By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
LA PUENTE – Bishop Amat High School football coach Steve Hagerty said it’s not a crisis, but he is concerned that the Lancers are eight months away from starting the 2010 season and they still have four nonleague games to fill on their schedule.
Alemany will join the Serra League this fall to make it a five-team league, which has left a Week 9 nonleague hole for the Lancers to fill. The only nonleague opponents secured by the Lancers are Dominguez in Week 1 and Damien in Week 3. They still need to find four opponents for games that can be played in Weeks 0, 2, 4, 5 and 9. One of the weeks would be a bye. (To continue, click thread)
“We have been trying to fill games for a while,” Hagerty said. “Even before Christmas, I was on the phone trying to get this done. We have a couple of games that we think are squared away, but we’re not saying anything until the contracts are signed.
“The biggest deal is the home-and-away issue. A lot of teams want us to travel to them because we bring a pretty good gate. But some of these teams don’t bring the same gate to us, so it’s trying to find the right (combination) that works on both ends.”
After beating powerful St. Bonaventure at home 24-23 in overtime, the Lancers’ road game at St. Bonaventure this fall was scrapped after the Seraphs were voted into the 10-team Marmonte League along with Oaks Christian.
Although the Marmonte will eventually be split into two five-team divisions, St. Bonaventure had to back out of its agreement with Bishop Amat until it has more clarity with its league schedule.
In addition, Bishop Amat also will not play rival St. Paul.
“I guess it’s not an ideal time for them,” Hagerty said. “They feel like they need another year or two before they’re competitive again. It’s one of those things where you can’t force the issue. It’s a great series, but I understand from their perspective. They just don’t feel like this is the time to play us.”
Bishop Amat just finished home-and-away series with Diamond Ranch and West Covina that will not be renewed, and a much-ballyhooed game against two-time CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division champion Charter Oak never came to fruition.
“Without getting (too specific), we tried calling everyone,” Hagerty said. “And we’re continuing to make phone calls. One way or the other, we will get them filled.”
Hagerty also confirmed that Bishop Amat officials have a February meeting set to discuss the future of the Serra League.
CIF-Southern Section officials are re-aligning the football divisions in April. Though the Serra League is expected to stay in the Pac-5 Division, which is the equivalent of Division 1, there has been some discussion that the Serra league could be dropped to the Inland Division (Division 2) or Western Division (Division 3).
Hagerty hopes the Serra stays where it is.
“Absolutely,” Hagerty said. “It’s a prestigious thing to be part of the best, and Amat’s tradition and history dictates that’s where we should be.
“I don’t know if we can win at that (Pac-5) level, or when we can get to the top again, but we want to keep trying. And just because we don’t win, it doesn’t mean we don’t belong there because every year is an exciting adventure to see where we end up.”
Hagerty also talked about the big hire over the weekend, John Mack taking over at Crespi after three years at Ventura College.
Mack had a great run before that at St. Bonaventure, where he coached for 17 years and faced Hagerty when he was was the head coach at Paraclete in the 1990s, guiding the Spirits to three consecutive divisional titles.
“It’s a good hire,” Hagerty said. “He will get them rolling again. They have had as much ability as anyone we faced over the last two years, but somehow they haven’t gotten there. But as far as talent, they have as much as anyone.”
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