Don Le Gro picks up where he left off, Sierra Vista rushing attack leading the CIF-Southern Section averaging 486 yards a game

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Sierra Vista High School football coach Keith Locklear, struggling with the spread offense and a defense that gave up too many points, turned to former Dons coach Don Le Gro and asked for help. “Do you think you can do for us what you did in the 90s?” Locklear asked Le Gro. “He said, `(Heck) yeah,’ and that was that.” As Sierra Vista head coach in the 1990s, Le Gro groomed back-to-back Tribune player of the year winners Oscar Interiano (1995) and Oscar Arzu (1996). Arzu left as the Valley’s all-time single-season rushing leader with 3,219 yards in 1996. Le Gro retired in 1999, but he’s back as the Dons’ offensive coordinator and hasn’t lost his touch.
It may come as a mild surprise, but undefeated Sierra Vista (4-0, 1-0) leads the CIF-Southern Section in rushing at 486 yards per game and more than 10 yards per carry (1,944 yards on 181 rushes), a startling turnaround from the pass-happy offense of recent years.


Junior Giovanni Rivera leads the Southern Section with 1,111 yards and averages 277 yards a game with five touchdowns. But he’s not alone. Senior Erick Garcia is averaging 157 yards and gives the Dons a fighting chance going into Friday’s showdown against back-to-back Montview League champion Azusa (4-0, 1-0), which opened league with a 28-0 win over La Puente.

Azusa is ranked No. 2 in the Mid-Valley Division and brings a 21-game league unbeaten streak into the contest at Citrus College against the No. 7 Dons.
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Le Gro’s offense, sort of a combination between the double-wing and I formation, relies on precise blocking and backs who follow the game plan.

“Going from not being able to run the football at all to what we’re doing now changes everything,” Locklear said. “I’m not surprised because I remember watching Le Gro’s teams when I was an elementary school teacher in Baldwin Park in the late 90s.

“It’s all about adhering to the system, and it’s quite a system. What it has done is manage the game much better for us. It shortens the game, helps you control the clock, control the time of possession and we haven’t turned the ball over.

“When you run the spread it’s feast or famine, games last forever and if you don’t score you fall behind in a hurry. This offense gives us a chance and makes our defense better because they’re not always on the field.”

The Dons, however, realize their four wins have come against Hoover (35-27), Mountain View (10-7), Keppel (42-12) and Duarte (41-6), opponents that have a combined record of 3-13.

Azusa, meanwhile, has been to the Mid-Valley Division quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, the past two years and boasts three shutouts in four games. The Aztecs have outscored their opponents by a 32-point margin and allow just 2.5 points per game.

“It’s nice for a league like ours to have a team like Azusa because they’re doing it the right way,” Locklear said. “They don’t cheat, they don’t recruit, they just block, tackle and carry out a game plan better than anyone else. You have to give (coach) Joe (Scherf) a lot of credit, he’s done an incredible job.”

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  • BRAVETOWN

    WOULD U GUYS PLEASE SCHEDULE US NOW, NOW THAT U GUYS ARE A BIT CONFIDENT ABOUT YOURSELVES..

    GO BRAVES !!!!

  • Oh Please!!!

    These guys have inflated their numbers on Maxpreps for years now. Take a look and you’ll see. I guess if it gets pub for the program more power to you!!! It won’t win you big football games though.

  • Truth

    Congrates to the Dons but the coach is making the program and its players look like fools. Those stats are inflated beyond belief. A correspondant from another newspaper covered the SV-MV game and counted 220 yards or so for Rivera. Even if he was off a bit it was no where near the 370+ that the SV coaching staff posted on MaxPreps. Sad to say but true. The film won’t lie either. Once again, congrats on a great start and best of luck but don’t overdue it SV staff.

  • the Mid

    It must be fun to play Our Sisters of Mercy and School of the Blind every week. How do you not play BP for a rival game?

  • RMC

    Last time I checked, I believe Sierra Vista has a better record than BP. It’s great to see the football program improving under Coach LeGro and that’s a good thing. To try to knock off another team’s success is ok I guess but when comparing to BP, I think I would do it if they had a better record or at least doing much better than what they are now. Last time I checked, Don Legro’s SV team defeated BP as well back in the 90′s. Both teams were moved away years ago from the Valle Vista league. I know Sierra Vista aren’t world beaters but it’s great for the kids to be 4-0. Besides, the way BP is going, I don’t think they can stop the Blast offense either…

  • Colt74

    Truth:
    You forgot to add the yardage for running onto the field before the game, running off at switch to defense, running back on for offense, running to locker at half-time. Add those and you’ll get the
    370 yards.

  • Colt74

    I went to SV for 7th grade. It’s nice to see them enjoying success. For years they were the doormat of the league(s). I think that Azusa/SV is going to be a good game.

  • Inflated?

    I have no connection to SV so I’m not sure if their stats are inflated, but to go by what reporters print in their game stories is ridiculous. The guys on the sideline do a good job of reporting the game, but they tend to be very inaccurate when it comes to the stat line. Unless you are getting the stats from the film you really have no accurate way of knowing.

  • jcaz

    It’s true that the last time SV played BP the result was something like 70 to 3 or so.

    But bravetown, don’t be so quick on the trigger, because you may end up getting much more than you really wanted to bargain for in the not to distant future eh ?

    GO DONS !

  • Reality

    Sorry SV,but the clock strikes twelve tomorrow night. The fairytale is over. I will be impressed if you keep within 21 points of Azusa. I’m not being negative nor am I being critical. All I’m saying is that you will not be able to move the ball on Azusa as you are expecting to do so. That’s the truth.

    By the way, I am not happy to admit it, but for those of you who don’t know much about high school football in the SGV, Baldwin Park would annihilate Sierra Vista in a head to head match up this year. Sierra Vista struggled to defeat Mountain View and Hoover. Rowland had to comeback to barely defeat BP. SV played Keppel(worst varsity football team in the history of the SGV). It’s not even debatable.

    However, the 1995 Sierra Vista Dons would run through everyone in the Mid Valley Division, including Baldwin Park this year. That 95 team is legendary. There will never be another team like that at SV.

  • to all who doubt

    read the freaking article to every idiot. sierra vista has not denied who they have played. and realize they are the underdog. sv has complimented how well coached azusa. boosting yards? talk crap b/c a team is trying to come up. bp is not this power house school who dominates everyone. they have little to no athletes left. just hating because who talks about bp now a days. this game is being blown out of proportion. its a regular game. nothing else with matter except that final scoreboard.

  • Oscar I Rules! Oscar A number two!

    Fred, I don’t understand why the Tribune fails to recognize Oscar Interiano’s accomplishments with more depth and detail. Although Arzu’s single season numbers were more meaty, his season was not bolder. According to my memory file, Interiano is the reigning career rushing champ of the San Gabriel Valley. Arzu was involved in many close games during his senior campaign. Interiano sat out many second halves and fourth quarters. Watching Interiano follow his behemoth blockers was artistic. Arzu ran straight ahead and hoped no one delivered an accurate hit on him because he was prone to fumble. Interiano ran for over 200 yards in a CIF semi-final contest against a Temescal Canyon squad that easily defeated La Mirada for the CIF title. Arzu had nine yards rushing in a first round playoff game against Atascadero if I remember correctly. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong. Arzu culminated his 3,200 plus 96 season with a nine yard performance in his final varsity football game.

    I have tremendous respect for Arzu, but he is not the king of the “blast.” Interiano, although a mere 5 7′, was the man at SV.

  • Colt74

    Reality said: “Keppel(worst varsity football team in the history of the SGV). It’s not even debatable.”

    Well yes..actually it is. They won CIF Football in 1944. Since you were talking history..

    But thanks for bringing up 1995. That WAS a good year for some of us…

  • John Cook

    Well I see we have alot of haters on this Blog that don’t believe SV can put up numbers like that. But I do know for a fact that the numbers are true.The coach that does the stats on the sidelines compares the stats aganist the game film,post what is correct. Alot of times the media does only get at least 1/4 to 1/2 of the stats correct. This coach has been on football staff for SV the last five years. The Kids at SV are doing a great Job and deserved to be 4 and 0 Keep up the good work and worked hard all the time. Good Luck aganist Azusa play your hearts out and it will be a great game. Someone who has been around high school football and has been a coach for the last ten years.

  • John Cook

    Well I see we have alot of haters on this Blog that don’t believe SV can put up numbers like that. But I do know for a fact that the numbers are true.The coach that does the stats on the sidelines compares the stats aganist the game film,post what is correct. Alot of times the media does only get at least 1/4 to 1/2 of the stats correct. This coach has been on football staff for SV the last five years. The Kids at SV are doing a great Job and deserved to be 4 and 0 Keep up the good work and worked hard all the time. Good Luck aganist Azusa play your hearts out and it will be a great game. Someone who has been around high school football and has been a coach for the last ten years.

  • AZTEC ALUM

    agree with TO ALL WHO DOUBT…you are on point there. people get lost sometimes with the headline, and dont dive into the article…also on point is REALITY….that 95 team would run all over teams today…same for the 94 AZUSA team led by PITZER RECORD-BREAKING QB JACK RAMIREZ..but i think the class of the MONTVIEW IN 95 WAS DUARTE ..i think it was their first year..i think they beat SV(correct me if im wrong please)..with all the RB TALK, DUARTE had a stud named MCGEE who was better than both THE OSCARS…but its obviously a different time and a different athlete. so comparisons are a mute point….very classy and very true is what legro said at the end of the article…but for todays athlete and todays game, both coaches are doing a very nice job at their respective schools..

  • http://wtfpeople.info Alan Maga

    Seriously?

  • ST G54

    Not trying to talk down SV but hey they soften up their schedule for a reason, to get some wins under their belt.. Other than that they will get destroyed by Azusa tonight, & they will not be the 3rd place team out of the Montview.. I have no clue why Fred is hyping them up when they have played absolutely nobody!!

  • Give me a break!

    The all time running back King from the Montview league was Bassett’s Marshawn’s Thompson’s State Record of 2,300 single season rushing yards in 1988. At 6’1″ 210 lbs he was a legit D1 back.

  • Stats do lie sometimes

    Ok, I’m not trying to hate on SV. I respect their 4-0 record, and I’m sure they have a potent running attack. But according to maxzpreps, they have the 4 leading tacklers in the Montview league, and in the midvalley. Is that even possible! I’m leaning toward the likelihood that these stats are boosted, perhaps the running stats as well.

  • think about it

    All i see is everyone commenting on the stats…but what no one seems to do is use common sense. Look at the stats and look at the teams they’ve played…anyone would be stupid to think other teams won’t be able to do that. From azusa to bishop amat,they wud put up the same scores/yards on these 4 teams if not more.

    Since everyone all of a sudden wants to look up sierra vista’s page on maxpreps, take a look at last season where 3/4 teams that sv has played so far were also beat by them a year ago. Stats and scores were somewhat similar

    The only difference is that these guys were scheduled at once in the begining of the season instead of scattered throughout the season. The other difference is that they r a 90%-95% running team now so how can you not expect this kid to gain that many yards a game considering the amount of carries he gets and the teams they’ve played

    Don’t act like you are all surprised because I’m sure any RB can do the same thing

  • Correction

    To Aztec Alum:

    I will take this opportunity to correct you since you requested a correction. The 1995 Sierra Vista Dons were undefeated in Montview League play. No, Duarte was not the class of the league. Where did you receive your archival information?

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