The Scouting Guru has been all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, and like always, he’s offered to share his thoughts, free of charge. Don’t hate, enjoy it for what it’s worth, which is one man’s opinion on the talent in the San Gabriel Valley.
The Guru says: Well, it’s finally over. No, I’m not talking about your Christmas shopping (and knowing all over you bloggers, you have even started your shopping yet have you?). No, I’m talking about the high school football season. The final pass has been thrown, the final tackle has been made and the champions have been crowned. So, you might be asking, “Hey, Guru – where the heck have you been?” (Ok, in truth only some of you, while the others were too busy still trying to figure out how Covina beat West Covina). Well, I’m doing some work over in the San Fernando Valley at Crespi High School but maintaining my scouting status in this area and the Inland Empire. It’s been very busy, but fun as well. I never knew how pressure packed it would be to coach in the Pac-5…but now I know.
It doesn’t allow you to make your mind wonder and so I became a sort of an outsider to the area this year. After many Crespi games, while many of my colleagues were trying to figure out if St. Bonaventure or Westlake or Taft were winning games, I’d go on another computer and get on the blog and try to get up to snuff as to who was winning out here and who wasn’t. And here is a confession that I would never thought I would say, I loved it! I loved reading the opinions of passionate fans in the area. Whether it was Charter Oak fans snuffling because their team lost or West Covina fans showing their pride because their team was on that magicial championship run, I loved it.
But there was another group of fans that I just loved to hear and read about. That’s right… the fans that love the Blue and Gold. When it comes to reading about teams in the area, I am now firmly convinced that Bishop Amat is king. I read it online and saw it back in week 6.
That was the night that Crespi played Bishop Amat. Many fans (including Mike Robledo) called it the game of the year in the valley – although I will say that if he had to do over again Robledo might have taken this past Friday’s Southeast Divisional Final as top honors… and it should be.
Many people called me during the week of Amat vs Crespi and said that I should have body armor around me because I was going to be a “marked man” at Keifer that night. They told me that the Amat fans were going to have “a field day” with you.
Well, they were wrong.
What I saw was nothing more than class. What I felt was the sincerity of every Amat fan before, during and after the game. What I experienced was one of the best high school football games that I was ever a part of. But don’t you expect that in the Serra League (which I call the SEC of the Pac-5 Division). What I learned this year was that in the Serra League, every week is a dogfight. If you don’t bring your “A” game in the Serra, it’s going to be a long night.
What the Serra brings together are great athletes, great followings and – more than anything else – great coaching. What I learned in my first year in the Serra is that the smallest of mistakes are catapulted to the 10th degree. And shouldn’t be that way? That how it is in the Trinity League (which I call it the Pac-12 of the Division) and that is how it is in the Serra League.
So to the Bishop Amat fan that is out there, let me say this very clearly: I’m sorry and I get it. At the present moment, Bishop Amat has it going right now. They are clearly the best team in the area, and pleasure to watch on tape and in person. And they have a fan base that has one thing that a lot of other fan bases don’t have…class!
Let me pass along this memory that will last me a long time. At the end of the game as the Crespi players (who had played their hearts out on that particular evening – as did Bishop Amat) and coaches were heading back to the visiting locker room (Ok, it was the Amat wrestling room) to gather their thoughts and possessions for the ride back home – their was a group of 100 fans in the corner of the stands at Keifer right next to the entrance to the playing field. These were a mixture of young, middle aged and older adults. They stood up and gave a standing ovation to the kids from Crespi HS. It was their way of appreciating the efforts of a team that just fell a bit short. And as I left Keifer to go home that night, every Amat fan came up to me and had very kind words to say. It made that night a lot of memorable.
Yes, the Amat fans are misunderstood. Just like someone else…. His name is Aram Tolegian.
To read the comments that many of you have written about him is shameful. I’ve had the pleasure to be in the association of Aram for many, many years. He loves the area, and loves covering the game. Even though he is a big man, he has a bigger heart. He respects the coaches in the area, and the players that play this game.
Now, does he have an opinion that is a little out there? Oh yeah, but who doesn’t. But there is not a meanness to guy, he is a columnist and he has a right to his opinion. I don’t care if you are a regular high school football or a school administrator, it’s a free country and he is allowed a voice. Now, if he is not fair to you; that is a whole another story. But, never once have I heard that he has not treated a coach or team fairly.
His columns for the season have been awesome. He puts other high school columnists to shame. Besides, if you don’t like what he says, don’t read it and rock on! But since many of you lack the discipline to do that, enjoy what he writes and if you don’t agree with his point of view, express it nicely. This is not another edition of The Chris Matthews Show.
Show some class bloggers. The Bishop Amat fans showed it this year. The Bonita and West Covina fans showed it on Friday night, the Monrovia fans showed it on Saturday and Aram Tolegian showed it this year as well. Now it’s time for many of you on-line to show it as well.
I’ll get back to writing about recruiting after the Rose Bowl game this year. Merry Christmas… let me get back to something I need to do – some shopping!