South Hills: 3-7 with a whole lot of heart …

Here’s my column from Saturday, in case you missed it.

One could look at the South Hills High School football team’s 34-31 loss to Charter Oak in overtime on Friday night as a cruel ending to a cruel season.

I’m still not sure what to make of it yet, but I’m leaning toward it being anything but a cruel ending. A cruel season, yes. A cruel ending, no.

How the Huskies were two fourth-quarter leads away from making it to the CIF Inland Division playoffs is beyond me. How they beat Claremont, then took Charter Oak to overtime is total mystery unless your judging heart.

On Friday night, two of what would have been South Hills’ biggest offensive threats were wearing Charter Oak blue. Several zip codes away, three more Huskies starters were wearing Amat blue during a loss to Alemany.

As for the players who didn’t seek greener pastures, South Hills’ best offensive threat and defensive back Jamie Canada was in street clothes, as he’s been all season due to a knee injury.

That’s OK, because there was still a hobbled Jamel Hart, a cagey Jordan Gutierrez, a gutty Vince Hernandez, several exhausted linemen and a sharper-than-ever head coach all using heart to try and stun the Valley and reach the playoffs.

Raise your hand if you thought in October that this motley crew was going to come within a whisker of extending their season to an 11th week. Most teams, when faced with such circumstances, would have packed it in. It appeared the Huskies were doing just that after they dropped five consecutive games earlier this season.

Then something happened, just when everybody had them dead and buried, they turned to playing with heart. That’s what should happen with a powerhouse program. Pride kicks in when physical skills cannot handle the full load.

Why there was a mass exodus this offseason makes less and less sense as it stands now. Was the grass really greener? No transferred player won a league title. True, Amat and Charter Oak will be dancing next week while South Hills turns in gear.

The record books will show 3-7 next to the 2010 South Hills team. It won’t say anything about what led to it and how it almost ended with an improbable 11th game. But those who there know the immeasurable qualities, the ones that numbers can’t describe, were there at the right time and that made this ending anything but cruel.

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  • Aaron

    Jamie Canada’s greener pasture is South Hills though.

  • Jerry

    Dude your an idiot, do some research, s.h. Has been stealing talent from other teams for years. What is different is a new no nonsense principle that won’t change grades or transcripts. The whole valley knows it and you come up with this kiss festival of a coach who has circumvented the system for years , now when players leave you come up with this , well none of the players who left did not win a league. What goes around comes around and you as a journalist are an idiot!!!!!’

  • Colt74

    The Law of Karma

  • Bob

    GREAT GAME.I was at last nights game and I told a friend of mine “Did this team have a heart transplant or what??” I saw SH this past summer and two other times this season(both loses)and this was not the same football team. They had a great game plan, run behind their big line and move the chains.They did this and controlled line play and kept CO’S offence off the field. The 4th qt was as good as it gets in high school football. Big Lou had a lot of class my going up to all the SH players and shaking their hands, you can tell by the way he looked at them he felt there pain. Thank You. South hills left it all out on the football field and as a coach or parent you couldn’t ask for anything more then that. PS, Jerry if you had a bigger head you would be a bigger fool.

  • ???


    The RB for CO was really a 16 year old freshman?

  • Great Job Huskies

    First of all… definitely a great game! SH came up just a tad bit short, but it was a DAMN good ending.

    Great article Aram, but the fact that you bring up the transfers and the woulda, coulda, shoulda after an article about “HEART” and how the Huskies never quit! Appalling, maybe?

    Vaughns may have played DB, but on offense he would’ve been a huge maybe.

    Gilchrist would have started at WR, but who knows the damage he could’ve done. We didn’t pass very well.

    So I don’t see where biggest offensive threats can be a FACT. Not even an opinion, because the simple fact is they would have maybe done something here and there, but not made a big difference.

    SH had their best offensive threats on the field the whole season, Canada has yet to show anything and I do not know if he’s even faster than HART. That’s with Hart being labeled a power back. Gutierrez or Hart were SH best offensive players, and that’s even with Canada on the field the whole season. Sorry Aram!

    Jamel, Jordan, Cody, Josh and a few other of those Sophomores and Juniors who made big plays from time to time were SH biggest threats!

    Huskies… chin up and be proud! Even with a 3-7 record you made this season exciting and fought til the end.

    Good job Huskies and good luck to all you SENIORS!

    Good luck to the rest of those still playing!

  • Green and Gold

    There was a huge amount of HEART shown Friday night. I am proud of all the seniors for showing the underclassmen all year to keep playing that things will change and they did.They will continue this for years to come. Seniors thanks for all the fun for all the years Peter and Siousi keep playing hard the future is yours to take. Jeff, Josh, Jordan, Brock you to can play more if you choose. Show the heart you have used all year and someone will be proud to have you on their team. Coaches great job. Now help these young men get to play on the next level!!!! That is part of your job also….Underclassmen start working today for tomorrow and you to will receive the success you deserve..PROUD AS CAN BE OF THE SOUTH HILLS HUSKIES!!!!

  • HuskieDogg

    Great story Aram, I have seen every South Hills games this year and yes they could have folded it up after getting beat up by Chino Hills but they actually changed the way they were playing and it seemed like the whole team toughened up and played everyone tough after that. They actually beat Charter Oak at their own game of smash mouth football just hitting hard, we were all sooo proud of them regardless of the outcome. We were ahead 21-7 with around 4 minutes left but the difference was Dennis Rufus, he showed why D-1 schools want him he had that extra gear to out run everyone else. They will grow from this season and the whole team will be much more mature next year, most of the team starters are sophmores and juniors so they will be a team that will surprise everyone.

  • Football Fan

    I watched the game Friday and saw most of the season. The heart they showed was amazing. the losses they took this year would make most teams quit….

    Hart playing on a bad foot. who knos if healthy he may have broken a few like in weeks past, but yet he kept fighting.#11 great over the shoulder catch on do or die 4 and 1. I think he caught it with one hand. not to mention the pass interference. great runs by the qb and 22 did everything else. All these boys made a TEAM better and a game fun to watch… thank you

  • Maybe!

    Hopefully some of the SH players can enjoy one last highschool game in the SGV allstar game!

    That would be fun and rewarding for the SH team and the players in the game, because although only a number of players get selected it’s a team award. No one man can do it alone!

    I know there’s a couple players that could be on the EAST team and represent SH well.

    Much <3 Huskies!