The Peterson Principle: 11/30/2015

La Serna HC Andy George addresses his team after the big win over St. Francis.

La Serna HC Andy George addresses his team after the big win over St. Francis.

By Tim Peterson

That’s all we do is fight. That’s all we know how to do. The La Serna Lancers are always here. We’re not going anywhere! But I tell you where we are going…to the CIF Finals!” – La Serna HC Andy George to his team after Friday night’s semi final win over St. Francis.

Yes, La Serna is going to the CIF Finals…again. For the fourth time in the last five years, La Serna is headed to the CIF Southeast Division Finals. The only time the Lancers didn’t go during that span was last year when they fell to Crescenta Valley in the semis. La Serna in the final game is becoming as routine as the sunrise in Southern California.

Two years ago La Serna won its only championship during the run in an epic win over Norwalk. Now the Lancers will go after another one Saturday night against La Mirada. The 2015 road to the title game may have been the most difficult yet.

The week before the first game of the season Margarito Beltran was dismissed as head coach for an incident on campus involving the physical restraint of a special needs student and assistant Andy George was suddenly thrust into the role of head coach.

Although Beltran has since reportedly been cleared of any wrong doing the talk at the time was that the the distraction would be too much for the Lancers. This is the year that they would fall. But instead La Serna hasn’t missed a beat. The Lancers went out and immediately beat Eastlake in Chula Vista before returning home to knock off Lakewood.

In week three I personally saw them destroy a good South Hills team and it looked like they had something special. Two weeks later they crushed Whittier on their way to perfect Del Rio League run.

And La Serna has gotten even better since the playoffs started. The Lancers rolled up 49 against Paramount and then dropped 68 on a Harvard-Westlake team that beat St. Francis and lost to Cathedral by just one point. Distraction? All there is is motivation.

Even last week a lot of people still weren’t convinced. St. Francis, especially at home, would be too much was the narrative. The Golden Knights were playing their best football of the year and would be able to wear down the La Serna in the end.

Actually in the end it was the Lancers who did the wearing down outscoring St. Francis 21-0 in the second half and emerging with a 24-10 victory. Johnny Ceballos and Matthew Marshall led the offense and Jonah Franco highlighted a huge defensive effort with a late interception as the Lancers advanced to the big game.

“Let’s hear it for the La Serna Lancers!” George exhorted his team and he was met with loud raucous cheers and hollers.

The Lancers were indeed in the Finals again. George was absolutely right. The Lancers indeed aren’t going anywhere…except to the Southeast Division Championship game.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at or Twitter @tspeterson40.\

"Joe has captured the essence of the high school football experience. You don't have to have played or coached to be instantly engaged in the story and identify with the characters. A great read!...Lots of laughs and memories from what high school football is like on the inside.”---Mike Mooney “A very accurate account of high school football.”---Jon Dimalante “F-bombing Papa Joe, has written something truly great here...He’s done a great job capturing the moments in the life of a high school football player both big and small from a unique angle.”---Josh Ouellette “TANGENT DREAMS” A high school football novel by Joe Torosian will be available soon through Amazon. (Cover by Pat Cherry

“Joe has captured the essence of the high school football experience. You don’t have to have played or coached to be instantly engaged in the story and identify with the characters. A great read!…Lots of laughs and memories from what high school football is like on the inside.”—Mike Mooney
“A very accurate account of high school football.”—Jon Dimalante
“F-bombing Papa Joe, has written something truly great here…He’s done a great job capturing the moments in the life of a high school football player both big and small from a unique angle.”—Josh Ouellette
A high school football novel by Joe Torosian will be available soon through Amazon.
(Cover by Pat Cherry




33 Comments to "The Peterson Principle: 11/30/2015"

  1. LSL's Gravatar LSL
    December 4, 2015 - 5:35 pm | Permalink

    @DRL: Beltran was also seen at another school, so calm down fool.

  2. DRL's Gravatar DRL
    December 4, 2015 - 12:02 pm | Permalink

    St Paul has a head coach, Rick Zepeda was never let go, how can Beltran be going to SP? Beltran is a special Ed teacher, St. Paul doesn’t have any special Ed students, where will they come up with a position for him? Beltran to ER has been called on here for months now.

    1. ER doesn’t have a head coach
    2. Beltran has shown interest in the ER job.
    3. ERUSD officials already confirmed they can get him a Sp. Ed position.
    4. Beltran was seen at ER recently

  3. REALLY???'s Gravatar REALLY???
    December 3, 2015 - 11:02 pm | Permalink

    La Serna kids doing a lot of talking on Twitter! Thought they were this disciplined, classy, blue collar organization! The things they’re doing and saying on Twitter shows otherwise!

  4. Oversight's Gravatar Oversight
    December 3, 2015 - 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I keep hearing Beltran to ER and Beltran to SP and Beltran to ER and Beltran to SP. when it’s all said and done he’ll be the new head coach somewhere nobody is talking about.

  5. WC kids's Gravatar WC kids
    December 3, 2015 - 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Covina kids had a waiver signed by the school districts. Totally legit.

  6. Great Venue's Gravatar Great Venue
    December 2, 2015 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m pleased with the fact that La Mirada High will be the site of this game. There is ample parking, seating, and the stadium itself presents a collegiate atmosphere. May the team that wants it most win.

  7. My Two Cents's Gravatar My Two Cents
    December 2, 2015 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    I think the rule is if you are not 19yo on June 1 or the start of your senior year than you are good. So at most a player can only be 19, 20 or 21? LOL!

  8. Assistant's Gravatar Assistant
    December 2, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    CIF needs to regulate I was at a game and the guy tells me they have success because they all hold their kids 2 years,I asked, are they not embarrassed they are 20 and in High School? answer “NOPE because the reward of cheating is greater, a free education and maybe even NFL” , that was their answer. Wow CIF should do something about transfers and ages, I hope the governor does do something about it , rumor is that he is going to write a bill because this is getting out of hand, In Texas is 20 and 21 year olds playing vs 13 and 14 year old kids who do their work and pass the grades, Fricken SHAME

  9. Truth be told's Gravatar Truth be told
    December 1, 2015 - 10:04 pm | Permalink

    La serna sorry and la mirada got a bunch of 20 and 21 year old boys on their team. LA mirada will win. Because they got grown @ss men on their team.

  10. What About Beltran?'s Gravatar What About Beltran?
    December 1, 2015 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mean for a second to take anything away from Andy George’s work and passion. If the Lancers score a ring Saturday, that bling is his to wear proudly. My issue is with the higher-ups, the suits in the shadows, who have effectively denied Beltran his second big night, the sequel to his first SE title. There is an odious stench associated with this shameful episode, and I apologize if it in any way conflicts with the players’ enjoyment of this otherwise great moment.

  11. @TP's Gravatar @TP
    December 1, 2015 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Is George officially the guy or is he still the “interim”?

  12. @ER's Gravatar @ER
    December 1, 2015 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

    @DRL Point 6 was hilarious but oh so true. Point 8 is also very true. He was spotted at a DRL school that is not in WUHSD. He was wearing his best pair of jeans, a button up short sleeve shirt and black construction boots. Definitely dressing up for an interview.

  13. DRL's Gravatar DRL
    December 1, 2015 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    1. Beltran had been gone all summer
    2. All assistants remained on staff and ran the program exactly as if Beltran was still there.
    3. Beltran was fired before the season started, kids were upset, but he had been gone for a while so it wasn’t quite the blow people make it seem to be.
    4. LS returned plenty of starters from an already successful program the years prior.
    5. George is simply reaping the rewards of the house Beltran built, who can blame him though, right place at the right time.
    6. This La Serna team would have made the finals with the girls soccer coach as the Football head coach, the assistants never changed, the offense never changed, the defense never changed, the players never changed.
    7. The coaches and the players give Beltran all the credit in the world and wished he was back, the problem is the higher ups screwed him royally and are the ones that will be responsible for the demise of La Serna football.
    8. Beltran will land at a Del Rio League School near you.

  14. ok's Gravatar ok
    December 1, 2015 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Gabrielino opens its basketball season today against the La Serna Lancers in the Don Bosco Tech basketball tournament. Gab, last MIssion Valley should be a force again in the MVL. They graduated a strong class last year that made a nice run to the 3rd round in the CIF and gave eventual champion Beverly Hills a little more than they thought they would get. Gab returns a more than capable group young men who should make a run for the MVL title again. Returning this year is last years league MVP Grant Kirtchoff who has maturered well as this will be his 4th year playing varsity, also returning will be 3rd year point guard Kevin Lee, along with sophomore sensation Zekiah Levette, and last but not least 3pt sharpshooter Dillon. Gab has firepower and will be exciting to watch, tip off for todays game is at 3:00pm

  15. Football Guy's Gravatar Football Guy
    December 1, 2015 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    @Suburban but is ok for La Serna to have kids from La Habra, La Mirada, and Hacienda Heights and from other schools in Whittier but not in the LS attendance area? Or go back a couple years when you had the kids from West Covina? At least the kids at LM moved to LM

  16. panther's Gravatar panther
    December 1, 2015 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    hire Beltran at Rosemead

  17. @ER's Gravatar @ER
    December 1, 2015 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    @ Everyone: nice comment by George’s mom. Very sweet of you to take the time to write it.

  18. Suburban's Gravatar Suburban
    December 1, 2015 - 7:02 am | Permalink

    La Serna is going to have their hands full with that quad-city (La Mirada, Santa Fe, Bellflower, Norwalk) all star football team. But I see the Lancers pulling it out.

    Recruiting at its best.

  19. @Everyone's Gravatar @Everyone
    December 1, 2015 - 12:28 am | Permalink

    Coach George has really come into his own as a head coach and while he may still be learning, he has been doing an excellent job of continuing the La Serna program’s proverb of “Courage, Character and Commitment.” Whether La Serna wins or loses in the championship game, Andy George is to be respected for his tireless efforts, determination and will as he has done so much for the school and program.

    No one on staff believes Coach George is an “opportunist.” Quite the contrary. George has stepped up and has done is absolute best to continue what Beltran gave to the program. Everyone knows Beltran was given a raw deal and the program honors Beltran by continuing to play not only for him but for each other.

    I wish nothing but the best for Beltran and hope that he will be able to return to La Serna in some capacity. But there are certain things that are out of our control and if Beltran ends up at another program as a result of uncontrollable forces then so be it. He is a phenomenal coach and will do well wherever he goes. It is truly a shame and it is unfortunate that his image has been tarnished by those that sought out to condemn him. He isn’t a perfect man but he truly cares for his players and coaches. Simply put, the program will always love and respect him.

    Above all else, the credit goes to the kids. Yes they have been well coached, trained and guided this year by the coaching staff, but the kids go out and execute and play. They have weathered so much adversity this year… these kids truly deserve to play in another CIF championship.

    Nice article, Tim.

  20. What About Beltran?'s Gravatar What About Beltran?
    December 1, 2015 - 12:10 am | Permalink

    The administrators who did the firing would say that Beltran made the deal raw all by himself, by violating the terms of his suspension. This ignores the fact that a simple warning might have been given to the coach, instead of dropping a nuclear load on him. A motive of personal disdain was clearly in play here, and the continued shunning of Beltran shows the strength of this assertion.

  21. Just my opinion...'s Gravatar Just my opinion...
    November 30, 2015 - 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Beltran must be commended for the amazing job he did at La Serna. From laying the foundation for the football program, to putting together a great group of assistants.

    The biggest and most important sign of how successful a program has become, is what happens that first year when the leader is no longer there. If the program falls apart, then the foundation wasn’t established. It is obvious that Coach Beltran built this program and needs to be given full credit for the success of the program this season, even though he is gone.

    I give kudos to Coach George, but in all honesty, I feel that this team would have been just as successful with another person at the helm. Coach Beltran left that program where it should be.

    Now, If the La Serna makes it to the semi-finals again next season (2016), then and only then will I give Coach George more credibility as a good coach. But if they are not as successful next season, then that will only tell us that Coach George is only a mediocre coach.

    La Serna should really reconsider not allowing him to come back. If they don’t, anyone who can hire him as the head coach should!!!

  22. "ASONE"
    November 30, 2015 - 10:36 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly why the LS kids are told to stay off social media.ALL the BS that goes on is a distraction

  23. his coach's Gravatar his coach
    November 30, 2015 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

    @ER… I AM the oldest coach on the staff and that statement is the most irresponsible thing I’ve ever read on any blog.
    Know your facts before you make bigger a _ _ of yourself than you just did.
    I believe coach Beltran would tell you that every coach on that staff has had a part in it’s success. and our loyalties are to one another. The kids learn it from the top- as a team we play as one and we coach the team as one!!!

  24. ER's Gravatar ER
    November 30, 2015 - 8:28 pm | Permalink

    We will take Beltran and his men with open arms. From speaking to some current and former WUHSD employees they firmly believe the admin and WUHSD people want nothing to do with Beltran because they are so concerned with image etc. I am a firm believer that yes we must maintain a clean image, but in the end he was clear of any wrong doing so ERUSD should pull all the stops and make it happen. If they are willing to keep the mayor as a faculty member after he smacked a kid and told some girl he was going to kill her (jokingly) then they better not mess this one up.

  25. @ER's Gravatar @ER
    November 30, 2015 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    LS program will lose more than just Beltran if he lands at a place like ER or SP. Rumor is George isn’t well liked by the older coaches who built that program. Their loyalty is to the man who built IT not to the opportunist who stole it.

  26. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    November 30, 2015 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Coach Beltran was not a distraction. He is the reason why the are playing the way they are. They are playing for him and the dynasty that he built. This Sr. class is the last class that had the honor to work with Coach Beltran, and they want him to see that the foundation that he built is strong within them. After this season, it is a new era of LS football under Coach George who will continue to develop and lead the next generations on to greatness!! Cheers to both Coach Beltran and Coach George!!
    From T. Peterson: Good post. The Players and coaches never said he was a distraction and would welcome him back.

  27. What About Beltran?'s Gravatar What About Beltran?
    November 30, 2015 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

    @Del Rio Dad: Why has Beltran’s time at La Serna “passed?” The accusations against him have been proven false, and a lesser penalty for staying in touch with the team could have been levied by the school. Kicking a man to the curb after that man has helped you so mightily is an odd form of tribute.
    From T. Peterson: They (La Serna players and coaches) never said they wanted him kicked to the curb- exactly the opposite. It’s all up to the admin but the La Serna program knows what a solid coach Beltran is.

  28. Del Rio Dad's Gravatar Del Rio Dad
    November 30, 2015 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    @What about Beltran…what I am about to say should not be interpreted as being “opposed” to Margarito Beltran. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a coach, laying the foundation for the winning program La Serna has become. I have an equal amount of respect for him as a mentor to my son and for giving him the opportunities he did while my son was at La Serna. That said, one of the things that made Beltran such a success was his ability to surround himself with a very talented, knowledgeable, loyal and passionate coaching staff. It is no surprise La Serna has continued to experience success even in Beltran’s absence. Coach George and the rest of his staff have done an outstanding job carrying the torch and building upon what has now become a tradition of commitment and expectation of success at La Serna. Beltran absolutely deserves credit for laying the foundation, but his time at La Serna has passed. I wish him the very best wherever his next coaching job may be. I look forward to watching him build another successful program (even if it is within the Del Rio league where he would inevitably face the LANCERS). But for the moment, the focus needs to be on the present. I wholeheartedly congratulate Coach George and his coaching staff as well as the boys for all their hard work getting to the CIF finals for the 4th time in FIVE YEARS…. Job WELL DONE….GO LANCERS !!!!

  29. My Two Cents's Gravatar My Two Cents
    November 30, 2015 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Big props to LS! I personally did not expect them to beat St. Francis or be relevant this year in the SE after the dismissal of Beltran. I am picking LM to win it all this week but would it surprise me if LS pulls off another upset? Not at all, they would just show everyone including me that they truly deserve to be Southeast champs. Good luck to both teams, you earned it!

  30. bg's Gravatar bg
    November 30, 2015 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    @peterson any scoop on the bg job?

  31. ERFAN's Gravatar ERFAN
    November 30, 2015 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m really impressed with the La Serna football program. In the 80’s and 90’s we use to call them the P*****S on the Hill. They are now the King of the Mountain. Great job coaches, parents, and especially players. Good luck this week!

  32. ER's Gravatar ER
    November 30, 2015 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Beltran you will walk on water at the ranch…

  33. What About Beltran?'s Gravatar What About Beltran?
    November 30, 2015 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    What a class operation: La Serna views the guy who actually built this juggernaut as a “distraction.”
    From T. Peterson: You misread this. La Serna never said he was a distraction. I had heard in football circles, area assistants, administrators, etc., that the situation “could” be a distraction. But even then they were referring to the situation itself not Coach Beltran. I mean one day he’s there and the next day he’s gone. I can see how it might be a distraction. But it obviously wasn’t. La Serna did a great job – players and coaches – of overcoming all adversity and having an extraordinary year. All the La Serna people that I talked to last Friday night would welcome back Margarito Beltran with open arms. And they all said what a great coach he was. So no, La Serna doesn’t view Coach Beltran as a distraction – just a great coach who got a raw deal. You missed that one.

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