62 players: New Rosemead head coach Marc Paramo concerned with low player turnout …

New Rosemead head coach Marc Paramo reports that his program has just 62 players across all grade levels out for spring football.

The Panthers had 72 when offseason preparations started, but like all programs that number has dipped.

Prior to starting spring ball in earnest on Monday, Rosemead was working every Wednesday for the past nine weeks, Paramo said. But the early start hasn’t produced a boost in numbers like coaches had hoped.

“I really am concerned,” Paramo said. “I really want the numbers to go up.

“That was one of our biggest goals. It was one of the reasons we started so early, to create some excitement. And it has with those kids are who just dialed in. We really need to tap into more of our Asian population here. We have two very good Asians on our team.

“A lot of times their parents won’t allow them to play.”

Aram’s take: Former coach Matt Koffler expressed concern to me about the program’s declining numbers last season. Considering this is a Rosemead program that has been among the area’s most consistent winners, the drop in player turnout has to be concerning for everyone. Like surrounding areas, Rosemead has experienced a significant demographic change. But it still has the Rosemead Rebels youth football program as a feeder. It will be very telling to see just how many players Rosmead’s frosh team fields in August. This is something to keep an eye on going forward.

The fun has started in The OC: 6-foot-5, 290-pound tackle transfers to Mater Dei from Newport Harbor …

The Daily Pilot reports that 6-foot-5, 290-pound tackle Sam Bush has left Newport Harbor for Mater Dei WITHOUT MOVING and will take the sit out until Oct. 1.

Bush is expected to develop into one of the top lineman recruits on the West Coast over the next two years.

Aram’s take: I think some of you would rather sit around and bitch about a local school getting transfers than actually try to compete with The OC. Anyway, where would you have to move to transfer to Mater Dei? Santa Ana? If you want to see how the transfer game is played, just sit back and watch Orange County this summer. Puts us to shame. Would even make Elijah Asante blush. Yeah, I know, it’s OK for Mater Dei to get rich, but heaven forbid one of our locals does the same … well, that’s just unscrupulous. Happy Monday, all!

Hurricane Kurt? St. Paul running back Kurt Scoby gets offer from Miami (Fla.) …

St. Paul RB Kurt Scoby got his second offer this week, this time from Miami (Fla.), according to new Swordsmen head coach Elijah Asante.

Scoby now has offers from Oregon St. and the ‘Canes and hasn’t even played a down of his junior season yet.

Scoby transferred to St. Paul recently after a briefs stint at Duarte earlier this spring and two full seasons at Charter Oak, where he rushed for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Aram’s take: Wow.

This might be old news, but yet another impact transfer St. Paul got recently is Cedric Franklin, who was an all-CIF DB at La Habra in ’11 …

Some of you may already know this, but St. Paul also recently got an impact transfer in Cedric Franklin, a all-CIF defensive back from La Habra.

Franklin will play corner for the Swordsmen.

Aram’s take: I’m told there are other transfers who nobody wants to tell me about quite yet. Fair enough. St. Paul’s schedule is pure hell, but uh, this might be your No. 1 team in the area when the next set of rankings come out after spring/summer passing.

L.A. Times: St. Paul adds another impact transfer …

L.A. Times’ Eric Sondheimer is reporting that St. Paul has picked up another impact transfer in Garfield’s Darrell Cloy, who is a 6-foot-3 sophomore tight end.

The junior-to-be was at Orange Lutheran his freshman season.

Aram’s take: West Covina had better start guarding its Noodles! Nobody is safe! OK, just kidding (not really). This blog has warned you that new Swordsmen coach Elijah Asante isn’t messing around and you’re starting to see it. St. Paul has brought in a pretty nice haul thus far and it may not be over with an entire summer still ahead of us. Don’t anybody get pissed at me for saying this, but I hope Amat and Damien are taking notice. And if you don’t know what that means, then I cannot help you.

Is it time for CIF to give Bishop Amat relief? One playoff win since 2005 kinda answers the question …

Editor’s note: To be clear, in order for Amat to change leagues, Amat would have to ASK FOR RELIEF or schools in Amat’s respective parochial area would have to move them out. The CIF office doesn’t do the re-leaguing. But it does do the divisions every two years.

Here’s something all Bishop Amat fans had better start thinking about as your team prepares for the upcoming season — R-E-L-I-E-F.

Amat has just ONE playoff win since 2005.

ONE!

If that doesn’t change starting with this season, then it’s looking more and more possible that CIF will have NO CHOICE but to give the Lancers relief when it’s time to re-league and re-division in two years.

While CIF won’t publicly say that it takes anything other than recent results into account when re-leaguing and re-divisioning, you can bet they’re aware just how far back Amat’s postseason futility extends.

So that means the Lancers need some postseason success and fast to stave off such a situation.

But is that really such a good idea? Might relief actually be a good thing for Amat?

While I have a hard time believing the business side of CIF would do anything it could to keep a big-ticket item like Amat in the PAC-5, I also know that going by their rules they probably cannot as things currently stand.

Exiting the PAC-5/Division 1 would be a big blow to many Amat fans, and a bit of a status hit. Once they’re over it, though, my bet is they’ll see the light.

Moving the Lancers to somewhere like, say, the Mission League and thus the Western Division may return the program to tangible prominence, i.e. things like league titles and deep postseason runs. The return of some big-time recruits calling the La Puente campus home would likely follow.

By getting relief, my bet is that the business side of Amat football would actually benefit. The longer the season goes, the more games that are played, the more money can be made for CIF and the school. On a business level, it’s in everyone’s best intere$t that Amat’s season lasts longer than 10 or 11 weeks.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is IMMUNE to RELIEF. And nobody, and I mean NOBODY is IMMUNE to being bumped up. Just ask South Hills where it was in 2000 and where it is now.

Yes, big September wins are nice. Beating O-Lu and St. Bonnie’s a few years back was certainly sweet and showed what the Lancers are capable of on a given week. But the playoffs are about MORE THAN ONE GAME.

If things don’t get any better in the month of November, CIF will be forced to make a very tough decision regarding the Lancers’ future and it actually just might work out best for everybody even though several the fan base might go kicking and screaming.

Right now, Amat is losing out on local talent. It’s not a joke. It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact.

Players are seeing that they can get scholarships and win CIF championships at other local schools. Playing at PAC-5 school can only appeal so much to a teenager, who along with his parents is looking at the big picture and seeing that Monrovia and West Covina are winning CIF titles AND getting players out.

The big-time recruits in this Valley are not all playing at Amat any longer. That would likely change with relief.

This is no knock on the current players who strap it up for Amat. This would actually be better for them. As it stands, head coach Steve Hagerty and his staff do a brilliant job of competing and pulling upsets even when they’re out-manned. It’s about time both the players and coaches enjoy the experience of a Week 12 or 13 or 14 or more.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

Kurt Scoby gets first offer from Oregon St. …

New St. Paul running back Kurt Scoby has gotten his first college offer from Oregon St.

Scoby, who transferred to St. Paul last week after a brief stint at Duarte this spring and playing the last two seasons at Charter Oak, will be a junior this season.

Scoby ran for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns last season.

Aram’s take: That was quick. Good for Scoby. And if he keeps balling like he did last season, Oregon St. won’t be his last offer. Also, as I’m finding out, new Swordsmen head coach Elijah Asante is uber-aggressive with the college recruiters. There seems to be a new one coming in and out of St. Paul every day. Nevada was there on Tuesday. Miami Fla. will be there on Friday. I know recruiters have been making their rounds other places, but Asante is reported to have a good connection with many of them from his Carson days. This St. Paul program is having one of the better offseasons around and we’ll see what exactly that means this fall.

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


JUST A REMINDER … WHEN NOODLES WAS STILL AL DENTE

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.

It’s Spring Time in M-Town!!!

SORRY ABOUT THE AUDIO. I guess my Thrive isn’t ready for prime time.

Aram’s take: I haven’t seen anyone else yet, but I stand by my No., 1 ranking. OK, let me just say that today was my first time using my Thrive tablet. The audio stinks when doing an interview. My apologies, but I thought I’d post the Maddox interview anyway for those of you good with volume controls. And the glare when I was trying to see what I was filming was brutal. So, it’s probably back to the flip. Anyway, what stood out most to me was Monrovia’s size. We all know the skills are there, but they had some very nice looking linemen. This team can pass the eye test with the best of them. And isn’t that what spring is all about? You can learn a little, and then a little more in passing tourneys, but it’s really all just an eye test. Monrovia looks like it hasn’t missed much time in the weight room. One interesting battle will be at running back where Bueno (not sure his first name) looked pretty impressive along with Gevontray Ainsworth. They could form a nice duo, or one of them could separate himself. But it does appear that position isn’t an open and shut case.

SEMI-BREAKING NEWS: Former Claremont and Colony QB Matt Simko transfers to Chino Hills …

I labeled this semi-breaking news because a blogger in another thread let the cat out of the bag about this (nice work). But yes, former Claremont and Colony QB Matt Simko checked in Monday at Chino Hills and will be immediately thrust into the battle to replace graduating starter Andrew Chavez.

Simko, was being groomed to be Claremont’s starter last spring, but left the team at the outset of the summer passing circuit and transferred to Colony.

Simko threw for 1,893 yards and 11 TDs last season at Colony as the Titans won the Mt. Baldy League and advanced to the semis of the Central Division playoffs before losing to Rancho Verde.

Simko’s transfer to Chino Hills comes on the heels on the recent resignation of Colony head coach Matt Bechtel, who despite a rumor on this blog is not CURRENTLY on the coaching staff at Chino Hills.

“I would love for Coach Bechtel to come over here, but we’ve got to get a job for him,” Chino Hills coach Derek Bub said. “Would I love that? Yes, absolutely. But no, he’s not over here and there’s been nothing offered to him yet.”

Simko’s arrival may delay the coronation of Jordan Thropay, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound sophomore-to-be, who is thought to be one of the brightest QB prospects around.

At 6-foot-3 and blessed with a rocket arm, Simko could give the Huskies the type of experience they’ll need after losing Chavez, who started for the past three seasons.

Bub said that linebacker Zach Chadwick is also in the mix at quarterback. Whomever wins the job will have the luxury of throwing to one of the best receiving corps around, led by 6-foot-3 Jack Austin, who is currently not with the team while he awaits the end of track season.

Aram’s take: Well, that’s a biggie. As good as Thropay is said to be, Simko is polished and has experience in big-time games. When Bishop Amat is your first second opponent, something like an experienced QB is very key. If you’re sweating eligibility issues, don’t be. Bub reports that Simko and family have moved into the Chino Hills district and that should make him good to go. As for Bechtel, Bub seems to want him on he staff, but the job issue will be the decider. Bub is currently the team’s offensive coordinator. Chino Hills has been one of the whisper teams all offseason and getting Simko surely adds fuel to the fire.