Bogan, Gano in unfamiliar position in opener

By Fred J. Robledo
South Hills High School football coach Steve Bogan and Damien’s Greg Gano each own four CIF-Southern Section divisional titles, so one can imagine how frustrating it was talking about having to win a game to stay in the playoff hunt, especially when that game is just the Sierra League opener. That’s because Chino Hills (4-1), with nonleague victories over Tesoro and Redlands East Valley, has become a huge league favorite as it prepares for Friday’s game against Claremont (4-1), another school projected to be in the playoff hunt along with Charter Oak (3-2), which visits Ayala (4-1). (To continue, click thread).

South Hills (1-4) is hosting Damien (3-2) at Covina District Field in the league opener Friday following four consecutive losses, which include a 42-27 thumping by West Covina, a 59-6 loss to Tesoro, and a 43-28 loss last week to Los Osos.

In fact, the 42, 43 and 49 points allowed were the most points the Huskies have allowed in a single game this decade, and it all happened in a month’s time.

Although Damien has a winning record, in two games the Spartans had a chance to measure themselves, they were beaten soundly by Bishop Amat (42-7) and JSerra (42-7).

How times have changed for two of the area’s winningest coaches.

“It’s been humbling, it really has,” Gano said of the lopsided losses. “It’s been humbling for Steve too, but nobody’s feeling sorry for us, we’ve got a game on Friday we have to win, and so do they.”

Nonleague records are often misleading because of schedule strength, but it’s hard to make a case that South Hills and Damien are better off for playing tough schedules because they haven’t been competitive in big games.

“We’re in a similar boat,” Gano said. “The loser almost has no chance of making the playoffs, that’s just common sense.

“We’re both struggling, we both need a win, it’s important. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll make the playoffs, but the winner at least has a fighting chance and some momentum, because a win in the first game of league is always important for (your mental makeup).”

Before the season, Gano thought that three or four teams had a shot at the Sierra League title, but not after what Chino Hills has done.

“It would be very surprising if they don’t win league,” he said. “On paper, who they have and who they have beaten, it’s a no-brainer.”

Gano also had some interesting comments about two of the area’s top teams, West Covina and Bishop Amat.

West Covina is off to a 5-1 start and is the No. 1 team in the Southeast Division after beating Rowland 41-17 on Friday.

“They’re a school that flew under the radar and was in the right place at the right time,” Gano said of the Bulldogs, who remained in the Southeast Division while Charter Oak and South Hills moved to the Sierra League and Inland Division. “They’re a school with 3,000 kids that could compete in the Sierra League. They could finish second or better, they really could. (Coach) Mike (Maggiore) has done a great job with them.”

After losing 42-7 to both Bishop Amat and JSerra, Gano wouldn’t mind watching the two go at it.

“I would love to see that game,” Gano said. “The thing about Bishop Amat is (coach Steve) Hagerty’s got that program on the right footing, they have a lot of confidence and they don’t make mistakes. They don’t do anything great or fancy, but they make simple look great.”

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  • Ooops…Mistake

    Chino Hills and Claremont are both 4-1 , not 5-1 as you stated

  • Chino Hills Husky Fan

    I have seen all of the teams in the Sierra league play this year. I think the Sierra league will be competetive. I think Chino Hills has to be the early favorites, but with new tems in the league (charter oak, So. hills & Claremont) things could get interesting. Here is my personal assessment of each team take it for what it’s worth.
    Chino Hills – Played a tough preseason with wins over Tesoro and Redlands east Valley. They also beat a very good Mayfair team who I think will make it to at least the Semi’s in the Southeast Division. Chino Hills is playing lights out defense and the offense is coming around after finally starting to get healthy. They should be 5-0 but they played poorly against Santiago. I don’t see any team in league scoring more than 2 TD’s against them.
    Claremont – They are my pick to come in 2nd. They have an excellent passing game but their QB is not mobile and doesn’t like pressure. In their 2 “big” games so far they squeaked by Rowland and got blown away by Bonita. I think they will put up lots of points on teams with the exception of CH. They defense is average.
    Charter Oak – They are lacking on defense. They have lots of new starters. On offense I don’t think they will be able to handle the strong defenses they will see in league. They have lost to 2 inland division teams that don’t figure much in the post season picture. They have a great coaching staff which will help them secure 3rd place.
    Ayala – They are 4-1 but played a weak schedule. They lost to an average St. Paul team. They don’t have the athletes to compete for the league title or playoff spot. They will play tough defense but that will not get them far enough. They will struggle offensively in league.
    Damien – They are “Tiny” in comparison to the Damien teams we are used to seeing. They do not have much of a talent base to draw from. They will be well coached but that won’t get them far enough. They were blown out in their only 2 tough preseason games.
    So. Hills – They will struggle to win a game in league. They have some BIG dudes but they are slow and out of shape. They were gassed in the first quarter. On offense they have a hard running tailback but he doesn’t have much help from a supporting cast. I can see the wheels falling off this cart especially with all the transfer-gate stuff happening.

    So, as I said, this is MY take on things….don’t bite my head off…lol. This is America and I am entitled to free speech. I wish all Sierra league teams good luck and hope the kids stay injury free!

  • The Hills have eyes


    No mistake, I believe Fred is just predicting the future….

  • shfan

    Gano is a bum!

  • Inland Hunter

    South Hills is a cellar dwellar, they were absolutely HANDLED by Los Osos. The score was not indicative of game as Osos 2nd and 3rd stringers gave up alot of those SH points.
    Damien – Not a contender. They need some size and a QB-IMO.
    Charter Oak-Getting as dose of Big Boy Football, things aren’t so rosy on this side of the fence.
    All that being said, I think it will be good for these programs in the long run.


    This game is a huge battle for last place in the Sierra. Aside from this game I can’t see either team winning any other game in league . Even Ayala will take it to both of them . Sad but at the same time pay back is a biatch for all those years of false titles with the boat load of transfers both used without thinking twice on who they stepped on.

  • Colt74

    Karma….. ( Religious Gods )
    P.B.I.A.B….( Football Gods )


    Well I guess it can be said that Amat did a whole lot of simple things the night they played Damien .Because they sure looked great.

  • forest gump

    How do you literally give no credit to each of these men and their past success and wish them nothing but failure now. What kind of commentary is that for our society? Both of these men never recruited, cheated, or had any illegal transfers at their respected schools. Every one of their teams and players were legal and legit so give credit where credit is due because they deserve and earned the success they received on the gridiron.

  • WTF

    Hey Gano, I guess you must be the source of the LA jinks because you can not shake it off. Karma is mother Gano. PS get in shape.

  • AHSFBfan

    CH Husky fan:

    I actually agree with most of your assessment. Very well thought out and written. Not a typical CH fan post. My quick assessment having seen most of the Sierra Teams play as well. In my projected order of finish.
    CH: Way too good for the rest. Hope Olomu’s Shoulder holds up. Good D; Offese still hasn’t proved too much. CH is the only Sierra team with a hope in the playoffs and CH needs to represent.
    Charter Oak: Very young team that is improving every game. Probably the dark horse and one team that will challenge CH for league title. Lots of weapons on offense. Very good passing attack
    Claremont: Questionable defense will be carried by leagues best pass offense. No imagination by OC might be a prob. Another team that could suprise CH
    Ayala: May have played cupcake preseason but always solid D and improving Offense. Loss to St. Paul looked bad but offense moved the ball only to turn it over or settle for FG. Should be better with return of starting QB, but I hear the backup is improving with the bye week reps.
    Damien: Showed nothing against quality teams. Small but well coached so could be an upset threat. They will always play hard
    So Hills: Have the wheels fallen off or what? Also a team that could come around due to solid coaching staff. Leagues biggest line
    Week one will be fun. Best of luck to all!

  • another damien dad

    Your post about Damien being small but well coached is accurate, but being well coached in an anemic offensive scheme doesn’t get you anything more than what they have now, a team that plays somewhere near .500 ball. Just like last year. And next year too, is my prediction. Must be driving F/C crazy. LOL! Unless GG and Fair have definite Div I prospects, (several) they can’t win. They won’t get them at Damien because Damien doesn’t recruit and pay the tuition like Amat.

  • AMAT 73

    another damien dad,
    Very poor excuse on your part blaming your woes on AMAT.What happened to the dream team of coaches that was the news last year and said to be the equal if not better than AMAT’S staff. Now they are putting an anemic offensive scheme on the field. It has been said about AMAT that we have no D-1 prospects at all many times here on the blog . The reason we get the players over Damien is because we just put the wood to you in our last meeting and will continue to do it each and everytime we play . That is the only recruiting tool we need for a player to choose between AMAT or Damien . You want to come on here with kind of childish post I will give it right back but my post is the truth.

  • Just. Doesn’t. Happen.

    another damien dad – keep thinking that if it helps you sleep at night (“recruit and pay the tuition” part)

  • Damien Dad

    Damien “Gano” recruits and gives free rides just like Amat. The only difference is Gano usually got Amat’s seconds over at LA and now over at Damien that isn’t good enough to win.

    Now we seeing the real local talent over at Los Altos. Of course you do need to factor in the sub par coaching performance by Arellanes and staff. This LA team is going 0-10 this year. This is still with their two top backs from out of the area, well one now since one left back to diamond bar. The word on the street is Tibb’s is going home next year also (his senior year).

  • Proof is in the Pudding

    Here’s the only “recruiting” Amat needs to do to sway potential football players from Damien to Amat. Be sure to wait for the comment in interview at the 5:50 mark.

  • Proof is in the Pudding

    Here’s the only “recruiting” Amat needs to do to sway potential football players from Damien to Amat. Be sure to wait for the comment in interview at the 5:50 mark.!

  • WTF

    Hey Damien, Please shut-up about size look at the rosters between Amat and De LeSalle they are your size. Gano S$cks.

  • anonymous

    My son goes to Amat, plays football and starts… but for the life of me I cannot seem to locate that pay your tutition line? Where does it start or end eitherway I want to get in line because my sorry butt is still paying tuition every month!

  • Keeping it real

    The simple fact is both Gano and Bogan recruited. Bottom line is are they good coaches when they can’t. bogan is a joke small man with a huge arrogant ego. Geez I was at a funeral about ten years ago in the church on turnbull cyn road just across the street from Los altos Gano was one pew behind me telling a future l a star how he could place him in a friends home.they are all dirty.Bogan twelve transfers last year and zero this year do the math. Guess he can only coach when the Cupboard is full.

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