Does Bonita have a chance in Friday’s Southeast title rematch with West Covina?

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
One would think revenge is on the mind of the Bonita High School football team as it heads into Friday’s showdown with West Covina, which used victories over the Bearcats to win the Hacienda League and CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division championships last season. But the Bearcats simply aren’t a good enough team at this point to focus on aesthetically pleasing things like avenging last year’s high-stakes losses to the Bulldogs, according to coach Eric Podley.

“Because of the way we’ve been playing this year, our focus is really on trying to put together a good game for ourselves,” Podley said. “We’re probably a little more concerned with trying to play as well as we can, regardless of the opponent.

“If we were playing well, the revenge factor would probably be more of a factor. Because we’re struggling a little bit, our full concentration is on us.”

Bonita started the season with a bang by beating rival San Dimas. The victory looks better and better with each passing San Dimas victory, but in games of their own, the Bearcats are just 1-3 since.

West Covina (5-1 overall, 2-0 in league) is starting to assert itself as the top team not only in league, but the Southeast Division as well. The Bulldogs have lost only to powerful Loyola in a game West Covina was without several key players. Since then, West Covina has won four consecutive and started league with easy victories over Diamond Bar and Walnut.

“We have to execute on both sides of the ball and play with a little more heart, courage and desire than we did against Diamond Ranch (to beat West Covina),” Podley said. “We did not look like an excited football team against Diamond Ranch. You can’t beat outstanding teams without those ingredients. We’re hoping to come back and display a little more heart and courage than we did last time out.”

Bonita put itself in a precarious position with its league-opening loss to Diamond Ranch two weeks ago. The Bearcats had a bye last week to think about it, but should they also lose to West Covina, any hopes of a league title and/or a second-place finish would appear bleak.

Simply salvaging a playoff berth may become the next order of business.

“They’re aware of it,” Podley said of his team and its understanding of the standings. “They’re not dumb guys. But like I said, our first concern is to play and execute as well as we possibly can. That’s something we haven’t done since the San Dimas game.”

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  • catman

    Not a Cat hater, but a Cat fan, but reality is reality. I can say with confidence that the Bearcats have no chance of beating WC on Friday nite. BHS is in way over their heads and will be lucky if they can keep WC from scoring 50 pts. Bonita is a young team with an inexperienced QB. They have one play maker that does not get enough touches to make a difference in a game. They execute the Xs and Os well, they just dont have the horses to get it done. Last year was their year. They were heavy in talent but just couldnt pull it off. WC comes in as defending champ and Im sure they intend to come into Fridays game to make a statement. This game could get ugly early. I will be there cheering for BHS, but I do know that my actions will be futile. If BHS is to have a chance, the Oline needs to play their best game, no turnovers and Horine needs to touch about 70% of the snaps in a wildcat offense. My pick WC 52-14.

  • gametime

    agree with the comments, bhs is too young and with the exception of Horine, they dont match up well against the quality teams. 70% seems to be a no brainer, the kid is a beast and should be the focal point, 30+ touches, he should be the ricky bell of his era…

  • catman hit it out of thr park,I’m also a BOHI fan but this 1 could get real ugly.

  • InlandEmpireFan

    Well hate to say it but this one will be ugly. West Covina has a solid squad. Bonita very yound and learning. WC 42 Bonita 14…

  • 12th man

    WOW!! No support from Bonita fans…This game shouldn’t even be played according to all the comments…Sounds like the game is already over before it even started…I understand WC is heavily favorite..but come’on guys!! This is High School Football & anything can happen on any given Friday~ Show some support for your school if not atleast show some support for the players who read this blog~

  • reality

    Looks like Bohi fans trying to give bearcats a little bulletin board fodder to pump up their team. I think Bonita has been under-achieving this year and fully expect the team to be more prepared this week. A win would not totally surprise me. The defense has been stout but the lack of any consistent offense has put too much pressure on them. I think this will be a breakout game for someone on Bonita’s side and if the cat’s make some first downs then we just might have another barn burner.

  • Over the Hill

    I coached college football for over 25-years and am now retired, bored, and can barely use one of these computers. I read Robledo’s page on a regular basis, but rarely post a comment, so I hope this get through. I am not a BHS or WesCo fan, I am just a fan of the game.

    One thing is right, Horrine needs to have more touches! A classic example of using your studs, would be Fischer for Diamond Ranch, I saw the D-Ranch vs. Bonita game, and I thought Bonita was clearly the better team. Coach Roddy, out coached Podley, putting the ball in his stud’s hands and got the job done. Fischer is listed as a receiver, yet played most downs at RB. Bonita needs Horrine’s paws on the rock, and good things will happen. With all of that said, I am a little irritated with how hard you all have been on the Sophomore QB, Diebold for Bonita. This kid looks outstanding, I counted 9 dropped passes in D-Ranch game where the ball hit his receivers in the hands or numbers. His mechanics are fantastic, he always looks calm, and throws a poetically beautiful ball. He also looks like he starting to develop into a leader, which is impressive considering that he is probably doesn’t even have his permit to drive yet! Check his stats on Maxpreps, the kid has only thrown 1 pick, and has comparable stats with the rest of the league, even though he didn’t play in the Claremont game. Just food for thought. If Bohi can get Horrine more touches…I think there is a possibility of an upset.

  • Ranch alum

    Fischer is a good little player, but he is very tiny and not very durable. The kid sat out several games last year with a collarbone injury and reinjured it in the DB game. Without question, the studs that we will ride to the ship this year are Miller and Gibson. Look for William Bryan Jr. to step up as the best DB in the Ranch secondary. Believe it or not the kid is only a Soph. and already one of the best players in the league.

  • Dan

    Highschool football anything can happen, Podley
    is a clever coach who knows the game in and out, his kids are always well prepared and ready to go on game night. I would not be suprised at all if this turns into a barnburner on Friday. I remember the Miramonte days and Bonita teams would pull unexpected wins over one of the Miramonte powers such as Charter Oak, Los Altos or Diamond Ranch. Good luck to both teams and may we have an injury free game.

  • Bearcat Fan

    This is a tough one, no doubt. My son is a soph on the team. He’s telling me it seems everyone is getting pumped for this, just like the San Dimas game. I hope so, cause they were asleep for the other games. BHS is a young team, losing so many seniors last year, but this is a great game to play on Friday!

    Not that it matters, but BHS JV is on a 3-game winning streak, hope to make it 4 on Thursday. I go to both games every week.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Bonita is young and it’s going to show on Friday night. If Bonita had trouble with Diamond Ranch’s run game and physicality, then they are going to get the master class on Friday night!

    This will be the third time these two teams will have met in a season and a half. There is not a thing that WC or Bonita will do that each team has not seen before. It will come down to the intangible things like physicality, dicipline, execution and emotion. WC did not forget the lesson learned when they almost lost the championship game to Bonita after dominating them so thouroughly earlier that season.

    Not that this matters, but West Covina’s JV team is on an unthinkable 18 game winning streak going all the way back to the 09 season. Hope they make it 19 on Thursday!

    Go Bulldogs!

  • reality

    Over the Hill. I seldom comment negativly on a young player like Bonita’s Qb but I must disagree with your experienced assessment.Outstanding? I have seen no one hard on the QB on this blog. That being said there seems to be some intangibles lacking so far in the growth of this young QB. Field generalship, inability to run effectivly,inability to complete 3rd down situations,and unable make his progressions. He will get better but if he intends to be a qb in a spread offence he needs to take control, accept responsibility and perform in the clutch. A tall order I know but that is the job of a QB and dropped passes be damned, you forget it and hit the next one. I hope he is the breakout guy I posted about in my previous post this Friday night. The seniors on this team can’t wait for him to grow up. They need him now.

  • Bearcat Fan

    BoHi fans, straight from the rumor mill:

    Things aren’t looking good for Friday, and Thursday. Not only because WC is a tough opponent, but in JV’s case, alot of starters will be pulled from playing on Thursday. We’re also missing key varsity players on offense/defense and some of their backups to injuries.

    But I hate to say it, this one may kill us:

    Garrett Horine will probably not play. Injured during practice this week.

    Still, I hope the fight is in all the players to put up a good game.

  • reality

    Bearcat Fan. If your son is on the Bohi team how do you go from the entire team is pumped to the entire team is injured in 3 hours. Your either a liar or a absentee dad. Which is it?

  • Pendleton

    Come on Bearcats do something I could not do,I know you guys can do it, I will be at the game rooting for you guys, keep working hard!!!

  • Pendleton

    Do something last years team could not do.

  • Bulldogs Coaching Staff

    To Bearcat Fan :
    Garrett Horine is hurt? We appreciate the injury update. Please keep us posted.

  • Basic

    I’m a Bearcat fan but agree that this game will get ugly for the Beacarts. WC is just to physical and they have speed at key positions. Having said, if WC start trying to pass the ball instead of their bread and butter then I see the Bearcats having a shot, yes a slim shot but a shot nonetheless. WC 48 BHS 13

    Good luck Bearcats, play hard and make believers out of us.

  • 12th man

    Sounds like a bunch of different excuses why bonita fans feel there team will lose! Just let the chips fall where they may~ If you Win you Win!! If you Lose you Lose!!”Point Blank” End of discussion!!..Geez!! Let the game be played before you start the funeral services..I could never see Joe Amat or Amat73 talking about the Lancers getting slaughtered or making excuses before hand why there team is going to lose..Unbeleivable~ I bet if Bohi wins all these fans that said they couldn’t are going to be the 1st ones to take credit into saying they seen the upset coming lol…Good Luck to both teams & may the better team “That” night Win!!

  • Mama Bearcat

    Wow, I’m really ashamed of the Bearcat fans on this blog. A true fan stands up for his team win or lose. Garrett Pendleton you are awesome how you support you team and former coaches. There will be a lot of last years players on the sidelines this week to support their team. Some are making a special trip home from college. Bearcat Fan you are not a fan at all. These boys work hard everyweek week along with their coaches. You have no idea and don’t know what you’re talking about. Bearcat fans should be more supportive and get out there Friday and cheer for your team, instead of complaining on the blogs. Leave that to the haters! Go Bearcats, I’m your #1 fan. I believe in you.

  • Basic

    Did I miss-read the question??? “Does Bonita have a chance in Friday’s Southeast title rematch with West Covina?”

    I think stating our opinions as to the Bearcats having a chance is what is asked, is it not?

    No Bearcat fans has said “hey we WANT them to Loose” no one has said “hey we stink” or said negative hurtful comments…I personally do not think we have a great shot but does that mean I don’t want them to win? NO. or that I am not going to be supporting them? NO.

    Just because I THINK we don’t have a Great shot at winning does not mean I am not a supportive fan, or that I don’t want to be proved wrong, or that i don’t want them to win. It just means I don’t think we have a great shot. If you go to Vegas and had to put your house down on this game, really how would you put it??? Yes if you bet with your Heart you want the Bearcats to win (as I do) but if it truly meant your house you would put it on the favorite and I would assume Vegas would have WC a 2 TD favorite…

    YES I WANT THE BEARCATS TO WIN but I think it is a VERY Difficult task this year that is all…

  • reality

    Mama Bearcat: Sorry mom but this is not a cheerleading blog. If you want that try the pep rally. What you can get on here are harsh comments and outright lies and insults with clowns that have who knows what kind of agendas in their messed up heads. I like it because every once in awhile there are some good points made by good people but this is not the place to be if you are sensitive about your son or your team.

  • Bearcat Fan

    to reality:

    How do I go from ‘pumped’ to ‘injury’ in 3 hours?

    Simple, the first comment was from the news I heard the day before from my son. He stated they were all pumped. I posted this at 2:34pm yesterday. We didn’t know if Garrett injury was going to remove him from the game yet.

    In 3 hours, I picked up my son at 5:30pm when I got the new update. Decided to update everyone on this NEW news 30 minutes after.

    Get it?

    So, no, not an absentee dad or liar here, just too quick to update.

    Now, I agree with what Basic just said. No one is here saying we’re giving up, it will be difficult and we are going all out supporting our team despite the obstacle. We want the rest of the guys to step up.

    And I don’t do these ‘blog wars, name calling, immature stuff’ that some parents and others do here. It’s high school football and I wish all our kids to play hard and have a great game, from all schools.

  • reality

    Bearcat Fan: So from your sons mouth to the blogs in 1/2 hour updating W.C. coaches about all our inside information. I”m sure Podley and staff love your help. If your post is true then Podley better tell his team not to blab to their parents but IMO opinion your excuse does not have the ring of truth. You pick up your son, drive home and post his commentary about the teams problems for W.C. to read in what, 1/2hr? Why would any dad do that, that understands the game? See what I’m talking about Bearcat mom.

  • Bearcat Fan


    yeah I hear ya to an extent. I was just trying to update Bonita fans. But you’re right, these blogs are horrible for that stuff. I’m not one of these hardcore followers and angry people who follow the game to the teeth and rip everyone on anything football who supposedly know the game. I never claim to know the game fully, I just enjoy it.

    I guess like you said, this is no place for good people. Hopefully what I said changes and sometimes it does, regarding my update. I won’t be updating no more my last now, thanks reality, I do see what you’re saying. LOL

  • Aaron

    Been kind of busy…GO BEARCATS!

  • Yorba Linda Rising

    Davis kicks a record 6 field goals. Bonita wins by 1

  • True Believer

    Pulling for Bonita but just can’t see it happening.West Covina is very similar to last years team. They return so many on defense. Bonita however is not even close to the same team.. huge drop off at QB where thier offense depends so much on that position, lost thier linebackers who flew around the field, but most important they have lost thier passion. no fire on this team like last year and no leaders. a very vanilla group. Too hard to replace a mikity, a Pendelton, a Huth, a gelalich a Mckinsie and so many more that played with heart and fire.

  • Please

    Come on Aaron busy… Of course your busy because you were wrong and your team isn’t going to be OK.
    I told you there would be a drop off and there is a big one.
    I told you your soph QB was not ready and he is not.
    I told you your team can only expect a run like last year once every 10 years and we off to a good start.
    I told you your frosh and JV records didn’t mean jake and they don’t.
    Should I go on………….

  • Aaron

    Depends on what you mean by ok…I expected 5-5…maybe 7-3.

    And yes I’ve been busy…It’s looking more like the lower end of what I thought would happen. Youth and injuries to the offensive line hurt any team.

    Quit being a negative nancy.

  • reality

    The reason so many Bohi fans are on a downer is that so far Podley has not given them much to hang their hats on. Besides the SD win, since then they is no real reason to suspect a win against a good team. Putting the responsibility on a 14 year old kid to run a spread offence may be a mistake. I believe they should have went with the senior no matter how small and worked in the youngster situationly. The running game is not what it was hoped to be as yet either. But make a fight of it tonite and we will all be back on the bandwagon thumping our tambourines.

  • football tiger

    it is really sad how BHS fans had already made pick that WC (Bulldogs) were going to win both games
    (JV and Varsity) what faith do they have in their teams, you also have coaches(Layton) also talking BS
    what happen to their team therefore all the comments that were made about Fisher stands true no Fisher no WIN.Its only a game let the youth play and enjoy their games.