Jon Najera was flinging it on Saturday.
Keith Birmingham’s AWESOME PHOTO GALLERY from Saturday’s SGV Shootout.
West Covina, yes, the same West Covina that has historically struggled in passing tournaments, beat Northview to complete a perfect day and win the SGV Shootout at Arroyo High School on Saturday.
The Bulldogs beat highly touted Monrovia in the semifinals and then topped Northview, which was another surprise team on Saturday, in the finals.
West Covina quarterback Jon Najera piloted a Bulldogs offense that hit on both short and long passes. Sophomore QB Antonio “Noodles” Hull also got in the mix, but Najera looked like he’s taking full control of the starting job on Saturday.
On to other things …
Monrovia — If I had to set odds before the tournament, I would have made Monrovia the odds-on favorite. So for the ‘Cats not to win it all, well, that’s a mild disappointment. Of course, it doesn’t really mean much in the overall scheme of things. M-Town’s coaching staff knows what it’s doing and you just can’t question programs like Monrovia when they don’t live up to expectation IN JULY!
Azusa-Gladstone brawl and then get ejected — I did not personally see this, but it wasn’t hard to find those who did because that’s all several people were talking about. “It was nothing but cheap shots,” said one person who witnessed it. “It looked like every punch thrown was a cheap shot.” And when I asked whether this was just one or two players going at it, another witness said “No, this was full blown 20-on-20.”
Mountain View impresses and ticks a lof of people off in the process — Mountain View, which has long been one of the Valley’s struggling programs, showed signs of life on Saturday. The Vikings reached the quarterfinals, which is pretty impressive considering that they’re a Double Wing team. Anyway, in the process of having such a nice showing, several coaches expressed their displeasure with Mountain View’s play calling on offense and its formations. The main thing at issue was that Mountain View lined up with a fullback and once everyone released, they ended up throwing the ball to him. “It was basically like shovel passes to the fullback without actually throwing a shovel pass,” one coach told me. There are certain etiquettes at passing games that you don’t tinker with. Mountain View showed some bad etiquette, according to many. “They were basically throwing the ball where the offensive guard would be in a normal game.”
Northview — I said this after the Bonita Air Assault and I’ll say it again: Northview is one of the most improved teams in the area, if not the most improved. Obviously, after today the word is out. Last summer, I said Northview was in big trouble after seeing them in passing games. I don’t think Vikes head coach Marcel Perez ever forgave me for that because when I came up to him at Bonita and told him how impressed I was with his team’s progress the vibe I got was basically “Thanks, now get the hell outta here.” Fair enough. I’m very impressed with Northview’s strides and they’re catching a wide-open Valle Vista League after San Dimas.
Arroyo coach Jim Singiser and Co. — Another amazing job by Singiser and his crew. The event was run very well, as always, and was a great showcase of mostly SGV talent. Kudos to Singiser and his crew.
Back to West Covina — I cannot say enough how impressed I am with what a sensational program head coach Mike Maggiore has developed. The sleeping giant was awakened and it’s just amazing how the Bulldogs continue to play within themselves with fantastic intensity and smarts. Not to mention, they’re lightning quick. But it goes beyond Maggiore. The Bulldogs fan base and booster club has become top notch. They have a good-sized contingent that sets up shop at passing games and makes sure the players are well cared for. It all goes together — the wins and the support. This is what happens when a program becomes wildly successful.