This from Fred J. Robledo because I wouldn’t be so calm if I had to explain why none of you got the PrepXtra Preview this morning: We screwed up. The PrepXtra Preview Football magazine is NOT in today’s home delivery or news rack. I’ll spare you all the details, but a major breakdown in communication caused all this. I have been assured that the PrepXtra Football Preview will run in Wednesday’s home subscription and newsracks. Sorry for the inconvenience, it’s embarrassing and we let you down.
Who: San Gabriel coach Jude Oliva and Muir coach Ken Howard (SAME SEGMENT), West Covina coach Mike Maggiore and Darryl Thomas (SAME SEGMENT). And CIF’s Thom Simmons. When: Tuesday, 7 p.m. Where: This blog or Fred’s, or Miguel’s, or Steve’s.
Disclaimer: Please remember these were only scrimmages, and like passing games, we should temper our reactions. Having said that, let’s do some overreacting. I’ll go first …
Covina vs. South Hills: I hit this game before heading over to Damien-Bonita. I was VERY impressed by both teams. Robledo had said earlier this week that he was impressed by South Hills, but I didn’t buy it. Well, he was right. I was impressed. Yeah, No. 3, I saw you chirping out there. I like it! Maybe I’m the only one. But I think South Hills needs some anger after what happened last year. Anyway, first play of the actual game when Covina was on offense and South Hills on defense, Billy Livingston found Vinny Vengas for a 30-yard TD. The Colts stayed on offense and from the 10 had little trouble running the ball in. South Hills didn’t look as good on offense, but I liked the way Jamie Canada was moving and the line has some good size. I think the Huskies were keeping it ultra-vanilla on offense. Covina’s defense looked solid. Johnny Padilla is clearly going to be one of the top middle backers in the area. What keeps blowing me away about the Colts is that they have size you typically don’t see from Covina nor very many Mid-Valley teams. They also have athletes in the right spot. This team is headed for big things. Also, it was great to Colt 74 out there. This guy knows his Covina football and he’s got a pretty good grip on the rest of the area, too.
! Damien vs. Bonita: I left very concerned about Damien. So much so that I called coach Greg Gano and expressed my worry. He told me he kept things VERY basic tonight because he wasn’t going to show much to anyone. I can live with that. I guess what bothered me is that Damien did next to nothing on offense, but you can tell they have playmakers. Boykins and Castille look like two very nice scat backs who will make people miss often. Savage looked good at receiver. I must say that I was very impressed with QB Gage Pucci. He may play himself into the lineup. The dope on him on this blog and Fred’s is not accurate. It must be haterade, because the kid looks pretty darn good for a sophomore. About Bonita, the Bearcats looked very good on defense. Part of that could be because Damien kept things basic, but I’m not so sure that Bonita’s defense didn’t have something to do with it. They have nice size and move around well as a group. I’m not sure, but I think there some game playing going on with the jersey numbers. Is Garrett Horine wearing a different number this year? Were some guys not in their normal number? Somebody from Bonita get back to me on this. On offense, Bonita looked better running than throwing. The QB battle must be ongoing. I thought it was over, with Tanner Diebold being the man, but I didn’t get the vibe tonight that it was absolutely settled. Damien looked solid on defense. Alex Hernandez appears headed toward a scary season.
Justin Hornsby, who transferred from Rancho Verde to West Covina, while moving into the South Hills area of the Covina Unified School District, has been ruled ineligible by CIF to play varsity football until Aug. 2012.
Hornsby, a junior defensive end, figured to be one of the better defensive players in the area. When Covina Unified would not let him leave their district, he went to the county and got clearance. But CIF was another hurdle that Hornsby could not clear.
No word yet whether he will appeal the decision. West Covina opens the season on Sept. 3 against Covina.
Aram’s take: Big blow. The Bulldogs and Hornsby looked to be in the clear on this one, but CIF had other ideas. I imagine Hornsby will appeal and will need to come up with something good to gain eligibility. Remember, Charter Oak’s Chris Gilchrist and Aaren Vaughns, were originally ruled ineligible last season before winning their appeals. It’s not impossible. We’ll see how this plays out …
Former Claremont QB Matt Simko, who was slated to be the Wolfpack’s starter this season before abruptly leaving in mid-July, is now at Colony and has been cleared by CIF to play this season because of a “valid change of address.”
Simko went through nearly all of the offseason workouts with Claremont, but left the team a few days before the Claremont Tournament in the mid-July. Speculation immediately started as to where he would end up with Colony ending up the spot.
Simko, a 6-foot-3 pocket passer with a strong arm, is part of Colony head coach Matt Bechtel’s Field Generals quarterbacks program.
Aram’s take: CIF Director of Information Thom Simmons, who is Southern Section commissioner Rob Wigod’s right-hand man, will be on Tuesday’s episode of PrepXtra Live at 7 p.m. … Moving on … Simko’s departure obviously left Claremont in a lurch. They were planning on him being their man this year and spent the entire offseason grooming him. Then he leaves right before the dead period. What won’t sit well with some people is that Simko wound up in his quarterback coach Matt Bechtel’s high school program. Undue influence? Who knows, but certainly people will argue that.