By Tim Peterson
Thoughts and observations from the SGV Shootout:
“Hey Coach how does it look?” is my standard line for a coach that I see in the summer or at a passing league tournament.
I usually get the same standard answer but it starts a conversation and allows me to get the names of some key players for the upcoming season. So when I saw former Rosemead head coach Marc Paramo on Saturday at the SGV Shootout my first line was of course “Hey coach how does it look?” when it suddenly hit me that he is no longer the HC at Rosemead. However I did find out some interesting information. Paramo is still coaching.
He is now the defensive line coach at Pasadena City College. “I really like coaching the D-line. I did it once at Rosemead but haven’t had a chance to do it in awhile,” Paramo said. “They were able to work around my schedule, (Fridays off), and it was a good fit. Everything worked out.”
Good for Paramo and good for PCC. They’re getting a solid coach. Coaches will always move around but it’s hard for them to get out of the game completely. It’s in their DNA.
I did get a chance to catch up with the actual Rosemead coach – first year HC Matt Castaneda. Castaneda didn’t take over until May but he brings high energy and an excitement to the program. After the Panthers lost their final game of the shootout to Diamond Ranch, Castaneda spoke to his team and then took the time to greet each and every player on the squad, shake their hand and offer a word of encouragement before they dispersed. Castaneda is familiar with the program and last year’s struggles, having served as OC, and is excited about having the opportunity to turn things around. “Everybody has been great, real helpful. Paramo and even Koffler (former HC Matt Koffler) have talked to me and support me,” Castaneda said.
The MVL is going to be interesting in 2017. Arroyo is looking for another league title, South El Monte is coming off a big year, El Monte landed a big name coach in Jesse Ceniceros, and Rosemead should rebound with a new coach and plenty of motivation. When’s the league opener?
Former El Monte HC Eric MacIntyre has found a place to land. He is a now an assistant at Calabasas. By the way, did you know that MacIntyre is the first first-year head coach in El Monte history to win six games and take his team to the playoffs? “That and five bucks might buy me lunch,” MacIntye said.
What’s the one thing that you need to be successful in a passing league tournament? As Captain Obvious would say, “A quarterback!” Well Northview has one in Steven Comstock so it’s not surprising that the Vikings won the SGV Shootout. It also lends credence to the narrative that Northview is the team to beat in the Valle Vista. Joe Brown, Covina HC, doesn’t disagree with that but he does like the way his Colts are progressing. Quarterback Nin Burns has been getting better all summer and the skill players have been stepping up as well. “Yeah, he’s going to be special,” Brown said of Burns. “We as a team haven’t closed the gap yet with Northview and San Dimas but we’re working hard to get there. We were close last year and we need to improve on that. Last year the Colts advanced to the second round of the playoffs before losing to Montebello in overtime.
Speaking of Montebello the Oilers are still the team to beat in the Almont. Until somebody beats the champs, then they are still the champs or so the old adage goes. But don’t sleep on Schurr. The Spartans are raising eyebrows everywhere they go. Saturday they advanced all the way to the semis before falling to Diamond Ranch, beating Montebello in the process. Quarterback Miguel Aguero is back for his senior season and Lance Babb, who had over 1100 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns last season, is ready for a big year as well. Add to that Jeremiah Hartfield, another pass catcher who landed on campus from Crenshaw and is already turning heads, and Schurr is going to be one tough out. Schurr went 4-1 in league last year and 8-4 overall.
“He has a great hands and great moves,” said Schur assistant Carlos Arredondo of Hartfield. The Spartans also added long time area assistant Eric Elias to the coaching staff.
“If we keep moving and improving I love our chances for a league title and a deep run,” Elias said.
What’s up in M-Town? The last time we checked the Wildcats were 6-5 in 2016 and losing in the first round of the playoffs to St. Paul. Well, Michael Washington, who is getting looks, has been lighting it up all summer and Maury Rams, who missed seven games last year, will be back for the full campaign in 2017. Rams is only a junior. Trevor McPherson was throwing for the Cats Saturday and should be able to step right in for the graduated Richie Schroeder. Monrovia won the Rio Hondo last year without a loss but they need to get out of the first round of CIF.
Pomona won’t be tested in the Miramonte. The Red Devils have a big receiver that looks like Dez Bryant and all they have to do is throw it up there and he’ll go and get it like he did at the SGV Shootout. If they did only that they would win the Miramonte going away. But we all know they will do so much more.
How did the hosts Arroyo do? The Knights lost to Diamond Ranch in the quarters by three. “I just need some time to get over being ticked,” said Arroyo HC Jim Singiser.
Workman HC Oscar Robles found some players in the oddest of places. He found a quarterback who is at least 6’3″ and has gun. He found a couple of skill position players with good hands and speed to boot. In fact he found about five players all together who will contribute to this year’s team. Where did Robles have to go to find them? Nowhere. They were all right there on Workman’s campus. Some were playing basketball and a couple of others were students at Workman but hadn’t played before. One was ready to transfer to another school but Robles convinced him to stay.
“Coach Perez (Marcel) used to tell me that the players are always right here on your own campus. You just have to get them to play. I always remembered that,” Robles said.
Perez, who had Robles on his staff last year had an opinion as well. “Workman looks good. Real good,” he said.
The rumor that I can’t throw a football has been greatly exaggerated. I dispelled that nonsense Saturday morning when I fired a strike to my intended receiver in the end zone. Hit him right in the hands. He looked at me and acknowledged the strike and trotted back to his team. All of that and I had a camera around my neck. Any questions? Just ask my fellow staffer Rich Whittington. He was right there to witness the moment.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tspeterson40.