FIVE BURNING QUESTIONS entering Spring Practice …


These days, spring practice for high school football means many things to many different people.

Of course, coaches have to present the image that the t-shirt and shorts workouts that take place over the next month or so will somehow have an impact on the upcoming season. In the past, that might have been truer than it is now.

With year-around workouts and conditioning and specialized training and private 7-on-7 passing teams, players rarely fall out of football mold, thus making spring practice a cute blip on the calendar the exact results of which are never known.

Skeptical as one might be, there are still developments that could happen and eyebrows that could be raised during said spring practices. There are situations that bear watching and we’re here to help point them out by asking the five burning questions of spring practice.

1. Will Torreahno Sweet rejoin Bishop Amat football team?

Perhaps the biggest development of the offseason was the dismissal of Sweet from the Amat football program. We don’t know the reason and have only heard speculation as to why this happened. But make no mistake, without Sweet, Amat isn’t going to live up to the lofty expectations this season.

When Sweet emerged as a viable force midway through last season, that’s when Amat took off. Sweet ran for over 851 yards despite starting half the season. It’s paramount Amat has a ground game to go with all that talent on the outside. Such was proven last season.

There are rumblings that Sweet will be reinstated soon, and if that happens, Lancers fans should breathe a big sigh of relief.

2. Who will be the starting quarterback at Bishop Amat?

We’ll stay in La Puente for the second question. Yes, it’s that important.

When last year’s original starter Damian Garcia got injured late in the season, backup Ryder Ruiz stepped in and won the biggest games of the season. With both players back and healthy, the question about who’s the starter looms.

This one likely won’t be answered during spring practice. It probably won’t even be answered during the summer passing circuit. But the race figures to be so tight that anything either player does no matter when will loom large.

Another thing to keep an eye on during this spring is any and all signs that Amat is planning to solve this luxurious problem by going to a two-quarterback system. Can you imagine a two-quarterback system with Amat’s fan base? Yikes!

3. Where’s Paco Perez?

Earlier this offseason, we wrote about the potential traveling plans of Baldwin Park standout offensive lineman Francisco “Paco” Perez.

At 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, Perez is a rarity around these parts. With college offers starting to roll in and still no head coach at Baldwin Park officially announced, who can blame Perez for looking around for a better place to play this fall?

And Perez has reportedly done just that, sniffing the linens at Bishop Amat, Cathedral and La Mirada this offseason. But supposedly he hasn’t left Baldwin Park yet. The key thing as the Braves begin spring football will be to see whether is an active participant. If he is, there’s a decent chance he stays. If he’s not, well, then you know a move is likely forthcoming.

4. Can Monrovia reload?

This one can be answered easily. Just simply show up to a Monrovia practice and see if the bodies match the same type of talented frames that have played for the Wildcats in recent years.

They’d better because San Marino looks ready to end Monrovia’s reign of success in the Rio Hondo League. Plus, you’d hate to see the Wildcats become something less than great especially after CIF moved the entire Rio Hondo League up on Monrovia’s behalf.

5. How will La Mirada’s new faces adapt?

Participating in “conventus” has to be a bit of a shock for the several players who transferred to La Mirada this offseason.

Think about it, for these new faces their first official team function is something as grueling as the 5 a.m. workout known as conventus … but it may feel more like Navy SEALS tryouts.

Head coach Mike Moschetti is adamant, though, that the players like it and nobody matriculates through his program without going through it. The bet here is some of them wish they waited a bit longer to transfer.

Once the Matadores make it to the field in a couple of weeks, it will be interesting just how talented this group is. La Mirada has a ton to replace from last year’s team, but word is that the talent level may be even better this fall.

  • tanksolot

    Aram, something wrong here when I am the first to comment.

    • AramT

      Yep, I know. Nobody comments anymore. The page views are the same, but nobody comments like before. “They” changed the format and the lunatic fringe bolted. Oh well.

      • AMAT 73

        When I first log on to your site each thread is showing a high comment number , but a few seconds later the count goes way down , for example the thread on the El Rancho coach shows 17 comments then goes to zero , same for Fink’s thread and others , what gives ?????

        • AramT

          Those be spam that somehow in the process briefly shows as a comment before being blocked from being seen.

  • sir lancelot

    Don’t worry the crowd will come. As far as this Paco guy he has a rude awakening when he goes to these d1 colleges the speed of the game is going to be to much for him and he will transfer back to a JC. It will be a flop. My take is that he wants a free ride. Parents now a days are something else

    • Here’s JOHNNY, or Little Johnn

      Hate to see the seniors leaving tons of talent like camargo, Wiley, arcanado, and the beast up front big 69 Ochoa. They will be missed but this c/o 2016 has been waiting for this stage for some either your with us or your not.

    • Fight ON #9

      You are correct the crowds will come.(at first). If Amat slides they will be smaller. As far as this Paco kid, what type of awakening is he in for that every other high school kid going D1 isn’t in for? The speed is different because the athletes, the training, the nutrition is at another level. Why would this kid flop if USC evaluates the kid and says “he can play with us EARLY!”? A free ride from whom? I hope not Bishop. BA needs to get someone to a D1 program first for that ride to make sense. The big question on the table is Sweet. Why did it take half the season to hit the field. What was done by a 14 year old kid that was so bad that he can get kicked off the team but not the school? It seems this kid was on the coaches S$#t list from the gate and after he was used as much as he could be, one false move and you are out! At least until BA needs a run game again. I don’t know for certain what happened , but I have on good authority that was something that was said (or posted) that the head coach didn’t like ( the truth). How good is your coaching staff if they can’t also develop the kid as a person also? Catholic school, what about forgiveness? You are right parents are something else, letting their son get screwed and paying for the privilege. He could get that at public school for FREE ( without the parent volunteer hours) . Paco will be fine. One last question….. Where is Koa Haynes playing these days?

      • Here’s JOHNNY, or Little Johnn

        Mt sac last I heard

  • Mean Joe Green

    Good article!

    • Valley Athletics

      Perez does not need to go to any school to be recruited . Been seeing his name Pop up at some camps and heard he has about 6 offers . He should just stay put. Your advising Garcia to transfer his senior year and risk a chance on not being eligible for 30 days . If Ruiz was being groomed to be Starting QB he would of started since day 1 . Garcia is a competitor and I expect him to battle for his job back. Both are good Qbs and coaches will make a good decision .

      • Mean Joe Green

        I don’t believe that Ruiz was ready to start from day one. I like the kid, but let’s be honest, he needed to gain a few pounds before he stepped onto a varsity field. If I were a betting man, I’m betting that Ruiz will be the starting quarterback come September. Please remind me of this post in September if I am wrong. Personally, I believe that off the field considerations will weigh-in more heavily than on-field competition. I just can’t see how a dual quarterback set will help these kids in any meaningful way. Its a luxury for the team, but a nightmare for a kid looking to be recruited. If that his how Bishop is rolling, then hopefully neither kid has next level aspirations.

        Transfer to another team right now. Build chemistry with your new team early, wait 30 days, start during league (the only thing that matters) and combine your highlights from last season with this year’s league and postseason. You would still get more reps and highlights than if you stayed in a two QB set.

        • Valley Athletics

          so if off the field consideration ways heavy . Do we expect to see hagertys and difioris kids as starters .

          • Here’s JOHNNY, or Little Johnn

            If they are good enough to play then why not. Difiori is a big kid and has some learning to do still, but in the right moments he should see some play time. As for hagertys kid, I am sure he will get some touches in the right moments. Gotta remember when your first and second options are Sydney and Vaughns and there is only one ball last I checked touches will be scarce for the 3rd and 4th options. Mix in some sweet and that is one tough line up to crack. You also have lil sweet (soph) who has some hands and can flat out run. To answer your question with my guess, playtime yes, starters well if you look at the amount of starters coming back, probably not starting. And if they do and we start winning so be it.

          • Valley Athletics

            My point I was trying to make is that I don’t think coaches are going to make a choice based on being a legacy student as in Ryder’s case . I think coaches will choose who ever does the best on the field .

          • Mean Joe Green

            In the first comment I mentioned legacy considerations. However, in the last comment when I spoke about off-the-field considerations, I meant student behavior and conduct off the field. Don’t wanna stir the rumor pot, but it has been an issue.

          • Valley Athletics

            Gotcha , that can be an issue if he hasn’t learned from any past mistakes . But from I’ve heard he has matured .

  • Valley Athletics

    Heard Avery Williams from St Francis also transfered to J Serra .

    • Mean Joe Green

      Yeesh! When it rains it pours. They lost their best offensive player now they lose their best defensive player. Unlike Crawford, he will not need to sit out. Any SGV kid going to J Serra (Capistrano not Gardena) must have legitimately moved there. They still have Nazarian……for now.