Is there ever a day in late June or early July that somebody isn’t throwing the ball somewhere? I’m sure if you looked hard enough you could find a passing competition every day of the week.
I hit the road this past week to check out three in three different days and I was told I missed several other “good” ones. It reminded me of when we used to cover Little League back in the day and after covering a game at Pioneer Park everybody would ask me why I wasn’t at Lambert. If I went to Live Oak I was asked why I wasn’t at Milham.
It is what it is but always remember this: If you send me a few names, a picture and a brief description of what took place on the field it will get posted – guaranteed.
Anyway on Tuesday I went to Maranatha and a scoop broke out. It turns out Keppel was there and a certain former San Gabriel quarterback named Marqus Valenzuela was throwing the ball for the Aztecs. I did a double take and then had to confirm that it was actually him. It was indeed. I had heard Monrovia, West Covina and even Salesian but never Keppel. I never imagined Keppel. Good for him.
If nothing else it proves that Valenzuela’s move wasn’t athletically motivated. He’s just a kid that wants to play ball and due to circumstances at San Gabriel with the faculty it wasn’t working out. Keppel is working out and although they may not be on anybody’s radar they do have a football team and welcomed Valenzuela with open arms. Did you know that Valenzuela carries a 3.8 GPA? He’s a kid that’s going to be doing something other than playing football after high school. But right now he wants to play and SG wasn’t the right fit. Good for him. I hope it works out.
Does this mean Keppel has an immediate ticket to the post season? No, of course not. But in a down Almont League the Aztecs could win a couple games and maybe surprise somebody. There did seem to be an energy that I hadn’t seen before. At least on Tuesday there was.
First year Maranatha Coach Jude Oliva is excited about Pasadena junior transfer Caleb Devine.
“Yeah he’s going to be a good one. Just wait and see,” Oliva said.
“He’s a beast. I mean, just look at him, he’s a beast!” said Maranatha assistant Cedric Ho. Devine, 6-0, 185, is listed as a LB/TE and RB but when I asked Ho where he would be playing he replied “everywhere”.
Thursday I was at Arroyo, (I know, it seems like I’m always at Arroyo but I know they’re throwing every Tuesday and Thursday and there are always different teams.) Anyway I got a good look at Temple City quarterback Nasir Banihani. He threw the ball pretty well and will get his shots in the TC system. But when all else fails expect the Rams to pound it with the Nicks-Kaneko and Starling.
I was surprised at the heat Baldwin Park took on our boards because one of their players was wearing earrings. Really? There’s a lack of discipline by the coaching staff because a kid was wearing earrings? If had a nickel for every kid I saw wearing earrings at a passing league…well I wouldn’t be covering passing leagues for Mid Valley Sports. Well actually I probably would…I’d just quit my other job.
After checking out the Air Assault at Bonita over the weekend and hearing the reports from coaches I realize why passing leagues are important. We’ve all heard the arguments for and against. While one argument says that 7 on 7 in shirts and shorts doesn’t matter another argument is it helps the skill position guys work on their timing. The thing though is this. Whether you like passing leagues or not It makes the players involved that much tougher. I mean If you can play five games in one day in 100 degree heat against top notch teams, how tough will it be to play one game against a league opponent on a cool Friday night in October?
That’s my principle.