The Scouting Guru has been all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, and like always, he’s offered to share his thoughts, free of charge. Don’t hate, enjoy it for what it’s worth, which is one man’s opinion on the talent in the San Gabriel Valley.
The Guru says: Some random musing and notes post Signing Day while wondering when the CIF-SS will sanction Ice Hockey as a sport? (It probably won’t happen because if kids wanted to transfer from the east coast to the west coast, the CIF-SS will probably not let them play because it’ll be “athletically motivated.”) To continue, click thread
* Speaking of the CIF-SS, principals and activities directors be warned… you memberships dues will most likely get raised again. For the past several years, the CIF-SS has had Toyota as their main corporate sponsor for their championship games. Well, as you know, Toyota has had a tough time of it lately with their cars. It is rumored that they are spending close to a 1 billion dollars in their marketing campaign and recall efforts with their cars. So the question has to be asked… what will Toyota do this year? Will they make their cars safer or spending their money as a sponsor for high school sports? Any reasonably smart person knows what the answer is. Now, the CIF-SS will say that they are “good to go” for the rest of the 2010 season. OK, so what happens after the season is over with? Like I said HS principles, you’re dues are likely to being raised for the 2011 season.
* Here is a message to the football coaches in our area that are part of the CIF-SS football advisory committee. Something has to be done about the lack of sportsmanship that is being displayed by football teams. Now, I’m not going to sit here and list all the stuff from this past season, but when the Press Enterprise labeled the 2009 season as the “worst season in the history of the IE” something has to be done. What makes this more appalling is that if you want to coach in the state, the state CIF office makes a coach go through a sportsmanship class online and makes the coach pay $50. And for what? To see coaches point at scoreboards at the end of games? To have coaches mock the home team fans at halftime of a football game? When you have head coaches pushing opposing assistant coaches at halftime of games, this has to stop now! When I mentioned to a CIF-SS official about the situation, his response was “What do you want us to do…fire the coach? We’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work.”
I’ve never said that. How about suspending them for a game? Or, how about taking a home playoff game away from them? (They do it for some silly rule regarding using a Spaulding football for the playoffs.) There has to be some kind of statement that addresses this issue. You may not like me saying this, but the CIF-SS is looking a lot like the CIF LA City Section. And that is not a good thing.
* Here is your junior day update. South Hills’ Peter Nonu, Siaosi Aiono, Charter Oak’s Dennis Rufus and Bishop Amat’s Wallace Gonzalez were invited (and attended) UCLA’s Junior Day several weeks ago. Aiono was the only area player to get an invite to attend USC’s Junior Day several days later. St. Francis’ Patrick Carroll was also at both Junior Days. While that may not sound as important to you, from a recruiting end – this Junior Day’s are huge for schools like USC and UCLA. These are unofficial visits that allows the recruits to develop relationships with the college’s position and area assistant coaches.
* Which brings me to the point regarding Wallace Gonzales. There seems to be a perception that he is going to be offered early before the start of the 2010 football season. Well, the chances of that happening are about as good as me getting married this weekend (which is to say, it’s not going to happen). And the reason is simple. The prospect didn’t play in 2009. And when you don’t have junior film , plus you transfer to another school, it doesn’t add up as well. And you can be sure that if any college coach goes to Glendora HS, I don’t think you’ll see a whole lot of coaches speaking fondly of Gonzales. If I was him, I would follow the path that was taken by South Hills QB and future UCLA star Jacob Shirley. He worked his tail off to becoming a big-time baseball prospect (without even playing football or baseball thanks to King James at the CIF-SS office), got an offer after a baseball camp and had a terrific season of high school football in his senior season. So good – as a matter of fact – that Shirley had caught the eye of several D-1 FCS coaches who wanted to know if he was interested in playing football in college. If it worked for Shirley, it can work for Gonzales.
* I’m going to be very interested to see how the pre-season is going to work itself out in the East SGV this year. We have several teams that have taken a significant upgrade in their pre-season schedule. And some of them are in the Mid-Valley Division. I had a very sharp observer tell me recently, “Here’s the deal. There is a significant drop off in talent from the teams in the Southeast Division to the teams in the Mid-Valley Division. It’s very apparent.” It’s a theory that will tested to the hilt this year. You have San Dimas taking on Rancho Cucamonga, Arroyo playing Hart, and Baldwin Park (along with Monrovia in week 4) playing South Hills. Of those games, the one that really stands out is the San Dimas vs. Rancho Cucamonga game. It took four years for South Hills to defeat R.C, the best that Charter Oak could do was tie them two years ago. So – in my eyes – it will be a monumental upset if the Saints win. But, with HC Billy Zernikow in the captain’s chair, never count them out.
* With the economy as tough as it is, my first prediction is that there are going to be an influx of people that are going to decide to get into the ranks of officiating this fall. And it’s a good thing for the people involved with the Foothill-Citrus officiating unit. If you play your cards right, you can make a little bit of money working games on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday. If you do a underclassman game, you’re getting paid around $65. When you mix in working several underclassmen games, you can make close to $200 for a week. And when you mix in a varsity football game on Friday night (at around $73 dollars a game), it all adds up at the end of the year. Plus, it won’t be bad to see a new influx of younger guys into the unit.
* I had a assistant coach at one of the Serra League school tell me recently, “I think the coaches at Bishop Amat do a great job. They don’t have a lot to work with, but they get the most out of those guys.” I couldn’t agree more. Its my opinion, but the area Coach of the Year should have been Steve Hegarty.
* The more I see of Bonita QB Garrett Pendelton, the more I am intrigued with him. He is one of the more accurate QB’s in the area and you know that he can handle reading coverages. I’m making him the favorite to being the Hacienda League’s first-team QB at the end of the season. And keep an eye out for offensive lineman Tarez Lemmons. I thought that he had a nice season up front.
* And I am also very intrigued with San Dimas TE Kevin Kolbeck. This kid caught the eye two years ago when I saw him play against Northview. On film is not the fastest cat out there, but he has good hands and shows decent athletic ability.
* When you finish up watching tape, there are players to you just want to see in their senior year. I’m not saying their D-1 guys, but – they are worth watching. One of those guys is Glendora TE Corey Murphy. He’s listed at 6-3, 230 and has decent blocking ability. Just a prospect to keep your eye on.
* We are already looking at the Class of 2012. If you have read us in the past, you know who much we like players like Jamie Canada, Jamel Hart and Vincent Hernandez of South Hills and Rio Ruiz of Bishop Amat. Several other players to keep you eye on include Diamond Bar RB Jamaal Clayton, Damien LB Alex Arevalo and West Covina CB Chris Solomon.
* For those of you on the west side of the SGV, keep your eye on Alhambra Offensive Lineman Chris Salgado. Another kid that we call a “phone booth prospect” (meaning he’ll be a guard or center at the next level) but he is a prospect. The best offensive lineman in the three newspaper zone is Patrick Carroll of St. Francis HS. He is very good!
* If you are using game film, there is no question that the best QB in the three newspaper zones is Schurr QB Aaron Cantu. His film is way more consistent than Jefferies of Glendora and Clements of La Habra. If I had to rank them (from a college point of view) this is how we would have it….
1) Cantu (Schurr)
2) Clements (La Habra)
3) Jefferies (Glendora)
I will say this, these guys are better than anyone that is out there in the IE. Not a good year for QB’s in the IE.
* I have a question for our “big man” Aram Tolegian. Who going to coach varsity football at Bassett?
And now to my non-football area thoughts for the week….
* Here is what I think is going to happen to USC and their football program. As you all know, no school holds greater cache than the men of Cardinal and Gold. The conference needs them to be on TV. If USC is doing well, the conference is doing well. So with that being said, my prediction is that SC will be docked some scholarships and will not play in a bowl-game in 2011. Need a current impact of what USC means to the Pac-10? Did you see all those people being masked as empty seats during the night session of the Pac-10 Basketball Tournament at Staples Center. Last year at this time, semifinal night was a sell-out.
* Wasn’t that a great hockey game between the USA and Canada for the Gold Medal? It was riveting TV to the end. But don’t look for it to have the same impact as the Indiana State vs. Michigan St game was for the NCAA back in 1979.
* And if you haven’t been to a Kings or Ducks hockey game, you should go. It is a blast.
* The high school basketball season is like hockey season. It never ends!
* Did you see the finish the Etiwanda vs. Mater Dei boys basketball game last Saturday on Prime Ticket? Why do I get the feeling that Etiwanda will be getting that apology letter from CIF that South Hills got two years ago. That was not only a foul, it was an intentional foul!
* And here is my high school baseball thought for the week. I know that everyone wants to be number one – but to hear the talk this week on the blog, you would think that the CIF-SS Toyota (did you like that one Thom Simmons) Baseball playoffs were being held this weekend. Yeah I know that Bishop Amat is off to a hot start and that they are rolling. But, there is a theory that goes around in sports like baseball, it’s not how you start – it’s how you finish. Last I checked, players are playing for CIF-SS Toyota (like that one again Thom) baseball championships, not to be listed as the number one team in the area. I think it’s a slap in the face to men like Darren Murphy at Northview, Dan Henley at Glendora, Kevin Smith at South Hills that are having great starts to the season but are getting pushed to the side because Bishop Amat is defeating Capistrano Valley, et al. The way some of the talk is around the area, you would think that baseball started and stopped at Bishop Amat. Last year at this time, all the talk was Amat this and Amat that. And when push came to shove, San Dimas ends up winning the division. And what is your reward for being number one in the paper? A pat in the back. When you end up winning a CIF-SS Toyota (like that again, Thom) Championship, you get patches and rings. Let’s slow down and start talking to me in April and May when you have to play teams that are familiar with you. And if you think that is not a factor, talk to Pete Carroll about it. It’s your league that are the toughest games…not some of your pre-season games.
* My last thought of the week is a tough note to write about. On Thursday, news came out that Merlin Olson passed away. For me personally, this was a tough to take. Many people will remember Olson for his accomplishments on the football field and in the movie industry. For people like myself, I will always associate Olson with Dick Enberg doing football games. Before the days of cable and satellite TV, football games on TV were a big thing. I used to remember going to my uncle’s house on New Year’s Day for a family gathering and one of the constants was Dick and Merlin at the Rose Bowl. As a matter of fact, it was the Rose Bowl and then the Orange Bowl with Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy. That was New Year’s Day. Bigger than life for guys like me back in the day. The only time that I didn’t hear Dick and Merlin at the Rose Bowl was in 1986…that’s because I was at the game to see USC take on Michigan St. I remember looking up in the press box and there they were. Dick and Merlin at the Rose Bowl. How cool. Yes, some of us are getting a bit older now when you hear about great gentleman like Merlin Olson passing away. Wow, how time flies.