College football hopefuls using SGV Hall of Fame Game as one final showcase ….


When it became apparent that Bishop Amat High School football standouts Brandon Arconado and Christian Wiley weren’t receiving the type of recruiting attention their teammates and fans felt they deserved, the next logical step was to take to social media to open recruiters’ eyes.

For weeks after the season ended, Arconado and Wiley’s fans and teammates plastered social media with season highlight videos of the two players along with creative hashtags like #OfferArco or #OfferWiley.

No one can say for sure just what sort of imprint such attempts made, but thus far neither player has been offered a scholarship to play at the next level. Both are hoping one last good performance when they strap it up for the West team in Friday’s SGV Hall of Fame All-Star Game will change that.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at West Covina High.

“I’m grateful for the support and everything,” Wiley said of the push he’s gotten from fans and Amat teammates. “They want me to succeed and have seen me progress throughout the years, but ultimately it’s up to the college recruiters to give me the chance.”

Arconado and Wiley aren’t alone. For every Octavius Spencer, the Monrovia receiver with a scholarship to UCLA, playing in Friday’s game, there’s 10 others who are on the outside looking in when it comes to playing in college.

That’s why game organizers felt it was important to move a game that was once a late spring/early summer fixture to the middle of winter, right before national signing day on Feb. 4.

“I think I showed what I can do,” Arconado said. “I was competing against guys who have full-ride scholarships.”

Arconado was a special teams freak, averaging 41.1 yards on kickoff returns. He had over 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns and was also an all-Mission League selection.

Wiley was the Mission League’s Defensive MVP this past season and was the Tribune’s Defensive MVP as well. He finished with over 100 tackles against some of the best competition around.

“The Mission League is probably the third or second toughest league in the nation, and I got defensive MVP,” Wiley said. “It proves I’m up there with all the best talent. And I got all-CIF with people who have rides to Pac-12 schools. I need coaches to give me a chance and I’ll prove all the doubters wrong.”

In addition to being one final recruiting showcase, Friday’s game also offers fans one last chance to see some of the top senior talent around. Then there’s also that whole thing about which side of town plays the best football.

Things have a changed a bit this year, though, with a geography change in term of where both teams draw their talent from. Instead of using the 605 Freeway as the divider, game organizers pushed things out to Azusa Avenue.

Both teams can also go further out than before. The East is coached by Colony’s Steve Randall, who guided the Titans to the Central Division championship. The West is coached by Maranatha’s Steve Bogan and Crescenta Valley’s Paul Schilling, who coached the Falcons to a 14-0 record and Southeast Division championship.

The East leads the 23-10-2 and has won the last seven meetings.

  • Nomoredrama

    There is also a great event hosted by Coach Terry Donahue (formerly of UCLA) called the California Showcase. This year it is being held on Saturday, February 21, 2015, at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. It is a one day showcase for seniors who have not accepted a scholarship offer.

    In addition they must meet following qualifications:
    one of the two:

    Have a 2.5 GPA or higher

    Have an SAT score of 1000 (math and verbal only) or higher

    Have an ACT of 18 or higher

    Students must provide their own transportation to and from the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA. Students are also required to bring two pairs of shoes (football shoes and running shoes) and any food they may require.

    The showcase is for Division II, III, and NAIA programs from across the country. I know everyone’s dream is to play at the DI level, but, this is an excellent opportunity if D1 doesn’t come a knock’n!

    Here is the web address for information on the showcase:

  • reality

    The pre-requisites for an offer in football are size and speed. Without both you better be outstanding in one or the other. If you fall short the J.C. route may be in your future. Or you can pay your way like so many other students and walk-on at a D1 school.

    • apachejoe

      I played in this game in the summer of 84 Stacey Harvey was our QB the guy was a giant. I had an amazing time although we lost 3-0 to the east because my knee touched when I intercepted the ball. Sure wish I could get a copy of the game film. These boys will remember the game for the rest of their lives.

      • Muir Alum

        The game was summer of 83.Stacey graduated same year as myself, I was on the team as well.

  • Valley Athletics

    Arcanado has a Dixie state offer.

  • Muir Alum

    Great game Brian Reyes! Go Mustangs!!

  • Muir Alum

    Brian Reyes, not only the 2 int’s, you also were all around the ball all night. You looked like you were truly having fun! Good luck in the future. I played in this game about 30 yrs ago, I didn’t make the shrine team but was proud to play in this game. It was a highlight for me.

  • Valley Athletics

    Iit’s no longer a SGV hall of fame game when you have Inland empire teams . Those spots could of went to other area kids that where also deserving . Inland empire had it’s own game against the OC last week .my opinion would be keep it in the Sgv , have a commitee pick the players and do it like the NFL did . No east vs west .