Southeast Division Update: West Covina’s “Noodles” Scouting things out; Los Altos happy to be practicing on Thanksgiving

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Think West Covina High School freshman Antonio “Noodles” Hull isn’t making a contribution to the Bulldogs’ bid for a second consecutive CIF-SS Southeast Division championship? Think again.
With no real way for the Bulldogs to mimic what they’ll see Friday from Pasadena dual-threat quarterback Brandon Cox, head coach Mike Maggiore and staff have turned to Noodles to give their defense some semblance of what to expect when they face Cox this weekend.
Noodles has been doing his best Cox impersonation this week as the scout team quarterback.
“Well, Brandon Cox is about four or five inches taller (than Noodles) and left-handed,” Maggiore said. “He’s been doing a little of it.”
Simulating Cox, even for a future star like Noodles, is no easy task.
Nor will trying to contain Cox on Friday be an easy task for West Covina’s defense.
“Skill-wise, he’s as good as anyone we’ve played,” Maggiore said of Cox. “He’s a threat on the zone read. He runs quarterback counters. Sometimes, he’ll drop back and just take off if there’s nothing else to do.
“There’s not a lot that he doesn’t do well. We just have to do our best to contain him. I think we’re pretty fast on defense and have some guys who can cover. We’re going to have to force him into some uncomfortable plays.”
Facing Cox and Pasadena’s high-octane offense will be major shift from the double-wing offense the Bulldogs had to stop last week against Norwalk. West Covina (10-1) had only 21 offensive plays in last week’s 38-8 win. Drives could have lasted longer, but Bulldogs running back Jimmy Frazier carried five times in the game, scored on three of them and finished with 188 yards.
West Covina’s ground game might be its best defense this week against Pasadena, assuming there are long drives that keep Cox and Co. off the field.
“We’re not going to tell our guys to take a knee if they’re in the open field,” Maggiore said. “But we’re going to run the ball and mix in some play-action. Last week, we scored pretty quick.”

Thanksgiving practice returns

Practicing on Thanksgiving used to be an automatic for the Los Altos football team until recently. It hadn’t happened in any of the past four seasons, but thanks to the Conquerors’ win over Burroughs last week the enjoyment of the holiday while knowing there’s another game to be played will be felt again in Hacienda Heights.

“We’re pretty stoked,” Los Altos coach Dale Ziola said. “We expected to win in the playoffs. No one but us, but that’s worked for us all year long.

“The kids are special. They’ve been through heck. They’ve gone through three different coaches and three different programs. They’ve been kicked on and spit on and now they’re having a great time.

“Those seniors, man. They’re awesome. To get in the playoffs was cool, but to win that playoff game for those seniors was just the coolest thing in the world.”

The Conquerors continue to amaze under first-year coach Ziola. Los Altos was 0-10 last year but enters Friday’s home game against La Serna at 8-3.

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  • Bulldogs have bite

    First things first, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

    Not only has Noodles been leading the scout team in practice. But since his call-up to Varsity he has been paying his dues and putting in work on special teams in kickoff coverage. He is very fast and is usually the first man downfield meeting the return man, he also has delivered a few good hits!

    Go Bulldogs(West Covina)!

  • who cares.

    who cares what hes doing on scout team? why is this even a story? sure he might have talent but seriously? its scout team in practice. write a real story about something that matters.

  • Tolegian PR Services


    Why are you jockin’ this kid so hard? Are you making a little Xtra on the side trying to get a D-1 look at a Freshman prospect? Maybe if this works well you can sell your scholarship PR services the same way as you sold your objectivity and journalistic credentials. With all the deserving kids who have been busting their hump in obscurity for 4 years but will be playing on Friday, why would you be honking up a Freshman playing on the scout team. Try bringing us info on LA’s linemen or what DR has to do to win and quit wasting our time with this drivel…

  • Don’t pretend to understand how this business works. I tell you all about Noodles because if I don’t, somebody else will try … like FOX Sports West did a month ago. That’s right, FOX Sports West felt compelled to do an ENTIRE FEATURE on Noodles! I’ve never written a feature on him. I’ve made blog posts and I’ve written today’s article which was more about the fact that West Covina has somebody to use on its scout team that can give them looks like Brandon Cox.

    Let’s say I never say a word about Noodles. And FOX Sports West runs the feature that they did and a few weeks or months later, the LA Times does something on the kids, then how do I end up looking?

    Would I be doing my job if FOX Sports West got the jump on me as it pertains to Noodles or anybody else in this Valley? The answer is no I wouldn’t.

    As it stands now, ALL OF YOU knew about Noodles LONG BEFORE FOX Sports West wrote a feature on him. And you’ve got ME to thank for it.

  • oldschool

    i got to see 3 good freshmen this year .when i first saw noodles i said to myself,this kid is going to be great.I also got to see diamond bars kenya bell, knew right away that he was going to be good also ,look for him to be a good DB and kick returner. I also saw a freshman at covina who was a running back who pretty much took control of the whole game. cant speak about any other freshman because i only saw hacienda league games and the covina preseason game.

  • Aaron

    I like West Covina big.


    come out and support these kids on FRI.

    I’ve seen these kids 5 times and they score it by playing smash mouth.IF you’re anywhere near, make it a point to be there. What these guys have pulled off deserves our support and encouragement.

    To the players; good luck, play hard. Whatever you did @ 1/2 time @ the Burroughs game .Do it all game on this one. YOU ARE NOT DONE THIS SEASON.

  • la not…

    los altos sucks… and always will… quit tryin to buy your kids..its against c.i.f. rules.

  • oc football

    With apologies to Texas and Florida, there’s a 10-mile stretch in south Orange County that has as much if not more football talent than those two states.

    The competition among Santa Margarita, Tesoro and Mission Viejo high schools for landing that talent is fierce.

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    “You could probably put a pin in the middle and probably within three or four miles of that point, you’d be able to touch each of the three schools, and it’s truly amazing, the football success,” Santa Margarita Coach Harry Welch said.

    All three schools are alive in the Pac-5 division playoffs. Santa Margarita (9-2) faces Long Beach Poly (10-1) Friday night at Veterans Stadium. Mission Viejo (9-2) is at Huntington Beach (9-2), and Tesoro (7-4) plays host to Anaheim Servite (10-1).

    Santa Margarita, a Catholic school, is five miles from Tesoro, which is five miles from Mission Viejo. All seek players from the same youth leagues.

    “The caliber of our football is very strong,” Mission Viejo Coach Bob Johnson said.

    Said Tesoro Coach Brian Barnes: “It’s real competitive. Whomever wins, the next year the freshman class is real good.”

    River Cracraft, the standout receiver at Santa Margarita, has a brother, Sky, who played at Tesoro. Yes, families can be divided.

    When any of the three teams meet, it’s a guaranteed sellout crowd.

    Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo could play in the semifinals if both schools win Friday.

  • Dog Town

    These are not story’s that we post, they are opinions. If you do not know the difference get out of here!!!!

  • Dog Town

    Maybe Aram has a little more insite then you give him credit for. LA and DR lineman? OK post next years roster, Good work, but this year is over boys drivel on that. Fight on Bulldogs!!!

  • When we play BOH the WC fans know you are going to bring it to us, and you guys get our full attension. We respect that. As for some these WC haters,put a bandade on it.

  • HH

    LA FAN 1


    Well, they are now. (haha)