Former Los Altos coach Ziola sounds off about Tyler Nevens’ lack of big-time offers

Although most minds are made up and decisions already announced, there’s still a couple place in the area where mystery still exists entering Signing Day on Wednesday.

Los Altos High School is one of them. Conquerors running back Tyler Nevens has narrowed his top-two choices to Portland St. and San Jose St., and is hoping for a late offer from Boise St. Whether that comes or not, Nevens is expected to sign on the dotted line with somebody on Wednesday.

“Like every kid, he would like to get a big-time offer, so if something comes in here late, that might change his mind,” departed Los Altos football coach Dale Ziola said. “He’s really enjoyed the recruiting process with Portland St. and San Jose St. and those guys have done a really good job with him.

“He’s had some conversations with Boise St. over the weekend, but they haven’t offered him. They have one scholarship left and they’re trying to decide whether to use it for offense or defense.”

Ziola, like many others in the area, is perplexed by how Nevens doesn’t have more offers from big-name schools. Nevens’ other offers included UC Davis, Montana, Montana St., Idaho, Northern Arizona and University of San Diego. Grades are not an issue, nor are test scores.

“What it is that these guys are looking for, God only knows because I’m just a dumb-ass high school football coach,” Ziola said. “It doesn’t make sense to me how Stephen Carr can be a national recruit. And Zion Echols can be a national recruit. But Tyler Nevens can only get offers from the Big Sky and San Jose St.

“How that happens? The heck if I know. He certainly did on the field the same things those guys have done whereas the biggest kicker is that Zion Echols and Stephen Carr were surrounded four or five other D-1 guys and they got to run against five and six-man boxes.”

Echols played for Charter Oak last season and is now at Cal. Carr played at Summitt and is deciding between UCLA, USC and Oregon to name a few.

There’s also some drama at Muir where top defensive back Elijah Blades appears headed to Nebraska, but has denied such reports despite a school official speaking to the contrary. Blades was a Florida commit for a long while then last week opened things back up and said his top five are Florida, USC, Oregon, Georgia and Nebraska. His official choice will be made known on Wednesday.

Also at Muir, wide receiver/defensive back Ahmir Davis is expected to ink with Dixie St. Davis had previously given commits to San Jose St. and more recently New Mexico.

St. Francis receiver/defensive back Daniel Scott, a Pasadena native, appeared headed to Fresno St., but over the weekend Scott announced that he will sign with Cal. Scott will be joined at the signing table Wednesday by linebacker Maxx Jakeway, who is headed to Union College in New York.

Charter Oak receiver/defensive back hasn’t really wavered in his verbal commit to Arizona and is expected to make it official with the Wildcats on Wednesday. Casteel, a versatile player, is expected to be a receiver at Arizona.

Going down elsewhere in Covina on Wednesday will be Northview receiver/defensive back Antwaun Ayers likely signing with San Jose St., who he recently gave a verbal commit to.

The recruit factory that is La Mirada should send off another bumper crop to the next level. The headliner is defensive back Elijah Hicks, who is already enrolled at Cal. Quarterback Tristan Meyer is expected to sign with Sacramento St. while linebacker Chase Newman looks headed to Colorado.

Matadores defensive end Sire Woods is likely off to Penn while receiver Jeremy Clark saw some late steam pick up and appears headed to UNLV. Defensive lineman Trevor Hallock is on his way to Army.

Maranatha standout Terrance Lang has a standing verbal commit to USC, but the defensive end took a trip to Colorado last weekend, so stay tuned.

La Salle defensive end Myles Cecil announced over the weekend he has picked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Now the question is whether his Lancers teammate running back Amon Milliner will sign anywhere on Wednesday.

Drake Beasley never actually played a down for a local team after his transfer to La Canada from Loyola cost him his senior year eligibility. Nonetheless, the talented running back will sign with Boise St.

Pasadena resident Jamire Calvin, who left Muir after his sophomore season for Cathedral, announced last week he will sign with Nebraska. Elijah Gates, also from Pasadena, but played at Buena Park, will sign with UCLA.

East is back on top in SGV All-Star series

After a two-year break, the East is back on top in the SGV All-Star Game.

Damien wide receiver Josh Bryan caught two long touchdown passes and the East defense came up with a big stop late to preserves a 24-21 win in the 39th installment of the game on Friday night as West Covina High.

“I was just glad to see us get a win,” Bryan said. “It was just a comeback (in the series). It’s what we needed to get the East side going to make sure we get more players out here next year and keep it going. It’s a blessing.”

Bryan caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Chino Hills quarterback Austin Zavala on the East’s first possession of the second half. The East later made it 24-14 on a short field goal by Bonita kicker a Garrett Dean.

The West answered on its next possession and got to within three on a touchdown pass from St. Francis quarterback Michael Bonds to Arcadia receiver Raeshawn Roland with 10:45 left to play in the fourth quarter.

It appeared the East was set to run out the clock during a long drive on the ensuing possession but a mishandled hand-off resulted in a fumble that the West recovered at its own 16 with 2:48 left to play.

The West made its way into East territory, but went no further than the 45 and was stopped on downs after El Rancho quarterback Adam Chandler’s pass was deflected away on fourth-and-long with 1:15 left. Chandler was later named West team MVP. Lineman MVP honors went to the East’s Hugo Esqueda of Upland.

Bryan started the scoring with a 56-yard touchdown reception from Montclair quarterback Andrew Harrison. The East’s next possession saw some nifty runs by Northview’s Kevin Thomas set up a 1-yard touchdown run by San Dimas’ Jarrel Sykes to make it 14-0.

The West broke through for its first score on a 50-yard touchdown from Bonds to La Salle’s Amon Milliner, who took a short pass the distance to make it 14-7. Chandler later scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 14-14 at halftime.

The East improved its overall series edge to 24-13-2. The East had won seven consecutive games prior to the 2015 game when the West won the first of back-to-back games in the series.

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Coaching search updates ….

LA MIRADA — This one is kinda interesting. In an article published by this organization back on Jan. 10, the school said it was conducting interviews that week and would likely name a coach the following week (last week). Came and went. Now, word is the school is back to the application phase. How did this happen? Turns out the district wanted to involved and asked the school to re-fly the position. It closes today (Jan. 25). No interviews have been conducted yet. They’re expected to happen next week. No word on how many applicants.
RANDOM THOUGHT: I hope the next coach realizes he is inheriting a program that’s likely headed from D-3 to D-2, maybe D-1.

LOS ALTOS — As I tweeted (@aramtolegian) earlier Jan. 25, the school is set to finish first-round interviews this week and will have another round next week. Word I got from a Los Altos insider is there’s not as much as interest in the job as one might think because there is no teaching position (right now) with the gig.

EL MONTE, TEMPLE CITY, WEST COVINA — I got nothing. This is where you come in.

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BREAKING: Three-time CIF championship coach Mike Maggiore resigns from West Covina

maggioreLongtime West Covina High School football coach Mike Maggiore announced his resignation Wednesday after 21 seasons at the school.

Maggiore guided West Covina to six league championships and three CIF championships during his time and always had the Bulldogs among the top teams in the area. But family duty calls and so he told the team of his decision on Tuesday.

“I feel like I’ve been on a treadmill and I just want to get off the treadmill and take a breath,” Maggiore said. “I’d like to say there’s something cool I’m going to be doing, like hunting. But I don’t have any plans. I just want to spend a little time with my son.”

Maggiore becomes the latest head coach to depart one of the area’s more successful programs this offseason. Earlier, La Mirada’s Mike Moschetti and Los Altos’ Dale Ziola stepped down after leading their teams to CIF championship games.

Maggiore grew up locally and was a standout football and swimmer at Edgewood High before graduating in 1985 and playing football at Oregon St. Soon after returning home following college, he was an assistant coach at West Covina before taking over the head job.

The Bulldogs won CIF championships in 2004, 2010 and 2011. The 2011 team won it’s CIF championship game over La Serna by a record score of 84-21. But those championship moments aren’t what Maggiore would call the highlights of his career.

“My favorite accomplishments are the relationships I built off the field,” he said. “When former players come back and visit and they’re doing great things. On the field, I’m proud of the fact we were competitive every year.”

Maggiore said he will return to coaching at some point and will be available to help to whoever is named his successor. Maggiore plans to remain a teacher at the school. Whether his return some day is as a head coach or as an assistant remains to be seen. But his junior-high aged son will attend West Covina when he reaches high school age.

“In 21 years of doing it, there’s been a lot of changes,” Maggiore said. “It’s a year-round thing now. I always thought if I didn’t have the energy, it’s time to get out. I know I’m going to miss it, but I think it’s a good time.”