Football Notebook: West Covina adds “Noodles” to their menu of studs; Charter Oak ready to payback Claremont; Bonita hoping to build on last week’s win over Los Altos

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
West Covina High School freshman sensation Antonio “Noodles” Hull has been pulled up to the varsity football team and will likely make his debut on Friday night when the Bulldogs visit Los Altos in a key Hacienda League game for both teams. Hull, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound quarterback, made a name for himself during a dazzling youth football league career with the Compton Vikings in rapper Snoop Dogg’s league. Hull was not able to play at the varsity level until he turned 14, which he did recently. Hull had thrown for 442 yards and six touchdowns, and rushed for 384 yards and six scores in five games at the freshman level.

“We don’t know how much he’s going to play,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “He’s been taking snaps in practice to see what he’s comfortable with. Some of it looked really good. But some of it you worry about a young kid making mistakes. We don’t want our quarterbacks to turn the ball over, that’s for sure.

“He’s going to be tremendous, but we’re really not expecting a whole lot this year. He’s excited and anxious. He feels like he can compete.”

Senior Chris Caballero and junior Jonathan Najera have split time under center this season for the Bulldogs. West Covina’s offense certainly isn’t struggling, as evidenced by the team’s 40 points-per-game average in league.

The Bulldogs, at 6-1 overall and 3-0 in league, are bidding for a second straight CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division championship. Winning the Hacienda would go a long way toward doing that, and beating Los Altos would be another big step.

“I think they play tremendously hard and they’re a very good running team,” Maggiore said of the Conquerors. “And their quarterback is much improved over last year. They appear to be really well-coached and they play with a lot of intensity.

“It’s a senior group that won a league championship as freshmen when they were in the Miramonte League. I don’t think they’re too surprised with themselves.”

Los Altos (6-2, 2-2) blew a golden chance to make Friday’s game with West Covina a potential league title showdown by blowing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter last week against Bonita. Now, the Conquerors are among a handful of Hacienda teams desperate to bolster their position in the standings and secure a playoff berth.

“I think at this point in the season, in our league, it seems like there’s five or six teams that can win on any given Friday,” Maggiore said. “I think we’ll see a team on Friday playing at a high level with a high level of enthusiasm, like they did at Bonita. I think at Bonita they couldn’t sustain that enthusiasm.”

Chargers seeking revenge

Claremont’s win last year over Charter Oak on homecoming night has not been forgotten by the Chargers, who will look to return the favor when they visit the Wolfpack on their homecoming night.

“Last year, their quarterback (Daniel Kessler), we made his career in one game at our school,” Chargers coach Lou Farrar said. “He was super hot that night and the receiver he was throwing to that night was super hot.

“It’s a league game. All we’re looking at is it’s our third league game. They’re going to be excited about their homecoming. They’ll be a fired up football team, I know that.”

Kessler shredded the Chargers for 393 yards and three touchdowns last year, but he’s since graduated. Charter Oak will have to deal with Gabe Schaper under center and a host of other Wolfpack weapons.

Claremont had better be able to score, because Charter Oak is putting up huge numbers under the guidance of senior quarterback Travis Santiago. Charter Oak is averaging 41.8 points per game this season and that could mean big trouble for a Claremont defense that’s allowing 26 a game.

But still, at 0-2 in league, Farrar knows the Wolfpack will be a very desperate team trying to salvage their playoff hopes on Friday night.

“They’re very dangerous,” Farrar said. “Their season started rough when that quarterback transferred to Colony. They’re used to being in tough situations and making a rally.”

Bonita eyes momentum

With one big fourth-quarter rally last week to beat Los Altos, Bonita has thrust itself back into the playoff race in the Hacienda League. The Bearcats, at 3-4 overall and 1-2 in league, still have a lot of work to do, but can take another big step toward getting into the Southeast Division playoffs by knocking off Walnut (2-6, 2-2) on Friday.

“I was feeling like I was 6 minutes and 30 seconds away from unemployment last week,” Bearcats coach Eric Podley said of the time on the clock in last week’s fourth quarter when his team trailed 28-14 before winning 35-28. “It definitely helped getting the win. It was a long time between wins. And we’re starting to get our players back. At one point we were without eight starters.”

One of those starters who is slowly getting back to health is standout receiver Garrett Horine, who is expected back this week after missing time with a sprained ankle. Bonita’s offense becomes that much more dangerous when Horine is in the game and can test opposing defenses deep.

Walnut and Los Altos are a half-game ahead of Bonita in the standings, but both of those teams have played one more league game than the Bearcats. If Bonita can beat Walnut, it will move into a more favorable playoff position by overtaking the Mustangs in the standings. And with Los Altos a heavy underdog this week against West Covina, it’s possible that by Saturday morning the Bearcats could be in third place.

“Whether last week was the spark remains to be seen,” Podley said.

“We’re hoping it is. They did gain some confidence with that.”

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  • Really?

    There are plenty of Freshman with outstanding stats. Why are you guys only focusing on the kids coming out of the Snoop Dog league? Do some research and give ALL the outstanding Freshman some credit.

  • get it done wolf pack

    key to victory: qb spy #2 and run all over their soft line all night!

  • D-Mo

    It’s done woof pack,
    That’s a great game plan. Good luck.
    CO will have everyone playing by the end of the 3rd while the fans in red head to the parking lot. Happy homecoming.
    Chargers 49 Woof pack 10

  • Snoop Dogg Status

    Very Very Reliable Source, older son no grades no need for CIF transfer paperwork.

    Snoop has already committed to multi transfers going to Diamond Bar next year.

    Diamond Bar is going to be the Pomona of the Hacienda league. How is DRanch going to deal with Diamond Bar and Pomona?

  • wolfpack

    get em! Run the ball all night and keep their offense on the side line their d line is soft you should be able to run run run the clock away and bore them to sleep. Linebackers just wait on the outsides for #2to run your way.

  • D-Mo

    Now that’s funny.

  • reality

    Fred and Aram: You two are big on nicknames. Lets call all the Snoop related transfers the Kardashians. They get pub for what exactly.

  • FredJ

    Noodles isn’t getting pub because he played in the Snoop league, if you saw him in person, his physique, you would know why so many think he’s going to be special.

  • Bonita fan

    Bonita should get passed Walunt. Saw them against West Covina and was not impressed.

  • reality

    His physique??? You got to be kidding. How many kids at 12 and 13 are 4 ft. something and end up huge? Plenty. The other way around is also true. Just admit it you two love the Kardashians and hope to score some perks. Gone Hollywood.

  • CH

    sparts. it looks like you had half your varsity players on the JV team to secure a win but came up SHORT! get it? short… haha

  • eastsider

    I just posted on another thread that the west covina freshmen QB was very good.I am not surprised he got bumped to varsity.

  • CO Bro

    Damn wolfpack you got us pegged! I don’t know what CO will do now that you know our game plan, maybe I should just stay home tonight? Na, I’ll make the drive out to claremont, stop by the habbit for a burger and then watch as CO puts up 50 on your cubbies!

    Good luck to all SGV teams tonight, play safe and play fair (no upland bs).

  • TeachDGame

    CH — if your Chino Hills & Sparts is refering to Damien — YOUR A DIPs&*T….

    If you knew anything about the crap you spew, no one brought down half the varsity to beat you, most of those kids are the same kids that beat your Frosh last year. That is the same JV team that has been playing JV all friggin year. NONE of them even see PT on Varsity, but yes they are on Varsity as well…. UP/Down players do exist. Damien’s Varsity is loaded with JR’s / Sophs / & 1 Frosh player… yes CH won the game, wasn’t there but heard was a great game and your DB’s did a great job. So leave it at that you flippin knucklehead, not incinuate that Damien dropped down the Varsity starters for tonight to play your JV yesterday…

  • teach da game

    CH…. if you would of heard all the smack your team was talking all week…..Dip sh@% ? All that education over there and that’s what you got? Go get some 4″ spikes and get ready for CO. Don’t worry about us don’t count on them fumbling a punt that easy either.

  • AyalaBulldogFan

    Re: Size Matters
    I guess all those wins Concord De La Salle puts up against teams from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY are a fluke?

    Average weight on the line(s)220.5, average height LESS than 6′. They beat us(CIF-SS) once and we beat them once in STATE Championships against(arguably) our best – Corona Centennial which is a beefy 237.7 average weight and 6′ average height. Both teams have a couple guys that throw the average off. The point of the statitistics lesson is this; while size can and does help, what matters even more is discipline. Good tackling form, solid footwork, no dumb penalties, imposing YOUR will on the opponent, etc… Both of these teams are exceptional in that area.

    Just an observation…