Here’s my column from Friday … in case you missed it

As a sportswriter covering the local football scene, I know something’s wrong when Covina High School is the biggest team I’ve seen all season.

But that’s the current state of Valley football as the season progresses toward the most exciting time of year – the playoffs.

Why is this important? To borrow an overused phrase: Size matters. And this Valley is lacking it and that’s something that will put a ceiling on the postseason chances of some of our best teams, especially top-ranked Charter Oak and No. 2 Bishop Amat.

It’s really too bad. The Chargers and Lancers have the skill players good enough to produce deep postseason runs or even walk away with the hardware after Week 14 in their respective divisions. But when put up against teams that are bigger across the board along both lines, that skill talent gets somewhat nullified.

So, to borrow another oft-used phrase: Where’s the beef?

“They’re sitting at home on the couch playing video games and eating Doritos,” veteran Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar said. “Big guys are big and fat and that’s all they want to do.”

Guilty as charged. Basically, what Farrar is saying is that our Valley’s precious few big kids are in training to be sportswriters and not NFL players. Although that’s the funny and somewhat true answer, there’s more to it than that.

In the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division, which is made up of five local leagues and one league of small Christian

private schools, size isn’t such a big issue. With its size, Covina will give its opponents fits. Just ask San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow, who after last week’s loss told me, “They’re better up front than we are, so they were throwing us around pretty good.”

But in the Inland Division and Pac-5 divisions, you need both skill and size. Amat and Charter Oak have one and not the other, hence the ceiling.

“Because we play the guys who show up for practice,” Farrar said when I asked him why Charter Oak isn’t bigger. “If you come out and you’re bigger than the guys we have, we’ll give you a damn-good shot to play here.

“If I could order them (big guys) from the Sears catalog, I would.

“There are a couple of girls I tried to recruit on campus. I’ve played a girl kicker before and I would play a girl tackle if she was big enough and mean enough.”

Do schools like Charter Oak have three or four would-be linemen walking around campus doing anything but playing football? Does Amat not appeal to 200-pound Catholic eighth-graders? Who knows.

The only way to find the answer is by going to where the big guys, the ones who play football, are attending school. Think of the biggest teams you’ve seen this year. Where were they from? For me, that answer is the Inland Empire. Therefore the best answer I can come up with to the “Where’s the beef” question is that size is essentially a numbers game.

All hail the Tribune genius for stating the obvious that if you have 4,000 students, then you’re more likely to find the handful of 6-foot-2, 250-pounders you need to build a good football team around. Trouble is, the Valley doesn’t have any schools of that size. But the Inland Empire and Orange County do.

The Valley’s ever-changing demographics also play a big role. Amat’s recruiting base, so to speak … or better yet, the areas Amat pools its talent from do not have the same number of big guys that the Mater Dei or Servite recruiting ground does. And Charter Oak is simply never going to be an Inland Division school enrollment-wise.

All of it leads to one thing: Six weeks from now, we’re going to be talking about the same teams as last year. Amat and Charter Oak, barring a miracle, will be out of the conversation.

Last season, West Covina rode the biggest line in the area to a CIF-SS championship. Although not as big this year, the Bulldogs won’t have anything mammoth to overcome in their division to do it again.

Covina, which arguably has the best across-the-board size around, also figures to be one of the area’s last teams standing and is very likely to be a CIF champ when the smoke clears.

Since early September, we’ve all seen what the top teams in the area can do when things are equal or they have the advantage at the line of scrimmage. But as the days grow shorter, the temperatures drop and the final chapters of this season are written, the reality is that certain teams have sizable problems that lay just around the corner. And the story this year is likely to have an all too familiar ending because of it.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

  • Over-rated

    Size is highly overrated in high school football. ask servite how they did against that undersized offense line from De La Salle last year. I’ll take speed an explosiveness over size any day of the week. How did that giant offensive line from Crespi do last week against Amat? In fact, I’ll say that Amat’s offensive line is better after their biggest kid transfered and they replaced him with a kid that is much quicker off the ball. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have some size if that size is coupled with speed, but if you need to choose between the two, always choose the speed. Too many high school coaches in So. Cal. are overly infatuated with size. Size is much more important in college but not so much at the high school level.

  • Under-rated

    “I’ll take speed an explosiveness over size any day of the week.”

    A 5-9 160 pound lineman would have the explosiveness over a 6-2 250 pound lineman much like a firecracker against the Hoover damn.

    I’ll take the big guys that can protect the quarterback and open holes.

  • Not

    Size is overrated, since Wilson and Pomona are clearly much bigger teams than Covina.

    Why would you use Covina for your example anyway. Covina runs a 3-3 on defense with two DBs up making it look like a 3-5, why? Because they are so small and attempt to make up for it with speed and numbers, football 101.

    Don’t believe me check out Max Prep, those two outside linebackers are listed as DBs.

    Not knocking their defense they do a very good job with what they got and that is why they are 7-1 not because they are big.

  • Anonymous

    Aram, please check the rosters before you put out who’s big and who’s not. Monrovia has the biggest guys man for man than any teams that you named. Dont believe me go check it out for yourself.

  • Amat Bully

    CO will be alright i got them at least making it to the semis if not they’re definitely making it out of the first round none of those inland teams are really better than CO yes size wise they are a bit bigger but im glad CO now knows exactly what to expect this year in the playoffs last year was overwhelming for the players, (not an excuse CO lost straight up) but with all the returners and a much more prepared coach CO will defeat one or two of the best the inland has to offer.
    CeeeeeeeeOooooooooo

    But i do agree with you on the size thing Aram, size is what every football team needs even if he is a big softy that big softy body alone just happens to cause a speedy strong small d-linemen problem no matter what. Or if the big guy is on the d-line he can clog holes up by just falling over or trying to get in regardless that big body will have a big impact. Yes there are times when the little guy wins the battle but majority of the time that big guy will tire out the little guy and the war is won by the bigger guy.

  • Anonymous

    Hey they say women are the wise one’s and on many survey’s majority of women say size matter. LOL j/k i thought it was kind of funny

  • WE’RE CHASING YOU

    Bully,
    Dream on with that semi’s bs. Where’s that one big win against any top team that makes you think that way . Remember you have win to advance in the playoffs. We are waiting for your answer on the other thread. Comeeeeee backkkkkkkkkkkk.

  • Amat Bully

    WE’RE CHASING YOU
    i already answered that question, but what about Amat will they make it to the playoffs and if they do will they make it out of the first round?

    And that thread is over

  • still askin.

    nope Bully Boy – you danced around it and NEVER pointed out ONE win – because there wasn’t one. And since YOU mentioned “getting to the semis” you kinda opened the door again on what evidence you have that leads you to believe that.

    You always turn YOUR lack of playing and beating anyone to an Amat conversation. We are asking about ChOak – no one else. Name ONE win YOU think is quality win in the last four years

  • Monte Sluss

    Everyone knows your San Dimas hater , but you really should give credit to the freshman team who are blowing everyone out (see max preps ) Lead by pptmcwingback Manny elizalde with 25 TD’s . This freshman team is two deep at every position . There only loss was to Bonita in the first game 39-28 and Bonita forfeited the next day for using a ineligible player who scored 5 TD’s . This class is for real and the SAINTS will have to be dealt with for the next three years !

  • TINY DANCER

    Bully,
    It’s over when you give us that one big win by your CO boys. This has nothing to do with Amat making or how far they go in the playoffs. It’s about you claiming to be big stuff in the Inland . Come on since you have become one of the top teams in the Inland as you say give us the big win . Come bully boy it should be easy for you with big bad CO as your team. Come boy give us the win. Are we asking too much . Remember ties and playing competitve are not wins .

  • THAT’S YOUR ANSWER

    Bully,
    You really want us to take you beating WC way back when you were in D-7 as a big time win .That was your answer wasn’t it . Come on come up with something better then that . How about Chino Hills , oh sorry you lost that one right . A Rancho , oh lost that one too . Vista Murrieta , oh lost that one too. Now I see why you are dodging the issue , you can’t find the win can you .

  • no – not Bully

    Bully boy couldn’t be claiming the WC win as a big one because thats in the past. Then he’d have to admit Amat kicked COs ass and also beat WC after they did

  • coltfan97

    To Not,

    I went to the Pomona and Wilson games against Covina, and your wrong Covina overall is bigger!!!!! By the way Max Preps does not have the height or weight of any Covina player!!!!!

    I do agree with some on this blog! Size doesn’t matter, but when you have size with physicality then it matters!!! This is what Covina has!!!! Their big and their physical! Plus Covina’s line has quickness to go with that size!!!!

  • Amat Bully

    no – not Bully and the rest of yall
    Its funny how you guys are still talking and your team has fell a part. Like he said i cant name one i dont go back in the past i like the present but soon this year i will have one to name for you or better yet youll be able to see it because your team will be at home. So be patient my little butter flies soon and i mean soon CO will prevail.

  • FINALLY!!!

    Finally Bully Boy admits “i cant name one” when asked to name ONE quality win by ChOak over the past 4 years. But he HOPES there will be one soon! And THIS is our #1 team. With NO quality wins claimed by their #1 homer!
    ROTFLMFAO!!!

  • Joe Amat

    Good news – Dad says Rio just has a knee bruise.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    Please be clear on what I wrote: Covina is the biggest team that I HAVE SEEN this season.

    I’ve seen all the top teams in the area, too. Have I seen Wilson? No.

    Anyway, of the teams I’ve seen, and I’ve seen all the top teams, Covina is the biggest.

    I know there are lines here and there that are all 170 pounds and they play with killer technique and so on, but those are few and far between. The mere mention of them proves my point. They are the stuff of legend and not the norm.

    For anybody wondering, think back to CO-Ranch right before the half. The Chargers had it at the Rancho 2 and COULD NOT run it in, thus the drive ends in Travis being picked off in the end zone. There’s a reason they didn’t run it. THEY COULDN’T.

  • coltfan97

    Aram,

    I totally agree with what you wrote in the blog and the article!!!!! Great point about CO-RC game if they can’t run the ball from the 2 yard line something is wrong with the line, and usually it is size advantage!!!! We, and I mean the SGV, do not see linemen like Brian Polak(AMAT) or Anthony Munoz (L.P.) anymore.!!!!!!!

  • COChargerfan

    Aram, it is a little presumptuous to say they couldn’t when the pick was thrown on 2nd down…

    However, CO did not have much running success against RC in part because RC’s lines were bigger and also in part because they threw the ball a lot…which is what they do every game.

  • What’s The Point Of The Article…?

    BY THE WAY, the 2008 and 2009 Charter Oak Offensive Line averaged 6′ 3″ 295 lbs. Please do look it up!

    That was only 2 or 3 years ago. Like anything else they come in cycles. In the meantime, should we all go home because the SGV is too small now?

    I really didn’t learn anything that we didn’t already know, Aram!

    Nice writing, but its not anything we didn’t already know!

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    CO Charger Fan,

    Weren’t they down there prior and couldn’t run it in and had to settle for 3? Thank you. I know what I saw. Running it in was not gonna happen.

  • Not

    Coltfqn97,

    You are crazy, Pomona is way bigger than Covina their D1 kid Kough is 6″5′ 270 lbs your biggest player is 6″4′ 220 that is just for starters. Your DB’s and Receivers are some of the shortest in the league so don’t state overall bigger. You had no answer for Pomona’s 6’4″ receiver did you size is the one issue your team does have. Your team is good because it is quick and strong NOT BIG. I notice Aram only addressed Wilson in his reply not Pomona.

  • coltfan97

    To Not,

    You know their is a difference between biggest and tallest! If you think Covina’s biggest linemen only weighs 220 pounds you need to open your eyes or get them checked because Covina’s line is big!!!! Just ask West Covina and San Dimas!!!!!! Didn’t you hear what Coach Zernickow said about Covina’s line?

  • The Answer Man

    “You had no answer for Pomona’s 6’4″ receiver did you”

    Sure they did. It was called 16-14.

  • Not

    This topic isn’t who is better, who is bigger?

    We haven’t played Pomona but we have played Covina and they aren’t that big. They are small at every position except their line. Their line is above average but not even close to the biggest. I would take CO or BA line in a second over Covina’s line, not even a discussion. Its a joke to even compare them.

  • Give it up

    Not,

    “Size is overrated, since Wilson and Pomona are clearly much bigger teams than Covina.”

    “You are crazy, Pomona is way bigger than Covina”

    “We haven’t played Pomona but we have played Covina and they aren’t that big.”

    You have not played Pomona…BUT they are bigger than Covina…..right…..

    But wait…why would you play Pomona when you obviously ARE Pomona??

    LMMFFAO!

  • Not

    I thought I made it very obvious with that comment, but I will spell it out for you Wilson.

    As far as the size of your defense, on average you may have the smallest defense in the league. You have a couple guys out there that may qualify as midgets.

  • coltfan97

    You guys are missing the point! Aram said that Covina’s is the biggest line he has seen!!!! He did not say they were the best line he has seen!!!!!

  • Not

    Coltfan97,

    I’m not missing that point, I stated that multi times. I have no doubt that Covina’s line is better than Wilson’s. I willnt speak for Pomona.

    Line only I still believe Pomona’s line is bigger. I didn’t say better. I have been assuming Monrovia isn’t in this discussion. They are bigger than all these teams.

  • coltfan97

    I can’t comment on Monrovia because i haven’t seen them play and I know they have McCarthy. Kough is a D-1 prospect, but other than him I thought Covina’s line was bigger and more physical!!!!!

  • Not

    Coltfan97,

    Now we are getting somewhere. My connection on the Pomona teams states he isn’t a prospect, Colorado? has offered and he has committed.

    I do believer they are bigger and I do believe you are stronger and faster aka better.

    My only point was that they are bigger and Monrovia is bigger than both these teams.

  • USC Football

    I’m here to say that Size Does Not Matter.

    We have been big all year long and we can’t stop anybody on defensive short yardage situations nor can we run the ball on critical short distance.

    Did you see the Stanford game last night? We couldn’t stop them when it mattered. We have no heart for this game anymore.

    CC97

  • Broncos In the House

    Size is overrated at all levels of football.

    The Denver Broncos have always had an Under Sized front line on Offense. They have produced some of the best running teams and runnings in the 1990s and in 2000s. Remember, without Terrell Davis, John Elway does not win a Superbowl. Elway had already been to the SB and lost. He needed the running game and the O-Line to get the win. And who did they beat? The Huge defensive lines of the Greenbay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons.

  • Broncos In The House

    Our small offensive line of the Broncos beat this Greenbay Packers defensive line. Do you recognize any of these names?

    93 Gilbert Brown DT
    91 Shannon Clavelle DE
    92 Tony Daniels DE
    71 Santana Dotson DT
    97 Paul Frase DE/DT
    90 Darius Holland DT
    79 Eric Johnson DE
    94 Bob Kuberski DT
    95 Keith McKenzie DE
    74 Walter Scott DE
    99 Jermaine Smith DT
    97 Mike Thompson DT
    92 Reggie White DE
    98 Gabe Wilkins DE
    96 Gerald Williams DE/DT

  • Colt74

    “Did you see the Stanford game last night? We couldn’t stop them when it mattered. We have no heart for this game anymore”

    Yeah, it’s just shameful the way USC just laid down and died against #4 Stanford after only 3 OT’s. Shameful I tell ya…..

  • USC Football

    Colt 74

    It seems like you got a little upset because I pointed out the obvious! Was it that you felt that I took a shot at our beloved Colts? Or at our beloved Trojans?

    You don’t agree with me that our bigger and fatter Trojans Defensive Line was pushed around by the smaller, quicker, and stronger Cardinal Offensive Line? As a lifelong Trojan fan I know when to admit that we lost the game on the defensive front. We played very well in the first half then they started running the ball down our throat and in Overtime when it “mattered the most” they scored 2 touchdowns on us by running the ball between the tackles. Go to ESPN highlights. That’s all they’re showing. Anyway the point is that our big, fat, and slow DLine got beat by a small, quicker, athletic, and stronger OLine.

    Mark my words, Washington and Oregon will do the same thing us as the Cardinals did. I agree with Broncos Fan, big is not better on the front line.

    CC97

  • USC Football

    Colt 74

    Here’s more facts for you.
    http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/2011-2012/uscstan.html

    DE 96 Horton, Wes – 2 tackles
    NT 44 Tupou, C. – 2 tackles
    DT 98 Harris, DaJohn – 1 tackle
    DE 8 Perry, Nick – 3 tackles

    Zero sacks, Zero QB Hits. Not good enough at SC when you consider that our LBs are not as good as in years past. USCs’ big, fat, and slow DLine got beat by a small, quicker, athletic, and stronger OLine. It is what it is.

    What Covina Colts opponents worry you in the upcoming playoffs? I think the DLine of La Puente and Monrovia could give us problems becuase of their size and quickness.

    CC97

  • Colt74

    97,

    I took acception to your line that said ”

    “We have no heart for this game anymore”

    I did not say one word about the line, or agree or disagree with your assessment of said line. Did I? My comment was SOLELY based on the no heart comment.

    “What Covina Colts opponents worry you in the upcoming playoffs?”

    None. Why would I worry about something that I have no control over? I know what the Colts potential is. So unless they let me suit up ( and provide me oxygen after each play ) it’s in their hands.
    I trust our coaches. As far as I’m concerned THEY are the good hands people…

  • Colt74

    Horton had a sack.
    Why IMHO USC lost :

    1. Time of possession. Stanford had 10.5 mins more.
    2. 3rd down conversions. 30%.
    3. Fumble
    Special teams: Kickoff and punt return yards

  • USC Football

    Colt 74

    What’s the matter? Your father never let you play football? Did you have to play with your sisters inside the house? Why are you so angry with the world? Why are you so pissed with me?

    It was your sorry little ignorant A$$ that tried to bring your game to me. I made an intellegent and well thought out evaluation of big front lines and I made the comment regarding the failures of USC’s DLine! I agree with Broncos Fan, big is not better on the front line. I wasn’t talking to you. Was I bumb A$$?

    “Why would I worry about something that I have no control over? I know what the Colts potential is. So unless they let me suit up ( and provide me oxygen after each play ) it’s in their hands.” Then what the hell are you doing making comments about the USC football DLine? Is Kiffin letting you suit up? No. Hell No! Not even an SC jockstrap Dip Sh*t.

    You know nothing about football and you proved it with your comments. You’re too old for this blog.

    CC97-aka Covina Colts’97 & SC ’01, Old Man!

  • USC Football

    Colt 74

    “I took acception”? What the hell is “Acception” you stupid old man?

    You accept my argument that big slow out of shape fat guys are not better front linemen than smaller, quicker, strong, and more athletic lineman? Is that what you have “Acception” to? Your an idiot! You’re the main reason we keep losing in the playoffs every year. Stay away from Covina Colts Football. We don’t need dumb A$$E$ like you representing Coach Thomas’ program.

  • coltfan97

    To USC,

    First of all I am not Colt74!!!! Second of all I know more about Covina Football the most Covina Fans do!!!! Reason for that I am an alumnus, and I was their at Covina when they won CIF in 1995. Also my grandmother taught their for 35 years!!!! Fourth just because a linemen is big doesn’t mean he is slow or out of shape!!!!! Fifth, I know my football intelligence and it is hi (ask Coach Haygood and Coach Sheehan)!!!!! Coach Thomas and Coach Brown have done a great job with that program!!!!!! By the way no I didn’t see the Trojans play too busy at the Rose Bowl watching my beloved Bruins play!!!!! I am glad SC loss!!!!!!

  • USC

    Look a$$hole. I don’t care if you are on your 3rd 6 pack or not..

    You made a comment and I responded. Don’t like it? Too bad.
    “Exception” is the word. My post locked up and posted instead of going to preview. Shoot me. But then again, I don’t owe you any explanation because no matter what it’s above your head obviously.I guess you are too stupid to go with the flow of the sentence to figure out what was meant? And you think I’m a joke. LOL!
    ” Then what the hell are you doing making comments about the USC football DLine? ”

    Yeah..you really are that stupid…

    Again, Oh of voices in your head…show me anywhere I said anything about SC’s line? You can’t can you?

    Go argue with your wife or beat your dogs. You sound like that kind of person.
    And then at the Northview game be sure to look me up and introduce yourself. PLEASE?

    See I made a mistake…I thought you were talking about THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA…but it’s clear from your post you went to the UNIVERSITY OF SOCIOPATHS and COWARDS.

    BIGGGGGGGG difference there pal….

    Like I said…Look me up. But until then hit that keyboard!!!!

    Thanks for the laugh jackass.

  • Colt74

    Coltfan97,
    Don’t worry about that jacka$$. He just needs some one to argue with.

    Hey look USC Football fan. It posted my post as “from” USC instead of to “USC”… This blog left off the Colt74. Imagine that.

    Make another reply about how stupid I am because of that too…LOL

    Yeah, I must never have played football for posting a misspelled word…LMMFFAO!

    Have another beer there ace…..

  • USC Football

    Coltfan97

    This is Jay Cortez (aka CC97). Remember me, Dip Sh*t? LOL! Just kidding bro. I graduated in ’97 and played for Coach Sheehan too. I was working this old man “jack-a$$ 74″ becuase he doesn’t know what the hell it is talking about when it comes to SC or big men playing in the trenches. I wasn’t addressing you. I’m sorry to hear that you’re a Bruin lover. Also, glad to know your football intelligence is “hi”! LOL! Sheehan must be proud of you! LOL!

    Jack A$$ 74,

    I’m coming to visit you on Friday 11/11. I know who you are dumb a$$! I’ll be the big boy in the all SC gear at Pizza Chalet! You laid it out. Now come and get it old man!

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