La Mirada becoming quite the fallback option for transfers …

lmiradaElijah Hick (#2) is the perfect example of a transfer thriving at LM

Being second option is working out just fine for the La Mirada High School football program.

The Matadores have prospered recently with players who transferred into the program after previously standing on the sideline at upper division schools and this year appears no different.

According to the CIF Southern Section website, La Mirada has already some impact transfers who look ready to help the school build on last season’s Southern Section and state championships.

“There’s second and third string players at Servite, Mater Dei, St. John Bosco and Long Beach Poly that are standing on the sideline, and they come to La Mirada and become national recruits,” La Mirada head coach Mike Moschetti said. “And that’s a fact. That’s a testament to the programs that they came from. There’s big-time players not getting films. If there’s kids at these schools who are second and third-string players, we more than welcome them at La Mirada. They helped us win a state championship.

“But we’re not recruiting them. We are a viable option and people are realizing that in order to get recruited, you have to have film. Standing on the sideline at Bosco, Servite, Bishop Amat or Long Beach Poly is going to do you no good.”

And, La Mirada is free in terms of tuition. It all adds up to another good haul this offseason led by the Long Beach Poly duo of defensive end Kevin Smith and linebacker Cam’ron Chatman. Then there’s 310-pound defensive lineman Jonah Aumua from the state of Washington and defensive back Jamall Jones from Long Beach Wilson.

It’s not like La Mirada even needs the help. The Matadores have six starters back on defense, including several with multiple college offers headlined by Elijah Hicks, who began his career as a back-up at St. John Bosco and now has 22 college offers.

The Matadores will begin what’s become the highlight of their offseason program next week when “conventus” — a grueling early morning workout routine in the school’s gym takes place. Players are put through several, often vomit-inducing drills in hopes of building team unity. It’s also become a favorite for college recruiters making the rounds.

“The players love it, the parents hate it,” Moschetti said with a laugh in reference to early start time.

La Mirada opens the season with Division 1 contender Orange Lutheran on Aug. 26.

  • Don

    Always nice to have a bottomless supply of single digit uniforms on hand for incoming superstars.

  • SGV Football Historian

    Good coaches, don’t recruit, the program they have built does the recruiting for them….but the school district has to be open and willing and support enrollment from families outside of the community…..not always the case in many school districts….

    • AramT

      You know what it is? Moschetti promotes his players better than anybody else out there (that I’ve seen). Charter Oak is the only thing close. And take this the best possible way, LM fans, but there are LM players who get offers at schools way over their heads. Nice work if you can get it, of course. And that happens at CO, too. But Moschetti has so many recruiters in and out of there and the players get looks. You combine that with CIF championships now and things are really gonna take off.

      • SGV Football Historian

        Agreed!!!! Several points you make are solid…the program attracts talent and then the solid coaches push, promote, and market their players. One missing piece is that the BEST coaches find the best fit for their student-athletes as well…..not every kid is or even wants to be “big time.” Several students focus on their education in college (they should). I love the coaches who help students find the Linfield Colleges (D III) and those like it. Their focus is on ALL of their players. HS coaches do not have to do much marketing for the five star…but what about the kid just wanting to keep on playing. A coach who finishes that task for ALL has my ultimate respect. LM and CO coaches do that from what I have ben told….True story…once there was an all-star football game (the year LB Poly had 5 studs – Mercedes et al)….LB Poly was called 5 times to ask for players for a “lower tier all-star game.” LB Poly was so focussed on its superstars that it failed to recognize several other players that could have played in that “lower level” game….not good!

  • mr power

    First the ol’ ball coach says, “There’s second and third string players at Servite, Mater Dei, St. John Bosco and Long Beach Poly that are standing on the sideline, and they come to La Mirada and become national recruits,”

    Then he says, “But we’re not recruiting them.” OK.

    Come on Aram you couldn’t get him to say, “I don’t recruit, I ATTRACT!” He won’t get popped because he is a “good ol’ boy” (and he isn’t black or mexican in case you didn’t know what good ol’ boy meant)

    • AramT

      Mr Power,

      Don’t pull the racism card here. Sick and tired of that argument. You don’t like something so you cry racism. Moschetti is far from a “good ol boy” and take a wild stab what the racial makeup are of the players he’s helping get schollies. Yeah, pretty damn racist helping black kids, samoan kids and whoever get scholarships.

      One more of those idiotic posts and you’re done here.

  • footballgenius7

    Good ole fashion ‘crootin…

  • reality

    It must be tough for the kid that has lived in La Mirada his entire life, has average size and speed, and dreamed of his mom and dad watching him play for his home town team. Now this coach is dreaming of Bosco,Servite,Poly and Amat players, not the kid down the street. “I want the ready made super stars with golden cleats”. I guess La Mirada kid better start driving to Cerritos if he ever wants to see the field.

  • doctordoomore

    When schools like LM decide that they want to stock their programs with out of district kids, they should automatically be moved up to D1 and have to compete in the playoffs with all the other schools that “ATTRACT” players.

  • Don

    La Mirada is doing nothing different now than South Hills, Los Altos, Charter Oak, La Habra (and on and on) has for years. You guys think Ernie Johnson won all of those Titles with only Pico Rivera kids?

    This has been going on since before any of us were born and it will go on forever because parents who think their kids are all that will always do what they think is best to put them in what they consider the best light. This applies to academics as well as athletics and every other extracurricular activity offered. People DO move their kids around so they can work with ‘THAT’ Band Director, or AP Math guy, or sing (and travel) with a high profile Chorale, or any number of other things that never occurred to HS sports fans.

    And yeah, for every imported running back, (or lead tenor, or presumptive valedictorian), there will be some kid left behind. Sad, but that kid who probably grew up dreaming of singing solos or scoring touchdowns at their local school will now have to stand behind someone from somewhere else who is better. Funny thing about that is most kids adapt, move on and take the alto part or become DB’s but the parents remain bitter because Junior’s chance to star has been crossed by an outsider.

    • AramT

      Exactly right, Don. And if it ever gets too much, CIF will have them in D-1 in no time. If they can keep it up at that point, we’ll see.

      • jcaz

        Cry me a river people. That whole argument over little Johnny loosing his spot because a bigger and better player stepped in is as outdated as amateurs at the Olymipic games.
        The fact is that an educational institution is suppose to offer kids a chance to excell in life, weather it be by becoming a Steve Jobs in the computer world or a star running back in the NFL.
        People don’t get riled up when the captain of the debate team transfers to another school. But they really get a wild hair when the kids an athlete.
        Frankly speaking, the CIF kinda sorta got it right last year when it stated to recognize that reality.
        Bottom line is that allowing kids to move greatly enhances the sport. In fact, if public and private schools could only use players from their local communities, then we wouldn’t have this kind of interest is these sports, and guess what ? There wouldn’t be as many sports reporters needed to cover high school athletics as there are now. Right ??!

  • reality

    Ernie Johnsons best teams were made up of Pico Rivera boys. Going to a public school out of your attendance area in the 60’s was very difficult to do. Generally I agree with your takes but on ER you swung and missed.

    • Don

      Sorry, tried to respond but my grammar corrected copy ended up above. My bad.

  • Don

    Your assertion that it was difficult to attend a school out of area in the 60’s is certainly true but somehow a few regional powers of the era like Lakewood and Anaheim seemed to find a way around it.

    As for the ER history, most of what I know is lore, legend, or anecdotal but I do remember families who lived east of Norwalk Boulevard with kids who attended ERHS. Some of the big brothers were part of the power teams of the 60’s when Johnson was still there and the guys I played baseball with at Whittier Rec and York Field followed and were Dons after he left. All but one of these guys would have been at either Sierra High (now closed) or CalHi, neither of which was considered a football launch pad.

    Most of the born and bred Pico boys who aspired to football after HS ended up at Cerritos, (not too many Don Nelson or Mark Baileys in that chain), especially in the 70’s after Johnson’s protégé Frank Mazzotta took over. Eastside’s headed to Rio Hondo and Marty Blackstone, probably because they liked riding to school through Rose Hills.

    Mazzotta Senior, who graduated from the Ranch in the early 60’s probably could shed some light on the discussion since he, I have been told, was a Whittier boy hisownself.