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La Mirada High School promoted assistant coach Joaquin Aguilar to varsity football head coach on Tuesday morning.
The announcement ended a long process in which the school twice flew the position before ultimately settling on Aguilar, who spent the last four years as the team’s secondary and special teams coach under previous head coach Mike Moschetti.
Aguilar inherits a program that’s become something of a shooting star. Two years ago, the Matadores won CIF Southern Section and State bowl championships. Last season, La Mirada reached the the Division 3 Southern Section championship game before falling to Edison.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to lead the Matadores,” Aguilar said in a statement put out by the school. “Most of the staff is returning so the transition should be relatively easy. We will continue to run our version of the West Coast offense and our attacking defense. While we had several key players graduate our returners were either starters or had extensive playing time.
“We will continue to schedule high level teams for our non-league schedule which for the 2017 season includes Orange Lutheran, Upland, Mater Dei and Capistrano Valley.”
Moschetti stunned local fans when he resigned shortly after the season. The former head coach won two CIF championships and had built the program into a Southland power that never often took on big-name opponents in the nonleague.
In addition to marquee games, championship and what’s become total domination of the Suburban League, La Mirada has become a hotbed of college football prospects, often sending out large recruiting classes to the next level.
Aguilar has head coach experience, having been in charge at Pius X and Glenn earlier in his career. He attended Salesian High and will be a walk-on coach.
Assistant coach Brian Zavala, who orchestrated one of the best defenses in recent area history this past season at Montebello, has left the Oilers and will become the next defensive coordinator and strength/conditioning coach at Colony.
Zavala was formerly the head coach at Wilson and later joined head coach Pete Gonzalez’s staff at Montebello where the Oilers experienced a strong showing in recent years. Zavala’s defense allowed just 9.4 points per game last season. Not sure when you’ll ever see a Montebello team do that.
About Los Altos …
A Conqueror insider, so take this how ever hard you want to take it, but the next Los Altos is likely to be someone with St. Paul ties. That could anybody, I know. But that’s what we’re down to on the rumor mill.
At Charter Oak High School, they call it “passing the torch.”
That’s the term used when Chargers top college football recruit hands off his star status on the way out the door to the next big-time prospect. This year, that process will take place between Brian Casteel, who yesterday signed with Arizona and Jermaine Braddock, the gem of next year’s class.
“He’s already heard people talking about some early offers and there are Pac-12 schools that I think are going to offer him,” Charter Oak head coach Lou Farrar said. “He’s the next sort of receiver/defensive back/skill guy up for us and we’ve got a few other guys coming up, too.”
As if you hadn’t enough of all the recruiting hoopla with Signing Day having come and gone on Wednesday, it’s now time to look forward to next season and think about the Class of 2018.
Braddock figures to be one of the biggest targets in the area for college football teams. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound receiver led Charter Oak in receiving in 2016 with 1,142 yards and 12 touchdowns. Farrar also said he expects some recruiting action for tight end Louis Farrar, defensive back Michael Anywanu, offensive lineman Nate Aceves and defensive lineman Mario Mora.
Just up the road at Glendora, the Tartans have a pair of offensive lineman who should garner plenty of interest. Guard Victor Arteaga stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 290 pounds and is coming off an All-Area season. Tackle Michael Chase is 6-4, 260.
“I do think both kids will have offers when it’s all said and done,” Tartans head coach Jerry Lewallen said. “I know APU (Azusa Pacific) loves them both and I’m hoping the Mountain West guys get in here and fall in love, too.”
Lewallen also expects that quarterback Bryce Wooldridge will see plenty of Division 2 interest, if not bigger.
In terms of quarterbacks, Northview’s Steven Comstock looks set to be the area’s most-prized recruit. Coming off a strong junior season in which Comstock showed he’s dangerous with both his arm and legs, the senior-to-be figures to get plenty of attention this spring. He’s already got an offer from Oregon St.
The area’s overall biggest recruit, not just in terms of size but also rankings, is Bishop Amat defensive tackle Aaron Maldonado. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound may have his pick of the litter at this time next year. Maldonado is the Mission League’s Defensive MVP and already has an offer from BYU.
The college football recruiting factory that is La Mirada should also put out another solid group. Former head coach Mike Moschetti reports that offensive lineman Tyler Casados already has an offer from Colorado.
Moschetti also expects plenty of attention to be thrown lineman Sebastian Hernandez’s way, as well as tight end Jared Mead. And beyond next year, La Mirada has a serious Class of 2019 prospect in quarterback Josh Calvin, who is already 6-4, 200. Linebacker Cam’Ron Chapman also figures to get plenty of looks.
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.