What a night in the Bonita Unified …

Here is my column from Sunday, in case you missed it.

For one night, the La Verne/San Dimas area was the epicenter of local football.

It wasn’t August and no smudge pot was on the line. But all eyes were on the Bonita and San Dimas high school football teams on Saturday.

Things like this don’t happen often, and they rarely happen in December around these parts. The Bearcats and Saints hosting CIF-Southern Section semifinals playoff games on the same night 15 minutes apart, it had to be a dream.

Nope, it’s the new local reality.

If you would have told me back in September that on a cold December night I’d be splitting time between Bonita and San Dimas watching both play for a shot at a 14th game, I would’ve told you to stop smoking your newspaper.

But it happened, and I should not have been surprised. Depending on where you call home in the Valley, you’re either really happy or really sour at CIF.

A few years ago, San Dimas was stuck in the Northwest Division. The Saints’ first-round opponent in 2007? Oaks Christian. I don’t have to tell you how that turned out. But on Saturday, the Saints were defending Mid-Valley Division champions fighting for another berth in the title game. They came up short, but this obviously no longer is Soft Dimas.

Just last year, Bonita was 3-8. The Bearcats didn’t even score a point against eventual Southeast Division champ Charter Oak in league play. Then they lost to South Hills in the first round.

Bonita now is a viable force in the Southeast Division on the verge of winning a title.

This is the new landscape of local football. The new reality happened for San Dimas a couple years ago when CIF moved the Saints to the Mid-Valley Division.

Divine intervention for Bonita took place this past offseason when CIF shipped Charter Oak and South Hills out to the Inland Division.

I’m not about to say whether either move was right, but the atmosphere at both stadiums kind of says it all.

If CIF was trying to spread the wealth with its moves, then the tactic paid off perfectly. An entirely new area of the Valley is alive with football fever. Check that, high-stakes football fever.

I know this because on my way home, I happened to drive by Charter Oak and it was dark … along with just about everywhere else.

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  • Aaron

    No divine intervention on the part of CIF, if CO and SH were still in the Southeast the results would have been the same.

  • dan bocat fan

    Aram, I love High School football. I just want to thank SGVN for having the best prep sports blogs in SOCAL. I had a great time following the blogs this football season. You have to rub it in on Fred’s picking LS. I rack it up to having to have drama in the 2minute drill. He a smart guy and can’t be that stupid.

    Bonita was jumpy at the beginning of the game and then a big play turn that game around. Gio Johnson is the rock of Bonita’s team. GArrett Pendleton 3rd quarter drive was his coolness under fire. He has not had a interception since we played West Covina. K C Huth and the d-line made stops when they had to make stops.

    Bonita played through a rough patch of nerves to force a field goal attempt only to turn the game around with that blocked field goal and TD. There was no quite in La Serna but Bonita last night played scrappy football. It was a defensive effort that won this game. Who new, I thought it would be our ball controlling offense that would win this game. Can’t wait for the rematch with the Bulldogs. Go Bearcats.
    Be Humble, play hard, play fare, play tough. play with trust and most of all play like the warriors that you are. Leave it all out there and you are all winners in my book.

  • C.I.F Blows

    CIF screwed alot of schools but none more than Charter Oak and South Hills…Those programs and kids worked hard to build themselves up…Just as Bonita and West Covina and Monrovia have.

    Those schools better not become winners every year or CIF will screw them and move them to a league and division in which they do not belong also…CIF will probabbly move them to somewhere that will kill local rivalries that have been built over time and create travel didtances that in this or any economic climate are just geographically idiotic…Soon to come Bonits vs. Redlands or W. Covina vs.Temecula (before anyone thinks these are real, relax, just being sarcastic)

    Good Luck to alll those programs that are being successful but watchout CIF may not like it…..

  • cmon Aaron

    Aaron how you can say that, the reality is you don’t know unless they play. Are you telling me Charter Oak and South Hills aren’t capable of beating Bonita and South Hills in the postseason? Did you see how South Hill was playing at the end of the year? You don’t think Charter Oak was better than anyone you faced in the playoffs? Let’s just say its better for you that you didn’t have to GO THROUGH them, CIF took care of that for you. Enjoy your asterk title game.



    Are you really going to talk balls out and say Charter Oak or South Hills would not have beat you guys this year? Come on the only team that would have had CO or SH number would be West Covina! I was going to root for Bonita winning the asterisk title game but I will now be hoping for a West Covina win and a big win just like the last win against Bonita, EMBARRASSED is how the Pussy cats will leave the stadium next week… LMAO I was really rooting for the Bearcats until Aaron’s second place response to Arams thread.

    The Southeast asterisk title game goes to….
    ***West Covina 55-Bonita 17***

  • JFR


    Dude, put that hippie lettuce down it’s to early in the day for that. I am not a bohi basher “both my kids will be there next year and I know young men on the team and am happy for them” but I have been to the last two games and disappointed after each game. There have been some good individual performances but as a whole not impressive. CO has one and maybe two openings next year so start hitting up Pods.

  • Not the Same CO SH

    No way you can compare the 2010 Charter Oak and South Hills teams to last years. Last years was an up year for both programs, this year was not as successful. Charter Oak still did well, but it did lose to Claremont and BoHi did beat Claremont. As for South Hills, they were this year where Bohi was last year.
    My take is that the entire Sierra League in two-three years will be switched to the same division as the Hacienda League and that the Pacific League will be moved out.

  • Dan

    To not the same,
    Why not leave the Pacific league in the Southeast and just add the Sierra, then you have a five league division.

  • just sayin’

    Not the Same CO SH – it might be more apt for the Hacienda (or Mt BAldy) to move to the Inland to replace the Big8 when it moves to the Pac5 (replacing the inept Sunset)

  • JFR

    Just sayin,

    Good call!

  • Not the Same CO SH

    Good suggestions about leaving the Pacific League where it is and adding the Sierra. The other suggestion about moving the Hacienda League to the Inland Division might be rough at first, but it might just work out.
    The Big8 (Corona Centennial, Norco and others) into the Pac5 is good; the Sunset League needs to be moved out,and maybe switch Los Alamitos and Edison into the same league as Mission Viejo….but that’s a whole different discussion.

  • Shout Out

    How about a little luv for LVSD Pop Warner who is going a great job feeding both schools.
    LVSD is in the Mt. Baldy divisions playing teams from the IE where speed kills.
    Many of the current boys played LVSD and classes 2011-2014 are even better.

  • CIF

    Sierra and maybe the Baseline need to go to the Central. They would have a tough time beating Colton, Rancho Verde, La Quinta and Arlington every year.
    The Mt Baldy League to the Southeast. Chino and Colony would be very competitive with those teams as would Chaffey on occasion.

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