Bishop Amat dealing with two key injuries …

The last thing the Bishop Amat High School football team needs as it prepares for its Aug. 28 showdown with Mater Dei is a bad injury situation for two key players, but that’s exactly what the Lancers have.

Standout receiver Trevon Sidney hasn’t practiced yet during fall camp due to a hamstring injury, nor has All-Area defensive end Andrew Vasquez, who is still recovering from a knee injury suffered in the final game of last season against Corona Centennial.

It’s unclear how Sidney was injured, but the USC-bound receiver appears to be a better bet than Vasquez to be on the field against Mater Dei.

“He’s rehabbing it and trying to get better,” Hagerty said. “Hamstrings are weird. I think he should be back. I’m sure he’ll be ready to play, but if he’s not, we won’t play him.”

The outlook for Vasquez is less clear. The senior defensive end provides Amat with a strong pass rush off the edge as evidenced by his 65 tackles and seven sacks last season.

“It’s not healing that well, so he’s just taking it a day at a time,” Hagerty said. “We’re going to miss him for sure, so hopefully he’ll get back healthy and ready to play. He’s a great kid. He’s out there everyday and he’s trying to help in any way he can. If anyone can come back, it’s him. We’ll see.”

Being a full strength for the Mater Dei would sure benefit Amat as all eyes in the Southland are sure to be on the Aug. 28 showdown in Santa Ana. Bishop Amat is one of the favorites to win the Pac-5 Division this season and Mater Dei isn’t far behind in the rankings.

La Mirada opens with No. 1 team in the country and that’s just how Coach Moschetti wants it


Earlier this week, La Mirada High School football coach Mike Mosechetti sent a Tweet out showing his followers that the Matadores’ Week 0 opponent St. John Bosco had just been ranked No. 1 in the country by a publication.

Regardless of the ranking, La Mirada knew what it was getting into when it scheduled the Braves. If St. John Bosco isn’t the No. 1 team in the country, it’s certainly in the argument. And that’s exactly how Moschetti prefers it.

“I think it’s incredible that a publication says they’re the No. 1 team in the nation and a school like us has the opportunity to play them,” Moschetti said. “As a coach and as a player, I think you see something like that (ranking) and it’s going to make you work that much harder because you know what you’re up against. That’s what these kids want and that’s what La Mirada is about.”

Whether you believe that St. John Bosco is deserving of such a ranking doesn’t change the fact La Mirada can say it has the rare distinction of preparing for and playing the top-ranked team in the country in its season opener.

More people may have issue with La Mirada biting off such a big chunk in Week 0 than where St. John Bosco is ranked. After all, last time they were seen, the Matadores were eliminated from the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs by at-large team Salesian. La Mirada was the division’s No. 2 seed.

To come right back and play a St. John Bosco program that has established itself as a Southland power over the past few seasons is awfully of ambitious of Moschetti, who also scheduled Mater Dei for later on in the nonleague.

“We don’t care what anybody thinks or says about us, Moschetti said. “As a coaching staff, we believe in these kids. These kids have worked their butts off and we’re trying to build a program. We’re not happy with where we’re at. We’ve only won one playoff game in the last three years.

“We have a chip on our shoulders. We know it’s not good enough. People in the community or other cities, it really doesn’t matter what they say.”

La Mirada lost a lot of talent to graduation. It’s leading passer and top three receivers are all gone, along with two All-Area offensive linemen. But Moschetti has picked up several elite transfers and has what might be his most athletic team yet.

The Matadores are no stranger to playing and competing well against good competition. Last season, La Mirada opened the season with a win over Tesoro. A few years before that there was competitive game with Bishop Amat.

No matter what happens in the nonleague, La Mirada is still a heavy favorite to win the Suburban League and that will likely mean another high seeding in the Southeast Division playoffs. In the meantime, Moschetti has one focus and convincing his players to be alert from now until kickoff with Bosco won’t be a problem.

“We want to play a big-time team in our first game,” Moschetti said. “Whether it’s St. John Bosco or Tesoro, or in the past it was St. Paul. I think that’s important. That makes the offseason, spring football, summer conditioning, it just makes you work that much harder playing a team like that.

“We know we have to play a perfect game and Bosco has to play a bad game for us to have a chance.”

2015 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Top 10 recruits in the SGV(N)

zioneCal-bound Charter Oak RB Zion Echols is No. 4 on our list.

1. Trevon Sidney
Bishop Amat, WR/DB, Class of 2016

Sidney exited his junior season ranked as the top cornerback in the nation for his class. However, he wants to play receiver. That’s what Sidney concentrated on this offseason and his stock at that position went through the roof. He had offers to play both positions and ultimately will get the chance at USC, where Sidney committed to in early July. Sidney chose USC after deciding from a large field of suitors that included UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame and Miami.

2. Tyler Vaughns
Bishop Amat, WR, Class of 2016

Name a college football powerhouse and odds are that school has offered Vaughns. The phenom receiver has been called “The High School Megatron” because of his size and ability to treat a football like it’s a tennis ball. Vaughns’ stock stayed high all offseason and the reigning Tribune player of the year has his choice of SEC powers, Pac-12 elites and several others big names mixed in. It’s thought that USC is the front runner, which means Vaughns will team with fellow locals Matt Fink and Trevon Sidney at Troy.

3. Matt Fink
Glendora, QB, Class of 2016

At this time last year, Fink had no offers. At the end of his junior season he had just Boise State and Washington after his services. But once the offseason circuit of camps and combines began, Fink flashed his dual-threat skills and college interest spread like wildfire. Fink quickly became one of the top QB recruits on the West Coast and ended the suspense early by giving a verbal commit to USC in spring.

4. Zion Echols
Charter Oak, RB/WR, Class of 2016

Echols saw his stock jump this offseason after strong sophomore and junior seasons. Echols’ versatility allows him to fit nicely into the vast wide-open offensive strategies being employed by many teams at the next level. Echols took visits to USC, LSU, Oregon and Washington, but following a visit to the Bay Area and an offer from Cal, he was hooked on the Bears and committed before getting on the plane and coming home to the San Gabriel Valley.

5. Keanu Saleapaga
La Mirada, DE, Class of 2016

Saleapaga is a new name to area fans after transferring to La Mirada this offseason. He played his sophomore season at Gahr and last season he was at Cabrillo. At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds with good speed off the ball, it’s easy to see why Saleapaga is in hot demand at the next level as a strong-side defensive end. But he ended all suspense early by committing to USC in June.

6. Francisco “Paco” Perez
Baldwin Park, OL, Class of 2016

Perez combines good size at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds to go with a versatile style that has some thinking he can play guard or tackle at the next level. Perez saw a slew of offers in March when the likes of Arizona State, Texas Tech, Oregon State and Vanderbilt came calling for his services. But Perez ended the suspense in early summer by giving a verbal commit to Cal.

7. Brian Casteel
Charter Oak, WR, Class of 2017

Looking for the prized gem of next year’s area super recruit? Here he is. Casteel was named to’s All-State sophomore team last season and was a Tribune All-Area first-team selection after putting up some of the top receiving numbers around. He’s a stone-cold play maker who can catch whatever is thrown at him and make things happen in the open field. The recruiting barrage is expected to begin this season.

8. Micah Croom
La Mirada, DB, Class of 2016

Croom played last season at Servite and is part a dynamic haul of transfers that La Mirada got this offseason. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Croom was on many recruiters’ short list of safety recruits. Croom had offers from Oregon, Colorado, UCLA, Illinios, Indiana and Stanford. But Croom ended the process early and chose Utah.

9. J.P. Shohfi
San Marino, WR, Class of 2016

Shohfi used the offseason to shine with his traveling seven-on-seven team and opened eyes just about everywhere he went. Shohfi has the speed needed to thrive at the next level and catches just about everything thrown his way. It also helps that he scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of his SAT. His 1,821 yards and 25 touchdown receptions last season were among the best in the state. Shohfi has no official offers yet but said he’s in heavy contact with Stanford, Colorado, Washington State, Harvard, Yale, Nevada and Cal.

10. Jake Colacion
La Habra, LB, Class of 2016

Colacion was one of the most sought-after defenders in Southern California. His speed allows him to be a menace from his outside linebacker position whether he’s pressuring the quarterback or dropping into coverage. That kind of versatility helped Colacion give the impression that he was all over the field on every play. Colacion didn’t wait long and this offseason he chose Arizona as his college destination. He had offers from Washington State, Boise State, Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Air Force and San Diego State, among others.

2015 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW — Twenty years later, Bishop Amat is still waiting on next CIF championship



It started moments after the Bishop Amat High School football team’s heartbreaking one-point loss to Corona Centennial in last year’s CIF Southern Section Pac-5 semifinals.

Through the tears and frustration came a prevailing notion that next year would be different. Next year wouldn’t come up inches short. Next year Bishop Amat would be back on top.

The Lancers had just lost to eventual division champ Centennial, 38-37, in a game that ended with Amat being stopped inches shy of the goal line on a two-point conversion to win the game.

It was a loss that put the once-powerhouse program back on the radar in the CIF-SS’ highest division. It was also a loss that set the stage for legitimate championship expectations this season, which just so happens to be the 20th anniversary of Amat’s last CIF-SS championship in 1995.

Important vote about playoff changes looms …

The CIF-Southern Section executive committee will meet Aug. 13 to vote on whether to proceed with a proposal that would base playoff divisions for high school football on teams, not leagues.

Currently, the 13 divisions of the Southern Section football playoffs are based on leagues. The new system would produce constantly evolving divisions that would change annually based on the previous two seasons’ data.

“It’s going to be a paradigm shift for the entire section, if it passes,” CIF-Southern Section information director Thom Simmons said. “What you’ll see in August won’t be a finished product but certainly good enough to base a vote on. They’ll decide whether it’s worth going forward with.”

The executive committee is made up of 23 members, which includes representatives from each area in the Southern Section. The proposal would look and feel much like the one currently being used for basketball, meaning teams from the same league would likely be playing in different divisions once the playoffs started.

If the executive committee decides to proceed with the proposal, an official vote will be taken in January and the new system would be in place in time for the 2016-17 school year.

The new system would see teams move up and down in division based on their success, or lack thereof, from the previous two seasons. It’s unclear whether divisions would go back to be being labeled by numbers instead of names, but the top division would certainly be a mix of established Southland football powers and upstarts, much like the open division is in basketball.

Conversely, teams that play in upper division leagues now, but have unrealistic chances at winning their playoff division, would see their chances of winning a section title improve greatly.

Exactly how teams would qualify for the playoffs remains a bit fuzzy and is likely to be addressed at the meeting. Currently, league champions, second-place and in most cases third-place teams are automatic qualifiers or the postseason.