Click link for video interview with Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez and Richard Gurrola
6:30! That’s what time Gladstone opened practice Monday morning in preparation for its season opener against San Dimas on Thursday, Oct. 30, which is one of two area games on Thursday along with Ontario at La Puente. My alarm doesn’t function until 7, so I met coach Albert Sanchez around 8, and he talked about how disappointing 2006 was for his Gladiators. After two consecutive undefeated Montview League seasons in 2004 and 05, the Gladiators finished 4-6 and 2-4 in league to finish fifth, missing the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade. The Gladiators open with defending champion Duarte (Sept. 21) followed by Azusa (Sept. 28), so he knows they’ve got a lot of work in a short time.
“We have more returners as opposed to last year,” Sanchez said. “We feel like we’ve got one of the best playerrs in the area in Richard Gurrola. He’s going to do everything for us, run, catch, maybe line up at quarterback and play defense too. I’m not saying the competition (in the Montview League) is weak, but if we can get by Duarte and Azusa, I like our chances of winning league.”
Also talked to Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar on Monday, and can tell right away I’m going to like working with him and his son Dominic, the offensive genius. Without spilling too much before the previews come out, the Chargers have nearly all of their offensive weapons back, along with all four starting corners. There will be some new faces on the offensive and defensive lines, but when we started talking about running backs, Big Lou started dropping names like Kaanan Snowden, Jonathan Clark and Johnny Crespo, saying they’re all high-powered interchangeable parts. It also looks like junior quarterback Chris Allen, who was 9-1 as a starter after taking over for Drew Carreon, will remain there. Carreon has turned into a big-time linebacker since, and is more than a capable back-up.