… But first, something that has nothing to do with the playoffs. If the grumblings and rumors I’m hearing are true, get ready for some heavy coaching upheaval this offseason. Wow. OK, back to the playoffs. As a sportswriter, I have the best of both worlds. I can be a fan of every team I cover and always feel good about something after each game. So on Friday night when San Gabriel beat Arroyo, I was sad for Steven Rivera and the Knights, but I was also happy that Mats QB Andy Guerrero got a win to go along with his brilliant stats. I was also happy for second-year Mats coach Jude Oliva and his D-Coordinator Donald Bernard. These guys have put in their time and they deserve to enjoy the fruits of success. And when it comes to Charter Oak and Travis Santiago, yes, I am sad for them both. Their season is over, but my season lives on through Covina, West Covina and San Dimas and that makes me happy again. I realize not everybody gets that luxury. You’re team loses and you’re bummed with nothing to help but time. The playoffs are a brutal business. Back to San Gabriel, as great as Andy Guerrero was, his receiver Joey Villalobos was at the same level. This kid made great play after great. His game-winning TD catch was secured after taking a nice pop on the goal line. For Arroyo, the bad news for you is that it was the kind of hits that actually knock the ball into the receiver and keep it there. Things happen. Have you guys seen Capt. Stewy and Lil Miss Neptune? You want some Friday night disappointment? I get home after midnight with my Alfredo’s in hand, turn on the TV and learn that I decided to DVR the Charter Oak-Upland game on Ch. 695 and not 694. If you have DirecTV, then you know what those numbers me. Well, I don’t get 695, so my DVR told me I tried to record a show on a channel I don’t get. So, I didn’t get to see the game. I love how all the CO haters, I.E. fans and whomever else wants to pile on come on these blogs talking smack about CO and the SGV. Wasn’t CO one of the top-eight teams in the Southland’s toughest division this year? And aren’t the two teams CO lost to this year both in the Inland semifinals? Maybe someday people will listen to me when I tell them that you need more than good skill players and good coaching to win in the Inland or PAC-5. Bishop Amat and CO just don’t have what it takes in the trenches to be anything more than a one-hit wonder in their divisions. They might have nice games here or there, but to win two, three or four consecutive games in those divisions, you’ve got to have it ALL. Back to CO for a second. I enjoyed Tommy Kiss’ postgame video quite a bit. Very interesting to hear Coach Salter talk about how his kids had been reading/hearing all about Charter Oak and that got them fired up. Where did they read/hear that stuff? It’s pretty clear the SGV teams have a state champion when it comes to newspaper/blog coverage. We’ve finally arrived at Monrovia-Covina. Last year’s champ vs. this year’s No. 1. All evidence points to Monrovia having put things together. I’ve said since summer that the ‘Cats are among the Valley’s best when it comes to the look test. I still can’t see them beating Covina, though … not if Covina plays how it did against San Dimas. It’s great to see the Muir faithful flying high again. It’s nice having the Mustangs in the semifinals. It’s just hard to figure out why it took so long. A Muir-West Covina championship would be a blast for everyone in the Valley. Much the way Monrovia-Covina this week will be the same thing. I would love to have Big Bob on the Tuesday show so he can tell the Valley how M-Town is gonna take it to C-Town, assuming he feels that way. The Scouting Guru and Big Bob on the same set … interesting. Did somebody say Diamond Ranch? In my opinion, this was one of the best coaching jobs of Roddy Layton’s career. How he got that team into the playoffs and then into the second round is beyond me. The Panthers were not nearly as talented as year’s past. Instead of the usual two or three playmakers, they had one. Last year’s starting QB left football for baseball. This year’s starting QB left the team late in the season for personal reasons. Kudos to Layon, his staff and the Panthers players for battling on. Losing two QB is pretty hard to overcome. It was hilarious to read certain previews of the Muir-Diamond Ranch game mention how Isiah Locke-Ramirez would be a factor and so on. I’m sure he would have been if he were still on the team. When reading about the Los Altos-La Serna game, Arcadia-La Mirada game and thinking about the San Gabriel-Arroyo game, it really hit me how the fourth quarter of high school playoff games can be a roller coaster ride. Things can change at a moments notice. Emotion and concentration have to balance each other or disaster strikes. Coaches had better be sharp or they can really screw things up. It’s a drama that you really don’t see on any other level of football. What do you think the crowd will be like at Covina-Monrovia? All I know is I may be getting there on Thursday.