By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Charter Oak High School football coach Lou Farrar has been through plenty of spring practices and it never gets old. But the veteran Chargers coach had a very good reason why he was looking forward to this year’s spring activities, which began Monday as the Chargers started their quest for a third consecutive CIF championship.
“I’ll tell you what, I’m so excited, I’m not blowing smoke either,” Farrar said. “My daughter and son-in-law went on a cruise last week, so my wife and I had their three kids for a week. I kept saying I can’t wait for football because that’s the sanctuary. This is the only place I can go where I have total control and everybody listens to me … not like my grandkids.” To continue reading, click thread
This year’s Chargers had better listen and listen well. Charter Oak will graduate 31 seniors in June, so that means Farrar will have his youngest team in quite a while.
But not to worry, there’s plenty of talent on hand.
Charter Oak returns one of the area’s biggest threats in wide receiver/defensive back Dennis Rufus.
Josiah Thropay is also back and will play tight end. Quarterback Travis Santiago will join the team when baseball season is over. And then there’s Maurice Clement, who transferred to Charter Oak from Long Beach Poly at the end of last season.
Clement is passing the look test this season and will play linebacker for the Chargers this fall.
“He has a chance to be really good,” Farrar said.
But after that, your guess is as good as Farrar’s.
The Chargers need to rebuild the offensive line, but reports from the weight room are that although this year’s group is smaller than last year’s, they’re much stronger.
Charter Oak’s dynamic freshman class, which went 9-1 last season, will get plenty of looks during May. That class was bolstered recently by the arrival of running back Aarel Vaughns, who transferred to Charter Oak from South Hills.
“We’re going to have to play nine or 10 sophomores on varsity this year,” Farrar said. “We’re starting up a new cycle of kids, who are going to be younger, smaller and still learning what it takes to be a Charter Oak football player.
“Finding which ones to keep and which ones will be JVs is going to be a little more of a search this year.”
In terms of sheer numbers, Farrar will have plenty to choose from. He estimates that there’s 200-225 players in the program as spring kicks off.
Charter Oak won’t play its first passing game until mid-June. The Chargers will practice until June 7, when they’ll take a week off for finals. After that, the summer passing circuit begins.
“We’re usually a little behind everybody because they started having passing league in February, March and April,” Farrar said. “Our kids have been on the field throwing, catching and running, but they do that all on their own. We have to teach right now because this is a young team.”
Covina to host camp
Covina High School will host a free football camp from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Registration is at 8:30 a.m. for players of all positions between ages 6-14.
The camp will be staffed by coaches from Covina, Damien and Azusa Pacific University. It’s a non-contact clinic and every camper will receive a free T-shirt.