She likes to blog …

Once it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood.

Here’s a link to former Trib intern Elizabeth Botello’s blog. She claims it will have a preps element to it, so we’ll see. Anyway, it’s general sports stuff with a woman’s touch.

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Opening Tribune Top 10

Six QBs = six of the Top 10 teams.

Funny how that always happens!

Charter Oak was the No. 1 team in my preliminary rankings throughout the offseason. But when push came to shove, I sided with West Covina because the Dawgs have that one (possibly two or three) home run threat that can dominate a high school game. William Wallace is going to be awesome this year. I know most people haven’t seen him because his last bit of healthy playing time came toward the end of his soph season two years ago, but this guy is one of those players who can score every time he touches the ball. I don’t see that type of player on Charter Oak’s roster, but he could emerge. Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Lou’s boys end up back at No. 1 at some point this season. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see them beat West Covina. Yes, Michael Johnson is a major weapon. He’s going to be impossible for normal high school kids to match up against. Impossible! But I need to see a secondary weapon emerge for CO. By the way, everything you’ve heard about CO’s offensive line is true. I am a pretty big guy myself, and the Chargers have three guys bigger than me. Awesome looking line. No real surprises elsewhere in the Top 10. Los Altos is the No. 3 team in the area and I think the Conqs could be No. 1 at some point. LA is fully capable of playing with either of the two teams ahead of them. That’s kind of the theme to this year’s Top 10 – I honestly believe that most of the teams on the list, exception Amat, could play with and beat each other. Arroyo would be my only concern if a game were to take place early in the season as opposed to later. Amat would be favored over any of the teams in the Top 10, but that’s not how we judge an Amat season. And I think an Amat game vs. LA, WestCo or CO would be closer than it might have been in recent years. I go back and forth on this year’s Amat team – I’ve watched them practice a couple of times, and it looks like they have a handful of good players but not enough throughout the roster to be a great, D-1 team. Then, I think that they could ride those good players and just be good enough in those other positions to compete at the highest level. It just seems like this team will have its moments and be inconsistent otherwise. That’s something Amat fans have seen too often from their team. Case in point, in practice (and it’s only practice, AI), Amat’s QB would make a great throw to a receiver only to have it be dropped. Then, some of the other throws weren’t so great when the receivers were open. The RBs look fantastic, though. Very fast and very able to break runs, especially if they get outside.
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Thank you coaches, players and parents …

… of the six cover boys. Obviously, it was worth it.

I want to thank Covina’s Darryl Thomas, Charter Oak’s Lou Farrar, Los Altos’ Greg Gano, Damien’s Scott Morrison, Rowland’s Craig Snyder and West Covina’s Mike Maggiore for letting us borrow your QBs for the cover photo shoot. I know most/all of the guys had to miss practice that evening, but I think you’ll agree it was worth it. Thank you to the QBs and their parents/friends/coaches who brought them to Covina District Field. Your patience was appreciated. Also, thanks to Amat coach Mark Verti for letting us bug him during practice and coaches meetings for our interview.

All Coaches: Be aware that with the Trib’s new coverage approach, we’ll need more access to you and your teams. Most of you are always very accomodating and it’s very much appreciated. Although it might be a hassle sometimes, usually the finished product makes it all worth it.

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2006 Trib Football Preview pops TOMORROW!!!

Important things to know …

No, this isn’t our cover shot.


1. Because this year’s preview is soooooo long, it was kinda broken up into two sections. You will see the normal pull out section and there’s another behind it. It might look like ads to you, which it is (not my call and not happy about it), but that is the final 12 pages of the section. I think most of you will figure it out.

2. Go to for supplemental online coverage.

3. Audio/visual slideshow of this year’s cover boys, no comment on who they are, will be available at

4. Video interview with new Bishop Amat coach Mark Verti will be available at

5. All of this should be available at 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning or as in tonight (in sports fan time). So if you can’t wait, hit up the website later tonight before you go to bed.

6. Enjoy. I’m pretty sure you will.

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Crystal ball time … your predictions wanted …

… try and do these with your mind and not your heart.

What’s your FINAL SCORE predictions? Pick one game or all of them. I don’t care, just post your predictions. If you only know about Amat or South Hills or Gladstone, then just post a prediction on those games only.

Here’s the schedule …

Aug. 31

La Puente vs. Ontario at Montclair HS

Sept. 1
Los Altos vs. South Hills at Covina District Field
Bishop Amat at St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.
Gladstone at San Dimas
Riverside Poly at Damien
Chino Hills at Mission Viejo
Diamond Bar at Temescal Canyon
Walnut at San Gabriel
Beckman vs. Azusa at Citrus Coll.
Workman at Mountain View
Diamond Ranch vs. Edison at Ganesha HS

Sept. 2
Western Christian at Villanova Prep (Ojai)

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Bogan v. Gano … the Valley’s first showdown is just five days away!

Who do ya like?

check out the good article about the game in Sunday’s Tribune …

Scary thought: What if Los Altos lost?

Scary thought, the sequel: South Hills as an underdog.

Aram’s favorite Gano moment: LA has the ball deep in the shadow of its own endzone last year against Damien. It’s before halftime and the Conqs are losing. Gano wants no piece of sitting on the ball. He has Castaneda go for the casa on a bomb to Chapelle Brown. The ball is overthrown. Very next play, same thing. This time, the ball is on the money, BOOM, 90-yard touchdown. Why the heck not?

Aram’s favorite Bogan moment: I asked Coach Bogan after last year’s CIF title if that was the best SH team he’d had. He thought about it, and then started verbally running down the list. It was like a rich man having to choose which of his 30 sports cars he likes best. “The 2002 team was pretty good, but then 2003 may have been better. Then you’ve got 2000, which was special … and this year’s team was so impressive.” … “The Ferrari is nice, but the Lamborghini handles better. And then there’s the Aston Martin.” … Those aren’t direct quotes, but you get the point. How can you pick? One of many dumb questions I’ve asked in my career, but at least Bogan tried.

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PRESEASON: Top 10 linebackers in the SGV …

… let me just say this, linebacker is a loaded position. Let the debate begin.

Norys as in Chuck Norris as in Lone Wolf McQuade as in punishing.

I asked around to try and get other opinions about this group ranking. What I took from those conversations more than anything else was that everybody interprets the position, and how it’s played well, differently. What makes a good linebacker to me is somebody who plays the position like AJ Hawk or Brian Urlacher. I like LBs who run down plays. I like LBs who fly to the sideline and either force the runner out or destroy him before he gets out (of bounds). I DON’T like guys like current USC stiff Keith Rivers who can’t run down a play from behind (see embarrassing Rose Bowl performance for example) or get stiff armed and hold on for dear life until a teammate secures the tackle (again, see Rivers). Another thing I learned is that many people like LBs who play the position by simply letting every run play fall into their laps before making in the tackle. Do the words “Stay home, Zavala” mean anything to you?

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Bassett in paradise …

What’s the world coming to when high school football teams from the SGV are opening the season in Hawaii?

I asked “The Boss” to send me to Hawaii to cover this game … I’m still sitting here at my desk.

Should I ask to see the photos or find out about the actual game first? Here’s the story by Steve Ramirez, who finally found his way back into the mix.

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Bishop Amat vs. St. Paul …

Some rivalries I understand, and some I don’t …

Aram needs a history lesson …

… Don’t get me wrong, I felt the intensity at last year’s game and I liked it. But honestly, I don’t get it, when/where/why did this become such a big rivalry?
I’ve been told by Amat people “You just don’t understand, this rivalry is as big as it gets.” You’re right, I don’t understand. What the heck made it so big? They’re both Catholic schools. Do you think other rivalries of common interest i.e. Tarbut V’Torah vs. Valley Torah or Mesrobian vs. Holy Martyrs Armenian has the same blood stakes to it?
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Web updates … check the Trib preps sports website for breaking news items …

Starting at NOON today

OK, so maybe it won’t be the traditional definition of breaking news, but it’ll be close. You can expect these updates daily and multiple times per day. It’s part of our “beefed up online presence.” You have to love how management terms things.

go to

and keep going to it …

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Star-News and Whitt Daily News readers … your prayers are answered …

Fred Robledo and Roger Murray have blogs opening today.

You can access them at:


This is great news for those of you who are fans of West SGV and Whittier area teams. I hope you will continue to visit this site. I know, at times, I just haven’t been able to answer your questions about teams from these areas because they’re not among the schools I cover, so hopefully you’ll get all your needs fulfilled by the respective beat writers.
I have no problem continuing the discussion of teams from these areas and it will probably happen just because from time to time. Enjoy!

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I visited two practices yesterday … (South Hills and Amat) …

… it would’ve been three, but I drove by West Covina and nobody was out there. That was at 5, so I assume they started at 6. Or maybe even next week. I will go back next week.

It’s funny, Glendora’s Mark Pasquarella told me NOT to come to Tartans practice. Not that I’ll listen, though. See you guys next week, too.

Anyway, yesterday’s first stop was at South Hills. The Huskies weren’t in pads, which soured me. But I don’t make practice plans for area teams (yet). Coach Bogan ran over and said “Hello” and also accused me of spying for Los Altos. He asked where my camera was. I’ve said it before, but there’s just nobody more prepared than Bogan. And you could see why even at this practice. The guy just doesn’t mess around and his staff is outstanding. Believe me, when you’ve watched enough practices, you can tell what’s a good staff and what isn’t.

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Terry Roche just told me …

“If you knew anything, you’d be at the beach today.”

All I’m going to tell you is this:

1. Chino Hills has a very good chance of downing Mission Viejo on Sept. 1 (Yes, I will leave this up).

2. Chino Hills has a very good chance of being in the Inland Division championship game.

No breaking news … go back to work.

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Coach Hernandez and his new field …

The Warriors have to be excited to play on that …

La Puente’s new football coach Ray Hernandez

I wonder what SGV team (s) will be next to have field turf installed on campus? It sounds like Hernandez has them pretty excited at LP. I don’t think it’s going to take a quantam leap for the Warriors to jump back into the Montview League race. That’s going to be an interesting race this year … here’s the article …
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Coaches: READ THIS …

Think of something better than “I want to spend more time with my family.”

Somewhere out there a coach’s wife read the Tribune and probably thought there was an ounce of truth in what her husband told yours truly while announcing his resignation … and yes, I was sitting there typing and thinking “He’s so full of beans.”

If you’re cute enough to call a reverse in the third quarter of a close game, then you should be able to come up with a better reason than “I want to spend more time with my family” when you get quasi-forced out or want to look for another job.

You’re probably all wondering “What brought this on, Aram?” Well …
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If you’re not excited now, you never will be …

Check it: Our first glimpse of new Los Altos running back Ira Thomas

He came from Chino Hills on a mission. The mission is to ease the pain of James Davis transferring out.

I GOOFED AND PUT SEPT. 2 INSTEAD OF SEPT. 1 FOR THE WEEK 0 GAMES. IT’S SEPT. 1 (not my first screw up and certainly won’t be my last).

Listen the hell up … the home page has a new feature that shows the Top 5 most read stories daily with links. It’s called “Click Picks.” I know, the gimmick title needs work. Anyway, I am going to be quite sour if prep sports stories like mine from today aren’t consistently in the Top 5 and mostly No. 1. All of you need to get re-acquainted with the page. It’s going to be off the hook this year. I’m telling you!

Next, if you’re a South El Monte fan, you’re not going to want to click on this thread and continue reading … if you’re an Amat fan, let me show you a group of guys who don’t give a crap about golden As, Pat Haden and how bright Amat will shine …
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State of the Union for SGV Tribune preps sports coverage …

Aram Tolegian to the masses: Distinguished coaches, revered athletes, fellow fans and coveted readers, the state of the Tribune’s prep sports coverage is improving.

It is my privilege to present to you all the current state of affairs at the SGV Tribune as it relates to our prep sports coverage.

Let me start by saying that I read an article this week about how the truly successful blogs are those in which the author gives first person accounts of the happenings in his or her life. Blogs are the new phenomenon, we all know that. So, people’s theories on what makes them go, and keep going, vary. In the case of this blog, I don’t think you guys want to read a daily or weekly account of the goings on in my life (ok, some of you maybe). I believe that what’s made this blog so wildly successful has very little to do with me and everything to do with the substance of the content, namely prep sports. And expanding even further on that, this blog is good because it’s got a major sense of community. We’re all in this Valley together, or we were at one time, so to speak.
From time to time I have no problem with some first-person accounts of life on the beat, but overall I want this to be a place where everyone can express themselves and share their thoughts about the happenings in our local sports world. This blog won’t change it’s philosophy and will continue to adhere to its “This blog is my blog, this blog is your blog …” pretense.

Yet it is not enough to simply blog when a blank check in the form of a website is at our disposal. It is not enough to simply blog when the actual raw copy of the newspaper is still the liver that filters the life of our existence. These things can and will get better.
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Here’s your open invite …

… to watch us film “A Local Sports Show’s” football preview show live from Philly’s Best in San Dimas … oh screw it … here’s the note w/details from Time Warner media stalwart Reg Miller, who will host the show.

Be sure to let the SGV Community know that we will be taping the 2006-’07 Scholastic Sports Seasons first episode of “A Local Sports Show” Saturday August 26th around 11:30am on location in San Dimas at Philly’s Best Authentic Cheesesteak & Hoagie Shop. Invite everyone to come out and enjoy a cheesesteak or two and listen to us talk about the fall sports season. Come one, come all. It should be a blast we’ll be talking about the areas HS Football top returners, top programs, schedules, predictions, coaching staffs etc….

PS there will be a Hoagie eating contest similar to what happens when the infamous Kobyashi descends upon Nathan’s Famous Hotdog shop on Coney Island….. Who will win? Everyone can enter by stopping by Philly’s Best in San Dimas located at:

806 C W. Arrow Highway
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909)305-8811 ask for contest coordinator John Brock.

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CONTINUED … Five things Bishop Amat needs to do to turn around its football program …



1. Hire a name coach – This one is completely off the books now, but it’s worth repeating. I am not saying Mark Verti isn’t going to do a good job. Nobody has a clue about him yet. But the school had a wide open door of opportunity after Mike DiFiori resigned, and they hired from within. Great.
Verti could either be the find of a lifetime or a 20-something-year-old gamble that sends Amat fans off the deep end. Not exactly the predicament most fans wanted to be in, but hey.
Here’s the thing Verti has going for him. His youth can be played two ways. He’s either too young to handle such a position or he’s the young guy who relates to the players. No matter how you feel about him, Verti is a former UCLA football player and he’s got that on any other local coach. He knows what it takes to go from Amat to the big-time. He can wield his connections to the next level as something that gets kids to Amat because the coach can help them to the next level.

2. Field turf – Uh … I don’t care how much it costs … the cash wasn’t spent on a coach, so put in a nice field. Amat’s field is already solid, but some artificial stuff would give the impression that the school is a cutting edge athletic institution. The new gym/weight room/locker room/coaching offices were a step in the right direction. When some kid comes to Amat to watch a game, he should see a state of the art field that will get him excited to possibly play there.

3. Throw rocks at South Hills, Los Altos and Charter Oak high schools until they crumble – Why go to Amat for $ 4-5 Gs per year when you can find a loophole and go to one of these schools for free?
“Gee lil Billy, you want to go play for Steve Bogan, Greg Gano, Lou Farrar or Mark Verti?”
And when the kid asks “Who’s Mark Verti?” … see No. 5 (below)
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Up to 68,873 hits …

… if you’re gonna pay the heavy cost of living in the SGV, then you might as well get something for it. Lets start with a nice, prep sports blog.

I guess Orange County isn’t the only place where they care about prep sports!

Just got the latest digits from SGVN Internet chieftain Adrian Guerrero: 68,873 hits.

The amount of hits this site is getting is accelerating rapidly as football season approaches. Hmm, I wonder why that is? I’m thinking we’ll easily reach six figures by the time league play rolls around. This is great news for our SGV schools, teams, athletes, coaches and fans, who get more of the exposure they all deserve. It’s not great news for management teams everywhere who are hopefully seeing their respective work force’s output decrease because everyone is on

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