VIDEO and STORY from Monday’s CIF Championship Press Luncheon … Los Altos and Pomona carry the local flag …

LONG BEACH — With their opponents seated just mere feet away, members of the Los Altos and Pomona high school football teams ate well and smiled large on Monday afternoon while knowing the rest of the week would be all business.

The Conquerors and Red Devils were the local representatives at the 39th CIF-Southern Section Championship Luncheon held at The Grand in Long Beach for teams playing in division championships this weekend.

“I’ve never seen anything like it and I actually loved it,” Los Altos defensive back Daniel Valdez said of the luncheon. “All the food was pretty good. I stuffed myself, I had two plates.

“Los Altos hasn’t been in this place in a long time and for us to be in this spot, it’s a great life experience for all of us and I hope we just get the win.”

Los Altos (8-5) will host Colony (11-2) in Saturday’s Central Division championship. A site for the game has yet to be cemented. The Conquerors would prefer to play at home, but Colony has balked at the idea due to concerns over the playing surface.

If the game is moved, Walnut HS, Cal-State Fullerton and Mt. San Antonio College have emerged as the front runners.

Pomona (9-4) will be on the road in Friday’s Mid-Valley Division championship against Paraclete (10-3). The game will be held at Antelope Valley College.

“It was a great experience,” Pomona interim head coach Keith Richardson said of Monday’s luncheon. “The atmosphere is just great. It was a great spread. The kids enjoyed the atmosphere. It was a great place to be.”

Los Altos was represented by head coach Dale Ziola, assistant coach Steven Burke, athletic director Andrew Formano and principal Cheli McReynolds. The Conquerors players in attendance were senior quarterback Lorenzo Silva, senior lineman David Tolmachoff and Valdez.

Los Altos is bidding for the 12th CIF championship in school history and the program is making its 15th appearance in a championship game. Los Altos entered the postseason as the third-place team out of the Hacienda League, but no opponent has been with single digits of the Conquerors at the final gun.

Los Altos beat Palomares League champion South Hills, Rio Hondo League champion and No. 2 overall seed Monrovia and at-large Bonita to reach Saturday’s finals.

“It’s very special,” Ziola said. “I’ve never been a part of anything like this and neither have the kids or coaches. My father-in-law was a high school head coach for 35 years and was only here once. We’re just soaking up the moment.

“There’s not that much to say because it’s so awesome and it’s so tough to describe. To be here and soak it in with these guys, it’s just special.”

Pomona was represented by Richardson, athletic directors Anthony Rice and Albert Adu, and principal Roger Fastin. The Red Devils players in attendance were wide receiver/defensive back Shawny Wilson and wide receiver/defensive back Desmond Bobo.

Pomona, the No. 3 seed in the division, beat McAuliffe, San Dimas and No. 2 seed Sierra Canyon to reach Friday’s final.

Hey Charter Oak, take a good, long, hard look. IMMORTALITY is what you’re playing for …

cocif
2009 Charter Oak CIF champions

Study the faces. Stare into the eyes. You hear them talking to you? “The ghosts” … Current Crescenta Valley baseball coach Phil Torres used to call them “the ghosts” when he’d refer to old pictures of teams that won CIF championships in the Temple City football locker room. Back then (early 90s), Torres was a JV football assistant coach at TC. Whatever. But it always stuck with me — you win CIF and you’re NEVER forgotten. Some day, maybe 100 years from now, when all of us are long gone, the current crop of Charter Oak players will look at the ghosts. Study the faces. Stare into the eyes. Immortality!

Hey Los Altos, take a good, long, hard look. Immortality is what you’re playing for …

LACIF
1999 Los Altos CIF champions

Study the faces. Stare into the eyes. You hear them talking to you? “The ghosts” … Current Crescenta Valley baseball coach Phil Torres used to call them “the ghosts” when he’d refer to old pictures of teams that won CIF championships in the Temple City football locker room. Back then (early 90s), Torres was a JV football assistant coach at TC. Whatever. But it always stuck with me — you win CIF and you’re NEVER forgotten. Some day, maybe 100 years from now, when all of us are long gone, the current crop of Los Altos players will look at the ghosts. Study the faces. Stare into the eyes. Immortality!

Hey Amat, take a good, long, hard look. IMMORTALITY is what you’re playing for …

amatCIFpic
1995 Bishop Amat CIF championship team

Study the faces. Stare into the eyes. You hear them talking to you? “The ghosts” … Current Crescenta Valley baseball coach Phil Torres used to call them “the ghosts” when he’d refer to old pictures of teams that won CIF championships in the Temple City football locker room. Back then (early 90s), Torres was a JV football assistant coach at TC. Whatever. But it always stuck with me — you win CIF and you’re NEVER forgotten. Some day, maybe 100 years from now, when all of us are long gone, the current crop of Amat players will look at the ghosts. Study the faces. Stare into the eyes. Immortality!

AmatLine
’95 Amat linemen

Hey Pomona, take a good, long, hard look. Immortality is what you’re playing for …

Pomona 1952 team
1952 Pomona (CIF?) championship team

Current Crescenta Valley baseball coach Phil Torres used to call them “the ghosts” when he’d refer to old pictures of teams that won CIF championships in the Temple City football locker room. Back then (early 90s), Torres was a JV football assistant coach. But it always stuck with me — you win and you’re NEVER forgotten. Some day, maybe 70 years from now when most of us are gone, current Pomona players will look at the pic of the 2014 team. Study the faces. Stare into the eyes. Immortality!

This is gonna be SEMI-GOOD … CHECK THE KICKOFF TIMES (BELOW) OF THE GAME YOU’RE ATTENDING …

Pac-5

Bishop Amat at Corona Centennial, 7:30 p.m.

Southeast

La Serna vs. Crescenta Valley, at Glendale HS, 7:30 p.m.

Central

Los Altos at Bonita, 7 p.m.
Colony at Charter Oak, 7 p.m.

Mid-Valley

Paraclete vs. Northview, at San Dimas HS, 7:30 p.m.
Sierra Canyon at Pomona, 7:30 p.m.

Northwest

Pasadena Poly at Nipomo, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Talk your smack or cry me a river … but first, Fred’s calling me out about Amat? Really? Read what he said earlier this season below …

FRED CHANGES HIS TUNE … — To hear it from Amat fans is one thing, to hear it from Fred is another. Just remember … Robledo said the following after the Santa Margarita loss “They’re clearly not a great team. I just think Bishop Amat is an average, middle of the road Pac-5 team that can beat anyone on any given and can get beat by anyone on any given day”

After the Chino Hills loss when Aram brings up division change …

“Aram’s right. You’re going to have to start considering it at some point.”

CHARTER OAK SEMI-GOOD — The Chargers have had their bumps, but here we are in late November and they’re league champs and a semifinalist in the Central Division. They can thank Zion Echols. 302 yards and FIVE TDs to beat San Marino. Incredible feat. But can they beat Colony? Gonna be interesting.

TITANIC BAD DECISION — When you’re down 11 with seven minutes left, have the ball at your own 40 and its 4th-and-9, you don’t punt. But that’s what San Marino did. Moments later, Echols goes 83 yards for a TD to ice the game. YOU DON’T PUNT IN THAT SITUATION! Did it cost SM the game? Probably not. But we’ll also never know for sure.

MONROVIA NOT READY — It was a bad sign last week when Monrovia needed OT to beat Don Lugo in the Central Division’s first round. It was even worse the way M-Town was pushed around by Los Altos in the quarters. Not ready. Monrovia clearly isn’t ready for the Central Division bump up they got from CIF. Short of a first-round loss, this was about as bad of a showing as anyone could have dreamed of.

LA SERNA CONTINUES TO AMAZE — How about this program? Seriously! The Lancers follow their win over Compton Dominguez by knocking off No. 1 St. Francis in the Southeast Division quarters. Hey, it’s La Serna’s division, right? The Lancers own the Southeast, right?

BISHOP AMAT IN PAC-5 SEMIS — I always knew this team had it in them. That’s actually true if anybody remembers my early season statements just before and after the Santa Margarita. Anyway, always great to see the SGV leave the OC with a scalp. It’s okay for Lancers fans to dream big now. They’re in the Final Four and there’s no telling how far they can take it. Also, is this Ryder’s team now? Or does the coaching staff open up the QB battle this week in practice? The thought of having SoCal’s best division’s champion come from the SGV is just awesome.

BONITA! MEDRANO! — Hey Bearcats fans, you have a pretty good head coach, huh? Big ups to Adrian Medrano for getting his team to go from at-large to semifinalist in the Central Division. The way Bonita is playing right now, it just might be the favorite.

CONQUERING REVENGE — Los Altos thought it never should have lost to Monrovia in the regular season. The Conqs got sweet revenge on Friday night and now one of the Valley best-ever football programs is back in the semis. Amazing job, Conqs.

‘Suspicion of misconduct with student’ is reason why Pomona coach Aaron Jamieson is on administrative leave

jamieson

As originally reported here last week, Pomona head coach Aaron Jamieson is on administrative leave. Now, the district has gone public with the reason why — “suspicion of misconduct with a student”.

That explanation really runs the gamut, however, the point remains the same and that’s that Pomona’s season of fiascos (off the field) continues. Props to the kids for holding it down on the field.