The other night on the Mid Valley Sports Show, we were talking about our final four picks for the Southeast Division. Yeah, it’s a little early but you know, the season starts in a couple of weeks and that’s what we do in August.
Anyway I said La Serna and my pick was immediately dismissed. One staff member scoffed, another laughed and another asked me what I was smoking. I’m getting all this negativity about a team that has appeared in three consecutive CIF Southeast Championship games and is coming off a magical 2013 run that culminated with a championship for the ages. The heart stopping win over Norwalk will be talked about for the next few decades.
So what’s the deal? No Frankie Football means no success? Didn’t everybody think the Lancers were done after Andrew Buenrostro graduated? Yes Frankie Palmer is a big loss but so was Buenrostro. La Serna just plugged in Palmer and kept on going. That’s what the Lancers do.
Didn’t the Lancers lose everybody to graduation? Sure, they lost some guys but everybody does. Did you know that La Serna has four players returning (Kevin Ramos, Bryce Oliver, Anthony Garcia and Ruben Rios) that rushed for over 2500 yards combined in 2013? Did you k now that they have a linebacker coming back – Daniel Campos- who had over 100 tackles last season? Campos had the most tackles on the team and it wasn’t even close.
Did you know that they have a lineman named Dominic Garcia returning who had close to 40 tackles last year along with five sacks?
Anybody else? Well yeah there’s linebacker Michael Vega and yes they do have a quarterback to replace Frankie Football. He’s a senior and has been waiting behind Palmer for the last two years. His name is Enrique Pacheco and he’ll be fine.
“He has great arm strength and he’s a leader. He’s already been chosen captain by the players,” said La Serna head coach Margarito Beltran.
With the realignment don’t the Lancers now have to compete with the likes of St. Francis, Cathedral and Harvard-Westlake? Well yeah, but they’ve been doing that for years. Just take a look at their non-league schedules over the past few seasons. Don’t discount La Serna. Beltran and company will be right in the mix.
I got a good look at Arroyo’s Robert Sanchez Friday. The kid is bigger than I thought. I like Arroyo Head Coach Jim Singiser’s assessment of him. “He’ll play college football somewhere. He’s definitely an APU (Azusa Pacific) kid. He could play at Whittier College right now,” Singiser said.
Speaking of Azusa Pacific, the Cougars kick off the season Thursday night September 4 against Grand Valley State at Citrus College. The game is being televised by CBS Sports. Huge!
The High School football season is just 10 days away.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tspeterson40