College Football: Pac-10 Media Day

Today, I took a day off from the high school beat and spent the day at Pac-10 Media Day, which was held at the Rose Bowl.
I will again be covering college football in addition to my high school and area college duties. Our coverage will include a weekly column during the season and blog updates leading up to the 97th Rose Bowl, which I previously picked to be a matchup between Oregon and Boise State.
You can find my predictions for the the Pac-10 here

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Prep Extra in production, time for vacation

Well folks, tomorrow I’m on vacation until Aug. 9, hopefully surviving another week in Cabo before another wonderful football season. Steve Ramirez will be here to monitor and post on the blog in my absence, and hopefully you get a few posts from Aram too. It has been a busy month working on “Prep Extra,” our first football preview magazine, which debuts the first week of September.(To continue, click thread).

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Charter Oak and San Dimas won titles in 2009, but the computer had Bishop Amat ahead in a landslide … interesting

With all the discussion about top programs, top teams, I thought it would be interesting to post CalPreps’ final state rankings computer poll from the 2009 football season. Calpreps’ state poll obviously factored league, division, strength of schedule, quality wins, opponents’ record, etc, etc. Bishop Amat wins the computer poll easily because in comparison to other valley schools, they crush everyone locally in terms of schedule strength and quality wins, though the CIF titles went to Charter Oak and San Dimas. I ranked Charter Oak No. 1 in our final poll, but this goes to show if you had to compare our locals using a BCS type formula, this is how our top ten would have ended in 2009.

state ranking, team, record
17. Bishop Amat, 10-2
42. Charter Oak. 13-1
114. San Dimas, 13-1
150. Diamond Ranch, 7-7
157. Glendora, 7-4
163. South Hills, 10-3
166. Damien, 5-6
187. West Covina, 7-5
331. Rowland, 8-2
337 Azusa, 11-2

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Inside sources say Crespi at Bishop Amat in Week 6 could be the Fox Sports Game of the Week

The fabulous inside sources at the Tribune are telling us to mark your calendars for Friday, Oct. 6, when Crespi rolls into Kiefer to take on Bishop Amat. The sources say Fox Sports is looking at the Serra League opener for their live high school game of the week and why not, no better place than Kiefer to show the Southland where the greatest fans in the Valley reside.

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2010 week-by-week Prep Football Schedule

For the 2010 week-by-week Tribune Prep Football Schedule, click the thread. After a casual glance, here are the top games each week as I see it …

Week 0 – Charter Oak vs. Glendora at Citrus College, 7 p.m.
Week 1 – Diamond Ranch vs. Damien at Ganesha, 7 p.m.
Week 2 – West Covina vs. South Hills at CDF, 7 p.m.
Week 3 – Monrovia at San Dimas, 7 p.m.
Week 4 – Diamond Bar vs. Diamond Ranch at Ganesha, 7 p.m.
Week 5 – Venice at Bishop Amat, 7:30 p.m.
Week 6 – South Hills vs. Damien at CDF, 7 p.m.
Week 7 – Rosemead at Arroyo, 7 p.m.
Week 8 – Notre Dame at Bishop Amat, 7:30 p.m.
Week 9 – Glendora at Upland, 7 p.m.
Week 10 – South Hills at Charter Oak, 7 p.m.

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Breaking News: Nogales boys basketball coach Ricky Roper leaving to powerhouse Gahr

Nogales high school is losing one of the best young high school boys basketball coaches in the San Gabriel Valley. Nobles coach Ricky Roper is leaving to Southern Section powerhouse Cerritos Gahr, who won the San Gabriel Valley League title last season while competing against the likes of Lynwood and Paramount. (to continue click thread).

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Picking the Hacienda is like picking the Kentucky Derby, there are so many betting favorites

There is no league tougher to predict than the new Hacienda League, which includes Diamond Bar, Diamond Ranch, West Covina, Rowland, Bonita, Los Altos and Walnut. Looking at Aram’s recent All-Encompassing San Gabriel Valley Top 25 poll, he has four teams from the Hacienda ranked, with West Covina No. 9, Diamond Ranch No. 10, Rowland No. 13 and Bonita No. 22, but seriously, there is no telling how this is going to shake out. Won’t Diamond Bar be reborn again after leaving the Sierra, especially with its sights set on a mammoth Oct. 1 encounter with its soon to be hated rival, Diamond Ranch, when the two meet for the first time? Can’t you picture Los Altos bouncing back and recharged under new coach Jim Arellanes? Walnut might be the one team in over its head this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this race comes down to the final weeks with as many as six teams within a game of each other. It’s going to be that tight. I too think West Covina has a slight edge, but I like Rowland to finish second, Diamond Ranch third and Bonita fourth. Diamond Bar, for me, is a sleeper. This is just what the doctor ordered for the purple, and looking at their preseason lineup of Nogales, Wilson, Don Lugo and Brea Olinda, the purple could and should be 4-0 when they meet DRanch, a game that will take bragging rights to another level.


Above: West Covina coach Mike Maggiore and staff will have their hands full this fall.

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Grooming a high school quarterback

I told ya I will keep posting questions from random high school football players, local players or in this case an assistant football coach that I found on google that wants to know if his requirements for a quarterback are too harsh. Well, are they?

Coach asks: I am a Quarterbacks coach and Assistant Offensive Coordinator for a local 5a High School. I am 20 years old and have not been able to continue my playing carrier (but I have had 2 walk-on tryouts with a team who WILL start in the top 5 in the nation next season) My question is, I have expectations for my players (Quarterbacks) above that of the rest of the team. To be on the team you must have a GPA of a 2.0, For my Quarterbacks I want to say you must have a minimum of a 3.0 (but for some kids that may be hard to get so I lower it to 2.5) If you have lower than a 2.5 you can still be on the team, but you may not be a Quarterback. I also will give my Quarterbacks the Wonderlic test for the evaluation process. Along with this I ask them to write a 1-2 Page paper over why they want to be a Quarterback, what makes a good Quarterback, as well as what their personal goals are. The last thing I do is send a contract home with the player to have signed by the player and his parents to explain what I expect on and off the field, so that we have an understanding of the rules. If they were to be broken then I would have NO problem benching that player and playing the Back-up. Now with this said…. What do you think of this? Is this too harsh? Is it okay? As a parent how would you feel? Is it getting them ready for College and the professional working life? Or is this ridiculous and not needed? I really wanted to hear some thoughts on this.

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Future High School Stars: La Puente and San Dimas meet for Little League Section 3 title tonight at Lambert Park in El Monte

Richie Cantero’s three-run homer punctuated an 11-0 victory for La Puente National in Tuesday’s Section 3 All-Star tournament win over previously undefeated San Dimas. San Dimas would have won the title with a victory, but La Puente forced a decisive game tonight at 7 p.m. San Dimas had been dominating to this point, but La Puente has been on a role since losing earlier in the tournament. “My team came in with momentum from the night before,” La Puente manager Juan Cuevas said. “We’re hoping to bring the momentum back for tonight’s game.” The winner will advance to the Southern California Divisional Tournament’s North Sub-Divisional, which starts Saturday at Perry Park in Redondo Beach. Go root them on, these two are our last chance for a local in the Little League World Series.


Above: La Puente starting pitcher Richard Magana

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I got an email from an incoming high school freshman asking about hitting the weight room

“We don’t have the best workout facilities, but I want to work out and take this seriously. What type of workouts and workout schedule should I take for the summer? And is there some kinda protein I should take?”

C’mon bloggers and ex-coaches, help him out, or help me out, I got a week to whip this 40 something :) body into shape for Cabo … Good luck with that happening. BTW, this isn’t the kid below, just a Chino Hills lineman in competition ..

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The Scouting Guru: “These people live among you.” What? Guru thinks he’s T.J. Simers?

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 Scouting Guru answers bloggers questions in his own T.J. Simers-type way ….To read the Q&A, click thread.

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Another view on LeBron James …

I enjoyed Bryant Gumbel’s thoughts on the Lebron James to Miami discussion. This is what he said at the conclusion of this week’s HBO Real Sports segment …This is a transcript provided by the network..

Gumbel: Finally tonight, a few words about championship rings. Just when did they become the all-important barometer of who does or doesn’t count in sports? When did they supersede personal excellence or exemplary character as a standard of greatness? (to continue, click thread).

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Things H.S football players think about … This is the kid who doesn’t want to be Rudy

You can find anything from google searches, so I thought I would give you random questions from high school football players around the country. I don’t know where or when this kid wrote this, but I’m sure it applies to HS football players everywhere. If you’re a player in the Valley and have a question that you would like our bloggers to discuss, you can email me anonymously and I will post it for you. Send to fred.robledo@sgvn.com….Anyway, here’s today’s question/dilema

HS player writes: I’m an incoming sophomore getting ready for summer ball, season, etc. This is my 2nd year of football, and i didn’t start as a freshmen. Coach is already favoring his starters in spring ball. When we do 7 on 7 he gets the linebackers (my position) that don’t know what to do mentally. I know everything I must do mentally, and physically, I’m real fast and pretty strong. Football isn’t fun to me at all. It’s all just hard hard work just to…well.. be someones backup. I’m not content with being a backup. (to continue click thread).

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What would Azusa Pacific leaving the NAIA for NCAA Division II do for area athletes and the San Gabriel Valley’s fan base?

If you haven’t been to an APU football game you’re missing out. It’s the closest thing we have to a small town college atmosphere. They draw more fans locally than anyone other than Bishop Amat. Not just in football, but in all sports. It’s by far the area’s best sports school in terms of fan support.

With Cal Baptist leaving the NAIA to Division II, Azusa Pacific is expected to follow next year and would likely join the CCAA with Cal Poly, Pomona, an intriguing possibility that could create a much needed area rivalry among the valley college athletic powers. In football, APU already has a huge fan base competing in the NAIA, where it won a national title in 1997, but the bump to Division II would be even more appealing to area players — and area coaches such as South Hills’ Steve Bogan, who would likely be interested if the job ever became available. Read Michelle Gardner’s story in today’s Tribune, she examines the possibilities: Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball coach Greg Kamansky can’t help but be a bit concerned these days. He has been successful with limited resources in leading the Broncos to an NCAA national championship four months ago and an appearance in the title came the previous year, but Division II is changing and it’s likely to make his job even tougher. California Baptist, an NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) power, is among eight schools whose application to move into the NCAA Division II was accepted earlier this week.

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When the glare of Friday Night Lights stares down on them, who will become your next rising stars?

You know most of the big names, but how about the newcomers, surprises and first-year varsity players expected to make an impact. You know that Jay Anderson isn’t returning his senior season at Bishop Amat, but all I’ve heard is great things about junior running backs Jalen Moore and Zachary Shay, whom coach Steve Hagerty described as “pure” football players. Speaking of which, Hagerty is extremely impressed with sophomore tight end Sal Velasquez, a 6-foot transfer from Los Altos whom Hagerty said, “Is a kid that was a Lancer and didn’t even know it. It was in his DNA. If I could draw a Lancer on the board, he would be it. He comes in, works hard in the weight room, works hard on the field and is unfazed by things. You can tell a lot by how a kid works, and he gets it.” How are those for strong words. You want more, we asked coaches to list their top newcomers, here a a few, Covina lists sophomore RB Gevontray Ainsworth and linebacker Justin Turner, Baldwin Park likes junior QB Ray Bosque, Azusa is counting on junior LB Eric Perez, Glendora naming junior RB/LB Cory Victoria, Duarte naming practically everyone (which includes Sr. QB Anthony Martinez), Workman loves Jr. QB Val Cervantes, Gladstone RB/LB Carlos Gomez, Northview going with a pair of sophomores in RB/WR Javon Taylor and LB/TE Roy Torres, just to name a few …. Now it’s your turn, lets hear your predictions on the Valley’s next rising stars. We want to hear it here first.

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Is there any doubt that Glendora-Charter Oak should lead the way in week zero? Um, can we move the Smudge Pot to Thursday?

I had a fun conversation with Glendora quarterback Chad Jeffries yesterday, who wasn’t short on predictions. One, he said junior Donovan Holmes, the younger brother of Andre Holmes, is an absolute stud and will be a huge part of their offense in the backfield. He said he was glad he made his decision early to go to San Diego State so he could concentrate on the season, and said we should make the Week 0 Charter Oak and Glendora the game of the week, because they’ve got some surprises for the two-time defending champion Chargers. You got to love his confidence, when I asked where they should be in the Trib rankings, he said No. 1, then laughed and said no lower than No. 3, though I know he really felt they deserved the No. 1 tag. The smartest team of all is Ganesha, they will have the stage to themsleves by kicking off our season with a Thursday night game on Sept. 2 (too bad Bonita and San Dimas couldn’t play on Thursday, it would have been the biggest Smudge Pot ever). As far as who gets the Friday night game of the week, is there anything better than Glendora-Charter Oak? I know San Dimas-Bonita is tradition, it’s for the Smudge, but for pure football anticipation Jeffries is right, Glendora-Charter Oak is No. 1. For the fun of it, I will rank who we feel are the most important games as far as coverage.

Thursday, September 2
Ganesha at Montclair, 7 p.m.
Friday, September 3
1. Charter Oak vs. Glendora at Citrus College, 7 p.m.
2. San Dimas at Bonita, 7 p.m.
3. Rowland at Baldwin Park, 7 p.m.
4. Garfield vs. Bishop Amat at East Los Angeles College, 7 p.m.
5. Covina at West Covina, 7 p.m.
6. Nogales at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m.
7. Ontario at Arroyo, 7 p.m.
8. Los Altos at El Rancho, 7 p.m.
9. Diamond Ranch vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback College, 7 p.m.
10. Ayala at Don Lugo, 7 p.m.
11. Garey at Pomona, 7 p.m.
12. Bassett at Keppel, 7 p.m.
13. Chino Hills vs. Mayfair at Bellflower, 7 p.m.

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Jordan Canada finally gets his scholarship

Scouting Guru writes: South Hills Running Back Jordan Canada – who recently graduated from South Hills High School three weeks ago – was offered a full scholarship at the University of Montana and has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Montana. Canada, a first-team All-Montview League selection in 2008, didn’t play in 2009 when the California Interscholastic Federation’s Southern Section Office ruled him ineligible to play for the 2009 season. Canada also had an offer coming off his junior year from New Mexico State University. (to continue click thread).

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The Scouting Guru on full summer workload with lots of inside info to digest as fall nears

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.

Random musing and notes while on the Passing League circuit for the next two weeks….(to read all of it, click thread).

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Gang Green: South Hills duo Dakota Behr and Melinda Gomez earn athlete of the year honors

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
It would take multiple letterman jackets to sew on all the accomplishments of South Hills High School standouts Dakota Behr and Melinda Gomez, who have been selected the 2009-10 Tribune athletes of the year. Not only did the duo finish their senior season in style, but the two shared a brilliant prep career that shows the multiple-sport athlete is alive in well during an era of specialization in high school sports. (To continue, click thread).

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What will the top ten look like in the fall?

In June, these were Aram’s 2010 top ten predictions … we’re about to finalize the top ten for the football magazine preview, is he close, and what adjustments should be made…I’m listening.

1. Bishop Amat — The gap between Amat and the rest has narrowed thanks to Anderson’s departure. Hey, did you know Tom Salter is back?
2. Charter Oak — Anyone thinking CO has slipped may change their mind when the Chargers go four wide with no receiver under six-feet tall.
3. South Hills – Strong along the line and loaded with skill. But Jamie Canada’s knee injury is a concern.
4. Glendora – Excellent coach + good QB is a nice formula in HS football.
5. Chino Hills – The Huskies ranked below CO and South Hills? I’ll admit it doesn’t sound right. But Nate Harris and who ….?
6. West Covina – Bulldogs have to get thru rough Hacienda before they can even think about the Southeast.
7. Damien – When Coach Gano is mum, I get a bit concerned.
8. Diamond Ranch — Are we looking at the weakest Panthers team of the Roddy era?
9. San Dimas — Deep at QB, strong along both lines, but I haven’t heard much about the running backs.
10. Rowland — A one-man show won’t get it done in the Hacienda. Just sayin …

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Lebron James is headed to New York! Probably not, word is The Three Egos are teaming up in Miami to form the Super Heat … I’m still hoping he says in Cleveland with Byron Scott

Multiple sources this morning are predicting the Super Friends are teaming up in Miami to form the Miami Super Heat. So this is how it goes, Lebron’s hour-long special tonight on ESPN will announce that the Three Egos are going to Miami, a made-for-TV event showing Lebron driving his decision into the heart of Clevelanders on live national television with split-screens showing Cleveland fans crying as Prince James announces his decision. What a guy! BTW, they still won’t beat the Lakers.

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