NEW: 2-minute drills are up …

Go here and then click on the game of your choice for audio breakdowns.

This week’s game are:
Los Altos at Bonita
Diamond Ranch at Charter Oak
West Covina at Walnut
San Dimas at Covina
Northview at Baldwin Park

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Damien still unranked …

No. 12, as in Danny Pertusati or as in where Damien ranks in the Inland Division?

Latest Inland Division Top 10
1 Centennial(Corona)
2 Vista Murrieta
3 Corona
4 Chino Hills
5 Redlands
6 Norco
7 Upland
8 Temescal Canyon
9 Chaparral
10T Carter
10T Temecula Vly
Other Rancho Cucamonga

Aram thoughts: Here’s my problem with this. Lets say that Damien beats current No. 4 Chino Hills next week, the Spartans will obviously join the rankings, but where? If Chino Hills wins, you can bet your mortgage payment the Huskies will be one of the Top 4 seeds in the playoffs. But what about Damien? Will the Spartans go from unranked to being one of the Top 4 seeds in a matter of a week? That’s probably not going to happen. Considering how tough this division looks, it would be a great advantage to be a Top 4 seed and it doesn’t look like Damien will be that, even with a win. That means the road to the finals won’t be as easy as it should be. What stuns me is that Rancho Cucamonga is the “other receiving votes” not Damien. Not good for the Spartans. Why take the long road when you can take the scenic route?

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The numbers favor the Huskies …

The handwriting was on the wall about Chino Hills property values, and you did nothing.

Here are the latest power ratings. These are from … laugh all you want, but at this time of year, I actually put some stock into these digits.

SGV Top 10
1. Chino Hills 29.2
2. Damien 25.2
3. Bishop Amat 22.6
4. Glendora 22.2
5. Rowland 18.1
6. Covina 17.8
7. Charter Oak 17.4
8. Diamond Ranch 14.6
9. Los Altos 14.1
10. South Hills 11.6

Top 5 divisions in the Southern Section
1. Pac-5 (D-1) 25.9
2. Inland (D-2) 17.7 (home of the Sierra League)
3. Northern (D-4) 12.8 (Bolstered by St. Bonnies)
4. Western (D-3) 9.8
5. Southwest (D-6) 9.7 (home of the Miramonte and San Antonio Leagues)

League ratings within the Southwest Division
1. Century 20.7
2. Sea View 15.1
3. Miramonte 11.1
4. San Antonio 2.5
5. Suburban 0.0

Aram’s thoughts: There’s a very real possibility that if Rowland wins out and Los Altos is the No. 3 team in the Miramonte League, those two teams could meet in the first round. Think of it, the Battle of the 60-Freeway. I tell you what – I’d spend that entire Friday in the ‘Heights. First, I’d visit my grandmother’s grave in Rowland Heights, then I’d wack out some dim sum for lunch and then a little Sam Woo right before the game. Why do I get the feeling that nobody does the SGV as well as I do? Anyway, it’s obvious the Miramonte and SAL teams are going to be substantial underdogs in the playoffs to Century and Sea View League powers. But that’s OK. Speaking of the Southwest Division … no surprise it’s one of the toughest in SoCal. Ahh, the old D-6 is going to be a throwdown. Come on SGV ballers, somebody get me to Home Depot Center!

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75,328 hits this month!!!

Kids, sit down! Save your applause for the 100,000-hit month. It’s coming.

NUMBERS DIGESTION: Some people in our ownership group have accused me of having a big family. Nope, believe me that’s not it. It’s just that the SGV prep sports fans are the best around. I can remember when I used to wonder about when this site would reach 100,000 hits, total. Now, it’s not a wild monthly goal. This blog gets considerably more hits month after month. September had around 57,000 hits. We have almost 20,000 more this month. If this keeps up, maybe we’ll do 100,000 hits in a month. Anyway, like I’ve said before, this is great exposure for our area athletes and it’s good for killing time while at work. How can you lose?

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Interesting L.A. Times article about separating public and private schools …

This is by the L.A. Times’ Eric Sondheimer. And it’s also available on their prep sports site.

Call it a public-vs.-private schools feud that is simmering, if not starting to boil.

It has come to the point that Newhall Hart Coach Mike Herrington, a member of the Southern Section football advisory committee and someone respected for his calm, clear thinking, says he’s ready to propose that the Southern Section create separate playoff divisions for public and private schools.

“The equality is not there,” Herrington said of the current alignment.

Front and center in the debate are Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Ventura St. Bonaventure, private schools that were placed with public schools in the Tri-Valley and Channel leagues, respectively, and aren’t just winning but wiping out the competition.

In Ventura County, the public school coaches are fed up. And now Herrington, after four consecutive losses to St. Bonaventure in nonleague games, is wondering if the unlimited attendance boundaries enjoyed by private schools is too great an advantage to overcome.

Herrington said that as media coverage has expanded because of television and the Internet, private schools have gained added exposure.

“They are more visible than ever and kids say, ‘I want to go there,’ and they can,” he said. “There might be a kid in Ventura County say, ‘I want to go to Canyon,’ but they can’t unless they move.”

Public schools were given a brief boost when the state legislature passed the open-enrollment law that took effect beginning with the 1994-95 school year. It allows students to attend any public school within their school district, regardless of where they live as long as there is room.

And that’s the problem today. Open enrollment has fallen to a trickle in many districts because of space limitations.

That leaves an unequal playing field, at public and private schools. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, high schools that still have open enrollment slots continue to attract athletes for top programs, such as Chatsworth in baseball, Woodland Hills Taft in basketball and Lake Balboa Birmingham in football. Other schools that want to offer open enrollment spots can’t because they’re overcrowded.

Private schools have complained that they are at a disadvantage because they charge tuition, but financial aid, or “scholarships,” as coaches like to say, have become commonplace.

Bill Redell, football coach at Oaks Christian, has grown frustrated with the continuing criticism of his program and said he would support a separate playoff division for private schools.

“It might be a good idea,” he said. “Then you’d quit all this controversy about us taking all their players.”

Setting up such separate playoff divisions would be such a complicated task, its chances of happening are improbable, Westlake Village Westlake football Coach Jim Benkert said.

Benkert tried to come up with a plan last year but abandoned the idea because, “I could never get it to the point where I could answer all the questions.”

In Honolulu, there are separate football leagues and playoffs for public and private schools before they join for a Hawaii state championship tournament. But there are 28 public and 26 private high schools on Oahu compared to 360 public and 204 private high schools in the Southern Section.

In Chicago, there’s a public school league and a Catholic school league, and the top football teams from each, if they are not involved in the state playoffs, play each other at Soldier Field at the end of the season. .

Whether this issue is important enough to attract interest from many schools in the Southern Section remains to be seen.

Thom Simmons, a Southern Section administrator, said, “No coach has called me, ‘Thom, there’s a problem with public versus private schools.’ ”

That may be because many coaches have given up hope that something can be done. Or, for some, the problem was temporarily resolved during the last go-round or league realignment, when many private schools were grouped in the same leagues.

What’s certain is, if someone as respected as Herrington has concluded there’s a disparity problem, others are sure to agree.

In December, six football teams will be invited to participate in the first CIF state bowl games. If the majority of the teams playing in the three games are from private schools, that “will probably fuel the debate,” said Marie Ishida, CIF executive director.

The animosity level is rising among coaches and parents, and this issue can’t be ignored.

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What’s happened to Brigham Harwell?

It’s not just about blowing games for Karl Dorrell, it’s about blowing careers, too.

I’m not a football coach, but you don’t have to be to tell that Brigham Harwell is playing out of position at UCLA. Harwell’s senior year at Los Altos was my first year on the beat. I only got to physically cover his games twice and I got to interview him multiple times for his Player of the Year and Signing Day articles. Harwell told me before he told anyone that he was going to UCLA. Fox Sports Net showed up at 8 a.m. at Los Altos to get footage of Harwell deciding between UCLA and Arizona State on the morning of Signing Day. But, Harwell had told me before any media outlet that he was going to UCLA. It was in that morning’s paper hours before he decided to let LA’s mainstream media know.

That’s the best scoop I’ve ever had. He did it because the Tribune had given him great coverage and he was thankful. Also because coach Greg Gano is a class act. FSN wasn’t happy about the leak, but who cares? I liked Harwell, just like anybody who meets him does. He remains the best, most dominant defensive player I’ve ever seen in high school. For those reasons, and because I have a signed UCLA helmet from him as a token of appreciation, I am a huge fan of his. These days, however, I am a disgusted fan of his.

Harwell left high school as one of top prospects in the nation. The SGV has had big time recruits before, but nothing recently like Harwell. He was Top 20 in the country on most lists. He was the gem of UCLA’s recruiting class and a player unlike anything Dorrell often gets. Harwell was deciding between UCLA and ASU at a time when former Sun Devils defensive end Terrell Suggs was still fresh in the minds of PAC-10 fans. He’s now a Baltimore Raven. I was excited at the prospect of seeing Harwell play in my local media market. I was excited, just like any prep sports writer, to say “I covered that guy.” I’ve heard past Trib guys talk about covering Lawrence Phillips, Daylon McCutcheon, Jason David and so on. Harwell was going to be my guy.

Then, he arrived at UCLA. Then he got moved inside for some stupid reason. A finesse, pass rushing defensive end that dubbed himself (and I wrote it) “The Sackmaster” was moved inside. Not only is Harwell not big enough to play inside, his remarkable speed isn’t best utilized inside. Most schools prefer 320-pounders plugging up the middle. UCLA prefers a 275-pounder, who had to gain weight to get there, not lose it (as most interior linemen do).

Harwell has had his moments at UCLA, but it hasn’t been what it should’ve been. He hasn’t turned into the next Dwight Freeney or Terrell Suggs. Instead, he’s suffered through some injuries, some of which might be because he’s out of position. He’s suffered through playing a position that he splits time at. He’s suffered through Dorrell and staff making it so that one of the country’s former top recruits hasn’t matriculated into being the dominant force he could’ve been.

In a QB-happy conference like the PAC-1O, wouldn’t a speed rusher off of the edge be ideal for a defense? I wonder what might have happened to Harwell had he chosen ASU. Maybe they would’ve never tinkered with his position. Maybe he’d be considering leaving early after this season. Maybe he’d be the next Terrell Suggs.

Makes me sick!

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POSTGAME: Talk your smack or cry me a river …

They’re back!

CO downed Bo-Hi and it’s looking like a two-horse race in the Miramonte with D-Ranch.

Thursday’s results
Glendora 33, Chino 10 (I know, I was there. Glendora played possessed and Chino isn’t Chino anymore)
Duarte 56, La Puente 0 (It’s time for a temporary, one year only, league change for the Falcs. Mission Valley maybe?)
Covina 55, Baldwin Park 25 (The Colts are absolutely rolling now. McDonough is flat unreal.)
Crespi 35, Bishop Amat 14 (I got a halftime score for this and was pumped when I heard 14-14)
Los Altos 38, Wilson 14 (Wildcats are done; LA is still hanging by a thread)
Charter Oak 17, Bonita 14 (CO defense is starting to remind me of the 2000 Ravens)
Arroyo 27, Rosemead 23 (Fire Singiser!)
South El Monte 27, Mountain View 7 (The Eagles are starting to roll)
Rowland 52, Walnut 20 (I want to remind you all that Rowland is 7-1 and the only loss was to Glendora by a point)
South Hills 23, West Covina 3 (Don’t look at the record. Just know that SH is very good)
Damien 35, Diamond Bar 3 (Bring on Chino Hills)
Gabrielino 21, El Monte 15 (El Monte always does this)
Sierra Vista 12, Gladstone 0 (SV hadn’t been playing well on defense until tonight)
San Dimas 68, Ganesha 0 (Can’t split SD, NView or BP right now … they’re all taking turns on each other.)
Saturday’s game
Pomona 34, Northview 10 (hurts man)

Aram’s Baldwin Park vs. Covina thoughts: First of all, I want to say how impressed I was by the fan support Covina had. It might have been because of homecoming, but I hope that’s the type of crowd the Colts always get. To the game – it went just how I thought it would. Covina’s offense wasn’t stopped and it was going to take BP trading points to stay in it. Having said that, I was impressed with BP’s QB Angel Acevedo. He has some speed when he runs and he throws pretty well. I think that Coach Heggins has done a good job there. From where BP was to where they are now is nite and day (Al B. Sure). Anyway, what can you say about Covina? The offense is rolling again. Mike McDonough is a monster. This guy really just can’t be stopped. The Colts run the ball with him or Tre McNair or they throw it deep. There was no in between last nite. The funny thing is that whatever they wanted to do, they did. If they threw deep, then Brad Gomez was wide open. If they ran McD or McNair, then they got yards. Like Heggins said “Pick your poison.” As I’ve said before, outside of Amat or Damien, the rest of the SGV teams are dreaming if they think that Covina wouldn’t give them a game. Players like McD, McNair or Jamal James would play for anyone else in the Valley, no question. Everyone I’ve spoken to already has Covina penciled in to be playing Oaks Christian in the finals. I wish I knew what the rest of the division looked like. It seems to me that if Covina is the No. 2 seed, they’ll probably have to play Oak Park to get there. I wouldn’t go too crazy on postseason projections for the Colts yet because the rest of the division is a question mark that nobody can answer. Covina is very, very good, though.

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PREDICTION TIME: Make your picks here …

Today’s game
Sierra League

Glendora vs. Chino, Citrus Coll.
Montview League
La Puente at Duarte
Friday’s games
Christian League

Western Christian at Ontario Christian
Miramonte League
Charter Oak at Bonita
Wilson at Los Altos
Mission Valley League
Rosemead at Arroyo
El Monte at Gabrielino
South El Monte at Mountain View
Montview League
Azusa at Bassett
Gladstone vs. Sierra Vista, at Citrus Coll.
San Antonio League
South Hills at West Covina
Walnut at Rowland
Serra League
Crespi at Bishop Amat
Sierra League
Ayala at Chino Hills
Diamond Bar at Damien
Valle Vista League
Covina vs. Baldwin Park, at Covina District Field
Ganesha at San Dimas
Diamond Ranch vs. Nogales, at Ganesha HS
Saturday’s game
Northview vs. Pomona, at Ganesha HS

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The Weekly Aaron Harris OVER/UNDER Game …

“UNDER” backers are having a better season than those who follow Dr. Bob’s college football picks. Aaron Harris missed the over last week by a yard, which is a sign that Aram is hanging good numbers (finally). See what y’all can do with this week’s number against Covina.

THIS WEEK’S PROJECTED TOTAL vs. Covina: 90 1/2 yards

Week 1: 133 yards vs. Azusa UNDER
Week 2: 139 yards vs. West Covina OVER
Week 3: 156 yards vs. Sierra Vista UNDER
Week 4: 192 yards vs. El Monte UNDER
Week 5: 170 yards vs. Glenn UNDER
Week 6: 114 yards vs. San Dimas UNDER
Week 7: 169 yards vs. Pomona UNDER (by 1 yard)

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No. 1 in the SGV Tribune … unranked in the Inland Division ….

The Tribune’s clear cut No. 1 in the area isn’t ranked in its own division.

ANOTHERT DISCLAIMER: I usually don’t comment on the CIF polls because they’re pretty much a waste of time. But around this time of year, you have to start looking. You kinda wanna see what the competition in each division looks like. You want to see who the top teams, aka targets, are. I still can’t believe I’m doing this.

MY THOUGHTS: Yep, I was going over the latest CIF polls while trying to get a gauge on how some of our locals will be seeded in a few weeks. Naturally, I started with Damien first – couldn’t find ’em. The Spartans are nowhere to be found in the Inland Division rankings. Yep, they’re 5-2 and looking like a major threat to Chino Hills. But the Spartans are unranked. You see, this is why I don’t like these polls. I have the opportunity to vote in them but I don’t because I don’t want to participate in something that is faulty. I don’t want to vote on teams I don’t cover and don’t read about and frankly don’t care about. But it disturbs me that some of the playoff seedings might be based on them. Damien not being ranked is a joke, because this team has a legit shot at the semifinals.

Inland Division
1. Norco
2. Centennial
3. Vista Murrieta
4. Chino Hills
5. Redlands
6. Corona
7. Chaparral
8. Upland
9. Temescal Canyon
10. Rancho Cucamonga

Another division of interest is the Southwest Division. That’s where the Miramonte and San Antonio Leagues are housed, respectively. The SGV has one team, Rowland, ranked in the Top 5. The Raiders are No. 5. West Covina is No. 8 and Bonita is No. 9. Los Altos is among the others receiving votes. Charter Oak isn’t ranked. From what I hear on the streets, the top dogs in this division Mayfair, Tustin, El Dorado are very legit. We’ll see. Right now, with the way Los Altos has gone sour, West Covina is so unpredictable and South Hills can’t catch a break, I’m not confident about the SGV commanding the division. Rowland appears to be the best shot and Charter Oak could do some damage if it keep surging. I still think that WestCo and SH could put together a run. And if I were one of the top dogs and Los Altos somehow made it, I wouldn’t want to play the Conquerors in the first round.

You can see complete polls in tomorrow’s Tribune.

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West Covina dismisses Hockenhull from team …

Tyler Hockenhull was one of WestCo’s biggest weapons.

West Covina coach Mike Maggiore confirmed Monday that running back/receiver/defensive back Tyler Hockenhull has been dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons. Hockenhull has missed time this season due to suspensions. Sophomore Demond Wallace has also missed time due to suspensions and injury, but he’s expected to rejoin the team in an undefined capacity.

CAUTION: What you are about to read is Aram Tolegian’s opinion and little disclaimers like this are now necessary (by my choosing) due to the many sensitive eyes we have on this site.

Aram’s opinion: But first, please read the disclaimer above before getting upset.

Aram’s opinion Take II: Now that you’ve read the disclaimers above, you’re probably ready for some opinion on this matter. Here goes: West Covina is experiencing the season that never was. The SGV can only hope that the talented seniors who remain i.e. Shaun Rosenthal, Nick Field, George Munoz and William Wallace (among others) can get things together and put together a run in the San Antonio League and CIF playoffs. This would’ve been a very good team had everything clicked. Clearly, it has not. But there’s still time. It should be remembered that West Covina started league 0-2 in 2004 and came back to win CIF. The players, coaches and most importantly the Bulldogs’ fans are getting gypped out of what should’ve been a banner year. WestCo has some of the grittiest players in the Valley i.e. Field, Rosenthal and Will Wallace … they deserve better.

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Remember when CO was No. 2 in the area? They’re back on the climb!

Put on detention a few weeks ago and left for dead, CO is surging back into the spotlight.

Remember back when Charter Oak started the season as the No. 2 team in the SGV Tribune rankings? Well, they fell out of flavor for a while but the Chargers have spent the past three weeks beating Claremont, West Covina and Los Altos. Lou and The Boys are looking like the team to beat in the Miramonte League and might have a big say in the Southwest Division playoffs.

Who are the other teams that are surging right now?
Bishop Amat?
Diamond Ranch?
South El Monte?

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POSTGAME: Talk your smack or cry me a river …

Jeff Chavez … Mark Mendrun … Mike McDonough … What about Philip Chase?

Mission Valley League
South El Monte 20, Arroyo 14 (I was there. This game got good in the fourth quarter).
Rosemead 40, Gabrielino 7
Montview League
Gladstone 21, La Puente 7
Valle Vista League
Northview 40, San Dimas 30 (say what?)
Covina 56, Ganesha 0
San Antonio League
Rowland 24, South Hills 14 (The Raiders got their statement game win)
West Covina 26, Nogales 14
Miramonte League
Charter Oak 13, Los Altos (Something is defintitely wrong at LA; and something is definitely not at CO)
Bishop Amat 10, Chaminade 7
Walnut 21, Bonita 14 (SHOCKER!!!)

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Breaking News: What’s going on at Rowland? …

Rowland High School standout running back Rene Small has reportedly been suspended for Friday’s game against South Hills due to disciplinary reasons.
According to an unamed source, the move was allegedly met with resistence by Small’s teammates, who urged coaches to wait a week. When coaches refused, the players reportedly took a knee in a practice this week as a sign of protest.
First-year Rowland coach Craig Snyder declined comment on the matter, saying only that the issue was an “in-house thing.”
Small’s absence would be a big blow to the Raiders’ chances in one of the biggest games of the season. The senior is Rowland’s leading rusher with 466 yards and nine touchdowns

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