Correspondent John Honell is a longtime contributor to the Tribune, and well-known throughout the San Gabriel Valley. He knows the area’s history, coaches, and always seems to have insider information. He will share some of it with his “Touching Base” pieces that will run from time to time.
My thoughts on the first two weeks of prep football …
What is zero week? Zero times anything is still zero. Does that mean the first games of the year don’t count? If someone tells me they live in the third house from the corner, do I count zero, one, two, three? Com’n CIF, just say it. We have 11 weeks of football with some teams getting a bye week. More hype sets up a bigger payday for the CIF. (moving for athletic reasons?) – to continue click thread
Two weeks don’t make a season but, the new Hacienda League race is going to be fun to watch. Rowland is for real, West Covina showed it could bounce back after a heartbreaking loss, Bonita has two big wins and coach Eric Podley showed why some (older) opposing coaches who still watch Saturday morning cartoons refer to him as “Felix the Cat” with his bag of tricks.
Watching the line play when Rowland matches up with West Covina will be a textbook example of coaches going with what they have. The Bulldogs size facing the Raiders quickness and technique might be the most interesting matchup for aficionados of trench warfare.
In the long run, scheduling up usually pays off but, that first year can be tough on the psyche. Digging out from under their first two losses is going to be tough for Baldwin Park if they want to be in the Valle Vista League chase.
BP has two players committed to D-1 UTEP, Wardell Crutchfield III and Demetrius Jackson. TE/DE Samuel Guillen is getting looks from Arizona State and QB Mario Rodriguez is the go to guy on most plays so the Braves should be tough in the VV. How they respond will determine where they finish.
The Braves didn’t fall apart in week one, Rowland revved up its engine at half time and just took off for 28 consecutive points before the Braves recovered.
The Little Big Horn would just be a creek running through a meadow of greasy grass in Montana today, if Custer could have run like Rowland’s Michael Ball, Danny McMahan, Ryan Salausa and Irvin Crawford.
Coming from behind against a very good West Covina team gave Covina, a team loaded with juniors, confidence they can play against anybody. The Colts had way too much speed for an overmatched Gladstone squad even though they had some problems in the Red Zone. The VV League title could come down to the final game of the season when the Colts face defending champ San Dimas. Maybe it will be decided on a fake punt?
Almost every team I saw had someone doing a Roberto Duran imitation. Hands of Stone seems to be an issue with some of the receivers this year. Speedy guys from almost every team got wide open behind the defense and dropped a sure touchdown pass.
Hall of Fame bowler Billy Welu once said, “Trust is a must, or your game is a bust.” Coaches have to trust the kid to hold on to the ball. The quarterback wants to throw to kids he is sure can hang on to his passes. It’s going to take some time for the “stone hands” kids to regain that trust. Parents and fans shouldn’t blame the coach for not calling their kids number.