PREDICTIONS: Semifinals stylee … GIVE US FINAL SCORES …


It’s not a crystal ball, it’s a Crystal Gayle.

Friday’s games
Los Altos vs. El Dorado, at Valencia HS (Placentia), 7:30 p.m.
Covina at Oak Park, 7 p.m.
PLEASE NOTE: Covina’s kickoff is at 7 p.m. … don’t be late!

Saturday’s games
Duarte vs. Verbum Dei, at Centennial HS (Compton), 7:30 p.m.
Charter Oak at Trabuco Hills, 7:30 p.m.

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What do Charter Oak, Los Altos and Orange County have in common? …

… UH, NOTHING.


This division is so random.

Southwest Divsion: The Real CIF: OMG, the Southwest Division is so hard to follow. It totally makes me want to text message Coach Farrar and find out why Trabuco Hills wants to hook up with Charter Oak after hooking up with West Covina and Tustin. And did you see the way Coach Gano was acting on Tuesday? It was like so weird. I think something is up with him and El Dorado. He like totally used Foothill and now he wants somebody more popular. It’s so random. The SGV is so full of players. I hate it. I’m so totally done with this division. I wish the SGV would just win it and go back to that smoggy Valley with the trophy.


Coto De Caza has nothing on the exclusive Charter Oak section of Covina.

Aram’s semi-normal take: And so it is, the Southwest Division has come down to four teams – two from the SGV and two from the OC. This division has seen both regions fire their share of salvos. Boom! South Hills hit first by dropping seeded Canyon of Anaheim in the first round. Boom! The OC responded by sending Trabuco Hills to West Covina to tame the Bulldogs. They did it. Now, after a little cannibalism, it’s come down to four. No more Yo Momma jokes, it’s time to settle it on the field. Both games are in the OC. Los Altos won’t have to go too far in. Not far enough that the LA cheerleaders will have to fear Cameron’s charm. Charter Oak, on the other hand, that’s a different story. CO moms, guard your husbands. You never know when one of the Real Housewives of Orange Country will set their eyes on him. Hey, SGV men are some of the most appealing in SoCal. And from what I hear, the OC is a great place to spend your mid-life crisis. Obviously, everybody in the SGV would like to see LA and CO win and turn this into a locals only affair. But there’s a good chance the OC could kick us out of Disneyland and settle it amongst themselves in a week. Or, it could come down to one team from each region playing for all the beach sand and smog in SoCal. We’ll see … GET OUT TO A GAME!!!

Friday
Los Altos vs. El Dorado, at Valencia HS in Placentia
Saturday
Charter Oak at Trabuco Hills

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Duarte is going back to where it all started …


NWA is nice, but whatever happened to Fila Fresh Crew?

But first, one of Aram’s thoughts: As a chubby, half-white/half-Armenian kid growing up on the outskirts of San Marino, I couldn’t help but feel like NWA’s hit album “Straight Outta Compton” was made just for me when it debuted in 1988-89. Finally, no more Al B. Sure or New Order. I felt like Yella, Eazy and Dre were saying the things I just couldn’t. They were telling it like how it really was on the streets. I just felt like shouting out “That’swhatI’mtalkn”bout” when I heard that album.

And then to hear former San Marino football standout Matt Solomon yell “Straight Outta Compton” while warming up for a Huntington Jr. High track meet, it was a sign that finally the message of the streets was being heard. It was really very moving.

Because of that, each time Compton is mentioned, a certain part of me has to pour some out for the pioneers of Rhythmic American Poetry (West Coast stylee).

Compton pertains this week because that’s where the Duarte Falcons will be playing Verbum Dei in the semifinals of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs. We don’t yet know if it will be at Centennial High or Compton College. But it don’t matter, does it?

In addition to knowing it was the berth place of NWA, here are some other things you should know about Compton.

Population (2000 Census): 93,493 (1990 Census: 90,454) (For latest population estimate, click here)
Population Density (2000 Census): 9,166.0 persons per square mile
Population over age 64 (2000 Census): 6.9% (1990 Census: 5.7%)
Population under age 18 (2000 Census): 38.5% (1990 Census: 36.7%)
Land Area: 10.2 square miles (26.4 square kilometers)
Racial breakdown: Latino 56.8%, Black 40.3%, White 1%, Island 1.1%.

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Slightly more chicks than dudes in Oak Park. Aram funna get there early!


Dang it, Coach Thomas. Where the heck are we going?

All you need to know about Oak Park. Covina, it isn’t.
Population (year 2000): 2,320
Males: 1,147 (49.4%), Females: 1,173 (50.6%)
Races in Oak Park:
White Non-Hispanic (89.7%)
Hispanic (4.4%)
Two or more races (2.6%)
Other race (1.2%)
Asian Indian (1.0%)
Korean (0.7%)
Chinese (0.5%)
Median resident age: 39.7 years
Median household income: $92,921 (year 2000)
Median house value: $337,100 (year 2000)

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Tribune Player of the Year …

For those of you arguing about who it should go to, you should know a few things:

1. I put the most weight on performance in the playoffs.

2. I poll the other guys who have covered games for us and whose opinions I trust.

3. All-league voting is NEVER considered.

4. Coach’s opinion or nomination is NEVER considered.

5. It’s an impossible award to decide BEFORE the playoffs are COMPLETELY over.

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POSTGAME: Talk your smack or cry me a river ….

Friday’s scores
Charter Oak 35, South Hills 0 (Complete domination by CO. Very sad day for the Huskies as Coach Steve Bogan’s mother passed away early Friday morning.)
Duarte 41, Santa Clara 38, OT (Duarte’s a football school again!)
Covina 47, St. Joseph 32 (Onward and upward)
Los Altos 37, Foothill 21 (The OC teams rarely do well against Gano, why would that be?)
Temescal Canyon 42, Damien 16 (ouch!)
Trabuco Hills 14, West Covina 6 (Trouble scoring at home can’t happen in late November)

Aram’s thoughts on CO’s win over South Hills: First of all, if you say you expected that and you weren’t surprised, then you’re a flat out liar. If anybody in the entire Valley should sit here and say they thought CO could play like that, it should be me. Forget about who I picked in the game, just remember that I had CO No. 1 in the area for the entire off-season and started them No. 2 in Valley. Do you see how stupid all of this sounds? What anybody thought four months ago or an hour before last night’s game doesn’t really matter. All that matters is what took place after kickoff. Charter Oak played like a team on a mission. I think that’s probably the best the Chargers will ever look this season, but I am hope I’m wrong because that will mean a CIF title if I am. It’s funny, but when you reach the playoffs, it all comes down to the very best players making the biggest plays. You saw that out of Michael Johnson last night. He was the difference in the game in the first half. His first TD was an amazing catch that gave you the impression he was playing against boys. His pick return made him look like a USC defensive back playing in a Pop Warner game. The guy is just an awesome player who got to show it to everybody last night. Also, I think CO’s offensive line really controlled things. South Hills just wasn’t making stops and it’s because CO was able to run the ball. The Chargers’ offensive line had taken some heat this year for being big and looking good in uniform, but not dominating up to their appearance. That wasn’t the case at all last night. My whole reason for hyping CO at the beginning of the season was because they had all of the elements to have a huge year – mammoth O-line, D-1 receiver/dback, veteran QB, great coaching and a psycho middle linebacker. They simply passed the look test. It’s great to see that the Chargers never quit when things were going bad early on and are now playing their best football.
About South Hills – the Huskies have nothing to be ashamed of. It was a hard week. Coach Bogan’s mom went into the hospital early in the week and as we all know, she passed on Friday. Now, isn’t that typical of the kind of coaches we have here in the SGV? He loses his mom in the morning and yet he’s out coaching his team later that night. There wasn’t a person in the world who would’ve blamed him for missing last night’s game, but Coach Bogan wasn’t going to do that to his team. The Huskies just didn’t have it. Charter Oak was simply better and it showed. But it should be remember that SH lost a ton from last year’s team and struggled badly earlier this season. Yet, at the end of the day, SH wins a share of the SAL and upsets a seeded team on the road in the playoffs. Like Bogan said, they’ll be back. Not quite so sure we’ll be able to say that CO coach Lou Farrar who could hang it up if his team sends him out the right way. It could be the storybook ending to a storybook career.

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Charter Oak vs. South Hills (’nuff said)


South Hills coach Steve Bogan will have his usual great game plan for Charter Oak

Aram’s take: Spurrier vs. Bowden? That’s what it feels like to me. I’ve got to tell you that I’m as anxious for this game as I would be a CIF championship. It’s my vibe that Coach Farrar and Coach Bogan respect each other. I think they’re both class acts and I don’t want to set the stage for people to think there’s going to be a Chaney v. Calipari showdown at midfield after the game. Lets get this right out of the way, both staffs are class acts. Intense, and classy. But I’d be lying if I glossed over the fact that it’s my perception that these two coaching staffs really want to win this game. I know, all my devil’s advocates out there will say “Aram, of course they want the win, it’s the playoffs.” Nope, sorry. There’s more to it than that. And for whatever reason, even though the players involved weren’t around during the rifts of the late 90s and early 00s, I think they all understand what’s at stake. OK, I just wanted to say that. Please feel free to comment on whether you think the tension will be thick or if the heat is overblown.

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POSTGAME: Talk your smack or cry me a river …

DON’T DOUBT THE SGV!!!

… FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MISSED MY COLUMN IN FRIDAY’S TRIBUNE … here’s an important excerpt …

“The Good: Some might call the Valley’s underdog status in the Southwest Division a bad thing. I call it good.

I know, it’s hard to understand. The schools that have provided the Valley a CIF title every season this decade are taking a back seat to two Orange County leagues and one from the 562 area code.

Nobody around these parts is saying the prowess established by the Century, Sea View or Suburban leagues this season isn’t warranted.

It’s just that I’m adding up the recent CIF titles won in the division, and it’s hard to understand why anybody would take the Miramonte or San Antonio leagues lightly.

CIF clearly did. There’s five leagues in the division, yet the top four seeds went to three league champs and one second place team.

This slight has created a dangerous backdraft situation for the rest of the division. It makes teams like Charter Oak, Los Altos, South Hills and West Covina feel like massive underdogs.

It makes coaches like Lou Farrar, Greg Gano, Steve Bogan and Mike Maggiore feel like they have something to prove. Who wants to be the favorite if it means these guys are the underdog?

Hopefully, the Valley can prove people wrong either by producing a stunning upset or making a run at the title. ”

West Covina 19, Mayfair 16 (uh oh, down goes the No. 1 seed)
South Hills 21, Canyon 14 (Bogan an underdog? Please …)
Los Altos 35, Rowland 17 (Tradition)
Duarte 37, La Canada 7 (supposedly I give Duarte no respect …)
Charter Oak 24, La Mirada 21
Redlands 40, Glendora 21

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PREDICTION TIME!!!! (Include final scores)

Hey Duarte, here comes 276 yards per game of Love-lle!

Lavelle Peterson and LC head east on the 210 tomorrow night for an SGV showdown in Duarte

NOTE: Don’t waste our time by leaving predictions with no scores. ADD FINAL SCORES TO YOUR PREDICTIONS! Pick one game or all of them, I don’t care. Just give us the darn score. I don’t want to know if Rowland is going to win, I want to know by how much.

Mid-Valley Division
La Canada at Duarte
Sierra Vista at Temple City
Azusa at Monrovia
Workman at Bishop Diego
Southwest Division
Los Altos at Rowland
West Covina at Mayfair
Bellflower at Diamond Ranch
La Mirada at Charter Oak
South Hills at Canyon
Northwest Division
Nordhoff at Covina
San Dimas at Morro Bay
Baldwin Park at Harvard-Westlake
Inland Division
Glendora at Redlands
Carter at Damien
Southeast Division
Schurr at South El Monte
Arroyo at La Habra
Rosemead at Saddleback

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The Weekly Aaron Harris OVER/UNDER Game

NOTE: It’s the playoffs and you can bank on Harris getting carries, no matter what.

THIS WEEK’S PROJECTED TOTAL vs. Harvard-Westlake: 120 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)
Week 8: 16 yards vs. Covina UNDER
Week 9: 269 yards vs. Northview OVER
Week 10: 142 yards vs. Ganesha UNDER … only six carries :(

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NEW: 2-minute drills (playoff style) are up!!!

Go here and click on what you’d like to hear…

WARNING: Like I said, I’m not messing around anymore. You might be, but I’m not. Feel free to comment. As always, I’ll listen to your insight. But I’m warning everyone that I’m on edge.

Here are this week’s games:
Los Altos at Rowland
South Hills at Canyon
Glendora at Redlands
La Canada at Duarte
Nordhoff at Covina
La Mirada at Charter Oak
Carter at Damien

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Southwest Division Playoffs


Ira Thomas and Los Altos are off and running to Rowland Heights

NOTEWORTHY: The first thing LA coach Greg Gano said to me when he arrived at CIF-SS on Sunday was “I think we’ll get Rowland.” He was right. Great local matchup! Charter Oak, on the other hand, drew a team it already played/beat this season. West Covina is going to visit No. 1 seed Mayfair. It pays to take of business all the time. South Hills has a tough, second place team vs. second place team game against Canyon.

Aram’s prediction: I’ve got Canyon and Mayfair in one semifinal and El Dorado and Los Altos in the other. Canyon will play El Dorado in the finals with El Dorado winning it all.

Aram’s darkhorse: South Hills and Los Altos. Teams that have good QBs and coaches are usually dangerous in the playoffs. LA and SH both have that. Don’t rule out South Hills upsetting Canyon in the first round. The Huskies have the QB and you know the staff will have that team ready. Also, Los Altos is dangerous if it recaptures its September form. The past two weeks indicate LA might be rounding back into form. If the Conqs play like they did against Damien, they can beat almost anyone in the division.

Top Bracket
West Covina
at
Mayfair (1)

Tustin
at
Trabuco Hills

La Mirada
at
Charter Oak

South Hills
at
Canyon (4)

Bottom bracket
Artesia
at
Foothill (3)

Los Altos
at
Rowland

Bellflower
at
Diamond Ranch

El Toro
at
El Dorado (2)

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Inland Division Playoffs


Jordan Edmond and Glendora are headed to Redlands.

NOTEWORTHY: Damien’s not being ranked in the CIF polls cost the Spartans a Top 4 seed. Chino Hills would’ve been a top seed had it beaten the Spartans.

Aram’s prediction: I’ve got Corona Centennial and Damien playing in one semifinal with Vista Murrieta and Norco playing in the other. Centennial and Norco will meet in the finals with Centennial winning.

Aram’s darkhorse: Damien shouldn’t be a darkhorse, but they are. Also, Chino Hills could give Norco a major battle in the first round. If the Huskies win, they’ll have a great shot at reaching the finals. Don’t rule out either Sierra League power.

Top bracket
Alta Loma
at
Corona Centennial (1)

Redlands E. Valley
at
Chaparral

Carter
at
Damien

Temescal Canyon
at
Los Osos (4)

Glendora
at
Redlands (3)

Bottom bracket
Etiwanda
at
Corona

Norco
at
Chino Hills

Yucaipa
at
Vista Murrieta (2)

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Mid-Valley Division Playoffs


Temple City’s Dwight Broadnax has his Rams poised to add another CIF title to the collection.

NOTEWORTHY: The Rio Hondo League got the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds in the division. It’s rare that a second place team will get a seed that high. Duarte drew Rio Hondo League third place finisher La Canada. This is a much better matchup for a Montview League champ than what they’d get in the old Division X.

Aram’s prediction: I’ve got Temple City and La Canada playing in one semifinal with Monrovia playing Bishop Diego in the other. Temple City and Monrovia will rematch for the championship with the Rams winning again, but closer than last time.

Aram’s darkhorse: La Canada. Lavelle Peterson might be the best overall player in the division. Sometimes, that’s good enough to make a run. Remember, LC gave TC a very good game and not too much separates any of the powerful RHL teams.

Top Bracket:
Sierra Vista
at
Temple City (1)

Verbum Dei
at
LA Baptist

La Canada
at
Duarte

Paraclete
at
Santa Clara (4)

Bottom Bracket
Mary Star
at
Village Christian (3)

Workman
at
Bishop Diego

Fillmore
at
La Salle

Azusa
at
Monrovia (2)

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Southeast Division Playoffs


Manny Acosta hopes SEM will make a run comparable to last year.

NOTEWORTHY: Arroyo got a very tough draw, playing at La Habra in the first round.

Aram’s prediction: I have Troy and Alhambra playing in one semifinal. La Habra and Westminster will meet in the other. The finals will be Troy against La Habra with Troy winning it.

Aram’s darkhorse: Alhambra. The Moors have the skill players to make a run and the feel good story that is Gil Ruedaflores’ final dance in the postseason could make this a magical ride for the veteran coach.

Top Bracket
La Serna
at
Troy (1)

Rosemead
at
Saddleback

Orange
at
Alhambra

Fullerton
at
Santa Fe (4)

Bottom bracket
Arroyo
at
La Habra (3)

Bell Gardens
at
California

Schurr
at
South El Monte

Whittier
at
Westminster (2)

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