1. St. Francis coach Jim Bonds’ return to the sidelines
St. Francis football coach Jim Bonds suffered the toughest loss of his long coaching career to end last season.
In a crazy game against Rancho Verde for the CIF Southern Section Division 3 title last fall, the Golden Knights took their first lead of the game on Kevin Armstead’s go-ahead touchdown with 1:01 left to give the Golden Knights a one-point lead.
But in the final seconds, Rancho Verde ran out the clock with a game-winning 37-yard field goal for a 44-42 win, denying St. Francis its first championship in 53 years.
But when Bonds returns to the sideline for Friday’s season opener at Mira Costa, overcoming the championship loss pales in comparison to the continuing fight he had over the spring and summer after learning he had cancer.
Bonds was diagnosed with a treatable form of Multiple Myeloma cancer in May — and the trips to doctor’s offices for treatment along with diet and exercise changes have been a long and trying experience.
But the good news is that Bonds’ health is improving and strong enough that he won’t skip a beat, returning for Friday’s opener with all the ups, downs and angst of a high school football game that makes everything feel normal again.
“I got a little taste of being back in our scrimmage Friday night against Valencia,” Bonds said. “It’s like home. I missed a lot of spring and summer ball and being at home and going through those treatments. I felt like I was left out. I feel like I’m back with my family, my staff and being around the guys. I’m looking forward to the real thing on Friday against Mira Costa.”
It will be the highlight of the weekend just watching Bonds put a headset on again, and you can bet his competitive juices will take over after that.
“You kind of forget everything and go into football mode,” Bonds said. “Everything starts to feel normal again, like riding a bike. You just get back on it.”
Continue reading “Five things to discuss in Week 1 of the High School Football Season” »
The all-encompassing San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News and Whittier Daily News’ Top 20 Football Rankings
1. Bishop Amat (0-1)
Loss to Mater Dei doesn’t knock Lancers off top spot.
Next: vs. Paramount, Friday, 7 p.m.
2. St. Francis (0-0)
Opener against Mira Costa should be telling
Next: at Mira Costa, Friday, 7 p.m.
3. Arcadia (1-0)
No contest in 64-0 smackdown of La Salle
Next: At Cathedral, Friday, 7 p.m.
4. Muir (1-0)
Joined select few to win at Charter Oak in recent years.
Next: At Oakland’s Steller Prep, Aug. 31
5. La Habra (0-1)
Season-opening 24-12 loss to Upland stings
Next: at Redlands East Valley, Friday, 7 p.m.
6. Los Altos (1-0)
Big win over Covina in coach Travis Brown’s debut
Next: vs. Wilson, Friday, 7 p.m
7. Glendora (1-0)
Bigger than expected 41-28 smackdown of Damien
Next: at Roosevelt, Friday, 7 p.m.
8. St. Paul (1-0)
Easy 38-0 shutout over Venice.
Next: vs. Lompoc, Friday, 7 p.m.
9. La Serna (1-0)
Impressive 48-14 opener over Thousand Oaks
Next: vs. Troy at Cal Hi, Friday, 7 p.m.
10. Bonita (1-0)
Lot of good signs in 42-24 win over Arroyo
Next: vs. Diamond Bar at San Dimas HS, Friday, 7 p.m.
11. South Hills (1-0)
Handled Crenshaw with ease, 38-6
Next: vs. Don Lugo at CDF, Friday, 7 p.m.
12. Diamond Ranch (1-0)
No problem beating Pomona, 44-21
Next: vs. Chino Hills, Friday, 7 p.m.
13. Northview (1-0)
Shockingly easy 48-14 win over El Rancho
Next: At San Marino, Friday, 7 p.m.
14. San Dimas (0-0)
Should be one of the favorites in the Valle Vista
Next: At Long Beach Wilson, Friday, 7 p.m.
15. La Mirada (0-1)
Hung tough in 21-13 loss to El Toro
Next: At Capistrano Valley, Friday, 7 p.m.
16. Charter Oak (0-1)
With Alemany next, when is the last time Chargers started 0-2?
Next: vs. Alemany, Friday, 7 p.m.
17. Covina (0-1)
Lost season-opening step-up game to Los Altos
Next: vs. South El Monte at CDF, Friday, 7 p.m.
18. Whittier (1-0)
Took care of business against Sonora, 49-36
Next: at Fullerton, Friday, 7 p.m.
19. California (1-0)
Ran it up against Schurr, winning 63-35
Next: vs. Mayfair, Thursday, 7 p.m.
20. San Marino (1-0)
Rolled through Pasadena, 42-7
Next: vs. Northview, Friday, 7 p.m.
This Week’s Schedule
Thursday, August 23
Don Lugo vs. South Hills at Covina District Field
Ganesha vs. Azusa at Citrus College
Mayfair at California
Workman vs. Mountain View at La Puente
Friday, August 24
Alemany at Charter Oak
Alhambra at Rowland
Arcadia at Cathedral
Arlington vs. Pomona at Ramona
Arroyo at Nogales
Bell Gardens at El Rancho
Bonita vs. Diamond Bar at San Dimas HS
Buena Park at Baldwin Park
California Military Institute at Rio Hondo Prep
Chino Hills at Diamond Ranch
Claremont at Damien
Covina vs. South El Monte at Covina District Field
Crescenta Valley vs. Santa Fe at Pioneer HS
Garey at Cantwell-Sacred Heart
Gladstone vs. Walnut at Citrus College
Glendora at Roosevelt
Inglewood at Montebello
Keppel at Temple City
La Canada at Santa Paula, 7:30 p.m.
La Mirada at Capistrano Valley
La Serna vs. Troy at California HS
Lompoc at St. Paul
Maranatha at Pasadena
Marshall at Campbell Hall, 6 p.m.
Monrovia at Alta Loma
Northview at San Marino
Paramount at Bishop Amat
Pioneer at Ribet Academy
Redlands East Valley vs. La Habra at Redlands HS
Rosemead at San Gabriel
Salesian at La Salle
San Dimas at Long Beach Wilson
Sonora vs. Brea Olinda at La Habra HS
South Pasadena at El Monte
Southlands Christian at Desert Christian
St. Francis at Mira Costa
Vasquez at La Puente
Village Christian vs. Pasadena Poly at South Pasadena HS
Whittier at Fullerton
Whittier Christian vs. Mary Star of the Sea at Whittier College
Wilson at Los Altos
Hollywood Bernstein at Bassett
Los Angeles Contreras at Gabrielino
Schurr at Garfield
West Covina at Crenshaw