Some predictions for the postseason …

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

League titles are nice, but the only people who actually remember them years from now are players, their families and coaches.

Maybe I should, but I don’t know the last time Bonita won league. Nor do I really care. But I do know the last time the Bearcats won CIF – 1999.

See what I mean? I don’t remember anything else about 1999 but that.

That’s the difference. League titles are fodder for class reunions. CIF titles are unforgettable.

Tonight is the night legends begin being built. It’s the first round of the CIF playoffs.

Our season-long quest for the truth gets a little closer to completion tonight.

We’ve spent the past 11 weeks cutting through all the bull.

Most of the contestants didn’t make it to the 11th game. They prepared valiantly and fought hard but got the cold, hard truth on the field.

The rest have moved on to the high-stakes tables. Nothing can be more raw than win or go home.

With that in mind, I simply can’t wait for the next month to play out. And anyway, after watching 11 weeks of action I feel I have a pretty good base of knowledge to make the predictions I’m about to make.

So, without further delay, here’s one sportswriter’s forecast of some of what will take place in the next four weeks.

Amat will get past the second round

This is a big deal because before any Amat fan can get too excited about the program’s surge under coach Steve Hagerty, they first must watch their team make it past the second round.

It’s been a while since that’s happened, but it’s going to happen this year. Unfortunately, after that Amat is in big trouble because big, bad Mission Viejo likely will be awaiting them in the semifinals.

Getting past the second round should not be considered a successful season at Amat. But doing so will be further proof Hagerty has this program heading north.

West Covina will win the Southeast Division

Teams that can run the ball this well, this late in the season, simply do not get beat. West Covina’s ground game isn’t going to be stopped by anybody in the Southeast Division.

Then you throw in that the opposition simply cannot kick the ball off to the Bulldogs without avoiding the likelihood that B.J. Lee is going to take it back for a touchdown, and there’s nothing really anybody can do to get in West Covina’s way.

West Covina’s opponent in the Southeast finals will be Bonita

Bonita, at 9-1, is the second-best team in the division. They played in the best league, they beat the best nonleague schedule and there’s nobody in the lower bracket of the Southeast pairings that’s going to stop quarterback Garrett Pendleton.

Azusa will reach the Mid-Valley Division final

Considering all the talk I’ve heard this week about how Village Christian is going to upset the Mid-Valley’s top seed, this prediction looks daring.

It’s not.

I don’t care what the schedule was. If holding 10 opponents to a combined 30 points in a season was so easy to do, then everybody would be doing it.

Azusa has been money the entire offseason and regular season. Please remember the Aztecs won the San Gabriel Valley Shootout passing tournament this summer over Monrovia. They also fared well in linemen competitions. The regular season has been a continuation of that.

I actually feel bad for Village Christian because I’m not sure it knows what awaits tonight at Citrus College.

San Dimas will advance farther than any other Valle Vista League team

The Saints may have finished behind Covina and Baldwin Park in the league standings, but they will be the last team standing of the Valle Vista trio. Where exactly that is, I’m not sure.

I firmly believe San Dimas’ first-round game tonight against Arroyo will be more difficult than its potential second-round game with Maranatha or La Puente.

San Dimas has proven it’s still good enough to beat a team like Monrovia. The Saints just haven’t put four good quarters together. But reports from Saints practices this week have made it very clear this team is ready to put it all together and that means a long-lasting stay in the postseason.

If I’m wrong about any of what I just predicted, I will be the first to remind you this is high school football and anything can and will happen. That’s why this final prediction never will be wrong.

If you get to your local football stadium tonight, I promise you there will be no better way to spend your Friday night than to show your support to the hometown team. Remember, it’s your civic duty.

Share this postShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

    Now that’s what I call late night reporting!!! ARAM, GET SOME SLEEP, WE GOT A LONG DAY TOMORROW.LOL…




  • SaintsR4real


    The biggest thing that caught my eye is you predicting Azusa going to finals over who??
    Whittier Christian or Covina??

    bberryyyy interrrresteeenn! Thats would be victorious for Azusa alone.

  • jmcdonough

    About San Dimas being the team to make it to the end???? Remember big teams step up in big games….and play offs is definately a big game! Who stepped up in that league in a huge game for the valley vista title, BP? San D? It was good ole Covina. Both were big games not to mention the West Cov game. Covinas is use to stepping up in big games this team has won many titles beyond and before high school. They know how to battle and will give you everything they have until the last seconds of the game! They were bred for it believe me. They have been taught well…not to toot the viking horn but toot toot! Lol…I wish you would have stayed for the end of the game that day. I think you might feel a little differntly. But only time will tell…intil then?????

  • Jody!!!!

    You found your way to my blog. Uh, listen, I would love to see Coach DT and his staff get the CIF title (or 2) they deserved when Mike was the QB. BUT! They got a tough draw. And yes, they come up big vs. SD and BP, but I think both game coulda gone either way. Covina is as good as anybody in the division, that I won’t deny. That likely Whittier Christian game in the second round is a 50/50 proposition, though.

  • Colt74

    Whittier Christian has IMHO one good game on their resume which they lost to CS Heart. Maybe add Salesian. Fred likes to harp on Azusa demolishing Bell Gardens in their first game which leads me to believe that Fred holds Bell Gardens in high respect. With that said, I’m curious as to why dismiss them ( BG ) so arbitrarily against W. Christian.
    Christian has won, but usually by 7 against teams of a low positive rating. By 3 against Village. I’m actually picking Bell Gardens tonight with the upset.
    I’m taking things with Covina one game at a time. Like you and Fred preach…anything can happen on Friday nights.
    The 05-06 Colts are probably the team that most in the area are always going to remember. The 10-11 Colts are working their tails off to get into that same conversation. IMHO McD can never be duplicated. If a fan is lucky he will get to witness something special once in their lifetime that will leave him/her in awe.
    Covinas #7 was that for me back then. Now I’m being blessed with seeing another really good player in Vinny Venegas. What is it with players with the same first and last initials being so good? MM & VV.

  • FC ….Trojan, Warror, Regnt and Spartan Dad

    Colt great suggestion.

    Salesian lost to Maranatha going for two for the win with time expired.

    Great game, Maranatha ain’t no slouch either.

    They have quality players and are well coached with great fans.

  • jmcdonough

    I always find a way. To your blog I’ve tried to comment but my post didn’t go through. Actually I got confused with the azusa post I originally read yours then came back to the blog and commented on freds azusa thread. I follow your thread everyday, you know you are my favorite sports writer hands down.I was really interested in your 2 minute drill about tesoro and amat, it kills me to see tesoro skip up all those divisions the year after mikey almost beat them. Darn they were good(covina I mean). What a hell of a game that was! Oh well I miss those days. Luckily I have the dvd of that game. I still have to get that one to you. As well as covina I agree with you pretty much about the schedule. I hope they do well. Playoffs will always give you surprises though, teams you think will do well are sometimes eliminated early and teams that are not expected to advance sometimes do. I just hope the sgv makes its mark this year!
    Well talk again soon!

  • jmcdonough

    I love your post! He was such a special football player only those who had the pleasure of seeing him play can understand. Vinny venegas is a little boy who waited on my sidelines everyday for an opening on my gremlin team, and thank god we had an opening!!!!! Vinny has a heart like mike I am not lying when I say he has that same magic. He has had me in awe many years of watching him play. He fights hard for every yard and his instincts are very similar to mikes. Believe me when I say I have seen him since he was 9 and I’ve seen mikey play since he was young. There are a few upcoming freshman like darren torres, erick sanchez. Joe hernandez and anthony esposito at covina. Koa haynes at amat freshman team is another great player in that category. I could go on all day on our future high school studs, but I will stop at freshman for now. I believe it was you who approached mikey at the covina game. Your words meant a lot to him . Thank you for your undying support of my son and most of all the colts. Hope to see you at the game. Interesting note: mikey coached vinny and has always mentored him and the other boys on that team. Covina truly has springs of talent coming up from everywhere. The future looks bright again.

  • SaintsR4real

    GO COLTS!!

  • Hefe

    Amat will get past the second round??

    Azusa will be in the final??

    Aram, let’s go to Vegas & I’ll make a fortune picking against everything you say.

  • No Surpise

    Wipe that egg off your face.

  • Aram poor aram!

    man looks like your band wagon team lost!! o no!!! please dont get on the covina wagon PLEASE!!!!! once your off no more!!! go get on monrovia!!! or whitter christian!

  • SHaeroe

    CRUSADERS ALL THE WAY!!!! number one seed losing to a 16th seed. Now thats embarrassing.

  • c’mon man

    Aram I picked up what you putting down in both your articles regarding Azusa High. Excellent journalism. I can’ t wait for more.

  • FC ….Trojan, Warror, Regnt and Spartan Dad

    Aram says .”after 11 weeks I have a pretty good base of knowledge”

    ummmmmmm…okay now you’re getting full of yourself-again!

    Like I said….you write well and know very little.

    No where we on that BIG PICTURE scenario..

    Too funny Wonderboy

  • Aram is a Fool

    Way to go Aram. Thank you for reprinting your column so that we could all witness the bastion of knowledge that is Aram Tolegian. Hope you get some help with the splinters you picked up from the Amat and Azusa bandwagon. This is what happens when you develop a base of knowledge drinking the koolaid at the Amat tailgate rather than getting out and watching the teams you pick against. I guess when you are “the most knowledgeable prep sports writer in the all encompassing SGV” you really don’t have to be bothered with petty things like observation and interviews. You can just use your impressive base of knowledge and pontificate. Study harder and boast less and next year you will get it right more often.

  • jmcdonough

    To qoute myself on my earlier post “Playoffs will always give you surprises though, teams you think will do well are sometimes eliminated early and teams that are not expected to advance sometimes do.” You are still ahead 3. Out of 5. Your SD prediction was pretty much right on the money. Like I said you’re still ahead at this point.

    Colt 74
    Great to meet you last night. Thanks for keeping me posted on all the scores. My phone went dead and I was dreading not being able to update myself on the standings. You saved me! Lol. Didn’t get to say goodbye. Turned around and you were gone. It was a pleasure finally meeting you.

  • Really?


    I have to admit that I’m so sick of hearing about your son on this blog. Your son WAS a great HIGH SCHOOL football player, and that’s where it ends. I think you mentioned that he has “mentored” young kids at Covina who came up through the youth football program. I would only hope that he teaches them what choosing the wrong path looks like. With a little discipline and self control, your son could have been a decent JC player, where he would have received a quality education. Instead, he ended up in the back of a police car one too many times. I do believe that was him I saw on the youtube vid disrespecting a local sheriff and saying, “this aint my first rodeo”. While most of us are at a point in our lives where we are talking about our kids graduating from college and getting jobs or their own or getting married and having kids, you are stuck on your sons glory days of high school football. Sad that you don’t have much more to talk about in regard to your sons accomplishments.

  • Awesome issues here. I am very happy to peer your post. Thank you so much and I’m taking a look forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?