Fanview: January 24, 2017

Joe T. is ready to play center field for the Mets if they need him.

Joe T. & the Mets are 70 days from opening day.

By Joe Torosian

“Sometimes when I wake up in Milagro, I want to scream.”—Ruby Archuleta

Kick it!

Right off the Top: What happens in the Rio Hondo League next football season? Will San Marino, Monrovia, South Pasadena and La Canada get two byes during league play?

Can anyone, honestly, see Blair and Temple City fielding competitive teams? Or competitive teams when league play starts?

***

I’ve never had one opinion when it comes to transfers, but two.

Speakes2The First:
If you think of Duarte football immediately after Wardell Crutchfield Jr. left, then you say, “Get Out!” If you think of Blair, Ganesha and Hoover, then you say, “Get Out!”

It’s not about winning; it’s about playing football safely. When you have a coaching change every year or have had six coaches in the last ten years…I’ll tell you flat out, your program is not safe.

And if you are a fan, booster or parent…before you blame the coaches…take a long look at your administration and your school district.

I’m not against schools dropping football…I’m not against schools dropping down to eight-man football…but I am against a revolving door on the sidelines.

I like walk-on coaches, but when a program/school is hiring a string of walk-on coaches, one after another, after another, after another…it’s time to shut it down.

Scenarios like that not only produce bad football, but they raise the risk of injury…and a bad injury at a school that has patched-worked its program for years…hurts good football programs and schools striving to do things right.

If I was at Temple City and wanted a football experience as a player, or as a parent wanting it for my son, I’d get the heck out. I’d look for someplace to go…If football is important–I believe football is. Just like the arts, but that’s another column–then it is time to explore options.

***

Joe T.'s High School football novel is available through Amazon.com "If you love high school football then Tangent Dreams is a must read..."--Longtime SGV HC & Assistant Coach Greg Vaniman "Joe captures the essence of high school football and does it with a local flavor that makes this book especially interesting."--Mike Maggiore, HC West Covina Bulldogs “A literary snapshot of what goes on over the course of a high school football season…an awesome read and a story that truly will transcend time.”—Jim Singiser, AD/HC Arroyo Knights Football “Thrill, dread, anxiety, love, agony, success, and failure; basically all the emotions you feel as a football player/coach as you do in life, all wrapped up in a single book.”—Marc Paramo, HC Rosemead Panthers Football “I read the book and really enjoyed it a great deal. I would think coaches and parents could Learn a lot.”—John “Coach” Kentera, former sports talk host at Mighty 690 & Mighty 1090

Joe T.’s High School football novel is available through Amazon.com
“If you love high school football then Tangent Dreams is a must read…”–Longtime SGV HC & Assistant Coach Greg Vaniman
“Joe captures the essence of high school football and does it with a local flavor that makes this book especially interesting.”–Mike Maggiore, HC West Covina Bulldogs
“A literary snapshot of what goes on over the course of a high school football season…an awesome read and a story that truly will transcend time.”—Jim Singiser, AD/HC Arroyo Knights Football
“Thrill, dread, anxiety, love, agony, success, and failure; basically all the emotions you feel as a football player/coach as you do in life, all wrapped up in a single book.”—Marc Paramo, HC Rosemead Panthers Football
“I read the book and really enjoyed it a great deal. I would think coaches and parents could Learn a lot.”—John “Coach” Kentera, former sports talk host at Mighty 690 & Mighty 1090

The Second:
I think transferring in the hopes of earning a scholarship is ridiculous. The world is connected these days, and if you have the grades and talent, you’ll be found.

Ten years ago I had a conversation with a coach about what it meant to him, when he was young, to play for the hometown team.

“Joe, I wanted to play for my high school. I wanted to play for my hometown. I never thought of transferring someplace else.”

I think that attitude still exists…maybe it doesn’t…and if it doesn’t, I want to believe it can exist again.

When I was young, I played basketball at El Monte…I loved putting on the jersey with El Monte across the chest. It was the school of my hometown…It was the school my family went to…It meant something to me…Years later, when playing pick-up basketball around the valley, I’d wear my old El Monte practice jersey. Not because it had my last name on the back but because it had El Monte stitched across the front.

I was a screw-up in high school. Some people shine in high school and then screw-up in life…I was the person who screwed up in high school and has come to have a blessed life.

I don’t think anyone knows this; I don’t believe I’ve ever written about it or told the MVS staff…but at the end of my junior year, I almost transferred to Temple City.

The thinking was to give me a fresh start academically and who wouldn’t want to play basketball at a school with a great football team. I had the long hair, the long-range jump-shot, I could have been the TC version of Pete Maravich.

I probably should have done it…but what outweighed everything…what made the decision not to go…was El Monte High School and playing basketball for the Lions.

There was no way I could leave El Monte…Besides everybody in Temple City in those days seemed to have blonde hair…I would never have fit in.

***

It’s not your whole life. Football for 99% of us belongs to the “Fat Guys” after high school…So it should be experienced when the opportunity is there.

But what are you going to do if you are at a school that is always in transition? That’s the dilemma if you’re at Temple City and El Monte these days. It has been the dilemma for places like Glendale and Hoover for decades.

***

San Marino was in this boat a few years ago…They invested in a quality coach, gave him time to build and a miracle has happened. Ten years ago the Los Angeles Times featured the Titans program as an example of the changing demographics in the San Gabriel Valley.

But the commitment by the administration/school district/parents brought about a revival.

If you are a parent of a football player in Temple City you’d be foolish to allow the school/district to go out and hire another walk-on coach without getting involved. While there are and have been great walk-on coaches, they generally last a year, maybe two…and then you’re back to square one again.

The walk-on is not going to be a program builder. The walk-on is a gap filler.

Parents need to ask questions. They need to ask if there’s a long-term plan. If there isn’t, and football is an experience you son desires, then look at your options.

Note to Temple City: If there is no long-term plan or one desired, then do the bold thing–which would be the right thing–and DROP the program. There’s nothing wrong with that.

***

Is there a remedy?

Possibly.

I’d find somebody on campus, or get somebody on campus as a teacher, with a passion for football who would commit to a five-year term…And then I’d make sure, as an administration, I consistently had the coach’s back…Never give the appearance to the media, the boosters, the faculty, the students or the parents that there is any space between the administration and the football program.

I keep hearing the name, Riley Saxon…That would be a good hire, but I’d tell him not to do it if he asked me…Not without some extraordinary commitment from the administration.

I’d look to Randy Backus…who I assume has no interest…but if Backus sought my opinion (he never would, I can’t even get him to read my book), I’d tell him not to do it…He’s been through that hell already.

It would be awesome to see the Prodigal; Mike Mooney come back…But it would also be awesome if Abe Lincoln came back to be President…Neither is going to happen.

Temple City is in a bind…High-tier walk-on coaches (they do exist) would be suspicious of support…Lower-end walk-on coaches, with little experience and looking to make a name for themselves before exiting, are way too risky.

I remember the e-mails I got back in 2009 telling me how awful Anthony White was…White, after an incredible run at Buena Park, looks like Vince Lombardi right now.

***

In the end…If there’s not a commitment from the top…not a passion for it (which is more than alright…times change)…then drop the program.

Now let the slings and arrows fly…

DuranAD***

Midbits (same as ‘Tidbits’)
Midbits: Did you learn your Roman Numerals in school or through the Super Bowl?

Midbits: Steve Garvey should be in the Hall of Fame…Keith Hernandez as well…Jeff Bagwell, great player, got fat when everybody was getting fat. Small stadiums, expansion…roids….

Midbits: Pitching prospect traded for a second baseman…Pedro Martinez to the Expos for Delino DeShields…Oh, wait…you mean Jose DeLeon to the Tampa Rays for Logan Forsythe?

Midbits: Was my “Rodgersry” wrong during the playoffs? “Aaron Rodgers full of grace…blessed are thee among quarterbacks…and the fruit of thy post-season play…”

Midbits: Go Patriots!

The Dude abides…

656

Psalm 149

Contact Joe at joe@midvalleysports.com

Author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” available through amazon.com …and “The Dead Bug Tales” available this fall.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b

16 Comments to "Fanview: January 24, 2017"

  1. Football Fan's Gravatar Football Fan
    January 28, 2017 - 1:47 am | Permalink

    @joeputz

    Just another hater trying to stir s@#$ up. All that booster club stuff was all made up by a disgruntled fired freshmen coach but keeps getting brought by guys like you.

    No longer the school it was only a few years ago? Yeah, right. D3 CIF Finalist. 11 kids this year that will sign NLI’s next week. Of which 8 are kids who grew up in La Mirada.

    And as far as the “rumor”, it is something you’ve made up. Trying to entice a “well known” coach. Yeah, right.

    Alternate facts on your part. LOL

  2. Joe Pulitzer's Gravatar Joe Pulitzer
    January 26, 2017 - 10:45 pm | Permalink

    If you have been a reader of local sports news about high school football you will know there has been a lot of accusations about La Mirada’s football program concerning the handling of money the past several years. Would not be at all surprised that if even one of the many accusations were verified that the school would have asked Moschetti to resign. South Hills had a similar problem a few years back and has yet to fully recover. Their football team is not what it once was only a few years ago. There is no need for La Mirada to no longer be a destination point for athletes if everything is on the up and up. Just for fun I keep hearing a persistent little rumor that a certain coach that is well known on this board is being quietly enticed by the La Mirada powers that be. Oh well that’s the hot stove league for you.

  3. Fifty Vacancies's Gravatar Fifty Vacancies
    January 26, 2017 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    That sounds like a lot, but it’s maybe not that bad. There are just over 400 schools playing 11 man football in the Southern Section, along with a few dozen playing 8-man. If every year there are 50 vacancies, that would mean that the average tenure is eight years, which is a pretty reasonable length of time. I don’t think you’re going to find that kind of longevity at any level of football. I do agree that year-round high school football is ultimately a bad thing for nearly everyone involved in the sport.

  4. Hoover's Gravatar Hoover
    January 26, 2017 - 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Hoover isn’t exactly good, but I don’t think they deserve to be ranked among those schools anymore. Of course, as you said, it all comes down to a stable program. IIRC, their coach is technically “walk-on”, but in his case, he is a teacher at the middle school across the street. He’s been there for four seasons, making him now one of the longest serving coaches in the Pacific League, and with that stability they are getting a bit more talent and sponsorship, which helps a lot. It’s a great example of what a little bit of stability, continuity, and administrative support (or at least not interference) can do for even a historically bad program.

  5. annoymous's Gravatar annoymous
    January 26, 2017 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    To My Two cent’s. Salesian is done. The Coaches that were bring kids into Salesian are gone. All The Football players checked out of school. It tell’s you a lot about a School like salesian. La Mirada is done too. No more 15 Transfers a year.

  6. My Two Cents's Gravatar My Two Cents
    January 26, 2017 - 12:27 am | Permalink

    Joe, you can’t blame these families for trying to upgrade their situations. If they are D3 at South El Monte. Worse case scenario, they would still be D3 transferring to schools like Cathedral. At least there, they may get a look by a D2 program. If they stay at a school like SEM, there is very little chance of that happening.

  7. Smh.'s Gravatar Smh.
    January 25, 2017 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Eric Sondheimer mentioned the other day that there are over 50…FIFTY…football coaching vacancies in CIF. Fifty. I don’t know, maybe there have been that many before and I’m just unaware, but 50 seems like far too many. Also, CIF mentioned last year that approximately 75% of HS coaches are now walk-on coaches, and the truth is that number may grow higher.

    With those things said, I’m sure the day will come when see one school, or maybe even a few schools, unable able to field a team due to the inability to hire a coach. I mean, who’s lining up to turn in applications at Blair, Keppel, etc? Especially if there are 50+ openings at other schools!

    Truth is, the on-campus coach began to die off when CIF eliminated the Association Rule in 2007. The current coaching stipends weren’t so bad when you didn’t have to dedicate 49 weeks of your life to managing and coaching 14-18 year-olds, dealing with parents and admins, raising money due to a lack of athletic funds, compete with the expanding world of 7-on7 travel teams, etc, etc.

    When CIF got rid of the Association Rule, schools should have responded by doubling, or better yet tripling, coaching stipends. But they didn’t. And they haven’t. And they likely won’t. So, as a teacher-coach, what’s the incentive?

    There isn’t one. And we get what we have today: 50+ coaching vacancies, a majority of walk-on coaches, and the possibility that one day teams will have to eliminate football from their sports programs.

  8. FB Fan's Gravatar FB Fan
    January 25, 2017 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Fun fact: Both Dale Ziola and Adrian Medrano interviewed at Wilson HS when Robert Oviedo stepped down. Obviously neither one got the job. How did that work out for Wilson???

    From Joe T.: I tell you one thing…it worked out for Ziola and Medrano…Wilson is an insane asylum.

  9. My Two Cents's Gravatar My Two Cents
    January 25, 2017 - 11:45 am | Permalink

    Joe, I agree with you on #1 but respectfully disagree with you on #2. If you are a stud at a PAC 5 school or 6’5″ 290 than yes, they will find you. But if you are good anywhere else, it takes a little bit of connection and selling by the program to get your name out. I give props to programs like La Miranda, Buena Park, Salesian, and I know I am forgetting others for getting their kids into college programs they otherwise would have no business getting into if they were at another school. A great example was Tony Brown a few years ago who had transfer to LM from Servite. Zero offer at Servite and ended up with close to twenty at LM. Salesian consistently get their players into Arizona, San Diego State, USC, etc. Reckon these kids never get a chance to sniff the field at these programs. It’s getting there and a chance for a free education is the important point.

    From Joe T.: I won’t argue with you…My mindset is generally on the talent in our area which D-3 (for the most part)…I hear what you’re saying…but Dez Reed, Mike Harris (Duarte), among many others are high-end players who have found their way to major programs…There are so many kids with D-3 talent, who believe their “uncles” or whomever…that they have D-1 talent and they transfer…but they don’t have that talent…It’s all interesting…

  10. Really?'s Gravatar Really?
    January 25, 2017 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    Simple formula-
    You need athletes that are football players. No Jr. All American or Pop Warner experience you are behind and most schools are getting further and further behind because of closing programs. You need a coaching staff that understands the need of the local high school community and the students to develop the correct offense and defenses again based on those needs. John Bosco has needs but so does Blair and Keppel. You need support from the Schools Administration with the understanding that a program takes time to develop and buy into what ever the coaches decide to do. Lastly, all parents need to support the program their children are invested in , not bad mouthing the coaches and administration in public, take it behind closed doors with a system that works. Not everybody is happy with what they have to do so they transfer out if they don’t buy in. An example is De La Salle: Reggie Makenzie has 2 sons, one that played for Laducer. They left to go Clayton Valley. They did not buy into the De La Salle mystic. These are just the basics there is more. But, $3,000.00 to $4,000 stipends don’t help for what those coaches have to do.

  11. January 25, 2017 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    It’s the chicken or the egg analogy… do you need numbers or the leader to compete? Answer? BOTH! In fact all of the above. Coaches players admin even parent support. An epidemic is on the horizon with walk on coaches. California might have to go the way of Texas Georgia Florida where they hire coaches only but are competitively compensated. Otherwise consider the alternative. We are already seeing good Quality young football leaders get out of the business. That’s a shame.

  12. Football Fan's Gravatar Football Fan
    January 25, 2017 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Coaching matters.

  13. Josh O.'s Gravatar Josh O.
    January 25, 2017 - 7:21 am | Permalink

    Glad you agree with giving the coach time and put it out there. Hopefully TC brass will read and will put all hands on deck to hire and support someone. Backus would still be there, albeit with a .500 record probably, but a solid program from all aspects if he had support from day one. Just a thought.

  14. Bobby Knight's Gravatar Bobby Knight
    January 25, 2017 - 2:00 am | Permalink

    You are preaching to the choir with me. All my sons and grandsons as well as myself have been deeply involved in high school football. My oldest grandson is a year away from high school. A big strapping athletic kid that loves the local school but their program is short on numbers. So he is going to go down the road to a public that had a squad of 66 varsity players and a freshmen team of 65 last year. I don’t want him at a school that has a roster of 28 and ends up playing both ways for 4 quarters. Playing tired and both ways quadruples your chance of serious injury according to my math.Totally agree if a high school is going to field a football team they have an obligation, nay a responsibility to make sure they are adequate in numbers and can compete safely against the teams they schedule. I do believe the numbers are more important than the coach but then again a steady leader as you said brings out the numbers.

  15. Mid Valley Sports's Gravatar Mid Valley Sports
    January 25, 2017 - 12:33 am | Permalink

    Perfect example of a school going down hill. Bassett High. Then they convince a man who been teaching there over 20 years to take over. Kids bought into his program had some experience asst coaches and young coaches willing to coach that had graduated from Bassett High. Turned athletes into football players. Kids respected staff. What went wrong. Spathais cleared of alligation kid makes and still fired as head coach. Why because district thinks they have a good program and any coach can step in and keep it going. Boy were they wrong. Kids transfered or just didn’t play. I see a lot of these schools having problems because administrations and districts ain’t supporting athletic programs like they use to back in the days.

  16. Area Coach's Gravatar Area Coach
    January 24, 2017 - 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Agree with almost everything you said! One of the better articles on this blog in a long time. I would also say that it is not just about getting the head coach on campus but assistants as well! It is very difficult to build a program without having “your guys” with you, an administration must understand that it takes a village to build a football program. A good head coach is only as good as his assistant coaches, administrations need to realize that most head coaches have two to three (hopefully at least one) guy they need. I think we can all agree that on campus coaches would be the best scenario, and with the head coach on campus he needs other assistants on campus as well. Look at the consistent programs and I bet you will find multiple coaches on campus with the vested interest needed to build a winner.

    From Joe T.: I agree with you…I should have put that in the piece…but I didn’t want to come off as greedy :)

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