Above: Bonita’s new coach Adrian Medrano
By Aram Tolegian, SGVN twitter.com/ChemicalAT
After an offseason of nonstop coaching changes, spring practice will hold special meaning for several of the area’s high school football.
Monday marked the official first spring workouts for new head coaches across the Valley, but at Bonita and Rosemead the transition looks likely to go easier than expected.
At Bonita, Adrian Medrano goes from assistant coach to head coach after spending several years under former head coach Eric Podley, who will be on Medrano’s staff. Longtime defensive coordinator Ray Medina also remains on staff.
At Rosemead, Marc Paramo goes from defensive coordinator under program stalwart Matt Koffler to head coach. Paramo already has gotten a jump on the situation by holding Wednesday night practices for the past nine weeks.
Both coaches could hardly contain their enthusiasm about the start of their respective tenures. Monday was the first official first day to show it on the field. (To continue click thread)
Below: Mr. Podley’s not the head guy in charge, but at least he’s still part of it on the sidelines.
“I called a buddy on the way to the school this morning, it was like 6:45 a.m.,” Paramo said. “And he was like `What is wrong with you? You’re hyper.Did you have a coffee?’
“I was just excited for football to officially begin. To get on the grass. I couldn’t even tell you how excited I was.”
For Medrano and Paramo, inheriting programs that already are established as consistent winners means little time will be wasted trying to build from the ground up. The spring and summer mostly will be spent adding new twists to existing systems and letting position battles play out.
“We’ve been kind of doing some things before school and after school and feel like we’re farther ahead than we’ve been in the past,” Medrano said.
“Things aren’t going to be too different. There are some things different as far as terminology is concerned. We’ll be doing a couple things differently offensively. But for the most part, it’s the same system.”
One thing to keep an eye on at both schools during the upcoming months is the quarterback battles. Bonita and Rosemead return experienced starters, but both coaches said the position is considered open for the time being.
At Rosemead, that means Adan Guillen is no lock to take the first snap under center in the fall. Paramo said the Panthers’ offense also will be a little more open than how it was under Koffler. Part of that is by need because Rosemead won’t be as big as last season, but it does have a solid group of skill players.
Tanner Diebold is considered the front-runner to be the starting quarterback at Bonita. But while he’s with the Bearcats’ baseball team, Cody Brazzil and Tyler Schwartz will get the snaps.
Medrano reported Bonita will have 115 players in the program this spring. The numbers aren’t so good at Rosemead, where Paramo said he currently has 62 players and is worried about the low turnout.
“I really am concerned,” Paramo said. “I really want the numbers to go up.
“That was one of our biggest goals. It was one of the reasons we started so early, to create some excitement. And it has with those kids are who just dialed in. We really need to tap into more of our Asian population here. We have two very good Asians on our team.
“A lot of times their parents won’t allow them to play.”