Charter Oak beats Claremont to win Claremont Tournament …


Charter Oak beat Claremont, 22-18, in the championship game to win the Claremont Tournament.

The Chargers have a very dangerous collection of weapons this season led by Cal-bound RB/WR Zion Echols, reigning Tribune Offensive Player of the Year QB Kam Brown and future super recruit Bryan Casteel.

Aram’s Take: Like I said at the CO Tournament, the Chargers have some of the best skill talent in SoCal. Just hope they got some line play.

Charter Oak’s Zion Echols verbals to Cal … Who’s Next?


One visit and Zion Echols was hooked.

That’s how the Charter Oak High School football standout felt about Cal and soon after setting foot on the Berkeley campus he was tweeting out to followers that his mind was made up.
Echols gave a verbal commitment to play at Cal this past weekend during a visit to the Bay Area, thus ending a recruiting process that saw the all-purpose threat pick up offers from
“I went on my visit last weekend and I just loved it. Everything about it,” Echols said. “I went on visits to Oregon, LSU, USC and Washington, but when I went to Cal it’s the first time ever I felt like home.”
Echols is the latest in a bumper crop of college football prospects to announce his college destination. Earlier this month, Glendora quarterback Matt Fink gave a verbal commit to USC. And the Bishop Amat tandem of Trevon Sidney and Tyler Vaughns are still undecided.
“I feel blessed,” Echols said. “I just feels like all the hard work pays off.”
Echols has been a Tribune All-Area selection the past two seasons. Last year, he rushed for 1,141 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had 44 receptions for 553 yards and six touchdowns.


Zion Echols, Charter Oak, RB/WR, Cal

Matt Fink, Glendora, QB, USC

Ramsey Lambert leaves La Canada to take over at Santa Monica …

Ramsey Lambert has left La Canada High School after one season as its varsity football head coach to take the same position at Santa Monica.

Lambert led the Spartans to a 5-6 record and a berth in the CIF-Southern Section Central Division playoffs. La Canada is now looking for its fourth coach in five years.

“It’s a better fit for the goals that I personally have,” Lambert said of his decision to leave. “And I’m from Hawaii, so anything from around the beach is a draw. It was a long process, going through it. But when I was doing all the research on my part, it looked like it was a good move.

“Maybe not the best timing in my life, but it was something I couldn’t pass up.”

West Covina standout Isaiah Love may miss senior season due to neck injury while traveling with Body By Tra team …


West Covina defensive back Isaiah Love is in danger of missing his senior season after suffering a serious neck/upper back injury during a trip to the Bay Area last weekend for an unofficial college visit.

Love was with Body By Tra, a workout club/7-on7 team owned and operated by Traison Lewis, on what was supposed to be an unofficial visit to Cal and San Jose St., and possibly a performance in last weekend’s Nike Camp in Oakland.

Instead, the van the team was traveling in was involved in an accident that saw several passengers end up hospitalized. Love wound up with a hairline fracture of one of his vertebrae and will be in a neck brace for eight weeks. The first specialist who saw him, according to Bulldogs coach Mike Maggiore, said that Love won’t play his senior season.

News of the accident has not sat well with many area football observers, especially coaches, who are perplexed at how Love could be with Body By Tra on a road trip while his high school team had a competition that same day against Glendora.

“Isaiah should’ve been with us,” Maggiore said. “I don’t like outside influences any more than anybody else does. But at the same time, he was going up to visit colleges.

“I just don’t like how it was handled. Tra rented another van and continued on with the trip while kids were still in the hospital. How it was handled, I don’t agree with. I know it bothered quite a few people.”

Coaches across the Southland have grown increasingly fed up with outside influences from traveling passing teams like Body By Tra. Some have even decided to form their own school-based traveling passing teams rather than have kids play for outside coaches.

Lewis has become an omni-present figure on the local prep football scene thanks to the popularity of his training network and passing team. The team Love is a part of also features Bishop Amat standout recruits Trevon Sidney and Tyler Vaughns, and Charter Oak’s Zion Echols.  All three of those players stayed home last weekend to compete with the their high school teams in the Charter Oak Tournament.

Love, a top corner back prospect, has offers from San Jose St., UNLV, Fresno St. and San Diego St. Maggiore said Oregon St. was prepared to offer this week but after hearing what happened has decided to hold off.

Lewis was contacted for comment about this story last weekend but did not return calls or texts.