By Tim Peterson
The passing league season is winding down but I did get to see one more on Saturday at Duarte. Only a few local teams were on hand but I did come away with a couple of take aways. The Falcons can definitely compete.
It starts at quarterback and Duarte has a good one in sophomore Devon Hemsley. He’s athletic and has great size. He’ll be a work in progress but he’s got great size, 6-3, 180 and he was making all the throws on Saturday. He’s also a kid who can pull it down and run if necessary.
The Falcons have several skill position players returning including wide receiver Justin Hillyer and a couple of big bodies on the front line.
Would the Falcons last in the Valle Vista? Probably not. Could they hang in the Gold Coast with Paraclete and company? Not likely. But in the Montview League they should be right in the mix.
Azusa is the favorite and with Joe Scherf running things the Aztecs always seem like the team to beat. James Heggins is back at the helm in familiar stomping grounds at Baldwin Park but the Braves did lose some key players. Workman and Gladstone are still trying to find their way and Sierra Vista is either good or bad depending on their latest running back.
Travis Brown is entering his second year as the Falcons HC and his players will be more familiar with his program. Will Duarte finish second? That might be a stretch. But the Falcons will absolutely be battling for third.
Speaking of Baldwin Park, it seemed like Heggins never left. He seems as comfortable as ever working the sideline and on the coaching front the Braves won’t be second to anybody. The problem for the Braves is do they have the talent to contend?
BP went 6-5 last year and lost in the first round of the playoffs to San Dimas. But the Braves lost players like Jayson Miller, Hector Moran, Luis Lopez and Anthony Franco to graduation.
Good to see old friend Ted Clarke back in coaching again at Laguna Beach. The team may be young and it may take Clarke a couple of years to get the players on track but is there a nicer area to spend time in then Laguna Beach?
Wilson is coming off a 2-8 season and Greg Gano is still at the helm. The Wildcats appeared to have a couple of playmakers and the quarterback looked capable but staying with teams like Northview, San Dimas and Covina in the Valle Vista is a tall order. Last year Wilson lost to those three teams by the combined score of 153-6. Yeah, it could be another long year down on Wedgeworth.
One last note on Wilson: If you’re a kid playing football these days in Hacienda Heights where are you going to High School? Wilson or Los Altos? The dilemma for the Wildcats is obvious.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tspeterson40.