An Early Look at the Almont

Can HC Pete Gonzalez (right), DC Jason Carlin (left) and the Oilers repeat in the Almont?

By Tim Peterson

Who’s going to win the Almont? Some say Montebello wins it going away while others say Schurr is ready to unseat the Oilers as league champs. We know that Bell Gardens will be better and we’re hearing good things out of Alhambra. Here’s an early look:

Montebello: Until somebody knocks off the champions, they’re still the champions. That’s the way it is for the Oilers right now. Gabriel Tapia returns at quarterback and looks bigger and better than ever. The offense revolves around Tapia who threw for 2000 yards and rushed for 674 as well. Michael Vital provides some punch to the running attack as well. Linebacker Kris Rodriguez, who had 72 total tackles a year ago, is back to anchor the defense. The Oilers could be beat, make no mistake, but right now, they’re the team to beat.

Schurr: If there’s anybody that can take down Montebello it’s Schurr. The Spartans went 4-1 in league last year and looks much improved. Quarterback Miguel Aguero and receiver Lance Babb both return in what could be the most dangerous duo in the Almont. Add to that mix wide out Jeremiah Hartfield who has been lights out this summer. Francisco Remigio, who had over 800 yards in 2016, returns as well. The passing attack has been clicking as evidenced by the Spartans run to the semi finals at the SGV Shootout. We know the offense is there, and if the Schurr defense, which is traditionally solid, can keep opponents at bay, the Spartans are going to be tough to beat.

Bell Gardens: If nothing else, it’s Margarito Beltran’s second year at the helm, so the Lancers will be better. BG was very young a year ago and all of the those players are a year older and a year more experienced. Augustin Velasquez Jr. is back behind center as is running back Braham Rodriguez. The Lancers have been active on the passing circuit and improving every week. Can BG crack the top two? Probably not. But they could upset somebody’s apple cart somewhere along the way.

Alhambra: The Moors finished 5-6 overall last year including a 3-2 league record and a trip to the CIF playoffs. Alhambra has shown improvement each year under head coach Eric Bergstrom and this year should be no different. Salman Gurung, who rushed for 1045 yards and 13 touchdowns a year ago, is set for a big senior year. Julien Garcia, the back up last year, should get the nod at quarterback. Third place and a possible playoff berth should come down to Bell Gardens at Alhambra on October 20. Right now it’s a toss up.

San Gabriel: The Matadors have a new head coach in Kevin Encinas which could be a good thing (new beginning) or a bad thing (starting all over from scratch.) Either way it’s going to be a struggle for the Mats as they try to rise from the ashes. Last year their only league win was over Keppel, and they were outscored by Schurr and Montebello by the combined score of 108-7. One day San Gabriel will compete in league. It just won’t be this year.

Keppel: The Aztecs actually forfeited a game last year because they didn’t have enough healthy players to field a team. But slowly and surely Keppel is trying to get off the floor. John Tuttle is still at the helm as HC and brings a wealth of experience to the position. With consistency in the coaching staff, the hope is that eventually the players will come out and Keppel will get on track. Is there hope? Absolutely. Will it happen in 2017? No.

32 Comments to "An Early Look at the Almont"

  1. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 15, 2017 - 8:54 pm | Permalink

    ***clowned his kids

  2. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 15, 2017 - 8:19 pm | Permalink

    @elrancho
    Truth hurts??I must have struck a nerve…el rancho kids aren’t very big,very undisciplined.As far as using the water jug aka a “non football example” it’s a direct reflection of parenting and coaching..especially when the coach emphasized that he thought el rancho kids were tough etc…he straight out crowned his kids in front of other programs…and the el rancho kids hardly responded to his lecture… sooo ya we will see come time for pads and see who will be eating who’s words

  3. BeeGee's Gravatar BeeGee
    July 14, 2017 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

    @Almont you know you would take Beltran over Ramos any day. He is a proven winner as for Ramos well not a winner . We will see in the next couple of seasons who is winning

  4. Wait....what?'s Gravatar Wait....what?
    July 14, 2017 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Almont Observer, how many Playoff games did Ramos win at BG? His first or second year he made a run after that I don’t think he made it out of the 1st Round. It’s not about winning league it’s about winning rings! And nobody is doing that in the Almont!

  5. Almont Observer's Gravatar Almont Observer
    July 14, 2017 - 7:13 am | Permalink

    @BEE GEE
    Sounds like you have some unresolved daddy issues with Ramos!!!!! It must kill you that you can’t win with him gone. Well don’t forget who’s your Daddy!!!!! 2016 = 68 – 13 2015 = 20 – 17

  6. BeeGee's Gravatar BeeGee
    July 14, 2017 - 5:38 am | Permalink

    Lol Ramos reaching out to the youth program? He is to lazy to do that didn’t do it in BG and they practice at the HS. Never reached out to the two teams that won SGVJAA confrence. He will never win useless

  7. Elrancho's Gravatar Elrancho
    July 13, 2017 - 11:28 pm | Permalink

    You must be illeterate, no one compared them to El Rancho. Then you go and use a non football example of water jugs to dump on them. Losing an All CIF QB and WR combo isn’t easy, however ER is never a great 7 on 7 team, mark my words though once the pads come on you will eat your words just like many did last season.

  8. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    July 13, 2017 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

    @Anon,

    I said 3 coaches, not just 1. Lakewood and Northview both said the same exact thing.

  9. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 13, 2017 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    @ FBfan el rancho sucks so that wasn’t a good measuring stick for AHS.. I hate to say el rancho sucks but it’s true very un disciplined at a recent passing scrimmage the head coach was yelling at them just to get the water jugs to the field the kids half a$$ responded

  10. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    July 13, 2017 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Ramos has made inroads with the rosemead rebels which nobody thought he would

  11. NWO's Gravatar NWO
    July 13, 2017 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

    SGHS Coach Encinas, if you’re not familiar with the Rosemead Rebels program, do yourself a favor and check it out. Schurr and Rosemead are getting these kids. SG’s 2003 & 2011 CIF teams were loaded with Rebel kids.

  12. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    July 13, 2017 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Tons Vroman’s stuff is better than reading the bickering between d1fan and Cathedral haters. At least he is able to articulate himself in a professional manner. Also, FWIW, I heard at least 3 coaches say that Alhambra is very well coached while they competed at El Rancho this June.

  13. Makes Sense's Gravatar Makes Sense
    July 13, 2017 - 2:11 am | Permalink

    I stopped reading Ron’s comments because they’re longer that the actual article. I know you’re trying to help man, but give it a rest already. Paralysis by analysis

  14. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    July 13, 2017 - 1:04 am | Permalink

    Well, OK, I’m back by popular demand, or so it seems.
    My last post was in reply to “Anon,” whose comment was the only new one that I saw on my computer screen at about 10:30 Wednesday morning.
    But, when I took one last peek at around noon, there were suddenly four other comments, all of which had an earlier time-stamp than mine. And, all of them pertained to the Alhambra High football program.

    Is it possible that the gatekeepers at Mid-Valley Sports don’t always admit comments onto their blog threads in the order that they’re received? The only other possibility I can think of is that I’m having a computer issue. (Say it isn’t so!)
    I’ll stay around just long enough to give everyone the courtesy of a reply. So, here I go:

    @ Alhambra: Eric Bergstrom’s varsity assistants include Mike Mackintosh, Mark Tu, and Jon Sarris. They’ve been with him since the beginning in 2013. I don’t know who else will be working with him this season, due to the fact that I haven’t been out to any summer practices yet.

    @ Hawkins: I’m sure Coach Bergstrom had to make a considerable adjustment when he started working with high school athletes who are 3-7 years younger than the players he had at Occidental College.
    Only the most accomplished high school athletes end up in college, and they shouldn’t have to be “coached up” nearly as much at that level.

    @ Moor fan: Finding a “take-charge” type of guy who is also a good passer and can handle all the other aspects of quarterbacking has been a real problem for us.
    The last fairly polished quarterback we’ve had at the varsity level was Joshua Mendoza, who played for Coach Lou Torres in 2010-11. But, Mendoza transferred to Garfield High School for his senior year in 2012, and we’ve had issues at the position ever since.
    Right now, it looks like we have two prospective quarterbacks.
    The first is senior Julien Garcia, who has good arm strength and can take a lot of punishment. The other one is senior Benny Olguin, who was our starting free safety in 2016. We’re hoping that at least one of them can become the excellent passer and team leader we need.

    @ City Section: Coach Bergstrom believes in working with the “home-grown” talent that’s available for his team, and he finds the idea of recruiting/poaching players from other schools to be morally repugnant.
    The only transfer player I currently know of at AHS is QB Julien Garcia, who came from L.A. Wilson last summer after the end of his sophomore year. He came over on his own, to the best of my knowledge.

    I simply don’t know enough to confirm or deny any allegations of player recruiting by the Ruedaflores regime during the early 2000’s.
    The only transfer player I’m aware of from that time is Coach Ruedaflores’ nephew, Fred Colbert, who left Baldwin Park High to play his senior season at AHS in 2001.

    I believe that Coach Bergstrom is determined to maintain high ethical standards for all aspects of the AHS football program. I hope he succeeds, on and off the field.

    I bid everyone a wonderful summer!

  15. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    July 12, 2017 - 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Finally no more Vandorkmand post.Thank good this Alhambra worthless info.was just a bit too much.

  16. Home Grown's Gravatar Home Grown
    July 12, 2017 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

    @ Ron V
    Give him a quaalude!! He’ll be back!!

  17. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    July 12, 2017 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    No, thanks; I’m done. (I hope!)
    I actually wanted to take a vacation from this a lot sooner, but there were some things that needed to be cleared up about Alhambra High’s football program.
    I believe that our open discussion has been beneficial, and it might help promote renewed interest in the program.
    Now, looking at the bigger picture, it’s all about the competition between Montebello, Schurr, Bell Gardens, and Alhambra for the league title and playoff spots. I’m just one of the messengers.
    It’s been nice talking; enjoy the rest of the summer!

  18. City section's Gravatar City section
    July 12, 2017 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Gils last ten years were good because he would recruit city section kids that should have gone to Lincoln, la Wilson, and Franklin high school. Maybe Eric needs to deploy the same plan

  19. Hawkins's Gravatar Hawkins
    July 12, 2017 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    I think Eric’s problem is he was a college coach then came down to coach high school so he had to get used to working with the talent he had instead of getting talent

  20. Alhambra's Gravatar Alhambra
    July 12, 2017 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    @ron who is on Eric’s staff

  21. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 12, 2017 - 7:25 am | Permalink

    Maybe this should be a Ron thread not “Early Look at Almomt” 😂

  22. Moor fan's Gravatar Moor fan
    July 12, 2017 - 7:18 am | Permalink

    @ron I agree that he had better talent but he was known for developing quarterbacks and he hasn’t been able to develop one at Alhambra in four years. This was one of Eric’s strengths as a coach so it’s concerning.

  23. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    July 11, 2017 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

    @ Moor fan: My guess is that Coach Bergstrom worked with more experienced and, most likely, more refined QB’s and receivers when he was the offensive coordinator at Occidental College.
    We’re hoping for an improvement at Alhambra High during the 2017 season. QB’s Julien Garcia and Benny Olguin (who was our starting free safety last season) have had another year to learn the system. We also have the Araiza brothers returning at wide receiver, and Salman Gurung can catch the ball out of the backfield.
    And, there’s always the possibility that someone else might step up.

  24. Moor fan's Gravatar Moor fan
    July 11, 2017 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting that Eric has the run game going but not the pass game when in colllege he was able to have the pass game going

  25. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    July 11, 2017 - 7:29 pm | Permalink

    @ Anonymous: It’s nice to hear from you again. I totally agree that it’s time for Alhambra to beat not only the teams you mentioned, but a few others as well.
    We’re going to find out quickly as to whether we’re prepared to compete with higher-caliber teams.
    Our opener will be against South El Monte, which is coming off an 11-2 season and a trip to the CIF semifinals. (And, the Eagles will have running back Sal Tovar again.) We’re due for a victory against Rowland (in our second game), and South Pasadena had a playoff team last year.
    Then, in Almont League play, we’ll have our usual formidable opponents in Montebello and Schurr. And, a Bell Gardens squad coached by Margarito Beltran cannot be taken lightly.
    Our ground attack was generally effective last season. The exceptions to that rule were in the opener at Western, when the offense didn’t appear to be quite ready, and against the stiff South Pasadena and Montebello defenses.
    Our defense was usually pretty solid in 2016.
    A key to the coming season, other than avoiding devastating injuries, will be whether we can throw the ball more accurately and often enough to keep the opposing defenses guessing. If we’re able to accomplish that, then they won’t be able to routinely “pack the box” with 9-11 defenders to stuff our running game.
    This should be fun.

  26. Moor fan's Gravatar Moor fan
    July 11, 2017 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

    @ron we should have hired Jude or zeke after Gil decided to step down instead of his buddy Lou Torres

  27. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    July 11, 2017 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    @ Anonymous (whichever one I’m talking to): Yes, Coach Gil Ruedaflores got his start at Alhambra High while the Moors were in the Foothill League. Hart (which has always seemed to have a great quarterback!), Burroughs, and Schurr were all powerful teams at the time.
    But, you neglected to mention that Ruedaflores had to deal with the Foothill League for just three seasons. Alhambra has been in the Almont League since 1992.
    His 1990 team did make the playoffs, thanks to a third-place finish in league, but it ended up with an overall record of only 4-7.
    And, as I pointed out just a while ago, Ruedaflores’ teams didn’t contend for league titles and playoffs spots on a regular basis until his last 10 seasons (out of a total of 21).
    I believe the comparison between Ruedaflores’ start and Eric Bergstrom’s could be a closer one than you think. Only time will tell.

  28. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    July 11, 2017 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    @ron the frustration is that the lower levels have been successful but the varsity level has not been although it does take time. Eric’s first freshman just graduated his second group of freshman is about to graduate so it’s time to beat teams not named San Gabriel,keppel,la Wilson, and temple city.

  29. Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man's Gravatar Ron Vrooman, AHS stat man
    July 11, 2017 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    @ G.O.A.T. & Anon: I knew it would be a lot to read for some, especially for those who aren’t interested in Alhambra High School or its football program. I understand your feelings, so I’ll try to keep my material more condensed in the future.

    However, I would’ve done everyone a disservice by taking a simplistic approach to the discussion, considering all the coaching changes and other issues which have affected the program since 2011.
    A lot of things have happened, so there’s a lot to talk about.
    The purpose of my last post was to put Gil Ruedaflores’ coaching tenure at AHS in its proper perspective. He’s not the greatest football coach the school has ever had, but he’s definitely in our top three.
    I brought up Coach Ruedaflores in the first place as a response to those who seem eager to dump the current staff ASAP.
    It is a fact that Ruedaflores didn’t achieve a winning record until his sixth season as head coach, when his 1994 team went 9-2.
    And, to take my point further, he had only one other winning team during his first 11 years. (His ’96 team, which featured running back Adam Tate, went 8-4 and made it to the CIF quarterfinals.)
    Ruedaflores’ teams consistently contended only during his last 10 seasons, making the playoffs eight times in the early 2000’s.

    I believe these facts reinforce my contention that Eric Bergstrom and his assistants should be given a little more slack at this time.
    I sympathize with everyone who is impatient. The 2013 and ’14 seasons were extremely difficult to watch, but we’ve gained some traction the last two years.
    The 2017 season could be a pivotal one for the AHS football program; let’s see how it plays out.

    @ NWO: Good luck over at San Gabriel! I hope you guys are able to compete fairly soon.

  30. Moor's Gravatar Moor
    July 11, 2017 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Alhambras football problems started when they decide to hire Lou Torres as head coach over Jude and Zeke

  31. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 11, 2017 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    @The Goat
    July 10, 2017 – 10:46 pm

    Too much to read, geeez

    Yup and not even related to the topic 🤦‍♂️

  32. NWO's Gravatar NWO
    July 11, 2017 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Alhambra HS is lucky to have a guy like Ron. Every athletic dept. should have a history of their sports.

Leave a Reply