St. Paul coach Elijah Asante talks about Amat, says Kurt Scoby is ready to go and what Amat is like without Darren Andrews, who must sit out

“Guys have come up to the school and said `Coach, I played in ’71 and we beat Amat. Or they’ll come up and say that they played and tell me about the game that they played in against Amat. I’ve heard a lot about it. One of my good friends, Eric Bieniemy, was a legendary player (at Amat). I’m a USC alum and Pat Haden is a USC alum and he was there (at Amat) and did some great things.” St. Paul coach Elijah Asante on renewing the storied rivalry between Amat and St. Paul on the 20th anniversary of Amat’s 1992 undefeated season and title.

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN

St. Paul High School football coach Elijah Asante might be new to the whole Bishop Amat-St. Paul rivalry, but friends and Swordsmen alumni are certainly helping the first-year coach make up for lost time this week.

“Guys have come up to the school and said `Coach, I played in ’71 and we beat Amat,”‘ Asante said. “Or they’ll come up and say that they played and tell me about the game that they played in against Amat. I’ve heard a lot about it.

“One of my good friends, Eric Bieniemy, was a legendary player (at Amat). I’m a USC alum and Pat Haden is a USC alum and he was there (at Amat) and did some great things.”

The teams will renew their rivalry on Friday night at Bishop Amat.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. and the Lancers will recognize the 20th anniversary of the 1992 team’s accomplishments at halftime.

As for ruining the party, Asante and his Swordsmen (1-2) caught a break last Friday when Amat (3-0-1) receiver Darren Andrews was ejected for fighting against Charter Oak and has to serve a mandatory one-game suspension. That opens the door slightly for the underdog Swordsmen who have one less weapon to worry about.

“When you get a break, you accept a break,” Asante said of Andrews sitting out. “That kid is so good. I don’t know if we had an answer for him. That’s how good he is.

“When he was in the brawl and it came out that they ejected him, I wasn’t going to go down there and protest and say `No, no, we play them next week.”‘

In addition to Andrews being out, the Lancers may also be without running back Dionza Blue, who suffered a shoulder injury against Charter Oak.

Without Andrews and Blue, Amat would be at a severe disadvantage. But quarterback Koa Haynes can do special things and receiver Joseph Cook is sitting on a breakout game.

St. Paul hasn’t lived up to the hype this season. The Swordsmen got a bevy of high-impact transfers, but lost their first two games to La Mirada and Mater Dei. St. Paul picked up its first win of the season in Week 2 against La Habra and had last week off to rest up for Amat.

The time off probably served Swordsmen running back Kurt Scoby well after he began the season with a strained groin and was taken to the hospital after the La Habra game because of dehydration. Asante said Scoby will be fully healthy for Friday’s game.

“He’s good to go,” Asante said of Scoby. “The bye week absolutely helped. We had some guys who were banged up and it gave them two weeks to recover. It came at just the right time for us. We played some really physical teams.”

As for beating Amat, Asante said that has more to do with his own team than the Lancers.

“It’s not really about Amat, it’s about us,” Asante said. “Of course we respect them and we’ve broken down film on them, but we have to do what we have to do. If we master what we’re supposed to do, then we expect to win.”

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  • GoAmat

    NO WORRIES!!! We have the rest of the team!! The whole team is awesome!!! They are all united!! The most united Amat team that we’ve seen in awhile. GO BISHOP AMAT!!

  • JimmyMack

    No one has mentioned anything about Scooby’s broken hand? Sup?

  • 12th man

    Why is this team so “United”? Perhaps it’s the fact that Amat isn’t posting Stats this year..I can’t recall another year when Amat has done this..It seems to be working..All the players are working hard as a team & filling in when someone goes down or gets substituted..Sometimes players get caught up in this web or the hype of playing for themselves when they start seeing there name & stats on paper or Social Media ..Don’t get me wrong! Some kids accept the challenge & become better players pushing themselves weekly to produce better numbers..

    Call it what you want! Amat does seem focused this year & they’re playing for the name on the front of the Jersey not the back..This team is probably one or two players away on defense from making a deep run in the Pac5 playoffs..Perhaps another Sal Velasquez & one more Daren Andrews & this team would be a contender with the likes of Santa Margarita,Vista Murrieta,De La Salle..

    I credit the coaches for making the necessary adjustments & for changing the play calling from the usual ground & pound we have become accustomed to over the past few years..Look for more teams to quit posting stats in the years to come..With so much technology these days..(Video,I-pad.I-phone,social media,skype,instant replay,live feeds,etc.)Teams are becoming reluctant to give there opponents any type of advantage..It’s no coincidence that 3 teams in the Serra League besides Amat aren’t posting stats…Servite going on two years now!!.. Believe me! It’s not because they cant find a volunteer! It’s called strategy!! Lets make our opponents work! If they want to find out what our team is about..Let them watch film or send a scout..Let’s not just give them info. on a silver platter!!

  • Fred Robledo

    12th man, if you’re preparing for college where every little stat is posted and analyzed, maybe you should learn how to deal with it as a high school player. That’s another way of preparing for the next level, learning how to deal with criticism and the media frenzy that is college football. Man, this wussification and protection never ends, let them deal with it, their big boys, it has nothing to do with camaraderie and if it does, you should learn how to be stronger mentally.

    And please, don’t tell me again that not posting stats give you a competitive edge. You think it helped Amat prevail over Charter Oak? You don’t think Charter Oak knew who Andrews, Blue, Haynes, Cook and Velasquez are or what they’re capable of doing? Would knowing their stats have given Charter Oak a competitive edge? That’s just ridiculous. If anything, Beto Duran, who covered the game for IBN and works for ESPN, was grilling me all day about info on Amat so he could call the game that night. You shouldn’t have to search for something as simple as stats for bigtime programs, especially ones searching for publicity outside the fishbowl, where a few recruits might be lurking. All it does is hurt your brand. You can never get too much exposure. The teams Amat plays know who their big weapons are, so posting stats is no advantage one way or the other.

    Someone keeps writing Koa Haynes deserves more exposure, the type of exposure given to Rio the past few years. We already have done plenty on Koa, including a feature last week and he’s been the focus of just about every game story. But few outside our area know who Koa Haynes is and he’ll never get the exposure outside the area that Rio got because there are no stats telling the outside area how great he’s doing. Same goes for Andrews and Blue, unless we’re writing about them, you won’t see much written on them anywhere else. To me, that’s just bad PR.

  • 12th man

    Fred,
    If you feel so strongly about it…Why didn’t you ask Coach Hagerty last tuesday when he was there on your show? Fred what’s your reason why Amat hasn’t posterd stats?..Do you really believe big name teams like Crespi,Alemany,Servite,Tesoro,cant find volunteers? …Any type of “Information” weather it’s video, Stats,Or in some instances teams using an i-pad on the sidelines are all advantages..I’m not saying it’s the determining factor to why Amat is having success but you can’t deny there seems to be more unity this year than in recent past…Recruiters don’t need stats lol..They already know who the top players from every division are..& if they don’t..Well~ they’re in the wrong line of business..

    It cant hurt to post stats..Just for reading sake…Bottom line is there’s a lot of coaches who don’t have a “sports Writers” mentality who are willing to post stats just for the sake of generating hits!! ..Some coaches feel like it could actually be a liability when it comes to having every inch of an advantage..

  • Fred Robledo

    The main reasons schools aren’t posting stats is because A, it takes a lot of time and is something they don’t feel like dealing with and B, the wussification of today. For whatever reason, players were strong-minded enough to handle stats being posted years ago, but today, we’re concerned about the hurt feelings of who does and doesn’t get credit. Fact is, these kids are stronger mentally today because they’ve grown up in a social media world where they’re exposed to Facebook, Twitter, and deal with much more transparency than you or I did 20 years ago. It has nothing to do with game planning. Coaches watch game tapes to prepare for teams, they don’t pour over stats.

    And finally, I don’t need stats on Amat to generate hits, writing and blogging about them generates hits. However, stats are helpful to do a more thorough job of reporting, and it’s especially helpful to media outside the area interested in Amat’s early-season success. Without stats, those media outlets will simply move on to another successful team that is more forthcoming with information.

  • AMAT 73

    12th Man,
    The difference this year is that all the players are totally commited to football. They have a lot to prove this season and are taking care of the first part of the puzzle . The only way to accomplish what they have and to proceed is to be united and play as one, backing each other up at all times . No one player on this team is better than any other . Athletically yes but of importance to the team no . They all need each other to achieve their goal this season. You think the players do not know their individual stats . They may not be published but they are being kept track of and the players know them. Come on you should know better than to think that is the difference . It might be a little rough for opposing coaches but film will tell the story better than any stat sheet can . For those who don’t see game film , stats are needed to try and figure out a weakness or a strong point and are a needed tool for the arm chair coaches out there. Saw someone break a team down by stats and thought their safety was the leading tackler going by his number and it turned out he was a LB .Well so much for his analysis going by stats alone. I think that was when you broke down numbers relating to position .

  • 12th man

    I can agree with what you said for the most part!..But when you said it has nothing to do with game planning! I have to draw the line & disagree..So your telling me..If my team is playing another opponent who passes 90% of the time according to the “Stats” & runs maybe 5 times a game..I should play my run prevent defense? That wouldn’t make any sense..Or better yet..If the team I’m playing has a stud Cornerback with 15 picks according to the “Stats”..That’s who I want to challenge when I’m passing the ball?..Just like when teams who don’t have the luxury of having film on their opponents they have to rely on “Stats” & other factors before playing..It’s a numbers game when you dissect all…What does Vegas say in all of this? Go with the odds baby~

  • Fred Robledo

    First, you can’t dissect stats the way you can college or pro football, those are done with statisticians at games pouring every play into a computer. Most high schools just post the top passers, rushers, receivers and some defensive stats. They don’t tell all the intricate details that could possibly affect a game plan.

  • 12th man

    Amat73,
    You honestly don’t believe Amat can’t find a volunteer this season do you? …I have yet to receive an honest answer that makes sense as to why Amat has no stats this year…With such a large fan base & booster club..There’s no one?? Just One?? Heck! I’m volunteering right now…To put in the work…But the question still remains..Are the stats intentionally not being put in this year & if so Why?

  • 12th man

    How much intricate detail do I need when the Stats tell me that #32(RB) is the leading rusher on a specific team who runs the ball about 40 times a game..Ummmmmm! I’m gonna go out on a limb & perhaps say he’s going to run the ball against us?..Come on Man!! There’s no computer or statisticians needed to logically figure that out…How about the next time you get Coach Hags on your show..Just ask him! Also ask if there’s any slight edge mentally or strategic wise in posting stats..& if he says no!! Tell him the 12th man will do it for him for FREE!!!

  • SGV Fan

    Hey 12th man Amat pulled the same stunt last year in baseball and never posted stats until the blog community complained and they finally got around to it. I think Freddie even called the coach out on it. We all know they were sandbagging by not posting stats to help the non-performing over-hyped players from the productive ones.

  • fb102

    12th Man,

    c’mon, the ONLY stat that REALLY matters is the FINAL SCORE.

    As Amat 73 wrote, the stats ARE compiled by Amat. They just are not entered in Maxpreps.

    IF coaches really want stats for opposing teams, they can ask their advance scouts to compile them when they watch the games.

    IF you really need to know why Amat doesn’t post their stats, ask HC Steve Hagerty yourself. IF you have the guts to face-to-face.

  • 12th man

    Facebook102,
    I don’t need to ask a question I already know the answer too!! If any High School Coach wanted his team Stats published on Maxpreps..It would have been a done deal already point blank!..Check Please!!(Walking Away)

  • P

    “Guys have come up to the school and said `Coach, I played in ’71 and we beat Amat,”‘ Asante said.

    Hilarious. 1971 — Amat 19, St. Paul 6. Amat D-End Rick Bryan knocks out SP’s great QB Jamie Quirk with a vicious sack. Amat QB John Sciarra runs wild. Amat wins AAAA (big schools) CIF Championship at the Coliseum.

    1971 — I remember it well.