ARAM’S SEASON PREVIEW COLUMN: CIF football playoff groupings set the stage for new rivalries, champions
RECRUITING RANKINGS: Bishop Amat football’s Trevon Sidney heads list of area’s top recruits
TRIBUNE PRE-SEASON ALL-AREA TEAM: Find out who made the pre-season all-area team
TRIBUNE RANKINGS: No Surprise, Bishop Amat starts at No. 1
Welcome to the inaugural SGVN all-encompassing girls volleyball top ten poll. For the first time, we’re ranking teams from the Whittier Daily News, Pasadena Star-News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune coverage areas to create a more prestigious and tougher-to-crack, girls volleyball top ten poll from our core readership at SGVN. With social media bringing us all closer together, we thought we’d share coverage beyond print boundaries to give you a more comprehensive feel of the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier. Keith Lair will update his rankings each week on the blogs, websites and newspapers.
Above: Emily Develle, left, Kayla Lund, and Sophia Coffey, are team members of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Girls Volleyball team Friday, August 22, 2014. (Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News)
By Keith Lair, Staff Reporter
It will be difficult for San Gabriel Valley and Whittier volleyball teams to top 2013.
La Salle and Whittier Christian high schools won CIF-Southern Section championships. Mayfield played
Whittier Christian for the 2A title. Flintridge Sacred Heart and St. Paul both went to the semifinals, the Tologs losing to eventual champion La Salle. Two other teams made it to the quarterfinals.
This season, however, could be just as successful. There are a lot of returning starters for the area’s top teams, but there are challenges: four of the teams in the Top 10 move up a division.
1. Flintridge Sacred Heart
The Tologs return five players who contributed heavily to the team’s CIF-SS semifinal run last year.
But coach Ernest Banaag still has questions.
“We are a lot younger that last year,” he said. “We do have a lot of experience and core knowledge.
But we’re young and that might show in some games.”
The Tologs graduated six seniors from a team that went 26-5 and lost to eventual division champion La Salle in four tough games in the semis. They return four seniors, four juniors and two sophomores who all played. Two freshmen will play this season.
“They have a lot of club experience within their age group, but they are 14-year olds now competing against 18-year olds,” Banag said.
The game: In this year’s Tribskin Pick’em, Aram will I will do it a little differently. We’ll pick all games from the SGVN coverage areas of the Tribune, Whittier Daily News and Pasadena Star-News for an all-encompassing, all-out bragging right for 2014, since nobody ever pays the dinner bet. I won last year, ending Aram’s two-year win streak.
WEEK 0: Lot of great games to choose from Thursday through Saturday to start the season. Northview coach Marcel Perez was extremely confident in a conversation this summer, so I’m taking the Vikings on Thursday along with La Puente. On Friday, the tide has turned and it’s no longer an upset to take San Dimas over Monrovia, which I’m doing with confidence. Bishop Amat will turn some heads in Orange County with a victory over Santa Margarita and Charter Oak will get knocked off by some team from Nevada. Diamond Bar will get a win at Montebello for its new coach and Wilson will do the same for Greg Gano. I like Arroyo, but like San Marino better (drinking the Steve Ramirez Kool-aid). Same goes with Muir, good team but Salesian probably better. On Saturday night, South Hills is at least a three-touchdown favorite over Covina. So there you go, we’ll come back next week and find out who we did. But go ahead, make your own picks and lets play. Aram is on vacation today and will make his predictions on Tuesday.
Rosemead vs. Northview at San Dimas HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Northview); Aram (Rosemead)
Ralston Valley vs. La Serna, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Serna); Aram (LS)
Verbum Dei vs. La Canada at LA Southwest, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Verbum Dei); Aram (VD)
Sierra Vista at La Puente, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Puente); Aram (LP)
Monrovia at San Dimas, 7 p.m. — Robledo (San Dimas); Aram (SD)
Bishop Amat vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BAmat); Aram (Amat)
Green Valley, NV., at Charter Oak, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Green Valley); Aram (CO)
Diamond Bar at Montebello, 7 p.m. — Robledo (DBar); Aram (DB)
Tesoro at La Mirada, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Tesoro); Aram (Tesoro)
Bonita at Schurr, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Schurr); Aram (Bonita)
El Toro at La Habra, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Habra); Aram (LH)
Claremont at El Rancho, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Claremont); Aram (ER)
Firebaugh at St. Paul, 7 p.m. — Robledo (St. Paul); Aram (St. Paul)
Santa Fe at Santa Maria St. Joseph, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Santa Maria); Aram (SM)
Whittier vs. Sonora at California HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Sonora); Aram (Sonora)
Arroyo at San Marino, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SMarino); Aram (SM)
Muir at Salesian, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Salesian); Aram (Salesian)
Bassett at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Maranatha); Aram (Maranatha)
Alhambra at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Alhambra); Aram (Arcadia)
Pasadena at South El Monte, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Pasadena); Aram (Pas)
Compton at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Salle); Aram (LS)
Blair vs. Flintridge Prep, at Oxy, 7 p.m.– Robledo (FPrep); Aram (FP)
Duarte at Cerritos Valley Christian, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Cerritos); Aram (Duarte)
Keppel at Ganesha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Ganesha); Aram (Ganesha)
Ribet Academy at Rio Hondo Prep, 7 p.m. — Robledo (RH Prep); Aram (RHP)
San Gabriel at Montclair, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Montclair); Aram (Montclair)
Baldwin Park at El Monte, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BPark); Aram (BP)
Workman vs. Wilson at La Puente HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Wilson); Aram (Wilson)
Diamond Ranch at Nogales, 7 p.m. — Robledo (DRanch); Aram (DR)
Santa Monica at Los Altos, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Los Altos); Aram (LA)
Gladstone at Jurupa Hills, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Jurupa Hills); Aram (JH)
Alta Loma at Rowland, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Alta Loma); Aram (AL)
Walnut at Don Lugo, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Walnut); Aram (Lugo)
West Covina at Colony, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Colony); Aram (WC)
Covina vs. South Hills at San Dimas HS, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SHills); Aram (SH)
Bosco Tech at Pasadena Poly, 2 p.m. — Robledo (Bosco Tech); Aram (PasPoly)
Tribune Football Pre-season Top Five (expanded to top ten)
1. Bishop Amat
3. Charter Oak
4. Los Altos
5. San Dimas
6. South Hills
7. West Covina
9. Diamond Bar
10. Diamond Ranch
TRIBUNE PRE-SEASON ALL-AREA TEAM
QB — Matt Fink, Glendora, Sr.
RB — Anthony Camargo, Bishop Amat, Sr.
RB — Zion Echols, Charter Oak, Jr.
WR — Tyler Vaughns, Bishop Amat, Jr.
WR — Raymen Barraza, Baldwin Park, Jr.
WR — Brandon Arconado, Bishop Amat, Sr.
OL — Ben Northup, Glendora, Sr.
OL — Angel Villanueva, Duarte, Sr.
OL — Steven Magallanes, Los Altos, Sr.
OL — David Tolmachoff, Los Altos, Sr.
OL — Andrew Lopez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
AP — Darreon Lockett, Pomona, Jr.
PK — Caleb Watkins, Glendora, Jr.
DL — Patrick Sanchez, Damien, Sr.
DL — Robert Sanchez, Arroyo, Sr.
DL — David Jimenez, Los Altos, Sr.
LB — Zach Lewallen, Glendora, Sr.
LB — Michael Sahagun, Rosemead, Sr.
LB — Christian Wiley, Bishop Amat, Sr.
LB — Josiah Erickson, San Dimas, Jr.
DB — Tre Sidney, Bishop Amat, Jr.
DB — Antonio Hull, Diamond Bar, Sr.
DB — Malik Psalms, Ayala, Sr.
DB — Isaiah Love, West Covina, Jr.
P — Enrique Gonzalez, La Puente, Sr.
@SGVNSports Coach Johnson Impacted me! When I saw him come to practice Everyday in a Wheelchair, My complaints about practicing Evaporated
— Chris Rix (@CoachRix) August 20, 2014
That was the year when Johnson’s life changed completely. Some would say for the worse judging by the wheelchair he now calls home. Most would say for the better judging by the thousands of kids whose lives he has touched.
It was March and Johnson was some place not uncommon for him to be back in those days — in the air over the San Gabriel Valley hang gliding. Johnson’s journey that day started at Mount Wilson went over Glendora and ended tragically on the ground at Royal Oaks Elementary School in Duarte.
“I was in the air for about four hours,” Johnson said. “I had landed at that school a half-dozen times. I was having a little trouble getting down close enough to the ground because it was, I don’t want to say turbulent, but we used to call them poppy days.
“And when I came down, I obviously made a mistake and cartwheeled in. I broke my neck. I don’t remember the last few seconds of the crash. What I remember is that my right wing tip hit the ground and that made me cartwheel and I made contact with my forehead with some part of the glider. Albeit I had all the equipment I should be wearing, I hit the glider so hard with my head that it caused my neck to hyper-extend.”
— Beto Duran (@DuranSports) August 20, 2014
Wow, wow, wow. Former La Verne Lutheran boys basketball coach Eric Cooper, who won some CIF-SS championships and state titles at tiny La Verne Lutheran, is now the boys basketball coach at Diamond Ranch. Boy, it didn’t take former football coach and now AD Roddy Layton to make a splash. Some will say they’ve hired the best recruiter in town who will instantly draw talent to the school. Others will simply say Eric Cooper’s track record is what attracts. You decide, either way I’m guessing Diamond Ranch will be a boys basketball power soon.
By Aram Tolegian
At 68 years old, the last thing Charter Oak High football coach Lou Farrar needed was a bucket of ice water dumped over his head.
But there the veteran coach was last week, surrounded by his team and in front of cell phone cameras, documenting his acceptance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that’s sweeping the country.
“It was shocking,” Farrar said of the experience. “My assistant coaches were joking that they had the paddles ready to go in case my heart stopped. But I think the cause is important. If that means getting doused by some football players on a hot afternoon to raise awareness, then it’s a very small thing to do. I was very happy to bring some awareness to the issue.”
Awareness and the subsequent donations are the ultimate goal of the challenge, which has gone viral thanks to social media. Quite simply, the challenge is getting a bucket of ice water poured over your head, then posting video of the ceremony on social media and extending the challenge to somebody else.
On Wednesday, Los Altos coach Dale Ziola was latest to take the plunge …. Find out who he called out
By Michelle Gardner
One can’t blame identical twin brothers Tyler and Kyle Peterson of Diamond Bar for wanting to have a lot of fun at others’ expense.
So a couple of years ago Kyle took a seat in his brother’s history class. After 10 minutes or so Tyler snuck into the room, asking the teacher to remove the “imposter.”
Teacher George Harderson was not amused.
“I don’t care who stays, but one of you has to go,” he barked.
Previous coach Ryan Maine, now an assistant at Corona Santiago, said he often mixed the two up.
First-year coach Marcus Hughes has also had trouble figuring out who is who, although the problem was remedied recently when Tyler got his hair cut.
“When I first got here I mixed them up all the time,” Hughes said. “They even have the same mannerisms. There was no easy way to tell them apart.”
The 17-year old twins are rarely apart. They have the same circle of friends, although Tyler also has a girlfriend. When they do argue it is usually over something trivial – what movie to watch, where to stop and eat on the way home from practice.
West Covina coach Mike Maggiore took the ALS #IceBucketChallenge on Friday and called out Los Altos coach Dale Ziola, Walnut’s Mike O’Shields and Mt. SAC coach Bob Jastrab. Listen to Mike explain why this was so important to him and why the cause is close to his heart. He also donated $200. Way to go Mike.
Bishop Amat junior quarterback Steven Nava, who transferred to Amat from Rosemead over the summer after a great sophomore season at Rosemead, checked out of Amat on Thursday. Amat coach Steve Hagerty answered a text asking why Nava left with a simple text back, “ask him.” Nava was in a three-horse race for starting QB over the summer along with Ryder Ruiz, the brother of former Amat QB Rio Ruiz and Damian Garcia. From all indications, it appears Garcia is the front-runner and has been the front-runner all along and will likely start in the Lancers’ season opener Aug. 29 vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback College. Since Nava never played a game at Bishop Amat, he could return to Rosemead and be eligible. There is no word yet if he has in fact returned to Rosemead. Nava threw for 1,199 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games last season as a sophomore for the Panthers.
Breaking news, Bishop Amat QB Steven Nava, who transferred from Rosemead to Bishop Amat, already has transferred out, sources say.
— Fred J. Robledo (@SGVNSports) August 15, 2014
The ALS #IceBucketChallenge got going in the SGV when San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow called Aram and I out and took his medicine in honor of the late Dean Karnowsky, a legendary figure who coached at Glendora High School who died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. On Wednesday, Charter Oak’s longtime coach Big Lour Farrar was called out by CIF asst. commissioner Glenn Martinez and Arroyo coach Jim Singiser, and accepted the challenge. Before Farrar took the plunge, he spoke of Karnowski, who he coached when Karnowski was in high school and also offered to donate $100. Way to go coach, that’s why you’re so beloved and the grandfather of the SGV. And his face when the bucket was delivered was classic. Farrar then went on to call out two coaches who’ve been at it almost as long as he has, Terry Roche and John Munger, who are at Chino High. Also, after Steve Ramirez took the challenge at Northview, he called out St. Francis coach Jim Bonds, who answered the challenge Wednesday and called out Bill Redell and Maranatha’s Steve Bogan. Bogan was tricked during his #IceBucketChallenge. He lined up a group of coaches thinking they would all get dumped on, and instead, they dumped all the buckets on him. Late Friday, Upland coach Tim Salter and Bulletin reporter Clay follower accepted challenges and took the plunge. Check out all the video.
The ALS #IceBucketChallenge hit Arroyo HS this afternoon and it was something special. Coach Jim Singiser not only took the challenge, but he also will donate $100 to ALS. After, he called out West Covina head coach Mike Maggiore, Maranatha’s Steve Bogan and Charter Oak’s Lou Farrar, who earlier also was called out by CIF-SS assistant commissioner Glenn Martinez. As Singiser noted, don’t be afraid, it’s just a challenge from the Mission Valley Legue.
The CIF-SS folks joined the summer fun and accepted our ALS #IceBucketChallenge. Former Charter Oak athletic director and current CIF-SS Assistant Commissioner Glenn Martinez with help from Commissioner Rob Wigod, spokesperson Thom Simmons and others at the CIF office, took his two-bucket dump with a big smile on his face. Great stuff! Martinez then called out Brandi Stuart (from the CIF office) and old pal Big Lou Farrar, Charter Oak’s head football coach. Stuart and Farrar are on the clock.
By Aram Tolegian
Nobody will ever know for sure just how close the Bassett High School football program came to going the way of the dinosaur in 2011.
But with just 16 players on the varsity roster at the end of a 1-9 campaign, it doesn’t take a genius to realize things were about as bleak as they could get.
Enter Hector Spathias.
Today, thanks to Spathias, the Olympians are a thriving program, one that was a coin flip away from making the playoffs last season. The roster now has 50 players between varsity and junior varsity, and although the stunning turnaround hasn’t come easily, things are clearly looking up.
“I’m a teacher on campus and they knew I had coached football before,” said Spathias, thinking back on how he took on the challenge of turning things around. “They would call me in and say, ‘You know the kids here, you can relate to them, can you coach the football team?’
“And I would say there’s no way I’m going to coach here, there’s no support here. But when you have these kids in your class, you feel bad. You want to give them a fair shot on the football field.”
You gotta give it up to El Monte football coach Joel Sanchez and staff for answering the ALS challenge this morning. What a fun way and good cause to celebrate Hell Week and two-a-days leading to the Aug. 29 season openers. Coach Sanchez called out Arroyo coach Jim Singiser, Rosemead coach Marc Paramo and Mountain View coach Victor Ambruso. Boys, you’re on the clock and have 24 hours to respond …
There has been a flurry of activity since San Dimas football and coach Bill Zernickow called Aram and I out Monday to take the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Aram and I accepted and got dumped on by the Saints’ football team and called out Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty, Bonita coach Adrian Medrano along with two of our biggest contributors during the football season, Mike the Cousin and Tom Kiss. On Tuesday, Bonita’s Adrian Medrano accepted and paid the $100 donation, then quickly called out Glendora coach Jerry Lewallen. Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty got dumped on along with Tom and the Cousin during Amat’s practice Tuesday. Hagerty called out Damien coach Mark Paredes and Upland coach Tim Salter. Mike called out the Scouting Guru, James Escarcega and Tommy called out our very own Stevie Ramirez and the Bulletin’s Clay Fowler. Those called out today have 24 hours to respond or reach into their pockets … whatever you choose, it’s a win-win for all.
— Gabriel Escovar (@gescovar) August 13, 2014
When you take the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease, you can either have an ice bucket of water dumped on you and shared to YouTube to spread awareness or donate $100. We challenged Bonita coach Adrian Medrano and Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty after San Dimas and coach Bill Zernickow challenged us. While we all got dunked on, Medrano chose to donate $100, which is what this is about really. Medrano followed by challenging new Palomares league rival in Glendora football coach Jerry Lewallen, who is on the clock and has 24 hours to respond. Find out who else Medrano challenged as well. Congrats to Medrano for reaching into his pocket and answering the challenge. We’re waiting on Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty to answer the challenge tonight along with Mike the Cousin and Tommy the Inland Insider Kiss
— Bill Zernickow (@BillZernickow) August 13, 2014
By Aram Tolegian
There was a time when Greg Gano cared about where his next CIF championship ring was going to come from.
When you win four, it can be addicting. Those days have quickly gone, though. Gano, whether by choice or error, has been rapidly adding chapters to his career in recent years. And that’s not always a good sign for a coach.
The latest and perhaps final chapter for Gano is at Wilson High School. Yes, the same Wilson that’s just down the road from where Gano cemented his name with some of the industry’s best coaches at Los Altos.
Gano’s arrival at the Hacienda Heights campus is a culmination of events that has led the Valley legend to become reflective and less hell bent on wins and losses at a time when most coaches his age would trying to salt their legacy.
“The only thing I can say is that I’m the same guy I was in 2002,” Gano said before practice on Monday afternoon. “But it’s not about me anymore. I want our kids to feel that I care about them. That is the main focus that I had coming into this year, is that the kids know I care about them and what they’re doing on and off the football field.”
Gano’s career has hit several speed bumps since he resigned his position at Los Altos following the 2007 season. After taking a year off, he was hired at Damien in a move that many thought would make the Spartans an area power and maybe more.
It didn’t happen. Following a 20-22 record in four seasons, Gano resigned and promised he wouldn’t be out of coaching long. He wasn’t. Gano was soon the head coach at Tustin. But that was over soon after it got started and Gano was out at Tustin after an 0-4 start in 2013.
San Dimas coach Bill Zernickow called Aram and I out at today’s practice to take the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) challenge, which gives you 24 hours to answer the challenge or donate a $100 bucks to the cause. While it’s always great to donate money, the evolution of the ALS challenge is to spread awareness on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms about ALS. Watch coach Z get dunked and call us out. We answered two hours later by getting dunked in front of the San Dimas football team as well. Check out who we called out, they’re next up. Going forward, lets use this as a countdown to the Aug. 29 season opener. If anyone wants to call out their coach or another player on a football team in the SGV, send the video to Aram or I and we’ll post it. Let’s start this craze at football practices throughout the SGV and beyond. Now, check out our video and see who we challenged next…
But rarely do you hear those words uttered so often when it comes to football than when they fly off the lips of new Maranatha High School football coach Steve Bogan.
Want to know how one of the Valley’s best-ever coaches winds up at tiny Maranatha? He prayed on it. Wondering whether a four-time CIF champion coach like Bogan is truly concerned about adding another ring to his pile? It will happen if God wills it.
Those are the themes of Bogan’s sentiments as he starts what very likely will be the final chapter of a career that’s seen him win more CIF titles than most of his colleagues can dream of, more league titles than one man deserves and enough games to ensure area fans will remember his name for a long time.
“For me, it seemed like the lord was saying ‘Go do this,’” Bogan said while winding down after holding one of the first fall practices of what he hopes will be a productive tenure at Maranatha based on winning and spirituality.
We’re nearly three weeks from the prep openers and the fifth PrepXtra Football preview magazine, which debuts on Aug. 28. The first weekend is great, opening with Rosemead and Northview on Thursday night followed by Monrovia and San Dimas the first full Friday capped with Covina taking on South Hills Saturday night. Other intriguing games the first Friday is Bishop Amat on the road against Santa Margarita, how Arroyo fares at San Marino, and how Wilson and Greg Gano will do in his debut against Workman.
Thursday, August 28
Rosemead vs. Northview at San Dimas HS.
Friday, August 29
Alta Loma at Rowland, 7 p.m.
Arroyo at San Marino, 7 p.m.
Baldwin Park at El Monte, 7 p.m.
Bassett at Maranatha, 7 p.m.
Bonita at Schurr, 7 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Montebello, 7 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at Nogales, 7 p.m.
Duarte at Cerritos Valley Christian, 7 p.m.
Gladstone at Jurupa Hills, 7 p.m.
Keppel at Ganesha, 7 p.m.
Monrovia at San Dimas, 7 p.m.
Pasadena at South El Monte, 7 p.m.
Roosevelt at Pomona, 7 p.m.
Santa Margarita vs. Bishop Amat at Saddleback College, 7 p.m.
Santa Monica at Los Altos, 7 p.m.
Sierra Vista at La Puente, 7 p.m.
Walnut at Don Lugo, 7 p.m.
West Covina at Colony, 7 p.m.
Wilson at Workman, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 30th
Covina vs. South Hills at San Dimas HS, 7 p.m.
By Aram Tolegian
The Duarte High School football program continues to give every indication that it’s on the verge of something special and new head coach Travis Brown is confident he’s the man who will get the Falcons over the top.
Brown, a former standout receiver at Los Altos in the early 2000s, is conducting his first fall camp as a head coach and the excitement is starting to build that the beginning of something big for both the Falcons and their rookie coach is about to happen.
“We have a lot of guys that not too many people know about,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t expect us to be anybody’s favorite. But I will say that we’re going to turn some heads this year and we’re going to make a lot of noise.”
Brown did just during his playing days. He was a receiver on Los Altos’ 2002 and ‘03 CIF championship team and earned Tribune All-Area honors in ‘03. He then starred at New Mexico where he was an all-Mountain West selection in both his junior and senior seasons.
The success continued into the early days of what he hoped would be an NFL career. Brown was atop the depth chart for at one wide receiver spot for the Cincinnati Bengals entering the preseason in 2008.