spare us, Aram. Charter Oak’s most difficult opponent within the same time period has been Rancho Cucamonga who beat them last season. Coach Lou Farrar has no experience playing the top parochials out of the Pac-5. He actually has no experience playing the top public schools (like Edison, LB Poly, Los Alamitos) out of the Pac-5 either.

    Chalk and cheese, my friend…chalk and cheese.

  • I love what Amat’s doing and they are no doubt on the rise. And I think if they played this season, Amat rates the edge. But if Amat is judging success by regular-season wins, then we’ve got a problem.

    Charter Oak has two CIF titles, sent out five kids on D-1 scholarships this past season and has been to the finals three of the past four years.

    Amat has picked up some nice wins over a great programs, but get back to me when they get past the second round and start consistently some of the best recruits on the West Coast.

    In terms of programs, Charter Oak is tops in the Valley right now.

  • Fore Cast

    Not for nothing but what was CO overall record vs Damien during Morrison’s years. In fact it wasn’t very good.

    04..27-7 W
    05..0-26 L
    06..9-25 L
    07..14-14 T
    08..42-21 W

    Gano should have beaten him last year with a team that was dysfunctional at the time, but got right at the end. ’nuff said there. Still the final was 23-20 CO.

    Explain how CO competes in the Serra League between 04-08 when they are .500 against Damien.

    I’m not disrespecting anyone just asking a question based on the DHS-CO games I saw. In 05 and 06 the combined scores were Damien 39- CO 9. During the last three years the scores were CO 76 Damien 54. Hardly dominating.

  • In ’08, both Amat and CO played Diamond Ranch.

    Amat won 17-6
    Charter Oak won 30-14.

    See the problem with comparative scoring?


    About this blog
    Aram Tolegian covers prep football for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-news, and Whittier Daily news.
    So when are you going to get out of the fish bowl, and start covering the two other areas. Yea I heard you say you know the HC better in the fish bowl. Well maybe if you made a few more trips down here,you would get to know some HC’s down here. Do some better homework about the teams down here.
    1. La Habra at Orange Lutheran – Both of these teams can beat your #1 team in the valley.
    2. Bishop Amat at Garfield – I know or think you have seen BA. I have seen Garfield, they have a huge OL and a defense thats quick up front. Like BA they are well coached.
    3. Glendora vs Charter Oak
    4. St.Paul at La Mirada – just better teams than the ones you picked, good game last year.
    5. San Dimas at Bonita

  • saladays

    The last two times Bishop and CO played the combined scores were 62-7.

    Bishop is much better know than they were then. Credit where credit is due they have beaten some of the best teams in the state.

  • The Stang Fan

    Of all the SGV teams, CO has had the most success the last few seasons, in terms of wins and rings. But during those same seasons, if you had to choose one team to rep the SGV in a playoff format pitting the best teams from their respective areas (OC, the Valley, the City, IE, etc.) we all would be picking Amat as our representative. Right Aram?

    Btw, week 0 prognostications in July?!?! I see you’re in mid-season form already. Awesome. Although, I seriously doubt that Muir or WC will give up 20 to their respective opponents that week, or that the scores will even be that close.

    Can’t. Start. Soon. Enough.

  • just sayin’

    Aram – if you’re comparing winning championships at a lower level to competing in the highest level and using that as a measuring stick you’re way off base.Not sure of you saw the game-but Amat could’ve beat DR by 60+ last year-and they were the division finalist? The year Amat won 17-6 they took a knee FOUR times inside the 10 starting with 1:40+ to go. Would it have made a difference if it was 24-6? The very next week they faced Charter Oak in league and it was 23-7. You’re turn.

  • just askin’

    and another thing. On the West Side Rio Hondo Prep has more championships than St Francis. Does that make THEM the “top program” on the West Side?

  • Looking in on the Fishbowl

    Go to go with “Come on Murray”. When are you going to get out of the Fishbowl?

    Aram, thought you were covering football for the whole circulation area?

    La Habra and La Mirada are easily the best teams in the area and not a peep about them.

  • Esperanza = Coach Lou’s 1st Worthy Pac-5 Opponent He’s Ever Faced (and they are not Pac-5 anymore!)

    When BA beat St. Bonaventure, the Seraphs were ranked #4 in the country (THE ENTIRE USA) by Calpreps. I’ll take this victory over a CIF Championship win over Diamond Ranch any day!

    Charter Oak (with all 5 of their D-1 recruits) also struggled bigtime againts Gardena, Diamond Ranch, Damien, and Muir. They beat all 4 of these schools by a combined 17 points.

    17 points (thats 2 TDs and 1 FG in 4 games) is all that separates Charter Oak from Gardena, DR, Damien, and Muir. This is the best program in the SGV?

    No way.

  • Forever Che


    La Habra vs Orange Lutheran seems to be a great game don’t you think?

    I mean Baldwin Park vs Rowland? Aram come on now you yourself mentioned the huge gaps both team have at RB and QB. Can you say the same about LH and OL.

    This is why it’s hard to take this stuff seriously and maybe why the Fish Bowl has become part of our lexicon….too much emphasis on local match ups.

    BTW did you see Damien preseason schedule? Absolutely sick!

    Diamond Ranch, Chaffey, Bishop Amat, El Dorado, J Serra

    League Games

    South Hills, Charter Oak, Ayala, Chino Hills, Claremont

    The Spartans are going to have their hands full but that’s what Catholic scholls are suppose to do…compete against the best !!

    Props to whoever put the schedule together.

    Aram you need to get out more.

  • Aaron

    The game that means something on that list is the Smudgepot. If you people crying about the fishbowl can’t see that then you don’t understand where you live and you don’t understand history.

  • Free Cheese

    Aaron I completely agree with you but take it from some one who has played in front of a SRO crowd…until you guys sell out Citrus College for the game its just a Hatfields vs Mc Coy Hillbilly get together,

    BTW I’m just kidding….lol

    Aaron why don’t they play that game at Citrus. Every year my kids go, because they have friends at both schools, and they say the crowds are over flowing to the point of being ridiculous.

    Seems like Cirtrus would be a better venue. Kind of like small Roosevelt vs Garfield game at ELAC.

    I know the West side has a similar game but I hear it’s fallen off some recently.

    Aaron who’s running the ball for Bonita this year?


    Aram is supposed to cover all the papers area’s in football. Ive always liked the thinks you write about, but this last one was bad. If you didn’t live in the fish bowl you would understand what we are saying.
    Don’t understand history? Are you talking about SD & Bonita history, cause BA, St Paul, LH, and LM have more footbal CIF championships by themselfs then SD & Bonita combine.
    The story is here’s the top-five games of week 0. Not top-five games of week 0 in the fish bowl. Anyway I put your game at #5

  • LP Riots

    Don’t you wish every high school game was this spectacular?

  • Just Curious


    Aaron is your team worth watching. 3-8 last year. can they compete with a cif champion? If so why. please inlighten me.

  • just curious


    Hey Aear aaron, why would we want to watch your team. 3-8 last year. How can they compete with a cif champion? What makes this year any different?

  • Goldenarm

    I have been waiting for years to see Muir with a truly punishing and effective O line.
    I don’t see how this year will be the year it happens, unless some coaching changes have taken place.
    Remember, the Stangs rarely have depth on the line, because of the sheer low body count in the program does not allow for depth.
    This is why those lineman they do have MUST be coached toward precision and pride by a solid line coach….who is aided by play calling which emhasizes his blocking strategies.
    If this ever does come to pass – Muir would be rocking the entire SGV.

  • Aaron

    Who is running the ball for us this year? Giamani Johnson, should be good, I like his speed. If he can get 700 yds on the ground it will help Garrett Pendleton who is very much improved. If you don’t believe me go take a look. Cameron Griffin should be backing up Johnson so look for him to contribute.

    Offensive line is probably the largest it’s been since they won the title in 1999. What I think they can do and being objective. Let’s just say Podley will finally win his first playoff game at Bonita. (Sadly the Old Ball Coach hasn’t won one since leaving Northview.)

    And what do I know about history…Glenn Davis only went to Bonita…

    As far as getting out of the fishbowl to see games, I have over the years. Last year when I was home I went down to Bishop Amat, took my father and godfather along and went and saw Jerry McClanahan orchestrate a win over the fourth ranked team in the state in St Bonaventure.

    As far as the venue is concerned…there’s nothing like this rivalry played at home…it’s just sreaming. But I understand moving it to SAC or Citrus, there would be more than plenty to fill the venue and it would make a great stage.

    And for the record, I like good football whether it’s in the fishbowl or in Nome, Alaska!

  • GameDayatUSC

    I believe were getting off track here!

    This is Aram’s take on the TOP 5 for week 0, thats it! This blog is for the Tribune. I keep noticing chatter about getting out of the fish Bowl for other games that may or could be better. THIS blog, and paper covers OUR local teams, and that is what he is talking about. LA Habra, is considered OC, and when was the last time the Whittier Daily news sports section had a story on Amat, or CO, or DR on page one? Probably NEVER, or at the very least in a few years as that paper, covers Santa Fe, Cal, and Pioneer and WC, among others. Same for the Star news. We are going to read about San Marino, and Arcadia before we read about South Hills and Damien.

    In terms of “history” & “Big Games” I would put Bonita/SD on top. I mean sure we have bigger games in terms of CIF or for early rankings like the Amat/ND game and it is the talk of the two schools involved and the La Times. But were talking communities here, and that Smudge Pot game is huge! They have at least 7,000 fans every year. Who cares IF ONE team has been on the rise while the other has fallen. RIVALS are for the fans, and the community and for the for High Schools. You don’t or can’t say its NOT a BIG game just becasue ONE team hasn’t beaten the other in a few years. If that was the case then Mater Dei would have dropped Servite years ago, as they has a 20+ year winning streak, until last year OR USC droping Notre Dame, becasue USC is on a 10 game winning streak. Heck look at the Rams & 49ers. STILL rivals and one is in the Midwest! Rivals are meant to stay, and REGARDLESS of W/L records they need to stay put! I mean we should see.
    EVERY year regarless IF one team is 4-0, and the other is 0-4!

    As for the July predections, I think Aram wanted a little chatter in here and he got it!

  • Goldenarm

    Game Day,

    Good points. It is not always about who is a powerhouse meeting another powerhouse or a “big game” simply because a team is coming in from outside an area a local team has “owned”.

    The rivalry games bring back the “stars”, alumni and kids who were in the trenches last year, the year before or even 20 years ago. They remember everything it meant and what it felt like back then – and that whole atmossphere builds on itself all through the week as Friday night game day approaches.

    Sometimes the results of the same match up in the season prior play a huge role in adding to fire and desire. When you lose 42-0 and as you leave the field – an opponent gets in your face and says “get used to it man” – you just don’t forget that shit when the next season and opportunity comes along…not if you are a winner anyway.
    On my side of the 605 two long-standing rivalry games are the Tussle, Muir vs PHS, where regardless of record or talent – every year the game is flat out war.
    War that brings out the best and worst of the Dena communities.

    The other has long been Temple City / Monrovia, where differing offensive styles have long clashed and hard-nosed defensive teams gone toe to toe over 3 decades of blow-outs and nail biters. That great rivalry may be in jeopardy though, as the weakened TC program left awash after the BS “new direction” fiasco – now must watch as Monrovia steps into prominence. The Rams have found a coach I think can right the ship though, but only time will tell. For the rivalry’s sake, I hope it comes to pass.

  • Fishbowl blogger

    Gamedayatusc……put your SC education to use for once. At the top of the left hand side of this page it says:

    About this blog
    Aram Tolegian covers prep football for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News and Whittier Daily News

    This is not a Tribune only blog or to paraphrase another poster…..the Fishbowl blog.

  • Catfan

    I am sorry but there is NO WAY Rowland vs. Baldwin Park is bigger than the Smudge Pot. Come on man. Oh yeah, Bonita plays in a bigger division and plays better people every year….that is the reason for their record. Everyone is say how BIG Bonita is and how Talented their QB is and how many skill guys Podley has. Shouldn’t they be favored?


    Garfield is coming! Garfield is coming!
    Amnot, YOU have No Defense, No Quaterback, and now No Receiver! But YOU do have a very sssslowww TE!!!
    I think you need to worry about the Bulldogs and less about the SGV Teams!
    Snif…snif…snif! Is that 16 years of No CIF Championship Football that I smell in La Puente?

  • Like groundhog day for A$$”ols

    Sniff…Sniff….you’re right, it does smell in here, but, OH WAIT!!! sgv’s best turd is back in da house!!!! It must be football season.

  • Like groundhog day for A$$”ols

    Sniff…Sniff….you’re right, it does smell in here, but, OH WAIT!!! sgv’s best turd is back in da house!!!! It must be football season.

  • doesn’t matter!

    dddranch and steam roller, Anybody can look good in passing league, you will be eating crow after the smudgepot. San Dimas is not known for passing duh!!Like I always said , “San Dimas is the little train that could” They proved it last year. Don’t underestimate their program.