Chew on this … Dennis Rufus at QB for Charter Oak?

… I guess you can go to passing games and say things like “Little Joey looks great at receiver,” but what’s that really tell anybody? ALMOST EVERYBODY looks great in passing games. However, once in a while there are legit clues one can uncover about a team’s intentions.

Take yesterday’s throw between Charter Oak, South Hills and Crespi, for instance. There was Charter Oak receiver Dennis Rufus taking snaps at quarterback. I’m no Bill Walsh, but it appears pretty clear that Chargers offensive guru Dom Farrar is doing some tinkering. Wildcat, anybody?

Oh yeah, and by the way, if you want a professional photo gallery of yesterday’s action, here it is compliments of Staff Photog Keith Durflinger.

Wolfpack Challenge at Claremont starts tomorrow and continues Saturday …

POOL ONE A.M.

1. MARANATHA 2. PACIFIC 3. L.B. WILSON
4. CLAREMONT 5. YUCAIPA

GAME TIMES
8:00-8:40 8:55-9:35 9:50-10:30
TEAM 1 VS 4 FLD 1 TEAM 1 VS 2 FLD 2 TEAM 1 VS 3 FLD 2
TEAM 2 VS 5 FLD 2 TEAM 3 VS 4 FLD 1 TEAM 5 VS 4 FLD 1
TEAM 3 BYE TEAM 5 BYE TEAM 2 BYE

10:45-11:25 11:40-12:20
TEAM 5 VS 3 FLD 2 TEAM 1 VS 5 FLD 1
TEAM 4 VS 2 FLD 1 TEAM 2 VS 3 FLD 2
TEAM 1 BYE TEAM 4 BYE

POOL TWO A.M

1. MUIR 2. ETIWANDA 3. PALM SPRINGS
4. JSERRA 5. BURROUGHS

GAME TIMES
8:00-8:40 8:55-9:35 9:50-10:30
TEAM 1 VS 4 FLD 3 TEAM 1 VS 2 FLD 3 TEAM 1 VS 3 FLD 3
TEAM 2 VS 5 FLD 4 TEAM 3 VS 4 FLD 4 TEAM 5 VS 4 FLD 4
TEAM 3 BYE TEAM 5 BYE TEAM 2 BYE

10:45-11:25 11:40-12:20
TEAM 5 VS 3 FLD 3 TEAM 1 VS 5 FLD 3
TEAM 4 VS 2 FLD 4 TEAM 2 VS 3 FLD 4
TEAM 1 BYE TEAM 4 BYE

POOL THREE A.M

1. CULVER CITY 2. ONTARIO CHR. 3. PALMDALE
4. CRESCENTA VALLEY 5. SANTA MARGARITA

GAME TIMES
8:00-8:40 8:55-9:35 9:50-10:30
TEAM 1 VS 4 FLD 5 TEAM 1 VS 2 FLD 5 TEAM 1 VS 3 FLD 5
TEAM 2 VS 5 FLD 6 TEAM 3 VS 4 FLD 6 TEAM 5 VS 4 FLD 6
TEAM 3 BYE TEAM 5 BYE TEAM 2 BYE

10:45-11:25 11:40-12:20
TEAM 5 VS 3 FLD 5 TEAM 1 VS 5 FLD 5
TEAM 4 VS 2 FLD 6 TEAM 2 VS 3 FLD 6
TEAM 1 BYE TEAM 4 BYE

POOL FOUR P.M

1. AB MILLER 2. CRESPI 3. SUMMIT
4. HUNTINGTON BEACH 5. LAKESIDE

GAME TIMES
2:00-2:40 2:55-3:35 3:50-4:30
TEAM 1 VS 4 FLD 1 TEAM 1 VS 2 FLD 1 TEAM 1 VS 3 FLD 1
TEAM 2 VS 5 FLD 2 TEAM 3 VS 4 FLD 2 TEAM 5 VS 4 FLD 2
TEAM 3 BYE TEAM 5 BYE TEAM 2 BYE

4:45-5:25 5:40-6:20
TEAM 5 VS 3 FLD 1 TEAM 1 VS 5 FLD 1
TEAM 4 VS 2 FLD 2 TEAM 2 VS 3 FLD 2
TEAM 1 BYE TEAM 4 BYE

POOL FIVE P.M.

1. COLONY 2. LA SALLE 3. CHINO HILLS
4. POMONA 5. WALNUT

GAME TIMES
2:00-2:40 2:55-3:35 3:50-4:30
TEAM 1 VS 4 FLD 3 TEAM 1 VS 2 FLD 3 TEAM 1 VS 3 FLD 3
TEAM 2 VS 5 FLD 4 TEAM 3 VS 4 FLD 4 TEAM 5 VS 4 FLD 4
TEAM 3 BYE TEAM 5 BYE TEAM 2 BYE

4:45-5:25 5:40-6:20
TEAM 5 VS 3 FLD 3 TEAM 1 VS 5 FLD 3
TEAM 4 VS 2 FLD 4 TEAM 2 VS 3 FLD 4
TEAM 1 BYE TEAM 4 BYE

POOL SIX P.M.

1. SANTIAGO 2. BONITA 3. CANYON
4. BEVERLY HILLS 5. SOUTHWEST

GAME TIMES
2:00-2:40 2:55-3:35 3:50-4:30
TEAM 1 VS 4 FLD 5 TEAM 1 VS 2 FLD 5 TEAM 1 VS 3 FLD 5
TEAM 2 VS 5 FLD 6 TEAM 3 VS 4 FLD 6 TEAM 5 VS 4 FLD 6
TEAM 3 BYE TEAM 5 BYE TEAM 2 BYE

4:45-5:25 5:40-6:20
TEAM 5 VS 3 FLD 5 TEAM 1 VS 5 FLD 5
TEAM 4 VS 2 FLD 6 TEAM 2 VS 3 FLD 6
TEAM 1 BYE TEAM 4 BYE

POOL SEVEN P.M.

1. AYALA 2. HESPERIA 3. VILLA PARK
4. UPLAND 5. SAN CLEMENTE

GAME TIMES
**1:00-1:40** **1:55-2:35** **2:50-3:30**
TEAM 1 VS 4 FLD 7 TEAM 1 VS 2 FLD 7 TEAM 1 VS 3 FLD 7
TEAM 2 VS 5 FLD 8 TEAM 3 VS 4 FLD 8 TEAM 5 VS 4 FLD 8
TEAM 3 BYE TEAM 5 BYE TEAM 2 BYE

**3:45-4:25** **4:40-5:20**
TEAM 5 VS 3 FLD 7 TEAM 1 VS 5 FLD 7
TEAM 4 VS 2 FLD 8 TEAM 2 VS 3 FLD 8
TEAM 1 BYE TEAM 4 BYE

Chew on this …



South El Monte’s
nonleague schedule is essentially its resume for an at-large berth in the Mid-Valley Division playoffs. The Eagles will play FIVE games against Mid-Valley Division opponents and they are: San Dimas, Workman, Nogales, Temple City and Bell Gardens.

Isn’t it beautiful? That covers four of the five other leagues in the Mid-Valley Division. So hypothetically, if the Eagles finish third in the Mission Valley League, which is a decent bet since the MVL looks like a two-horse race between Arroyo and Rosemead, then they will need to get ONE of the FOUR at-large berths in the division.

And who will they likely be up against to get that berth? Teams from Valle Vista, Montview, Rio Hondo, Almont and Olympic leagues. There’s a strong chance that Temple City, Bell Gardens and Workman will also be needing an at-large berth. Heck, if things get crazy in the Valle Vista, San Dimas might even need one, too.

And knowing what loyal readers of this blog know about CIF’s at-large system, head-to-head results are the biggest factor in the formula. Which reminds me, it appears some of you need a refresher in what the criteria will be to determine the at-large berths.

Several coaches in the Mid-Valley Division seem to still be confused about this, which is fine, they’re busy. But it pains me many of them don’t know where to turn for CORRECT info so they’re unfortunately left to speculate with blabbering wannabe media types about how CIF actually determines the at-large berths. It’s a formula, and here it is once again:

(a) Head-to-head competition of teams under consideration (4 points)
(b) Overall strength of the league from which the team is entered (1 point)
(c) Overall win-loss record (1 point)
(d) Strength against common opponents (1 point)
(e) Strength of schedule (2 points, using overall win-loss record of opponents)

Now go back and look at South El Monte’s nonleague schedule and tell me it’s not a beautiful thing that we have what amounts to playoff qualifiers in September. And believe me, The Swamp ain’t the only place this will be happening.

Former Duarte and South Hills (in spirit) RB Jordan Canada heading to Montana …

Former Duarte standout Jordan Canada, who transferred to South Hills prior to last season only to never be granted eligibility by CIF, has signed a letter of intent to play next season at Division I FCS power Montana.

Aram’s take:
All’s well that ends well. Good to see Canada get a ride somewhere. His transfer was a hot-button issue that left many shaking their head, one way or the other. South Hills fans can’t help but wonder what might have been had Canada been eligible last season. I can tell you that Huskies coach Steve Bogan has heaped high praise on Canada, which says something considering how much skill talent he’s seen through the years.

Chew on this …


Nothing says summer football like sunglasses, shorts and mohawks.

A couple of days ago, my Stepdad hit me with this riddle, “I drove by Gladstone High School the other day and guess what I saw on the field.”
“Uh, I don’t know,” I replied, knowing full well what was coming next.
“Football players.”
I just said stared blankly at him because, again, I knew what was coming next.
“They’re starting earlier and earlier these days,” he said with an almost semi-disgusted tone before walking away.
You see, you have to understand that the Stepdad is old school. Part of me thinks he and Rowland coach Craig Snyder would make for great friends. Football to the Stepdad means the running game and leather helmets. It also means fall and winter, not the dead of summer.
How could I tell him that later that week I would be out at the very same field he drove by watching a passing tournament all the while fighting the same urges that led me to pronounce four summers ago that South Hills would win two or three CIF titles and reach a state bowl game all because of what I saw during a passing game?
I couldn’t.
So Saturday arrived and there I was — at Gladstone at the sportswriter equivalent to the crack of dawn — a little after 9 a.m.
And there they were, the new boys of summer. Across several fields were the skill players that will make the SGV football circuit go this coming season and the coaches who lead them into battle.
I’m not used to seeing them during the day. They usually play their games at night. And I’m certainly not used to seeing them in the football player’s equivalent to naked — t-shirts and shorts.
But here it was, the early part of July, and we had some very spirited competition taking place between the grid lines. There was Rosemead and Mid-Valley Division champion San Dimas squaring off right before my eyes.
I strolled up to Panthers coach Matt Koffler during his team’s close loss to the Saints and asked if they had no shot to win the division due to this outcome.
“Yeah, no way,” Koffler said.
Koffler’s sarcasm wasn’t the first of the day, nor was it the last. Sarcasm, especially when something went wrong, permeated every field all day long.
“That’s a sack!” a La Puente player yelled from the sideline just as Arroyo QB Steven Rivera burnt the Warriors deep for a touchdown.
Now, I don’t know what type of line Jim Singiser’s bunch has this year, but the kid was right. In a real game, Rivera would not have had all that time to let his receiver get all the way behind the defense before unleashing perfect pass to him in the back of the end zone.
Desperate to learn something, I turned to the one man who always tells it like it is — Covina coach Darryl Thomas.
“Is this the day you guys stamp yourselves contenders?” I asked Thomas, who fired a stunned look back at me before replying “Today?”
Thomas later pointed out his team had a lot of work to do. One of his assistants also pointed out that the Colts didn’t have starting quarterback Billy Livingston at the event.
“See you at 5,” I barked to Thomas in reference to what time the championship was scheduled for. To which he asked “You gonna be in Upland?”
Maybe there was another passing tournament in Upland that night or maybe that’s where Thomas makes his home.
At any rate, the Colts didn’t reach the finals. But Azusa and Monrovia did. And minus the marching band, cheerleaders and 50/50, they put on quite a show.
Azusa’s running game did little. But neither did Monrovia’s. I think that really hurt the ‘Cats. There were a couple times both teams were in field-goal range, but decided to gamble and go for it. What stones.
Azusa came away with the win and I couldn’t help but fight the urge to fly home and put on the blog that the Aztecs were now the favorites in the Mid-Valley Division. Monrovia should really try to run the ball more.
Just prior to the championship game I told Singiser, the event’s organizer, I had a wild a hair up my wheel route to write a sarcastic piece about passing league. For the first time ever he was speechless to something I said. After careful discussion, he relented and gave me permission. And yes, it was permission.
You see, Singiser is the new, old school. He isn’t one to extol the virtues of passing games at the expense of real football. But when it comes to either, he attacks the task at hand with the type of vigor that makes him one of the best around.
… Singiser also isn’t one to stand in the way of a sports writer making a jackass out of himself.
There’s no question, the benefits are obvious to having a day like this. Skill players get a chance to make reads. Defenders get a chance to make reads. Plus, they do it in Orange County, so we might as well, too.
I’m not so sure I buy the whole “timing” argument. Things might be a little different when there’s defensive ends bearing down on the quarterbacks or when the running game is stuck in the mud and the blitzes are coming from everywhere.
But when in doubt, check with the parking lot. It was full. And that’s where I rolled up on Baldwin Park defensive coordinator Wardell Crutchfield Jr. and his linebacker son WC3 at the end of a long day.
WC3 just glared at me like he was ready to rupture my spleen with one hit. Crutch Jr., half-sour after a loss to Wilson, told me he was going to blitz the hell out of everyone (something he couldn’t do on Saturday).
OK, it finally felt like real football.

UPDATED: Azusa tops Monrovia to win SGV Shootout, La Habra wins Edison tourney, Schurr takes 3rd at Mission Viejo …

UPDATED: Schurr, behind QB Aaron Cantu, finished third in the Mission Viejo Tournament on Saturday. The Spartans finished behind winner Mission Viejo and second-place Upland. Not too shabby.

Azusa erased an early deficit to beat Monrovia in the finals of the SGV Shootout at Gladstone High on Saturday.

Wilson beat Baldwin Park to win the consolation bracket.

Azusa advanced to the finals by beating Whittier Christian. Monrovia topped Rowland in the other semifinal.

Eliminated in the quarterfinals was Arroyo (by Rowland), Diamond Bar (by Monrovia), Buena Park (by Azusa) and West Covina (by Whittier Christian).

Elswewhere, La Habra won the Edison Tournament. The Highlanders edged an absolutely loaded Corona Centennial team. Don’t know the details, but do know that South Hills went 1-4.

Also, Lakewood beat Loyola to win the Tournament of Champions at Sante Fe HS.

Aram’s take:
You can take passing games with a grain of salt (or the whole shaker), but this is a pretty nice win for the Azctecs. If they have linemen to go with their skill players, then they’re easily the team to beat in the Montview League and likely to push for another semifinals bid (or beyond) in the Mid-Valley Division playoffs. The event was a great production by Arroyo coach Jim Singiser and his crew. And also Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez and his crew.

Chew on this …

Ayala’s frosh team was undefeated last year for the first time in school history. And yes, that includes before Chino Hills opened up and got a piece (or more) of the area talent.

South Hills’ Sioasi Aiono commits to Utah …

South Hills lineman Sioasi Aiono has committed to Utah. Aiono had offers from Fresno St., New Mexico St., BYU, Hawaii and San Jose St.

Aram’s pick: Congrats to Aiono!!! Utah is no joke, as we all know and several Valley players, including Blair’s Sean Smith and Damien’s Downtown Freddie Brown, have gone on to have great careers there.