The Peterson Principle 6/14/11

Tim Peterson

There was San Gabriel’s run to the CIF Finals in 2003 and Rosemead’s in 2008. South El Monte and Arroyo both had semi final appearances in the last ten years and Monrovia is still basking in the glory of last year’s first ever CIF Championship. But the most improbable CIF title in the last decade (or at least since we have been covering high school football) had to be Schurr’s championship in 2006.

And of course I never thought it would happen. The Spartans lost to Alhambra on the last game of the regular season 55-22 – not exactly the way you expect a champion to go into the post season.

They faced South El Monte in the first round and after seeing the Spartans the week before I picked South. Result? Schurr 48-20.

They faced Westminster in the second round. I didn’t know a lot about Westminster going into the game but I did know its running attack was dominant so I picked Westminster. Result? Schurr 38-8.

La Habra was next on the agenda and it was time for the Schurr run to end. La Habra won its first two playoff games by the combined score of 90-12. They beat Arroyo 55-0 in the first round. A local coach went so far as to say that if Schurr beats La Habra he would buy myself, Sports editor Joe Torosian and staffer Duane Barker all new shoes.

There was no way I was missing this one. I didn’t even give it a second thought while writing “Game Night”. I picked La Habra – big.

Hey, the coaches told me. The players told me. Other writers told me. La Habra would roll. Result? Schurr 9-7.

I got my new shoes but I also received the wrath of Schurr Coach Elvin Dick. When Mid Valley staffer Jonathan Saller introduced himself to Dick after the game the first thing out of the coach’s mouth was “We don’t like Tim Peterson.”

The Spartans went on to capture the CIF title the following week with a 40-22 win over Santa Fe to realize the dream. I think I picked Schurr in that game – at least that’s how I remember it so I’m sticking to it.

But it didn’t matter the damage was done. I had the Spartans out in the first round and now they were Champions. I preferred my crow with salt, pepper and a side of barbecue sauce thank you.

I was reminded of this great team and that four week period in late 2006 when I saw Coach Dick at a passing tournament Saturday in Las Vegas. Arroyo has gone the last couple of years and Barker, Torosian, and I decided to make the trek.

Dick left after the 2007 season and moved to Vegas. He is now the Head Coach at Rancho High School and doing quite well.

“We’ve made the playoffs every year since I’ve been here,” he said. “It’s been great. We’re doing good.”

I approached him with some trepidation not knowing if he would snub me, or go Mike Tyson on me. But I came a long way so I had to give it a shot.

He greeted me with a smile. He was courteous and cordial and answered all my questions. But yes he definitely remembered.

“Yes I remember. I remember you kept picking against us. I remember you picked La Habra to beat us by like 50 points!” Dick said. Wow, was it that much? 

He allowed us to snap a picture and continued to joke with us. But he also remembered something other than my wrong prognostications.

“I’ll always remember that championship season in 2006. It’s great here but it’s not like Schurr,” he added.

No, nothing was like Schurr’s season in 2006.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at

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