D-Ranch coach Roddy Layton denies The Diamond Ranch Con …

I put Coach Layton on the spot after the Diamond Bar game. Among other things, I asked him about The Diamond Ranch Con, which is what the Panthers do annually. They start slow, then start rockin’ worlds in league and the playoffs.

My question to Coach Layton was: Are you conning us again?

His response: Our game planning is never “Did we fool Aram Tolegian, or not.” Our game plan is getting ready for the playoffs. We really don’t think about what are they going to write up on a blog. Con? No. That’s one game.

Aram’s take: Layton is the last guy any coach not named Lou Farrar should want to face in October and especially November. I saw Diamond Ranch vs.Damien and I saw them again vs. Diamond Bar. They’re much improved. The way Chase Price is running now … wow. And Marquise Cherry is one of the better receivers around. This team has more than enough to make a run. Don’t buy the record.

Where are they now? Former Los Altos WR Ryan Longoria has three catches at Cathedral …

Former Los Altos receiver Ryan Longoria is playing at Cathedral where he has three receptions for 104 yards.

He also has two interceptions and made three tackles vs. Amat.

Aram’s take: The Conquerors obviously could have used Longoria this season, but it didn’t work out. Oh yeah, and Hot off the Press, how does my reporting taste?

April 11, 2010 3:55 PM
HOT OFF THE PRESS – ARAM MAJOR SCREW UP !!!!!!!!!! said:

Aram,

Ron Cuccia puts on a camp every Sunday morning my son and some of his receivers go to the camp. Longoria also attends the camp and was there this morning with his mother. I congratulated her on transferring to Cathedral. To my surprise she told me Aram screwed this one up big time. Ryan is still attending Los Altos, and at this time planned on playing football at LA next season. My personal opinion that may chance after all the Los Altos supporters comments on this thread about Longoria. Aram you really screwed this one up and I have to say LA supporters I would love to hear you comments about Longoria now that he is staying. RGD2626 and other LA bloggers man you put your foot in your mouth big time on this on.

CIF responds to Mater Dei lawsuit … calls Monarchs’ course of action “baffling” …

Here’s the statement just put out by CIF-Southern Section … in response to Mater Dei suing over transfer rulings

LOS ALAMITOS — The CIF Southern Section offi ce expresses its disappointment at the fiing of a lawsuit by the Diocese of Orange contending unfair treatment of Mater Dei High School.

“Mater Dei has been a long standing member of CIF-Southern Section and is clearly aware of our policies,” stated CIF Southern Section Commissioner Dr. Jim Staunton. “If Mater Dei had concerns about eligibility decisions, they had several channels of communication to express those concerns. Why they did not exercise their options as members is baffling.”

The Section maintains open lines of communication with all member schools including Mater Dei High School yet this lawsuit is the fi rst indication of any dissatisfaction of the application of the rules.

During the history of the organization including the sixty years Mater Dei High School has been a member of CIF-Southern Section, the rules have been enforced and applied without prejudice or malice against any of its members.

The Section is confused that one of the most successful school athletic programs in the Section would make a claim of disproportionate treatment by the organization.

The Office is available to hear any complaints or allegations, as is the Southern Section Executive Committee, yet the Diocese of Orange has filed this suit without prior communication to the Southern Section Office.

“While the CIF-SS never wishes to be involved in litigation with one of our member schools, we look forward to demonstrating the fair and equal application of our rules on behalf of all our membership,” added Staunton.

Bonita’s Pendleton, Spathias to split time; Horine likely done for year …


Bonita WR/LB Casey Horine is likely done for the year

Bonita High School quarterback Garrett Pendleton will play this week against Diamond Bar, but it’s still unknown whether the senior will start or come off the bench for Greg Spathias.

Bearcats coach Eric Podley said Pendleton is still rusty and Spathias, his replacement for the past five weeks, isn’t going away quietly after leading the team to a 4-0 record.

“The competition is still on,” Podley said. “Garrett is still working a little bit of the rust off. We’re going day by day in practice, but coming back from four weeks off isn’t as easy as one might think.”

The news isn’t good on the team’s top receiver, Casey Horine. Podley said Horine is likely done for the year with a knee injury he suffered against Claremont on Sept. 10. Horine is set to have his knee scoped at the end of the month, and while the team is hoping for a mircale, nobody’s holding their breath.

“We’re extremely disappointed, mostly for the kid,” Podley said. “The two games he played in, he did great and you could see the potential he has. He worked hard and was poised to have a really good season. We can’t duplicate his speed or senior leadership.”

Sondheimer: Mater Dei suing CIF over ineligible transfers …

Take a look at this L.A. Times article by Eric Sondheimer about Mater Dei suing CIF over the eligibility rulings that went against several transfers.

Makes you wonder if South Hills would like to be added to the list as another complaintant. This is a big day for those of you sour about how CIF has handled the transfer rules and its eligibility rulings.

This could just be the beginning …

Aram’s take: It’s not just Mater Dei who’s sour about CIF’s rulings. There are plenty of other schools and people, so this could really gather steam. It’s kind of cracks me up it takes an Orange County heavyweight with the backing of the archdiocese to do this. Remember those whispers about The OC seceding from CIF? …

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All-Encompassing SGV(N) Top 25 going into Week 5 …


How good is Amat? … We just don’t know

1. Bishop Amat (5-0) — Haven’t played nearly the schedule of other Pac-5 heavyweights
2. Chino Hills (4-1) — Huskies own the best two wins of any area team … but that loss …
3. Bonita (4-0) — If ‘Cats don’t get Casey Horine back, the magic could be over
4. West Covina (4-1) — Huge league showdown at Rowland looms Friday
5. Glendora (4-1) — Let’s see whether the Tartans are Baseline League good
6. La Habra (2-3) — Three strikes you’re out against SoCal’s finest
7. St. Francis (3-1) — One-point loss to West Ranch stings
8. Whittier Christian (5-0) — Opponents’ combined overall records is 10-14
9. Azusa (4-0) — Aztecs should simply be worrying about style points going forward
10. Claremont (4-1) — Can’t wait for Sierra opener at home vs. Chino Hills
11. Charter Oak (3-2) — Defense carried the day vs. Santa Fe
12. San Dimas (3-2) — Saints are everyone’s favorite again in the VVL
13. Rowland (4-1) — Raiders’ line play will be tested heavily by WestCo
14. St. Paul (3-1) — The demise of St. Paul was greatly exaggerated
15. Cantwell (4-0) — Averaging 47 points per game vs. solid schedule
16. Ayala (4-1) – Four wins vs. teams with combined record of 4-16
17. Damien (3-1) — Bounced back from Amat loss in style … Sparty does try hard
18. Monrovia (2-2) — Sky may be the limit after ‘Cats got past South Hills
19. La Serna (4-1) — I was warned and warned, and here the Lancers
20. Arroyo (3-1) — Knights move up without even playing a game
21. Covina (4-1) — All of a sudden the Colts have fallen out of favor with the masses
22. El Rancho (3-1) — Dons are hoping it’s true: Fontana ain’t what it used to be
23. Maranatha (4-1) — The forgotten Olympic League team could be dangerous
24. Diamond Ranch (2-3) — Trust me, Panthers have improved from Week 0 to now
25. Schurr (2-2) – Spartans quietly on the improve vs. decent competition

Diamond Bar-Diamond Ranch: You call this a rivalry?

Here is my column from Friday’s Diamond Bar-Diamond Ranch game.

Ganesha High School was the scene Friday night where the Valley’s newest rivalry was born.

At least that’s what Diamond Ranch High School football coach Roddy Layton would have you believe. Diamond Bar might feel different. After all, the Brahmas play Walnut annually for somethin’ called The Branding Iron.

But don’t tell Layton that. He had the proof before his Panthers put a 41-0 whipping on their new rival.

“We’ve got their posters that they put up around campus that says `Rivalry Week: Diamond Bar vs. Diamond Ranch,’ ” Layton said. “Diamond Bar High is our rival and they know that we’re their rival.”

Some rivalry. It was obvious to all this game was headed to Blowout Central in the first quarter, despite the fact that Diamond Bar was 4-0 and Diamond Ranch was 1-3.

Diamond Ranch took a 7-0 lead just more than five minutes into the game. After a fake punt by the Brahmas, the Panthers were on the scoreboard again.

On fourth-and-5 at the Diamond Bar 22, Layton opted against a field goal try and instead had quarterback Cesar Carrillo throw over the middle to Chris Powell for a 22-yard touchdown.

Then the wait began for Diamond Bar to find points. It’s still ongoing. The Brahmas came close on their first drive of the second half and reached the Panthers’ 2 with a first-and-goal. A run on fourth-and-goal was stopped at the 1 and that was that.

Diamond Ranch took possession and went 99 yards to go up 26-0. Layton went for two. Diamond Ranch soon had the ball back again and scored from 95 yards away. Layton again went for two, up 32-0.

Could you blame him? He’s a man building a rivalry at a school that opened all the way back in 1997.

“We were able to put in a formation that will now make defensive coordinators in the coming weeks try to figure out what we were trying to do with that,” Layton said.

You can’t blame Layton for wanting Diamond Bar to be his rival. The schools’ close proximity makes it natural and the fact they both have Diamond in their name, well, that puts it over the top.

You buying it yet? Didn’t think so.

The truth is had CIF not placed Diamond Ranch and Diamond Bar in the Hacienda League, Layton still would be waiting on hold to talk to anybody at Diamond Bar about a game.

The reason for that is pretty obvious, and not even Layton could escape it.

When asked why he felt Diamond Bar was averse to playing his team for so long, Layton simply turned and looked at the scoreboard, which was now dark but once read 41-0.

TRANSFERGATE: The final chapter …

Here’s my column from Friday, in case some of you non-print folks missed it.

There’s probably a lot of you walking around the Valley scratching your heads this week.

When Bishop Amat High School tight end Brock Booth was ruled eligible this week by CIF, it put the cherry on top of a situation that began just more than a month ago and was dubbed Transfergate in this office.

It began with the news that South Hills informed CIF that it believed the transfers of Booth to Amat and receiver Chris Gilchrist to Charter Oak were athletically motivated, setting in motion a chain of events none of us are any better off for.

Both players were ruled immediately ineligible to play this season. Not because CIF is evil, but because CIF is obligated to protect Amat and Charter Oak from using a player who may later be ruled ineligible, thus costing the teams any wins they may have had.

After their respective appeal processes, both players had their eligibility restored at their new schools. In Booth’s case, it meant going before a state appeals panel because the Southern Section still ruled him ineligible after Booth’s camp made its first appeal for eligibility. What the state appeals panel saw that the Southern Section didn’t is beyond me.

If you’re not hanging out right now on Fairgrove Avenue or Covina Boulevard, you’re probably perplexed how this happened.

If you’re hanging out on Cameron Avenue across the street from a golf course, you’re probably mapping out a way to secede from the Southern Section.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself if you’re one of the many who are upset by the whole process and its final outcome.

Don’t blame CIF. Don’t blame Bishop Amat, Charter Oak or South Hills. Blame yourself if through the years you’ve been one of the hundreds of thousands of people who said, “CIF needs to do something about all these transfers.”

Well, CIF did. And they did it not because commissioner Jim Staunton, assistant commissioner Rob Wigod and information director Thom Simmons got together for dinner one night and decided to bang out a constitution.

CIF did it because that’s what you wanted.

There’s a common misconception that CIF makes the rules. They don’t. CIF merely upholds the rules that the member schools make up. And because there’s been an undercurrent of disgust from the public over the rampant transfers of student-athletes in recent decades, what you have today is a tightening of policy that creates the head-scratching results many fans are dealing with this week.

When Gilchrist and Booth were first ruled ineligible for the upcoming season by the Southern Section, it was time to score one for the old-school crowd that hates transfers.

But now that Gilchrist and Booth are eligible, who do you score one for? Uh … Bishop Amat? Charter Oak? Maybe, but only for the time being.

Score one for the process? CIF’s Simmons thinks so.

“I think it looks great,” Simmons said. “To me, it shows the process worked.”

Well, I choose none of the above. I say score one for reality. This is the pathetic prep sports world we leave in, and my best advice to you is that you either join the rest of us who deal in reality, or have fun continuing to swim upstream.

This isn’t the 1970s anymore. Parents are delusional. Kids are prima donnas.

Coaches are egotistical. Sports writers are gluttons. We’ve all got blame.

Doesn’t make any of us bad people.

Some of our biggest problems in politics today are because half the country doesn’t want to see the country for how it truly is, but rather how they want it to be.

When you legislate from the “how I want it to be” side, you’re dead on arrival. I’ve got news for those of you in that camp as it pertains to this particular issue: transfers are here to stay. To police them is impractical, because you can’t police a person’s will. History proves that it leads to disaster.

If parents and their kids want to roll the dice despite the lottery odds that Little Johnny is going to get a scholarship due to his transfer, then let ‘em. You never hear about the 98 percent where it doesn’t work out.

Over the last month, there have been a lot of relationships taxed because of this situation, and where are we at the end of the day? Right back at square one, with Booth eligible to play tight end at Amat and Gilchrist shagging balls out of the sky at Charter Oak.

It is what it is.