Ayala Tournament schedule … July 16

Ayala Tournament
Saturday, July 16
Pool play: 8:30 a.m.

Red pool: Ayala, Douglas, Glendale, Highland, San Juan Hills, Santa Margarita
Black pool: Bonita, Don Lugo, Jurupa Valley, Orange, Santa Ana Valley, Tustin
White pool: Crescenta Valley, Diamond Ranch, Eisenhower, Garfield, Paloma Valley, Santa Fe

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Diamond Ranch QB situation: Carrillo OUT, Locke IN …

Cesar Carrillo, last year’s starting QB at Diamond Ranch, hasn’t been with the team the entire summer and is expected to concentrate on baseball, which is what he’s doing right now.

That’s forced D-Ranch coach Roddy Layton to turn to 6-foot-3 senior Isiah Locke, who may have won the job anyway. Locke led the Panthers to the consolation championship of the L.A. Valley Tournament this past weekend.

Layton says that Carrillo is welcome to rejoin the team at any point, but there will be a competition heading into the fall if that happens.

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IMPORTANT DATES … Feel free to add to these by commenting … follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

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June 24-25: Bonita Air Assault (Charter Oak WINS)

June 24: Hall of Fame All-Star Game at West Covina HS (East WINS)

June 25: West Covina Linemen Competition (Villa Park WINS)

July 9: SGV Shootout (@Arroyo) Passing Tournament (Diamond Bar WINS)

July 9: Tournament of Champions @Santa Fe and Linemen Tournament (Pass: Narbonne (WINS), Line: Chino Hills (WINS))

July 15-16: Claremont Passing Tournament

July 16: Ayala Passing Tournament

July 16: Los Osos Linemen compeition

July 16: Arroyo Linemen Competition (Azusa, Covina, Gladstone, West Covina (3 teams), Villa Park, Los Altos (2 teams), Monrovia, Baldwin Park, La Salle, Temple City … I probably missed a few.

July 23: Ayala Linemen competition

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Chino Hills wins Santa Fe line competition …

Chino Hills won the Santa Fe Tournament of Champions linemen competition on Saturday. The Huskies also won the competition last year.

Aram’s take:
I spoke to Huskies coach Derek Bub two weeks ago and he said this year’s line is the best in school history. And that’s where you have to be worried if you’re Charter Oak and South Hills. All the skill in the world ain’t gonna matter if you’re being pushed around. Chino Hills has four of five starters returning on its O-line. The Huskies also have QB Andrew Chavez back. I hear their skill guys are above average, but not like last year. Couple CO’s outstanding skill guys with Chino Hills’ dominant line and you can see the Sierra League has something for everyone.

Diamond Bar beats Azusa to win SGV Shootout …

PHOTOS from SGV Shootout

PHOTOS from Santa Fe Tournament

UPDATE: Sorry about that, D-Ranch did not win the L.A.Valley Tournament. It won the L.A. Valley Tournament CONSOLATION BRACKET. There was some confusion because the Panthers got t-shirts that say champions. Still a nice day.

Diamond Bar beat Azusa in a thrilling championship game to win the SGV Shootout at Arroyo High School.

The Brahmas beat Monrovia in the semifinals while Azusa beat Buena Park. The Aztecs won last year’s SGV Shootout.

Elsewhere, St. Francis lost in the semis of the L.A. Valley Tournament and Arcadia lost in the semis of the Santa Fe Tournament to Narbonne, which went on to win the tournament.

And now … for what you’ve all been waiting for … Aram’s takes …

SGV Shootout: Arroyo coach Jim Singiser puts on one helluva event. It isn’t easy. He has to still coach his team, too. But getting to see all these Valley teams in one spot, man, it’s just a media member’s dream. It’s an enjoyable, well-run day. And kudos to the guys Singiser has refereeing the game or Coach Rios and his crew running the snack bar, they take a lot of crap, but do a GREAT JOB!

Diamond Bar:
What can you say? The Brahmas played with some serious edge. And that edge combined with the skill talent they have means big things. Coach Ryan Maine continues to impress. The guy is pouring his heart into that program and his passion is rubbing off on the kids. Yes, it’s only passing league, but this is a program that badly needed a notch in its belt.

Azusa: So much for me hearing from SEVERAL PEOPLE that Azusa didn’t look. Thanks for that. I stand by my opinion of a few weeks when I saw the Aztecs throw on a Tuesday at Arroyo; they’re reloaded and good.

Monrovia: Passing game is coming along nicely. G5 didn’t look as much like an LB playing QB today. He looked like a QB. I spoke to an M-Town coach who said that the passing game improves every day. Talent-wise, Monrovia is impressive as hell. Also, I got word on Saturday that De’Shawn Ramirez has been cleared by CIF and will be with the team starting Monday.

West Covina:
I think the Valley is smart enough by now to not put any stock in WestCo’s passing tournament shortcomings. Happens every summer and every fall the Bulldogs are one of the best teams around. Am I concerned about the QB situation? Hell yes. The passing game needs A LOT OF WORK. Also, Trib Player of the Year Chris Solomon wasn’t out there. Nor was cornerback Lonzell Barnett, who has been injured for most of summer.

Coach K and Rosemead:
I’m not listening to anyone tell me anymore that Rosemead is no bueno. Like West Covina or Covina, Coach Koffler has won enough to look so-so in passing games and not have everybody call for his program’s demise. Yes, they looked shaky on offense at times today, but this is a running team. And guess what, their players looked like typical Rosemead kids and that means good defense and run game WHEN THE PADS COME ON. And another season of challenging Arroyo for the MVL and making the playoffs. … Biggest thing that concerned me about Rosemead was that Coach K was wearing a SWEATSHIRT on Saturday.

San Dimas: The Saints ran a running play in their game vs. Diamond Bar. They were down 36-12 and CALLED A DIVE! Absolutely baffling. They ran A RUNNING PLAY! I talked to several people who said they had never seen that before in a passing tournament.

Maranatha: Andrew Elffers. Wow. Three-step drop and it’s out … and it’s humming … and it’s on target. This guy is excellent. I also liked what I saw from the skill guys. Solid team.

Arroyo’s Steven Rivera:
This guy is just unreal. Enough can’t be said about him. He threads it as well as anybody and he truly is one of the best safeties around. I just wish he’d stop hitting people. It was funny, against West Covina, Rivera hit Bulldogs RB Aaron Salgado very hard to break up a pass. Salgado is a mini-tank and not somebody you want to hit with or without pads. Anyway, Rivera came up wincing afterward and I looked over at the El Monte coaching staff who was watching the game and they were just shaking their heads. He’s got to stop doing that. Not worth it to get hurt in July, especially when it could be a shoulder. I know the kid is a player and can’t turn it off and on, but man.

That’s Mister Singiser to all of you.

Mister Singiser: Arroyo coach Jim Singiser’s dad, who will be referred to here as Mister Singiser, has always been one of my favorite people to watch at games. He was out there on Saturday and not holding back. He was all over the officials for letting Arroyo’s opponents have too much time to throw. It’s just classic. There’s not a more intense fan in the area. The guy’s a true football man and it’s classic to hear Knights coach Jim Singiser just shake his head sometimes and say “I can’t control him.”

Rough play: It’s funny. You hear coaches complain about it when it happens to them, but you also hear them like to see it out of their teams (sometimes) because it shows they’re not soft. Personally, I like it. These guys are football players. There needs to be some badasses on each team or that team probably isn’t going to be very good. I remember Coach DT of Covina telling me once that “If you have a team of mostly 4.0 students, you’re probably not going to make the playoffs.” IT’S FOOTBALL, you need some tough guys. Now cheap-shot artists, that’s another story.

SGV Shootout: TEAM-BY-TEAM What I’ll be looking for

It truly doesn’t get better than the SGV Shootout passing tournament this Saturday Arroyo. It’s as if Knights coach Jim Singiser wants to give the Trib and Star-News an all-in-one look at the Mid-Valley Division and some key locals in the Southeast Division. We’ll gladly oblige …

Anyway, here’s what I’ll be looking for (hopefully it’s not shade) on Saturday.

Arroyo — Thus far I’ve only heard about the prowess of WR/DB Brandon Jauregui. He’s been busy with baseball, but he will be out there on Saturday with the Knights. Only a sophomore, he’s supposed to be a very legit weapon this season. We’ll see.

West Covina
— Passing really isn’t WestCo’s thing, but with the collection of athletes the Bulldogs have all over the field, they should give a good impression. I’m not looking for the Bulldogs to win this thing (they didn’t last year and still won CIF), but I’m gonna start getting worried if I see ducks flying all over the place from the QBs.

Gladstone — I’ve heard things about the Gladiators’ top senior talent not playing this season. So, let’s just see what remains. Also, DC Brian Zavala. Let’s see if his intensity has rubbed off on the defense.

Kamiak — Pass.

Covina — Total buzzkill that QB Billy Livingston won’t be there on Saturday. And remembering the “let’s get this over with” vibe the Colts gave off in last year’s early exit, I’m not expecting much. Does it matter? No. Coach DT and staff really don’t sweat the passing circuit and it clearly hasn’t cost them when the pads come on.

Diamond Bar — I’m really hoping to see better competitive nature out of the Brahmas than what I did in June. I’m not saying D-Bar should be playing tackle out there while everyone else is playing two-hand touch, but it would be nice to see this team respond when on-the-field adversity strikes. All that and QB Henry Omana and WR George Katrib putting on a show.

Rosemead — I haven’t seen Rosemead at all yet. But what I’ve heard hasn’t been pretty. Am I sweating it? No. The Panthers NEVER wow anybody in July, and yet they seem to lay hat when the hats come on. I just want to see the types of bodies I’d expect of a typically good Rosemead defense.

San Dimas — I haven’t seen the Saints at all this summer. I’ve heard good things, which surprises me because this isn’t really a throwing offense. Last year, San Dimas threw it up to Kevin Kolbeck a lot during passing games and that made for some highlight-reel grabs. With Kolbeck gone, I guess I will simply be athlete checking when it comes to the Saints.

El Monte — Is this a playoff team? Is this a team that can really split the annual Arroyo-Rosemead exacta box in the MVL? Some people think so. If you’ve seen OL/DL Jesse Gaytan, you might think so, too. But Gaytan won’t be part of the throwing festivities on Saturday. QB Manuel Santa Cruz and last year’s top WR Memo Silva will be. Athlete checking here.

Rowland — Like Rosemead, the buzz this summer on Rowland isn’t good. But buzz means squat in September. Still, let’s see just how well the Raiders have reloaded now that the Michael Ball (and Leonardo Freeman and Ervin Crawford) Era is over.

— Andrew Elfers, what else? I’m excited to see what many believe is the top QB in the entire area. If Elfers is as good as the billing, then he should be enough to take the Minutemen far on Saturday. However, I’ll trust the public and recruiters on how good Elfers is. What I want to see is whether he has anything to throw to.

Northview — This one is simple: Improvement.

Azusa — The one time I saw Azusa this summer, I was impressed. Since then, I have heard from other people who were not impressed. Uh, yeah, I guess I’ll be hoping the tourney’s defending champs put on another show.

Walnut — The Mustangs are sticking with the spread this year … more because of their line woes in recent years than the offensive skill talent on hand. A lot of production from last year graduated, so let’s see if The ‘Nut has some more horses ready to light up the scoreboard. Also, WR/DB Donte Lawson is a speedster worth watching.

Buena Park — Just want to say hi to coach Anthony White.

Monrovia — Better polish out of the QB spot. The ‘Cats will be one of the most talented teams out there, but they gotta get the ball to the receivers. If you haven’t seen them, you’ll be in awe (same thing with WestCo). It would also be nice to see De’Shawn Ramirez, but I ain’t holding my breath. Just remember M-Town fans, if you wanna be considered one of the OVERALL Valley’s best (and lay down challenges to Amat), then your team has to be able to take care of business in a tourney like this.

Baldwin Park — Yet another team the buzz has not been good on. The Braves do have to replace some pretty nice players in Mario Rodriguez, WC3 and Demetrius Jackson. I’m not expecting to see BP fling it all over with precision, I just want to see frames that look like they’ll be able to hang in the VVL with Covina, SD and Pomona (I guess).

San Gabriel — Readers of this blog know I’m high on this team. This is rough for me because I never thought I would be the one hyping this team. I want see what I would consider to be the best collection of skill talent in the Almont League. Passing games are pure finesse and nobody did finesse better than the truly good teams of SG’s recent past.

La Puente — Let’s see if the mild success I saw against Claremont a week or so ago translates into a nice showing on Saturday. The Warriors actually have a pretty nice deep passing game, so maybe they’ll surprise some people.

Bonita — The buzz also hasn’t been too kind here either. Man, the Bearcats’ QBs are under some serious pressure this year. Everybody sees that the supporting cast is there, but the inexperience at QB is tempering excitement. If Coach Podley wants my advice, and I’m sure he doesn’t, I say let’s cut to the chase, name Tanner Diebold the starter and let him roll. Saturday would be a great place to start.

Nogales — The buzz hasn’t been all negative and this is one place where it’s been pretty intriguing. Obviously, QB Keith Bolden is a very nice player. But I’m hearing the Nobles have got some serious athletes around him. I’ll see for myself on Saturday.

Alhambra — I liked what I saw of QB Joshua Mendoza and his WRs when I saw them a couple weeks back at Arroyo. The Moors are a longshot to make a deep run on Saturday, but further improvement would only make me more of a believer in a truly wide open Almont League.

Whittier Christian — OK, the buzz is back to being negative. I’ve heard WC is way down. Compared to last year, how could they not be? But still, Whittier Daily News anchor Andrew Campa says Grant Escobar is the real deal. I’m interested to see whether things are that bad. They rarely are …

Pro football players come to the SGV …

QB Jimmy Clausen directs the huddle during Wednesday’s workout at Charter Oak

Here’s a PHOTO GALLERY of the day’s events from the best sports photog in the biz, Keith Birmingham.

OK, I’m gonna do this less formal than my article about Wednesday’s workout which will run in tomorrow’s Tribune.

First off, I would like to thank, no praise, AquaHydrate for supplying everyone (fans included) with free water. Not only is their product EXCELLENT, they probably saved a dozen or so lives by keeping us hydrated. By the way, coaches, you may want to look into these guys hydrating your teams. They have a very interesting formula geared toward athletes (and they’re local).

About the action, it was just awesome to see this type of talent in the flesh. As you might expect, these guys are another level. Their athleticism and speed is sickening. Watching pro DBs Kerry Rhodes and Antonio Cromartie one-hand catch balls out of the air blew my mind. It’s like the ball is nothing to them.

And what can you say about Jason David? The guy has become a friend over the past year so I’m a tad biased, but there is no denying what a great job he does VERY OFTEN of giving back to the community. He basically ran the event, conducted the practice, signed autographs and buddied up to his pro friends, all without missing a beat. That’s the way a local legend should give back.

My favorite part of the day was when Charter Oak QB Travis Santiago was pressed into action. That’s right, the Summer of Santiago continues with the kid getting to throw to pro receivers against pro defenders. It was just awesome. And I got some comments from Travis afterward (because he’s about all I could interview thanks to the no-media policy).

“I wasn’t nervous or scared, it was more like an adrenaline rush. My first pass came out of there a little rushed,” Santiago said. “I was expecting to come out here and watch and learn. Then, I got a chance to get in there and throw three passes.

“I’m not going to brag about it to people or anything, but if people ask I’m going to tell them how fun it was.”

Also out there throwing was former St. Francis QB Justin Posthuma, who looked REALLY GOOD. Posthuma was a walk on at UCLA last season, but informed me he will either be at ELAC or PCC this fall. If Wednesday was any indicator, he’ll be at D-1 university again very soon.

Travis Santiago (left) and Justin Posthuma (right) soak it all in.

Freshman All-American Keith Smith, formerly of Charter Oak and now at San Jose St., also took part. This guy is just awesome. No wonder he was a frosh All-American last year. He looked right at home with the pro ballers. Smith informed he leaves for SJSU at the end of the week, so we won’t see him working out with JD until next offseason.

Watching Smith was his girlfriend and the first lady of SGV softball Courtney Gano. I asked why her dad (Greg Gano) wasn’t there on Wednesday and then suddenly remembered where I was. Stupid me. Anyway, Courtney G. is on her way to begin her career at Washington in Septiembre.

Lastly, I got to meet the blogger “D-Mo”. That was cool. He was driving a nice ‘vette, but still wasn’t allowed to park in the player’s lot. If you blog on here and see me somewhere, please introduce yourself by screename. I get a kick out of that.

Line of the day:
While walking out to the field I saw CO coach Lou Farrar and said “Looks like Charter Oak got some transfers in” in reference to the pro talent on Big Lou’s field.

Roll call: From what I could gather, here’s who was out there: Jimmy Clausen, George Wrightster, Dominique Byrd, Husain and Hamza Abdullah, Kerry Rhodes, Antonio Cromartie, Samie Parker, Darnell Bing, Matt Ware, Bruce Davis.

SEE YOU THERE? About 30 pro football players working out at Charter Oak on Wednesday at 10 a.m. PUBLIC IS WELCOME …

About 30 pro football players are expected to hold a workout on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Charter Oak High School, according to Jason David’s Twitter. You may also want to follow OTA Experience and S.T.A.R.S Athletes.

The workout will be open to the public, but not the media (go figure). The players are doing this as a treat to the fans while everyone holds their breath over the NFL’s work stoppage.

The players are expected to compete in 7-on-7 drills.

Aram’s take: For whatever reason, I cannot seem to get NAMES as to which players will be there. And Twitter is being no help either. But the estimate of 30 players seems very reliable. More info as I get it, but if you’re a local football fan you probably don’t want to miss this.