Larry Stout, a West Covina grad following the SGV scene in Missouri, recalls one of the great West Covina-Los Altos thrillers from the past

Larry Stout, who graduated from West Covina in 1978, wanted me to share this email with West Covina facing Los Altos this week.

I am a transplanted West Covina Spartan, class of 1978, living in Missouri. First I want to thank you for you coverage of the SGV sports scene. My very best friend in the world was Bill Dunn who passed away 2 years ago and we had monthly phone conversations about the Bulldogs, tough for a Spartan to say that. Your coverage has allowed me to fill the info gap but the friendship gap will always be there. I know I am biased but one of the best SGV football games was the 1977 West Covina vs Los Altos game. We were both highly ranked going in and it was a tough, tough game (I personally took the hardest hit I ever took by a line backer named Jay Fairmon on a cut back run). West Covina won the game with no time on the clock as Los Altos lined up off side on the last play which allowed us one more play. As the two schools are playing this weekend I thought would share the blast from the past with you. Thanks for your work.

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  • Los Altos Alum

    I was at that game. It was a heart breaking loss for Los Altos and our only loss for the season. We went on to win the CIF title that year.
    I was 12 years old and I remember crying on the car ride home.
    Jay Fairman was a beast and a legend at Los Altos.
    When I played in the early 80’s West Covina wasn’t the power it had been in the late 70’s but I remember Coach Despain loved beating them.
    He was very superstitious about West Covina and I remember that he wouldn’t allow any of us to walk under the goal posts at West Covina’s field. He positioned a coach in front of the goal post to make sure no one did so…Those were great years. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  • Dan

    Thanks for the blast from the past Larry, I enjoyed hearing Bill Dunn tell me about the West Covina teams of the seventies, one of the games I remember him tell me was the West Covina vs Los Altos semi final game of 1976. West Covina had beaten Los Altos earlier in the year and in a rematch played Los Altos in the semi finals. At that time the CIF playoffs were 4 playoff games and then the Title game. That night West Covina had the lead and seemed to have the momentum late in the game. They stopped Los Altos on downs deep inside the Conquerors territory. The Los Altos punter then had this ridiculous punt that went like 80 yards and ended
    up rolling down to the West Covina 8 yard line.
    West Covina then fumbled and Los Altos recovered and went on to score a last minute TD. They went on to beat Fontana the next week in the Championship game. West Covina had beaten Fontanna earlier that year.

  • Mike James

    I was on that team with Larry. I would have to agree, that was without a doubt the best rivalry in the SGV back then. I can remember the end of that game. On our side there were helmets flying everywhere. Guys were running all over the place. It was one of the few times that I think Coach Tim Brancheau just let us enjoy the moment of unbridled enthusiam. I can also remember the video that Nia Peeples dad had of the stunned LA fans. It was like they were all totally frozen and dead silent for like 10 minutes. I was also there for that semi-final game at Mt. Sac. there were like 10 thousand plus people there. That punt actually traveled 88 yards to be exact. Back then if WC and LA were playing, you had to arrive at least an hour early, or you were going to be standing outside the gates.

  • Domination

    For those people that didn’t live here in the 70’s or are too young to remember, the SGV was the mecca of high school football in the 70’s. There were only 4 divisions of football, 1A – 4A with 4A being the highest level of play. The Sierra league was the best league in 4A in the 70’s (the later part of the 70’s it became the big-5), with Los Altos winning 3 championships and South Hills winning 1, you throw in Amats 2 championships in the early 70’s and thats 6 championships out of 10 years(I’m not sure, but I think Wilson might have had a championship somewhere in there as well) that the SGV was sitting at the top of state & country in high school football. If my memory serves me right the Sierra league consisted of Los Altos, South Hills, Westco being the 3 powers and Wilson, Glendora, La Puente, Covina, Rowland all being very good teams as well, but being unfortunate at having to be in league with the 3 powers at that time. To me, that was the glory years of the SGV football.