The two that got away could come back to haunt Bishop Amat

If the Bishop Amat High School football team comes up in its season opener against Mater Dei on Friday night, the reasons will likely hit close to home.

In a strange twist, two of the San Gabriel Valley’s most talented players won’t be in uniform for Bishop Amat, but Mater Dei, instead. And the question on a lot of people’s minds is how did these two get away. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Ana Bowl.

When Mater Dei throws on Friday night, the Monarchs will likely target 6-foot-5 receiver Andre Collins Jr., who doesn’t live anywhere near Orange Country. Nope, Collins Jr. lives in Hacienda Heights.

And protecting the Monarchs’ quarterback so that he can get Collins Jr. the ball is USC-bound offensive tackle Frank Martin II, who lives in West Covina. Both Collins and Martin have been carpooling to Santa Ana since their freshmen year.

“I think it’s unnecessary, but I don’t think it’s weird,” Bishop Amat head coach Steve Hagerty said when asked whether it was strange to have two standouts from Amat’s talent pool playing for Mater Dei. “There’s always kids that are doing that. I think it’s been going on for a while. I don’t think traveling to school is an issue. I think they’re looking for the best fit.”

“I saw the Martin kid around our place a few times. He always in a USC shirt. As far as I knew, he was interested in Bishop Amat and then the next thing I know, he’s at Mater Dei.”

Forget about Amat, why didn’t Martin go to West Covina, which was coming off a dominant showing in the CIF playoffs when he was entering high school.

“His dad went to school here and graduated right when I started coaching,” West Covina head coach Mike Maggiore said. “I did not know he had a kid and his kid was 6-4 or 6-5. But a couple kids told me there’s a big kid in West Covina and they didn’t know where he’s going to go. In this case, it turned out to be a high-level Division 1 prospect. But I don’t feel like we ever had a chance. He never came over to look at our school.

“It’s definitely disappointing. Just seeing any kid that lives in your city but doesn’t want to come to your school, it is disappointing. I think it would be more disappointing for a public school. But for a kid to travel that distance, it’s almost like they don’t really trust what you’re doing. In my opinion, the kid could have been a high-level Division 1 prospect at any school he played at.”

Although neither Collins or Martin wound up as Hagerty’s responsibility, they will both certainly be his problem on Friday night. Collins appears on the cusp of a breakout season and will be tough to cover given his frame. Martin should be quite an issue for an Amat defensive line that is dealing with injury and suspension.

  • bulldog

    Another dagger for you. Martins mother is an Amat Lancer.

    • AMAT 73

      bd,
      Well now we know why the kid is a stud , there’s some Blue and Gold blood running thru those veins !!!! GO AMAT !!!!!!!

      • bulldog

        Slow down there big boy. I believe pops played college ball. And without question blessed him with his size. How about we share that thought. And a heads up to both sides. He has a not so little, grade school brother.

        • AMAT 73

          bd,
          OK a little WC blood in those veins also as I think I read he played at WC . Well seeing as MD got big brother , maybe AMAT gets little brother , Mom’s choice next time !! HAHAHAHAHA , Good luck to the Bulldogs this coming season .

          • bulldog

            Right back at ya! And how about we flip for him! HAHA!

          • AMAT 73

            Sounds fair to me as long as we use my coin !!!!!

          • bulldog

            Is it the one your boy Hagerty flips for playoff spots. Sure, why not.

          • AMAT 73

            If I’m not mistaken that coin has more good flips than bad ones . Don’t you recall all the banter on how we made the playoffs only because of a coin flip a couple of years ago , the blog hung on that one for quite a while .

          • bulldog

            Yup, thats the one. Ha! You kinda walked into that one. Thought i’d give you a little grief. May our boys leave it on the field tonight. Good Luck!

          • AMAT 73

            No grief , I’ll take any flipping way into the playoffs !!!!! Best of luck to the Bulldogs tonight also . GO AMAT !!!!!!

  • Don

    Interesting about these kids but big schools are big draws for big kids; nothing new there. When we had pals with kids at Loyola they drew lots of boys from all over: IE, Ventura County, the OC, you name it. Now many of these kids hitched rides with parents who worked downtown at places like the Federal Building, County Courthouse, Parker Center or one of the silk stocking law firms but that didn’t shorten the rides.

    Servite has long had a pipeline down the 91 into the IE for years. Runs both ways, I hear. Matty Logan can’t fill that all star team only with kids poached from Norco, And nobody really thinks that all of those kids who shows up to play for the Johnson Gang are really from Mission Viejo, do they?

  • Real talk

    Amat is not for everyone. Amat is bigger than two kids.

    • JM

      Yup !!!

  • Valley Athletics

    What’s tomorrow story going to be . Son’s of former Amar legends who are at Mater Dei . I remember when Frank Martin used to play baseball. Mater Dei must give a free ride or something . They picked up two twins from La Verne who where being recruited by everyone . One plays receiver and the other RB/linebacker .

  • Mean Joe Green

    I think this story is better reading for Saturday morning. If Mater Dei wins, then we can all talk about the fish that got away. However, if they lose then, good riddance. I can think of tons of reasons why a kid would choose Mater Dei over BA (some good and some bad). Keep in mind, when these kids made their decision, Mater Dei had just gone to the CIF semifinals and finals in two out of three years. On the other side of the coin, Amat had gotten knocked out of the playoffs in the first round each year. Its not surprising that these kids opted for Mater Dei. Whatever their reasoning, I don’t think Haggerty or Maggior could have done anything about it, or needs to sweat it.

    • The stands

      MJG, you are correct in that there’s nothing Haggerty could’ve done to recruit Andre Collins. My son played on the same JAA team as Andre and his father told me back then of his intention to send Andre to Mater Dei. The only school, by the way, he would consider because of MD’s consistent success.

      • AramT

        Not having Collins is one thing, although I’d be interested to see where he’d have fit into that WR mix. Amat isn’t hurting at WR, though. But not having a stud OL like Martin stings. Could really use that size.

        • The stands

          A Pac 5 team, or any other for that matter, can’t have enough stud O linemen. In this case, yes, it would’ve been nice to have Martin given Brayton”s shoulder separation. Even if he heals quickly, the chances of a future separation are greater now. Depth is necessary, and especially so, for teams hoping to make a run at a title.

          • AramT

            oh man, big linemen like Martin are an extremely rare commodity around these parts. Would have loved to see him at Amat or West Covina.

          • Mean Joe Green

            “Undue Influence” rules really handcuff coaches from doing the necessary outreach to local prospects. I really like the idea of middle school football camps that a lot of schools have started. However, the biggest recruiters of athletes are the athletes themselves and their parents. Coaches must begin to have closer relationships with the families of their athletes. I know of a few coaches who personally struggle with the PR side of their jobs. Coach Stevens at Monrovia has done a fantastic job in his short tenure to embrace the community he belongs to. Between his involvement in the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, Monday Night Football dinners and volunteer work at school events he is fast becoming a pillar not only in the high school, but in the community. This is how you recruit the right way gentlemen. Parents like myself are always out in the community sharing with other parents how well their children will be treated if they come to Monrovia. This is why a small school can consistently shell out big athletes. The whole darn town recruits.

  • Gus Ramos

    Since when do you hear of a player living in Anaheim, attending Bishop Amat. Mater Dei is the scum of the earth, when it comes to sports. They will do anything, to convince, a player to attend their school. They even tried to recruit that great lineman from Baldwin Park. Who cares, if Baldwin Park is next door to La Puente? Don’t try to convince yourself, that kids commute every morning,from the San Gabriel Valley.Have you ever wondered, why Mater Dei has a successful basketball program? Some of their players, were being recruited from South Central L A and any where else.! Verbum Dei is right there. Loyola as well, not to mention any number of public schools with great basketball programs. So what do you suppose, would convince a San Gabriel player to attend Mater Dei, in Orange County? To mention they have a Heisman winner is not enough. I’ll give you one guess!

    • flatiron

      Could it be that MD might offer a fine education to a poor kid from South Central, at a safe campus, away from crime, and demanding a disciplined personal performance resulting in a solid secondary education?

      • Here’s JOHNNY, or Little Johnn

        HAHA… Just dont step off campus and your fine…

      • AMAT 73

        flatiron,
        It’s obvious you have never been around the area of MD .

        • GP AKA Green Machine

          They are cleaning up that area…It’s cleaner and safer than la Puente…if you can’t park on the lawn at BA you better walk quickly from and back to your car

          • AMAT 73

            GP,
            Not true , I park 3 blocks away and the street is dark as heck due to trees blocking the lights , have never had an issue and as a matter fact the neighbors are very friendly around the school . Granted there bad parts in LP just as there are in any city as I am sure you have your areas in Monrovia , but around AMAT is not a bad area . You guys act as if all of LP is bad , and how bad can it be when West Covina is across the street from AMAT , and I am sure many out there think of WC as a very nice city .

    • AramT

      Great post, Gus!

    • Here’s JOHNNY, or Little Johnn

      As Paul on TV would say… CAUSE ITS FREEEEEEEE…. Both of these kids could have made the choice to come to AMAT, but they would of had to cut a check each month and they did not want that. They could have received financial support I am sure, but no they want a free ride. It will feel that much sweeter when we smack that A$$ Friday night with the 40 something (4 year) Seniors and the rest of the kids that chose to come here.

      • vegemighty

        What’s wrong with wanting to get free tuition? If my kid turned out to be good at football and MD offered him a full scholarship, I’d have to at least think about it, and I wouldn’t feel the least bit of shame in letting financial concerns heavily influence my decision.

        • Here’s JOHNNY, or Little Johnn

          give help where help is needed. Now go cash in your WIC stamps and get me some cheese and KIXS.

          • vegemighty

            You seem angry.

          • Here’s JOHNNY, or Little Johnn

            Not at all. That’s my happy voice.

          • vegemighty

            Well, I really don’t see a moral issue with taking a football scholarship to a high school (I think it’s a bit ridiculous that a high school would do that, but that’s another issue) any more than I see a moral issue with taking a football scholarship to a university (or even using football to overcome academic deficiencies to win admission at a particular university) or with taking a salary to play football on Sundays. If someone wants to compensate you for being good at something, you should enjoy the opportunity.

  • statsguy

    Don’t know if anyone is interested back in SoCal, but the 2 starting CB’s for Montana are from the SGV in Saturday’s ESPN game against NDSU; JR Nelson (Hac Hts Wilson) and Nate Harris (Chino Hills HS)
    Brent Musburger doing play by play, 12:30

    • Mean Joe Green

      Thanks for the heads up.

    • AramT

      FABULOUS! Remember them both.

    • reality

      Absolutely! Thank you. I think all fans want to know how our local sons of the SGV are doing.

  • GP AKA Green Machine

    I know you lancer fans don’t want to hear this but MD has BA beat in every category.

    Recent titles
    Playoff appearances
    TV exposure
    National recognition
    Facilities

    Over all MD is the best private school in the state. Who wins more than them across the board in all sports?

    Is it worth driving from Wesco? i don’t know about that, but Mater Dei is only doing what Amat does as well. SGV Public schools feel the same way.

    I am all for Letting kids go…taking the ones that show up…if no one shows, play with what you got….and don’t cry about it. We used to cry about it when our players went to CO, but when people came to M-City we finally saw the beauty of it and things came full circle.

    Amat shined without them, and can again. would it be nice to have them yes. However, if they did, there is no guarantee Amat wins with them. If you don’t want to be a part of what we are doing bounce…there is the gate

    • OnBLUE

      You forgot one other important statistic. Bishop Amat has beat Mater Dei the last two times they have played…

      Difiori beat the Monarchs in 2005
      Hagerty beat the Monarchs in 2009

      And he will beat them again in 2015!

      • JM

        I once had a conversation with Pat Haden on this issue. He totally stated BA was the better team in his day. Post years have been defer…

      • GP AKA Green Machine

        They are pulling from a much larger area…
        The OC is much larger than the SGV. Loyola is an all boyz school, those city cats don’t like that atmosphere. That’s the same reason why Damien and St Francis can’t battle with Amat for premiere Talent in this area. Thats why servite fizzled out. Too many stiffs ya know what i am saying.

        • just

          GP, De La Salle is an all boys school so are they stiffs? I doubt it.

      • From where I sit

        OnBLUE,
        I won’t question that you played football at Amat but the evidence is pretty convincing you struggled on the academic side, as proven by your rebuttal to GP. Maybe next lifetime, see if you can’t do better by paying more attention to the academic environment and just play football for the fun of it. GP, thanks for breaking it down for OL’Blue, you saved me some time.

    • JM

      Excellent Point. I agree !. $$$$ are in OC. Not much in SGV…The world we live in. JM

    • AMAT 73

      GP,
      You forgot to list their Heisman award winners .

  • bulldog

    So much for Amat getting little Martin. Especially if it turns out Amat boys busted out his windows.

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