Aztecs are Last Team Standing

Azusa Coach Joe Scherf feels this may be his best team yet

(Covina) – Azusa probably wasn’t the team most people picked to win the SGV Shootout when the 18 team bracket was announced. But after knocking off Mid Valley Division contenders Whittier Christian in the semis and Monrovia in the Finals, The Aztecs were the champions of the Tournament Saturday at Gladstone High School.

Wilson beat Baldwin Park in the consolation finals to take third. 

Azusa, behind first year quarterback Jose Nunez, was impressive in matching Monrovia score for score, before going up and holding them off in the end. Nunez consistently hit Abraham Ochoa on big plays. Nunez has stepped in for the graduated John Chavez and the offense hasn’t missed a beat.

“He was our middle linebacker last year. He’s a real good athlete,” said Azusa Coach Joe Scherf.

Monrovia's George Frazier is a nice option to have

The Aztecs, who have gone 21- 4 in the last two years under Scherf, may have even better things on the horizon.

“This is probably the best team I’ve had since I’ve been here. All those freshman and sophomores that were playing when I first got here are now all grown up,” Scherf added.

Covina quarterback Billy Livingston didn’t attend the Shootout. He was busy at the Peyton Manning quarterback camp.

“He’s working under Tommy Maddox there specifically,” said Covina Coach Darryl Thomas.

San Dimas won their pool but the Saints were eliminated when they lost their next two.  

“Our quarterback, Sean Kennedy is hurt and didn’t play and we are without several other skill players as well. We really don’t throw the ball a whole lot anyway in our offense,” said San Dimas Coach

Whittier Christian linebacker Rudy Robles and WC DC Pete Karavedes

Bill Zernickow.

The way San Dimas ran the ball last year, I don’t think be eliminated in a passing tourney will matter that much.

Monrovia is scary enough with Nick Bueno running the ball but when he throws it well too it’s a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Or how about this? At one point in the final, backup quarterback George Frazier hit Bueno for a touchdown pass when he came out of the slot.

Luke Williams and Jay Henderson are nice targets for Bueno…or Frazier. 

Whittier Christian has a couple of avid supporters in Nick Karavedes, father of Whittier Christian DC Pete Karavedes and Rudy Robles Sr., father of WC Linebacker Rudy Robles. Anybody who sits in the hot sun for eight hours at a passing tournament to support their team deserves props.

Wardell Crutchfield III is a chip off the old block

Ted Clarke, former San Dimas Coach, is now the DC at Monrovia. Former Los Altos Coach Felipe Aguilar has landed on the staff at Rowland. Randy Twist, who once had a tryout with the Denver Broncos, is coaching the offensive line at Arroyo, his alma mater. Twist graduated from Arroyo in 1977.

With Mario Rodriguez, Wardell Crutchfield III and Demetrius Jackson, Baldwin Park will be fine in the Valle Vista.

Andrew Gibson, a Temple City transfer, makes a solid Rosemead defense that much better. Rosemead got knocked out by Wilson in the consolation semis bracket.

Junior Brandon Schreiman is the guy for Wilson at quarterback. The Wildcats were impressive considering several players weren’t playing due to participation at a camp.

Schreiman and running back Moses Vega along with a big offensive line makes for a legitimate contender.

Rowland QB Michael Ball

I didn’t see a lot of Diamond Bar a lot but I liked what I saw of quarterback Andrew Cameron.

Interesting piece of information uncovered by Andy Villathedevil; Rowland Coach Craig Snyder is the uncle of Bonita running back Casey Horine.

As for Rowland? The Raiders were eliminated by Monrovia in the semis with Michael Ball showing no ill effects from last year’s injury.

Arroyo was one of the teams Rowland knocked off along the way. Steven Rivera and Anthony Miller hooked up on a number of big plays for the Knights. Arroyo is still looking for another big target to bolster the passing attack.         

The thing most coaches worry about during these events is an injury due to a hard hit in what is supposed to be touch game. And as frequently happens, it did get chippy at times. But the question

Baldwin Park QB Mario Rodriguez. Notice the BP slogan "FOCUS" on the back of their jerseys

is how do you convince a football player that is trained to hit, to suddenly back off? 

“It’s definitely a tough sell. In pads and helmets they get hammered if they don’t make the hit. Here we hammer them if they do,” said one assistant coach. “It’s tough to coach that way too.”

Tim can be reached at

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