Biggest improvement usually comes early

They say the biggest improvement a high school football team makes in a season occurs between the first and second games.


Sounds logical enough, primarily because in many cases, that is when there is the most improvement to be made.

First game jitters are gone, and the new stuff put in by the coaches, having been tested under real game conditions, feels more comfortable.

La Habra and La Serna quickly come to mind. La Habra’s ground game that wasn’t in the 10-7 loss to Downey, came alive Friday night (27-10) against South Hills, and the passing game, while perhaps still working out some kinks with timing and accuracy, was better and showed promise for the future.

Simply said, the offense seemed closer to being on the same page as the defense.

La Serna, which did not score a touchdown and had only eight points in defeating John Glenn in Week 1, found a way to get the ball into the end zone and scored 27 points against a Norwalk team that is solid if not great.
Were there any other locals who impressed with obvious improvements over Week 1 performances?

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  • er

    El Rancho went from 20 yards of total offense against Cerritos, to 318 yards of total offense against Bell Gardens.

  • murray

    Yo, er:
    Wow! And still lost. Maybe we should be looking at the defense? Actually, it looks like this is a Bell Gardens team typical of yore, not very big but reasonably quick and extremely aggressive. Still, El Rancho’s offensive showing bodes well for the Dons’ future.

  • scj

    St. Paul looked like a completely different team on Friday. That momentum should get them past Banning and El Rancho. If they can take their game even higher then I think they stand a good chance against the likes of S.O. Notre Dame, et. al.

  • ATOYAC

    Whittier looked good beating Verbum Die who had four division one players. No one gave Wittier a chance. Not even the Daily News which did not even bother to write up a preview fo the game. It was probally for the better it seems as though the kids used it for extra motivation! Whittier had two players rush for 100 yds. and were missing two running backs due to injury. I would say that was a big improvement!!!

  • murray

    ATOYAC:
    Yes, I’m told Whittier looked good. Coach Scott had said a week ago that the Cardinals have the capability to be good this season. It looks like it’s beginning to show.
    And thanks for the update.

  • ELRANCHO

    El Rancho definetely improved as soon as David Moriel came into the game at QB. That option to Paez that went for a 50 yard TD was something that hadnt been seen at ER since Tony Hernandez back in 03. If the Dons want a chance to win, they better start giving Anthony Paez some carries and give David Moriel a shot as the starting QB. I woulndt blame the defense too much, in the 1st quarter the offense turned the ball over inside the 20 that resulted in a TD for BG. In the 2nd quarter the offense failed to score a TD on a 1st and goal from the 3 yard line and settled for a field goal. Right after that ER gave up a TD when there was only about 1:30 left in the half. The game could have easily been 14-7 at halftime, but was 21-3. Either way, there was a huge improvement in the second half when Moriel took over. I honestly see ER as a dangerous team, the team is really young on both sides of the ball, particularly on the O and D lines. ER has to give Moriel the nod under center and we will have ourselves a playoff team.

  • http://card4ever sikah urchit

    is la serna gonna choke in league again this year

  • dmrll

    regarding the comments by scj, yes st.paul will beat banning and el rancho but they have no chance against notre dame and loyola they will get whipped in both games but their league is so weak they should finish third behind st. francis and chaminade.

  • Chieftain Alumni

    I was at that Whittier game and Im sorry I just didnt see a whole lot to Whittier. They seemed to me to be the same old Whittier. They have a couple small quick backs and a pretty tuff linebacker that also plays guard. Their QB didnt seem to be able to pass the ball beyond 15 yards and their secondary is very suspect. For what ever reason Verbum Dei didnt seem to try and take advantage of their receivers size. I think this week we will see South El Monte pick them apart via the air. As for El Rancho….does it really matter it if it’s 20 yard or 318 yards. A loss is a loss!!

  • El Rancho

    Yes a loss is a loss, there is no changing that. If you would have seen this team against Cerritos and then seen them against BG you would notice a huge improvement. Either way the topic was about teams that are improving, not about winning or losing.

  • Chieftain Alumni

    ER, you are right. The topic was about improvement but I cant help and wonder if maybe El Rancho might have over looked Cerritos after beating them 34-14 last year. What they did against BG wasnt a surprise to me because these two teams always play each other tuff and is honestly one of my favorite area rivalries. I expected more from El Rancho week 1 so I guess you can say that I dont think that game 2 wasnt as much of an improvement as game 1 was a let down.

  • Highlander Fan

    2 of LS scores came on defense. Calling Norwalk a great team is a real stretch.
    The jury should be out until LS plays someone who has a chance to finish .500.

  • MD4vr

    Hey Roger, Just seen your Daily News Rankings in todays paper. Are you smoking crack? La Serna plays Norwalk and who else? Whittier Christian plays Lutheran Who? and they are ranked? Geez, put the pipe down and consider the opposition.

  • Justafan

    dmrll, Were you sober when you wrote that post? St Paul is in a weak league? St Francis is rated #2 Chaminade is rated #3 in the cif Western div, or old div III rankings… Weak? Compared to what league?

  • Spartanjoe

    Are you kidding me Roger? La Serna wins John Glenn and Norwalk and they are ranked 5th? Please tell me you are not behind the ranking decisions.

  • El Rancho

    Yes game 1 was a letdown, and game 2 would have been a letdown, that is until David Moriel was put in at QB, it was like a night and day differnce.

  • ER football

    I think the team needs to step it up more and somebody needs to take control. I think Anthony Paez should be given the ball more. In just one game he already has better stats than the other running backs. Moriel seemed to be the better QB, he also showed that he was not scared and he was having fun. Paez is quicker and is the smarter RB of the three. But they need to keep Paez to the outside because once he rounds that corner it will be very hard for someone to catch him because of his fast speed. He finds the gaps and finds his way out. On his 50 yard TD he should have been down 10 yards after he touch the ball. Reyna needs to put in the players that are going to win the game and stop putting in his favorits.Moriel and Paez make a good combo and they should be kept in together because when it comes down to the last play of the game it is going to be them two who win or loose the game. Reyna also needs to call a better game with his plays on offence. GO RANCH

  • ATOYAC

    Yo! Roger I am tired of reading about La Serna! La Serna this and that Please Talk about somone else Everyone who reads your paper and reads and writes in your blog knows that they are pretenders!! You are leaving out many other good teams and players.

  • dmrll

    to justafan-come on-you think that is a strong league?-st. paul should be playing in the same league as Bishop Amat, Loyola and St. John bosco-you said the right thing – div. 3 -they should be playing their rivals in div. 1 -yes the league is weak

  • Anonymous

    Everyone is complaining about La Serna’s pre-season scedule. I have even read people talking about Cal Hi’s tough schedule, they both play El Monte, Norwalk destroyed Bassett, I will give it that Rowland is a tough week one opponentbut who else is there on there schedule? By the way it looks Schurr is down, and oh you can’t forget Buena Park! Please if we are going to judge, let us judge everyone!

  • El Rancho

    Its about time this blog started coming to life. Whats new with La Serna, they have always played a creampuff preseason. Remember in 0-3 they were 7-0 and a 3-4 ER team came into their house and showed them why they shouldnt have a creampuff preseason.

  • dustn

    dmrll, St Paul belongs in DIII. There is no way they should be in the same division/league as Bishop Amat, Loyola and St. John Bosco. St Paul has about 300 or so male students on its campus there is no way that they should be in the same league as those guys. St Paul is perfect where they are at right now. I dont get where you get that St Paul plays in a weak league? You seem to have big problem with St Paul. Could it be jealousy?

  • murray

    to dmrll/: The enrollments of the schools you list as proper opponents for St. Paul (about 700 coed) — BAmat (1550 coed)), Loyola (1,200 boys) and St. John Bosco (1090 boys) don’t match up very well. And as for St. Paul being in a weak league, St. Francis (673 boys) was ranked No. 2 (behind Dominguez) last week and Chaminade (1.790 coed) No. 3 in the Western Division (old Div. III). And of the 29 teams (in five leagues in the division, St. Paul ranks No. 22 in enrollment behind St. Francis, but St. Paul’s 700 are split between boys AND girls.
    Gotta side with dustn on this one.

  • dustn

    Thank you Murray.

  • Jstafan

    That’s what I am talking about dustn! They’re just haters?

  • Jstafan

    Good job murray, these blogs are finally getting interesting!

  • dustn

    Thanks Jstafan. Hey Roger can you fill us in on Nick Grigsby leaving St Paul for Cal Hi, I know he tired to do this during the summer but failed to enroll at Cal hi because he didnt live within the cal hi area. But now it looks like he will be playing for them. Can you give anyone info on this I’ve heard a couple stories and was just curious to see what you have heard? This reminds me of 2001 when St Paul got De’Andre Scott from Alemany which was in its own league at the time. This guy was one of the best backs I’ve ever seen. In his first game was a swordsman he went up against his former Alemany team.

  • dustn

    Thanks Jstafan. Hey Roger can you fill us in on Nick Grigsby leaving St Paul for Cal Hi, I know he tired to do this during the summer but failed to enroll at Cal hi because he didnt live within the cal hi area. But now it looks like he will be playing for them. Can you give anyone info on this I’ve heard a couple stories and was just curious to see what you have heard? This reminds me of 2001 when St Paul got De’Andre Scott from Alemany which was in its own league at the time. This guy was one of the best backs I’ve ever seen. In his first game was a swordsman he went up against his former Alemany team.