By Tim Peterson
For the last week or so I’ve been asked several times who looked good at the Charter Oak Tournament. Well, there was this school called Alemany. It looked really good.
Fortunately the local teams won’t have to deal with that. Who looked good? doesn’t everybody look good in shirts and shorts? It’s like spring training in baseball. Everybody is hopeful and optimistic. Everybody has a chance to win the World Series in March. Same thing in spring football. Not a bad player in the house.
I’m not ready to tell you who’s going to be a CIF champion but here’s a few observations.
Charter Oak, as is the case every year, is ready to compete. The quarterback play looked strong and the Chargers had a couple of receivers that made you take notice. They should be the favorite to win the Hacienda League. Yes, Lou Farrar is back and maybe even for a few more years. “My other grandson will be a freshman this year and he wants me to coach him,” Farrar said.
Bell Gardens is ready to make the jump in the Almont. The Lancers still have to deal with Schurr and Montebello but they were much improved last year and appear to be better this year. Margarito Beltran said his troops would be ready to contend for the league title this season and I believe him. A playoff spot and a first round victory could be in the offing.
Somebody posted on our site that they like Whittier in the Del Rio. I don’t. I like La Serna. La Serna did nothing at the Charter Oak Tournament that leads me to believe that the Lancers aren’t the best team in the league. The quarterback made all the throws and they were efficient on offense. Of course La Serna’s offense won’t be built around the passing attack. They will run you to death, like always.
Its a homecoming for Travis Brown at Los Altos. As long as the Conquerors can adjust to any new schemes that Brown and his staff put in they should be fine. Brown likes what he sees so far. They held their own at CO and were in every game. Brown has added former Arcadia/Bassett HC Chris Long to his staff.
I like Baldwin Park’s numbers and former Arroyo assistant Josh Knight, who is a BP alum, has taken over as the Braves HC, and has added a spark to the program. He has a sophomore and a junior competing for the quarterback position, so whoever wins out will have at least a couple of years under Knight’s tutelage.
Arroyo always looks good in the passing circuit. Over the years, the Knights have thrown more than anybody in the valley. As long as everybody comes back and ready to play, Jim Singiser and company will be okay.
There just wasn’t enough to see of Muir. The Mustangs were in and out of the tourney quickly and when they were playing, I only saw 8-10 players on the squad. I’m sure once the season kicks off Antyone Sims will have the Stangs ready to play but the numbers need to increase. The Muir baseball team was still in the CIF playoffs so some of their players may have still been on the diamond. We’ll see.
Then there was San Gabriel. I took some heat for heaping praise on the Matadors after the tournament but I was impressed. The Mats beat Corona Santiago (second team or not) and gave Charter Oak all it wanted in a semi final game. Their quarterback was impressive and they had tight end who was an absolute beast. (Is it still ok to use that term?) Also several coaches told me that San Gabriel is for real, or at least light years ahead of last year’s team. Matador head coach Kevin Encinas, a former Charter Oak Charger now in his second year, told me they’re just working hard and trying to get better. Well they’ve definitely done that.
Am I saying that SG wins the Almont? No. Am I saying that the Mats will beat Schurr or Montebello or even BG? No, but those three do need to be careful or they will get bit. What I am saying is that it’s good to see San Gabriel relevant again. It’s good to see them re-join the land of the living and on the field competing. It was good to hear the yell “SG! You Know!” again.
And the best thing about this upcoming season for the Matadors? They don’t have to play Alemany.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tspeterson40.