2011 Schedules: Diamond Bar Brahmas …

Week 1: at Ayala
Week 2: Wilson
Week 3: at Don Lugo
Week 4: at Brea
Week 5: West Covina
Week 6: Diamond Ranch
Week 7: at Bonita
Week 8: at Walnut
Week 9: Rowland
Week 10: at Los Altos

Aram’s take:
What jumps right off the page is the three-week stretch of playing West Covina, D-Ranch and Bonita. Will there be anything left in the tank for the Branding Iron game right after that? For fans, it’s nice because we’ll find out right away in league just how seriously we should take D-Bar. Here’s the thing, while it’s tough for D-Bar to play those Big 3 back to back to back, the good news is they’ll be catching a young Bonita team may or not have all the seasoning it needs at that point, and the same can probably be said for D-Ranch. The nonleague looks doable and with some breaks the Brahmas could be 4-0 heading into league and have everybody from Robledo to Donte Nicholson excited. I will call for 7-3 simply because the offense should give D-Bar in most games and the only time they’ll struggle is when teams can throw them around at the line of scrimmage and/or out-athlete them. Who do you see on this schedule, beside WestCo, that is lock to do this? Exactly. That’s why I say 7-3.

College interest in Diamond Bar QB Henry Omana Jr. picking up …

Spoke to Diamond Bar coach Ryan Maine this morning and he said that QB Henry Omana Jr. is nearing his scholarship offer after a spring that’s produced heavy interest from college recruiters.

New Pac-10 member Colorado looks likely to offer Omana, as does Oregon St. Once that happens, Maine expects several more schools that are interested to step up to the plate.

Omana, who is 6-3, 210 lbs., passed for 1,298 yards and 13 touchdowns last season while splitting time with Andrew Cameron. Omana is currently a standout pitcher on the Brahmas baseball team.

Omana’s father Henry Sr. was a star football/baseball player at El Monte and played in college at Utah St.

Aram’s take: Are you starting to see why I’m high on D-Bar’s chances of improving on last year’s 6-4 record? With Omana back and other weapons like receiver George Katrib and Jamaal Clayton, there hasn’t been this much excitement about Brahama football since … since … I don’t know, the Roche Era!

Enjoy his reel …

2011 Schedules: Chino Hills Huskies …

Week 1 — Bear Creek (Lakewood, Colorado)
Week 2 — Santiago
Week 3 — at Tesoro
Week 4 — Pomona
Week 5 — Redlands East Valley
Week 6 — at Ayala
Week 7 — Claremont
Week 8 — at Damien
Week 9 — at South Hills
Week 10 — Charter Oak

Aram’s take:
Now that’s a schedule! Click on Bear Creek above for more info about them. I must say, the Huskies picked a good year to play four of their five nonleague games at home. With so much to replace, why play on the road (not that it’s that tough in HS)? Anyway, we all know the Huskies always have horses. This year’s studs will be inexperienced, but with that nonleague schedule, you get the feeling they’ll grow up quick and by the time league rolls around CH will be ready to defend its title. Love that trifecta at the end of Damien, South Hills and CO in consecutive weeks. Furthermore, love the Charter Oak game in Week 10. That one should have league title or playoff implications on the line. I think 7-3ish sounds about right for an early record prediction for this team of mystery.

Spring practice begins! Aram visits Charter Oak …

Charter Oak (6-5 in 2010)
Numbers: About 120
Aram’s impression: Like West Covina yesterday, I was impressed by the overall number of athletes. It’s no shock, though, because when doesn’t Charter Oak have some of the best frames running around Big Lou’s football field? But what I saw Tuesday that made the biggest was sophomore-to-be running back Kurt Scoby. Oh my goodness! I don’t know what they fed this kid in the offseason and what he was lifting, but this guy has a body that most seniors would kill for. I know that Charter Oak is very deep at RB, but if Scoby plays to his frame, lookout! He may be one of the top two or three ball carriers in the area this fall. And remember, he’s only going to be a sophomore. QB Travis Santiago is still with the baseball team, so nothing to see there. WR Chris Gilchrist is still tall and reportedly getting college interest like nobody’s business. What else can I say, the Chargers looked stacked.
Under the radar: WR/DB Jonathan Thropay, DB/LB Herman Atkins and WR/DB Bryce Bobo. Bobo was probably the most physically impressive in terms of that he just looks the part of a future star. He will be a junior this fall.

2011 Schedules: Bishop Amat Lancers …

Week 0 — Garfield
Week 1 — at Servite
Week 2 — La mirada
week 3 — at Damien
Week 4 — Cathedral
Week 5 — Venice
Week 6 — Alemany
Week 7 — at Crespi
Week 8 — Loyola
Week 9 — at Notre dame
Week 10 — BYE

Aram’s take: I was particularly hard on Amat coach Steve Hagerty and last year’s schedule because all it did was get Robledo and Lancer Nation artificially excited before the fall. Well, this year’s is slightly better because of one name: SERVITE. The fact that game comes in Week 1 should do wonders and tell Amat where it is and where it needs to go long before we get to a point so late that nothing can be done. The rest of the nonleague schedule is pretty soft. I thought we were going to see four more quarters vs. Muir, but I guess not. Not that it would’ve made me feel different. Anyway, I still don’t see why Amat can’t play teams from the Inland Empire. There is life past the 57 Freeway beside Damien. The league schedule is tough as always with Alemany cycling from the final game of the regular season to the first game of league. Last year’s major issue was Amat did not have PAC-5 championship-caliber defense. I’m not sure how that gets better with a guy like Julian Gener not around. But the offense should be special with Nine back under center and Jalen Moore running wild. A healthy Zach Shay will also do wonders. Only Servite looks the lone threat in the nonleague, so I think 8-2 looks about right for an early record projection.

Spring practice begins! Aram visits West Covina …

This is the first in what I hope is a series of spring practice visits (Freddie permitting). Anyway, what I’ll do is a give a brief and concise opinion of what I saw everywhere I go. And it will go a little something like this.

West Covina (13-1 in 2010)

Numbers: About 160-180
Aram’s impression: Athletes, athletes, athletes. I can see why there was a recruiter from Boise St. watching the proceedings. WestCo’s offseason weight lifting program has become well-known for helping the Bulldogs play the physical style that they’ve become known for. And the fruits of this year’s program was on full display Monday. Justin Meaders looks like Drago (sorry if I just dated myself, young guys you can google to get up to speed). Chris Solomon has gotten much bigger, too. I saw about eight guys who look like they can play anything from linebacker to safety to receiver. Keep in mind that not much can be gleaned from spring ball, just like 7-on-7, but you can definitely tell just what type and how many “athletes” a program has and West Covina is just fine.
Under the radar: Dorrin Turner and Troy Webb. Wow. Turner played LB last year and should be very, very good this year. Webb will be a junior and did not play last season, but will be a receiver this year. I’m telling you, there’s lots of potential here.

2011 Schedules: Maranatha Minutemen …

Week 0 — Big Bear
Week 1 — at La Salle
Week 2 — Azusa
Week 3 — Salesian
Week 4 — La Canada
Week 5 — at South Pasadena
Week 6 — BYE
Week 7 — Whittier Christian
Week 8 — at Valley Christian
Week 9 — Village Christian
Week 10 — at L.A. Baptist

Aram’s take: Blessed (get it?) with the best QB prospect in the Valley in junior Andrew Elffers, don’t expect anybody to be taking the Minutemen likely. The nonleague schedule looks solid with the Azusa game especially interesting for local fans. The other games against Mid-Valley Division foes La Canada and South Pas may have some impact come playoff selection time, although it’s unlikely Maranatha will need at-large help getting into the dance. Not sure what to make of the Olympic League this year. I can confidently say that Whittier Christian will be down a notch due to graduation losses, but big things are expected from Village Christian and Valley Christian is always tough. With new coach Pete Karavedas being a defensive-minded guy, I think it’s reasonable to expect Maranatha to take a much-needed step forward on that side of the ball. If that happens, you’re looking at the Olympic favorite and a legit CIF title contender. I’m thinking 8-2ish sounds right as for a predicted record, although 9-1 or even 10-0 wouldn’t shock me if the Minutemen catch some bounces. You are warned …

2011 Schedules: La Puente Warriors …

Week 1 — El Monte
Week 2 — at Northview
Week 3 — Wilson
Week 4 — Workman
Week 5 — at Gladstone
Week 6 — at Ganesha
Week 7 — Sierra Vista
Week 8 — Bassett
Week 9 — at Duarte
Week 10 — at Azusa

Aram’s take:
The nonleague provides three winnable and loseable tests. I mean what I say, LP could go 3-0 just as easily as it could be 0-3 going into league. I would say 1-2 or 2-1 is probably the best bet. Anyway, once in league the Workman rivalry game is a nice way to start the Montview season. If the Lobos are improved in Year 2 under Scott Morrison, then that could be a good game. I truly believe this is the most wide open the Montview has been in a while. Azusa should still be favored, but I’ve heard interesting stories on just about every team this offseason, including Duarte, which one person in the know told me will win five or six games this year. La Puente looks to be right in the thick of it and it’s quite obvious that Week 10 at Azusa will have a heavy bearing on either the league title and who does/doesn’t make the postseason (remember, the league is only guaranteed two spots).