Mark Aug. 23 on your calendars, it’s not only the day San Dimas visits Bonita to open the 2012 football season in the Smudgepot, it’s also the debut of the third annual PrepXtra Football Preview issue. This is our best ever, close to a 100-page book that will include 67-team pages from the Whittier Daily News, Pasadena Star-News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune. We figured why split it all up, let’s share team previews for all our readers in one giant magazine. We’ve spent the month of July taking pictures, talking to coaches and writing previews. Here is a sneak preview of what coaches are saying …
“I don’t think any one game matters more than the other, but we scheduled these games because we think they will challenge us and help us get better. Charter Oak and Chino Hills will be fun for the folks around here, but that’s not the reason we scheduled each other. I think we all felt it was in our best interest to play each other to help improve. Those are two (Chino Hills and Charter Oak) two quality schools and I think it creates a playoff atmosphere with fans. So, it’s good for everyone.” — Amat coach Steve Hagerty on facing Charter Oak and Chino Hills.
“I know the challenges,” Spathias said. “I know a couple coaches in the Valley who said don’t take it, it’s physical suicide. But the timing was right. Some of my kids have (graduated high school) and I have a freshman (daughter) at Bonita that said, ‘dad, go ahead and do it.'” — Basset coach Hector Spathias on taking the job.
“The strength of our team is probably our skill people,” Gano said. “We’re going to do what I’ve always done. When I had the weapons at Los Altos, I used them. We’re not going to hold back.” –– Damien coach Greg Gano on skill players.
“Chino Hills has got all the pieces. Damien is much improved, they have kids who are experienced now. Claremont looks better, we saw them in summer. And then Ayala and South Hills are just laying in the grass waiting for you.”
“If Duarte kept all the players that should be here, they would be a power. But we have to give them a reason not to go, and that’s on the coaches to create an atmosphere so they don’t want to go somewhere else. I honestly feel that winning heals all. If we win it will be a lot easier to retain talent and make it harder for other schools to come to our city and take our players.” — Duarte coach Jason Martin on keeping players at home.
“I’m not a big prediction guy. We’ll play, we’ll play hard and we’ll see where it gets us, that’s the only promise I’m making. I’m 26-years-old and new to coaching, but I’m not new to the game of life. We want to build high-character young men. For me, building great young people is more important than anything.” — Pomona’s new coach Aaron Jamieson on expectations.
“Nogales is a school that hasn’t been in the playoff hunt for a long time. It comes down to belief and trying to get the school and community to believe we’re capable of winning. I believe the players are ready for it. There’s a confidence in them I didn’t see when I arrived. But they all still hear the doubters in the community who say, ‘you lost all these guys, you won’t be any good.'”That’s tough to hear when you’re a high school kid, but it’s also created a chip on their shoulder which is good. It gives them something to prove.” — Nogales coach Sebastian Hernandez on the doubters.
“With our offense we see all kinds of variations of defense’s to try and keep us from doing what we’re doing. The most important part of our offense is how our offensive line adjusts to the different variations and how they block for our backs. They’re young and there will still be growing pains, but they’re ahead of the curve.” — Sierra Vista coach Don Legro on experienced offensive line.
“We’re banking on a lot of experience this year. Excuses are out the door. Team execution and consistency in all aspects of the game are a priority. Returning 26 players from last year’s squad is huge. We have a lot of varsity experience on this year’s team. Experience should play a huge roll in close games and throughout the season.” — Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez on expectations.
“Motivation, that’s the biggest thing. The last two years they’ve been getting their butts kicked. They’ve worked hard to be in the position they’re in . We’ve preached that hard work will pay off and I think they believe it.” — Northview coach Marcel Perez on motivation