Charter Oak defensive lineman Alex Hernandez transfers to Damien …

Damien has gotten an impact transfer in Charter Oak defensive lineman Alex Hernandez, who transferred into coach Greg Gano’s program last month.

Hernandez made 33 tackles and had two sacks last season as a sophomore for the Chargers.

Aram’s take:
This might be old news to some, but I just heard about it now. From what I hear/recall, Hernandez is going to be a good one. That’s a blow for Charter Oak and a nice grab for Damien.

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    Just wondering what the reason on this transfer will be to get it past CIF. It is defintely not a hardship or residence change. Gano is back to his old tricks. Can’t win with home grown talent and by that I mean freshman entries not upperclass transfers.

  • Justsaying

    All the people that complain are jut mad because with transfers now your son wont play because they suck! Juuust saying! šŸ™‚

  • Lance Bishop

    He should have tried his luck at Amat, we could use a few linemen. Unless, maybe playing at Damien and starting for Gano was a sure thing?

  • Christina Z

    I am a friend of the parents of Alex and just to clarify things, they did move out of the Charter Oak district and in order to insure Alex gets the best education possible, he is attending Damien. Football is an added bonus.

    Wow, defintely not an address change???? Where did you get your information???? Get your facts together before you make an assumption!

  • D-Mo

    Alex is definitely a stud football player. I hate to see him go.

  • Sleeze

    One of Damien’s defensive coaches has been all over the valley recruiting other teams players. Just plain sleezy and classless.

  • Bob

    Sleeze said… if you change the Word “Damien” to Charter Oak your statement would be correct.CO lost one and should gain at around 5(starters) players from out of their school district by Hell week. Get over it.

  • Sleeze

    I understand this is the state of high school football today. It’s still sleezy and classless.
    Also not all programs are doing this.

  • Damien Dad


    No one at Damien recruited Alex, his family made the choice for him to go to Damien, the right choice by the way. We are happy to have him becasue he’s a terrific kid, and will succeed on and off the football field.

    You’re probably a CO fan or parent that’s butt hurt and hates to see someone else doing better than you or your kid, if you want to see SLEEZE just take a look at your coaching staff, they do take turns driving the bus from Pasadena to make sure you get the players to school. How’s that kid Scoby doing ? does he get much traffic from Claremont ?

  • Facts

    The fact is that this kid left co because he couldnt keep his grades up. its a shame that kids now a days cant even keep a 2.0. He is a stud but left because of the grades. there are no damien coaches trolling around co. everyone know you go to private school if you cant keep the grades up at a public school, now lets see how that football carrer goes at damien with a 1.2 gpa lol

  • Sleeze

    Know for a fact that this Damein Coach has contacted numerous kids and their parents from other teams.
    It’s one thing to recruit 8th graders and another to contact kids that are already playing at another school.

  • Perfect for Gano

    Gano is a great move for this kid if grades are an issue, as lone as he is a stud Gano will take care of the grades. Over at LA one year during the playoff run one kid didn’t even bother showing up to school for over a month, but still played. Cano is great when it comes to the lessons in life. That kid dropped out after the playoffs, but Gano got out of him what he needed.

  • Aaron

    Damien is a great education…but they could have sent the him to Bonita…ergo this smells.

  • Nothing smells at all. And if it does, it’s the same stench you got when Gilchrist and Vaughns left South Hills for CO last year.

    I don’t think Big Lou and his staff are sweating it at all. They know you get some, you lose some. That’s how it goes.

    But I do know of one place in La Puente that’s none too happy right now about losing some ….

    Also, please don’t trip out about Damien getting players. It’s a trend that’s starting because the coaching staff that Gano put together with the two Browns is going to be an absolute magnet for younger guys.

    Then you have Ralph Brown and Norberto Garrido hanging around the program right now “helping” … it doesn’t take a genius to see that Damien very soon is going to become a powerhouse. Very soon = next 2-5 years.

  • Sleeze Lover

    OOOOH Mr. / Mrs. Sleeze, poor baby, your just angry cuz the coach didn’t talk to you about YOUR KID…. aaaah, get over it SLEEZE BALL….. funny little boring around the office for Aram, something that happened months ago just now being reported… thought Aram was “in the loop”….. by the way, know for a FACT harder to make grades at Damien than CO…. so we will see, Gano has no pull in the classroom, know for fact ! Agree with Aram, CO staff not worried, is definitely win some lose some, they always win more than they lose in this game… also should be more worried about the arm of Mr Santiago, has been hanging all baseball season…. then he is gonna turn it on and throw a 1000 plus balls over the summer and winter… that is a bigger concern

  • Damien Fan

    It’s a shame that some of the C.O. parents, Coaches and students were harrassing Alex when this transfer happened. That goes to show you where “class” comes into place.

    This was the best move for Alex and for you FACTS…just so you know Alex’s GPA at Damien is over a 2.0, so why don’t you get your facts straight.

    Let me guess…when Alex gets his college scholarship people from CO will be eating their words especially the ones on this blog!

  • Sleeze Lover

    OOOh Mr Aram, you are in the loop, those young fresh coaches are paying HUGE dividends right now on campus. A lot of positive energy. timetable is right on, 2-5 years gonna be the ticket….. this year will be young, have to replace a lot of starters again.

  • Sleeze Lover

    OOOh Mr Aram, you are in the loop, those young fresh coaches are paying HUGE dividends right now on campus. A lot of positive energy. timetable is right on, 2-5 years gonna be the ticket….. this year will be young, have to replace a lot of starters again.

  • Sleezy Lover

    Woooooh hold on a second there Mr. Aram…. you can’t just drop a “bomb” out there like ” someone in LaPuente isn’t happy”…. and leave it hanging, let’s go buddy, elaborate…. you give other bloggers crud for droppin’ little bombs like that…. give it up buddy. Us little minions wanna know.

  • Well, I don’t know names. And it’s just rumor at this point, but pretty reliable. I’m hearing that some a key member(s) of Amat’s frosh team from this past season might be playing somewhere else next year. Again, don’t know names because frosh players are kinda sketchy. And of course, I hear Amat’s staff is none too happy about it, which is to be expected.

    But again, you gain some, you lose some.

  • Jhykron

    Yeah, I wonder what the haters are going to say if all that goes down.

  • Produce or your out!

    Aram, first off why are you and Fred so in love with Gano. I remember two years ago it was one of the greatest staffs in the SGV, give him a couple years. A couple years latter give him another two to five years. For some reason I don’t think the boosters planned on a seven year plan. Keep this up and he can retire before he has to produce. The word on the streets of La Verne produce this year or your out, the boosters are pissed.

  • Produce or your out!

    By the way a group of kids frosh or not transferring to one school implies athleticly movated. All Anat needs to do is file and it is up to those parents to prove not.

  • Know the rules know the game

    To Produce or your out: A freshman can transfer to another school without the investigation. Read your CIF pamphlet. In addition, if they are paying tuition, its not hard to prove in this economy how that would be a financial hardship.

    Welcome Alex to Damien. As for bloggers trying to doubt Damiens academics or that it is easier than a public school!?!?! I want you to look at Damiens end results. The percentage of students who go from Damien to a four year university, it would be 97% and the other 3% go to junior college. Meaning they are all going somewhere other than a fast food restaurant.

    As for transfers…..The trash talking from schools who are NOTORIOUS for recruiting and/or transferring is amazing. Damien finally gets in the mix with one player and people are crying foul? Really? As for homegrown….Damien is a private school that has students from Victorville to Alta Dena.

    Aram/Fred: Keep up the good work. These same people are your best buds when you are profiling their kid/school.

  • A life time Spartan

    The only people not happy about where Damien is and where they are going are people outside of Damien. The program has progressed a lot and is in good shape. They are evolving the staff to get get the right mix of experience and youth. The players are dedicated and working hard this off season. There are some nice addtions like Alex with others coming (so get over it). The facility is top knotch and getting better with a new team room on its way to complement the stste of the art weight room (as other schools deal with cut backs). On the field they where a tiebreaker away from making the playoffs last year and will make the playoffs this year. The continue to schedule D1 teams which will only make them better ( taking the field with a quality program like Amat is the right thing to do and they will continue to do so, even though everyone predicticed Gano would drop the game which he hasn’t)
    Gano has the support from the booster and alumni. Coach Carrol is tuff to deal with at times but even he is on board.
    Haters of Damien and Gano are on the outside looking in where they belong.

  • Sleeze

    Damien to a four year university, it would be 97% and the other 3% go to junior college.
    I CALL B.S. What world are you living in.
    Thats impossible. What a numb nut. Geeeeeze

  • AMAT 73

    Well if your prediction pans out maybe Damien will join the Serra where they belong in the next few years making it a six team league so we can get that bye off our schedule.Also maybe you can give us some insite as to who said they were not to happy in La Puente or was that just you thinking out loud and putting it out there so to speak.

  • Just sayin’

    Know the rules know the game

    “A freshman can transfer to another school without the investigation.”

    No transfer can be athletically motivated. Just because a student uses the frosh transfer “rule” does not make them immune to CIF’s athletically motivated “rule”. School “A” can still claim the frosh transfer was “athletically motivated” when a student transfers out to school “B”.
    Same holds true if a frosh student tries to “follow” a coach to a new school. The frosh transfer “rule” does not make said student immune from CIF penalties.

  • Amat Blog in Disguise ????

    Wow, jumped in and if I didn’t know any better I would have thought this was an Amat Blog with all the banter back and forth….. here are some thoughts.

    1. Damien parents & players respect the HELL out of both Amat and CO (ok rest of Sierra league, don’t get pissy, you are respected too, but the banter here is related to those). The #1 thing that would get Mr. Gano in a pickle with current parents is if he DID NOT continue the Amat game. Regardless of outcome, the game is important and must continue. By the way, the game will get closer beginning very soon. Don’t want to predict, as emotion in this game runs very high, but it will be closer soon. What the CO coaching staff have done “on the field” is phenomenal. The “F Troop” family is very respected and quality people absolutely. How players have gotten on campus early on is part of life. I would challenge any school within 25 miles of this area to PROVE that 100% of the athletes on their team grew up and LIVE in the district. You all know that is a fact.

    2. I would be very surprised if Amat challenged any frosh who left. Are they miffed, sure if they really were “key players” was some good young talent on that squad. Not sure who they are or where they are going, but believe the AMAT pride is bigger than that. Feel they would just say go away if you don’t want to be a Lancer, then that is your mistake, see you on the field ! If they did challenge… then hahaha that would be funny seeing that they are the benefactor of players “joining them” after they have begun elsewhere. I see them in the same light, “win some, lose some”. Not sure those players would end up at Damien anyway, if they did, remember, Mr. Hagerty did not want that Frosh coaching staff anyway, including an Amat Hall of Famer…with kids at Amat… so would not think he would lose any sleep over it, he seems much bigger than that and focused on what he has to work with.

    3. Everything goes in waves for the most part. Schools have good runs and bad runs. All for a variety of reasons. At present, Damien is moving in the right direction. Facilities are top notch and there are NONE better this side of the OC. Coaching staff changes are good. Nothing wrong with what was there, they needed to gain instant credibility to make things happen quickly. Did it happen, hmm, finished near the top of League both years with LIMITED talent, you can judge that how you like. There was some great pedigree on that sideline. However, players today respond to different things sometimes. One thing is for sure, those new faces around now are bringing a huge rush in energy to the right people. Last couple of incoming classes have gotten better every year, next years incoming hopefully will continue the trend. This upcoming season is tough one to call. Seniors are the last of what was here before, Juniors were the first under Gano but not sure how much impact it really had as by the time he was on campus, most of those kids had already committed to the enrollment process. Sophomores for next season are the pure product of Mr. Gano. The one’s that are there did so with full knowledge during the entire process that he was in charge of the program. Next years Freshman will be the same thing. So any Gano bashers really have to wait this year out as there are no “magic transfers” in the Senior Class as so many of you here have claimed is the “Gano Way”.

    Regardless of what happens and whether parents want to over protect their little babies as usual, high school sports is a great lesson for life. If you want to play at the next level, take a good long look at what happens every year. Each freshman collegiate class is brought in with the intention of bettering the team and if they are better they will play quickly. If guy’s who came in as Freshman don’t pan out, they will be replaced with JC transfer talent that can contribute. Harsh, yes, LIFE YES. If you are just cruising by in your job doing the minimum and just getting by, should your employer let you stay on just because you have been there for a while. Hell No. Harsh, yes, LIFE YES. So you can say but these are just high school kids and they shouldn’t be faced with such harshness, it is just a game, high school is supposed to be fun. It absolutely IS !!!, but the unfortunate consequence of life is that our kids are exposed to stuff today so much earlier than any of us were. Whether it be illegal behavior, questionable behavior, whatever – our kids are getting exposed to everything earlier whether we like it or not. So why not expose them to some meaningful lessons like whatever you do in life, you better bust your butt and do it 100% or expect someone else who wants it to come in and take it away. Now that is LIFE !

    Man its’ April and the Football battle cries have already started…. gonna be a fun year !!! Good luck to all as there is some GREAT talent spread all over the San Gabriel Valley….

  • PrivateSchoolUser

    Facts, what the heck are you smoking? First of all private schools have the same CIF standard as publics when it comes to sports: 2.0 or better, or no sports (everyone who knows anything about Hs sports knows this FACT). So this kid cannot play at Damien or anywhere else if he carries a 1.2 as you claim he does.

    Second, public school kids do not leave their school and go to a private school because they can’t keep up academically; it’s the other way around. Private college prep schools are much more academically challenging than publics, unless of course a child is taking AP courses at public then you are starting to get into similarities but publics have much more to offer than a superior education that publics can never match. You need to check your facts or get a new moniker – FACT!

  • 21st century man

    @amat blog in disguise???

    Top notch facilities at Damien? The football field is new, but it certainly is not a top grade turf field that you find at citrus college or even walnut high school. The new basketball gym is nice and appears as if they put a lot of money into that facility. The weight room has new squat racks, benches and barbells, but is below average in size and was placed on the 2nd floor of a building that is probably near 100 years old. I certainly would not want my kid in that weight room when even a moderate size earthquake hits, because my guess is that there will be nothing but rubble left after such quake. The class rooms are a complete dump. These are the same classrooms that bonita high school abandoned back in 1957 because they were too old then (thats 50+ years ago) and it doesnt look as if Damien has spent dollar one on an upgrade of any sort. There is no way in the world that I would spend $7k a year to send my kid to a school that looks like an 80 year old dilapidated inner city campus. You would think that Damien would use their available funds on taking the wrecking ball to those class rooms before spending so much money on their football field and basketball gym. Oh, and did a mention that their library is the size of a phone booth? At least at amat, you know that some of your tuition is going towards modernization of the classrooms and computers.

  • The Real State of the Program at Damien

    Interesting observation you talk about top coaching and questionable talent at Damien. I was talking to another local coach last night and he laughed about that observation. This Damien senior class as freshmen went 10-0. I remember that very clearly because they beat Los Altos 9-1 freshmen team that was loaded with talent. That class as seniors on varsity had a 6-4 record. Based on that observation Damien is in big trouble over the next few years. Look at this from an incoming parent’s perspective, the best this team is going to do is a league title; they have no chance at winning a CIF title in that division. Think about it a freshmen class went 10-0, Gano comes in and has two years to work with those kids and he produces a 6-4 record. Then only way Gano is going to look better is at best to go back to that soft pre-season schedule win a few league games make the playoffs, get his a@@ kicked, pick up that pay check, make a few more excesses, and hope he has a job next year.

    Think about it this great staff that Gano had was shown the door that was a desperate move by a desperate man, worried about his job. Now Aram wants you to believe that all the sudden this young very inexperience staff is going to do better? All it did is given Gano another two years.

    “The program has progressed a lot and is in good shape.” 3-2 in league and didn’t make the playoffs, progressed a lot? You guys paid big bucks to Gano and staff to go 3-2 in league and not make the playoffs, don’t think so. What do you have to look forward to, next years team isn’t even going to make it to the coin toss?

  • A life time Spartan

    We can debate public vs private but thats like fighting religous wars. It just leads to fighting just to fight while losing sight of what you are fighting over.
    So all debating aside there is no argument that Gano and the Damien football program on heading down the right path.
    Faith Family and Football.

  • AMAT 73

    Many interesting points made on here on the state of football and Gano at Damien . The first question that must be asked is what is the direction the program wants to go ? Is it a better showing then the Morrison years , league titles ,CIF championships. At AMAT it is known what direction and what goal we want and are seeking. Our beloved leader Mnsgr, in his infinte wisdom went the budget route in his previous choice ( not knocking Verti but he was in over his head ) for our coach and caught the rath of fans and Alum. Making the change to Hags we are now headed in the right direction to the goal. Still a work in progress but none the less headed in the right direction, PAC-5 championship. What is the direction Damien and the followers want the program to go or where does the right path they are now on lead to ?

  • Nunya

    @21st century- we are very thankful your not willing to send your kid to Damien because if he is a negative as you his future is not so bright.
    Not a nice state of the are wieight room or the turf isn’t nice enough….the size of the library…bahahahahahahaha. Your a joke.

    @the Real State of the program-Are you gonna start talking about little league titles next. We are talking big boy sports here. Simply put those kids did not develop as the previous staff had no off season workouts and lacked enough coaches with the skills to help increase the ability and IQ of the those players. From year one Gano has been improving the staff starting with varsity, then frosh and now JV.

    @Amat73-Father Travers now understand that sports is means to an end. Strong sports programs keep enrollment up. Across the board Damien programs are all doing well and this year the had more freshman test than in the the last 15 years. So the investments he and Sam are making are paying off. And yes football is on that same path.

    Keep the hate flowing because it is the biggest indication Damien is progressing in way that is a threat. Gano is like, well respected and much apppreciated by those who count.

  • Coach


    I believe the point that was being made about this years senior class was as freshmen they were 10-0, Gano had two years to work with them and they left as seniors with a 6-4 record. Where is this great improvement you are talking about, no one else seems to see it?

  • I actually think last season’s record was a success given the talent on hand. Damien didn’t lose any games it wasn’t supposed and beat everyone it should have.

    I didn’t see Ayala, but let’s rank the Sierra League in terms of SKILL PLAYERS last season.

    1. Chino Hills
    2. Claremont
    3. Charter Oak
    4. South Hills
    5. Damien
    6. Ayala

    That’s the truth, Ruth.

  • Coach


    My only point is last season’s team was the most talented group of seniors at Damien in recent years. This is including the following three years, two coached by Gano and staff. You say 5th place is successful, I say that is as good as it is going to get for the next four years.

  • Marc A. Estrada C.S.C.S

    My name is Marc Estrada. I have the honor AND privilege of serving as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Coach Gano and the Damien Spartans Football Program. I thought I would take a minute to respond to “21st Century Man” and enlight him on a few facts.

    First of all, you are correct. Our 3,500 square foot training facility is located upstairs, it is on the 2nd floor of Spartan Hall. I do not know of too many high schools that can state that they have a facility as large, functional and well equipped as ours. Our kids have absolutely no problem walking up a flight a stairs to be able to enter one of, if not the, finest high school weight rooms in the state of California.

    Secondly, our weight room is equipped with some of the best strength training equipment in the country. You stated that “The weight room has new racks, benches and barbells”, once again you are right. But to be more specific, we have 5 squat racks, as well as 5 bench racks, 8 olympic platforms, 2 Hammer Strength Jammmers, a complete dumbell section, 19 different strength stations and 3 and a half tons of weights.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, our facility was inspected by not one but two Structural Engineers and passed with flying colors. To quote one of said engineers, “I could not find a single crack in the entire building. Pretty amazing with all the earth quakes that have occurred since the building was built!”. I have to say that your guess of ” there will be nothing but rubble left after a moderate size quake” was unfortunately incorrect.

    I find it very offensive that you would have the audacity to pretend to know what the heck you are talking about. We are very blessed to have had the support of our Administration, Staff, Alumni, and parents in turning our vision into a reality.

    As a strength coach I cannot imagine having a better facility to assist in the developement our student athletes. I feel very fortunate and so very grateful for the opportunity to work for this great school and football staff. I have the best “office” a strength coach could ever wish for.

    In closing, I would like to extend to you an invitation to come visit our facility first hand. It is my belief that you will have a different opinion of our faciliy after doing so.

    As you may have noticed, I used my REAL name in responding. It would be nice to be able to address you by name as well. You can find me on the second floor of Spartan Hall Monday thru Friday between the hours of 1:30 and 4:00 p.m.. I look forward to your response.

    Until then, God bless.


  • Uh listen, I’m not saying 5th place is great. But I judge teams by how they did in relation to their talent. There wasn’t one guy on Damien’s offense last year that I would call a playmaker. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all GREAT KIDS and tried their butts off.

    But for where Damien NEEDS to be or SHOULD be, 6-4 and getting smoked by Amat and JSerra showed just how far away the Spartans are. Believe me, Gano knows it.

    I truly believe that if you took two D-1 skill guys and put them on last year’s team, you’d see a marked difference in results.

    That’s all Damien needs, in my opinion. They have the right kind of kids there now, they just need the skill guys and maybe a big-time linebacker to get them going.

  • Coach Estrada,

    Thanks for the post. Do you cover the mirrors with paper? Or has that practice not caught on everywhere else?

    New thread started w/photo of Damien’s weight room

  • Coach


    How many other programs can you say the same thing about? A good example of your comment take Cody and Harwell out of the equation at Los Altos and Gano has zero CIF titles.

    I am assuming the one or two D1 kids is to compete for a league title, not CIF? Damien isn’t even on the radar in that division.


    So brave posting your name, now be critical of Gano’s program and post your name. Be one of those many pissed off Damien parents last season posting and see how Gano reacts to you. I have personally hear Gano’s comments to parents that don’t agree with him. The first comment out of his mouth was I control your son’s playing time.

  • Coach,

    You’re correct. One or two skill guys to compete for league. The best skill guys in the league this year are at CO or South Hills. Of course, I haven’t seen Chino Hills yet and they usually have some good ones.

    Damien or any Sierra League team will need a lot more than skill to bang heads in the Inland Division. Look at Chino Hills last season for example. They had horses up front in Bergen and Johnson, one of the best skill guys in the country in Ekpre-Olomu and another excellent talent in Nate Harris. That got them being competitive with Centennial for three quarters.

    But I will say this, if Gano can put something together like his ’03 Los Altos team, he will have enough to compete for the Inland title. But those teams are really once-in-a-lifetime.

    (And by the way, anybody thinking Harwell’s senior team wouldn’t beat Cody’s senior year team is dreaming).

  • Dan

    Any body else still not believe that coaches or other officials post and sign with their real name on these bloggs? I’m just saying.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Just to put things in perspective, nice facilities has little to do with success. I think West Covina still uses a garage like building just adjacent to the tennis courts as their weight room, the place is a mirrorless dungeon filled with gladiators. Maggiore is the teacher for weight training on campus and he gets his kids motivated and they lift with purpose!

    Also USC football have by far one of the most archaic weight training facilities in the Pac-12! Yet there are more Trojans in the Nfl than any other school in the country.

    Players play for their coaches and their teamates. Nice facilities is just that, nice. Damien’s facilities are very nice though, those kids are truly blessed to have such a great environment to work out in.

  • AMAT 73

    Hope you didn’t read any hate in my post because there is no hate towards Damien by me. I have family who are students and alum of Damien . I was just wondering what is the target the Spartans are aiming for plain and simple. To me it is the mind set of the program and the coach and most importantly the players as to where the program is headed. Nice facilities are great but wayyyyyyyyyy back ( ha ha ha ) when AMAT was winning 4A and PAC-5 titles our weight room was a corragated tin shed under the stands of the football field with mainly dead weight stations and 1 or 2 Universal machines. As for me ,like I said I do hope they have success and we are waiting for them to drop the “I” and join the Serra.

  • Dan

    Amat 73,
    Where I played I think we had it a little better than you, we were in a caged area under the stadium, no walls but at least we had a breeze once in a while lol, like you guy’s we had 1 universal machine and a bunch of dead weight stations, and minus the 4A titles.

  • Coach

    Bulldogs have bite,

    Was at West Covina last weekend, they have expanded their weight room. It is still by the tennis courts but now they have equipment outside under what I would call a patio cover.

  • AMAT 73

    I remember being in there in late April, early May and it must have been over 100 degrees with no breeze other than everybody huffing and puffing from working out. After a workout in there you could drop 5 lbs just from sweating. Ah the good old days !!!!

  • One more

    There looks to be a few more transfers in to Damien and not just the kid from Charter Oak. Word on the street is Damien just acquired Glendora QB and a WR from Fontana. Keep them coming!

  • Told You

    Gano up to his old tricks.

    Damien parents,

    Get use to your sons sitting the bench.

  • Transfer Nation

    Its official. The Glendora Tartan Freshman Varsity QB Pucci is signed at Damien for next year. He is bragging at school that he is leaving. Surprised at this move as the qb’s at Damien look to be just as talented. Pucci had a sure thing at Glendora. Not convinced he is better than Zaldivar or Alfaro from Damien.

  • Friend of Coaches Gano and Estrada

    Coach Mark,

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am a longtime fan and former player of coach Gano’s going back to the late 70s and a longtime friend of yours, Coach Mark. That being said, I love your post and the sack you showed to respond using your own name unlike all the haters on this blog that have bashed Coach Gano using aliases.

    My advice would be to ignore the idiots, keep your eye on the goal and use all this jive as motivation to get to the playoffs and beyond. I have faith in you and Coach Gano and what you are doing for the student athletes at Damien. The boys are blessed to have such a great group of men leading them into battle and I have no doubt that Damien is heading in the right direction and will continue to improve year after year!
    Good luck and congrats in advance on your future success!

  • GHS

    Pucci is still in school and telling other players he is NOT transferring. Hmmmm. We’ll see.

  • MyObservation

    @ Friend of Coaches Gano and Estrada, you accuse others of posting comments under aliasis and then you do the same thing – what’s up with that? I’ll tell you what’s up, SGV high school football is weak! With the exception of Amat, thre is no real power to speak of’ isn’t Amat the only Pac5-D1 school ni the whole Valley? That’s pretty sad given the geographic size of the area. You can all wallow and argue about your bush league programs all you wnat though because it is entertaining as all heck. And speaking of entertaining, if you wnat to see some good high school football in the fall, take a quick trip over the hill and check out some Pac5 games.

  • MyObservation

    @ Friend of Coaches Gano and Estrada, you accuse others of posting comments under aliasis and then you do the same thing – what’s up with that? I’ll tell you what’s up, SGV high school football is weak! With the exception of Amat, thre is no real power to speak of’ isn’t Amat the only Pac5-D1 school ni the whole Valley? That’s pretty sad given the geographic size of the area. You can all wallow and argue about your bush league programs all you wnat though because it is entertaining as all heck. And speaking of entertaining, if you wnat to see some good high school football in the fall, take a quick trip over the hill and check out some Pac5 games.

  • SGV football is not weak. West Covina and Monrovia both won CIF titles last season. Just because Amat plays in the toughest league/highest division doesn’t mean they are the only team to rep the SGV. And I would hope that isn’t case because Amat hasn’t gotten past the second round in heavens knows how long.

    About Pucci, didn’t his cousin play at Damien?

  • MyObservation

    Arum, it is weak otherwise there wuold be more than one D1 program, it’s that simple. If all-star teams were created for the SGV, SFV, and OC/Southeast LA County, the SGV team would get thumped by the other two, hands down no competition.

    And by the way, Amat does play in the toughest Division (Pac5) but they do not play in the toughest league. That status is reserved for the Trinity League dude. When the Serra League starts getting mentioned by Max Preps, Cal Hi Preps, etc as the toughest league in the State and Nation as the Trinity does, then you can make your claim.

  • My Observation,

    Why don’t you compare how big the OC is size-wise to the SGV, then re-consider your statement. Your dead-ass wrong about the SFV thumping the SGV in a all-star game. And keep in mind they’d be probably using those SGV players from Pasadena who play for Alemany, and they still wouldn’t win.

    The SGV is not a big area. Remember that. We do just fine in football and pound-for-pound are nobody’s bitch.

  • The Guru

    @ Aram
    Monrovia plays in a section that is 100% San Gabriel Valley/Whittier and West Covina plays in the Southeast Section which is 90% SGV, so of course your going to have a couple of championship teams from the area. The fact is that those 2 schools would get destroyed in the Pac5, Northern, and Inland Sections of CIF, not to mention 2 or 3 other Orange Co. Sections. What you have is West Covina being the best of a mid level Section and Monrovia being the best of a low level section of CIF.

  • Joe Amat

    Mr. Observation,

    This year Trinity was #1 & the Serra was #2 among all California Leagues

    The last two seasons Serra was # 1 and the Trinity was #2

    Three seasons ago, in 2007 The Serra was #2 and the Trinity was #5

    So throughout the 4 years this years seniors have been in school, I’d say the Serra was ranked ahead of the Trinity.

    I think they’re long past “being mentioned”

  • Joe Amat

    Mr. Observation,

    This year Trinity was #1 & the Serra was #2 among all California Leagues

    The last two seasons Serra was # 1 and the Trinity was #2

    Three seasons ago, in 2007 The Serra was #2 and the Trinity was #5

    So throughout the 4 years this years seniors have been in school, I’d say the Serra was ranked ahead of the Trinity.

    I think they’re long past “being mentioned”

  • It just doesn’t matter

    At the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter. Football is Football. It is always great for bigger schools (or those who can recruit) to be a DIV I and compete in that arena. There are some very talented kids, hands down and pretty close to watching a college game. We could go rounds all day at the OC, SGV, etc. But it’s Friday Night Lights, where you never know who is going to show up. You never know when a standout player is going to make an impact for the team that isn’t suppose to win.

    I remember, some years ago, I was at a Bishop Amat game @ Amat (against Damien). By halftime, Amat was up by 15 points (not a surprise for the hecklers…noted). But in the second half, a 5’8 running back (A nobody in size alone and to the standards on this blog) from Damien High School decided he was going to have his moment. I watched that kid run in for three touchdowns and win the game for Damien. Damien students rushed the field and that 5 foot nothing kid ended up making Boise State a Household name three years later. That was Ian Johnson. And there are Ian Johnson’s everywhere in these programs. This is why I go to the games. These are the moments (yes moments) that make supporting your team (whether its DIV I or not) all worthwhile. It also shows that some of these other schools have the same big time talent. Just sayin’

  • PS

    Pucci has family at Damien (both students and teacher/coach). He might be trying to save face but he is definitely coming for the next school year. Once school ends at Glendora; he will be on the Dick Larsen Field.

  • serra is not tops

    @ joe amat
    yes, the serra league is a very good league, but they were not the 2nd best league last year or even 2nd best over the last 4 years. in the pac5, the trinity league (servite, mater dei, rsm) was best last year with the south coast league (mission viejo, san clemente, tesoro) in 2nd place, and a 2 way tie for 3rd with the moore league (lb poly, lakewood) the serra (alemany, amat, crespi) with the sunset league (edison, los alamitos) right behind. However, there were 2 other leagues that were both better then the serra league, that being the marmonte league (oaks Christian, westlake, st. boneventure, thousand oaks, moore park) which probably was the best league in both the state and nation, and the big IIIV (centeninial, rosevelt, norco, corona, santiago). no one from the serra league has won a pac5 championship for some time, with crespi being the only team to make it to the championship game against lb poly about 3 or 4 years ago. until the serra league has a team that can win the pac5 championship I dont think anyone will consider the serra league as the best in the state or the pac5. up until last year the serra league had only 4 teams in the league with 3 teams being good and none of them being a dominate team. the addition of alemany this year helped strengthen the league, but still there is no dominate team in this league.

  • Good post

    @serra not on top. Finally someone who understands the high school landscape. There are a lot of ignorant people on this board which explains many of the pro Amat post. Many people think just because they post something it makes it true. Just look at this thread people stating miss information like it was fact.

  • MyObservation

    @ good post, I agree with you and @ serra is not tops, however how about a little love here, I was the one that raised the issue of where the true power lies in HS football that got Arum’s panties in a bunch. That said @ serra is not tops did more research and actually brought it back around and proved my point, i.e., the Trinity is the top dog in So Cal, statewide, and Nationally. Ill go a little further and say that the League is tough 1 – 6 and competitive on any given Friday. Re Amat, my point is that aside from them there are no elite programs in the SGV.

    Arum, why would you call me out and then not allow my response to be posted? Let me try responding to you again: with regard to size, the SGV is made up of 38 cities, which is almost half of the entire County of LA (the County of LA has 88 cities). Orange County has about the same number of cities IN THE ENTIRE COUNTY AS THE SGV! The SGV is a very big area! How’s that for a comparison. As far as SFV versus SGV, now youre talking no comparison. Did you see those schools that @ serra is not tops listed from the SFV? Those are all elite programs and that list alone is longer than any list you could put together of SGV programs. And by the way, the “SGV kids from Pasadena” that go to Alemany that you refer to are not SGV kids, their Alemany kids. (The fact that kids commute from Pasadena to Alemany should be a tip off for you about the quality of the programs in the SGV, but…). Really dude, do your homework! You are entertaining though and always good for a laugh.

  • My Observation,

    I haven’t disallowed any posts of yours. You must not have entered the code at the bottom properly or something.

    Believe me, I don’t care what you say about me and I rarely delete posts about anything. So must have been a computer issue.

  • Joe Amat

    Good post and serra not on top,

    It is better to remain silent and let people think you’re a fool than to post and remove all doubt.

    I also included links in one post – but the Blog Monster ate it to protect against spam. If Aram still has it he can post it to make your life easier.

    If not, you can check a few links on Calpreps(dot)com and find the “2010 national/state power ratings”then “compare leagues”. Do the same by changing 2010 to 2009, 2008, and 2007 to prove what I just said about th elast four years to be a fact – not just your opinion, myth, or urban legend.

    After you finish your plate of crow you can return and tell us who is “spreading misinformation” and who has stated “facts”

  • Joe Amat

    Ignorance kills me. I had to. Here you go, straight from Calpreps:

    2010 Rank League State non-league W-L Top 1000 non-league W-L Top 7000 non-league W-L Average Rating non-league Schedule Strength
    1 Trinity Southern 31-9 16-9 25-9 52.6 36.9
    2 Serra Southern 24-12 8-10 22-12 44.8 38.2
    3 South Coast Southern 27-10 8-8 27-10 43.6 33.4
    4 East Bay North Coast 34-7 5-2 24-3 41.8 25.9
    5 Marmonte Southern 18-7 4-3 14-4 37.1 30.2

    2009 Rank League State non-league W-L Top 1000 non-league W-L Top 7000 non-league W-L Average Rating non-league Schedule Strength
    1 Serra Southern 22-10 7-10 21-10 46.4 38.6
    2 Trinity Southern 25-12 10-12 22-12 43.2 35.3
    3 Sunset Southern 25-12 11-8 21-12 39.3 32.2
    4 South Coast Southern 23-13 8-9 19-13 38.5 33.1
    5 Southwestern Southern 26-14 9-9 21-13 37.8 32

    2008 Rank League State non-league W-L Top 1000 non-league W-L Top 7000 non-league W-L Average Rating non-league Schedule Strength
    1 Serra Southern 24-8 10-8 24-8 46.8 37.4
    2 Trinity Southern 25-11 11-10 23-11 42.2 33.8
    3 Sunset Southern 24-10 8-7 22-10 38 29
    4 South Coast Southern 24-13 8-9 24-13 36.9 31.8
    5 West Catholic Central Coast 21-14 4-6 16-12 36.1 28.8

    2007 Rank League State non-league W-L Top 1000 non-league W-L Top 7000 non-league W-L Average Rating non-league Schedule Strength
    1 Mountain View Southern 27-11 7-6 25-10 41.8 31.6
    2 Serra Southern 20-13 8-10 20-13 41 37.5
    3 West Catholic Central Coast 28-7-1 2-6-1 23-6-1 38 24.7
    4 Avocado San Diego 28-14 11-6 24-13 37.6 28.8
    5 Trinity Southern 26-13 14-9 24-11 36.3 32.5

  • serra is not tops

    @joe amat
    So your complete football knowledge is based solely upon an algorithm that some computer geek working at calpreps developed? You need to venture outside of la Puente every now and then to watch teams, other then amat, play. Anyone with any football common sense would recognize the the marmonte league was much better then the serra last year. There are 10 teams in the marmonte league, so of course the over all win / loss record isnt going to be great because they beat each other for 9 games of the season. Obviously, the south coast league proved head to head that they were better then the serra league when Tesoro (a 3rd place team) took a 3 hour bus ride on a Friday night, came into your house, and handed it to you in last years playoffs. Like I said before, amat is a good football program (best in the sgv) and the serra league is a top 10 league in the state of California, but someone from this league is going to need to step-up come playoff time and win a pac5 championship before anyone is going to buy into the claim that the serra league is the best in the state. Computers are good for providing data but not so good at analyzing data. Up until this year the serra league had only 4 teams which means only 3 league games and 7 non-league games each year. Of these 7 non-league games the serra teams played each year, very few were against top teams from the pac5 or other top rated teams. The few top teams that the serra league played against, they lost: i.e. crespi at home vs. centennial (blowout win for centennial) notre dame at mission Viejo (blowout win for mission Viejo). My point is that in past years the serra league has padded their win/loss records with non pac5 and non top-competition games which is something that a computer has difficulty recognizing. My guess is that the algorithm used by the computer geeks at calpreps is not very sophisticated and heavily weighted for non-league victories regardless of the strength of competition (thats strength of competition as evaluated by knowledgeable football people, not computers and computer geeks) so joe amat, in the future please save you propaganda for those ignorant parents that you dine with on Friday nights, in the stadium parking lot, during the fall season. REMEMBER, TO BE THE BEST YOU NEED TO BEAT THE BEST.

  • Joe Amat

    “serra is not tops”,

    apparently you’re new here so I’ll consider the source and take the “…venture outside of la Puente every now and then to watch teams, other then amat, play.,,” comment with the grain of salt that it’s worth. Again, before talking outta your rear, maybe do a little research before you pop off.

    If the Serra league has feasted off “inferior competition”, then why is their strength of schedule stronger in 2007, 2008 and 2009? Notre Dame frickin’ opened 2009 with a win in COWBOYS STADIUM vs one of their states best teams! Inferior. You’re ridculous.

    You don’t like the computer’s “alogorithm”? It seems to serve the NCAA fairly well and is probably much more accurate than a random, annonymous bloggers personal opinion. You’d be surprised how accurate the computer is in predicting outcomes – do a little browsing.

    Interesting that you go to head-to-head matchups. What does that say for Amat’s win over Trinity members Mater Dei in 09 and Orange Lu in 07 and Marmonte’s St Bonnies in 09.

    You also were drooling over Oaks Christian – so what does Alemany’s victory over them THIS season do for you? Or Crespi’s win over Vista Murrieta? They also beat Servite in 08 and Bonnies in 07. Notre Dame beat Servite in 07 & 08 and Moorpark (Marmonte) head-to-head in ’08. Last place Loyola beat Trinity league member St John Bosco in 09 – and they finished ahead Santa Margarita and JSerra. You got a little excited about the Sunset league too? Check the Serra’s head-to-head against them.

    Do I even need to go on?

    You bit off WAAAY more than you can chew on this one buddy, so just change your screen name and try again as someone else! Maybe you learned a lesson today. Hope so.

  • Numbers Game

    little Joe,

    Do you realize how stupid you sound. Picking a few games to prove your case.

    Let’s play your game,

    West Covina beat Venice 35-21
    Bishop Amat beat Venice 42-20
    Covina beat West Covina 27-21
    Whittier Christian beat Covina 28-17
    Monrovia beat Whittier Christian 38-8

    Clearly Monrovia was the best team in the SGV based on those numbers.

  • bad math

    transitive property doesn’t work – and it looks like Bishop Amat beat venice by more than WC – so the math don’t work anyway. bit good try. that post had no comparative scores – just straight up wins over leagues and teams the guy claimed to be better

  • just sayin’

    The Serra League teams are 19-15 vs Trinity League teams in the last 7 years.

  • new math

    BA hammered Loyola who destroyed Upland who pummeled Glendora – who spanked Monrovia

    BA beat Crespi who outscored Vista Murietta who eliminated Rancho Cucamonga form the playoffs and we know they manhandled San Dimas who beat Monrovia.

    this is fun

  • Dan

    Since the Trinity was first established in 2006 which is 5 seasons ago, The Serra has an 8 & 7 record vs the Trinity teams. The Serra is 4 & 1 vs the Maramonte in that same time span, their struggles were actually with the South Coast and Sunset leagues where the won loss record was 2 & 6 vs South Coast and 3 & 4 vs the Sunset, this is over the last 5 seasons. Kind of fun researching all that.

  • MyObservation

    Joe Amat as you wrote in an earlier post we can go back forth wirth this debate forever, and it’s a good one. I do respect and understand your point9s). However, regarding the wins you’ve cited for the Serra League teams, specifically the Bosco loss to Loyola in ’09, whcih is a correct statement, Bosco beat Loyola in ’08 and in ’10 too, so let’s paint a complete portrait.

  • serra is not tops

    @ joe amat come out come out where ever you are
    Joe, please take those blue and gold blinders you have on and join the rest of us in the real world. I too have a computer, and I too have access to the internet. Looking back at the last 5 years pac5 playoff records (after all the playoffs are the true measure to teams and leagues success. And the pac5 playoffs are every leagues best vs the other leagues best) the trinity league is 24-13, a winning percentage of .650, and has 3 pac5 championships and 2 state titles. While the serra league has a 10 12 pac5 playoff record and a winning percentage of .450 (a loosing record). The moore league is 17 18 (.490%) and 2 pac 5 championships. So please stop embarrassing yourself by trying to compare the serra to the trinity. Like I keep saying, the serra is a top 6 or 7 league in the state, but certainly not even close to being number 1 or 2. much to my surprise the the serra league has a better winning percentage then the south coast league, who came in at .440 winning percentage with a record of 12-15 and the sunset league was .380 winning percentage. Joe, believe it or not, Im a big amat fan and have been for nearly 2 decades, but your non stop, idiotic homerism (made up word) makes it difficult for us nomal amat fans to wear our blue and gold hat around the valley. Please stop with the crazy statements, you are loosing whatever credibility you once had. Fyi with all the skilled position players returning to the amat team this year, I believe amat can make a run at the pac5 championship this year, but until they prove it on the field, its best to remain humble.

  • no_step

    How did this become an amat discussion?

  • just sayin’

    if you start at the bottom and work your way up it’s easy to figure. It was a transfer topic – and Aram (the blog administrator) mentioned Amat losing some freshman). The he and “My Observation” got in a debate over the strength of the SGV which included MO’s comment:
    “And by the way, Amat does play in the toughest Division (Pac5) but they do not play in the toughest league. That status is reserved for the Trinity League dude. When the Serra League starts getting mentioned by Max Preps, Cal Hi Preps, etc as the toughest league in the State and Nation as the Trinity does, then you can make your claim.”
    The Serra/Trinity debate was subsequently disproved with links to Calpreps.
    You’re now up to date – feel free to pitch in.

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