BREAKING: 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 …

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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.

 

Bishop Amat beats Upland to win Charter Oak passing tournament …

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Bishop Amat showed the first of many signs that its fans are in for a special season by beating Upland to win Saturday’s Charter Oak Passing Tournament.

The Lancers were led by the duo of receivers Tyler Vaughns and Trevon Sidney. The team advanced through pool play unbeaten and then beat Keppel, Rancho Verde, Loyola and Upland in the knockout.

Upland beat Charter Oak in the other semifinal.

“It’s always good to win while you learn,” Bishop Amat head coach Steve Hagerty said. “We played today better than I thought we would based on what I’ve seen at practice. We looked a lot crisper because we weren’t going against ourselves.”

Hagerty singled out his defense as what impressed him most. He also said that both quarterbacks Damian Garcia, who started the first game of the day, and Ryder Ruiz, looked good. Garcia and Ruiz are in a battle to be the starter after having big moments last season.

 

 

James Heggins is back as Baldwin Park football coach … for now …

James Heggins is back as Baldwin Park High School’s football coach … for now.

Heggins, also the school’s AD, served as varsity football head coach for seven season until resigning in 2012. He was tasked this offseason with finding a replacement for Daniel Algattas, who resigned after one season.

Heggins had his man, but the deal fell through and rather than having a headless program, he decided to return until a new coach can be found.

“I can’t just sit back, I’ve got to do something to get them started,” Heggins said of Baldwin Park’s football players. “I’ve got a plan in to get someone in place later this summer. Timing is everything and the hiring process can take longer than you think.

“The guy we wanted has a credential that doesn’t match the opening. We were in limbo and I just can’t sit back. I have to help my hometown and alma mater get through this season.”

That will mean double duty for Heggins, who also coaches defensive backs at Mt. San Antonio College. He will try to balance both positions.

Heggins graduated from Baldwin Park in 1993 and played at Mt. SAC and later San Diego St. Heggins was 41-35 in his seven seasons and guided the Braves to a share of the Valle Vista League title in 2007.