Who’d have thunk it?


As part of the NFL’s recent equality act, there must be at least one Armenian interviewed each off-season.

Who knew? AJ Pasalo thought he was listening to USC’s offensive coordinator. Aram Tolegian thought he was listening to BYU’s former QB. Michael Johnson thought he was listening to some guy who might be knocking at his door sometime soon to see if he wanted to play for him. In the end, at that glorious early December gathering called the CIF Football Championship Press Luncheon, we were all listening to the Raiders’ next head coach. Steve Sarkisian has gone from co-goat of the UCLA loss to first person interviewed for the Oakland Raiders head coach vacancy in a month’s time. Nice!

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All-league lists …

I’ve turned over the three that I have – Miramonte, San Antonio and Valle Vista to sports editor Doug Spoon. We should have them typed up and ready to run soon. Hopefully, that answers the question many of you have been asking. When I know for certain what day they’ll run, I’ll post it for all you non-subscribers (believers). As for the other leagues I don’t have – Sierra, Montview, Mission Valley, Serra – you can still get them in by having your league secretary fax them to 626 856 2758 “Attn: Aram” or emailing to aram.tolegian@sgvn.com

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I’m gonna be sick …


Dude was all set to go Ian Johnson on his chick, then the Buckeyes stiffed.

… my Buckeyes are getting throttled. My phone won’t stop ringing … you people are all bugging. The Buckeyes are disappearing into obscurity before my very eyes. Like 1 or 2 signees on the Hot 100. Next year’s Big Ten is already set with 1. Michigan (national title game), 2. Wisconsin (Rose Bowl) and 3. Ohio State (Outback!).

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Here’s the thing about girls from Walnut: They’ll ‘Stang you!

There have been many big games played on the turf at Covina District Field. Although most of them have been football, you won’t have to wait until September to see the next big game – it’s on Tuesday night! No, South Hills isn’t going to play Covina in a CIF law-breaking January football game. Nope, we got something better …

Girls Soccer
San Antonio League showdown
Walnut (6-3) vs. South Hills (10-1-3), 5 p.m.

Lorraine Hansen and the ‘Stangs are ready to throw it down with Scott Mocabee’s Huskies. If South Hills wants to be considered “playuhs” they’d better beat The Nut.

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Glendora guard Dominic Tiger-Cortes OUT 4-6 weeks …

… that’s the rest of the regular season to you and me, pal. What a blow. What a tragic season it’s been for Tiger-Cortes – great kid, helluva basketball player – his mom passed away right before the season and now this.

Tiger-Cortes broke his toe in a loss to Gahr on December 30. Glendora’s next game is against Diamond Bar on January 10. It’s the Sierra League opener for both teams. By the way, every team in the Sierra enters league with a winning record.

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Ian Johnson drops Oklahoma, then drops to a knee …

What a great moment for Damien stud Ian Johnson. For those of you who never met him when he was in the SGV, you missed out. Watching him propose to Boise’s head cheerleader yesterday made me think back about a conversation I had with Ian on Signing Day in 2004.
I was pulling out of the Trib parking lot to go watch Wilson standouts Nick Gonzalez and Price Wilks sign their letters of intent when I got a call on my cell phone. It was Ian Johnson calling to tell me he was signing with Boise State. Now, some of you may not see much difference between San Dimas, where Ian lived at the time, and Boise. I don’t either, but I digress.

Anyway, we got to talking about how/why a SoCal kid would want to go to Boise. Ian told me he liked outdoors stuff and was looking forward to the somewhat rural surroundings. Then, he said the only hard part was having to break up with a girlfriend that he really loved. Naturally, I scoffed. I told him something to the effect of “Believe me, in the long run, it won’t be a big deal.” But he got real serious and insisted it was. I wasn’t about to give a HS kid relationship advice, because unlike most people I’ll admit that I know nothing about relationships except that they rarely ever makes sense, so I quickly changed the topic with something like “Hey, about playing on the smurf turf?” Ahh, glad I could help. I spoke to Ian all the way from West Covina to Hacienda Heights. As usual, it was a great overall conversation.

Ian Johnson is probably the most humble athlete I’ve covered. He or Brigham Harwell. When Ian and his mom came to the Trib for his All-Area mugshot, she asked if she could get a picture of Ian and I together. That’s happened only one other time, and that was with the Amat girls hoops team. Anyway, judging by his mom, you can see where Ian gets his class. There’s nothing better for a prep sports writer than to see one of the athletes he covered move on to even greater things. No matter what, you can always tell people “I covered that guy when he was at such and such a school. I knew he was going to be great!”

By the way, speaking of former HS athletes I covered. I got to see Charter Oak’s Will Harris and Temple City’s Desmond Reed celebrate their team’s Rose Bowl win yesterday. Also, on the way to the Rose Bowl press box I said hello St. Lucy’s volleyball star Sarah Mandala and her father in the parking lot.

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