I guess you could say that the Los Altos staff is moving a little beast and changing its colors.
Diamond Bar has hired Kevin Argumosa, who was defensive coordinator at Los Altos the past three seasons, to be its new head coach. Argumosa has immediately made a splash by naming former Conquerors head coach Dale Ziola as his offensive coordinator. The rest of the staff figures to have plenty of former LA names, too.
This will be Argumosa’s first head coach job after 18 years as an assistant.
The long wait for the Los Altos High School football team to get its new head coach appears almost over.
Conquerors athletic director Andrew Formano said Tuesday that the school has its man, but is just waiting for him to get cleared through human resources. The announcement could come any day.
“We’re waiting on his finger prints to clear, which should be any day now, and once that happens, we’ll announce to the kids and parents and be ready to move forward,” Formano said. “We’ve got our guy and we’re just waiting for clearance.”
Formano said the new head coach likely won’t be an on-campus coach, but does have head coach experience. Los Altos had roughly 25 applicants looking to take over for Dale Ziola, who resigned in December after a wildly successful run that saw him take one of the Valley’s most-storied football programs off life support and make it viable again.
Los Altos reached two CIF championship games under Ziola, including last year’s CIF Southern Section Division 6 final. The Conquerors lost to Paraclete, but finished the season at 13-1.
The Conquerors are just about of time in the traditional sense. Spring practice is set to begin in May and summers are now full of workouts and passing competitions. Not having a head coach much longer could put Los Altos behind the ball.
One reason the process may have taken so long is that the school underwent a changing of the guard at principal during the school year, with Cheli McReynolds leaving and former assistant Jeff Hess taking over.
“That slowed the process a little bit, because attention was kind of diverted to other things on campus,” Formano said. “We would have like to have gotten this done earlier, but circumstance were what they were.”
The goal wasn’t to win. It wasn’t even to keep score. What Arroyo High School football coach Jim Singiser wanted his team to get out of last Saturday’s first passing game of the offseason was for his team to turn the page.
Singiser is concerned his players are still in celebration mode after winning the CIF Southern Section Division 12 championship last season. And now is the time for Arroyo to put that accomplishment in the past and work on new ones.
“How do I think it went?” Singiser said repeating the question asked of him. “I don’t think we’re ready for the playoffs. How did it go? Nobody got hurt and we got to run around for a little bit. I think we needed it probably more this year than before.
“We needed somebody to slap us around a little bit. The CIF championship was five months ago now and nobody cares.”
The Knights played L.A. Jordan. No score was kept. They will meet again this Saturday. The following Saturday, Arroyo will participate in a four-way game with Bell Gardens, South El Monte and L.A. Jordan. Then, the tournament circuit begins with the early headliner being the Charter Oak Tournament in mid-May.
“We needed a jolt of reality that you’re going to run routes and get re-routed, you’re going to throw the ball into coverage and nobody cares what you did in December,” Singiser said. “You can preach it all you want, but until you actually get out on the field and have guys competing, you don’t know anything.
“I think we accomplished that goal. My goal wasn’t to outscore L.A. Jordan. It really wasn’t football related. My goal was it’s time to move on.”
Arroyo has a loaded team returning from last year’s championship team, led by quarterback Ernesto Camacho and running back Steven Ocariz. Having Camacho back should make the Knights quite a difficult proposition in passing tournaments. The question will be whether Arroyo can replace two of Camacho’s top three targets from last season.