Mid-Valley Notebook: San Dimas, Arroyo is the most exciting first-rounder in the playoffs

“They’re 9-1. They do a lot of fun stuff on offense. They’re tough on defense. They have 2,200 students, we have 1,300. It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Saints. We’ll rise to the challenge, I hope.” San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow on facing Arroyo.

“At some point we’re going to have to get through tough teams. You get who you get. It would be nice to be rewarded for being 9-1 instead of having to prove we deserve to be 9-1.” Arroyo coach Jim Singiser

By Aram Tolegian
San Dimas football coach Bill Zernickow has heard the talk all week about how his Saints caught a break in drawing Arroyo in Friday’s first round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs, and he’s not buying it. (To continue reading, click thread).

“They’re 9-1,” Zernickow said. “They do a lot of fun stuff on offense. They’re tough on defense.

“They have 2,200 students, we have 1,300. It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Saints. We’ll rise to the challenge, I hope.”

Arroyo got the No. 3 seed after a strong league performance in which the Knights won every Mission Valley League game in double figures. Trouble is, not many people who saw the brackets Sunday morning thought the Knights were rewarded in having to play the division’s defending champion in the first round.

“At some point we’re going to have to get through tough teams,” Knights coach Jim Singiser said Sunday after seeing his team’s draw.

“You get who you get. It would be nice to be rewarded for being 9-1 instead of having to prove we deserve to be 9-1.”

Stopping the Arroyo duo of quarterback Steven Rivera and running back Mikey Vasquez is the big chore for the Saints defense Friday night, but it’s not just individual talent that has Zernickow concerned.

“They line up in a lot of great, exotic formations,” Zernickow said.

“We have to make sure we don’t get misaligned and that we line up properly.”

The last time San Dimas played a Mission Valley League team on the road in the postseason it ended in disaster for the Saints. San Dimas fell behind 28-0 in the first quarter against Rosemead in 2008, and was sent packing with a 59-22 loss.

“We failed to get the snap from the center to the quarterback four times in that game,” Zernickow said.

“We’ve fixed our center-quarterback issues over the last two years.

“We had one of our better practices on Monday. The kids are excited and ready to go. It’s too bad we have to wait until Friday.”

Draw works for Covina

Last week, it appeared that Covina was headed for a difficult first-round game if its position in the polls didn’t improve. Turns out Covina stayed in the same spot in the polls but avoided playing the Olympic League’s at-large team and gets La Ca ada on Friday instead.

“We got a third-place team, so we’re happy,” Colts coach Darryl Thomas said.

“You have to play somebody, so if it was Maranatha, then it would be Maranatha. We got La Ca ada and they’re big. We’re not overlooking anybody. We haven’t had a playoff victory since 2006.”

The Colts will need to shake off the rust this week after having their bye in Week 10. So with two full weeks off, the team is healthy but possibly rusty.

“We’re just eager to play,” Thomas said.

“It was nice to have a week off, but we’re ready to get back after it.”

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  • Colt74

    I don’t see the Saints having any real problems with Arroyo this week. I have a new found respect for Watts and what he can do when he needs to. I also like Kolbeck. I know his stats list him as 6-4/184 but he sure looks bigger than that. That’s one big target to throw to. I say San Dimas by an easy 10.

  • Observer

    When it comes to playoffs special teams is what makes you or breaks you. As did when San Dimas played Covina. Why do you consistently try to pooch kick the ball and end up giving the other team excellent field position when in fact you have a kicker that can send it to the end zone every time. Make the opponent have to march 80 yards as opposed to 50 yards there are more chances they will commit a turnover in the process. San Dimas should prevail, remember I said it here..”special teams”. Some coaches are just too stubborn.

  • San Dimas vs Arroyo

    San Dimas has to be the favorites. They lost close one’s to Covina and BP, who have more weapons than arroyo. Rivera is good, just like Livingston and Rodriguez, However Covina has Venegas, Ainsworth, Carillo, and a solid D. BP has Jackson, Crutchfield and a solid D. Arroyo only has Vasquez and Rivera. I think San Dimas is too big on the line.

  • Desert Rat

    Oh Billy!!!!!! Lights out, Knights out. Go get em!

  • Valley Rat

    Desert Rat,

    Love hearing from you! Good luck this week. Keep rummaging though that desert and you will get your cheese! Say hi to Fallin Vike for me!

    Valley Rat

  • Trojan Man

    San Dimas remember what happened in 2008 @ Rosemead ?

    Arroyo may NOT be big …BUT THEY PLAY BIG !

    FIGHT ON !
    TM

  • say what

    Trojan man, Yeah remember what haappened to Rosemead in the Final against PARACLETE two years ago. CHOKED and Chonked! FEAR THE MEATLESS… Now your coach is going away….

  • SaintsR4real

    Trojan Man,

    Your question should be directed to Coach Z, and YES, he remembers it like it was yesterday, we all do!! BAHOOKAS BABY!!

    Observer,

    The “POOCH” kick is the question of the year!! D. Corona seems like he lost a few yards over the year, but he’s still one of the top kickers in CA. Every game we’re pulling our hair at some of the strategic plays Coach Z does. We still haven’t figures out the POOCH THING!!

  • Colt74

    BAHOOKAS BABY

    I miss the one they had in West Covina. BEST Ribs and Grog!

  • saints

    To SaintsR4real,

    I HEAR YOU AND AGREE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY. YOU THINK “Z” MAY HAVE A BRAIN F**T ON SOME OF THE TIME. GO FIGURE

  • Don

    Why does Bill Zernickow feel the enrollment at Arroyo worthy of mention? I don’t recall him saying anything about Nogales’ student body numbers when they met? Same with Ole Lou over at C O; everyone the Chargers played this year had a bigger enrollment, why now?

    If student body size were really important, the biggest schools in each league would be the champ every year, right? As it was, among the top leagues in the section this year, the only one won by the biggest school was the Sunset, by Los Alamitos. And, personally, I’d give Coach Barnes more credit for the banner than the enrollment.

    I’ll take heat for bringing this up, but frankly, the size comments are out of character for Zernickow and Farrar. As a matter of fact, up until pretty recently, Coach Z has attributed any potential shortage, failure, or loss to an organic deficiency either at a team or coaching level and rarely to the play or players from another team.

    Just kind of curious both of these guys bring up this old groan at playoff time.

  • Joe Amat

    for your viewing pleasure

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b6Ff9Qm2FU

    Good luck Saints!

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