Former Tribune Player of the Year and former Los Altos head coach Felipe Aguilar has left Arroyo where he was an assistant coach on Jim Singiser’s varsity football staff and will return to Rowland.
Aguilar was an assistant coach under Craig Snyder at Rowland in 2010, but left shortly after the season to accept a history teaching job at Arroyo and a spot on Singiser’s staff. Aguilar was head coach at Los Altos for two years, going 4-16, before resigning after the 2009 season. Aguilar also coached baseball at Arroyo.
“I appreciate the role Felipe served within our baseball program and wish him the best in the future,” said Singiser, who is also Arroyo boys AD. “As far as the impact on our football program? He had only been with us for 2 weeks because of baseball so he had just started to get to know our players and our system.”
Arroyo has replaced Aguilar on its staff with former standout quarterback Dominic Salmon.
Aram’s take: Felipe needs to settle down. That’s a lot of schools in a short amount of time. I had heard that Aguilar was being groomed to be Snyder’s successor when the veteran coach decides to turn over the Rowland football program. Maybe that plan is back on now. Who knows.
Bishop Amat, Cathedral, Loyola and others all reportedly tried, but West Covina ended up hitting the jackpot by landing Antonio “Noodles” Hull as part of its freshman class. Hull, who you’ll see in this video as a member of the Compton Vikings JAA team, has moved to West Covina with his family and will likely land himself a spot on the Bulldogs varsity team this fall.
Aram’s take: Could West Covina’s program be doing any better? It’s on fire right now with talent. Anyway, I had heard buzz about West Covina’s freshman class (90-something players with some goodies in the group), not that Noodles will be a part of it anyway. He’ll be playing under the lights. Look at the kid’s highlight film! It’s not like he’s running away from slow kids. It looks like he’s out there against other athletes and HE’S ON ANOTHER LEVEL. Looks like the Valley could have a VERY SPECIAL PLAYER to watch for the next four years. Can’t wait to see what Noodles can do!
After participating in a summer passing game last week as a member of Arcadia High School’s football team, De’Shawn Ramirez has decided to remain a Monrovia Wildcat after all.
Ramirez informed Monrovia of his decision during a meeting on Monday afternoon during which Monrovia principal Darvin Jackson decided to restore Ramirez’s eligibility to the Wildcats’ football program.
“We’re going to support the opportunity for him to represent Monrovia,” Jackson said. “As principal of the high school, because athletics are a privilege, I had to make the decision based on the facts that were before me.
“He (Ramirez) has met the terms of the agreement that were made last year and therefore we believe that young adults should be given another opportunity.”
Ramirez spent last week practicing with Arcadia and played running back, receiver and safety for the Apaches in a passing game while Monrovia was still in limbo about whether to restore his eligibility to play football. Ramirez spent last school year at Canyon Continuation High School after being expelled from Monrovia and kicked off the football team following an undisclosed disciplinary infraction at school.
Jackson issued a statement on Friday night saying that Ramirez and his family had the weekend to decide which school Ramirez wanted to attend this fall. Ramirez’s eligibility to return to the football program is effective immediately. Monrovia, like most other local teams, has just entered the busy summer passing circuit portion of its offseason schedule.
Ramirez rushed for 851 yards and 10 touchdowns at Monrovia as a sophomore in 2009. Even bigger things were expected of him entering his junior year, but he sat out while the Wildcats went 12-2 and won the CIF Mid-Valley Division championship.
Trouble found Ramirez again in May when he was stabbed in the neck during a fight at a house party in the 100 block of Montana Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia.
With Ramirez back and joining a team that returns several key starters, including heavily recruited defensive end Ellis McCarthy, the Wildcats figure to be favored to repeat as division champs. Based off his 2009 form, Ramirez is widely considered to be one of the top running backs in the area as well as a dangerous receiver and kick returner.
Since Monrovia was Ramirez’s last established school of athletic eligibility, the senior won’t have to sweat any eligibility issues with CIF.
Aram’s take: Absolutely the right decision by Jackson. Everybody makes mistakes as teenagers … some bigger than others. BUT, Ramirez would not be better off without football in his life. Much better for him to have the gridiron taking up most of his time than hanging with Baby Roc 3. Feel me? Anyway, for about a week it looked like Arcadia was building a case to be co-favored with West Covina in the Southeast Division. The Apaches were almost sitting up on a sick collection of skill players had Ramirez come over. They’re still darn good. As for Monrovia, well, bad news for the rest of the Mid-Valley. It seems to me that Covina is the only team in the division that can match the Wildcats in terms of skill players, and even that might be pushing it. If G5 is as good as they say at QB, then M-Town looks like a good bet to hoist another banner.
As many of you should know, I absolutely love getting Diamond Ranch coach Roddy Layton’s takes on all things football. He never holds back and that’s that.
Anyway, quite a few people have remarked to me that they haven’t heard much about D-Ranch on the blog so far this spring/summer. And I got to thinking that D-Ranch didn’t have any players who made the top 10 in my QB, RB or WR rankings and for some reason I hadn’t heard from Coach Layton when I usually would under such circumstances.
Does that mean D-Ranch is in trouble or just laying low … Coach Layton provided the answer …
“We lost in the first round last year. It’s time to be quiet.”
… On just how good last year’s West Covina team was compared to previous Charter Oak teams …
“That West Covina team was good. The Charter Oak team we played our first year in the finals was the best team we played. That team was better than the two Amat teams we played (in ’08 and ’09). West Covina was good (last year). They got their rings. But they weren’t better than those two teams.”
“Out of respect for the family and at their requiest, I’m going to make a brief statement. De’Shawn Ramirez and his family will spend the weekend deciding on which school he wishes to attend.”
Aram’s take: Short and sweet. Jackson refused to answer any questions. You get what you get sometimes. We’ll see what happens, but it sounds like he has the option to play at Monrovia (just a guess from reading between the lines).
Running back De’Shawn Ramirez, who last played with Monrovia High School during his sophomore season in 2009, has been practicing with Arcadia for the past week and participated in a passing game on Thursday.
Ramirez attended Canyon Continuation High School in Monrovia last year and did not play football after being expelled from Monrovia for an undisclosed incident.
Monrovia is expected to rule on Ramirez’s fate on Monday. If he’s allowed to return to the school, then Ramirez will presumably have a decision to make about whether he’ll play for the Wildcats or continue on at Arcadia.
“He’s been with us a week and has been a pleasure to be around,” Arcadia coach Jon Dimalante said. “He’s working out with us in the summer until he finds out about Monrovia.”
Dimalante said that should Ramirez choose to stay at Arcadia, he would be a welcomed addition to the team. Ramirez played running back, receiver and safety during yesterday’s competition.
“From what I’ve seen and how he’s fit in, that wouldn’t be a problem,” Dimalante said. “He’s a good player and has a lot potential. We just want what’s good for the kid.”
Aram’s take: I asked Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox at yesterday’s passing game at Bonita whether Ramirez would be with the team during yesterday’s games and he said “No” and didn’t elaborate. I just assumed that was because no decision has been made by the school, which it hasn’t. As for Ramirez being at Arcadia, well, I guess I understand. The kid can’t wait around. He needs to make plans for his senior year. But the odd thing is that from all accounts, if Monrovia clears Ramirez, most people I’ve talked to expect him to return to Monrovia. And Dimalante sounded fine with that.
Chino Hills stiffing really hurt the sex appeal to what I dubbed the Rebuilding Bowl. Think about it: Bonita, Glendora and Monrovia are all replacing fantastic QBs. Fortunately, they all have some strong skill guys back to make it easier on their new signal callers.
Bonita: The Bearcats have absolutely no worries skill position-wise outside of QB. Reggie Turner looks like he’s ready to become one of the better backs around. Garrett Horine and Austin Venegas are already two excellent receivers, and watch out for receiver Toure McCully when he gets more seasoning. Cameron Griffin did not participate. Anyway, on to the QB situation. Both Tanner Diebold and Aaron Burgett had their moments. You can tell both are still very raw, but this was really Step 1 competition-wise for them and I would expect that with a full summer under their belts, they’ll be just fine. Many of the skill guys doubled as DBs, so Bonita looks athletic enough in the back seven. I’m not about to make an assessment of a linebacker based on how he looks dropping into coverage, but Nick Pichotta physically looks like a good one.
Glendora: It’s hard to get a gauge on the Tartans in passing games because of all the running they’ll do in new coach Todd Quinsey’s offense. It was very obvious on Thursday that both Donovan Holmes and Corey Victoria will have to carry this team. I cannot tell whether it’s a good or bad sign that Holmes and Victoria were responsible for most of Glendora’s success in pass plays way down field. Do you want your RBs to be your top deep threats? I digress. A pleasant surprise was 6-foot-4, 245-pound junior tight end Christian Schneider. This kid is a beast with a decent looking pair of hands. Kyle Kianpour looks to have a leg up on Mike Crook in the QB race. More than anything, I was impressed with Glendora’s defense. The Tartans pretty much limited a very talented Rancho Cucamonga offense to passes to backs out of the backfield (a real white flag in passing games). Glendora looked on defense once it settled in.
Monrovia: I was very disappointed to find out from ‘Cats coach Ryan Maddox that QB George Frazier wasn’t going to be at Bonita. I believe Maddox said G5 was at Boise St. Because of that, I limited my viewership of Monrovia. Hey, it’s passing league, QBs are uber-important. I already know M-Town has athletes where they need them, but I need to know if they have a QB. However, I did catch some glimpses of Monrovia’s defense and as you might expect, their athletes were giving their opponents some headaches.
Northview: It was a tall order to begin with for the Vikes. They were competing against upper-division foes and their divison’s reigning champ. Northview looks decently talented for a Mid-Valley team. There are some good-looking athletes on the roster. But they need some polish … and I’m being nice there. As does the defense … and I’m being very nice there. It’s a long summer and no doubt this young group will make strides and be better for the experience.
Rancho Cucamonga: Easily the most talented team there (what did you expect?). But … the play didn’t really match the talent. I don’t know this team and its coaches well because they’re out of the area, but I thought they underachieved for the amount of talent on hand. However, off in the distance you could hear the linemen competition going on and from what I hear, Rancho simply dominated that.
Mike the Clone: In what may come as a shock to many of you, I had never met Mike the Clone in person. Well, after getting out of my car on Thursday and striking up a conversation with the best sports photog in the business — The Keith Birmingham — what appeared to be an angry Glendora dad pulled up in his car near me. He said “Can I speak to you for a moment?” while motioning me over. I thought “Oh no, another person who doesn’t understand the blogs …” BUT, it was MTC himself playing a nice prank on me. Great guy. And yes, he and I will be doing some damage at an eatery near you sometime soon.
As I told Freddie at the game site, I will not be writing game stories off of passing games that feature four or six teams with no score being kept. But I will write gamers off of passing tournaments where they keep score and there are winners and placings announced.
So, Tuesday’s tilt between Amat, CO, Upland and JW North was more a workout than a game. The teams ran a set amount of plays against each other and no score was kept, but you could kinda keep one in your mind. Here are my impressions about anything and everything from Tuesday.
Bishop Amat: Nine’s arm on sideline patterns is just ridiculous. The guy is throwing ropes. He’s also become pinpoint to a fault. I was very impressed by Nine. Jalen Moore has grown into a beast in the offseason, I couldn’t believe it. He’s gotten taller and bigger (muscle-wise) and looks like a legit college prospect, which is something I didn’t think last year because of his size (I’m very rigid on what I think a major college running back should look like physically (and no, I’m not a recruiting expert)). Anyway, Moore looks very impressive. Amat had some bodies at receiver, but they all need some polish. Defensivlely, Amat looked smallish in the back seven, which is all you really see passing league. But there are some athletes there and even Nine was playing some DB. I overheard Coach Hagerty tell Freddie that he’s really focusing on improving the defense this year, so it makes sense that some guys are going two ways.
Charter Oak: CO started rusty and it makes sense because this was its first passing game of the season. Once warmed up, I thought CO’s offense looked great, but the back seven looked shaky at times and not too sure of what to do. Travis Santiago looked solid at QB and him thrown to Chris Gilchrist looks like something special. But the rest of CO’s receivers need some polish. No shame in that as it’s only June. Without pads on and a running game, it’s hard for me to really say much about CO other than that they have a nice group of athletes. When Kurt Scoby starts running in pads with a line in front of him, that’s when we’ll know.
Upland: I haven’t seen Corona Centennial, and I know they’re loaded, but Upland HAS TO BE either the Inland Division favorite or the second choice. By far, Upland had the best group of athletes out there. By far. And what’s crazy is that their top WR, Kenny Lawler, wasn’t even there on Tuesday. He’s at Nebraska on a visit, where they offered him. Also, Upland’s running back got an offer from Colorado during Tuesday’s games. They’re going to be special.
JW North: I have to be totally honest, JW North had the second-best collection of the four teams on Tuesday. I’m not going to venture to guess what that means once the pads come on. But, I was blown away by some of the bodies they had. I still have no clue what CO is doing in a division with Upland and JW North.
Dick Salter: Great to see the legend. There is/will be a shot on Fred’s blog of Coach Salter surrounded by Big Lou, Tim Salter, Steve Hagerty and Mark Paredes. Awesome. That’s 14 CIF titles and countless more runner-ups and titles won as assistants. Awesome! I asked Coach Salter after the games who impressed him most and he said “They all did.” He still hasn’t forgotten how to BS the media.
The Scouting Guru: It was easily the hottest day of June and the Guru was sporting his Crespi SWEATSHIRT … and cracking his full compliment of fat jokes on me.
Reg Miller: The hardest working man in local sports media, Reg Miller made an appearance and was doing his thing with the camera. When Reg shows up, you know it’s big.
CO ballboys visit with Nine: Great moment after the games when CO ballboys Little Lou, the son of CO offensive coordinator Dom Farrar, and Coach Dom’s other son Vincent and Trevor Sheets got to visit with Nine. And Nine then gave the boys a talk about what it takes to be good athletes AND students. It was like they just met Jordan.
Jason David: My main man JD was so involved in the games, that on one play he was inexplicably in between the defender and the receiver as the ball was coming down. Love JD’s intensity. He gets right on the field and starts offering advice. I yelled to him “JD, if you’re gonna be that close, make a play on the ball!” To which he replied “I almost did.”
Chris Gilchrist has recruiters drooling over his size.
Note: Obviously, a lot more will be learned over the summer about the guys on this list and how their teams will use them. And I will do another list after that. But for now, this is a pretty guideline as to who the top receivers in the “area” are. As always, let me know where I’ve screwed up, if I’ve screwed up, point out some nuggets I may not have heard of, and I will pay extra-close attention to them this summer.
1. Brett Bartolone, Sr., La Habra — Bartolone has absolutely the most polished game around. He runs great routes, has speed and reliable hands. Hey, if Air Force wants him, then you know he must doing something right and that says what kind of kid he is both on and off the field. Will Bartolone’s numbers suffer with QB Cody Clements gone? That remains to be seen, but as of now, nobody is the total package that Bartolone is.
2. Taylor Lagace,Sr., Arcadia — Lagace already has an offer from Boise St., and like Bartolone, he brings exceptional polish to his position. Lagace caught 42 balls for 650 yards and 10 TDs last year and I expect those numbers to get even better with QB Miles Carr back. He also had 1,045 return yards. There’s not too many total packages like him around and that 4.5 40 time has recruiters very excited. Lagace will probably be a safety in college, but pity the DB who has to line up opposite him this season.
3. Travis Talianko, Sr., St. Francis — At 6-1 and a legit 200 pounds, it’s easy to see why Talianko is catching the eyes of recruiters. He had high expectations put on him heading into last year and didn’t disappoint, catching 59 balls for 946 yards and a whopping 17 TDs! With another good-looking quarterback under center at SF and Jim Bonds calling the offensive shots, Talianko is poised for another huge year.
4. Chris Gilchrist, Sr., Charter Oak — Gilchrist has recruiters from all over drooling due to his 6-foot-4 frame and good speed. With QB Travis Santiago back, expect Gilchrist’s numbers to possibly double from last year’s 704 yards and five TDs. With Dennis Rufus now playing on Saturdays, Gilchrist becomes unquestioned No. 1 target. He’s been working with former CO star Jason David and I expect more overall polish out of his game this season because of it.
5. Vinny Venegas, Sr., Covina — Venegas was an All-SGV selection last year after hauling 60 receptions for 1,064 yards and 12 touchdowns. His numbers may get even better this season with QB Billy Livingston and RB Gevontray Ainsworth back. As fans saw last year against Baldwin Park, Venegas is capable of taking games over at any moments. He remains one of the most electric players in the area.
6. Adam Aguirre, Sr., Cantwell — Aguirre was a force last year on a team that put most of its emphasis on the run. That didn’t stop the 6-foot-3 Aguirre from catching 50 balls for 981 yards and 11 touchdowns. His average yards-per-catch were a very nice 19.6! Cantwell has some returning experience in QB Jacob Alaniz, Aguirre’s numbers shouldn’t suffer.
7. George Katrib, Sr., Diamond Bar — Katrib is a nice package of speed and sure hands, and despite not having great size, he’s willing to go over the middle and make catches in traffic. Katrib was the Southeast Division’s No. 2 receiver behind Walnut’s Aubrey Coleman last season. He caught 63 balls for 984 yards and 11 TDs. No reason those numbers don’t get even better with QB Henry Omana back as well.
8. Alex Villalobos, Sr., San Gabriel — Being the No.1 receiver at San Gabriel usually leads to huge numbers. And while Villalobos’ 41 catches for 801 yards and 8 TDs were solid, seeing improve all those numbers by about 50 percent this season with more stability at QB is not out of the question. Villalobos projects as one of my top breakout players this year and the numbers should show that.
9. Jamie Canada, Sr., South Hills — I’ve been doing my research here since The Guru’s bold call of Canada being the top recruit in the area. Canada has been cleared to play and Huskies coach Steve Bogan assures me he’s going to be special. With a veteran QB back in Vince Hernandez and a RB like Jamel Hart to take the pressure off, Canada looks poised to deliver on all the promise we’ve been hearing about.
10. Garrett Horine, Sr. Bonita — Horine has the speed and hands to really move up this list. But what he doesn’t have is a veteran signal caller to throw to him. If Bonita can groom a QB, and we all know Coach Podley’s track record of doing this, Horine could be set for a smashing senior season. He tipped his hand last year by averaging over 17 yards per catch and hauling in 7 TD passes.
THOUGHTS AND SLEEPERS: This is perhaps the most important section of this entire write up. At no other position can you hear about more sleeper than receivers … and a lot of times these sleepers hit at a much higher rate than other positions. Anyway, they’re raving at Damien about Josh Savage, who is 6-1 and can really run. He has no experience, so I had a hard time putting him in the top 10. Watch out for him, though. Whittier Christian’s Cody Bronkar is getting big ups from Daily News preps stalwart Andrew Campa. I personally saw Monrovia’s Luke Williams and immediately pictured him as M-Town’s top outside threat. No disrespect to Anthony Craft, who had a decent year last year and should be even better. And what about D-Ranch’s Andrew Fischer? He’s going to be Roddy’s top target and maybe his top offensive weapon. Amat’s Adam Sanchez finished 19th in the PAC-5 last year and that was with an ankle injury that might be lingering. If healthy, he’s a good one. And if Zach Shay catches as many balls as I’m hearing, he’s another stud to watch. Lastly, Charter Oak coaches think they have something very special in Bryce Bobo. And finally, there’s buzz out of Arroyo about an underclassmen named Brandon Jauregui. I will follow him this summer and see if I agree. As always, feel free to tell me WHERE I WENT WRONG!
Big Lou and Charter Oak will host the Bishop Amat coaching reunion tomorrow. JW North is coached by Mark Paredes. Upland is coached by Tim Salter. Amat is coached by Steve Hagerty, who along with his staff, has connections to both. And best of all, the legend himself, former Arcadia coach Dick Salter is expected to be out there rooting them all on!
Should be an awesome evening. And of course, fans will get to see Amat vs. Charter Oak at some point.
Great coaches, great football schools and great kids. For mid-June, it doesn’t get any better than this.