College football: Is the Tide the team to beat?

Hi all: I just wanted to let you know of the first post of the season for my college football blog. I take a look at the upcoming season with my top pre-camp Top 5. You can see who I like as the favorite in the BCS.

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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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Our September magazine’s “Prep Extra” will feature a Tribune pre-season All-Valley team

This ought to be interesting and I will be curious to see how different our pre-season all valley team is compared to our final one in December. This will be a first-team offense and defense, so we’re taking suggestions. If you want to fill in the blanks, this is what we’re looking for …
Offense
QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, OL, OL, OL, OL, OL, K
Defense
DE, DE, DT, DT, LB, LB, LB, DB, DB, S, S, Punter

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Damien football camp this weekend

Damien High School’s Prepare for Glory football camp is on Friday and Saturday at Damien for kids in the third through eighth grade. The camp runs from 3-8 p.m., on Friday and 8-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, which will include a tshirt and lunch. For more information, contact coach Greg Gano at 626-260-1917.

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The best high school football coach in the East San Gabriel Valley? That’s a tough one, but if you could choose, who would you take?

There are a few things to think about. Do you pick the best x’s and o’s coach or the coach you would most like your kids to play for? Do you pick a coach with the best track record for winning, or an underachiever you think could win with the same players? Do you want a coach with a history of working the phones with college recruiters, or working your son’s tail off to be the best he can be. Do you want a disciplinarian or a players’ coach. So much to think about and I know you want a top ten, but I’m not that foolish, I have to work with these coaches all year. But I will name my top 13 in no particular order, so here you go……

In no particular order ….
Roddy Layton, Diamond Ranch — Have always loved his passion, work ethic and player relationships.
Steve Hagerty, Bishop Amat - Is the best Amat coach since my all-time favorite Mark Paredes, who led Amat to an 84-14 record in eight years, including a 15-0 campaign in 1992. Plus, I get the feeling Hagerty bleeds Amat blue.
Greg Gano, Damien – Not afraid of challenges, brilliant with star players, a proven winner, and always assembles a great staff. What more could you ask?
Mark Pasquarella, Glendora — Look at his history, wherever he’s coached, he’s turned them into winners, especially at places that are tough to win at. He has a great offensive mind, certainly among the best game planners.
Lou Farrar, Charter Oak – The Godfather of the SGV. The most consistent over the long haul and smart enough to know that coaching staffs, not individual coaches, win championships.
Bill Zernickow, San Dimas – The Wizard of the Wing T joined the coaching elite with last year’s championship. Prior to that title, when I asked other coaches who was the most underrated coach in the Valley, Zernickow’s name came up most often.
Craig Snyder, Rowland - He’s one of my most underrated. He’s done more with less and in a tough situation going against West Covina and South Hills all these years. Truly an intense coach on the sidelines who speaks his mind and is loyal to his players.
Mike Maggiore, West Covina Consistently in the hunt every season and with a CIF title on the resume. Don’t know a single player that didn’t enjoy playing for him. Plus, we went to high school together, so I know what a great person he is.
Jim Singiser, Arroyo – One of my Valley favorites, doesn’t always have the weapons other prominent coaches enjoy, but when he does, such as the next two years with Steven Rivera at QB, watch what happens.
Steve Bogan, South Hills - Arguably one of the best in Valley history, no better game planner than Bogan. His four titles in the last ten years earned him Valley coach of the decade.
Matt Koffler, Rosemead — His teams always over-achieve and he has great relationships with players. His M.O. is defense first, and that has worked for him over the years.
Eric Podley, Bonita – One of the great offensive minds over the years, and when he has talent, they win. Has had bad luck in recent years, especially in the Smudge Pot, but he will be back.
Joe Scherf, Azusa-- All he’s done in his first two years as a head coach is go 21-4 with back-to–back Montview league titles with a quarterfinal and semifinal appearance in the playoffs. Maybe one of the greatest coaching debuts in Valley history.

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Young up for final vote


Former Bishop Amat star Michael Young of the Texas Rangers is up for the fan vote that determines the final AL spot for the MLB All-Star Game.

For those of you who missed it, Major League Baseball announced its rosters for the upcoming MLB All-Star Game, scheduled for July 13 at Angel Stadium.
Fans also have the final vote for the final roster spot on the NL and AL teams, and Covina native and former Bishop Amat High School star Michael Young of the Texas Rangers is on the ballot for the AL spot.
Let’s give our support to one of our own.
Here’s the link: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2010/fv/ballot.html

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The weekend is here, so why not list the top ten projected quarterbacks in 2010


Arroyo’s Steven Rivera has the potential to put up the best numbers

1. Chad Jeffries, Glendora, Sr.
Most sought after QB recruit since Chris Rix?
2. Rio Ruiz, Bishop Amat, Jr
We’re selling the “Big River” on potential, potential, potential.
4. Steven Rivera, Arroyo, Jr.
He’s the real deal. If you ask Knights coach Jim Singiser, he will tell you Rivera is the best in the Valley.
3. Michael Ball, Rowland, Sr.
Was a stud as a sophomore, then went through the brutal collarbone injury as a junior. He’s a Michael Vick type, and these QBs are tough to defend in high school.
5. Travis Santiago, Charter Oak, Jr.
Already owns a championship and is cool under pressure. Will probably be asked to do more this season, and who knows, could be in our top three by the end of the year.
6. Vincent Hernandez, South Hills, Jr.
Was the guy even before Brock Booth bolted to Bishop Amat. He’s another who can run and pass, and will be counted on bigtime in the new Sierra.
7. Andrew Cameron, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Can’t way to see how he shines in the Hacienda League. We didn’t see enough of him in the Sierra, but curious to know if he still has the job with the Mater Dei transfer at DBar.
8. Garrett Pendleton, Bonita, Sr.
Could have a spectacular season because coach Podley loves QBs, and he’s got a good one.
9. George Johnson, West Covina, Sr.
A third-year starter that floats under the radar, but he’s always played with a ton of confidence and grit. He could be big-time his final season.
10. Shawn Kennedy, San Dimas, Jr.
QB’s not as important in the WIng T, but Kennedy is a winner, already owning a football and baseball CIF title.

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