Is Damien No. 1?

It’s hard to argue against it …

I’m gonna make some calls and talk to some of the boys at the office, but I’m leaning toward Damien being the top-ranked team in the Valley. Los Altos lost, Rowland lost, Damien was No. 3 heading into last week and did not play. I know LA fans are going to say “But we beat them.” That’s true, you did. But I am talking about right now. Who else can it be? West Covina? Maybe. Glendora? Maybe. I think Damien has the best claim right now.

By the way … be ready for your report cards this week. I will be posting grades for EVERY TEAM IN THE VALLEY for the first half of the season as every team begins league, continues league or has its final tune-ups before league.

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Temple City stunned by La Salle!!!

DiFiori lands on his former employer … and my alma mater!

What’s the world coming to? La Salle 21, Temple City 14

The Rams don’t play well unless it’s under the lights. Everyone knows that. What are they doing playing a Saturday afternoon game at La Salle? You know what Rams are usually doing at that time of day? Eating … and other things … not playing football. What’s next, La Salle schedules Amat and DiFiori beats them too? I may have grown up on the westside of the SGV and I might even still live there, but I don’t like what happens there. Weird stuff. TC was the No. 1-ranked team in the Mid-Valley Division!!!! Robledo, get ahold of your teams.
With South Pas cranking, San Marino convinced it’s 1988 again, Monrovia owning half of the Best in the West list, and The Dealer owning what some call the best running back in the West, TC had better pick it up.
As bad as it might seem, you know what Mooney usually does after a loss like this? He comes back and wins league.

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POSTGAME: Talk your smack or cry me a river …

Glendora fans, here’s your respect. Pickup tomorrow’s Tribune … you’re on the cover of the entire thing!

Say what you want, the Tartans have heart.

Rosemead 28, Orange 27 (STUNNER!) Who’d have thunk it that Koffmead would represent for the SGV in Orange County? Nice! I don’t get it, but nice!
Glendora 30, Rowland 29 (huge 2nd half for GHS)
Bonita 35, San Dimas 14
Carson 21, Bishop Amat 13
Western 21, Los Altos 20 (had a feeling LA wouldn’t be awake for this one)
Covina 40, Sonora 14 (McDonough threw for 183 yards, ran for 177 and had 4 TDs combined).

Aram’s Glendora vs. Rowland takes: This was one of the oddest games I’ve ever seen. Glendora looked dominating at times and then looked like the first day of practice at others. But as I said above, this team has heart. Also, Glendora is 3-0 against other Tribune Top 10 teams this season. That’s pretty darn good. Maybe this team just wins ugly. It’s high school football, I guess we’re not supposed to know.
About Rowland … what can you say? Great effort, disappointing result. Are the Raiders world beaters? No. Are they one of the top teams around? Obviosuly, yes. I was impressed with QB Philip Chase and RB Rene Small. They were almost unstoppable on the option. The defense obviously has seen better days. Coach Snyder put it best by saying that having so many guys go two ways took its toll. Your quarterback isn’t supposed to be flying up and making tackles on Jordan Edmond or Zach Butler, but that’s exactly what Chase had to do.
Lastly, Joe or somebody at Rowland can maybe help with this – you guys have one of the worst hecklers I’ve ever heard. No clue who he is, but wow, very bad.
Bottom line: This was a great high school football game with the momentum changes you’d expect to see on any given Friday.

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The Weekly Aaron Harris OVER/UNDER game …

Nobody does more with less (carries)

Aaron Harris was the No. 1 overall pick in most SGV fantasy prep football leagues this season.

This week’s OVER/UNDER: 250 1/2 yards (No, I’m not crazy. Read below)

Note: Most of you will say “That’s high, Aram.” OK, it is. But I have a vibe that BP coach James Heggins is going to leave Harris in this week. Why, you ask? Because Glenn isn’t local. Yep, I do. I think that Heggins has taken Harris out in BP’s blowouts because he’s been playing local teams. Glenn will probably get no such luxury. Just a vibe, that’s all.

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

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CRYSTAL BALL TIME: Do your game predictions aqui (here) …

Two teams on a quest for respect

I’m excited for this one. I haven’t seen the Raiduhs this season and I haven’t seen G-Hi since Week 1. I picked Rowland in this game, but honestly, it’s a crapshoot. Can Jordan Edmond run wild with Chad Norys on the hunt? Can P-Chase do his thing with Todd Bruno prowling around? Oh yes, there’s gonna be a throwdown. And the great news is that you guys are going front page, so bring it, bring it, bring it!!!

There’d better be some fans in the stands, dang it!

Don’t bother picking if you’re not going to leave a final score!!! Dang!!!

Western Christian vs. St. Anthony, at Clark Field (Long Beach)
San Dimas at Bonita
Carson at Bishop Amat
Claremont at Charter Oak
Western at Los Altos
Diamond Ranch at Oaks Christian
Wilson at South El Monte
Tustin at Arroyo
Orange at Rosemead
La Serna at El Monte
Duarte vs. Azusa, at Citrus College
Sierra Vista at Bassett
Workman vs. Gladstone, at La Puente HS
West Covina at Ayala
Rancho Cucamonga vs. South Hills, at Chaffey Coll.
Walnut at Jurupa Valley
Silverado vs. Chino, at Victor Valley HS
Glenn at Baldwin Park
Northview vs. Nogales, at Covina District Field
Covina vs. Sonora, at La Habra HS

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Sports writer is the best profession on Earth, don’t let anybody tell you different …

On what other job can you kill four innings of the Dodgers playoff game at BJ’s?

This is the “Not so Cobb, Cobb salad” .. still on the diet. Although Robledo and Guerrero crushed pizza in front of me.

San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow – aka the walking sound byte – asked me earlier where the lunch adventure would take me today. Here you go, coach. BJ’s! We couldn’t discuss prep sports too much because of the Dodgers game. Plus, we all didn’t feel like talking after Jeff “Wheels” Kent and JD Drew inexplicably got thrown out at home on the same play. Ah well, we still have more championships in our trophy case than the Giants, who don’t even have a case.

Here’s some fodder for you on-topic freaks:

This is the Top 5 divisions in CIF-SS according to the power rankings.
1. Pac-5 (Div.1) 24.6
2. Inland (Div.2) 15.2 (aka Damien and Glendora’s division).
3. Northern (Div.4) 11.3
4. Southwest (Div.6) 11.2 (aka Los Altos and West Covina’s division).
5. Western (Div.3) 7.1

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It’s time to rate the LA prep sports media …

Check it out, the LA Times has a blog with not one, but four authors.

You gonna argue with these guys?

I’m gonna do it (no, don’t) … I’m gonna go for broke (will you please leave), I’m gonna step back from my day job and discuss LA preps sportswriters (you are so odd). But first …

This whole blog phenomena is amazing. The LA Times has a blog, the OC Register has a blog and the LA Daily news has a blog. Blog, blog, blog. Who the heck needs fish wrap?

Back to the topic at hand
OK, I have to read a lot of other sports sections to stay up on the overall scene and do research. I’m also a fan and I like to see any/all prep sports coverage that there is, time permitting. Obviously, the prep sports world and its coverage by the media has exploded this decade, so there’s lots to choose from. I like to think I’ve tried it all. There will be some names left off of this list, but that’s what your comments are for. I am only rating those who I have read, watched or shared a press box with.

In no particular order …

Eric Sondheimer, LA Times – I like his spots on the Fox Sports West HS sports show. There’s alway some interesting nuggets. One of the very best feature writers around, Sondheimer is kind of the dean of LA high school sports writers. I saw him honored at the Shrine Game a couple of years back, and his accolades were pretty impressive.

Steve Fryer, OC Register – Does anybody get after it better than Fryer? He’s not scared to speak his mind and his readership is one of the most involved/vocal groups that there is. “Frankly Fryer” is an excellent column and no matter what OC fans think of him, they seemingly always read Fryer just to see what he said.

Martin Henderson, LA Times – Have you seen a better game story writer? I often cover the same games as Martin, and he usually gets to work with considerably less space, but everything you’d want to know about the game is somehow put into a paragraph or two when it’s his byline. And as Amat girls hoops coach Richard Wiard will tell you, I love to just sit back and listen to Martin conduct his interviews. He’s not afraid to ask the hard questions, even under difficult circumstances.

Dan Albano, OC Register – You can’t read the Register and not catch an Albano byline. It seems like he’s everywhere. Like Fryer, Albano writes for a very sharp readership and delivers constantly. I’ve covered CIF swim finals with him and am always astonished how he knows records and times off the top of his head. Albano has the ability to get deep into whatever it is he’s covering, which isn’t easy on this job.

Lindsay Soto, Fox Sports West - Ahh yes, the first lady of prep sports coverage on television. I really respect that Lindsay can do the same good job covering preps that she does covering USC, UCLA or whatever other downtown assignments she might have. You get the vibe watching her that she’s enjoying her work.

John Jackson, Fox Sports West - As a former Amat and USC standout, Jackson has street cred as the main attribute on his resume. It seems like Jackson has been dabbling in preps sports coverage forever and that’s probably why, like Soto, he’s just as good doing a prep sporting event as he is handling a downtown assignment.

Reginald Miller, Time Warner - Miller is the local TV icon to the foothill communities and he finds time to show up in other places, too. “Big Reg” has the enthusiasm needed to do good work and it shows. Not only does he have to produce, he also often hosts, does play-by-play and even films games himself. You don’t do all of that without having your heart in it.

Pete Marshall, Daily Bulletin – A prep sports editor’s prep sports editor. Marshall has been moved to the desert baseball beat (minor leagues), which means he’s not technically on the prep scene anymore. But he does pop up from time-to-time and is always well informed about what he’s covering.

Jeff Gluck, Daily Bulletin – Gluck is Marshall’s replacement and he’s just starting to come into his own. Still learning his beat, which believe me can be an experience in itself, Gluck is likely to make sure things don’t skip a beat (no pun intended).

Lauren Peterson, LA Times - A no nonsense reporter, Peterson, like most of the Times’ team, is always on top of what she covers and finds a way to get to the point quickly and inform readers without wasting space.

Dan Arritt, LA Times - Does it all and does it well. A key part of the Times’ very good team. I don’t think most people realize how many teams the Times covers. It can’t be easy to be up to date on everything and everybody, but somehow Arritt does it and does it well. Plus, I had a good conversation with him two years ago in the press box at Anaheim Stadium during CIF baseball finals.

Bob Holtzman, Daily Breeze – Holtzman is the man in the South Bay. He’s seemingly everywhere when it comes to that region’s prep sports scene. Always a good personality in the press box, Holtzman backs things up with good overall coverage of his area.

I’m going to keep working on this list, but please comment and tell me if there’s somebody you like or somebody you feel that I missed.

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NEW: This week’s 2-minute drills are up ….

It’s not quite showdown Friday, but we’re going to answer LOTSA questions this week.

Is Rowland a legit No. 2 team in the Valley? Glendora probably has some thoughts about that.
Go to and listen like you were Ralphie in “A Christmas Story.”

This week’s drills are:

Glendora at Rowland
Duarte vs. Azusa, at Citrus Coll.
Carson at Bishop Amat
San Dimas at Bonita
Wilson at South El Monte

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Lunch at Hooters and an all encompassing SGV Top 10 …

Geographic boundaries notwithstanding …

The Hooters girls had no input, but they wanted some.

Yes, Robledo was at lunch with us. Yes, he wanted to argue that his teams are just as good if not better. Could I argue back? The East SGV is by far deeper, but the West SGV appears to have the quality at the top. And yes, I adhered to the diet by taking my wings “naked” as in not breaded.

1. St. Francis (4-0) - The win over Los Altos kinda says it all.
2. Los Altos (4-1) – The current top team in the East.
3. Rowland (4-0) - Owns the record, the playmakers and the current No. 2 in the East. This might be very optimistic.
4. Damien (3-2) – This team could play with and beat any of those above it.
5. West Covina (2-2) – I’m very concerned, worried and confused by this team. Sometimes they’re hurt, sometimes they’re suspended.
6. Bishop Amat (2-2) – I have a very hard time convincing myself that Amat shouldn’t be higher. We’ll see in two weeks.
7. Monrovia (3-1) – Played WestCo tough and is a legit CIF title contender in their own world.
8. Muir (3-1) – Fred is really high on this team … me I can kinda see it.
9. Glendora (3-1) - This could be Covina, South Hills or Bonita’s spot, but it’s Glendora’s for now and the Tartans will be higher next week if they drop Rowland on Friday.
10. Temple City (4-0) – I can stay impartial, even though I love my Rams. Wait, was that a slip? Anyway, you can’t argue with how TC looks thus far.

… oh yeah, here’s Robledo’s … Joe, you’ll like it.

1. St. Francis (4-0) – Not debatable anymore
2. Rowland (4-0) – Probably the Tribune’s real No. 1
3. Los Altos (4-1) – Knights defense too much
4. Damien (3-2) – Most unpredictable on East side
5. Muir (3-1) – Only loss to Oaks Christian, the best team in the country.
6. Bishop Amat (2-2) – Can beat anyone on this list.
7. West Covina (2-2) – Former Tribune No. 1 falling fast
8. Monrovia (4-1) – The best of the best from the RHL
9. Glendora (3-1) – Let’s see how they do against Rowland on Friday
10. Temple City (4-0) – Rams will go undefeated until they meet Wildcats in week nine.

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The numbers and a trip to Greenfields …

If you’re on the Atkins Diet, like I am, this place is heaven.

SGVN Internet chieftain Adrian Guerrero and I made a trip to Greenfield’s this afternoon for lunch and a discussion of the latest power ratings. As you can see, there was a lot to talk about … do it guys, digest the numbers!

Special thanks to Mark Keppel fan Harry Kaminski who spotted me and paid for our lunch!

According to
SGV Top-10

1. West Covina 29.4 (LW-1)
2. Los Altos 28.0 (LW-4)
3. Damien 24.8 (LW-6)
4. Chino Hills 22.1 (LW-10)
5. Glendora 21.1 (LW-3)
6. Rowland 19.2 (LW-2)
7. Bonita 16.9 (LW-8)
8. South Hills 15.6 (LW-NR)
9. Covina 15.6 (LW-5)
10. Baldwin Park 13.3 (LW-7)

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