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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I’m happy it rained on the CIF championship bowl games …

Mother Nature was trying to tell CIF something yesterday.

I kept hearing people refer to the winners of yesterday’s games as “state champions.” But I remember CIF’s Thom Simmons telling me they weren’t going to be crowning any state champions after the bowl games. The games were simply “championship bowl games.” Very confusing. Maybe something changed. Are Oaks Christian, O-Lu and Canyon officially state champs? Or, did the tricky title of the games fool them like it did all of the FSN crew? Somebody please tell me.

I won’t lie to you – I spent most of Saturday shopping. I got text messages from two people asking me if Oaks Christian was winning. I got no reply from these two people when I texted back that I was at Nordstrom. That’s right, not Home Depot Center, not on my couch, NORDSTROM! However, it’s usually a safe bet that on any given weekend I’ll be on my couch watching sports. But it’s Christmas.

I did, however, get home in time to catch some of the Canyon game. Just watching the third quarter and listening to Petros Papadakis call the game was enough for me to keep turning the channel or put it on mute when it was on 653. Don’t get me wrong, Petros is very good on the radio. But TV makes his act get old real quick.

The only redeeming part of the Fox Sports broadcast was watching Lindsay Soto brave the rain while trying to act excited about the day’s events. Even her undying enthusiasm for prep sports had to be tested severely yesterday. I doubt she got home yesterday night, ran into her husband’s arms and said “Let me tell you about what a great day I had.”

It was a bad day overall for the media, which spent most of the week claiming none of the three games would be close and the event would be better with different matchups. In case you haven’t been able to tell by simply reading my stuff, prep sports writers can’t handicap football games. We really shouldn’t even try, because when you’re right, you still sleep alone and when you’re wrong you get countless emails from people who waited until after the game to call you an idiot.

Here’s a brief thought on all three games:

Oaks Christian27, Cardinal Newman 20 – Didn’t see the game, but Cardinal Newman covered and that’s all that mattered. I’ve never seen a more hated team than Oaks Christian. Nobody likes them, except for their own fans.

Orange Lutheran 42, Palo Alto 28 – This only fueled the “Corp is better than Clausen” argument that will wage for the next four years.

Canyon 27, De La Salle 13 – Watching De La Salle’s offense in the second half of yesterday’s game was like watching a certain former Tribune sports writer hit on a waitress at the now defunt National Sports Bar in West Covina – painful.

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UPDATE: Tribune Player of the Year (football) …

I’ve received many inquiries as to who it might be, and from what I understand, there are a lot of people thinking that because they haven’t heard anything yet, it means their kid/player didn’t get it. I can tell you all right now that I simply haven’t decided yet. The All-Area team is selected already. Player of the Year is not. This is a very difficult decision to make and I like to put a lot of time and thought into it as well as get the opinions of others. I will have a decision soon.

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Way too early area Top 10 for the 2007 football season …

Damon Kuklinski and South Hills could be your early Southwest Division favorite

Way too early area Top 10 for 2007

But first, a quick thought from Aram: From everything I’ve seen and heard, I think the area is poised to have some major success over the next 1-5 years. The bulk of this is likely to come from Amat, Los Altos, South Hills and Charter Oak. No surprise, right? From frosh to junior classes this year, these programs appear to be absolutely loaded. It’ll be fun to see what happens.

1. Bishop Amat - McBride, Wells, Wagner, Austin, Seals … need I go on? Think about how many players got PT this year due to injury. Experience doesn’t look like it will be a problem for HC Verti. The senior class should be one of Amat’s best in recent memory. The lower classes were good, from what I hear. I can tell you what I saw – Amat’s frosh team looked to be absolutely loaded. I don’t know if there’s a policy at Amat about playing sophs, but I’d imagine some will get significant time. The Amat people really need to help me on this. The Lancers need to find a QB as that looks to be the big question mark right now. I’m not kidding when I say this, but I think as close as things are in the PAC-5, Amat could make one of the biggest rebounds in SoCal next season. Quite possibly a semifinalist if things break right.

2. South Hills – Kuklinski, Heard, Bowden, Umodu, Parham, De La Fuente will all be back. Kuklinski will enter the season as arguably the area’s top linebacker. Parham will be one of the top QBs. Heard and De La Fuente will provide the offensive supporting cast. South Hills had an excellent frosh team this year. The defense has its top two leading tacklers back as well as its top DL in Umodu. Due to injuries, several players lettered this year. This team could be very, very scary in ’07.

3. Charter Oak – Up to 10 starters will be back on defense led by Carreon, Perri and Altimirano. The offense will return QB Allen, RBs Snowden and Crespo. The offensive line will be new, but one coach said it might be better than this year! WR Harrell could be one of the top playmakers in the area if his championship game is any indicator. Now you know why Big Lou will be back.

4. Los Altos – Leading QB, RB and WR are gone. But, TE Rodriguez will be back along with WR Seanez. QB could be Howling? The defense will have DL Longoria and LBs Felix and Maciel. Don’t forget about frosh all-purpose player Donte Webb, who didn’t do much this season but should become a major threat next year. LA’s frosh team was supposedly outstanding – 9-1, I think. This program is poised to make another big run over the next few years. Plus, you never know what will transfer in.

5. Glendora – The defense should be a team strength with LBs Niles and Horn back. The offense must replace do-everything RB Edmond, but RB Vega showed signs of being able to handle the load. QB duties should go to Kaluzny, who obviously showed enough this year to get some series in big games, so you have to assume he’ll be ready for primetime. All league OLs Kovar and McGarry also return, too. The Tartans need more athletes to take the next jump.

6. Damien – This might be a stretch, but I like Pertusati taking over at QB, assuming that’s what happens. RB Williams returns as does OL Schmitz. The DL has leading sacker DE Rabe back. I’m not sure how Damien’s lower levels were this year, but I thought I heard they were good.

7. Duarte – The offense will again be explosive with QB Goldsmith, RB Harris and all-purpose Reese returning. The defense has second leading tackler Hayes, a soph, back. Didn’t hear too much about Jordan Canada this year, but assuming he’s back, that’s yet another athlete for HC Crutchfield to utilize. The question is will Crutchfield be back?

8. South El Monte – It’s hard to separate the Eagles, Arroyo and Rosemead, thus making it possible that there will be a tri-champ against next year. QB Garay and WR Cogburn return to headline the offense. Cogburn is the league’s best weapon and only Rosemead with Tra Sumler has something to possibly counter him with. The defense returns the leauge’s leading sacker in Perez and the third leading tackler in Navarro. I have no clue how Escamilla is doing it?

9. Diamond Ranch – Simply having RB Aubrey Haynes back should make the Panthers a contender in the Miramonte. Also, it appears that HC Layton has the program headed in the right direction after the ’05 fiasco. There’s always athletes to work with for whomever is the coach, so the Panthers should be able to at least hang athletically with the rest of the league.

10. San Dimas – This is another ranking I could easily be talked out of by Easter. You have to respect any team with a running back like Nico Barbone. Plus, rumor has it that the Saints were decent on the lower levels, which should only help. HC Zernickow had a big job to do to improve the overall toughness of the players in the program and it looks like things are on the right track. With Covina needing an overhaul and Northview still possibly a year away, San Dimas should be the VVL’s early favorite since it has the league’s best player returning.

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It could be a long year for the East SGV boys hoopsters …

Early tournament results are troubling …

Glendora Tournament goes to Pasadena. Glendora, which used to own this thing, was out somewhat early. And the Tartans lost to Alta Loma in one of the conso games.

Arroyo Tournament goes to La Canada The Spartans beat Keppel in the finals.

Two eastside tourneys and no eastside teams around at the end. Hopefully, things get better.

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Sorry about the video highlights …

The audio came in very choppy … but rather than not having any video at all, I urged the boys to come up with one anyway. It’s one of these things that you don’t know about until you get back to the Tribune and see what you’ve got. The picture is all good, don’t adjust your computers, it’s just that the sound came in very choppy. I know it’s annoying, but it’s better than nada.
As a side note, Keith Birmingham put together a nice audio slideshow that I think you’ll like.

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

Southwest Division
El Dorado 17, Charter Oak 6

Aram’s final thoughts: Here’s your bottom line in the Southwest Division
1. El Dorado
2. Charter Oak
3. Los Altos
…and the rest.

That might look obvious to you, but it says something. First of all, SGV fans know that CO or Los Altos haven’t had one of their juggernaut teams since earlier this decade. That makes both teams reaching the Final Four a very impressive feat. Charter Oak wasn’t seeded, but reached the finals. Los Altos was the “coin flip team”, but that’s really a technicality. The Conqs were easily one of the top teams in the division. What I’m trying to say is that going by the records and seedings, this wasn’t supposed to be the SGV’s year in the Southwest Division. Yet here was CO playing for all the marbles. Here was LA in the semis. Here was West Covina beating the No. 1 seed. Here was South Hills downing a top four seed on the road. None of these teams were “loaded” this year. None of them! In the years that SH, LA and CO won CIF titles this decade, they entered the playoffs as seeded teams … as favorites. That wasn’t the case this year. What you saw in El Dorado was a “once in a lifetime” group. The Golden Hawks don’t reload like LA or SH or CO. I don’t think Trabuco Hills will ever be better than it was this year. I don’t think Foothill can do much better. And I won’t even mention Mayfair … if it didn’t happen this year …

The conclusion to make is that this was El Dorado’s title to lose. They were the favorites. They are legitimately the best team in the division. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t have been caught on an off night, but there’s no doubt about it – El Dorado is the best team in the division and they simply took care of business. Going forward, the rest of this division – the OC leagues and the 562 league – are in deep hot dog water beginning next year. With the underclass teams CO, SH and LA have, don’t look for Farrar or Gano to retire anytime soon. Don’t look for Bogan to take it easy on anybody in the coming years. Do look for the SGV to be a major force for the next few years.

CO gave it a great run this year. But remember, the difference between this year’s team and ’01 champs or the ’02-03 Conqs or last year’s SH, is that this team wasn’t SUPPOSED to win it. Those teams were all SUPPOSED to win it. Pretty soon, the SGV will have the seeded teams i.e. the teams supposed to win it and I’d imagine they will.

Congrats again to El Dorado. The Golden Hawks were a class act, from players to coaches to fans. They accomplished a major feat for their school and will go down as local legends because of it. I know it was hard for a lot of you to see CO lose, but if you’re going to lose, El Dorado was the kind of team you don’t mind losing to.

Also, congrats to the entire division and all of its players and coaches. Not just locally, but everyone. You guys put on a tremendous show! It was a wild ride. It was classic high school football. It was the perfect reason why I always tell people that going to a game/getting behind a team is their civic duty.

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Going back to sleep … see you all at the game!

Yeah, I did it.

I won’t lie to you. I woke up this morning and the scale said I still weigh too much but the lowest I’ve been in a while. I celebrated by going from Monterey Park to Pasadena for a chilli omelette from Top’s. I told dude to hold the hash browns and toast so I could stick to my modified, less healthy version of the Atkins Diet. They didn’t give me the hash browns or toast, but I still got charged $6.48. I’m convinced there’s flour in the chilli, but oh well.

Anyway, some of you have asked me about the life of a sports writer in the past. There’s an initial look, just for you. Just like how some teams lay out a game day intinnerary, sports writers kind of do the same. Here’s mine:

9:15 a.m. – Wake up.
10 a.m. – Take 10 to 605 to 210 to go to Tops. Get off the 210 at Myrtle in Monrovia because traffic is terrible.
10:30 a.m. – Arrive at Tops.
11:00 a.m. – Arrive back at home; crush omelette with ease.
11:10 or so – Go on Internet.
Now: Go back to sleep. Hey, you would too if you didn’t have a real job.
3 p.m. – Wake up (again)
3:05 p.m. – Take a shower.
3:45 p.m. – Get on 10 Freeway for what should be an hour’s drive to go 10 miles.
4:45 p.m. – Arrive at Tribune.
5 p.m. – Leave Tribune for Citrus College.
5:30 p.m. – Do TV pre-game show with Big Reg, who keeps busting my chops.
5:45 p.m. – Possibly walk off the set if the stools Reg is using are too small.
7 p.m. – Cover Charter Oak/El Dorado game.
9:45 p.m. – Listen to various yells from people telling me to how to do my job as I leave the stadium.
10:15 p.m. – Arrive back at Tribune to write.
11:30 p.m. – Finish article.
11:45 p.m. – Make sure “SGVN Video Game of the Week” narrarator Jeff Tolcher is OK.
Midnight – Leave Tribune.
12:01 a.m. – Try to talk myself out of making a run to Alfredo’s. This typically becomes a desperate conversation once I’m past the 605 on the 10 East. It gets real emotional as the Santa Anita Ave. exit approaches.
12:30 a.m. – Yell various profanities in a state of disgust that there’s a line THIS LATE at Carl’s Jr.
12:32 a.m. – Order something that I can take the buns off of and eat (wack).
12:40 a.m. – Eat.
12:45 a.m. – Go on Internet at home to see if Tribune web site has been updated. It usually isn’t.
1 a.m. – Go to bed.

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The Official Southwest Division championship thread …

But first a message on behalf of this blog: El Dorado and OC football fans, if any of you are reading this, we want to congratulate you on a fantastic season. We’re well aware of what you’ve accomplished this season. You definitely deserve to be playing for all the marbles. We’re also aware that you’re not Mater Dei or Orange Lutheran or Edison, but you’re having a season good enough to stack up with any of the elite teams in your county. That has to be extra special. This type of dream season doesn’t come along very often, so we know you’re enjoying it. It will be an electric atmosphere Friday night at Citrus College. Hopefully, you bring the entire county with you to support your Golden Hawks. Hopefully, the entire SGV will be there to support the Chargers. In addition to fans from both schools, here’s to hoping the rest of the Southwest Division shows up to watch a champion be crowned.

Tale of the tape
Southwest Division
El Dorado (12-1) vs. Charter Oak (10-3)
At Citrus College
Kickoff 7 p.m.

Charter Oak (10-3)
Miramonte League champs

9/8/06 Upland L 14-38
9/15/06 @La Mirada W 20-3
9/22/06 @Glendora (Citrus College) L 7-14
9/29/06 @Damien L 9-25
10/6/06 Claremont W 21-20
10/13/06 @West Covina W 10-7
10/20/06 Los Altos ** W 13-10
10/27/06 @Bonita ** W 17-14
11/3/06 Diamond Ranch ** W 21-20
11/9/06 Wilson ** W 21-17
**denotes league game
11/17/06 La Mirada W 24-21
11/24/06 @South Hills W 35-0
12/2/06 @Trabuco Hills W 23-14
Top offensive player: Michael Johnson, wide receiver
Top defensive player: A.J. Pasalo, linebacker

El Dorado (12-1)
Century League champs

9/1/06 Esperanza L 14-32
9/7/06 Dana Hills W 10-7
9/14/06 @Northwood W 35-10
9/22/06 @Valencia W 38-0
9/29/06 @Sunny Hills W 44-14
10/12/06 Villa Park** W 42-9
10/20/06 Brea Olinda ** W 45-7
10/27/06 Canyon** W 35-0
11/2/06 El Modena** W 49-0
11/9/06 Tustin ** W 42-27
**denotes league game
11/16/06 El Toro W 31-7
11/24/06 @Diamond Ranch W 38-7
12/1/06 vs Los Altos W 14-7
Top offensive player: Philip Van Holland, running back
Top defensive player: Anthony Laurenzi, defensive lineman

Pointspreads (for informational purposes only)
Harrah’s Newport Beach: El Dorado -11
Harrah’s La Puente: El Dorado -3
Caesar’s Fullerton: El Dorado -14
Caesar’s West Covina: El Dorado -4
Offshore: El Dorado -7

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CIF Press Conference Luncheon … Aram’s notes …

The Grand in Long Beach.

BUT FIRST AN UPDATE: Charter Oak’s game against El Dorado will be at Citrus College on Friday night at 7.

1. Schurr’s contingent showed up in a limo. I thought it was cool.

2. Jimmy Clausen got two plates of food, then came back and got a third.

3. Aram ate a few slices of roast beef and some salad. All carbs were avoided. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing anymore. I avoided what looked like some great mashed potatoes and a good pasta salad.

4. Lindsay Soto was there.

5. Tommy Leach, formerly of Diamond Ranch, now at Chaparral was there. He’s in the finals in his first year there. I had no clue until I saw him.

6. Anthony Rice, formerly of Diamond Ranch, now at Colony was there. He’s in the finals in his first year as a head coach. I had no clue until I saw him.

7. Charter Oak was represented by Prinicpal Kathleen Wiard, AD Joey Strycula, Coach Lou Farrar and players AJ Pasalo, Kanaan Snowden and Michael Johnson.

8. Oak Park sat at the table right behind us.

9. Oak Park’s coach Dick Billingsley had the line of the day when he called his finals opponent “Oaks College.”

10. Oaks Christian came in a school van.

11. It was great to see other working media there … Erik Boal, Jeff Gluck, Dan Albano, Dan Arritt, Eric Sondheimer and so on.

12. Steve Sarkissian was the key note speaker and he was very good. I was probably the only person in the room who remembered him playing QB for BYU in the Cotton Bowl against Kansas State. I still have no clue how BYU won that game.

13. I sat at Charter Oak’s table.

14. High school football continues to get more and more popular.

15. Michigan is the second best team in the country.

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POSTGAME: Talk your smack or cry me a river …

Northwest Division
Oak Park 17, Covina 14, 2 OT (burn the tapes of this game)
Southwest Division
El Dorado 14, Los Altos 7 (Sounds like a good effort)

Five thoughts about Covina vs. Oak Park:

1. Covina lost the game when it didn’t go up 14-0 despite numerous opportunities. The rest is conversation.

2. Oak Park is the least impressive finals team I’ve ever seen.

3. Oak Park had one thing in mind – allow no big plays. It worked.

4. There were 10 plays that, if Covina makes any one of them, they win the game. They made none.

5. That was one of the worst HS football stadiums I’ve ever been in. No visitor stands?

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IMPORTANT: Make sure you have the right kickoff times for this weekend’s games!!!

Covina at Oak Park, 7 p.m.
Los Altos vs. El Dorado, at Valencia HS (Placentia), 7:30 p.m.
Charter Oak at Trabuco Hills, 7 p.m.
Duarte vs. Verbum Dei, at Compton Centennial HS, 7 p.m.
NOTE: Both Saturday games are at 7 p.m. … so adjust your USC vs. UCLA plans accordingly.

Time makes lovers and football fans feel like they’ve got something real.

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