McCarthy, Rivera headline several locals to make ESPN L.A. South All-Region team …

Congrats to Arroyo’s Steven Rivera, Charter Oak’s Jack Schneider, Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy, Marquise Bias, Brett Walsh and Mason Bryant, Pomona’s Gerrard Kough, West Covina’s George Castro, Loyola’s Conrad Ukropina, San Gabriel’s Alex Villalobos, San Dimas’ Jesse Ojeda for all making the first team.

You can see the entire list by going RIGHT HERE.

LOOKING BACK: Longtime bloggers will remember the buzz created on my blog in 2007 after I posted the CODY PAUL YouTube video …

It was back in 2006 that I posted a link on my blog (now Fred’s blog) about Cody Paul, aka The White Reggie Bush, aka The YouTube sensation. Well, ESPN The Magazine has done a very good article in its Jan. issue on Paul. You can read it HERE.

The bloggers back then, legends like “Mike The Clone”, “Plaid Lad” and “Dan”, had some interesting comments. The name Johnny Crespo even popped up. Remember that dude? Back then, part of the discussion was how every HS program was going to be recruiting Paul heavily. My joke was “Come to our school, Cody. I will be you some Skittles.” Anyway, I had no clue that Cody Paul wasn’t going to grow an inch since turning 9. But that’s how it happened. And now his football career is for the most part over.

Chris Solomon 2011 HIGHLIGHT reel: I understand less and less everyday why Solo can’t be a RB in college

Aram’s take: I’m no recruiting expert, but I just don’t get why Solo isn’t being considered as a running back at the next level. I know he’s gonna sign somewhere as a defensive back, and that’s great. But I just think you’d want the ball in this kid’s hands. Anyway, look forward to Signing Day and finding out where all the Bulldogs are headed.

The Hacienda League, thanks to West Covina, is likely to be moving on up when new playoff groupings are announced in January …


Glenn Martinez may have 84 reasons to send the Hacienda League packing

The Hacienda League, mainly by virtue of the West Covina High School football team’s dominant postseason run of the past two years, appears to be a good bet to get a bump in competition for the next two seasons when new CIF-Southern Section Assistant Commissioner Glenn Martinez releases his football playoff grouping proposals next month.

The Bulldogs, after winning back-to-back Southeast Division championships, figure to be headed to a new playoff division, taking the rest of the Hacienda League with them.

“Wherever they put us is fine with me,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “I think it’s fair. I’d like to think our program is at a point where we can be competitive in the current division, and if we were moved up to a higher division, then we could be competitive wherever we’re at.”

Martinez is in his first year at the Southern Section and is charge of the football playoff groupings. Martinez has ties to the area after serving as an administrator at Bishop Amat and Charter Oak. He was hired by the CIF Southern Section to replace Rob Wigod, who was made Southern Section commissioner following the resignation of Jim Staunton.

The Southern Section reviews playoff groupings and makes changes it feels are necessary based on competitive equity every two years. League groupings are done every four years.

Using a numbers-based formula, Martinez will gauge the competitive equity in all Southern Section divisions and make recommendations for changes where he sees fit. After West Covina’s record-setting run in the playoffs this past season, it’s easy to assume the Bulldogs and the Hacienda will either be moving up or stay put while the Southeast Division beefed up with better competition. The latter appears to be a long shot.

Once Martinez releases his recommendations for the 2012 and ’13 seasons, the schools will have a chance to review them and decide whether they want to appeal. The appeals can only be made on the criteria of competitive equity, geography and enrollment. The Southern Section Council will finalize everything by vote in April.

The Southwest or Central divisions seem to be the best fit if the Hacienda League is moved. Beside West Covina, the Hacienda League consists of Bonita, Diamond Bar, Diamond Ranch, Los Altos, Rowland and Walnut. The league was formed two years ago after the Miramonte and San Antonio leagues were dissolved. Diamond Bar had previously competed in the Sierra League.

According to Southern Section Director of Information Thom Simmons, Martinez’s numbers-based formula will be based on the entire league’s playoff performance the past two seasons.

Last season, Bonita and West Covina, two Hacienda League teams, met in the championship game. This season, West Covina’s closest game in the playoffs was a 29-point win over La Mirada in the semifinals. The Bulldogs set a CIF record for points in a championship game by scoring 84 on La Serna.

“It’s not Glenn just throwing numbers at a dartboard,” Simmons said. “He’s using a numbers system, as best you can, to determine where a league should be placed. Obviously, there’s no perfect method. Could a (San Gabriel) Valley league like the Hacienda League end up in an Orange County division? Sure, that absolutely possible. It’s happened before. I don’t know that it will happen, but that’s always a possibility.”

Although area fans may like the idea of seeing West Covina placed in a tougher division, the rest of the Hacienda League may not like getting pulled up with the Bulldogs. But that’s just something the other schools will have to accept, according to Bonita coach Eric Podley.

“It will definitely depend on what division we got put in,” Podley said when asked how he and other Hacienda coaches may react to being bumped up on mostly West Covina’s behalf. “Obviously, if we got put in there with the Sierra League and those kinds of schools, for the majority of our league that would be a difficult situation. If we got put in that division with La Habra and those other teams, that might be a little more manageable for us.

“Either way, it’s going to be a little tougher for the rest of the league than it is for West Covina. Two years ago, we were in the finals. So we all play a factor in it. It’s not just West Covina, but obviously West Covina had a pretty dominant in these last playoffs. Maybe another way of doing it would be some of these other leagues moving down instead of us moving up. Maybe they should take some more competitive leagues and put them in our division.”

After two years of success, West Covina faces the same challenge that Charter Oak did after winning the Southeast Division in 2008 and ’09. The Chargers were moved to the Inland Division where they’ve won one playoff game in the past two years.

Unlike Charter Oak, however, West Covina’s success does not coincide with the re-leaguing process. So there’s no chance that the Bulldogs will be placed in a new league like Charter Oak was in 2010 when it moved to the Sierra League. That might be good news for the Bulldogs, but bad news for the rest of the Hacienda.

“Last year there were two games in the playoffs that we could have easily lost, the semifinals and the finals,” Maggiore said. “This year, I think the rest of the division might have been down a little bit and we were playing really well at the end. I don’t think it’s going to happen every year like that

Aram’s take: My vibe is the Hacienda is headed to the Northwest Division or Central Division. Very little chance of the Inland Division. I think that beefing up the Southeast Division would be a better option, but that requires considerable work and more people would face upheaval. I think what’s important to note here is that West Covina’s dominance this year wasn’t because it was a better team than last year. The 2010 team was better and so was the division. This season, Bonita and D-Ranch were considerably weaker. La Serna was even weaker. The Bulldogs were simply too much for a division in rebuild mode. So there’s going to be an overreaction, but it’s probably warranted.

Former San Marino/Temple City coach Mike Mooney enters not guilty plea last Thursday …

Former San Marino football coach Mike Mooney, accused of embezzling $21,000 from school booster clubs, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Mooney, 41, is charged with grand theft, according to a Nov. 22 felony complaint against him.

Mooney became head coach in 2010 but resigned later in the year after being placed on administrative leave. He also served as head coach at Temple City, his alma mater prior to becoming an administrator/coach at San Marino.

Mooney played football at USC following a successful prep career at Temple City.

School officials also suspended Mooney from his position as assistant principal in charge of discipline and attendance.

The alleged theft took place between October 2008 and October 2010.

Mooney is due back in Los Angeles Superior Court for a hearing Jan. 17, court officials said.

Aram’s take:
In late November both the San Marino Tribune, citing nobody, and Mid Valley Sports, citing the San Marino Tribune, reported that Mooney would enter a plea deal and “plead guilty to one count of Felony-Grand Theft in regards to charges involving the San Marino Football program in 2010.” Nice reporting on both ends. The Pasadena Star-News contacted Mooney’s attorney who said Mooney would appear in court on Dec. 15, which he did and plead not guilty, thus soiling both reports. You gotta be careful where you get your news and what their agendas might be and who is feeding them the info. Which is why I said on that week’s PrepXtra Live that I would not be using the San Marino Tribune as a source for anything. This type of shoddy reporting is a problem these days because of the glut of blogs and websites and weekly papers who often have no clue about journalism or when to hit “submit” and when not to.

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IMPORTANT DATES: It’s going to be a busy offseason

Dec. 24: Christmas Eve … and the All-Area teams are tentatively scheduled to be on the back page of your local SGV(N) editions.

Early Jan.:
The second semester begins which means there COULD be quite a few check-ins and check-outs (transfers) to talk about.

Feb. 1: National Signing Day

Early March: Letter of intent days for private schools. I like what the Times’ Eric Sondheimer said about this … All those open houses and the shadowing of students will either pay off or leave some coaches in panic mode. So true.

March 9: CIF-SS announces revised playoff groupings

Aug. 17: Scrimmages begin.

Aug. 24: Week 0 games begin

Aug. 31: Week 1

Nov. 30: Southern Section division championships

Dec. 7: Regional playoffs

Dec. 14-15: State bowl games

Aram’s take:
Obviously, between March and August there will be a slew of other things like spring passing games, summer passing games/tournaments, the Hall of Fame All-Star Game. What strikes me and should strike you is how EARLY everything begins. Aug. 24 is Week 0 GAMES! I’m wondering if this means that tourneys like the Bonita Air Assault and SGV Shootout will be moved up. There are a lot of coaches resistant to starting anything earlier than they did it back in 1985, but times are changing and nobody will be able to avoid starting earlier than they did in the past. This also means that ALL YOU COACHES WHO KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO RESIGN need to do us all a favor and do it right when we come back from Christmas break. Yes, I said Christmas break.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

Information from the L.A. Times was used in this posting.

Congrats to the SGVN BOWLERS!!! Utah St.’s Matty Austin (Charter Oak) and Chris Harris (Duarte), Ohio’s Joe Morales (So. El Monte), San Diego St.’s Ronnie Hillman (La Habra), Adam Muema (CO), Colin Lockett (D-Bar), Chads Young and Jeffries (Glendora) …

Who says the minor bowls aren’t awesome? You’re clueless. Utah St.-Ohio was a great finish.

Much love goes out to our SGV(N) bowlers … nothing like seeing the locals in the bowl games.

All the guys I named above are former SGV(N) All-Area selections. Be proud of our kids!

Aram’s take: If I missed anyone, lemme know. And props go out to Arroyo girls hoops coach Mike Gorball, who told me Ronnie Hillman is a La Habra dude … and insisted he was when I said “no way”. Hey, I wasn’t covering these parts in ’08!

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT