Two-Minute Drill: Servite at Bishop Amat


Two-Minute Drill: Aram and I weigh in on Servite visiting Kiefer Stadium on Friday night to take on Bishop Amat at 7 p.m.

Amat-Servite 2011 Rewind: Tom Kiss’ highlights from Servite’s 49-14 whipping over Amat last year.

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Two-Minute Drill: Bonita vs. San Dimas


Two-Minute Drill: Aram and I weigh in on the Smudge Pot, Bonita vs. San Dimas, Thursday night, 7 p.m., Citrus college

Coming: Bishop Amat-Servite (Tuesday); Los Altos-Arroyo (Tuesday); Covina-West Covina (Wednesday)

Smudge Pot 2011 Rewind: Check out Tom Kiss’ highlights of Bonita’s 2011 win over San Dimas in the Smudge

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Tribskin Pick’em: Your picks and ours

For the second straight year Aram and I will go head-to-head in Tribskin Pick’em throughout the season for our annual dinner bet. Aram won by one stinking game last season and I want payback. That’s right, football is finally here with this week’s picks.
Last Week: Robledo (0-0); Tolegian (0-0).
Season: Tolegian (0-0); Tolegian (0-0).


Check out San Dimas’ new football field from Friday’s scrimmage vs. Diamond Ranch

This week: Week 0 is the easiest to screw up because there are so many uncertainties and unknowns, but as usual, we get most of these right. Thursday’s Smudge Pot is a toss-up, but after losing two straight and returning seven starters on defense and an offense that usually figures ways to score, I like San Dimas to reclaim the trophy over Bonita in a close game Thursday. Fox Sports West is airing West Covina-Covina live on Friday, which is great for only one team, West Covina, who I like by three touchdowns and wouldn’t be surprised if they’re up three at halftime. Bishop Amat is usually good for at least one step-up win per season, but not this week against Servite. Not only did Servite smoke Amat last year, if you watched it wasn’t that close. There are changes to both personnel, but seriously, how much difference could a year make? Take Servite. Arroyo and Los Altos might be the most interesting. I always thought if you take QB Steven Rivera away from Arroyo the Knights are a 2-8 or 3-7 team. You’ll find out why I thought that on Friday, take Los Altos. There were many other tough calls, like Rowland over Nogales, Colony over South Hills, Ayala over Diamond Bar and Northview over Ontario, but hey, it’s the first week, lets see how you do? I’ll post Aram’s picks this afternoon.

Thursday’s game
San Dimas at Bonita, 7 p.m. — Robledo (San Dimas); Tolegian (Bonita)
Friday’s games
Servite at Bishop Amat, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Servite); Tolegian (Servite)
West Covina vs. Covina at Covina District, 7:30 p.m. – Robledo (WCovina); Tolegian (WestCo)
Alhambra at Mountain View, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Alhambra); Tolegian (Mountain View)
Arlington at Chino Hills, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Chino Hills); Tolegian (Chino Hills)
Arroyo at Los Altos, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Los Altos); Tolegian (Arroyo)
Ayala at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Ayala); Tolegian (Ayala)
Baldwin Park at El Monte, 7 p.m. — Robledo (El Monte); Tolegian (El Monte)
Bassett at Keppel, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Bassett); Tolegian (Bassett)
Diamond Ranch vs. Chino at Ganesha 7 p.m. — Robledo (DRanch); Tolegian (Chino)
Duarte at Marshall, 4 p.m. — Robledo (Duarte); Tolegian (Duarte)
Ganesha at Montclair, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Montclair); Tolegian (Ganesha)
Garey at Pomona, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Pomona); Tolegian (Pomona)
Great Oak at Claremont, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Great Oak); Tolegian (Great Oak)
Northview vs. Ontario at Chaffey — Robledo (Northview); Tolegian (Northview)
Notre Dame vs. Workman at La Puente, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Notre Dame); Tolegian (ND)
Rowland at Nogales, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Rowland); Tolegian (Nogales)
Salesian at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Salesian); Tolegian (Salesian)
South Hills at Colony — Robledo (Colony); Tolegian (South Hills)
Walnut at Don Lugo, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Don Lugo); Tolegian (Don Lugo)
Bosco Tech at Wilson, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BTech); Tolegian (Bosco)

Prep Football Contest: The SGVN is running a high school pick’em contest with selected games from the Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News and SGV Tribune. Steve Ramirez, Aram Tolegian, Eric Terrazas, Keith Lair and myself will also pick so you can compare your picks with ours and keep a running total at the end of the season. Sign-on and enjoy

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PrepXtra Live!!! RETURNS TUESDAY, AUG. 21 … St. Paul head coach Elijah Asante and RB Kurt Scoby will be our guests …

Our Guest: I ran into Kurt Scoby on a weekend vacation and told him no way St. Paul beats Amat in a few weeks. He laughed it off and guaranteed St. Paul is back. We’ll discuss it this week.

When: Every Tuesday and Friday night
Time: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Any of the SGVN prep sports blogs.
Guests: St. Paul head coach Elijah Asante and RB Kurt Scoby.

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Coaches, if you haven’t done so, submit rosters to MaxPreps so we know who we’re covering

By the way, Mike the Cousin is back this week on a NEW interactive format instead of CoveritLive for Thursday’s Smudge Pot and Friday’s Amat-Servite game, plus Tom Kiss, the Inland Insider is back with all his great video-game highlights. We also have the great Reginald Miller working with us on video’s and PrepXtra Live on Tuesday at 7 p.m., which starts tomorrow with some special guests. And of course, the Scouting Guru will drop by from time to time.

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Third Annual PrepXtra in Newstands and Home Delivery on Thursday, don’t miss it

You DO NOT want to miss this year’s PrepXtra, the fall football preview edition for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News and Whittier Daily News. What we’ve done this year is make one giant magazine for all three papers so that in addition to reading team previews on every team in the Tribune area, Tribune readers also can read team previews from the Star-News, Daily News and vice versa. What it looks like is one huge 112-page book that will be available on Thursday, just in time for the Smudge Pot. If you don’t get a copy on the racks or home delivery, you can pick one up at the Tribune office for the measly cost of a newspaper. How great is that? Or this, for the first time, all team previews will be available ONLINE Thursday as well on a separate PrepXtra page that we’ve created just for you.

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We’re a week away from opening night, but Friday scrimmages should get the juices jangling

I‘m going to drop by two games tonight, checking out South Hills-Covina and Diamond Ranch-San Dimas .. Again, if anyone has video highlights updated to YouTube they want to share on the blog, email the link to fred.robledo@sgvn.com and I’ll post it.

Friday Scrimmages
Northview at Bonita, 7 p.m.
Claremont at West Covina, 7 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Baldwin Park, 6 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at San Dimas, 6 p.m.
La Puente, Chaffey at Nogales, 6 p.m.
South Hills vs. Covina at the District, 6 p.m.
Jurupa Valley at Rowland, 6 p.m.
San Gabriel, Mountain View at Los Altos, 6 p.m.

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Thanks to incredible readers, we have highlights from Bishop Amat’s scrimmage at Harvard-Westlake; Dionza Blue by U looks great again

If any of you in attendance at Thursday’s scrimmage video the scrimmage or put together a highlights package on YouTube, send it to us and we’ll post it. Send to fred.robledo@sgvn.com.

Ask and you shall receive … thanks

Amat 2011 Season Highlights Video and music is fantastic. For a season that was so-so, you think they won the title after watching this …

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Bonita and San Dimas square off in 40th Smudge Pot Thursday at Citrus College, which could be the permanent home of the rivalry

“It’s harder on us than it is on them,” San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow said. “We have issues with our conditioning because we’re a smaller school and more kids are going both ways. We’ve cramped up fast in the past and we’re hoping we’ve done a better job in the spring and summer with our conditioning to avoid first-game cramps. San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow on losing past two Smudge Pots

Supporting Katie: Bonita and San Dimas donating $1 dollar from each ticket sale to support leukemia research and Katie Ortega, an 18-year-old senior at Bonita who diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in June. Read about it here.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the area’s most intense rivalry between Bonita and San Dimas highs.

Known as the Smudge Pot Game, Bonita and San Dimas will kick off the high school football season as the only game in town on Aug. 23 at Citrus College, starting at 7 p.m.

The Smudge Pot rivalry began in 1972 when the mayors of San Dimas and La Verne determined a smudge pot that symbolized the local citrus industry would serve as the trophy for the winning team.

Although San Dimas leads the rivalry 21-17-1, Bonita has won the past two games, beating San Dimas soundly last year, 40-20.

For Bonita, it’s also the debut of first-year coach Adrian Medrano, a former assistant who replaces longtime coach Eric Podley, who resigned after 12-years in charge, though Podley remains on staff as an assistant.

Bonita returns junior quarterback Tanner Diebold and running back Reggie Turner, but it’s hard to to tell who will be more nervous.

“It’s exciting and nerve-racking all in one,” Medrano said. “We have to make sure we don’t think about all the outside stuff and focus on the task at hand.

“But yeah, having your first head coaching game against your biggest rival is a tough way to start, but there’s probably no better way to start, either.”

League re-alignment in 2010 forced Bonita and San Dimas to play in Week 0 instead of the middle of the season, and it hasn’t gone well for the Saints, who lost both years.

It’s a tough way to start because coaches are juggling the emotion of a rivalry with natural first-game jitters.

“It’s harder on us than it is on them,” San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow said. “We have issues with our conditioning because we’re a smaller school and more kids are going both ways. We’ve cramped up fast in the past and we’re hoping we’ve done a better job in the spring and summer with our conditioning to avoid first-game cramps.

“Plus for us, they have a huge offensive line and are extremely well coached. It’s tough playing them to open the season because as a coach, you don’t have the same feel for your opponent that you would playing them in the middle of the season where you feel like you have more of an impact on the game.”

With more than 5,000 fans expected, Bonita and San Dimas will donate a dollar from every ticket sold to leukemia research and the family of Katie Ortega, an 18-year-old senior at Bonita who has been one of the Bearcats’ stat girls for the football team the past two years.

In June, Katie Ortega was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia), a cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The cancer grows when cells that normally turn into white blood cells begin to multiply rapidly and stop fighting off infections.

“Katie’s pretty close to all of our hearts,” Medrano said. “She’s still pretty involved with us and the coaches have gone to visit her. It’s not much (donation), but we wanted to do anything we could to help her out.”

Presale tickets are available at both schools; $10 for adults and $6 for children. Bonita and San Dimas students with ASB cards are admitted for free.

This is the third straight year the game is at Citrus College, and it’s likely to stay there for the foreseeable future.

In the past, Bonita and San Dimas hosted the Smudge Pot Game in alternate years. But the game has grown so large the schools had to rent bleachers to accommodate the overflow crowds.

Though the schools lose the charm of a packed-house home environment, Zernickow said playing the game at Citrus College has become necessary financially.

“I don’t see us leaving Citrus,” Zernickow said. “It’s a huge financial savings for the district.

“Renting Citrus College is much cheaper than renting bleachers. It costs us $13,000 to rent bleachers and I believe it costs Bonita around $16,000.

“Also, from a safety standpoint and having large groups of people get together, Citrus makes more sense.”

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High School Baseball: SGV takes on SFV in underclassmen all-star baseball game at Birmingham High this weekend

The San Gabriel Valley and San Fernando Valley are squaring off this weekend in a high school underclassmen all-star baseball event at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, which features a skills competition tonight at 6:30 p.m., including members from all teams.

There are four teams, the San Gabriel Valley Grey (East of the 605) coached by West Covina’s Drew Lorenger and the SGV Blue (West of the 605) coach by Hoover’s Joe Cotti.

On Saturday, the SGV Blue faces SFV Blue at Noon while the SGV Grey takes on SFV Grey at 3 p.m. The winners will play each other on Sunday at Noon.

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Robledo’s take-it-to-the-bank preseason Mid-Valley and Southeast Division rankings

Robledo’s Mid-Valley Division Preseason rankings
1. Sierra Canyon
2. Monrovia
3. Paraclete
4. El Monte
5. San Dimas
6. Alhambra
7. Bell Gardens
8. Northview
9. Arroyo
10. South El Monte

Robledo’s Southeast Division Preseason rankings
1. West Covina
2. La Mirada
3. Compton Dominguez
4. La Serna
5. Paramont
6. Bonita
7. Diamond Ranch
8. Muir
9. Mayfair
10.T — Bellflower, Arcadia

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