FOOTBALL ’07: “The Disappearing Acts” Top 5

Let me be real blunt, we’re weeks away from spring practice and I’ve got five teams set to disappear from the Tribune Top 10 football rankings next season.
More on that in a minute … but first: I’ve heard your roars for more football topics. I know your calendars have mid-May circled because that’s when t-shirt and shorts drills begin. You want to know the Top 10 heading into spring practice. You want to know the Top 10 position rankings and have some schedules broken down to their very last compound. But before any Top 10 can be constructed, one must start with the elimination of certain teams. Narrow down the field, if you will. I know my man “Jimmy The E” over at South Hills knows exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve got to take your racing form and start drawing Xs thru the horses. Then, you arrive at the contenders. So, beside the obvious eliminations, here are some names that were major Win, Place or Show options last year, but won’t be nearly as lucky this year. Could I be wrong? Yes. I’d like to urge all these teams not to cancel practice just because I say their seasons are over before they begin. But, don’t say I didn’t tell you so when things go south and we’re all watching the playoffs together from the sidelines.


Joey Chase will try, but they’ll be crying for the Class of ’07 by late September in Snoop’s hood.

1. Rowland – No more Philip Chase, Rene Small, Jon Couewenhoven, Chad Norys … need I continue? It was nice while it lasted. But Rowland ain’t South Hills. It can’t reload. The senior class that brought the program back to respectability in 2006 will be sorely missed. I see no program on this list poised for a bigger fall. The problem for teams like Rowland or others on this list is that they didn’t make any friends with their success of the past two seasons. Nobody will take them lightly and there’s going to be a lot of opponents looking for revenge (South Hills being one of them).

2. Covina – Talk about scary graduation losses – Mike McDonough, Tre McNair, Jamal James, Manny Esquivel, Ralph Diaz, Brad Gomez … stop me when you get tired. It’s not a pretty picture when you couple what Covina loses with how bad Northview and San Dimas will be seeking revenge. I’m not %100 sure that Covina will fall so dramatically that it can’t put a scare in the Vikes or Saints, but the days of 9-1 regular seasons and 40+ points per game are over until DT pops with his next team of the decade.

3. West Covina – From preseason No. 1 in 2006 to likely not even ranked in 2007. Yes, it could be a big fall for the ‘Dawgs as a dynamic senior class says adios in June. Things wouldn’t have been so bleak, but the program’s graduation insurance – sophomore all-purpose stud Demond Wallace – was in and out of trouble last year with coaches, and last I heard, he’s in Louisiana. WestCo still has an underrated talent base, but you’ve got to be loaded to hang in the Southwest Division with South Hills, Charter Oak and Los Altos. The Dawgs aren’t loaded.

4. Damien – It’s reasonable to expect the entire Sierra League will either stay the same or get better. What’s not reasonable to expect is that Damien will stay the same or get better. The days of Mendrun-to-Eschardies are over. Was there really much more to the offense than that last year? Not to mention the defense says goodbye to linebacker Anthony Hile and defensive back Daniel Harper. Spartans coach Scott Morrison is the luckiest big headset on this list, because unlike the other teams, he’s replacing his QB with a potential stud. The problem is that Damien will need much more than Danny Pertusati to hang in the Sierra and Inland Division.

5. Bonita – Nobody does a better job making the best of what he’s got than Bo-Hi’s Eric Podley. Absolutely nobody. But can Podley pull off yet another magic act next season? QB Jeff Chavez is gone. He kinda came out of nowhere to be one of the area’s best signal callers, just like Mike Williams did. Is there another sleeper in the system? The smart money says “No way, Jose.” Bonita’s in a similar predicament as West Covina in that the ‘Cats are in a division that figures to be dominated by local powers South Hills, Charter Oak and Los Altos. Those teams are nothing to sleep on this year. But Bonita has an even more difficult task than West Covina because the ‘Cats have to vie with D-Ranch and Wilson for the vaunted “other playoff spot” in the Miramonte. West Covina only has to deal with Rowland and Walnut. Podley has pulled off 8-2 and 7-3 seasons, respectively, in the past two years. And I do mean “pulled off.” With so much lost from this year’s team, don’t look for the magic to continue.

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Did anybody see De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7 Part II?


Just hang loose, blood. HBO needs to subtitle Floyd Sr. and Roger Mayweather.

Pretty Boy Thug’s doctor said something like “I get mad whenever people say or write things about Floyd, because that’s not the Floyd we know in everyday life.” Pardon us, Doc. We have no clue why anybody would say the things they do. Let’s see – we’ve seen Pretty Boy Thug admit he stole De La Hoya’s bag, act like an ass at every press conference, praise an uncle who spits jive about the OJ trial right after he gets off for something that should’ve had him banned and have 49-cents riding around his house on a scooter. This hip-hop lifestyle stuff is really wearing thin. It’s not because I’m getting old, it’s just because it’s so over the top. I hope Oscar can be a figher just once and drop this chump.

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Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic tomorrow at APU …


Even Mike the Clone got moved by the Sonia Morales feature. But will he attend?

YOUR LAST CHANCE TO SEE THE TOP SGV HOOPSTERS IN THEIR SCHOOL COLORS

… And if that’s not enough for you, the proceeds go to charity. I hope all of you decide to attend. This is a very fun event and the boys game is usually pretty intense and not your typical all-star game.


SURPRISE!: Tracy Murray, Cameron Murray and Brandon Lee will judge the dunk contest, according to game organizer Gordon “Boom Boom” Hamlow. I hope it’s true.

GIRLS GAME: 5:30 P.M. (wink wink)
BOYS DUNK CONTEST: Following the girls game
BOYS GAME: 7:30 P.M. (wink wink)

Aram’s predictions:
BOYS GAME: Tribune 102, Star-News 95 (Usual talk of a blowout notwithstanding).
GIRLS GAME: Tribune 97, Star-News 60 (Depending on traffic)
DUNK CONTEST: Jon Joe (I’ve just have to believe him when he says he has something coming)
BOYS 3-POINT CONTEST: Adam Malik, La Canada (Have you seen this kid play?)
GIRLS 3-POINT CONTEST: Ashley Paul, Glendora (Scary when hot)

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Yeah hi … bad news about Hall of Fame All-Star Game nominations …


Coaches, did you get the memo about turning in nomination forms?

According to Fred Robledo’s blog, which says according to Hall of Fame All-Star Game organizer Leon Ward, there were several coaches who didn’t return nomination forms for their players. The way the game works is that coaches get nomination forms, they nominate players and then mail them back in. Then, the game coach, in this case BP’s James Heggins and game organizers select which of the nominees make it. But, as Phil Collins sang,“Something happened on the way to heaven.”
A lot of coaches didn’t return the form, and the game coaches/oragnizers are scrambling to fill rosters. Fred posted Ward’s phone number on his blog and even encouraged people to call and nominate themselves. Yowza!!!
All the talk on the westside is that La Canada’s stud running back Lavelle Peterson was one of the notable players not nominated because the game didn’t get forms back from LC. I truly hope that out here, aka football country, we’re not having the same problem. I’ll call Coach Heggins tomorrow and Ward, too. I’m not going to get involved in helping select players for the game, but I will do my best to facilitate the process for these guys. After all, the East streak must continue …

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… And I love technology, but not as much as thee you see …


I’ve made it so any comments using bad words won’t make the site. It will be caught, flagged and not published. If you see something that says: “Thank You for Commenting
Your comment has been received. To protect against malicious comments, I have enabled a feature that allows your comments to be held for approval the first time you post a comment. I’ll approve your comment when convenient; there is no need to re-post your comment. Return to the comment page” … you know you’ve done something. Go back, clean it up and try again.

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ATTN. READERS: Everybody needs a reset …


Happy Anniversary, fellow SGV sports fans.

It’s been a year since this site was launched as a compliment to the Tribune’s prep sports coverage. It was a long time coming, believe me. For the most part, everything has been great. This blog has attracted a lot of hits, which in-turn has brought this area’s prep sports even more notOriety. For this, I say thank you. Also, for those of you who’ve taken the time to share your thoughts and thus produce more comments than anyone could’ve imagined, I say thank you, too. For the most part, the dialogue has been entertaining, informative and interesting.

But, and there’s always a but, this site has developed some problems. The other day I had to speak with our executive editor, Steve O’Sullivan, about something questionable posted on the blog. I’ve had to speak with managing editor Steve Hunt a few more times than that. And sports editor Doug Spoon even more times than I can imagine. Believe me, I like speaking to these guys, but they’re upper management and they make me nervous. The best conversations with upper management are the ones you initiate, not the ones they initiate … “Hey Aram, got a second?” is something I don’t like to hear. Not to mention, there have been times when several people in the office came up to me surprised by profanities used on the site.

Fortunately, upper management has been cool enough to not force me to take anything down and they allow me to run this site how I see fit. I don’t believe in censorship. And I don’t like sugar-coated sports coverage, whether it’s preps, college or pro. But when parents are coming on here and defending their kids, we’re getting far away from what this site was intended for. Which is why the decision to produce new rules comes directly from me. When this site started, we had only a few parameters – no kid bashing, personal attacks, foul language or so on. I was also releasing all comments back then. Due to the high volume of comments, there’s just no way to catch and release comments as they come in. I’m not about to start doing this, but I will be hitting the delete button more often. Threads that turn bad, will be gone quickly. Here are some new guidelines …

1. Kid bashing – “Better luck next time” or “Keep your head up” will be the extent of negative comments toward local athletes. You bring up residency or playing time, the post will be deleted as soon as I see it. If you want to complain about playing time, call the coach. If you want to complain about residency, call the school or CIF. High school sports are some of the best times these kids will have, so a bunch of whining adults aren’t going to spoil it on this blog.

2. Coaches – If any thread is somehow diverted from its original topic to question coaching policy or discuss the off-the-field lives of any coaches, that thread will be deleted. If you want to question what decisions a coach makes between the lines, then be my guest. If you don’t like play-calling or Xs and Os management, then comment away. Personal attacks that get way off topic will be deleted. This also goes for school administrators.

3. Profanity – I’ve gotten way too relaxed on this, but it’s got to tighten up. Obviously, some things will slip through the cracks. But what I’m really trying to prevent is name calling.

By following these three guidelines, I think we can limit some of the problems this site has had recently. I’m confident all of you can still make your points without cussing, bashing kids or attacking their coach’s personal life.

If any of these changes sour you, then please move on. I’d rather this site have no hits and no comments than have it degenerate into some anonymous free-for-all that gives this area a bad name, makes high school kids feel bad, ticks off Tribune upper management, embarrasses coaches and causes parents not to enjoy the athletic careers of their pride and joy offspring.

To any athlete, coach or parent whose been offended by something said on this site, I sincerely apologize. I regret that some of these actions may not have come soon enough to spare people their grief. Undoubtedly, there will be similar problems in the future, but hopefully this reset will help calm everything down and re-direct which way this blog is headed.

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Northview beats Monrovia (go figure), wins Northview Tournament …


Northview could be moving up in the polls …

In what will come as a shock to Pasadena Star-News readers and famed prep sports writer Fred Robledo, Northview outlasted Eddie McKiernan and Monrovia on Tuesday to win the Northview Tournament. Honestly, I saw it coming when Fred tried to explain earlier Tuesday how Monrovia could/would make the Division V finals and possibly beat Amat. Anyway, I digress. The east SGV has been something of a reality pond for Pasadena area baseball and softball teams this season – see Monrovia/Arcadia softball team performances in local east SGV softball tourneys. Those are great teams, but in case you didn’t know, the Trib area is loaded with good baseball/softball teams this season. Northview’s win over a strong Monrovia team proved that Tuesday. It also proved the Valle Vista League is the real deal. Covina, Northview and San Dimas have taken turns on each other this season and it’s not because they’re all mediocre. Although this league isn’t quite on-par with the Sierra, it’s in the neighborhood.

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Basketball season ISN’T over …

Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic, April 21 at APU. Girls game 5:30 p.m., boys game 7:30 p.m.

I expect to see all of you at the game.

CHICOS
Guard, Troy Draves, Wilson
Guard, Griffin Ramme, Damien
Guard, Jerry Santos, South Hills
Guard, Philip Chase, Rowland
Guard, Tyler Reich, Charter Oak
Guard, Victor Lee, Diamond Bar
Guard, Justin Riley, Damien
Guard, Eric Yee, Rowland
Forward, Jon Joe, San Dimas
Forward, Kyle Gordien, Glendora
Forward, C.J. Griffin, Los Altos
Forward, Damien Riley, South Hills
Forward, Edgar Diaz, La Puente
Forward, Curtis Skinner, Northview
Center, Ralph Nevarez, West Covina
Coach, Ron Rice, Northview
Coach, Matt Dunn, Damien

CHICAS
Guard, Blaire Egardo, Covina
Guard, Amanda Alvarez, Bishop Amat
Guard, Lauren Sapp, San Dimas
Guard, Zequoia Williams, Duarte
Guard, Kristi Peters, Charter Oak
Guard, Ashley Paul, Glendora
Guard, Kenall Karasawa, Walnut
Guard, Eliza Dy, Diamond Ranch
Guard, Lauren Shiokari, San Dimas
Forward, Michelle Franco, Bishop Amat
Forward, Nina Earl, Diamond Ranch
Forward, Adriana Galvan, Bonita
Forward, Sonia Morales, Sierra Vista
Center, Candice Brown, Bishop Amat
Center, Diane Ortiz, Diamond Ranch
Coaches: Greg Gustafson (Covina), Gary Jackson (San Dimas), Matt Kearns (Covina)

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All-Area Wrestling …


The SGV is wrestling country.

103 – Taylor Louis, West Covina
112 – Thomas Williams, South Hills
119 – Angel Garcia, San Dimas
125 – Aaron Kunihiro, Damien
130 – Erik Chavez, Wilson
135 – A.J. Guardado, West Covina
140 – Steven De La Fuente, Northview
145 – Jonathan Aguirre, South Hills
152 – George Munoz, West Covina
160 – Nick Inclan, Northview
171 – Greg Sill, Walnut
189 – Josh Pearson, South Hills
215 – Marcus Johnson, Diamond Bar
285 – Ziek Sanchez, Northview
Coach – Donnie Stephens, West Covina

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LeDuc and Wiard prove why they’re the best …


Word!

Congrats to coach Mike LeDuc (Glendora boys hoops) and Richard Wiard (Amat girls hoops) for correctly selecting Florida to win the NCAA tourney. This is the second time in the past three years both coaches have been right. Granted, they picked the chalk, but a win is a win … and you wonder why they’re best two basketball minds in the SGV. Also, congrats go out to sports writer Brian Baiotto, who also picked Florida and saved some face for those of us on this side of the sideline.

Minor awards go out to Bassett’s Rick Ronquillo and Rowland’s Gordon “Boom Boom” Hamlow, who picked Ohio State. Also, on some sick level, Fred Robledo and myself get a little kudos for picking semifinalist UCLA. Eh, maybe not.

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