Days after former football coach Roddy Layton becomes Co-AD at Diamond Ranch, he makes a splash hire in boys basketball coach Eric Cooper

cooperWow, 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.

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The ALS #IceBucket challenge hit home in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond

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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

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Diamond Bar’s double trouble: The Peterson Twins

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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.

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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

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.

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Bishop Amat junior QB Steven Nava has left the school; Nava transferred to Amat from Rosemead after sophomore season but never played at Amat

navaBishop 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.

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Emotional Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar takes the ALS #IceBucketChallenge and calls out Terry Roche and John Monger

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.

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Arroyo’s Jim Singiser takes the ALS #IceBucketChallenge and calls out Steve Bogan, Mike Maggiore and Lou Farrar

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.

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CIF assistant commissioner Glenn Martinez takes the ALS #IceBucketChallenge then calls outs Charter Oak’s Big Lou Farrar

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.

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Bassett nearly cancelled its football program until Hector Spathias arrived, now it expects big things

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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.”

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Steve Ramirez, Northview coach Marcel Perez answer the #IceBucketChallenge for ALS; St. Francis’ Jim Bonds and Wilson’s Greg Gano receive the challenge

The #IceBucketChallenge for ALS started on Monday at San Dimas High School and Wednesday the tour took us to Northview, where sports writer went to his alma mater to take the the challenge and he was joined by Vikings’ coach Marcel Perez, who both took the bath.
After Ramirez called showed “some love” to the Westside, calling out St. Francis coach Jim Bonds to take the challenge. Perez did the same to his former coach Greg Gano, who is now the head guy at Wilson. You guys have 24 hours to take the ice bucket or dig in to your pocket, all for a good cause.

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El Monte Football answers the #IceBucketChallenge for ALS, calls out coaches at Arroyo, Mountain View and Rosemead, you’re on the clock

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 …

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#IceBucketChallenge: Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty, Tom Kiss and Mike The Cousin take the ALS challenge

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.

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Bonita coach Adrian Medrano accepts ALS challenge, donates $100 bucks, then challenges Glendora coach Jerry Lewallen

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

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Wilson football coach Greg Gano has new perspective following daughter Courtney’s ordeal

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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.
wilsonfoot“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.

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San Dimas football and coach Bill Zernickow called out Aram and I for the ALS challenge, who’s next?

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…

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Former South Hills coach Steve Bogan has found a home of faith and football at Maranatha

boganEveryone has heard the phrase “God made me do it.”

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.

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Counting down the days to the high school football season and Prep Xtra’s Preview Magazine

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.

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WEEK 0
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.

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Is Duarte football coach Travis Brown the answer? He thinks so

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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.

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He’s Brave: New Baldwin Park football coach Daniel Algattas talks the talk

Baldwin Park football photo gallery
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By Aram Tolegian
New Baldwin Park High School football coach Daniel Algattas isn’t bashful when he talks about his goals for the Braves’ program.
“We want to be recognized as a team that can play with the best of them,” Algattas said. “Our kids want to be No. 1 in the Valley. Whether that’s realistic or not, somebody can tell me that in 5-10 years. We want to get there one day. Not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But we want to play to our full potential.”
It doesn’t end there. Algattas is hopeful that he can take Baldwin Park on such a run that the Braves will “earn our way into Charter Oak’s league.” And if you remember him as a standout quarterback at Walnut, it’s not a wise idea to bet against it happening.
When last seen by most Valley prep football fans, Algattas was firing the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion pass in the final seconds of the 2003 Hall of Fame All-Star Game.
It was the culmination of a stellar prep career that saw Algattas lead Walnut to the CIF championship game against South Hills in 2002. He parlayed his high school career into a scholarship at Colorado St.
But before Algattas’ freshman season in Fort Collins, CO,, he injured his shoulder and suffered a serious concussion in car accident that came as a result of another driver running a red light.

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Former South Hills and APU star Mayra Almazan making most of her opportunity with Costa Rica at FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup

almazanactionBy Fred J. Robledo
Ask Azusa Pacific’s Mayra Almazan about her most memorable moments over the past few years and it’s no wonder she has to pause and think for a while.
Was it scoring the game-winning goal in sudden-death overtime to lead Azusa Pacific to the National Christian College Athletic Association national championship with a 2-1 victory over Dallas Baptist last fall?
Was it being named the most outstanding offensive player of the tournament, or being named the NCCAA national player of the year?
“It was all humbling,” said Almazan, who also starred at South Hills high school. “Really humbling.”
It could get even better.
almazanmugAlmazan is competing with Costa Rica in the Under-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada this month. Costa Rica is in Group D and opens with France Wednesday followed by games against Paraguay and New Zealand in hopes of advancing past the group stage.
“I’m really excited,” Almazan said. “Nobody expects much from us, we’re one of the (sleepers). Hopefully we can surprise a few teams and get to the next round.”

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Defending Mid-Valley champ San Dimas getting ready for 2014 and another showdown with Monrovia; Los Altos, La Mirada practicing too

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By Aram Tolegian
Under cooler-than-usual conditions and new rules limiting their time, several local high school football teams held their first fall practices on Monday.

The season is just under a month away for teams with Week 0 games and that means just a few weeks to tighten the screws in preparation for the long grueling campaign.

At San Dimas, the defending Mid-Valley Division champion Saints held their first practice under the watch of head coach Bill Zernickow. San Dimas opens the season in arguably one of the top games of the year against Monrovia on Aug. 29.

“It went fine,” Zernickow said of Monday morning’s practice. “Our guys were extremely excited to be back out there. You could see their posts on Twitter saying ‘Can’t wait for football’. That ended after about an hour.

“Nobody got hurt. I think we caught a little break in the weather. I think Sunday was a lot more humid.”

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