“I think our parents are thinking it’s going to be the same Azusa, but our kids are pretty dialed in. Our kids saw them in person and saw them on film. I think it’s basically trying to get our parents to believe that they’re going to be good, too. They’re two different groups.” — San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
It’s hard to imagine San Dimas High School would be at any disadvantage Friday when the Saints play the same Azusa team they beat by 25 points on Sept. 8 in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs. But some disadvantages can be of the mental variety, and nobody knows how true the age-old adage “it’s hard to beat the same twice in the same season” better than Saints coach Bill Zernickow. (To continue click thread)
If San Dimas’ recent battles with Monrovia have taught any lessons, it’s the loser of the first game gives a much better account of itself in the second one. Zernickow has to hope things will be different as it pertains to Azusa.
“They’re tremendously improved,” Zernickow said of Azusa. “The quarterback (Jake Martinez) is extremely hot. When you play somebody Week 1 and then they have the whole season to improve, they’re going to improve a ton.”
San Dimas and Azusa enter Friday’s game at Citrus College as two of the hotter teams in the division. The Aztecs (8-3) have won eight consecutive games since starting 0-3. San Dimas (9-2) has won nine of its last 10 games.
Convincing his players that Azusa will fare a much better shot on Friday night hasn’t been hard for Zernickow. The Saints players’ parents are a different story, though.
“I think our parents are thinking it’s going to be the same Azusa, but our kids are pretty dialed in,” Zernickow said. “Our kids saw them in person and saw them on film. I think it’s basically trying to get our parents to believe that they’re going to be good, too. They’re two different groups.”
Azusa opened the playoffs by beating Valley Christian 35-14. San Dimas beat San Marino 31-21, but the game was in doubt late and some area fans think the Saints are vulnerable.
“If we play four games like that in a row right now, I’ll take it,” Zernickow said of the San Marino win. “It’s the playoffs, man. We just need to win by one.”