Southeast Notebook: West Covina coach Mike Maggiore concerned with La Mirada’s size and football tradition; Muir a game away from a glorious return to the finals

From left, La Mirada offensive linemen Chris Cisneros, Nathan Rodriguez, Nofo Tii, Memo Monreal, Hugo Correa and Spencer Fox will try to show West Covina that hey have big boys too.

Tribune notes on West Covina coach Mike Maggiore setting everyone straight on La Mirada: Things feel eerily familiar around the West Covina High School football team this week. It was at this point in last year’s playoffs that the Bulldogs faced a Mayfair team that pushed them to the brink before earning a hard-fought 28-19 victory en route to a CIF-SS Southeast Division title. Just change the name Mayfair to La Mirada and the Bulldogs’ coaching staff thinks the game they expect on Friday could be a similar fit.
“They’re big, physical and well-coached,” West Covina Mike Maggiore said. “If people think it’s going to be easy for us, I think they’re wrong. They’re going to be similar to Mayfair last year.

Whittier feature on La Mirada’s big offensive line: An offensive lineman’s world doesn’t change much. It consists mainly of an imaginary three-yard box, and it doesn’t matter if the ball rests near the opponent’s goal line, on the 50 or inside his team’s own 10.
Success from this view comes from attitude and work ethic, and that’s what La Mirada High School’s starting front thrives on.

Star-News notes on Muir’s chances at La Serna: It’s what up front that counts, as far as Muir High School football coach Dave Mitchell is concerned.
“I don’t care if you’re running the spread, pro or Wing-T offense, you have to win the battle in the trenches because that’s where games are won,” he said.
Muir (8-4) will have its biggest test to date when it faces a dominant line in La Serna (9-3) in the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals on Friday at California High.

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  • New York

    A younger Muir team took apart a far more decorated La Mirada in last year’s first round. Beware of Muir.

  • 12th man

    I just dont see La Mirada slowing down West Covina..They are big upfront but the linebackers & DB’s lack speed as soon as one of the RB’s from WC find a gap its going to be a long night…I dont expect a blowout like BA gave them early in the season but i do anticipate WC speed will wear them down in the second half~

  • Statement Time

    If WC wants to lay claim to a higher spot in the SGV food chain they better have a better end of the season performance against La Mirada than Amat had coming off the Servite debacle. We’ve already seen the Loyola comparison that is already heavily in Amat’s favor. Anything less than a similar blowout is more proof in the pudding (after CO proving they can’t hang last week) that regardless of record Amat just might be the best team in the valley this year too. Otherwise it’s just a great season full of beating the inferior teams that are put in front of you. Worth props, but doesn’t automatically make a team”better”

  • ????

    I thought the Boys’ Soccer Preview was coming out today? Donde esta?

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Just read Steve’s article on the LM linemen. Good read Steve! Looks like they have atleast a 2 inch and atleast 30 lbs average advantage on our defensive line. Our guys will just have to see if their hard work in the weight room will pay off! Our defense will need to stuff their run and force them to pass where their mass is less effective physicaly on the defense than it would be in run blocking. Another way to force them to pass is for our offense to get some points up in a hurry and make LM play catch up.

    If the battle in the trenches becomes a push, then it will reside on who has the better skill players that can make something out of nothing. That is where I feel WC with their endless supply of talented backs has a decisive advantage. After beating eachother up for 3 quarters the linemen from both squads may start to tire. But in the fourth quarter WC will still have fresh backs with plenty of spring left in their legs to run past, over, around and through a weary defense.

  • Colt74

    Coach Maggiore always says he’s concerned. Then he beats you by 4 touchdowns.

  • I’ve seen Them Play

    I saw La Mirada play when we played them earlier in the year. I don’t knock anybody because I do have respect for all these young men that go out and battle on that gridiron.

    We beat them 49-7, and I just didn’t see their size being anything of significance. They were bigger than we were, as most teams this year were bigger than us. We beat them easily, and pulled our starters midway through the third quarter.

    If everything I have read about W Covina is true, I can’t see La Mirada slowing the Bulldogs down. I see W Covina beating La Mirada by three touchdowns or more. Sorry Matadors.

  • bulldog fan

    West Covina has got this in the bag. If they keep running behind #65 who opens them gaps! It’s going to be a long night for anyone who tries to stop this running team West Covina has! By the end of this game we will have 3 backs breaking the 1000yds each in the same season with 2 more games to go!

  • Bulldog Dad

    I know Amat beat La Mirada 49-13 in week 4 of the season, but I think they are improved since then. I don’t think we will have a problem beating them in the end. And I think we will win by 2 touchdowns or maybe more.

    But it is in the end of the season that teams gel and are much improved. So at this point the Bulldogs are hitting on all cylinders. If we played Amat, we would definately give them a run, and probably win this year. I didn’t see them, but I know they were small, and we would probably run all over them.

    I’m not being an Amat hater, but we are good this year and should win CIF. We are definately one of, if not, the best team in the SGV. I think CO was totally overhyped all season long. And if you use the Loyola game against us, that is not an indicator, as our two studs did not play that game.

  • Matador Alumni

    O.K. for all the doubters, wait and see what happens before you open your big mouths. Bulldog Dad made one good point. The truth is we have improved a lot from the early season, which is what good teams do. And West Covina is no Amat. If we played Amat today, we would probably still lose, but I believe by only 10 points or so. And if West Covina played Amat, they would also lose. West Covina, and LM, are not in the same league as the Amats, but who cares.

    I realize that we are a lower division school, but we are now playing in our own division. We played the Amats of the world early on to get better. And if you look at the second half of the season, we have rolled since the tough early season schedule.

    We will play a tough game against West Covina, and I predict a close game, with LM winning by 7.

  • Fred Robledo

    The La Mirada bloggers are starting to sway me, still don’t think they’ll win, but I won’t be surprised if they do. In addition to the great article by Stevie that shows their size up front, La Mirada is a football town with a football tradition and they’re playing at home. Those are factors you can’t measure.

  • Reality

    Everyone was swayed by the Bishop Amat score and are blinded by their hate of Amat. They figure La Mirada can’t be that good if “lousy” 6-5 Bishop Amat was up 42-0. Guess what, Amat is just that good and no one wants to admit it, because La Mirada is TOUGH!. They SHUT OUT other semi finalist La Serna 32-0 and look at their last 7 games. This is gonna be a ball game gentlemen and it’s gonna force everyone to take a look at comparitive results and face reality

  • 12th man

    Anyone covering the La Habra vs El Toro game?? From what im hearing this game could be epic..Many are saying El Toro will upset the 4 time defending champion..

  • AMAT 73

    BullDog Dad,
    You didn’t see us play this year but you know AMAT’s lines were small . How’s that from reading the blog. We were small in the same manner you are thinking about your team against the big linemen of LM. They may have size but the linemen of WC make up for that in quickness and execution and strength . Great weight program. Ask the Guru about AMAT’s small lines , he was at the Crespi game. I think where WC has the edge is they are battle tested and can grind it out with the best of them .If they play their game they should get the W no doubt in a close game. They have that edge, battle tested against top caliber teams in upper divisions that CO didn’t have against Upland.WC is the class and Champs of the division and they just need to play their game Friday.
    So you think WC would probably beat us . That’s the difference and everyone calls it arrogance or hates on AMAT because our reply is, the last time we played you lost, and we will beat you again, not probably. No matter what you try to knock or hate you always bring AMAT up as to who you would beat now that you’re hitting on all cylindars. You saw Loyola’s linemen , so how did those small LANCERS shut them out the second half even without Rio in at DB . They only put 14 on the board all night . What did they hang on WC and I know you had injuries . So keep La Mirada on your mind and you really need to think about probably beating CO first ( they are number 1 aren’t they ) because you haven’t beaten them in a long time and it was not too long ago that AMAT beat WC the 2 times they played . Hopefully AMAT does play WC again in the future but the trick is to put a damn good team on the field at that time and not say when you lose , but if we would have played in 2011 I know we probably would have beat them and probably run all over them .

  • Dan

    Too Statement Time,
    Your comparative score claims are old news by now.
    Check these scores out.
    Servite 49 Amat 14 = blowout
    Servite 24 La Habra 16 = tight game

    Does this mean La Habra would have a blowout win over Amat? I don’t think they would but by your logic they would.
    Here’s another score:
    La Habra 28 La Mirada 19… Kind of wacky isn’t it? This La Habra team that took mighty Servite to the wire had there hands full vs La Mirada. Does that mean La Mirada could give Servite a game? The same La Mirada that your Lancers rolled.
    As you can see comparative scores mean zero, nada, nilche, especially when using early season scores and comparing them with teams late during playoff time. I could easily imagine, with a seven game win streak and some impressive wins during that streak, that this La Mirada team is much improved over the early season team that your Lancers rolled. My bet is that it would be a better game if they played today, I don’t think your Lancers would have it quite as easy.
    I also don’t think Loyola would have it as easy if they played West Covina today, our blocking is much better compared to the first couple of games and we have Chris Solomon and Jimmy Frazier amongst others back healthy which wasn’t the case when we played Loyola. Funny thing is, there is nothing but opinions on this blog, your’s, mine, and everybody elses, all of them mean very little, and none of our opinions can will a team to victory over another team.
    I respect Amat and Charter Oak and the success those teams have had, I’m not going to go around saying we’re better than those teams because the fact is our teams didn’t play this year, but I will say the way we’ve been playing lately I like our chances.

  • Matadors Fan

    Remember everybody, playoff football is a different beast. Throw out the regular season, no matter who you played. The key is whether your boys believe in themselves and what they have learned over the long season. My son is a senior on the team, and I have never seen them so fired up. You better believe that the Matadors will come to play against WC. We are ready, we are pumped, we are gonna throw down to the end. The results will be what they are, but we will leave it all on the field. We don’t care who we are playing, we are ready for anyone.

  • just sayn’

    I always think its funny when people say a game “would be different” if they played later in the season “because they improved”. Like the OTHER team doesn’t improve as the season goes on too? No – just your team , tight? LOL!

  • 12th man

    STEVEN RIVERA GETS ROBBED!!!!..LA TIMES just announced the Gatorade state player of the year..The winner is Zach Kline from San Ramon Valley HS (Danville,Ca.) check out the numbers & you be the judge….

    Zach Kline

    team record 9-3
    TD’s 30
    INT. 6
    TOTAL YARDS 2856
    YARDS PER GAME 259.6
    COMP% 683

    TEAM RECORD 10-2
    TD’S 38
    TOTAL YARDS 3408
    COMP% 647
    Not to mention Steven led his team in Tackles & Interceptions & was also the punter..His numbers were also better in Rushing yards & Rushing TD’S

  • Joe Amat


    Sorry, I can’t back you on the local guy with this one. San Ramon Valley plays in the East Bay league with DeLa Salle which is one of the Top Ten leagues in the state. They also play a legit pre-league schedule to prepare for that. Those are the guys Kline piled up his numbers against while Rivera got his in the #100-something best league in the state.

    Kline was an Elite 11 kid and will have his pick of several D1 schools to choose from. Rivera is a nice high school player. No offense and congratulations on GREAT season and career that Steven should remember forever, BUT…

    No matter what Aram says, it is NOT the same and Rivera would not have had those #s against the better Inland or Pac5 teams.

  • 12th man

    Joe Amat,
    If what your saying is true why not give the Award to Travis Santiago? Charter Oak is ranked #27 in the state & #249 Nationally compared to San Ramon Valley which is ranked #62 in the state & #589 Nationally…Not to mention many analysis say that the Inland div. is probbably the toughest division in California this year..

    Travis Santiago
    Team Record 10-2
    TD’s 28
    Int. 5
    Total Yards 3362
    Yards per Game 280.2
    Comp% .640

    Both teams got blown out from the top teams in their division..Could it be the last name on the jersey (Santiago,Rivera)…When was the last time a Latino QB won Gatorade State Player of The Year?? “Im just sayin” for thought..

  • Joe Amat


    LOVE recognition for local guys. Loved when Cody got National recognition. but Cody was a BIG TIME recruit going into his senior year and was on EVERYONES’ radar. santiago and Rivera were on NOBODIES radar.

    Do you know why? I think you do. (very Mr. Rodgers-ish…sorry) they play primarily against teams in the SGV!!! Area teams, outside of one, get NO respect from the MaxPreps/Gatorades/etc.

    They can continue to win games, advance in the. Playoffs against other like teams from the SGV, and call it a championship that they’ll cherish forever. But they will NOT get recognition on that kind of level until they start to do it outside the Fish Bowl. Too many questions about “can you do it against anyone recognized as any good”?

  • 12th man

    San Ramon Valley
    Lost to Folsom which is ranked #32 in state
    Lost to De La Salle which is ranked #6 state
    Lost to Monte Vista which is ranked #102

    Charter Oak
    Lost to Rancho Cuca..which is ranked #14 state
    Lost to Upland which is ranked #2 state

    You could argue that Charter Oak played in a tougher division~

  • 12th man

    Joe Amat,
    I hear what you’re saying…I was just pushing for some local recognition from the SGV…Honestly my votes would have been for Johnny Stanton (Santa Margarita)..Abron(RB Upland) or Lawler (WR Upland)

  • Steve Ramirez

    Joe, Joe, Joe: The part your missing is not the competition each is going up against, but ranking their season. While a Pac-5 QB may be more-gifted than say a Mid-Valley QB, they are playing with and against players at or around their skill level. You basically have to use the pound-for-pound argument, judging seasons, not talent-level.
    At Just sayin’: Some teams get better as the season goes on; others don’t, peak too early and don’t quite play like they had been previously.

  • bobbradstreet

    Good luck Bulldogs. The fans are so excited.

  • Dan

    Steve R.,
    You beat me to the punch.
    @ Just saying: Think a little harder about this. Some teams get better while others can actually regress, things like injuries can change a team for the worse, so can a change in team attitude. Certain losses can bring down moral just as certain wins can send a team on a roll. Both West Covina and La Mirada had brand new lines at the start of the season, It’s not too hard to imagine a big improvement over the course of the season as these guy’s get more varsity experience and as they play together longer. I know that Loyola returned most of their offensive line from last year, West Co had 1 returning starter, over the course of the season which line do you think will have the greater improvement?

  • Joe Amat


    You know as well as I do that State and National recognition is VERY rarely given out on a “pound-for-pound” basis or using the “Aram Tolegian world-in-which-they-live” method. Then, in the rare times it is (think Rashaan Salaam), it goes to a National Recruit who that has a great reputation going into their senior seasns for whatever reason (great junior years, combine-ish scores, size, athletic freakisness, etc) As much as we love local guys, that’s the way it is and we both know it. Anything less would make the award lose all credibility because everyone would question their performance against that level of competition…as, obviously, have college recruiters in the players mentioned.

  • wc players

    Do we play friday or saturday in the championship! Sorry La mirada!

  • The mats

    @wc players
    i sure hope u guys are thinking about next week already.

  • Dan

    Having been to the practices this week and talking with WC players I am very confident that the post below is not from the WC players, but just a poser trying to stir the pot and fire up the La Mirada team. Could be a hater or a passionate La Mirada fan. Every player I spoke with this week had a similar mindset as coach Maggiore amd his staff, they know La Mirada is playing some good ball at this time and that this game with La Mirada will be a battle and the boys are prepared to go to the wire. The Bulldogs are taught to respect their opponent and are conditioned in the mind to go hard on every play till the game is over.
    Good luck to all teams tonight, hope and pray for safe and injury free games for all teams involved in this weekends games.