Amat wouldn’t be 9-0 without double trouble combo of Christian Orduno and Julian Gener

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Saturday mornings are not an easy proposition for Bishop Amat linemen Christian Orduno and Julian Gener. Instead of springing out of bed like the teenagers they are, both struggle like senior citizens. The night before, you could find them banging heads in the trenches, pulling double duty on offense and defense, and most importantly paving the way for Amat to remain unbeaten. (To continue, click thread

Above: Bishop Amat’s Christian Orduno (left) and Julian Gener (right) are a huge reason why the Lancers are 9-0 and playing Alemany for the Serra League title on Friday.

It takes a toll.

“I don’t even want to get out of bed, to be honest,” Gener said of Saturday mornings.

He does, though, and heads to practice, which includes a dose of conditioning and weight training.

“Me and Gener are usually the last ones to finish everything,” Orduno said.

“We have bruises on our arms, and our ankles will be sore. Usually, everything is a little sore.”

Gener and Orduno are standouts in their respective original positions.

For Gener, it’s defensive end, where he’s one of the most disruptive players in the Southland. For Orduno, it’s offensive left tackle, where he’s tasked with protecting the blind side of prize quarterback Rio Ruiz.

Their duties don’t stop there, though. Out of need, Amat coach Steve Hagerty has asked both players to contribute on offense and defense. For Gener, that means playing offensive guard. For Orduno, it means playing defensive line.

“We only have three two-way guys,” Hagerty said. “One of them, Zachary Shay, is hurt right now. I think there’s a lot of respect and admiration (for Gener and Orduno) because I don’t think a lot of kids can do it (play offense and defense). Those are two kids who have been able to figure out a way how to do it.

“We wouldn’t even ask other kids to do it, because it would be a botched attempt, but those two have the type of character that they’re able to do it. I’m normally not a big two-way guy. I don’t like it, especially with linemen.”

Gener, at 6-foot, 210 pounds, is slightly undersized for both of his positions. He makes up for it, though, with a motor that never quits. On defense, Gener’s recorded six sacks and 33 tackles. Amat will tailor its offense, when Gener is in the game, to his strength as a pulling guard.

“They run plays for me that other guys can’t do,” Gener said. “It’s very difficult because I have to remember my assignments at all times. I’m very tired during games, but you just have to fight through it.”

Orduno is a rarity at Amat in that he physically looks like the Pac-5 equivalent of a player at his position. With Orduno being 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, his position is one of few places on the field where Amat isn’t undersized, and the coaches take full advantage of that.

Looking for the big reason why Ruiz has put up big numbers in his first year under center while running back Jalen Moore is running wild? Orduno is a great place to start.

“I’m totally fine with those guys getting all the headlines,” Orduno said.

“Like I’ve told everyone else, if we don’t protect, they can’t throw all the passes and make all the runs.

“Without us, they can’t do anything, so it really doesn’t effect me either way. It’s all in the team.”

Both players will be counted on heavily again this week when Amat plays its biggest game of the season, against Alemany. Both teams are 9-0 and the Serra League championship is on the line. And that says nothing of the impact the game will have in determining the Pac-5 playoff road for both teams.

As big a toll as it takes to do what both players are doing at such a high level, they’re in agreement that it will all be worth it in the end.

“If we’re winning, it makes everybody happy,” Gener said. “We don’t mind sacrificing our bodies if at the end of the season we have a ring on our fingers and a league championship. We’ll know we did our jobs to win, and all the recognition will come.”

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    Fred n Aram,
    Very well done! those are 2 of the hardest working young men I know!!! They will both have great college careers, thanks again for the true BLUE exposure!!!

    ON BLUE!!!

  • amat mom

    Great story ! I love that these guys are finally getting the recognition that they both very much deserve !! It’s such a treat to watch them play so hard every Friday night !

  • big dawg

    Great article, they deserve it!!!!!!!

  • Childhood Fan and now a Lancer Mom

    Wonderful to see this article. Up in the stands we cheer these two on every week knowing what they must give for all four quarters going both ways.

    Way to go Orduno and Gener! You’re a pleasure to watch.

  • #1 Amat Fan

    So proud of these guys…they are absolutely right …without these guys we wouldn’t be where we are!! They may not get the big headlines all the time but they are very deserving of this recognition!!….not to mention they are both great young men…good luck this Friday..bring home that league championship boys!!

  • Witness

    These two Lancers are monsters and play with such passion. Ive seen Orduno block players 20 yards down field then fall on them. Gener often puts running backs on their backs and is always in the tackle. Im glad these men play for Amat and not against us.
    Props to the Orduno fan club. You people run deep.

  • Lance R

    Fred I have to hand it to you this was a very good article on these two deserving individuals. Wow! how the Gener family has produced such fine young men in their family, all played for Amat at one time or another. From game one against Garfield you could just see Julian was going to have a great year playing Defense, as far as helping out and going both ways that is such a great move by Hagerty to the point of not overdoing it with a cast of players and only having three that play both ways. Got to give credit to Hagerty where he uses his roster of men and makes them accountable not just wearing out kids going both ways. Christan Orduno what a Manster of a lineman, I watch this guy play and focus on just him to see what he is doing on the play, forgetting to watch the play unfold and if you do that for a few plays you will see this guy has been wearing down the guy in from of him. I know the Serra is one of the better pac5 leagues but these two have got to be first team all-leaguers when the season is up. Keep up the good work Christian and Julian and knock some heads this friday. It is a pleasure to watch you guys play football. Mighty Are The Men That Wear The Blue And Gold!!!! On Blue!

  • Amat Dude

    Great job Orduno and Gener, our unsung heroes.

    We need more hogs like Orduno if we are to compete in the PAC5.

    Mission Viejo has a bunch of Hogs, look at their starting offensive line. No wonder they are number 1.

    #55 6’5″ 240 lbs Jr
    #56 6’4″ 265 lbs Jr
    #63 5’11” 250 lbs Jr
    #60 6’4″ 290 lbs Sr
    #72 6’5″ 285 lbs Jr
    #74 6’3″ 285 lbs Sr
    #77 6’4″ 310 lbs Jr

    What’s scary are most of their starters will return next year.

    The battle is won in the trenches.

    Good news is that we will have a 6’3″ 275 lb sophomore transfer from the IE next year.

  • Lance R

    Notes from the preps section of the San Fernando Valley Newspaper Sports section.

    There are a couple of huge games in the Serra League, which competes in the Pac-5 Division, one of the few Southern Section divisions that does not include any at-large playoff berths.

    The Crespi-Notre Dame winner Friday in Encino goes to the playoffs; the loser is eliminated from the postseason. Crespi has not made the playoffs since 2007, while Notre Dame has rarely missed the postseason in the past 25 years.

    Meanwhile, another Serra showdown pits Bishop Amat and host Alemany in a battle of unbeatens. Both teams are 9-0 and want to preserve a top-four seed in the playoffs, not to mention a possible state bowl invitation.

    Both teams have elite quarterbacks in Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz and Alemany’s Vernon Adams, and have talented, proven coaches in Bishop Amat’s Steve Hagerty, who built a dynasty at Paraclete, and Alemany’s Dean Herrington, one of the architects behind Hart’s dynasty in the 1990s and early 2000s.

    All of Alemany’s old records were lost in the 1994 earthquake, but Herrington has been told no Alemany team has gone undefeated in the regular season – and, of course, never through the playoffs as the Warriors are still in the hunt for their first football title.

    Even though Alemany has not lost a game and has defeated respectable opponents such as Oaks Christian, Taft and Crespi, the Warriors are new to the Pac-5, the section’s most competitive division, while Bishop Amat won 10 games last year. Therefore, it’s only natural to tab Bishop Amat the favorite.

    “We have our work cut out for us, no doubt about it,” Herrington said. “Bishop Amat is the consensus pick.”

    All but two of Bishop Amat’s victories have been by 10 points or more as the Lancers, led by Ruiz, running back Jalen Moore and 6-foot-5, 240-pound receiver Wallace Gonzalez, are averaging 37.6 points.

    Both teams played Notre Dame in their previous contest and Bishop Amat is coming off a bye. The Lancers won 52-7 on Oct. 29, but Alemany had to overcome a seven-point deficit Friday in a 28-14 win that did not include as many highlight-reel plays as usual.

    “Bishop Amat is loaded. We have to play a lot better than we did against Notre Dame,” Herrington said.

    “Our kids need to come out loose and play hard and see what happens. The good thing is all the pressure was in the weeks leading up to this. It’s kind of nice knowing we’re already going to the playoffs.”

  • Here’s your Nightmare

    He’s one of California’s top uncommitted recruits, and Alemany’s Akeem Gonzales continues to earn respect for the undefeated Warriors.

    Not only is Gonzales doing a great job as an offensive lineman blocking for standout quarterback Vernon Adams, but he also has 52 tackles and 11 sacks as a defensive lineman heading into the Serra League finale Friday against visiting Bishop Amat.

    Gonzales is weighing offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nebraska, Oregon State, Utah, Washington and others.

  • AMAT!!!

    greats kids deserving of this article!! way to go boys!! Julian is an awesome kid who plays with all his heart. He has great passion for the game and for his team to win. Awesome!!

  • Two Great Players

    Two great players and families. Julian sure has grown alot. Last time I saw him, he was about 5’9″ and 185lbs. Wow…those tacos in la puente must be really good!

    Go AMAT!

  • The Godfather

    Big props to Robert Owen for bringing Orduno to Amat. Owens is sort of our personal booster. Keep it up Cabezon and keep bringing us those transfers.

  • Don

    Great story.

    Always good to read about the guys up front whose statistical success is usually measured in the W-L column rather than the yds and catches so many seem to prefer.

    Keep up the good work boy, good luck.

  • smallcity

    “Good news is that we will have a 6’3″ 275 lb sophomore transfer from the IE next year.” Hmmm???

    Oregan is undersized at the the line and vying for a national championship. The Indianapolis Colts are undersized at the line and a super bowl contender. It would be nice to have a bigger line, but it is what it is. And Hags and crew have proven that they get the most of what they have. Not many programs can say that. Now there does come a point where being too small can be detrimental and hopefully Amat will have something in place for next year, but I’m getting ahead of myself. In other words, congrats to both of you you’re doing a great job!

    BTW, anyone know if the center is the same center that has been with Amat these past 4 years?


    Christian and Julian make the Lancers proud every week. Congratulations to both of them and may God watch over them and protect them on and off the field.

    Thank you for busting your asses every week for the good of the team!!!

    GO AMAT!!!

  • Amat Honk

    OK…I’ll bite. Who is this Alumni’s kid transfer? It’s a pre-Sophomore year transfer so it’s all good and a righteous transfer, so….? Are you even at liberty to say at this time?

  • jcaz

    Just a random thought here. Maybe some of you folks can help me with the answer.

    When I was in hugh school, Alemany was know as the Indians. Now they are called the Warriors.

    I am guessing that this may have had something to do with all the name changes that happened way back such as the Stanford Indians to the Stanford Cardinal because of the native Americans getting upset and all.

    But if that’s the case, then why go from Indians to Warriors ? Isn’t it considered the same thing ?

  • AMAT!!

    Amats starting center is Rivera, he has been at Amat since his freshman year, not a transfer..

  • Jastrab

    Is is Rowland from Los Osos? I thought there was a conneciton from the Rowlands from SGV. He is about that size, but is a 10th grader..I think.


  • Lance R

    Hey Jcaz,
    When I was in “Hugh” School? looks like you may need to go back. LMAO..on another note…..Does anyone know back in 2007 when we played Alemany who won the Freshman game? I have a program from that nite when our varsity got beat. (aka the Verti Days)The Alemany freshman team is in the program and they are todays Senior players. Intrested to know how that match up went. Sure faces have changed and transfers have come in for both sides but just trying to get a feel on how they stacked up against each other as freshman.???anyone??

  • Amat Dude

    Orduno is a transfer from Rosemead High and two year starter. Our line has always been small, it wouldn’t hurt if our line just got a little bigger during the next few years. Not at liberty to discuss this transfer at this point. But let’s just say he’s the starting center at his current school.

  • Frank

    Great job this year to both players! Their efforts have been highly appreciated and hopefully they will be rewarded.

  • just askin’

    starting center – as a freshman? on the freshman or varsity?

  • smallcity

    Thanks Amat!! If I remember correctly now, Rivera has always played center. For whatever reason I thought he was Orduno. Watching Rivera play as a freshman was a pleasure. The kid was (and obviously still is) consistent. Very dependable and a hard worker.

  • jcaz

    Hey, wasn’t it about free love back in the 60’s and early 70’s ? I mean what else would you call it except “hug” schoool anyway ?

  • jcaz

    One more thing….I can’t belive I almost forgot, but, Happy Birthday US Marine Corps !

  • SGV Athlete
  • Amat Dude

    Starting center as a sophomore on varsity. He was 6’2″ 250 lbs as a freshman. He is projected to grow to 6’5″ 280 lbs or better during his senior year. One inch per year?

  • Sweet D. Willy

    I used to talk to Orduno back at the ‘mead in his freshman and sophomore years. Partly his junior year at amat. Let me tell you what a difference a coaching staff can do to a player’s work ethic. Great job Chris, I wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future! Keep on maulin’!!

  • SportsNut

    What happened to Amat’s defense tonight against Alemany?

  • not so much

    SportsNut – it wasn’t so much the defense – really. 1st score was a fumble return. 2 muffed kickoffs led to poor field position and a turnover that Alemany threw a hail mary into the corner of the end zone (was he in bounds?) with no time left in the half. Amat also had a few big stops on 3rd down that woulda led to punts – only to have the drive kept alive by phantom calls. Was not as bad as 38 pts seems