Aside from a few mental breakdowns by some of his players, Montebello High football coach Pete Gonzalez was pleased overall with his team’s performance during Friday’s scrimmage against West Covina.
“I thought it went really well,” said Gonzalez, who added his team emerged injury-free. “It was definitely a physical scrimmage. (West Covina has) a very good football program, one of the top programs in the area.”
Gonzalez praised the play of his offensive line and that of sophomore tailback Isaac Mendibles and junior back Simeon Poggi.
“Both had some bright moments,” Gonzalez said.
He also called the defense’s play “steady,” but was concerned about missed assignments and mental mistakes.
“They know it,” Gonzalez said following a Saturday morning film session. “They’re aware of it.”
The Oilers, who went 6-5 a season ago, open their season Friday at Diamond Bar.
Santa Fe High’s football team escaped Friday night’s scrimmage with Mayfair in pretty good shape, and appears ready for next week’s season opener at Ontario Christian.
The Chiefs emerged from the 70-minute session without any injuries, and head coach Dave Pierson had a chance to see most of his squad in action against a different team for the first time since December.
“We got what we wanted to see out of it,” said Pierson. “We got to see our kids do their jobs, got to see them play football. We were looking for effort.”
Mayfair controlled much of the early action on both sides of the ball thanks to junior Ernest Bagner. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder dominated the line of scrimmage at both defensive end and offensive tackle. On defense, he consistently pressured Santa Fe quarterback Christian Lara and forced a fumble. On offense, he cleared holes for Monsoon runners Faizon Creighton and Quarele Hall.
“(Mayfair has) some big kids up front,” Pierson admitted. “You have to give them credit.”
When given time to throw, Lara was accurate and on time with his passes. In a short-yardage series late in the session, he completed a pair of TD passes, including one to 6-1, 205-pound tight end Richard Bramble.
Pierson was also pleased with the overall performance of senior middle linebacker Christopher Ponce.
Mayfair scored the scrimmage’s first TD, a long run by Hall on a sweep to the left. Wide receiver Evan Ponce added an entertaining catch and run across the middle, and later made a leaping catch for a touchdown when the teams went to short-yardage series.
Mayfair is coached by Mike Fitch, who was head coach at Whittier High for eight seasons and led the Cardinals to a CIF final in 1994.
DON’T. GET. HURT.
That will be the message sent by Santa Fe High football coach Dave Pierson when the Chiefs travel to Bellflower High for a scrimmage against Mayfair at 7 p.m. Friday. He’d like to see his players line up correctly and display the proper fundamentals they’ve been taught all summer, but most of all he’d like to see the players on both sides emerge unscathed.
“The biggest thing is to not get anyone injured,” said Pierson. “After that, it’s fundamentals. Can we block? Can we get off blocks? Can we tackle? Can we tackle in the open field?”
Santa Fe is coming off a second-place finish in the Del Rio League and a run to the CIF-SS Southeast Division semifinals The Chiefs finished last season at 8-5 and upset favored La Mirada in the quarterfinals.
The 2013 prep football season is barely a week from opening, and interesting nonleague games will dot the landscape for the first month-and-a-half of the season. Included among them are several featuring Whittier-area teams facing one another, with bragging rights going all the way back to Pop Warner days at stake in some cases.
The Sept. 6 meeting between La Habra and La Mirada could be a classic, and its outcome will certainly affect the WDN Top 10 a few days later. Here’s a closer look at several of the upcoming games.
La Habra at La Mirada – Blue chippers on both sides of the ball for both teams. Can’t wait for this one.
Whittier Christian at Cantwell-Sacred Heart – This will be the fourth consecutive season they’ll meet in nonleague play. A Herald victory would even the series.
Schurr vs. La Serna at Cal High – This will be the Spartans’ first of three games against Del Rio League opponents. Cal (Sept. 27) and Whittier (Oct. 4) will follow.
Whittier vs. Whittier Christian at Whittier College – The Cardinals posted a 34-19 victory last season, one of only three victories all season.
St. Paul at La Habra – The Swordsmen will be one week removed from facing 2012 Pac-5 Division finalist Mater Dei when they meet the Highlanders.
Montebello at El Rancho – Only six miles separate these schools on the west side of the 605.
Pioneer at Montebello – The Oilers won last year’s meeting 20-14.
Whittier at Schurr – The Cardinals are 0-3 vs. the Spartans since 2008, including a 10-6 setback last season.
All former Cal High boys basketball players who played for coach Jim Remington are invited to attend a reunion celebration Oct. 19.
Remington coached the Condors from 1956-69, and his daughter Connie Johnson said approximately 100 people have confirmed they’ll attend the reunion at the Candlewood Country Club, including about 70 former players.
Check-in will begin at 4 p.m. and will be followed by dinner.
For more information, call Johnson at (562) 400-7997 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.