Breaking News: Wardell Crutchfield is back

Duarte coach Wardell Crutchfield, who abruptly resigned last week following the suspensions handed down after a sideline-clearing brawl between Duarte and Gladstone, met with principal Dr. William Martinez on Monday, who agreed to give him his job back. There will be more in Tuesday’s newspaper.

Principal Bill Martinez released this statement
Press Release
Mr. Wardell Crutchfield has developed a successful football program at Duarte High School. His student/athletes have been accepted at a number of colleges and universities. His student/athletes display the character traits I want to see in my own children and in all of my students. They are punctual, hardworking, courteous, dedicated, respectful and disciplined. They display these traits on and off the field. They are champions!
The past week has been very difficult for our players. Mr. Crutchfield and I have met several times since September 28. After carefully evaluating the situation, analyzing what is best for my students, the program and our school, I have decided not to accept Mr. Crutchfields decision to resign, and Mr. Crutchfield has agreed to meet my expectations.
I will have no further comment. We remain committed to the student/athletes at Duarte High School. We look forward to a great football season.
Dr. Bill Martinez
Duarte High School

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Tribskin Pick’em, your predictions and ours

Steve Ramirez and Fred J. Robledo going head-to-head throughout the season.

Robledo: Last week (12-10); Season (91-34)
Ramirez: Last week (15-7); Season (89-36)

Notes: I didn’t choke as bad as USC and UCLA, but I tasted my share of humble pie, and let Steve Ramirez back in it. I’ve only got a slim two-game lead after posting TEN, yes TEN losses. Ramirez didn’t do much better with seven losses, so it shows what a tough week it was to pick games. Some were unexplainable, like South El Monte beating Alhambra, but we probably should of known better than to pick Bishop Amat over Carson or Tahquitz over Mountain View. We both had West Covina over Ayala, but I hurt myself picking Western over Los Altos and DRanch to upset Oaks Christian while Steve got both of those right. I could go on and on with our bad picks, but that would take to long.

Quotable: Bonita coach Eric Podley after losing 24-10 to San Dimas, “They’re ranked No. 7 for a reason, I don’t know why you guys (Tribune) all picked them to lose. You guys don’t know what you’re talking about. You should stick with your rankings.” You should have heard Ramirez crying afterward, “I don’t count, I don’t count.” Yes, Steve, you picked San Dimas to win. The dummy Podley was talking about was me.

Gladstone vs. Workman at Citrus College, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Gladstone); Ramirez (Gladstone)
Baldwin Park at Ganesha, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Baldwin Park); Ramirez (Baldwin Park)

South Hills at Los Altos, 7 p.m. – Robledo (South Hills); Ramirez (South Hills)
Damien vs. Glendora, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Damien); Ramirez (Glendora)
St. Paul at Bishop Amat, 7:30 p.m. – Robledo (St. Paul); Ramirez (Bishop Amat)
Charter Oak at Wilson, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Charter Oak); Ramirez (Charter Oak)
Covina vs. Northview, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Northview); Ramirez (Northview)
Diamond Ranch at Bonita, 7 p.m. – Robledo (DRanch); Ramirez (DRanch)
El Monte at Arroyo, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Arroyo); Ramirez (Arroyo)
West Covina at Rowland, 7 p.m. – Robledo (West Covina); Ramirez (West Covina)
Azusa at Duarte, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Duarte); Ramirez (Duarte)
Rosemead at South El Monte, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Rosemead); Ramirez (Rosemead)
Pomona at San Dimas, 7 p.m. – Robledo (San Dimas); Ramirez (San Dimas)
Diamond Bar at Ayala, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Diamond Bar); Ramirez (Diamond Bar)
Bassett at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Sierra Vista); Ramirez (Sierra Vista)
Nogales at Walnut, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Nogales); Ramirez (Walnut)
Mountain View at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Mountain View); Ramirez (Mountain View)

Western Christian at Riverside Christian – Robledo (Riverside); Ramirez (Riverside)

Final Thoughts: When I glanced over the season schedule, this was a week I circled on the calendar. South Hills-Los Altos, Glendora-Damien, St. Paul-Bishop Amat, Charter Oak-Wilson, Covina-Northview, Diamond Ranch-Bonita. And other games have become intriguing, like El Monte-Arroyo or South El Monte-Rosemead. Diamond Bar-Ayala should be a great game. Two weeks ago, I would have picked Glendora over Damien and Los Altos over South Hills, but last week’s results changed my mind. It wasn’t Glendora’s loss to ElDo that changed me, it was how they lost. Los Altos losing Ray Rodriguez and Josh Contreas going down a week earlier has to catch up with them at some point, and the South Hills team I saw last week looked on the brink of going on a serious run. And Bishop Amat, oh Bishop Amat. Are you really going to start 1-5? It’s looking that way. Losing 21-0 to Carson could be a confidence killer, but maybe the emotions of having St. Paul in town will stir up the emotions. Heck, if it doesn’t, don’t even bother showing up.

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POSTGAME: Saturday Morning Quarterback, San Dimas wins back the Smudge

Complete coverage of the annual Smudge pot, including game story, photo gallery, game highlights and a special piece on the fans who make it what it is.

Video game highlights: Our camera guy Raul Roa does an amazing job. He could easily sit on top of the bleachers and shoot from miles away. But he loves bringing NFL-films type highlights. How many guys can produce this kind of action with one stinkin’ camera, and do it on a crowded sideline?

This is why it’s a special rivalry. Enjoy this piece on the fans from Bonita and San Dimas

And always, Keith Birmingham’s photo gallery

Friday’s results
San Dimas 24, Bonita 10 — Podley scolded me afterward for picking Bonita. I can’t blame him, the Saints looked awfully good, offensively and defensively. I’ll say it now, they will be 10-0 going into the playoffs. Nobody in the Valle Vista is going to touch ’em.
Ayala 34, West Covina 21 — Now I see why Duarte lost 35-7 to those other Bulldogs.
Baldwin Park 14, Rowland 7 — Solid win for the Braves, and another close loss for Raiders.
Carson 21, Bishop Amat 0 – Thought the Lancers would do better than this after a week off
Charter Oak 24, Claremont 18. – Big win heading into Miramonte League opener.
Rosemead 38, Orange 15 –– Them Panthers are getting better by the week.
Chaffey 30, Wilson 23 – Wildcats didn’t take care of the football and it cost them
Northview 21, Nogales 20 – Vikings end two-game skid with squeaker over Nobles.
Covina 37, Sonora 20 — Say this about the Colts, they can still score points
Gladstone 14, Azusa 0 — Even with eight suspended, Gladiators still pull it out
Sierra Vista 31, Workman 20 – Dons finally in win column
South El Monte 38, Alhambra 27 — This is why there’s no such thing as a sure thing. How in the world did they beat Alhambra?
La Puente 34, Bassett 0 — Warriors perfect in all areas
Jurupa Valley 42, Walnut 23 — Mustangs go down again
Tustin 42, Arroyo 21 — Knights have to work on their defense if they want to be Mission Valley League contenders.

Thursday’s results
South Hills 28, Rancho Cucamonga 7 – This could have very easily been 35 or 42-0. Rancho only scored on a fluke fumble and never came close to scoring on offense. You might as well throw away the Huskies first two losses. They’re 3-0 since they made the change to Deen at QB and Parham at WR. And when you think of also having Wells, Heard and Kuklinski, that’s a lot of weapons. Looks like Bogan’s has the right pieces in place, now we’ll see how he molds it together.
Oaks Christian 34, Diamond Ranch 21 – Thought DRanch would get them. I know DRanch had some nagging injuries, but still thought they would pull it out. For the second straight week, Trib No. 1 goes down.
Los Altos 35, Western 27 – What a great win on the road against a solid O.C. team. This is why the Conquerors have the great history they have. They lose a game they never should of lost at St. Francis, then immediately come back and make a statement. They never lose their confidence. But on a sad note, Raymond Rodriguez might have fractured or broke his arm. That would be a tough loss after losing Josh Contreas last week.
El Dorado 35, Glendora 14 – Don’t know what to say. It’s Glendorable. Called our phone guy to get an update and he said “28-0 El Dorado.” Our Glendora faithful are going to have to explain this.
La Serna 45, El Monte 14 — Well, it’s a good thing the Lions don’t compete in the Del Rio League. They would be 0-2.
Mountain View 32, Hemet Tahquitz 23 — Should we be paying closer attention? They’re 3-1 now.

For quarter-by-quarter updates of all our games, click our scoreboard page.

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Volleyball Top 10

1. Los Altos (13-3) Team to beat in Miramonte
2. Walnut (9-2) South Hills tilt on Thursday
3. Bishop Amat (11-4) Gave Conqs a battle
4. Diamond Bar (8-5) Opens league vs. Ayala
5. Bonita (4-2) McCreery does it again
6. Glendora (4-3) Will challenge, St. Lucys, Ayala
7. Northview (6-0) Vikings continue to roll
8. South Hills (6-5) Huskies show their youth
9. Wilson (6-4) Starting to adjust to new coach
10. Gladstone (8-4) Solid opening in league

Note: Rankings and records are for matches played through Sept. 29

Comments: Bishop Amat makes its appearance in this week’s rankings. The records here are the best to my knowledge and Amat coach Stephanie Cruz admitted to Fred that she had’t updated the team’s record, so that’s why they were omitted last week. But I feel No. 3 is a very deserving rating, especially after they took No. 1 Los Altos to four games last week…Northview jumps into the top 10 after improving to 6-0 with a pair of nonleague wins last week. The Vikings replace San Dimas in the top 10. The Saints dropped out after being swept by Walnut…There are two big matches today. St. Lucy’s and Ayala resume their Sierra League rivalry, while South Hills hosts Walnut in a battle of the top two teams in the San Antonio League. Both matches are scheduled for 5:15 p.m. starts.

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Sound Off: Week Five, Robledo and Miller

Time Warner’s Reginald Miller and Tribune Prep Editor Fred J. Robledo discuss four of this week’s top games. By the way, Miller does a great job following our local teams and beyond on his popular site “A Local Sports Show” … go check it out.

Thursday’s games
El Dorado (3-1) vs. Glendora (3-1) at Citrus College, 7 p.m.

Rancho Cucamonga (2-2) vs. South Hills (2-2), Covina District, 7 p.m.

Friday’s games
Bonita (2-2) at San Dimas (4-0), 7 p.m.

Chaffey (4-0) at Wilson (3-1), 7 p.m.

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Football Super List: Let’s rank ’em all

Yeah D-Ranch, you’re No .1 — this week

Tribune rankings from top to bottom
1. Diamond Ranch (3-1)
2. Glendora (3-1)
3. Los Altos (3-1)
4. Charter Oak (2-1-1)
5. South Hills (2-2)
6. Bishop Amat (1-3)
7. San Dimas (4-0)
8. Damien (2-2-1)
9. Duarte (4-1)
10. Rosemead (3-1)
11. Bonita (2-2)
12. Wilson (3-1)
13. Arroyo (3-1)
14. Northview (2-2)
15. Diamond Bar (2-3)
16. West Covina (2-2)
17. El Monte (3-1)
18. Covina (2-2)
19. Baldwin Park (2-2)
20. Nogales (2-2)
21. Rowland (1-3)
22. Mountain View (2-1)
23. Azusa (2-2)
24. La Puente (2-3)
25. Gladstone (1-4)
26. Workman (1-3)
27. Walnut (0-4)
28. South El Monte (0-4)
29. Western Christian (1-3)
30. Sierra Vista (0-5)
31. Bassett (0-4)

With the Top 16 teams ranked, who would win a San Gabriel Valley playoff. The brackets would look like this:
Top Half
1. Diamond Ranch vs. 16. West Covina
8. Damien vs. 9. Duarte
5. South Hills vs. 12. Wilson
4. Charter Oak vs. 13 Arroyo

Bottom Half
3. Los Altos vs. 14. Northview
6. Bishop Amat vs. 11. Bonita
7. San Dimas vs. 10. Rosemead
2. Glendora vs. 15. Diamond Bar

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Breaking News: Wardell Crutchfield resigns

Duarte Head coach Wardell Crutchfield informed me this afternoon that he has informed Duarte High principal Dr. William Martinez that he has resigned. I’ve learned that eight players from each team have been suspended for their next game. I can tell you that in no way was he forced out. In fact, school officials at Duarte are saddened by his decision. We will have the full story in Wedneday’s newspaper.

Wednesday’s story

You be the judge: We have two videos that show the fight from each side of the stadium.

Below: Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez describes his feelings on what happened.

Below: This video shows the action from Gladstone’s side of the field.

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The Smudge Pot, Bonita-San Dimas, coming Friday

Above: This is Bonita celebrating 2000 victory over San Dimas
When: Friday
Where: San Dimas HS
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
When it started: 1972
Series record: San Dimas leads 17-16-1
Streaky: Bonita has won last three, and 10 of 11 since 1996
Records: San Dimas (4-0), No. 7 in Northwest Division; Bonita (2-2), wins over Northview, Covina.
Predictions: Robledo (Bonita), Ramirez (San Dimas)
Thoughts: I’ve heard a lot about this game but never attended one. For me, this is what this what high school football is all about, the great traditions, the rivalries, a game that brings alumni back and excites the communities. I went on Bonita’s website and they were selling pre-game tickets like it was a playoff game, asking that folks arrive early to get a parking spot. As we build up to this game, it would be great if you could share your thoughts on one of the best rivalries in the SGV.

A must read: I found this story by Danny Craig, who wrote about the 2000 Smudge Pot in La Verne magazine. It’s a great background article on the history of the Smudge Pot, and great insight into the game that season. To read it, click on this thread.

Continue reading

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Duarte and Gladstone officials expected to meet today

If any disciplinary action is taken following Friday’s football game between Gladstone and Duarte high schools, which ended in a sideline-clearing brawl with 3:28 remaining and the Falcons leading 34-3, it will come today when officials from both schools meet.
Since it wasn’t a CIF-Southern Section playoff game, penalties are handled by the schools, not CIF.
“We’ve looked at the video and will meet with Gladstone (officials) on (Tuesday) to decide what action needs to be taken,” Duarte athletic director Robyn Garcia said. “Both principals will be at the meeting.”
Falcons coach Wardell Crutchfield, who exchanged heated post-game comments with Gladiators coach Albert Sanchez, apologized for his behavior on Monday.
“I’d like to say as a coach, I don’t think any of us wake up and say we want to have a fight at our game,” Crutchfield said. “It shouldn’t happen, period. Whether it was our fault or their fault, we both had a part in it and there’s no place for that in sports.
“I’d like to apologize to the Gladstone coaches, players and to our school and school district. Our kids are good kids, and their (Gladstone) kids are good kids. It’s something that never should have happened, and something that we as coaches need to make sure never happens again.

Note: Will update after officials decide what, if any, penalties should be handed out following Friday’s game.

Also, click thread to continue reading another unfortunate incident in El Monte
Continue reading

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Los Altos’ Contreas lost for the season

The Conquerors lost third-year starter and All-Miramonte league selection Josh Contreas for the remainder of the season. The two-way lineman broke his leg in two places during the third quarter of Friday’s 35-21 loss at St. Francis.
Its a huge loss for us, he was one of our top three lineman, Los Altos coach Greg Gano said. He was crying after it happened and apologizing to the guys for letting them down. But obviously, its not his fault. Hes a warrior, and I feel terrible his career here had to end with an injury. Were all wishing him the best.
By the way, many of you have wondered if Gano will replace starting quarterback Junior Tamayo. You have to love Gano for making it perfectly clear what he thinks.
Who cares what the blogs say, Gano said. Most of those guys have no idea what theyre talking about, and wouldnt know what a football was if it hit them on the head.
Junior is our quarterback, and theres nobody close right now. The only way he would lose his starting spot is if he got hurt. There is no quarterback controversy, so lets put that to rest.

Our salute to Josh Contreas and the injury that (possibliy) ended his high school career. We say possibly because you never underestimate the will of a champion.

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Tribskin Pick’em, your predictions and ours

Steve Ramirez and Fred J. Robledo going head-to-head throughout the season.

Robledo: Last week (12-5); Season (79-24)
Ramirez: Last week (11-6); Season (74-29)

Notes: I read in an LA times blog that a St. Francis player played our two-minute drill over and over to get pumped for the Los Altos game. Guess he didn’t like Time Warner’s Reginald Miller calling it the sure-pick of the week and saying the Conquerors will “devour” the Knights. Or me saying the Knights are catching the Conquerors at the wrong time. That’s why they play the games, so Ramirez and I both lose on Los Altos, and we both lost picking West Covina over Rancho Cucamonga, which was close for a half. We also both had Baldwin Park, so give credit to El Monte, who beat the Braves on the last play of the game. At least Ramirez picked South Hills over Fullerton, I couldn’t of been more wrong about that. Ramirez also picked Nogales over Montclair, which is another game I missed. Still, I picked up another win because I had Bonita over Northview, Troy over Diamond Bar and Azusa over Sierra Vista, while Ramirez went the other way on all three.

Thursday’s games
South Hills vs. Rancho Cucamonga at Covina District Field, 7 p.m. – Robledo (South HIlls); Ramirez (South HIlls)
Diamond Ranch vs. Oaks Christian at Ganesha, 7 p.m. – Robledo (DRanch); Ramirez (Oaks Christian)
Los Altos at Western, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Western); Ramirez (Los Altos)
El Dorado vs. Glendora at Citrus College, 7 p.m. – Robledo (El Dorado); Ramirez (El Dorado)
La Serna vs. El Monte at California, 7 p.m. – Robledo (La Serna); Ramirez (El Monte)
Mountain View vs. Tahquitz, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Tahquitz); Ramirez (Tahquitz)

Friday’s games
Bonita at San Dimas, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Bonita); Ramirez (San Dimas)
Ayala at West Covina, 7 p.m. – Robledo (West Covina); Ramirez (West Covina)
Rowland at Baldwin Park, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Rowland); Ramirez (Baldwin Park)
Bishop Amat at Carson, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Bishop Amat); Ramirez (Bishop Amat)
Charter Oak at Claremont, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Charter Oak); Ramirez (Charter Oak)
Orange at Rosemead, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Rosemead); Ramirez (Rosemead)
Chaffey at Wilson, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Chaffey); Ramirez (Wilson)
Northview at Nogales, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Northview); Ramirez (Northview)
Covina vs. Sonora at Covina District Field, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Sonora); Ramirez (Covina)
Gladstone vs. Azusa at Citrus College, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Gladstone); Ramirez (Azusa)
Workman vs. Sierra Vista at La Puente, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Sierra Vista); Ramirez (Sierra Vista)
Alhambra at South El Monte, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Alhambra); Ramirez (Alhambra)
La Puente at Bassett, 7 p.m. – Robledo (La Puente); Ramirez (La Puente)
Jurupa Valley at Walnut, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Jurupa Valley); Ramirez (Jarupa Valley)
Arroyo at Tustin, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Tustin); Ramirez (Tustin)

Saturday’s games
Brethren Christian vs. Western Christian at Ocean View HS, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Western Christian); Ramirez (Brethren Christian)

Final thoughts: By far, this is the toughest week of the season for picking games, and a week with a great Thursday lineup, so fans will be able to watch some of the valley’s best teams on their off nights. Ramirez and I differ on eight games! Glendora, South Hills, Los Altos and Diamond Ranch all have toughies on Thursday. In those games alone the SGV would be fortunate to go 2-2. Of course, Friday night is the Smudge Pot, and maybe one of the best in years with a 4-0 San Dimas squad going against a Bonita team that already has knocked off Covina and Northview with relative ease. Other games to watch: Can Bishop Amat keep it going at Carson, and can West Covina beat an Ayala team that beat Duarte and played Diamond Ranch tough? Whatever happens, what a great week of football.

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