Should Blair field a team after 86-0 loss to San Marino followed by 84-0 loss to Monrovia?

They scored less than San Marino. We held them to two points less. Nobody sat down and they’re all here. Still, nobody’s hurt. I’m cool. We made it through the night.” Blair coach Johnny Lopez after Thursday’s 84-0 loss to Monrovia.

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Damien shows life, beats South Hills 38-21; Rancho Cucamonga buries Glendora, 45-13

Damien finally protected the ball and showed what it’s capable of in a 38-21 win over South Hills. Coach Greg Gano, quarterback Gage Pucci, RB Travion Boykins and South Hills coach Albert Rodriguez spoke afterward.
Damien-South Hills photo gallery

Damien gets much needed win: Good things happen when a football team can hang onto the ball.

Damien High School had 16 turnovers in its last three games but was turnover-free Thursday as it knocked off South Hills 38-21 in a Sierra League contest at Covina District Field.

Glendora finishes tough two weeks: By all accounts, the Glendora High School football team appears on track for playoff contention in a bounceback 2012 season.

However, in the last two weeks it has witnessed the difference between playoff teams and championship contenders.

A week after a 21-point loss to Upland, the No. 3 team in the CIF-SS Inland Division, Glendora lost 45-13 to No. 6 Rancho Cucamonga defeat Thursday night at Citrus College.

Reginald Miller’s highlights from Citrus

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Northview’s Javon Taylor has kept the Vikings in position for a Valle Vista league title

By Aram Tolegian
Javon Taylor never knew what it was like to play in high-stakes football games until this season.

Taylor, a senior running back at Northview High School, is trying to make up for lost time, along with the rest of the Vikings’ senior class.

All the group has ever known is 10-game seasons that end without a sniff of the league championship and certainly no trip to the postseason.

This season will be different.

Northview is 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the Valle Vista League. The Vikings are one of the biggest surprises in the area and on a collision course with San Dimas to play for the league title in Week 10.

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So many great former head coaches aren’t coaching this season, but if you could choose one to run your program, who would it be?

I’ll give you a short list of candidates and where they coached last, Mark Pasquarella (Glendora), Steve Bogan (South Hills), Mike Mooney (San Marino), Steve Garrison (Monrovia), Darryl Thomas (Covina), Matt Koffler (Rosemead), Ealar Gallagher (La Salle), Mike DiFiori (Bishop Amat), Elijah Asante (St. Paul), Mark Verti (Bishop Amat), Keith Jones (San Gabriel), Ken Howard (Muir), and Erick Escamilla (South El Monte).

More questions: Another good topic for discussion is which one will be back on the head coaching sidelines first, and where do you think they’ll wind up, or where’s the best fit? We ask because there’s too much talent on the list above for them to walk away forever…..

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Is this the best defense in Charter Oak history?

Is this the best Charter Oak defense in history? I’m not so sure, the 2009 defense led by Keith Smith was darn special. That team shutout the entire Miramonte League and beat Diamond Ranch 21-0 in the title game. The Chargers only allowed 10 points per game that season, the same as this years group. However, you have to give the 2012 squad some love, the schedule they’re playing is much tougher than in 2009.

South Hills coach Albert Rodriguez is getting ready for Damien on Thursday. But he had this to say about Charter Oak after last week’s loss.

“Charter Oak is by far head and shoulders above everyone else (in the Sierra League). There’s no question about it. Their defense is the best I’ve seen in the last few years and their offense is starting to click, which is dangerous. It’s high school football and anything can happen, but I don’t think anyone (in the Sierra) is going to touch them. It’s going to be a dogfight for the last two playoff spots.”

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
The Charter Oak High School football team’s defense is having such a good season that veteran head coach Lou Farrar has to stop and think for a minute when asked if he’s ever had a better stop unit in his 40-plus years at the helm.

“I’ve had some good ones and they rate right up there,” Farrar said. “The linebacker corps is about as good as they get. Those guys are getting real comfortable playing together. I don’t know how they stand in terms of points given up, but they do a good job.

“I think up-front wise, they’re as good as anybody we’ve ever put out on the field.”

The Chargers have held all seven opponents to their season low in points this season and will be looking to make Ayala the eighth on Friday night when Charter Oak visits the Bulldogs in a key Sierra League game. With a win, Charter Oak (6-1, 2-0) takes a mammoth step toward a second straight league title and all but assures itself of making the playoffs.

Going by records, Ayala (5-2, 1-1) could be the Chargers’ last real test in league with games still to come against Claremont (3-4, 1-1) and Damien (2-4, 0-2).

“They’re trying to fight for a piece of a league championship,” Farrar said of Ayala. “This game for them puts them in a three-way tie. This is a big-time game for both of our teams, league-wise.”

Ayala had its league title hopes dashed a bit last week when city rival Chino Hills beat the Bulldogs, 49-34. Comparative scoring would tell you that Ayala’s loss to the same Chino Hills team that Charter Oak beat 41-13 would make the Chargers a considerable favorite on Friday.

But Farrar isn’t buying it.

“One game has no bearing on another game, especially in high school,” Farrar said. “The three kids who played so well last week could all have the flu this week and play like poop. There’s no relationship.”

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Arroyo still hoping for a piece of MVL title

By Aram Tolegian
Despite its loss to El Monte two weeks ago, Arroyo’s hopes of a fourth consecutive Mission Valley League title are not gone. It’s just that the Knights are going to need a lot of help.

If Arroyo (4-3, 1-1) wins out, and El Monte (5-2, 1-1) slips up somewhere, the Knights will have a share of the title. In most years, Arroyo could afford to think along those lines. But this year, with the Mission Valley being so competitive, the Knights need to keep winning just to make the playoffs.

“Every game is important and we’ve got three tough games coming up,” Singiser said. “We still look at it like we’ve still got an outside chance at a league championship. But our first goal is to make the playoffs. Well, we know to make the playoffs we’re probably going to have to go at least 3-2, and 4-1 will definitely get us in.”

Arroyo didn’t exactly set the world on fire last week, beating Mountain View 14-3 to bounce back from its El Monte loss. This week, the Knights visit a dangerous South El Monte that still controls its league title destiny because it has a game against El Monte still to come.

The Eagles gave Arroyo a good game last season before Tribune Player of the Year Steven Rivera took over and made sure his Knights weren’t upset. With Rivera no longer around, it will be up to an Arroyo offense that’s struggled at times this season to find ways to put up points on South El Monte.

“We struggled last week with Mountain View,” Singiser said. “We were fine defensively, but we have to do a better job of moving the ball on offense.”

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Girls Volleyball: St. Lucy’s too good, beats Ayala in straight sets

St. Lucy’s sweeps Ayala to remain perfect in the Sierra
Seventeen postseason matches in two years can’t help but provide the St. Lucy’s volleyball team a little perspective on the regular season. Despite first place being on the line in the Sierra League on Tuesday and the two teams separrated by two points or less late in each game, St. Lucy’s earned a sweep over Ayala, 25-18, 25-19, 25-20.

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PrepXtra Tuesday: Elijah Asante, Gladstone’s Albert Sanchez and Aram and Fred argue about Signgate between El Monte and Rosemead …

Intro: Aram, Ramirez and I discuss the talk of the town, El Monte, Rosemead and the “broken play” offense.

30:30 mark: Gladstone coach Albert Sanchez talks about Friday’s rivalry game against Azusa for first in the Montview.

51:45 mark: Former St. Paul Elijah Asante talks about being fired last week, his future plans and his thoughts on Kurt Scoby.


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Tribune Super 35 Rankings: When you use the eye test, Amat still No. 1 in the SGV

Not only are the two-time Southeast champs not in the top ten, we’re wondering if Maggiore and Co., will make the playoffs

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE’S SUPER 35 RANKINGS

1. Bishop Amat (5-1-1) — Was ready to crown Charter Oak No. 1, but after listening to Aram’s argument over the weekend I agree, it’s not time to drop Amat just yet. Amat’s convincing head-to-head win over Charter Oak keeps the Lancers No. 1. But they’re on a very short leash.

2. Charter Oak (6-1) — You can make the case for the Chargers to be No. 1. They’re ahead of Amat on Maxreps, ranked No. 11 in the state and 55th nationally, which are two of the highest rankings ever for Lou Farrar and Co. Plus, they’re No. 4 in the Inland. But the computers don’t rank the eye test, and we all witnessed what happened against Amat.

3. Chino Hills (4-2-1) – After a brief stop at No. 5, the Huskies are back at No. 3 after beating Ayala and beating them convincingly. The Chargers should win the rest of its Sierra League games.

4. Ayala (5-2) — Bulldogs going through tough part of schedule losing last week to Chino Hills and facing Charter Oak this week. Don’t think they will beat Charter Oak but will win remaining Sierra League games.

5. San Dimas (7-1) — Covina could give San Dimas a tough game this week. The Colts’ only league loss came against Northview while the Vikes had three starters suspended. Even though Northview beat Covina, I still think Covina is the second best in the VVL with the best chance of beating the Saints.

6. South Hills (5-1) — Huskies gave it a shot against Charter Oak, but the Chargers were too much. South Hills still wants to stay in the race for a playoff spot and can’t afford a loss to Damien on Thursday.

7. Bonita (4-3) -- The ‘Cats finally ended West Covina’s slim hopes of winning a third straight Hacienda League title. Believe it or not, Bonita is the area’s best chance for a CIF title.

8. Gladstone (7-0) – The Gladiators’ hopes of going 10-0 increased with a win over Duarte and they can guarantee a 10-0 season with a win over four-time league champ Azusa on Friday. Why? Because the Gladiators finish with easy wins over Ganesha and Workman.

9. Diamond Ranch (5-2) — The Panthers still control their own Hacienda League title destiny with Rowland this week followed by Bonita. If the Panthers win both and finish the season with a win over Walnut, they at least share the title and would get the No. 1 seed for the league.

10. Rowland (6-2) — Nobody, and I mean nobody, would have thought Rowland could get a top ten ranking after seven weeks of football. But they deserve it.

The Rest: 11. El Monte (5-2), 12. West Covina (3-5), 13. Glendora (3-4), 14. Claremont (3-4), 15. Los Altos (4-4), 16. Northview (5-2), 17. Covina (6-2), 18. La Puente (5-2), 19. Damien (2-4), 20. Arroyo (4-3), 21. Duarte (4-3), 22. Diamond Bar (2-5), 23. Rosemead (3-4), 24. Azusa (4-3), 25. Sierra Vista (4-3), 26. South El Monte (3-4), 27. Mountain View (3-4), 28, Wilson (2-6), 29. Walnut (1-6), 30. Pomona (2-5), 31. Bassett (2-5), 32. Nogales (1-6), 33. Workman (1-6), 34. Baldwin Park (0-8), 35. Ganesha (0-7).

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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Principals smooth hard feelings still lingering after El Monte’s win over Rosemead

Rosemead coach Marc Paramo took issue with El Monte signs that eluded to comments he made to this newspaper that I posted on the blog, word for word. For a blog headline, I described it as the “broken play” offense, which Paramo took issue with..

“I’ll be honest, and I’m not sure this is kosher to say, but their best play is the broken play. You can’t really prepare for the broken play. It was the same thing last year; he threw jump balls and to his receivers’ credit, they went up and got the ball.” — Marc Paramo

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By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
Some hard feelings still lingering over Friday’s win by El Monte High School over Rosemead has prompted principals from both schools to get involved in an attempt to smooth things over.

Following El Monte’s 50-34 win to spoil Rosemead’s homecoming signs were unveiled by the Lions cheer team that mocked Rosemead coach Marc Paramo for comments he made to this newspaper leading up to the game that were later taken out of context on a blog posted on this newspaper’s website.

Further adding fuel to the fire were accusations of some coaches not shaking hands following the game, foul language used by coaches during the game and several personal foul penalties called against Rosemead, including the ejection of one Panthers player.

“I’m not going to take anything away from their kids,” Paramo said. “They kicked our butts. It kind of bothered me that here I am complimenting them and that sign comes up.”

The sign or signs Paramo was referring were estimated to be 20×20-foot signs made by the El Monte cheerleaders and brought out following the game. The signs mocked Paramo’s comments and made reference to “clown comments” and “broken play offense.”

Leading up to the game, Paramo told this newspaper that El Monte’s best play on offense was arguably the broken play, which eludes to the ability of Lions quarterback Brandon Martinez to make something out of nothing.

“I saw the signs,” El Monte coach Joel Sanchez said. “I saw them after we were done and I was talking to reporters. I didn’t think anything of it. It said “broken offense” and that’s pretty much it. I don’t know who got upset or anything because I was being interviewed by the media. By the time I got done, everyone was gone.”

Paramo and Sanchez did shake hands following the game, but that may not have been the case for the assistant coaches.

“He told me good job and said have a good season,” Sanchez said of Paramo’s comments to him after the game.

But shortly after, Paramo was alerted to the signs and did not take kindly to them, feeling that his words were misunderstood and taken out of context.

“I didn’t have anyone make them,” Sanchez said of the signs. “I don’t think they were offensive in any way, and that’s not my call in any way. Whatever they (cheerleaders) make, that’s not my call. I don’t oversee what they write. Obviously, if they said something inappropriate, I wouldn’t be happy with that.”

While administrators tried to calm any ill will on Monday, both coaches were saying the issue was now dead and their focus were on this week’s opponents.

For El Monte, that means a home game against Mountain View. The Lions are 5-2 overall and 2-0 in league. They are bidding for the school’s first league title since 1979. Rosemead is 3-4 overall and 1-2 in league. The Panthers host Gabrielino in a game that will be key to both teams’ playoff chances.

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CIF Polls: Among area’s ranked teams, who has the best chance of winning a CIF title?

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Inland Division
1. Vista Murrieta (7-0), 2. Corona Centennial (6-1), 3. Upland (7-0), 4. Charter Oak (6-1), 5. Chaparral (6-1), 6. Rancho Cucamonga (5-2), 7. Redlands (6-1), 8. Chino Hills (4-2-1), 9. Murrieta Valley (7-0), 10. Redlands East Valley (3-3).

Mid-Valley Division
1. Sierra Canyon (7-1), 2. Paraclete (6-1), 3. Monrovia (5-2), 4. San Dimas (6-1), 5. San Marino (7-0), 6. El Monte (5-2), 7. Northview (5-2), 8. Bell Gardens (5-2), 9. Covina (5-2), 10. Montebello (5-2).

Southeast Division
1. La Mirada (7-1), 2. La Serna (6-1), 3. Paramount (6-1), 4. California (7-0), 5. Bonita (4-3), 6. Diamond Ranch (5-2), 7. Downey (5-2), 8. Muir (4-3), 9. Norwalk (6-2), 10. Burbank (5-2).

Northwest Division
1. Nordoff (7-0), 2. Bishop Diego (7-0), 3. La Salle (7-0), 4. Gladstone (7-0), 5. North Torrance (5-2), 6. Bishop Montgomery (6-1), 7. La Puente (5-2), 8. El Segundo (4-3), 9. Oak Park (4-4), 10. Torrance (3-4).

Pac-5 Division
1. St. Bonaventure (6-1), 2. Mission Viejo (7-0), 3. Mater Dei (6-1), 4. Alemany (6-1), 5. St. John Bosco (3-4)*, 6. Santa Margarita (6-1), 7. El Toro (8-0), 8. Oaks Christian (6-1), 9. Tesoro (6-1), 10. Orange Lutheran (6-1).

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Tribskin Pick’em, your prediction and ours: The playoff stretch drive is here

It’s all smiles at Happy Rock, who are finally ready to knock Azusa off its perch

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

Last Week: Robledo (13-5); Tolegian (14-4).
Season: Robledo (112-52); Tolegian (111-51).

Last Week:: With three weeks and playoffs left, it’s what you expected, Aram and I in another tight race. Aram picked up another game going 14-5 to my 13-5. We both tanked taking Amat over Alemany, Damien over Claremont and for whatever reason, Baldwin Park over Pomona. I missed two more taking Walnut over Rowland and Gabrielino over South El Monte. But Aram gave one back after switching midweek with Duarte over Gladstone. Thanks Big Fella.

This week:: Gladstone can do no worse than at least a share of the Montview League title with guaranteed wins over Workman and Ganesha the final two weeks, but it wants more than that. It wants to defeat four-time defending champ Azusa, wants to finish the regular season 10-0 and wants to win the league title outright. After dismantling Duarte last week, how can you bet against them? Amat is in a must-win against Crespi and at home, this is one they have to have and will get. If not, say goodbye to the playoffs. South Hills is still in the playoff hunt and with Damien in a free-fall, I like the Huskies. Charter Oak will prove that Ayala is not good enough to hang with them, Diamond Ranch will take care of Hacienda’s Cinderella, Rowland and San Dimas will give Covina its second league loss. Also look for La Puente to rout Duarte and Rosemead to give Gabrielino loss number two.

This weeks games and predictions
Thursday’s games

South Hills vs. Damien at CDF, 7 p.m. – Robledo (SHills); Aram (Damien)
Rancho Cucamonga vs. Glendora at Citrus College, 7 p.m. – Robledo (RC); Aram (Rancho)
Friday’s games
Crespi at Bishop Amat, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Amat); Aram (Amat)
Gladstone vs. Azusa at Citrus College, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Gladstone); Aram (Gladstone)
Charter Oak at Ayala, 7 p.m. – Robledo (COak); Aram (Coach Dom)
Rowland vs. Diamond Ranch at Ganesha, 7 p.m. – Robledo (DRanch); Aram (Roddy)
Covina at San Dimas, 7 p.m. – Robledo (SDimas); Aram (SD)
Bonita at Los Altos , 7 p.m. – Robledo (Bonita): Aram (Reggie)
Duarte at La Puente , 7 p.m. – Robledo (La Puente); Aram (Duarte)
Mountain View at El Monte, 7 p.m. – Robledo (El Monte); Aram (B-Mart)
Gabrielino at Rosemead, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Rosemead); Aram (Rosemead)
Arroyo at South El Monte , 7 p.m. – Robledo (Arroyo); Aram (SEM)
Walnut at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m. – Robledo (DBar); Aram (D-Bar)
Baldwin Park vs. Northview at CDF, 7 p.m. – Robledo (NView); Aram (N)
Chino Hills at Claremont, 7 p.m. – Robledo (CHills); Aram (Huskies)
Pomona at Nogales, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Nogales); Aram (Po-Hi!)
Sierra Vista at Bassett, 7 p.m. – Robledo (SVista); Aram (SV)
Saturday’s game
Workman at Ganesha, 7 p.m. – Robledo (Workman ); Aram (Ganesha)

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