Tribune Super 35 Rankings: Bishop Amat defends No. 1 in huge win over Servite, setting up 1 vs. 2 this week at Chino Hills

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE’S SUPER 35 RANKINGS

1. Bishop Amat (1-0) — Lancers’ 40-23 win over Servite was best in over a year. Should quiet the SGV doubters, at least for a week. Now comes the big tests against the Tribune and Whittier’s best. The next four weeks against Chino Hills, La Mirada, Charter Oak and St. Paul will answer even more questions.

2. Chino Hills (1-0) — QB Matt Simko was sensational in his debut, throwing for 232 yards and five TDs in 41-20 win over Arlington. Huskies can take over top spot with a home victory over Bishop Amat next.

3. West Covina (1-0) — Even with three starters missing, including QB Jon Najera, the Bulldogs easily disposed of Covina, 34-0. If West Covina beats Loyola this week, in my opinion, it will be one of the best wins in school history for the two-time defending Southeast champions. Najera is expected to play this week.

4. Damien (0-0) – The Spartans get a huge test out of the gate at home against Orange Lutheran. All signs point toward the Spartans having a big year in 2012, but lets see how they handle a heavyweight off the bat.

5. Charter Oak (0-0) – The Chargers make their debut against the Inland Empire’s Roosevelt. The Chargers have one of the best defense’s on paper in the SGV. If they can prove they can score points, they’ll move up our rankings quick.

6. San Dimas (1-0) — The Saints’ thrilling victory over Bonita in the Smudgepot moves them up two spots with an area showdown against Azusa next. The Saints nearly blew a three-touchdown lead to Bonita, but overall, they looked great.

7. South Hills (1-0) — Huge come-from-behind 33-28 win for the Huskies at Colony. QB Adam Goss had 15 carries for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Marcus Longonii had two fumble returns for touchdowns. Bonita is next.

8. Ayala (1-0) – Jordan Robinson rushed for 207 yards and three TDS in an easy 46-17 win over Diamond Bar. They can show just how much they’ve improved at home against Monrovia this week, who Aram ranks No. 2 in all of the SGV.

9. Diamond Ranch (1-0) – The Panthers got an impressive 22-14 season-opening win over Chino behind a solid performance from William Bryan, who rushed for 134 yards.

10. El Monte (1-0) - QB poster boy Brandon Martinez didn’t disappoint in his season-debut, throwing for 400 yards and five touchdowns in a 44-41 shootout win over much improved Baldwin Park.

The rest: 11. Los Altos (1-0), 12. Bonita (0-1), 13. Glendora (0-0), 14. Azusa (0-0), 15. Claremont (0-1), 16. Northview (1-0), 17. Walnut (1-0), 18. Rowland (1-0), 19. Rosemead (0-0), 20. Baldwin Park (0-1), 21. Covina (0-1), 22. Duarte (1-0), 23. Mountain View (1-0), 24. La Puente (0-0), 25. Arroyo (0-1), 26. Wilson (1-0), 27. Diamond Bar (0-1), 28. South El Monte (0-0), 29. Gladstone (0-0), 30. Nogales (0-1), 31. Bassett (1-0), 32. Sierra Vista, 33. Workman (0-1), 34. Pomona (0-1), 35. Ganesha (0-1)

Check out our Maxpreps Made Easy Widget for Tribune Football Fans. If coaches are posting rosters, updating stats and standings, this is the most useful SGV widget there is. Check it out, makes following your teams and area leaders simple.



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Tribskin Pick’em: Your picks and ours

Aram and I will go head-to-head in Tribskin Pick’em throughout the season for our annual dinner bet.Week 0 results are in

Last Week: Robledo (15-6); Tolegian (12-9).
Season: Tolegian (15-6); Tolegian (12-9).

Last Week: As far as predictions go, this is one of my worst opening weeks in history but Aram was even worse, so I’m leading by three after Week 0. Aram missed what I think is a Tribskin record nine games, he barely stayed above .500. He took Bonita, Servite, Arroyo and Nogales, who all lost. Surprisingly, he nailed a shocker in Mountain View over Alhambra and called South Hills over Colony. I picked up games on Aram by taking San Dimas over Bonita, Los Altos over Arroyo, Montclair over Ganesha, Rowland over Noglaes and Diamond Ranch over Chino.

This week: With Loyola struggling to put away Harvard-Westlake combined with West Covina winning so easily over Covina without QB Jon Najera at quarterback, I’m calling the upset of West Covina over Loyola. The Bulldogs have played these step-up games in the past and got pounded, but I don’t have that feeling this time. It’s time for the Bulldogs to show the Valley Amat’s not the only area team that can take down the big boys. Another semi-upset call, if that’s what you want to call it, is Ayala over Monrovia. Jordan Robinson was spectacular in his debut win over Diamond Bar, and having a home game and a game under its belt should benefit the Bulldogs, who are extremely talented. I think Chino Hills is going to give Amat all it can handle. The Lancers may have not come down from the clouds after Friday’s big win over Servite, so Chino Hills is getting them at the right time. But Amat wins. As improved as Damien is, not sure they’re ready to handle Orange Lutheran. I like Charter Oak big over Roosevelt and for San Dimas to crush Azusa.

This weeks games and predictions
Thursday’s games

Covina at La Puente, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Covina); Tolegian (La Puente)
Rosemead at Irvine, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Irvine); Tolegian (Irvine)
Friday’s games
Arroyo at Temple City, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Arroyo): Tolegian (Arroyo)
Azusa at San Dimas, 7 p.m. — Robledo (San Dimas); Tolegian (Saints)
Bishop Amat at Chino Hills, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BAmat); Tolegian (Amat)
Charter Oak at Roosevelt, 7 p.m. — Robledo (COak); Tolegian (Chargers)
Claremont vs. Glendora at Citrus, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Glendora); Tolegian (Glendora)
Diamond Ranch at El Rancho, 7 p.m. – Robledo (DRanch); Tolegian (Roddy)
Duarte at Cerritos Valley Christian, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Duarte); Tolegian (Valley Chr.)
Garey at Ganesha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Ganesha); Tolegian (Garey)
Keppel vs. Workman at La Puente, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Workman); Tolegian (Workman)
Los Altos at Salesian, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Los Altos); Tolegian (Los Altos)
Loyola at West Covina, 7 p.m. — Robledo (West Covina); Tolegian (WestCo)
Orange Lutheran at Damien, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Lutheran); Tolegian (Damien)
Monrovia at Ayala, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Ayala); Tolegian (M-Town)
Mountain View at Bassett, 7 p.m. — Robledo (MView); Tolegian (Mountain View)
Northview vs. Gladstone at CDF, 7 p.m. –Robledo (NView); Tolegian (NHS)
Norwalk vs. Diamond Bar at Excelsior, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Norwalk); Tolegian (D-Bar)
Ontario Christian at El Monte, 7 p.m. – Robledo (EMonte); Tolegian (Ont. Chr.)
Pomona at Chino, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Chino); Tolegian (Chino)
Rowland at Wilson, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Wilson); Tolegian (Rowland)
South El Monte at Nogales, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Nogales); Tolegian (SEM)
South Hills at Bonita, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SHills); Tolegian (Bonita)
Troy at Walnut, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Troy); Tolegian (Troy)
Baldwin Park at La Costa Canyon, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Costa); Tolegian (LCC)

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Chino Hills coach Derek Bub told Aram he was impressed with Bishop Amat

From In the Huddle: “I’ll tell you what, Amat didn’t just beat them, they owned that game from the first whistle to the last whistle. I give Bishop Amat a ton of credit. That’s a game you could easily go into and say “it’s Servite, we just want to play around with these guys and be in the game. But they came out and took it to them for four quarters. They have great speed on defense and their skill position players are better than I’ve seen out of them in a while.” — Chino HIlls coach Derek Bub on Amat

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Saturday Morning Quarterback: Bishop Amat smacks Servite, 40-23; West Covina, Los Altos roll; El Monte in thriller over Baldwin Park

Bishop Amat’s photo gallery in big win over Servite

For stories of Friday’s games, visit the Tribune Preps new and improved webpage

Bishop Amat whips Servite 40-23, Game Story: Bishop Amat felt comfortable entering the season at just about every spot except quarterback, where junior Koa Haynes was taking over for Rio Ruiz after a few shaky starts replacing the injured Ruiz last season.
Those fears are gone.
Haynes showed no signs of nervousness at all, not even with seven-time Trinity League champion Servite visiting Kiefer Stadium in the opener for both schools and fresh off the memory of the Friars’ beatdown over the Lancers last season by 35 points.
Haynes completed 14 of 21 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for a 9-yard touchdown in the Lancers’ 40-23 victory Friday.

Check out the Inland Insider’s highlights and postgame interviews on Bishop Amat’s 40-23 whipping over Servite ..

Friday’s Results
Bishop Amat 40, Servite 23 -- It’s about time Amat thrilled fans with another step-up victory and what a junior debut for QB Koa Haynes and the Lancers’ D. Chino Hills, you’re up next.
West Covina 34, Covina 0 — It’s about what you expected, Bulldogs up 21-0 at half then cruising.
Mountain View 10, Alhambra 6 – In some ways, this is the biggest shocker of the night, maybe even bigger than Amat.
Chino Hills 41, Arlington 20 -- Chino Hills warms up before its home date next week with Amat with an easy win over Arlington.
Los Altos 33, Arroyo 6 — The Conquerors rolled all over the visiting Knights, which shows what a great job they’re doing coaching ‘em up in the Heights.
Ayala 46, Diamond Bar 17 — The Bulldogs appear to be much different than last year, but we’ll know for sure next week against Monrovia.
El Monte 44, Baldwin Park 41 — The Braves promised to air it out and they did, but the Lions held on with a pretty good offense of their own.
Diamond Ranch 22, Chino 14 — For a change, the Panthers get off to a quick start. Nothing like a more winnable schedule.
Duarte 46, Marshall 0 — Wouldn’t read too much into it, but it shows that the Falcons mean business this season.
Montclair 40, Ganesha 6 — Not surprised by the result, the Giants continue to struggle.
Great Oak 38, Claremont 14 – Really don’t know what to say about Claremont until they play a team we’re familiar with. I mean, it’s Great Oak.
Northview 33, Ontario 0 – All the whispers we’ve been hearing about the Vikings having a good team looked spot on tonight.
Notre Dame 47, Workman 7 — It could be another long season for the Lobos if they give up points like this.
Rowland 15, Nogales 6 – The Raiders needed a win in the worst way after a miserable 2011.
Salesian 22, Sierra Vista 0 – I’m more surprised the Dons didn’t score than giving up 22 points. In any case, not a good sign.
South Hills 33, Colony 28 — The Huskies rallied for a big win. Kind of surprising considering how they looked in last week’s scrimmage. Great debut for coach Albert Rodriguez.
Walnut 40, Don Lugo 21 – Robert Gonzalez rushed for 247 yards for the Mustangs.
Bassett 14, Keppel 0 – Big win for the Olympians.
Wilson 21, Bosco Tech 6 — After what the Wildcats have been through the last few years, any win is a good win.

For quarter updates of tonight’s games, click the scoreboard page

SCRIBBLELIVE: Join Mike the Cousin for tonight’s Bishop Amat-Servite game from Kiefer. Mike will launch at 6:45 p.m. and will have plenty of updates from other area games.

SERVITE VS. BISHOP AMAT

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Thursday Night Final: San Dimas blows a huge lead, then scores late to hold off Bonita, 37-36 to reclaim the Smudge Pot

TOM KISS’ HIGHLIGHTS AND POSTGAME OF THE SMUDGEPOT IS UP…CHECK IT OUT, ANOTHER AWESOME JOB BY TOM AND STAFF.

Check out Keith Birmingham’s photo gallery of tonight’s game

San Dimas led 23-0 and 30-8, looking like it would roll over, around and through Bonita in the 40th Smudge Pot. But the ‘Cats clawed back and showed a lot of fight in coach Adrian Medrano’s debut, rallying to take a 36-30 lead, but the Saints scored again in the final minutes to reclaim the lead and held on for the victory. In the meantime, I posted a quick version of tonight’s highlights and reaction

Game Story: The San Dimas High School football team’s season has already been one of the roller-coaster variety. And it’s only one game in. The Saints lost a 23-point lead but converted a Bonita fumble into the go-ahead touchdown with two minutes remaining in a 37-36 victory over their bitter rival Thursday night at Citrus College.

Aram’s Column: There’s nothing anyone can tell Bonita High School running back Reggie Turner right now, so just shut up.

Turner is feeling the pain from his late fumble that three plays later led to San Dimas scoring the go-ahead touchdown and crucial extra point for a 37-36 win in a stirring renewal of the Smudge Pot on Thursday night at Citrus College.

SCRIBBLELIVE REPLAY: Mike the Cousin is back with our new live chat on ScribbleLive, where Mike updates the game of the week, shares scores throughout the area as they happen and chats away with you, our readers, who sign on and join the fun. It’s easy, check out tonight’s replay, we’ll do it again tomorrow when Amat hosts Servite.

SAN DIMAS 37, BONITA 36

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The third annual PrepXtra Football Preview Magazine is available Today in home delivery, newsracks and our SGVN offices, don’t miss it

If you have a home subscription to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News or Whittier Daily News, you’ll find the 111-page PrepXtra Football Preview Magazine in your newspaper this morning. The Magazine is also available with a copy of your paper at newsracks and will be sold at our home offices at the Tribune, Star-News and Whittier Daily News, so don’t miss it.

To view contents of the PrepXtra Football Preview Magazine Online click the link. We have team previews of every team in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune coverage area available now!

61891-PREPXTRA.jpg

2012 TRIBUNE PRESEASON ALL-AREA TEAM
Offense
QB: Brandon Martinez, El Monte, Sr.
RB: Dionza Blue, Bishop Amat, Sr.
RB: Aaron Salgado, West Covina, Sr.
WR: Jack Austin, Chino Hills, Sr.
WR: Bryce Bobo, Charter Oak
ALL: Aaren Vaughns, Charter Oak, Sr.
OL: Lake Aiono, South Hills, Sr.
OL: Riley Deen, South Hills, Sr.
OL: D.J. Theard, Bonita, Sr.
OL: James Rivera, Arroyo, Sr.
OL: Raul Gomez, West Covina, Sr.
PK: Jack Schneider, Charter Oak, Sr.

Defense
DL: Alex Hernandez, Charter Oak, Sr.
DL: Justin Hornsby, West Covina, Sr.
DL: Kammy Delp, Diamond Ranch, Jr.
LB: Bradley Ojala, West Covina, Sr.
LB: D.J. Daniels, Bishop Amat, Sr.
LB: Sal Velasquez, Bishop Amat, Sr
LB: Justin Bugh, San Dimas, Sr.
DB: Khari Garcia, Charter Oak, Sr.
DB: Darren Andrews, Bishop Amat, Sr.
DB: Muleck Henderson, West Covina, Sr.
DB: Jordan Robinson, Ayala, Sr.
P: Brandt Davis, Bonita, Sr.

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CIF Preseason Football Polls: SGV SNUBS, Two-time Southeast champ West Covina No. 2 in Southeast; two-time Mid-Valley champ Monrovia No. 2 in Mid-Valley; Charter Oak No. 6 in tough Inland; Bishop Amat off the board in Pac-5


CIF-SS PRESEASON FOOTBALL POLLS
MIDVALLEY DIVISION
1. Sierra Canyon, 2. Monrovia, Paraclete, 4. Covina , 5. San Dimas, 6. Arroyo, 7. Alhambra, 8. San Gabriel, 9. South El Monte, 10. San Marino.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION
1. La Mirada, 2. West Covina, 3. La Serna, 4. Bonita, 5. Muir, 6. Mayfair, 7. Arcadia, 8. Bellflower, 9. Santa Fe, 10. Paramount

INLAND DIVISION
1. Vista Murrieta, 2. Rancho Cucamonga, 3. Upland, 4. Corona Centennial, 5. Redlands East Valley, 6. Charter Oak, 7. Redlands, 8. Etiwanda, 9. Chino Hills, 10. Murrieta Valley.

PAC-5 DIVISION
1. Santa Margarita, 2. Oaks Christian, 3. Westlake, 4. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 5. San Clemente, 6. Mater Dei, 7. Mission Viejo, 8. Alemany, 9. St. Bonaventure, 10. Tesoro

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Read more prep football news from our partners at the Daily Bulletin and SB Sun

Our partners at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and San Bernardino Sun have been busy preparing for the football season and I want to share some stories that important to all of us….

Clay Fowler explains why Chino Hills is ready to dethrone Charter Oak as Sierra league champions.

Clay Fowler looks at Diamond Ranch and the tall order it has in dethroning the beast, Hacienda League champion West Covina

Another inside look at San Dimas and what to expect in 2012

What will Ganesha look like in 2012? Coach Rice explains

Below: Chino Hills QB Matt Smiko

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Balwin Park and new coach Chris Williams ready for El Monte with an all-out aerial assault

Baldwin Park going Tony Zanish on offense, ready to take on El Monte in season opener

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer

For years Baldwin Park High School has been the bruising, prodding, three yards and a cloud of dust football team that grinded out wins and had some memorable seasons under former coach James Heggins.

That’s all about to change.

First-year coach Chris Williams plans to air it out, which will remind some of legendary coach Tony Zane, the famed Braves coach who caused defensive coordinators nightmares in the 1980′s and ’90′s. (to continue click thread)

Continue reading

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What a surprise, Bishop Amat heads the SGV Tribune’s preseason Top Ten Football Rankings

There will be a more thorough breakdown of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s preseason Top Ten Rankings in Thursday’s PrepXtra Preview Magazine, but it’s time to unveil the teams, and you shouldn’t be surprised who I gave top billing.

1. Bishop Amat – There are other teams with better chances of winning league titles and CIF championships in their respective divisions, but No. 1 to start the season simply comes down to who you think is the best if everyone played each other, and Amat is still the best until an area team dethrones them, or has bigger wins on the resume when the season is over. It’s that simple. Aram can argue other teams all he wants, but until teams like Charter Oak, Chino Hills or West Covina beat Amat, the Lancers are still tops in the Valley. And guess what, Charter Oak and Chino Hills will get their shot. That’s how this works, you want No. 1, earn it on the field, not against a weaker schedule. Just a fun fact here, Aram has Monrovia No. 1 in his all encompassing ranking. On my list Monrovia would be No. 6 behind the Tribune’s Top 5. Who you schedule and who you beat means everything.

2. Chino Hills – I’ve never seen senior quarterback Matt Simko, the transfer from Colony who is supposed to revitalize the Huskies and make them instant Sierra League contenders. Chino Hills has a great coaching staff. They have a great program. In terms of numbers and demographics, nobody in the SGV can compete. But can they put it all together? We’re going to find out, but it looks good on paper.

3. West Covina – The back-to-back Southeast Division champs have the potential to be better than the previous title teams because it has a bonafide quarterback, a guy you can rank with the best in the area, something the Bulldogs haven’t had in a long, long time. The Bulldogs can run, they’ve always been able to run. They’re physical on defense and swarm at you like no other. Now, with Jonathan Najera at QB, they could be more dangerous than ever and having a legitimate QB gives them a much better shot at Loyola next week.

4. Damien – Gano’s last hurrah? Ok, just joking, but it might feel like that if the Spartans don’t do something special like win the Sierra League title and get past the first round of the Inland playoffs. Quarterback Gage Pucci is as good as advertised, they have receivers and backs to potentially be one of the best offense’s in the area. If the defense holds up, watch out.

5. Charter Oak — Here’s the deal, I thought so highly of quarterback Travis Santiago I can’t imagine life for the Chargers without him, particularly because there was no Santiago incumbent waiting in the wings. The QB spot is a huge question mark as is the running game with Kurt Scoby now at St. Paul. But on defense, the Chargers are as solid as anyone in the area, arguably even better than Amat. But in the Sierra and Inland you have to score points and I’m not convinced the Chargers can do that on a consistent level yet.

6. Bonita — The drop-off from 5 to 6 is huge, and I mean huge, but I’m comfortable with the ‘Cats in this spot because of Sunshine, junior quarterback Tanner Diebold and a solid running game with Reggie Turner. That’s a one-two punch that few teams ranked below have, so I’m rolling with it.

7. South Hills — If I’m being completely honest with myself, I made this ranking BEFORE watching last week’s scrimmage against Covina. I thought the Huskies had size on the line, but speedier players ran by them. There also wasn’t the super impact players that Huskies teams always have, but like I said, the gap between the top five and the rest is huge, so maybe the Huskies do live up to this ranking.

8. San Dimas — Once again the favorite to win the Valle Vista League because they return eight starters on defense and everyone knows in Bill Zernickow’s Wing Z, they score points. The Saints averaged 36 points a game last year and got to the Mid-Valley semifinals. Can they do it again? They probably can.

9. Ayala — This is the year when the great freshman class from 2009 are seniors. That freshman class went undefeated and ever since have talked about 2012. Well, it’s here now. You probably think they should have been better last year if they’re going to make a dramatic turnaround from 3-7, but sometimes a fresh start is all you need.

10. El Monte – The Big sleeper. I’m going to take some abuse for this, but of all the teams in our top ten, the Lions have the best shot at going 10-0. They also have a quarterback in Brandon Martinez that IS the next Steven Rivera. Martinez could play and be a standout anywhere, both with his arm and his legs. Trouble with El Monte is reputation, they don’t have one. They’re being hyped for the first time in a long time, so how will they answer the bell?

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Prep Notebook: Chino Hills honoring Wounded Warriors in all black on Friday; West Covina QB Najera a question mark against Covina

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN

Chino Hills High School will honor the Wounded Warrior Project on Friday night by wearing black jerseys with camouflage numbers and Wounded Warrior patches in the football season opener against Arlington.

Instead of having the players’ names on the back of the jerseys, the names of wounded warriors from the area will take their places. Each player will learn some information about the name of the wounded warrior they are representing in the game.

Kickoff is 7 p.m.

“I just felt it was a good cause for our kids to do something for the community,” Huskies coach Derek Bub said. “It opens our kids’ eyes to the outside world and it’s our little thanks to those who sacrifice their health to give us the opportunity to play this game.”

The Wounded Warrior Project aims to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, according to the project’s website. A portion of game proceeds will be donated to the project.

“I know it’s a good cause,” Bub said. “My brother-in-law is an officer in the Navy and through some conversations with him he just told me what a great foundation it is.”

The Huskies enter the season with high expectations. Much of them have to do with the arrival of new quarterback Matt Simko, who transferred from Colony during the offseason.

Simko’s coach at Colony, Matt Bechtel, now is offensive coordinator at Chino Hills. Simko is blessed with having one of the top receivers in the are to throw to in Boise State-bound senior Jack Austin.

Medrano ready for debut

New Bonita head coach Adrian Medrano will get his baptism by fire on Thursday at Citrus College in the Smudge Pot game against rival San Dimas.

The rookie head coach has been starting to feel the pressure this week thanks to modern technology.

“I’m getting phone calls and text messages from people I’ve never met before,” Medrano said. “I’m getting emails left and right from people.

“Obviously, it’s a pretty big deal for the community. A lot of people are excited about it and I’m pretty excited about it, too.”

Medrano will preach calm this week in practice because the last thing his team needs is to lose its focus when preparing for a difficult offense like San Dimas’ Wing-Z, Zernickow’s variation of the Wing-T.

Bonita and San Dimas exchanged films from their scrimmages Friday. After watching the Saints scrimmage Diamond Ranch, Medrano knows his defense had better be on its best behavior.

“They were pretty vanilla in that scrimmage, but Zernickow is going to come out with a few twists,” Medrano said. “He’s a great coach and gives opposing teams a headache with those things.”

West Covina’s Najera a game-time decision

West Covina quarterback Jon Najera missed Monday’s practice and is expected to sit out today as well because of a knee injury suffered in Friday’s scrimmage against Claremont.

Bulldogs head coach Mike Maggiore said Najera, a senior, will be a game-time decision on Friday night when West Covina opens its season in front of the FOX Sports cameras against Covina at Covina District Field.

Najera beat out sophomore Antonio “Noodles” Hull for the starting job after a prolonged battle this spring and summer. Hull would start on Friday if Najera can’t go.

“We have to see how it feels,” Maggiore said. “We’ll know a lot more on Wednesday. We’re not going to push something like that at this point in the season.

“He’s gotten a lot more range of motion in the last 48 hours, so I think he’ll be fine.”

Najera is scheduled to have an MRI next week to determine if there is a meniscus tear. The injury is more bad luck for Najera, who started last year’s season opener against Covina only to leave the game early with an injury and never reclaim his starting job from then-senior Chris Caballero.

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