Covina loaded and anxious to get started

“Yesterday was like Christmas Eve and I woke up this morning very excited. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t excited about the level of experience we have. We get to a different level football now as far as teaching them. We’re not just going to be out here with our base stuff.”Covina coach Darryl Thomas

By Aram Tolegian

Not since the 2006 season, when the Covina High School football program returned one of the best senior classes around, has there been this much excitement when the Colts took the field Thursday for their first day of fall practice. The Colts, who went 10-2 last season and swept the Valle Vista League, return their leading passer, rusher, receiver and tackler. With so much experience, the expectations have been heightened and the anticipation is palpable.

“Yesterday was like Christmas Eve and I woke up this morning very excited,” Covina coach Darryl Thomas said. “I’d be lying if I said we weren’t excited about the level of experience we have. We get to a different level football now as far as teaching them. We’re not just going to be out here with our base stuff.”

Thursday’s session was a lot of meetings for players and coaches. Thomas wanted to go over expectations, rules, the calendar and philosophy he wants in place for his team. But today is going to be more about competition and a different twist on how the Colts have done things in the past.

“We’re actually having a combine,” Thomas said. “It’s going to be like a college combine with different events.

“Kids don’t get in shape in three days, so we want to see who’s been working out and running during the dead period. We also want to make it competitive.”

The Colts will be put through tasks such as bench press, power clean, 40-yard sprints, shuttle run and an obstacle course. Awards will go out for top performances. Once Monday arrives, though, Covina will be in pads and everything is expected to take on a serious tone as preparations for the West Covina opener on Sept. 3 begin.

“I just think we’re excited to get ready for another opponent,” Thomas said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. It’s West Covina and they’re double our size. They have better athletes than us and a bigger school.

“They won a CIF championship, but we’d be excited with whoever we’re playing. At least we’re not going to be banging ourselves.”

It should be noted the Colts handed the Bulldogs their only loss last season by using a furious fourth-quarter rally to spring the upset. Even after the win, not many area fans were of the belief Covina was the better team despite what the scoreboard said.

“Maybe it was a fluke, we’ll see,” Thomas said. “All questions will be answered in 23 days. They’re a great program. We’re excited to play them just like they’re excited to play us.”

Staying busy

Don’t expect Charter Oak’s players to sit around playing video games during their final few days of dead period. They’ll be finishing off workouts with former Charger and professional football player Jason David, who has been training the players during the dead period so that when fall practice starts on Aug. 15, everybody will be ready to go.

“We just don’t want our players to sit on their butts for two weeks,” Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar said. “We can’t have any contact with them, but it’s real nice for us because Jason works on quirks and coordination and conditioning.

“Most of the things he does is to get the kids as quick and strong as they can be so they prevent injuries.”

Charter Oak recently has shied away from too much contact during fall practice to prevent its own players from hurting each other.

This year will be no different as Farrar prefers to run practices leading up to the season like a college or pro team.

“The old days of 2- or 3-hour practices with guys doing a bull ring went out 20 years ago,” Farrar said. “Some days we’ll be in pads. Some days we’ll be in shells (helmets) and shorts.”

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  • Easy Call

    Covina 13-0
    Monrovia 13-0

    Should make for a great one, but I give the edge to Covina due to their experience.

  • see you there

    Easy Call, I agree that it may be Monrovia vs Covina in the Finals. However, the edge does not go to Covina. Monrovia, lost some players, but the players returning have experience also. Covina does not have the Defense to stop Monrovia, but Monrovia has a better chance of stopping covina. Outside of Venegas, and Ainsworth, Covina does not have the speed nor size to keep up. Especially in the secondary. If that game does happen Monrovia 35 Covina 21. Calpreps says Monrovia 28 Covina 17. Either way Monrovia wins that game.

  • FredJ

    If Covina had the defense to stop West Covina, they have the defense to stop Monrovia.

  • Colt74

    Saturday September 3, 2011 A.D.
    Covina Colosseum

    David-vs-Goliath III

    Admission: 3 Drachma or a goat

    Plenty of chariot and mule parking!

    Put on your best Toga, bring the kids, and see a battle sure to go down in history with the other two!

    ” Goliath is looking to run up the score ” Babylonian Times

    ” Should be a battle ”
    Old Christian Register

    ” What time does the Snack Bar open? ”
    San Gabriel Valley Tribune

  • Norco

    Covina needs to step up and play some big boys…

  • come on fred

    Fred, they could not score or stop Whittier Christian…Too Small, to Slow Freddy… I know you are hoping for them to win the Midvalley…so call it right now. Who is going to win the Midvalley this year?


    Yeah Norco they need to play BIG AZUSA in the playoffs again! LOL…

    2008 AZUSA over Covina
    2009 AZUSA over Covina
    2010 THE UNKNOWN FACTOR, Covina fans state they would have blown AZUSA out, but I don’t think so!

    Okay here comes my pal, COLT74 to the races with his POST-REPLY BACK! giddeee up pony; LOL…

    TGIF everybody!!!





    2006= MONROVIA=52 AZUSA= 8
    2007= LA SALLE=30 AZUSA= 3
    2008= TEMPLE CITY= 17 AZUSA= 0
    2009= SAN DIMAS= 50 AZUSA= 24


  • Colt74

    “Who is going to win the Midvalley this year?”
    The best team in December.

    “Covina needs to step up and play some big boys…”
    Agree 100%. Until then we will just be looked at by some as the Azusa of the VVL.

    “Yeah Norco they need to play BIG AZUSA in the playoffs again! LOL…”
    Looking forward to 2029..the next time Azusa makes it past round 1! LOL…

    🙂 It’s all in fun right?

  • Combine??

    Why spend a whole lot of time and effort in throwing a combine if you could figure out who’s in shape or not with a one hour agility on your first practice???

    You’re right, a player can not change his physical health status in three days, but if you practice plays, and repeat, and repeat, and repreat, and repeat, it will iron itself out!!


  • Fun and Games…Wow

    Covina is just having fun…I do agree, that a combine is a waste of practice time. From here on out every second is precious. This is Covina’s problem…always grab @$$ing…I wonder if the parents will be throwing confetti on the sidelines during this combine. This is not the Covina Vikings… Not one NFL team nor College team would ever do this in fall camp…they would never waste a day…They are better off just resting… I hope no one gets hurt in this carnival. It’s so funny how the Covina coach thinks its “Christmas Eve”. It’s “Monday Morning” Time for work. Covina is not even a favorite to win the division, Monrovia is going to be right there! Do you think Mtown is going to wrap up the title with a bow and just hand it too you? Nor is Covina a sure bet to beat San Dimas nor Pomona. Do you think SD or PTown is going to put the VVL title in stocking for you? Factor in that Covina opens up with West Covina, which is looking to Destroy Covina after last years farce. It would suck to open the season 0-1 with a 4td loss, then come back off a cupe cake preseason to open with Pomona for the league title. I would go straight into hard core conditioning, and working on our run defense fits. West co is coming with 3 or 4 backs all night…better be in shape, better be tough as nails.

  • CIF

    FYI you cannot practice with a football or pads the first three days so this is probably the best thing.

  • Colt74

    Mr. Pomona shouldn’t worry about Covina. He should worry about starting league 0-4 and coming off an 6 to 10 touchdown loss to Chino Hills…( Calpreps thinks 5 )
    But the fact that we have him worrying about what we do is satisfaction enough.

    It’s interesting how he used a 4td loss in the prediction to us losing to WesCo because that is the same amount that Calpreps predicts Pomona will lose to Covina. Now that is a Wow….

    And even if we did lose to WesCo by 6 touchdowns Pomona isn’t even in the same Solar System as them in terms of talent. And if we did lose to WesCo, so what? Is that somehow supposed to make Pomona better??? So if we win, does that make Pomona worse?

    One game at a time …..
    Players play the game…all others guess.

  • Colt74

    Aug. 26th 6pm Covina District Field

    South Hills


  • 3 days before pads

    why not work out and have competition with a combine to wake everyone up? you cant full practice for three days according to CIF so im sure Thomas wants to see whos going to be competing.. competiton always brings out the best in players

  • Dan

    “If Covina had the defense to stop West Covina, they have the defense to stop Monrovia.”

    Actually Fred, West Covina had over 400 yards in offense on Covina, I wouldn’t exactly say they stopped us, but they did stop our last drive with a pick to end the game, so in the end the yards didn’t matter.

  • Living Legend

    Okay first things first Azusa you bring up 2008 and 2009 cool you guys won, well I shall bring up the last time Azusa signed on the dotted line for a 2 year contract (believe it was 2004-05) the combined score was something around the neighborhood of 110-14 with covina scoring 50 in the first half of one of those games.

    Second thing is why not do something to create a little competition in the ranks and also builds team chemistry.

    Then the thing was brought up about college and NFL teams never would do this, you donkey this isn’t the college or nfl level this is high school football. If you knew anything about those levels then you would understand in the NFL they rarely even hit after the season starts and Colleges do have combines they do them during the summer and call them camps.

    It amazes me how many of these people don’t get it. I think Thomas understands what he has got and the best way get it done in this league, go back and look he has just as many if not more league titles then any other school in the league in this century.

  • SaintsR4real

    Living Legend,

    I don’t believe any one of these “donkeys”??, really?? said anything about going full on contact during this FALL practice, not summer camp. Please read carefully before you respond, and you’re a legend, so stop calling people donkeys. About the NFL, all teams were concerned about the late start to fall camp because they knew it would bring opportunities when the season started, as in: injuries, PLAY knowledge, more penalties, movement on the line for penalties and team communication.

    Full pads or not, you can never practice plays enough to prevent all of the above. Not too late to stay in shape, but too late to get in shape.

  • @come on Fred

    Doesnt sound like you were even at that Whittier Christian game you blather on about. If you even had looked at the box score, you would see the 4th quarter was the big one. Both defenses had held firm in the first 3 quarters and neither offense had broken it open.

    Facts of life are that Covina was tied 14-14 going into the 4th quarter and took the lead 17-14 at the ten minute mark in the 4th. Whittier scored again with about four minutes left to take the lead, Covina couldnt move the ball and Whittier scored again with under 30 seconds to go. On another day, the result could have been different. The final score is the final score. Its now a year later and the results will be determined on the field by our athletes.

  • wow

    living how will this combine really determine who’s in Shape? If they are out of shape what is going to happen? Will the winner of the combine get a starting job? Just hop into condition …you will see everything you need to see, and you can get in shape. By the way you don’t need a ball to work get offs, one on one drills, run fits etc, swarm techniques etc… This is just Covina trying to get in the paper. These Antics work, but come on a Combine? LOL…someone going to get drafted ?

  • Colt74

    I just can not fathom why what coach Thomas chooses to do or doesn’t do chafes someones hide.
    2005, 2006, 2010 recent league titles. 2011 outlook looks promising.
    Los Altos does a midnight practice. Covina runs a combine. A good coaching staff does whatever they feel they need to do to have a positive impact on their players. They know the kids. They have been in their heads.
    The Covina young men have for the most part been playing together for years. They are tight. Coach Thomas knows what is needed when it is needed to keep that bond strong.
    Back in the cavemen days our coach had us in our pool playing water polo for the day. The next day I remember being sorer than I had ever been. Talk about a workout. And we thought the day was just to have fun and get a break.

    Head coaches are head coaches for a reason. They know what they are doing despite every parent and fan telling them how to do their job.
    And about this being done to only get in the paper…ask Coach Thomas how he cares about getting in the paper. Coach Thomas cares about the kids, his staff, and getting into the playoffs. I as a fan and alumni have unwavering respect and trust in his abilities and whatever he feels he needs to do to help us, guide us, and take us to the next level of play.

  • Good Coaching?


    “A good coaching staff does whatever they feel they need to do to have a positive impact on their players.”

    So what does a bad coaching staff do, whatever they feel they need to do to have a negative impact on their players?

    What a stupid comment!

  • Colt74

    Stupid comment?

    I disagree. You really need to read yours to know what a stupid comment is.

    Glad I could help.

    Anything else I can assist you with just let me know.

  • X’s and O’s

    Anyone who bashes Coach Thomas is a plain fool. His track record speaks for itself. He is a good man who wants to do what is best for his players… Period!

  • mike lawry

    Just watched an interesting group of young men pounding the field. Be careful mid valley. QB, wow is all I can say. “43”

  • great for the sgv

    Colt74 said:

    I just can not fathom why what coach Thomas chooses to do or doesn’t do chafes someones hide.

    What does that he that will some to will chafe does some thomas???

    What are you trying to write here lillancer74? Stick to protecting your buddy bishop73.

    Looking forward to watching West Covina hand you a plate of whoop to start the year. And I really don’t care what false hopes Cal preps gives you.

  • Colt74

    great for the SGV:

    “What does that he that will some to will chafe does some thomas???”

    WTF?????? Take whomever out of your mouth the next time you try and talk.

    Did the aliens forget to remove your anal probe?

  • http://rgd2626 old timer

    Are you really an adult, it is hard to believe that the way you speak sometimes

  • great for the sgv

    He is an adult just not a very bright one.Nothing surprises me from this character, just have to consider the source. Or it just might be the type of movies he watches, either way I can’t figure out half the stuff he posts.

  • Colt74

    old timer/great for sgv/ nonsense etc…

    “…either way I can’t figure out half the stuff he posts.”

    Why does that not surprise me. Yet you reply to every one of my posts. That is being a glutton for punishment or a fool.

    I’m not offended by anything you say. I’m just glad that you’re stringing words into sentences now.

  • great for the sgv

    Showing a little improvement pony, but you stiil sound like an angry Richard Simmons.

  • Colt74

    ” but you stiil sound like an angry Richard Simmons.”

    Who’s Richard Simmons and why do you know what he sounds like angry??????

    LMAO! I just looked him up thru google.