West Covina QB Jon Najera (knee) downgraded to a game-time decision vs. Covina on Friday night

West Covina High School quarterback Jon Najera missed Monday’s practice and is expected to sit out Tuesday as well due to a knee injury suffered in last Friday’s scrimmage against Claremont.

Bulldogs head coach Mike Maggiore said that Najera, a senior, will be a game-time decision on Friday night when West Covina opens its season in front of the FOX Sports cameras against Covina at Covina District Field.

Najera beat out sophomore Antonio “Noodles” Hull for the starting job after a prolonged battle this spring and summer. Hull would start on Friday night if Najera is unable to go.

“We have to see how it feels,” Maggiore said. “We’ll know a lot more on Wednesday. We’re not going to push something like that at this point in the season.

“He’s gotten a lot more range of motion in the last 48 hours, so I think he’ll be fine.”

Najera is scheduled to have an MRI next week to rule out whether there’s a meniscus tear. The injury is more bad luck for Najera, who started last year’s season opener against Covina only to leave the game early with an injury and never reclaim his starting job from then-senior Chris Caballero.

Aram’s take: You see? I had a feeling. I’m no doctor (at least not medical), but I do know that when you’re unable to walk off the field on your own due to a knee injury, it’s serious. I feel horrible for the kid because he may potentially miss a chance to play in front of the entire Southland on FOX, and that comes on top of what happened last year. I’m starting to get a little worried about WestCo. Running back Josh Best is already out for the next month with an injury. If Najera is out, Noodles goes to QB, but then who is the home run hitter at RB? And I don’t want to hear “West Covina has plenty of backs” unless you want to START NAMING THEM. This ain’t 2010 or ’11.

Before I get another call, text or tweet: Jordan Thropay is still at Chino Hills and will be on the JV team this season …

Amazing. I start the day not knowing anything about this, but sure enough my phone blows up with tweets, texts and calls about the fact that sophomore quarterback Jordan Thropay is not on the Chino Hills roster (on maxpreps).

Turns out, Thropay has decided he wants to play junior varsity this season and will be the quarterback of the Huskies’ JV team. Thropay’s chances to start for the varsity team (where many people had him pegged) took a hit when Matt Simko transferred in from Colony.

Aram’s take:
I don’t think this is such a bad move since Thropay will grow a lot more as a QB getting tons of reps on the JV team than he would holding a clipboard on varsity.

San Gabriel names Mikal Quintanilla starting QB …

Temple City transfer Mikal Quintanilla has beaten out Marquz Valenzuela for the starting quarterback job at San Gabriel, head coach Jude Oliva announced Monday.

Quintanilla replaces Star-News Player of the Year Andy Guerrero, who threw for over 3,000 yards and rushed over 1,000 yards last season.

The Matadors open the season on Friday at home against Animo South Los Angeles.

All-Encompassing SGV(N) Top 25 heading into Week 0

1. Monrovia — Most complete team around. Starting 11s are as good as anybody.
2. Bishop Amat – Good defense and run game. Not a bad combo.
3. Charter Oak — Have to trust that Chargers will use defense in proper way.
4. West Covina — Defense takes backseat to no one and offense isn’t one-dimensional.
5. Chino Hills — Overall team speed has me a bit worried, but we’ll see …
6. Damien — Will find out whether the lines are a big concern vs. O-Lu.
7. St. Paul — Like the talent on hand, but worried about cohesion.
8. La Habra — Highlanders still solid, but not sure this team is better than last year.
9. St. Francis — If good skill players are found, Knights may fly up this list.
10. La Mirada — Know Mats have lines, but curious about how much speed there is.
11. La Serna — Lancers will get teste in nonleague. League shouldn’t be a problem.
12. Maranatha — Addition of McClain at TE/DE gives Minutemen a missing piece.
13. Bonita — I go hot and cold on the Bearcats. Right now, I’m hot. In a week?
14. San Dimas — Plug-n-play system means solid results should continue.
15. Ayala — ‘Dogs had better take care of business against Diamond Bar.
16. San Gabriel — With a little time, Mats will be formidable once again.
17. Arcadia — Ground game should thrive no matter who’s carrying the rock.
18. South Hills — Word from Covina scrimmage gives cause for pause.
19. Cantwell — St. Bernard going bye bye flings door wide open for Cards in Del Rey.
20. Diamond Ranch — Can’t believe it’s skill and not size I’m worried about.
21. Claremont — Hoping WestCo scrimmage was an aberration.
22. Arroyo — Knights can ease “No Rivera” fears with win over Los Altos on Friday.
23. Rio Hondo Prep — All of a sudden everyone is a Kare believer.
24. El Monte — Schedule is there to fly up this poll. It’s all on B-Mart.
25. Northview — Playoff spots are up for grabs in Valle Vista. Vikes look ready.

Diamond Bar names Tyler Peterson starting QB …

Sophomore Tyler Peterson has beaten out junior Nolan Luzzi to earn the starting quarterback job at Diamond Bar.

Head coach Ryan Maine announced his decision to the team on Saturday after using Friday’s scrimmage against Baldwin Park as the final determining factor to decide the race.

Aram’s take: When in doubt, go with the guy who’s going to be in the program longer. Not a bad idea. Peterson will get the chance to work with some very talented skill players and should pick up plenty of recognition because of it. Diamond Bar opens the season on Friday against Ayala.

West Covina QB Jon Najera is “fine” according to Bulldogs coach Mike Maggiore after leaving Friday’s scrimmage vs. Claremont with a knee injury …

West Covina quarterback Jon Najera is “fine” Bulldogs head coach Mike Maggiore said Saturday morning via text message.

Najera left Friday night’s scrimmage against Claremont with a knee injury. The senior was on fire before the injury happened. He had to be helped off the field and was putting no weight on the knee until he was on the sideline.

Najera was the starting quarterback out of camp for West Covina last season but was injured in the season opener against Covina and played sparingly behind Chris Caballero upon his return.

Sophomore Antonio “Noodles” Hull replaced Najera on Friday and was effective on option keeps. Hull will play running back if Najera is under center

West Covina 21, Claremont 0 … Bulldogs QB Jon Najera leaves with knee injury … LET US KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WHERE YOU WERE …

West Covina’s 21-0 win over Claremont in a one-half scrimmage on Friday night was marred by a knee injury to quarterback Jon Najera, who was red hot before going down.

West Covina offense:
The Bulldogs pass attack looked very legit. Najera had the short and intermediate stuff working. Not sure this team can throw it deep with any consistency, but hey, that’s nitpicky. The run game was nowhere to be found other than when Antonio “Noodles” Hull took over for Najera and was unstoppable on option keeps. I am very concerned that Noodles isn’t going to get enough touches if he’s not at QB. Whereas last year the Bulldogs had two home-run hitters in Solomon and Frazier and then two more two years ago in Lee and Solomon, this year it looks like Noodles is the only one. Again, this was a scrimmage and I could be being nitpicky. The coaches may have held back and kept it vanilla, but let’s be real clear, West Covina isn’t gonna be as explosive as fans expect if Noodles isn’t touching the ball constantly. The offensive line has very good size, but looked a tad raw.

Claremont offense: Big trouble here. The Wolfpack was simply lifeless the entire night. Assuming we saw the team’s best shot, then the passing game needs A LOT of work. A LOT. RB Cecil Flemming is definitely a player, but he needs the ball quite a bit. I know that Claremont kept things very vanilla because head coach Mike Collins told me before the scrimmage that they would. But I just didn’t like what I saw. Keeping it vanilla is one thing, but not being able to hit wide-open receivers is another. Claremont does look the part at just about every spot outside of QB, where they need lots of work.

West Covina defense:
Several starters in the secondary sat out, including top cover man Muleck Henderson. Even still, the Bulldogs were so fast and quick that they gave Claremont fits. Even West Covina’s second string sent Claremont’s first string backward late in the game. Defensive end Adam Romero was excellent. As was LB Bradley Ojala. I didn’t see Bryson Finley. If he did play, he didn’t make enough of an impact for me to notice. I did see d-end Justin Hornsby, who really looks the part. West Covina’s defense is going to be very special (again).

Claremont defense: Not bad. Not good. Had lots of trouble with speed. And the pass coverage was no bueno. Too big of a cushion for the West Covina receivers. I really have to think Claremont was not showing much because it was a scrimmage. I mean, I really want to believe that. Because if I’m wrong then big trouble lays ahead.

West Covina special teams: Needs work. Bad punt when they did punt. Two muffed punts on return. Can’t do that against Loyola.

Claremont special teams: Decent.

Key injuries:
Jon Najera, West Covina, QB (knee, left game did not return). Addison Whitham, Claremont, RB/LB (knee or leg, left game did not return).

Friday’s scrimmages …

Northview at Bonita, 7 p.m.
Claremont at West Covina, 7 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Baldwin Park, 6 p.m.
Silverado at Arcadia, 7 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at San Dimas, 6 p.m.
La Puente, Chaffey at Nogales, 6 p.m.
South Hills vs. Covina, District Field, Time???
Jurupa Valley at Rowland, 6 p.m.
San Gabriel, Mountain View at Los Altos
Maranatha at Temple City, 7 p.m.
La Mirada vs. Fullerton, Saturday, 9 a.m. (sharp)


Aram’s take: D-Ranch at San Dimas looks pretty kinky.

Dionza Blue gets busy again as Amat has easy time with Harvard-Westlake …

Bishop Amat running back Dionza Blue followed his big Blue and Gold game performance with another impressive showing on Thursday in a scrimmage against Harvard-Westlake.

Blue scored on about a 45-yard touchdown run on his second carry. His third touch of the game, a screen pass, he took 55 yards to the end zone.

Receiver Darren Andrews scored on a 60-yard touchdown and Anthony Camargo had about an 8-yard touchdown.

Aram’s take: I know, I know, “it was only Harvard-Westlake” … well, Blue is serving notice any way you slice it. From what I understand, Harvard-Westlake did its only damage when Amat’s second and third teams were in.