Sorry if there were no new postings for a few days, took the Carmageddon weekend off near San Diego for some golf. Former LA Times legend Larry Stewart joined us and brought along UCLA knowitall and former Bruins QB Matt Stevens, who assured us all that UCLA wins at least eight games this year. Man, I hope he’s right. Got some big news for you on the prep front. Whittier prep editor Andrew Campa is leaving us on Friday for other writing opportunities. Whittier is virtually a one-man show and a thankless job. Campa did a wonderful job replacing the legend Roger Murray and will certainly be missed, especially in the short term since we will not replace him with a new hire. Steve Ramirez, who does just about everything, will step into his new role as the Whittier prep editor, but will still cover area colleges and write his college football column on Monday’s. Once we get everything sorted out, this blog will also serve as the prep blog for the Whittier Daily News, with Steve as the main contributor. Aram, our high school football bigshot, will continue covering football for Whittier, Pasadena and the Tribune, but will step into Steve’s old role and help with all prep sports at the Tribune. With Miguel Melendez and Keith Lair in Pasadena, the five of us will help each other to make this work. We know it’s challenging, but you’ve still got five guys who love what they do. Now, if you don’t see as many postings as normal, have some patience. This is late July and I will be gone for a week at the end of the month for my annual trip to Cabo. By August, it’s full steam ahead…Over the next week, we have a bunch of stories to write for the football preview magazine. If you have a thread idea you would like posted, I’m listening. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inland Insider Tom Kiss reporting that Chino Hills boys soccer coach Kyle Shuler is resigning to become the principal at Oxford Prepatory Academy, a Charter School in the Chino Valley School District. Shuler has been the head boys soccer coach since the school opened in 2001. The Huskies won back-to-back league titles in 2008 and ’09, and have advanced to the playoffs the past five years. “It is difficult leaving, I love the boys and poured my heart and soul into it,” Shuler said. “We preach family and we lived up to it. It was fun to see the program grow. It was a great chapter in my life, but I’m ready to start the next chapter.”
It’s seriously time to start thinking of the Tribune preseason top ten for the magazine. Do you go with West Covina, the only area team to win a divisional title and with the reigning player of the year, Chris Solomon? Do you go with Charter Oak, arguably having the best summer with a confident QB in Travis Santiago? Do you go with Chino Hills, who lost a lot of skilled players, but based on last year, was the best team in our area in the CalPreps’ computer poll? Or do you go with Bishop Amat, who competes in the toughest league, division, and one that hasn’t lost a head-to-head match-up against an area team in years. What I posted below is the CalPreps final California rankings for 2010. As you can see, Chino Hills (23), Bishop Amat (26) and West Covina (29) finished in California’s top 30. The rest of the Trib’s top ten finished between 56 and 234. So, how would you rank them this year?
CALPREPS 2010 STATE RANKINGS
23. Chino Hills (10-3)
26. Bishop Amat (9-2)
29. West Covina (13-1)
56. Bonita (12-2)
111. Claremont (7-4)
130. Charter Oak (6-5)
158. Damien (6-4)
162. Glendora (5-5)
210. South Hills (3-7)
234. Diamond Ranch (5-6)
Nobody knows for sure how improved Damien is or exactly how many transfers, or impact transfers the school has acquired, but my source from Paraclete says that junior running backs Travion Boykins and Uriah Trailer both transferred from Paraclete to Damien and are certainly capable of helping the Spartans. They would have started and been the primary backs on a Spirits team that won the East Valley Division title and finished 13-1. As sophomores, Boykins rushed 29 times for 260 yards and two touchdowns (8.97 yards per carry) and Trailer rushed 28 times for 285 yards and a touchdown (10.18 yards per carry). Here’s what my source said about them: “They’re two great kids who I know will be able to help right away if Gano can muster up a decent line and scheme. A bit diminutive but shifty, strong and fast.” With Charter Oak junior defensive lineman Alex Hernandez and Glendora sophomore quarterback Gage Pucci also at Damien, the Spartans certainly seem to be addressing off-season needs to get more athletic and talented.
Claremont High school is hosting a big 7 on 7 passing tournament that starts Friday and runs through Saturday. The teams, pools are below.
Pool 1: Perris, Claremont, Gabrielino, Santa Fe, Webb (Friday, 8 a.m.)
Pool 2: Viewpoint, Charter Oak, Northwood, Palmdale, Villa Park (Friday, 8 a.m.)
Pool 3: Summit, Glendora, Crespi, St. Bonaventure, La Salle (Friday, 2 p.m.)
Pool 4: Culver City, Burroughs, St. Francis, Cathedral, Etiwanda (Friday, 2 p.m.)
Pool 5: Esperanza, Silverado, Muir, Chino Hills, Southeast (Friday, 2 p.m.)
Top 16 teams return on Saturday for the championship tournament, which begins at 10 a.m.
Thought I would pass along this email, which reads in part: I have recently launched a free social media website designed to help High School athletes get recruited. Athletes have the ability to create profiles, upload videos, link press clippings, upload photos and fill in stats to help gain exposure during the recruiting process. For more info contact Tim Curran at 440-537-9410
By Steve Ramirez
Saturday was his turn to relay what he learned to today’s youth.
Riley, a former St. Francis High School football standout who is expected to start in the UCLA secondary this fall, was one of several players, former players and coaches who took part in the NCAA Football Youth Clinic at Robinson Park.
The two-hour event, one of several held throughout the country this month, was hosted by the Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game and featured more than 300 boys and girls, ranging from ages five to 14.
“It’s definitely great giving back to the community,” said Riley, who played in 11 of UCLA’s 12 games in 2010. “It’s great to see all the children having fun. I wasn’t fortunate to have something like this when I was growing up. The city of Pasadena is doing a lot of great things, and I’m glad I was invited out here, because there is no place I’d rather be.”
Someone pointed out that on the 20th anniversary of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, we missed our chance to post this video after the Saints won their first football title ever in 2009, 20 years after the movie debuted in 1989. So, with the prep news slowing in late July and with a Saints coach named, “Bill,” here’s what you missed
Keeping up with the hectic summer schedule, Chino Hills won the Santa Fe Line competition over the weekend. … Also, in case you didn’t check Aram’s blog, he has a complete round-up of Diamond Bar’s victory over Azusa in the championship of the San Gabriel Valley shootout. In the video below, Aram talks to winning Diamond Bar coach Ryan Maine.
The 2011 Tribune PrepXtra Football Preview Magazine, which includes team pages on all 36 teams in our coverage area, is coming along nicely and should debut on Tuesday, Aug. 30, just two days before the season-opening Smudgepot, Bonita vs. San Dimas, on Sept. 1. We already have shot the cover, which includes four players, and are finally starting to identify the other fun parts of the magazine, such as the top returning QBs, RBs, WRs and defensive players. There is also the 2011 Tribune Preseason-All-Area team, which is the top 25 players by position. To show how way off we were last year, of the 25 preseason choices in 2010, only nine from the preseason team, South HIlls’ Jamel Hart, Charter Oak’s Dennis Rufus, San Dimas’ Allen Brown, Bishop Amat’s Christian Orduno, Baldwin Park’s Demetrius Jackson, Chino Hills’ Auston Johnson, Ifo Ekpre-Olomo and West Covina’s Maurice Dupleasis and Chris Solomon, made the final 2010 All-Area team. We’re looking for the top 25 again for the magazine. Think you can come up with a better list for 2011? Fill in the blanks or share your comments of who should be on this list.
2011 Tribune Preseason All-Area Team
South Hills performed well over the weekend at Edison High School’s prestigious “Battle of the Beach,” passing tournament. South Hills defeated San Clemente, La Habra, and missed a game-winning two-point conversion in a loss to Edison (28-27) to close out pool play. In the first-round of the Gold Division playoff bracket, South Hills lost to eventual champion Long Beach Poly, 14-13. On Tuesday, South Hills and Monrovia will be at Glendora for a three-way passing scrimmage that starts at 5 p.m.
Bishop Amat is looking for a fourth team for an 11 vs. 11 passing scrimmage on Tuesday at Bishop Amat. J.W. North, Upland and Bishop Amat will start at 5 p.m. Any teams interested in being part of it should contact coach Steve Hagerty at 626-962-2495 ext. 6001.
Azusa Pacific athletic director Gary Pine informs the school’s coaches that the Cougars’ application to begin the process of joining NCAA Division II has been accepted.
Azusa Pacific is going big time. The Cougars, the top athletic program in the NAIA the past seven years, received the go-ahead to begin a three-year process that will allow them to become an active member in NCAA Division II. The announcement was made Monday by new AD Gary Pine, who forecasts great things for the Cougars in the coming years: “I think doors are going to open up that have never opened up for us before when it comes to recruiting. When I was first came here (in the early 1980s) as a student, we recruited against Vanguard, Cal Baptist and Biola. I think our coaches would say today that we recruit against Pepperdine, Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount. I want us to recruit against USC and UCLA, Texas, Stanford.
“Is that crazy? Yeah, maybe. I know nine times out of 10, we won’t get that (type of student-athlete). But that one time out of 10, we will. And if that happens in every sport, we won’t talk about Bryan Clay (Olympic gold medal winner, APU alumnus) being a once in a generation student-athlete. We’ll have Bryan Clays walking around this campus. I think we can do this. We are so unique in our purpose and philosophy and our direction that we can recruit some very unique student-athletes here. The NCAA is opening that door.”
Below is the rest of story on the announcement
By Steve Ramirez
AZUSA — Azusa Pacific University, which has fielded the dominant athletics program in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for much of the past decade, is moving on.
APU was approved Monday to begin a three-year process to join National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II.
“This is a wonderful day for Azusa Pacific,” said APU athletic director Gary Pine, who became the school’s fourth AD on July 1. “I don’t know how history is going to look at this, but I know for the APU athletic department, this is a historic moment. I think it is for the university as well. We are now members of the NCAA.”
APU will stay in the NAIA and Golden State Athletic Conference in 2011-12 while it begins a three-year process to become an active member of NCAA Division II by 2014-15. The process begins Sept. 1.
The most shocking result of 2010 was Covina’s mammoth fourth-quarterer comeback win over West Covina in the season opener, winning 27-21 and giving the Bulldogs their only blemish on a 13-1 season and Southeast Division championship. You can say West Co. has the rings, but Covina owns the belt. It owns the bragging rights, and everything else that comes with it. But here’s the truth: Even though Covina has Billy Livingtson, Vinny Venegas and Gevontray Ainsworth back, does anyone really believe they can beat West Covina again? You look at all the games on the 2011 schedule, there isn’t a more intriguing game than this. If Covina beats West Covina again, you can seriously make a case that the top teams in the Mid-Valley are as good if not better than the top teams in the Southeast. I can’t believe I just typed that, but it would be true, and show that last year’s Colts win wasn’t a fluke, which I think it was. I’m not hating on Covina, I love their chances in the Mid-Valley against anyone with the exception of facing Monrovia, but I think West Covina will be looking to make a statement on Sept. 3, and when they get up big on Covina again, don’t’ expect them to let off the gas.
After three years, we may finally get to see a Canada in a South Hills uniform. When Jordan and Jamie Canada transferred to South Hills from Duarte in 2009, both were ruled ineligible by CIF, which shouldn’t be a surprise, virtually anyone who transfers to South Hills is ruled ineligible by CIF these days. Jordan Canada never played at South Hills and Jamie Canada was injured all of his junior year with a knee injury that required surgery, and there was some concern his health would force him to miss a great deal of 2011. But in a recent conversation with coach Steve Bogan, he confirmed that Jamie Canada is coming along fine and should be available in the season opener against Colony. With a healthy Canada at DB and WR, to go with QB Vincent Hernandez and arguably the area’s best back in Jamel Hart, who looked like a monster when he came in for pictures last week, how good are these guys? Where would you rank them amongst the best in the Sierra? You know, if everyone who started at South Hills stayed at South Hills, the Huskies’ might of actually been a factor in the Inland Division this year, and before you laugh, consider what they would be like if Charter Oak QB Travis Santiago, RB Aaren Vaughns, WR Chris Gilchrist and Bishop Amat linebacker Randall Varella had stayed at South Hills instead of transferring. C.J. Saylor and Ty France were also a force on the freshman team four years ago that many called special, but both opted to concentrate on baseball. Line those six up with what South Hills already has and you have a team that would have been one of South Hills’ best ever.
Of the 30 players honored as ESPN RISE Baseball First-Team All-Americans, only six were juniors and only three were from California. Here is what ESPN wrote about Ruiz: California’s State Junior of the Year was the focal point of a team that won the CIF Southern Section Division IV title and ended at No. 6 in the final POWERADE FAB 50. Ruiz homered at Dodger Stadium in the title game and batter .455 overall with 35 RBIs. Ruiz also pitched 11 innings in relief with a 0.00 ERA.
Armed with an undefeated record and top seed in the Mid-Valley Division playoffs last year, Azusa was knocked off its pedestal in the first round by Village Christian, 31-24. The shocking result from a team that had beaten its opponents by an average of more than 30 points a game told coach Joe Scherf the Aztecs needed to improve their easy non-league schedule with step-up games against playoff-caliber teams.
That’s exactly what Azusa has done in 2011, scheduling 2009 Mid-Valley Division champ San Dimas in the season opener followed by up-and-coming Maranatha.
“The major thing for us is that we weren’t challenged during the season and when it came time to being challenged, we didn’t know how to react,” Scherf said. “It was obviously time to change our preseason schedule and present ourselves with bigger challenges.
“In previous years there wasn’t that ‘chance you could lose,’ feeling. By scheduling San Dimas and Maranatha, two of the better teams in our division, we should have a better idea of what the playoffs are going to be like and how to handle it when we get there.”
La Verne Lutheran would like to invite the community to join the Trojan Family as they receive their 2011 Back2Back California State Championship basketball rings. Family, friends and supporters are asking for a small $25 donation to help minimize the expense of each players rings by buying a ticket to this event. 100% of the proceeds will got to help players and coaches pay for their rings. Contact Linda Jones at
951-536-9913 for more information.
La Verne Lutheran Championship Rings Ceremony
When: July 17, 2011
Time: 4 p.m. – 7 pm
Location: La Verne City Hall – Community Center, 3660 “D” Street, La Verne, Ca 91752
Fundraiser: Players will receive proceeds from each ticket that is purchased on their behalf. Tickets Include: Food, Live band, Guest speakers, Game clips of season, Live Auction and fun.
With starting senior quarterback Rio Ruiz expected to miss at least three football games against La Mirada, Damien and Cathedral while he is away with the U.S. National U-18 baseball team in Colombia for nearly a month in September, Amat coach Steve Hagerty said sophomore Koa Haynes and juniors Ross Barrera and Angelo Rodriguez will battle it out for the starting quarterback job in Ruiz’s absence, with Haynes likely to get the nod, though Hagerty won’t know for sure until he watches them in pads. (To continue click thread)
Below: Amat soph Koa Haynes could be taking over in Ruiz’s absence
Arroyo High School’s annual San Gabriel Valley Shootout is on Saturday at 9 a.m., with the semifinals at 4:25 and the championship at 5:15 p.m. South Hills will visit Walnut for a passing scrimmage Thursday at 5 p.m., then head to Saturday’s 13th annual “Battle at the Beach,” at Edison High in Huntington Beach starting at 9 a.m. South Hills is in a tough pool that includes Edison, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and San Clemente. There are many other prominent teams in the 16-team tourney, which include La Habra, Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei, Oaks Christian, Los Alamitos and Tesoro. Tournament playoff games start at 1 p.m., with the Championship game at 3 p.m. If you know other passing scrimmages or tournaments, post them here.
San Gabriel Valley Shootout Pool
Pool A: Arroyo, Gladstone, Kamiak, West Covina
Pool B: Covina, Diamond Bar, Rosemead, Crescenta Valley
Pool C: San Dimas, El Monte, Buena Park, Rowland
Pool D: Maranatha, Northview, Azusa, Walnut
Pool E: Monrovia, Baldwin Park, San Gabriel, La Puente
Pool F: Bonita, Nogales, Alhambra, Whittier Christian
Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen worked out at Charter Oak on Wednesday with Chargers coach Lou Farrar looking on. Aram reported that roughly 30 NFL players attended the workout at Charter Oak, something many are doing across the country during the NFL lockout. Others working out included former Charter Oak linebacker Keith Smith, now at San Jose State, and Charter Oak quarterback Travis Santiago, who got a chance to throw to NFL receivers. For more pictures, check out Keith Birmingham’s photo gallery.
We did well with our PrepXtra photo shoots for the magazine last week, with players from just about every team coming in for pictures. However, we still haven’t heard from Pomona,and Gabrielino. We’ll assume they were on vacation. Every other team in the area is ready to go. If you’re a coach from one of the three aforementioned schools, call me at 626-962-8811, ext. 2161 or email at email@example.com for our final make-up date.
Oregon might be running away from the NCAA in addition to opponents this season.
Here’s the latest post on my college football blog about the problems on Pac-12 favorite Oregon.
Oh, what a tangled web when we practice to deceive…
This has not exactly been the summer of glory for college football.
First it was Ohio State that came crashing down, and now the same appears ready to happen to its 2010 Rose Bowl Game opponent Oregon, who if you believe Yahoo Sports, which took down USC and Ohio State with investigative pieces, has Oregon on the hook with sorted tales of illegal recruitment of top recruits.
It centers on Will Lyles, who admitted to Yahoo Sports that he swayed two recruits toward Oregon after paid $25,000 by Oregon under the disguise of a scouting service.
The scandal comes on the heals of Ohio Stategate, which appears to have drowned Buckeye Nation in a sea of stuff for cash scandal that took down coach Jim Tressel and will most likely put the the Buckeyes in college football jail, getting a penalty similar to what USC received prior to the 2010 season.
Now comes word over the weekend that Oregon could suffer similar fate, if not worse, after Lyles told Yahoo Sports that he used his undue influence to sway top recruits to Gang Green, and a cover-up allegedly orchestrated by Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
It doesn’t look good for the Ducks, and Kelly, who some pundits could suffer the same fate as Tressel, perhaps before the season kickoffs in September.
It could get very interesting at the Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles at the end of the month.