INJURY UPDATES: QB conundrums abound at Bishop Amat, Glendora and St. Francis

dgar
Not done. (Damian Garcia)

HAGERTY MUM ON WHETHER IT’S RUIZ OR GARCIA

It’s going to be a interesting week of practice for Bishop Amat as it prepares for Friday’s Pac-5 quarterfinals game against JSerra.

The Lancers have a little bit of a decision to make at QB where juniors Damian Garcia and Ryder Ruiz are both bidding to start. And if you’re looking for any insight as to what might happen on Friday, Amat coach Steve Hagerty has two words for you (and me): NO COMMENT.

Okay, good lookin’ out, Coach.

Anyway, Garcia is back. He’s made that very public by posting a doctor’s note on his Twitter account which says he’s cleared for full contact. Meanwhile, Ruiz has been so good (419 yards and 4 TDs vs. Lakewood) that some people don’t want to mess with a good thing.

Perhaps both guys will play … and I’m not talking about the kind of situation where one throws a bad pass and the other starts to warm up. I’m talking about one guy plays the first half, the other guy plays the second half.

For coaches, QB battles suck.

finkrun
Maybe done. (Matt Fink)

FINK GETTING CLOSER TO RETURN

Glendora quarterback Matt Fink continues to receive treatment on his injured ankle and has an outside shot to play on Friday against Colony in the quarterfinals of the Central Division playoffs. Tartans coach Jerry Lewallen is considering his star quarterback at a game-time decision.

Fink injured himself in the first half of Glendora’s loss to South Hills two weeks ago. He missed last week’s win over Summit, but may have a chance of playing against Colony if his rehab continues to go well. If not, Ryan DeGuzman will start.

“I wouldn’t say he’s not coming back,” Lewallen said. “His ankle is much better today than it was a week ago. With ankles, you just don’t know until you go out and test it. We’re not at a point yet where we want to put him on the practice field and go test it. I’m letting his physical therapist handle it.”

jmart
Done. (Jeremiah Martin)

KNIGHTS’ MARTIN LOST FOR SEASON

St. Francis quarterback Jeremiah Martin is out for the season after breaking the collarbone on his non-throwing side in last Friday’s win over Mayfair in the first round of the Southeast Division playoffs. Sophomore Miles Bryant is likely to start Friday’s quarterfinals game against La Serna.

Martin was hoping to put the finishing touches on a breakout season in which the first-year starter had thrown 29 touchdown passes and no interceptions in leading the Knights to an 11-0 record. He suffered the injury while scrambling toward the sideline on St. Francis’ first drive of the third quarter. The score at the time was 35-14, Knights.

“I feel terrible for Jeremiah,” St. Francis coach Jim Bonds said. “It’s a storybook season that he’s had. He exceeded all expectations the coaches had for him.”

Will Martin’s absence cost St. Francis a chance at winning the Southeast? Bryant is thought to be a legit prospect and we all know Bonds is the QB Whisperer.

Playoffs: Talk your smack or cry me a river …

La Mirada stunned by Salesian — It happens every year to somebody … just didn’t think it would be the Matadores. A 9-1 regular season was followed by a stunning first-round loss to Salesian in the Southeast Division. The Mats hadn’t played in a close game in quite a while, so maybe it caught then off guard tonight to be in a nail biter.

Bishop Amat gets elusive Pac-5 win — The “Amat doesn’t belong in the Pac-5″ argument is now technically over. Lancer believers can wave this win over Lakewood like a shiny wand. I still believe the best indicator of whether a team belongs in a division, especially the upper divisions of the Southern Section, is whether they have a realistic chance of winning a title. Amat can prove that point next week vs. JSerra. Also, what can you say about Ryder Ruiz? He’s been outstanding! Not easy to follow in his brother’s footsteps. And what a job by Amat’s coaching staff to get him ready like this. Just outstanding all around.

St. Francis wins, but loses — The word out of St. Francis is that QB Jeremiah Martin is out for the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone. If that’s true, then Monrovia transfer Miles Bryant will likely start next week vs. La Serna. Terrible blow for Martin, who was simply excellent in his first varsity season as the starter. And a terrible blow for the Knights, who still have a shot at the Southeast Division title, just not as good as before.

Bonita quiets own fans, upsets Kaiser — Chalk one up for Bearcats head coach Adrian Medrano, who often takes unwarranted verbal abuse from fans but delivered in a big way tonight. Now, the Bearcats get a doable second round game vs. West Covina in a rematch of the 2010 Southeast Division final. MEDRANO!

Source says that Pomona coach Aaron Jamieson placed on administrative leave …

Pomona High School has placed varsity football head coach Aaron Jamieson on administrative leave pending an investigation for an undisclosed reason, a source said late Thursday.

Jamieson will be replaced by interim head coach Robert “Keith” Richardsonn, who will lead the team when it hosts McAuliffe on Friday night in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs.

Pomona is 6-4 and expected to make a deep run this postseason after being made the No. 3 overall seed in the Mid-Valley playoffs.

Despite the Red Devils’ success on the field, it’s been a rocky season off of it. Pomona forfeited its Roosevelt in Week 0 because of CIF rules violation.

The Red Devils then made headlines when school officials reneged on a contract to play a road game against Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo on Sept. 12, citing travel concerns. The decision resulted in another forfeit loss.

Jamieson had been the head coach since 2012 and compiled a record of 19-13. He coached the East team to a win in last season’s Hall of Fame All-Star Game.

PREDICTIONS!!!!

Now that I’ve had a chance to digest the brackets (and some other things) … it’s time to pull out the crystal ball. Bracket by bracket picks for every RELEVANT division to this area.

PAC-5

First Round
St. John Bosco
St. Bonaventure
Santa Margarita
LB Poly
Centennial
Mater Dei
Bishop Amat
JSerra
Second round
St. John Bosco
LB Poly
Mater Dei
JSerra
Semifinals
St. John Bosco
Mater Dei
Final
St. John Bosco

The lowdown: It’s very clear the Trinity is the top league in this division. Contention runs deeper than the top Trinity teams, though, with Corona Centennial and LB Poly also in with big shots. It’s hard to know what to make of the Mission League. Competitive? Yes. But Alemany, Chaminade and Serra ALL weren’t as good as last year. Bishop Amat was way better. Crespi was somewhat better. Amat showed it’s the true class of the league, but the Lancers have QB questions at the wrong time of year. The top Trinity teams played a lot of close games against each other and that should set them up well for a huge showing.

CENTRAL

First round
Colony
Summit (if no Fink)
Charter Oak
San Marino
Kaiser
West Covina
Los Altos
Monrovia
Second round
Summit
Charter Oak
West Covina
Monrovia
Semifinals
Charter Oak
Monrovia
Finals
Monrovia

The lowdown: All bets are off now with Glendora QB Matt Fink highly questionable. With Fink, the Tartans are a clear favorite. Without him, a case can be made for a number of teams. Give me Monrovia, though. The Wildcats can play any style of game. They played a grinder vs. Los Altos and pulled it out. They played a shootout vs. San Marino and pulled that out. They gave a good account for 3 1/2 quarters against St. Francis, too. If Charter Oak wasn’t so banged up, they might get the nod. But the Chargers are winning on coaching and good medical care. Still, the skill players are there to do damage. Like Glendora, all bets are off with Colony, which also lost its stud QB. West Covina is my darkhorse. If that WestCo-Monrovia semifinal match-up materializes, it’s gonna be a coin flip.

MID-VALLEY DIVISION
First round
Paraclete
El Monte
La Puente
Northview
Pomona
San Dimas
Rosemead
Sierra Canyon
Second round
Paraclete
Northview
Pomona
Sierra Canyon
Semifinals
Paraclete
Sierra Canyon
Finals
Sierra Canyon

The lowdown: Despite the outstanding seasons by Northview and to a lesser degree Pomona, you have to really like the top-two seeds in this division. Sierra Canyon is more athletic than just about everyone but Pomona. Paraclete is physical, seasoned and owns a huge home-field edge. Northview appears to have the best chance of any locals to make a serious title bid. In theory, though, you’re not supposed to like frosh QBs in these spots. If the predicted semifinals games do happen, they’re close enough calls to think anything could happen.

SOUTHEAST
First round
St. Francis
Dominguez
Paramount
Crescenta Valley
Cathedral
Downey
El Rancho
La Mirada
Second round
St. Francis
Crescenta Valley
Cathedral
La Mirada
Semifinals
St. Francis
La Mirada
Finals
La Mirada

The lowdown: This division is simply loaded. And I’ve had extensive exposure to it this season having covered La Mirada, St. Francis, Muir, La Serna, California and Crescenta Valley all in the flesh. First off, I’m worried about CV. They have explosive capabilities, but this team is very finesse in what could be a physical bloodbath for four weeks. If CV lost in the first round, I wouldn’t be shocked. The SGV League are the x-factors. Cathedral is good enough to reach the finals, but that would probably mean beating La Mirada in the semis, but before that landmines await in Muir and then Paramount or Norwalk. St. Francis is certainly a deserving favorite. The Knights played in a much more difficult league than La Mirada did. But La Mirada had the much more difficult nonleague schedule and the win over Tesoro is arguably the best win by any team in the entire division this season. Although both team could get an upset scare along the way, St. Francis looks like the surer bet to reach the finals. But if La Mirada emerges as the opponent, then we’re sitting one on of the best finals matchups anyone could ever hope for. Slightest of leans to the Matadores.

NORTHWEST

I’m not going to pick this one because of lack of familiarity with the other teams beside RHP, Maranatha, Cantwell and Poly. But I will say that I think both Maranatha and Poly are somewhat vulnerable based on SOS. However, that implies the competition has some SOS to speak of. Which I’m not sure about.

CRUEL: This is what a football team that thought it punched its ticket to the playoffs looks like … BUT WAIT …

sphs

The above photo is from Twitter. It’s a portrait of the South Pasadena High School football team and spirit squad moments after the Tigers beat La Canada, 21-3, for what they thought was a trip to the upcoming Central Division playoffs.

But after getting off the bus following Friday’s road game, the Tigers were informed by school officials that they had forfeited the victory for undisclosed reasons … those reasons, according to multiple sources, were the illegal videoing of La Canada’s practices earlier in the week by Tigers head coach Marty Konrad’s brother.

A source has come forward to this reporter and said that a La Canada coach who works for the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Department ran the plates of videographer’s car and also got footage of him in the La Canada parking lot. The alleged videoing of La Canada’s practice took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Konrad did not coach the Tigers in Friday’s game. The Rio Hondo League determined BEFORE THE GAME that the Tigers would forfeit the game if they won. Only problem is the players did not know that before they took the field. So in a cruel twist, South Pas thought it finished third in league and earned a trip to next week’s playoffs. Instead, the Tigers were informed late Friday that although they won, they actually lost … before the game was ever played.

RIDICULOUS!

A letter from South Pas principal Janet Anderson and athletic director Greg Luna explain things better.

Dear Tiger Football Families,
First of all, we would like to thank you for your unwavering support this season. What a remarkable season it has been with tonight’s game a beautiful jewel in the season’s crown. It is with very heavy hearts that we share with you what your sons have likely already shared. After their bus ride back home from La Canada, their coaches and the two of us met with the team. We acknowledged and celebrated their accomplishments and their joy. That made it all the harder to share with them that rather than continue into the CIF playoffs as the third place team, their season has come to an end.
Yesterday, we became aware that our school was accused of a violation of CIF regulations. We are continuing our investigation into the allegation. La Canada played tonight’s game under protest. Had they won, the protest would likely have been moot. With us winning the game, the Rio Hondo League leadership determined that SPHS would forfeit the game and La Canada would take the third place spot.
Tonight, we told the players that they did things correctly; the violations are not tied to their behavior. We also shared that since it is an ongoing investigation, there are details we will not be sharing at this time. Due to the time sensitive nature of playoff seeding, we do not expect there to be a change in this ruling. We are sending you information as quickly and as thoroughly as we can tonight, however brief it necessarily is.
Please help our players process this disappointment by highlighting the many stellar points experienced throughout this season.
We thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Sincerely,
Janet Anderson, Principal
Greg Luna, Athletic Director