2006 Tribune All-Area Football Team …

Player of the Year – Mike McDonough, Covina
Coach of the Year – Lou Farrar, Charter Oak


QB – Mark Mendrun, Damien
RB – Jordan Edmond, Glendora
RB – Aaron Harris, Baldwin Park
WR – Travis Eschardies, Damien
WR – Rex Foss, Los Altos
TE – Ray Rodriguez, Los Altos
ALL – Mike McDonough, Covina
OL – Mike Harris, Duarte
OL – Emilio De La Garza, Charter Oak
OL – Herb Thompson, Charter Oak
OL – David Slover, South Hills
OL – Dominique Austin, Bishop Amat
K – Thomas Flores, West Covina


DL – Sam Lavea, Los Altos
DL – Jon Couwenhoven, Rowland
DL – Anthony Gonzalez, Rosemead
LB – Shaun Rosenthal, West Covina
LB – Anthony Hile, Damien
LB – AJ Pasalo, Charter Oak
LB – Manny Esquivel, Covina
DB – Michael Johnson, Charter Oak
DB – Jamal James, Covina
DB – Jermaine Thomas, Duarte
DB – William Wallace, West Covina
P – Travis Aldridge, Charter Oak

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NOSTALGIA: Past Tribune football Player of the Year winners …

Just ask Pat Haden, being Trib Player of the Year can often lead to big things …

Player of the Year (1969-present)
1969 Fred McNeil, Baldwin Park RB
1970 Pat Haden, Bishop Amat QB and John McKay Jr., Bishop Amat WR
1971 Mike Vicino, Royal Oak RB
1972 Rob Hertel, Los Altos QB and Ron Himes, Walnut QB
1973 Dennis Sproul, Los Altos QB
1974 Brian Bethke, South Hills QB
1975 Richard Nyden, Azusa QB
and John Van Vuren, South Hills RB
1976 Bob Epps, West Covina DL
1977 Don Roberts, Temple City RB
1978 Ron Stivers, West Covina RB
1979 Ray McNeill, El Monte WR
and Danny Trejo, Baldwin Park WR
1980 Bill Stone, Charter Oak RB
1981 Blake Smith, Los AltosQB
and Steve Lauter, Los Altos WR
1982 Mike Smith, Los Altos QB
1983 Randy Tanner, Bishop Amat; Paul Hewitt, Monrovia
1984 Michael Johnson, Baldwin Park QB
1985 Eric Bieniemy, Bishop AmatRB
1986 Eric Bieniemy, Bishop Amat RB
1987 Bill Gallis, Northview QB
1988 Jason Martin, Los Altos TE/DB
1989 Marshawn Thompson, Bassett RB
1990 Jason Patterson, Bishop Amat FB/DE
1991 Marc Ruiz, Baldwin ParkQB
1992 Lawrence Phillips, Baldwin Park RB-DB
1993 Miguel Meriwether, West Covina QB/DB
1994 Daylon McCutcheon, Bishop Amat RB/FS
1995 Oscar Interiano, Sierra Vista RB
1996 Oscar Arzu, Sierra Vista RB
1997 Nick Covarrubias, Covina QB/DB
1998 Steve Stevenson, Charter Oak WR/RB/DB
1999 Jason Wright, Diamond Bar, RB/DB
2000 – Felipe Aguilar, Los Altos, QB
2001 – Donnie McCleskey, Bishop Amat RB
2002 – Daniel Drayton, Randall Brown, Los Altos RBs/DBs
2003 – Brigham Harwell, Los Altos DE
2004 – William Wagner, Bishop Amat RB
2005 – Mike McDonough, Covina QB
2006 – Mike McDonough, Covina QB

… and then again, there’s Lawrence Phillips.

Coach of the Year (since 1988)
1988 Dwayne DeSpain, Los Altos
1989 Mark Pasquarella, Covina
1990 Tony Zane, Baldwin Park
1991 Tony Zane, Baldwin Park
1992 Mark Paredes, Bishop Amat
1993 Don LeGro, Sierra Vista
1994 Tom Salter, Bishop Amat
1995 Dick Sheehan, Covina
1996 Tom Caines, Wilson
1997 Frank Alonzo, Mountain View
1998 Terry Roche, Diamond Bar
1999 Larry Hatley, Bonita
2000 – Steve Bogan, South Hills
2001 – Matt Koffler, Rosemead
2002 – Greg Gano, Los Altos
2003 – Robert Oviedo, Wilson
2004 – Mike Maggiore, West Covina
2005 – Steve Bogan, South Hills
2006 – Lou Farrar, Charter Oak

Player of the Year leaders
Los Altos: 9
Bishop Amat: 8
Baldwin Park: 5

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays …

At my house, we say “Merry Christmas.” But if that doesn’t apply to you, then hopefully “Happy Holidays” does.
I don’t want to go Bill O’Reilly on anyone here, but wouldn’t all of this debate about whether you should say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” be over if you just said them both?

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all of you or whatever else applies.

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At hotel waiting for Michigan to arrive …

Don’t ask what a room with a sun deck costs.

MORE UPDATES: I interviewed Steve Breaston, whose picture is on this site under my bowl pool thread. Good interview. The team finally showed up … they were delayed three hours by a storm. Also, I don’t quite know why, but there was some dude in a St. Paul hat and shirt hanging around the lobby. Again, I have no clue why. He didn’t talk to anyone. He looked like a coach, honestly. I caught him nodding off to the sleep a couple of times. I don’t get it. Chavez and I thought he might be an autograph seeker, but he never made a move. Strange.

UPDATE: Jim Mora just sat down 10 yards away from us and talked on his cell phone for 15 minutes. I hope he wasn’t close enough to hear me say “Playoffs?” to Keven. Welcome to the media, Coach. You have to kill time with the rest of us.

I’m at the Park Hyatt hotel in L.A. waiting … in the lobby sitting on a couch typing this. I’m here with SGVN columnist Keven Chavez, waiting for Michigan to arrive in L.A. for the Rose Bowl. Uh, they were supposed to be here at 4:30 … the rumor swirling is that it actually won’t be until 7 maybe 8.

A few of the players have already arrived, but it’s hard to ID them without jerseys. It’s funny, they walk around like the greatest thing since the Eggo waffle was invented … women love them, their schools put them up in amazing hotels, the attention is endless. And in two years, you’ll be asking Aram if you can string the Charter Oak vs. Bonita game. I digress.

Anyway, there are two weird looking dudes sitting in the hotel bar. One of them is a white dude with dreadlocks. The other is a poor man’s Tommy Lee. And of course, some chick is with them. I’m not very good with Westside style. In the SGV, these guys get looked at so hard that they feel uncomfortable and leave. OK, maybe not in Pasadena, but you get the point. Here, they get chicks.

Chavez and I are trying to guess what band they’re from. They’re both wearing shades. Uh, he said Korn. I said they’re Dino’s backups, blowing their last bit of cash since “Summer Girls” album. QCs anyone?

I’m not quite sure why I’m here. Chavez is the one doing the writing. He also got his big break, covering the blue arrival for AP, too. I will actually be covering this game and writing the advance for it. Maybe I’ll pull down a quote in a few. For now, we wait …

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Cuccia fired from Diamond Bar … let the speculation begin …

Here’s a copy of the press release
DIAMOND BAR, CA–Principal Denis Paul has announced that Diamond Bar
School will be opening up its head football coaching position for
Head Coach Nick Cuccia will not be returning to the position next
Mr. Cuccia has been the coach of the Brahmas for the past two seasons.
Diamond Bar High School appreciates Mr. Cuccia’s dedication and
to our program. Coach Cuccia is known for his hard work and
integrity as a
coach at DBHS.

I spoke to coach Cuccia and here’s some of what he said …
“I want the truth out that I was fired and that I didn’t quit on these kids. I accept the decision and the fact the principal can make the decision when he wants to. I am extremely disappointed I won’t get to coach the team that I’ve been working hard to put together.”

Cuccia went on to say he wasn’t told the reason why for his dismissal other than that they school wanted to go in a new direction. He did say the school told him it was not because of his team’s records the past two seasons.

According to Cuccia, he is the shortest tenured coach in the history of DBHS since it opened in 1982. He was asked by the current principal to return to the program in 2003 because he didn’t like the direction it was going. Cuccia replaced Manny Saiz after the 2004 season and was 5-14-1 in two seasons. The Brahmas won just one Sierra League in his two seasons.

Aram’s thoughts: From what I understand, the team has been told there will be a replacement named by the first of the year. It’s quite obvious Diamond Bar had a replacement in mind when it fired Cuccia. Yes, the job is open, but you can bet the school has its choice already made. Is it John Monger? Is it Jerry Person? I’m just guessing. But where the guessing stops is with you. I’ll bet that somebody reading this blog knows the answer and can clue us in.
Most people will take one look at Cuccia’s record and say the school was justified. But the time to judge Cuccia would’ve been over the next two seasons. That program was in shambles when Saiz left. Cuccia needed to work thru two classes of players before anyone could really tell whether things were starting to turn around. I can’t wait to see who the Brahmas hire as the program continues its fall from grace.

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Aram’s in a pretty significant bowl pool …

A big play or two by Breaston could be the difference for Aram’s sheet.

A few years ago, our esteemed boxing writer Robert Morales told me about a bowl pool his friend/colleague Royce Feour puts on every year. Morales deflected his invitation from Feour to be in the pool to me. I accepted. Little did I know, it was like a mafia initiation. I was naive. I didn’t realize until I saw the list of participants. Throughout bowl season, Feour sent updates. When I saw the names on the first update I almost fell out of my chair. Don King, Bob Arum and yes, Mike Tyson. Not to mention several big time sports writers. If Feour weren’t such a famous boxing writer, which he was until his recent retirement from the Las Vegas Review Journal, I wouldn’t have believed the company I was keeping. I’ve never personally met anyone in the pool, but who’s counting?
Anyway, I believe I’ve played in this pool for three years, with this being my fourth. I’ve never done anything better than a top 15 finish. I think there’s generally around 50 people. The pool requires its participants to pick the pointspread winner of every bowl game. As the games get bigger, the value of each win gets bigger. Wish me luck …
For more national coverage on this pool, here’s the link to San Jose Mercury News sports writer Tim Kawakami’s blog. It blew me away to see him blog about the pool, so I thought I would, too.
I’d like to think I have a built-in advantage because college football is my hobby. Some guys like fishing, water skiing, hiking, cars or whatever. I like to wake up at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays and stay up until 10 watching college football.
Root for me, please. I want Kawakami to blog about my victory and have people be like ‘Who?’
By the way, I started off with TCU last nite as a winner.
My top three selections overall, not in terms of the pool and against the spread are: Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Feel free to post your bowl thoughts on this thread.

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