Noodles era at QB for West Covina looks set to begin this spring (and summer) …


It’s possible that sophomore quarterback Antonio “Noodles” Hull will take the first snap when the West Covina High School football team makes its passing circuit debut later this month at the Rancho Cucamonga Tournament.

That’s saying something, considering Hull had limited experience on the varsity team after he turned 14 and was eligible to play with the big boys. The Bulldogs also return Jon Najera, who got ample experience at quarterback last season.

“He’s going to start off trying to win the quarterback position,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “He can play back, receiver, safety, corner, return kicks.

“He can play anything, but I see him playing quarterback.”

The Bulldogs began spring practice Monday. Unlike the past two years, the defending back-to-back CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division champions are lacking in star power. There is ample returning experience, but the likes of Chris Solomon, Beejay Lee, George Johnson and Justen Meaders are missing.

That’s where Hull and defensive end Justin Hornsby come in to play.

Hull has been hyped since arriving on campus as a freshman with the legacy of a strong youth football career with the Compton Vikings behind him. He played quarterback for West Covina’s freshman team last year before being called up to varsity later in the season. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder is expected to be one of the Bulldogs’ top weapons this season.

Hornsby, who transferred last summer after being a starter his sophomore year at Rancho Verde, was denied eligibility by the CIF-SS and forced to sit out his junior season. Hornsby appears ready to be one of the area’s top defensive players. Maggiore thinks recruiters will soon be after the 6-2, 215 Hornsby once he gets more exposure.

Maggiore estimated his program has 180 players this spring, with several of them still part of the baseball team. Because of West Covina’s run-first offense, the Bulldogs rarely impress during the passing circuit, but this year may be slightly different with the unveiling of Hull. And that says nothing about how crazy it might get during the season.

“We would definitely run more option and more shotgun stuff with the quarterback being the second run option,” Maggiore said. “Those things (passing tournaments) are nice to see the guys compete, but we don’t put a whole lot of stock in that.

“Our game is based on play-action pass and the run game is going to set up a lot of the things we do.”

Aram’s take: He may only be 14 still, but gotta do it. Gotta unleash Noodles now for better or worse and let him take the program on a three-year ride. I know he’s versatile, but where else are you gonna use him? Not at WR because the Bulldogs don’t throw and it’s kind of a waste. He’s not really a RB, although he could play it. And there’s so many other RBs on the roster. That leaves QB and you CAN’T UNDER-USE A TALENT LIKE NOODLES. I get the vibe you’ll see a more varied offense out of the Bulldogs with Noodles at the helm. Think Oregon. Also, for those of you wondering about running back Josh Best, Coach Maggiore is confident the Bulldogs will have him ready to go.

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  • WTF?

    What are you talking about varied offense? Think Oregon? Oregon dose not run a varied offense. They run a very specific system. Now if they are going to switch to a high tempo, shotgun offense, then I will think Oregon. If they are going to bounce around in and out of Wing T and dabble with some shotgun then I get your point.

  • Joe Amat


    Aram quoted Maggioresaying just that.

    “We would definitely run more option and more shotgun stuff with the quarterback being the second run option,” Maggiore said

  • Bulldogs have bite

    I don’t think Wesco is going to run a no-huddle spread option exactly like Oregon. But I do get what Aram is getting at, being that Darren Thomas is also a very mobile QB for the Ducks. Although I have grown to appreciate the physicality of the way WC runs the Wing-T. I think they will run a combo of Wing-T and sprinkle in some shotgun/spread/single back/triple option packages. The last time WC had a QB as mobile as Noodles was back in ’93 when Maggiore was an assisatant coach under Bob Mount. I posted this old video I dug up on youtube of that team a month or so ago, and I would be more than excited to see an offense like that to return in some form. It was well ballanced and kept a lot of good teams scrambling to stop all the threats.

    Here is the link:

    Besides, I think West Covina is going to be lead by another fast moving, hard hitting, nasty defense! The offense will just grab all the headlines as usual!

  • SGV record books

    West Covina’s 1993 Mobile QB was Miguel Mayweather. The year before they had Lawrence Phillips at RB(before he transferred to BP and Vincent Boone at the wing back…

  • Bulldogs have bite

    SGV record books,

    Yes Miguel Merriweather was his name, he was also the Tribune POY in 93. Philips was at Baldwin Park during the 91/92 seasons, and was the Tribune POY in 92, he left WC after his sophmore season (90). I don’t think we ever used Lawrence at RB when we had him, he played mostly outside linebacker, Terry Eaglin was the main RB that year, and 3-sport star Steve McHenry was a stud Wideout! It was a dark time for WC in the early 90’s and the merger with Edgewood was not a smooth transistion with inner-city rivals suddenly being forced to play together. The 93 team was one the one beacon of light in those days!

  • SGV record books

    Thanks, I knew Phillips was there, But it was further back. That’s back when there were less schools and local pride. Honestly those old SGV teams probably were good enough to play in today’s pac 5. You talk about demographics. I think this Miguel Merriweather and Greg Ainsworth were top QB’s in the Area at the time. I am sure there were a few more QB’s at Arroyo and other places.

  • Kennedy Bryant

    Kids a Baller if he plays at the same level of dominance over his peers in JA/Pop Warner in highschool he will be a stud.

  • green pastures

    Fun Fact of the Day…Sierra canyon (D12) now Midvalley Finished the season ranked higher than Bishop Amat(pac 5) on Maxpreps. Go See for yourself. How will Bishop Talk their way out of this one?

    #56 Sierra Canyon
    #57 Bishop Amat

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