Great to see Thomas coaching the east, he’s a great choice. He’s pretty mild-mannered, but not during an emotion filled Thursday night game last fall. We obviously hadn’t written or talked about star-everything Vinny Venegas as much as we should have, so after Venegas went on a long TD run, Thomas turned and glared at myself, Steve Ramirez and Tom Kiss watching from the Colts sideline, pointed and screamed, “that’s why he’s all-area, that’s why he’s all-area.” He said it two, maybe three times — all in good fun, but I loved the passion. And he was right, Venegas was definitely all-area material and will be a senior to watch this fall.
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Story: Coaches for the 31st Hall of Fame All-Star Game were announced Tuesday afternoon by game organizer Leon Ward. Covina’s Darryl Thomas will coach the East and Monrovia’s Ryan Maddox will coach the West in the game, which will take place June 24 at West Covina High School. “Our staff is honored to be chosen,” Maddox said. “It’s a good chance to coach our kids again and a good chance to coach some of the better kids in the area. An All-Star game is a celebration for all the kids who performed within the Valley. It’s a big deal to all the athletes throughout the Valley. It should be a lot of fun.”
Maddox and his staff led Monrovia to a 13-1 record, the Rio Hondo League championship and the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship.
He was named the Pasadena Star-News Coach of the Year following the season.
The East team leads the overall series 19-10-2, and last season pitched the fourth shutout in the game’s history with a 40-0 rout of the West. It will be up to Thomas, who coached the game in 2001 and played in it in 1986, to keep the East’s dominance going.
“It’s just an opportunity to coach some of the best athletes in the East San Gabriel Valley,” Thomas said. “I think it’s a tremendous honor. When we did it back in 2001, the practices were a whole lot of fun.”
Thomas led Covina to a 10-2 record this past season and the Valle Vista League championship. Unlike Maddox, however, most of Thomas’ team was juniors and won’t be playing in the game.
That won’t stop Thomas and his staff from feeling the desire to continue the East’s dominance in the series and not be the coaching staff to suffer a rare loss to the West.
“We’re going to go out and compete and do the best we can,” Thomas said. “I wouldn’t say there’s pressure. It’s probably not anymore pressure than going out to compete for a league championship.”
Motivation won’t be lacking for the West, either. After last year’s shellacking, that side of the Valley should enter the game hungry and looking for atonement.
“I’m sure we’ll bring that up, and they might use it as a little energy to try and perform better,” Maddox said. “They’re going to be concerned with playing because they’re playing and not because of anything that’s happened in the past.
“I’ve been to the games, and I know the East has had its way. Last year, the West got pounded pretty good.”
Maddox won’t have to look too far for help building a West roster that can compete. He’ll immediately turn to Monrovia quarterback and Star-News Player of the Year Nick Bueno as the standout around whom to build the team.
“I already had gotten a commitment from Nick before I accepted,” Maddox said with a laugh. “This will be the last chance we get to say goodbye to our seniors. I’m very excited.”