Former Adelphia/Time Warner production manager Joe Dunn passes away at 47 …

Former Adelphia/Time Warner production manager Joe Dunn died Tuesday from complications of a massive stroke he suffered on Aug. 21. He was 47.

Dunn worked for Adelphia/Time Warner for 19 years, from 1987 to 2006, and played a key role in the network’s High School Game of the Week broadcasts in the Diamond Bar/Walnut/Rowland Heights areas.

Easily visible by his wardrobe of t-shirt and shorts, no matter how cold, and full beard, Dunn also frequently helped with other events around Diamond Bar, even after leaving the company.

“People will probably remember him as the guy with the curly hair, big beard and neon shorts in December,” Dunn’s former co-worker and Adelphia/Time Warner play-by-play man Anthony Sarinana said. “It’s going to take some time to realize he’s gone. He was always around. There will definitely be a big chunk missing.”

Dunn, who lived in Ontario, is survived by his wife Cathy, daughter Stephanie and son Jonathan. Stephanie attends Mt. San Antonio College while Jonathan is a freshman at Diamond Bar High.

Dunn had been hospitalized at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana after suffering the stroke on August 21. He wasn’t able to speak or move and took a turn for the worse before passing away on Tuesday.

“I worked with Joe a lot and he wasn’t afraid to tell you how it was,” Time Warner sportscaster Reginald Miller said. “That’s what I appreciated about him — he wasn’t afraid to tell you what he thought and oftentimes he was right.

“He was a kindhearted guy and beloved in the city of Diamond Bar. He wore whatever he wanted and his wardrobe was incredibly outdated. He marched to the beat of his own drummer.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Aram’s take: I only got to work with him a few times, but saw him around quite often and I can tell you that Joe loved him some prep sports and didn’t care what sport it was. You couldn’t miss him and he was a great, great guy and truly unique. He and Sarinana put on excellent productions and anybody in the area they covered knows exactly what I’m talking about. He will be missed.

Burning Questions for Week 0 …


Charter Oak’s height at receiver means trouble for Glendora

Will local coaches spare the SGVN a world of stringer hurt by putting their rosters on MaxPreps?

Please, I can’t say this enough, there’s nothing worse than the inevitable story from one of our new writers that leads with “#14 passed to #81 for the winning touchdown with five seconds left in the first quarter.” We’ll take care of the sequencing if you can take care of the rosters (with numbers and years … height/weight is nice, but not critical). We don’t want to ask “Who’s No. 14?” only to be hit with “I don’t know, they didn’t have rosters.” … which means I call one of you coaches while you’re pouring root beer on your staff, celebrating your opening win. Please, help us out.

Can Baldwin Park CB Demetrius Jackson blanket Rowland WR Leonardo Freeman?

This might be the can’t miss matchup of Week 0. Freeman is, what, 7-foot-6? OK, I kid, but seriously, he’s the tallest receiver in the area outside of Amat’s Wallace Gonzalez. But Freeman won’t have it easy against Jackson, who Jason David raved about after coaching him during summer workouts. Jackson is already committed to UTEP without having played a down since his sophomore year at Duarte. If Freeman wants to prove he’s D-1, this is the time and place.

Can Amat find offensive production outside of Nine?

Now, I’m not talking about Jalen Moore goes for 60 yards and Adam Sanchez has 38 yards receiving. I want to see some numbers from somebody beside Nine. Give me a running back over 100 yards and Sanchez in the paint twice.

Can San Gabriel DB Mark Covarrubias handle what’s coming?

Covarrubias is no doubt one of the top DBs in the Star-News area, but he’s going to be up against it trying to stay with Karl Holmes and Kevon Seymour. If the senior can simply slow, not halt, Muir’s deep threats, then SG stands a fighting chance to keep this one respectable.

Can Whittier Christian win without Jeff Worthy?

My heart sank when Whittier Daily News prepstar Andrew J. Campa told me yesterday that Boise St.-bound Whittier Christian lineman Jeff Worthy will probably miss Friday’s opener against Ontario Christian with a knee injury. Without Worthy paving the way on offense or disrupting things on defense, the Heralds face a tall task against a Ontario Christian team that played in 14 games last year.

Can Bonita QB Greg Spathias handle San Dimas’ pass rush?

The amount of heat San Dimas defensive coordinator Brian Mustain sends at Spathias should be scorching. I doubt the Saints are sweating the Bonita run game much and they probably figure that Spathias will make mistakes in his first start if he’s pressured enough. So that probably means relentless blitzes from all angles. Pretty scary.

Can Glendora’s secondary see through the trees?

When Charter Oak lines up with three receivers all over 6-feet tall, it’s got to be pretty daunting for opposing defenses. Well, Glendora gets first crack at trying to stop such a dilemma. Not much is known right now about the Tartans’ secondary, but should they quell the trio of Rufus, Thropay and Gilchrist, then they might just get a parade in their honor on Monday morning.

Can Bassett or Keppel get that all-important W?

Two struggling programs meet on Friday night at Keppel. Bassett, at one point, reportedly had 12 players on the varsity team. Keppel’s coach has been quoted as saying he’s fielding a JV team that plays under the lights. It appears both teams may not get a better chance all season at picking up a W.

Can La Habra hang with the big boys?

Many Southland fans have been waiting to see La Habra take on other SoCal heavyweights. Well, that time has come. The Highlanders begin the toughest nonleague schedule of any team in the area by taking on Orange Lutheran on Friday night deep in the heart of Anaheim. If the Highlanders want respect from outside the area, this is where they’ll have to start earning it.

You may not know them now, but you could be reading a lot about these guys on Saturday morning …

I’m tired of keeping it quiet. I’m tired of hearing the downplaying from area coaches about certain guys who are obviously headed for monster seasons. These are the guys I’ve identified as being kept under the radar until everything is on full display this Friday night.

Demetrius Hicks, RB, Glendora: Worried about Glendora’s running game or lack of a gamebreaker? Don’t be. Hicks will be unveiled on Friday night against Charter Oak and by all accounts he’s a dangerous man with the ball in his hands. When last seen, Hicks was a frosh playing at Western Christian. He’s now a senior and has a chance to be one of the better weapons around. You’ll find out on Friday night.

Eric Alvarez, QB, San Gabriel:
Trying to shred the Muir secondary may not be the best way for a new QB taste his first success, but Alvarez will get his shot on Friday against the Mustangs. Alvarez won a QB battle, so he’s already been fighting. And it should be noted that due to San Gabriel’s schemes, quarterback has become a plug-and-play position for the Mats.

Dionza Blue, RB, Bishop Amat: Blue is well-known to Amat fans and all of it is based on his strong freshman season. Now a sophomore, Blue figures into the mix at running back for the Lancers. Well, it may not be a mix for long. Blue’s ability to make people miss and be a legit home-run threat should land him the unquestioned starting job in no time. He can get started on that on Friday against Garfield.

Maurice Clements, DE, Charter Oak: I get the sense that Clements is relishing the opportunity to make his debut against Glendora and QB Chad Jeffries. The Tartans had better protect Jeffries’ backside with Clements bearing down on him. This guy is a man child. If you attend the game on Friday, you’ll find out right away what I’m talking about. The Long Beach Poly transfer could be the top defensive end in the area by season’s end.

Shane Blood, QB, La Mirada: The Mats haven’t been sweating the loss of QB Daniel Poncedeleon and that’s because Blood, by all accounts, is ready to rock. He makes his debut against St. Paul and that should mean plenty of opportunities to have a big night. Blood is under the tutelage of La Mirada coach Mike Moschetti, so that right there should tell you he’ll be one of the very best in the area.

Irvin Crawford, RB, Rowland:
You would’ve heard tons about Crawford already but he got hurt in Rowland’s scrimmage last season and missed the year. The word is he’s ready to carry the load in a big way for the Raiders and could be one the better ball carriers in the area. Crawford’s coming out party comes against a tough opponent in Baldwin Park, which should have one of the stingiest defenses in the area. But if Crawford rumbles for over a buck, then you know what to expect the rest of the way.

Chargers and Tartans get together for a good cause …

Just six days before their season-opening showdown at Citrus College, the Charter Oak and Glendora High School football teams got together on Saturday for a team effort to raise money for Women in Need Growing Strong, or wings.

After meeting at Charter Oak High, players and coaches from both school spread out around Covina and Glendora to raise money for the charity. The players were dressed in their jerseys and used their helmets as money bags.

Aram “The SGV Tour” ends at Damien where Bonita and Sparty scrimmaged on Friday night …

Well, first off let me say I thought I was going to see a scrimmage … you know, like an NFL preseason game. Then after getting there, Bonita coach Eric Podley hands me a sheet that gave the itinerary for the scrimmage. Basically, the two teams faced off against each other in scripted scenarios. It wasn’t like a game, but still very informative.

So, on to my impressions. My first one was that Bonita passes the look test. I was very impressed by their size … and I’m not necessarily talking about the lines. The ‘Cats seem to have the right type of body in each spot. They kinda reminded me of a prototypical Orange County team.

I didn’t get the same look at Damien because they were at the other end of the field. But I got to see the Spartans once the scrimmage started and it’s the same thing, pretty much the right body at each position.

Bonita’s first-string offense had Greg Spathias at QB. He’s taken over for the injured Garrett Pendleton and I can tell you now that Spathias would probably start for a lot of teams around the Valley. The ‘Cats didn’t do anything special on offense (and Podley said they wouldn’t), but they still moved the ball well vs. Damien’s D.

Spathias throws a nice ball and the receivers are as advertised. There are some nice targets out there. Didn’t see too much of the run game.

Damien’s offense looks to be very ball-control oriented. But it’s hard to say for sure because I don’t think coach Greg Gano showed too much either. New QB Enrique Saldivar has good size and throws a really nice ball. He’s got good arm strength. Were there any gamebreakers on either side? No. But again, that could be because both coaches didn’t go past Page 1 of the playbook.

Enjoy the vids …

Claremont’s Teague may not play until Week 1 …

As much as Claremont coach Mike Collins would like to take the gift wrap off Pomona transfer running back Taj Teague, he’s not going to do it until Teague is fully recovered from a calf injury he suffered early in camp while still at Pomona.

Teague will miss tonight’s scrimmage against West Covina and is likely out for the Wolfpack’s Week 0 game vs. Cajon. He stands a pretty good chance to return for Week 1 against Bonita on Sept. 10.

“He’s not 100 percent, so I really don’t want to chance anything,” Collins said. “I’m more of a guy who looks down the road. It’s not even a day-to-day thing. We’re keeping him off it. With these injuries, you never know.”

Collins said that Teague is likely to be Claremont’s starting tailback once he returns. For now, though, the team is going running back by committee. Teague also figures to eventually get work at safety.

Teague started his prep career as a freshman at Claremont where he shared running back duties with Tanner Kuramata, who is now the Wolfpack’s star receiver. Teague played at Pomona as a sophomore and junior.

Scrimmage night in the SGV …


Coach Greg Gano begins to put his cards on the table tonight

I will attend Bonita at Damien tonite (6:30 p.m.). I’m hoping that either on Fred’s blog or my own that people from all over the Valley will comment about what they saw at the various scrimmages. I will do the same from Bonita-Damien.

What I’m looking for from Damien: A sign, any sign, that the Spartans have the firepower needed to hold up in the Sierra League and against a rough nonleague schedule. I already know the Spartans will try hard and be well coached, but I want to see what the talent looks like. Granted, tonight is only a scrimmage, but there will still be clues. With questions at nearly every skill spot, Damien can use all the “live” reps it can get. Let’s see if Gano has been sandbagging.

What I’m looking for from Bonita: Take a guess. That’s right, QB play. With Garrett Pendleton sidelined for a while, the ‘Cats are scrambling to get a replacement ready. Greg Spathias is supposed to be the man with K.C. Huth seeing action as well. Let’s see how either/both do tonight against a Spartans defense that should have some bite. I also want to see just how Bonita’s defense looks. If the QB spot is shaky, the ‘Cats will need to rely on defense a bit more … will that be doable?

Opening All-Encompassing SGV(N) Top 25 … Amat opens at No. 1 …

This is the big boy Top 25. All the teams from all three zones we cover here at the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group. So digest it and it will be updated weekly once we get into the games.


If Amat’s defense comes through, it could be another special year in La Puente.

1. Bishop Amat 0-0 — Offense is a force, but is defense built to handle Pac-5 heavyweights?
2. La Habra 0-0 — Should we just pencil in another CIF title?
3. Chino Hills 0-0 — Huskies have to hope QB Chavez’s fall form is as good as his summer form.
4. La Mirada 0-0 — Just how good the Mats are will be found out on Sept. 9.
5. West Covina 0-0 — My fear is that lack of passing game will hurt ‘Dogs in November.
6. Glendora 0-0 — QB Chad Jeffries is a lock, but what about the run game?
7. Claremont 0-0 — Getting Taj Teague takes ‘Pack to a whole different level.
8. St. Francis 0-0 — Reloaded, but up against it in the also-reloaded Mission League.
9. Charter 0ak 0-0 — If Chargers don’t have Vaughns/Gilchrist, that’s a blow to the O.
10. Monrovia 0-0 — QB can’t be stopped and man-child McCarthy can’t be contained.
11. Diamond Ranch 0-0 — Going to trust Roddy here, but I’m a tad skeptical.
12. Muir 0-0 — Love the talent, but been burned before by the Muir hype.
13. South Hills 0-0 — Sans Canada, the Huskies will have an uphill climb in the Sierra.
14. Ayala 0-0 — Defense and super sophs might be enough to pull Sierra shocker.
15. San Dimas 0-0 — The Codee Watts era begins … but defense is still the key.
16. Rowland 0-0 — Raiders have the firepower, but have to wonder if defense is stingy enough.
17. Schurr 0-0 — Spartans look more than good enough to knock off San Dimas/Monrovia.
18. Whittier Christian 0-0 — Being top-two in Olympic is no gimme for Heralds.
19. Damien 0-0 — Spartans have their work cut out in Sierra League.
20. Baldwin Park 0-0 — The size is there to not be bullied by anybody on the schedule.
21. Arroyo 0-0 — My money says the Mission Valley is better than the Montview this year.
22. Santa Fe 0-0 — Chiefs get my nod in deepest Del Rio in ages.
23. Bonita 0-0 — ‘Cats can manage if Pendleton is gone for only half the season.
24. Azusa 0-0 — We’ll see how far Aztecs have come against Bell Gardens.
25. Rosemead 0-0 — Koffler has the team to pull off ground and pound methods.

San Dimas lands transfer QB Codee Watts, who will start right away …

Codee Watts, who played last season at Denair High School near Modesto, has transferred to San Dimas and will be the Saints’ starting quarterback on Sept. 3 in the Smudge Pot game against Bonita.

Watts arrived on Aug. 12 and is cleared to play. He alleviates a key concern coach Bill Zernickow’s offense had with last year’s starter Shawn Kennedy still injured and not expected back until mid season.

“He has good quarterback qualities,” Zernickow said of Watts. “He’s got good physical skills and leadership.”

Making Watts an even better fit for San Dimas is that he ran the Wing-T offense at his previous school for the past two years. Watts is listed at 6-1, 182 pounds on San Dimas’ roster and will not avoid contact, according to Zernickow.

“One of the first comments he told me was that he does like to dish it out at the end of runs,” Zernickow said.

CIF’s Simmons to South Hills: Just because you’ve changed principals doesn’t mean you should change principles …

South Hills isn’t winning any popularity points these days after challenging the transfers of four local football players who left the Huskies for Bishop Amat and Charter Oak.

Bishop Amat senior tight end Brock Booth and Charter Oak junior receiver Chris Gilchrist have already been denied eligibility this season by CIF after South Hills alleged their transfers were athletically motivated. Charter Oak sophomore running back Aaren Vaughns is currently awaiting his fate.

The fourth player, Bishop Amat defensive end Randall Varela, has kept his eligibility and will do so unless South Hills can prove his transfer was athletically motivated.

The part that’s not sitting well with most local fans is that South Hills is viewed as a school that has benefited in the past from transfers and is now crying foul after seeing a rash of players leave its program. It should also be the Huskies were denied two impact transfers last season in brothers Jordan and Jamie Canada, who weren’t allowed to play after CIF determined the left Duarte for the athletically motivated reasons.

In the past, South Hills did not challenge transfers who left the school for other destinations. So why the change? The answer is two-pronged and neither is sitting very well with CIF Director of Information Thom Simmons.

The first reason is because South Hills views the rule that cost the Canada’s their eligibility last season is flawed. It’s the same rule the Huskies are invoking to challenge he transfers of Booth, Gilchrist, Varela and Vaughns.

The second reason is a change in school policy under new principal Steve James.

“Just because you change principals doesn’t mean you should change principles,” Simmons said. “As members of CIF, South Hills has the right, responsibility and duty to make the rules as part of the organization which they are members of.

“If they are not happy with the rule the way it is now, then they should go to their league and have the league present to the CIF Southern Section a proposal to change the rule. They make the rules, we don’t. We enforce them. And at the end of the day, you can be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.”

Simmons also said he’s disappointed in the timing of South Hills’ protests given that Booth, Gilchrist and Vaughns all transferred last spring and spent the spring and summer practicing with their new teams. South Hills challenged the transfers in late July, according to Huskies athletic director Paul Reed.

“I can’t remember challenges ever happening this late,” Simmons said. “I can’t say it’s never happened, but I just don’t remember any happening this late. I know one thing for a fact, no school has ever challenged as many as South Hills. The rule has only been in a place for a couple of years, so there’s not a lot of history. But in those two years, nobody’s challenged as many.”

Simmons went on to confirm that South Hills did not check the box on Booth’s paperwork saying it thought the move was athletically motivated. There is no statute of limitations in place to challenge a transfer.