(San Gabriel) – There have been constant coaching changes at Pasadena. The Bulldogs are working on their third Head Coach in the last three years. But one thing that doesn’t change on Sierra Madre Blvd is the speed and athleticism of the players. At least it looked that way on Tuesday.
Last year under Mike McFarland, a victory over Muir in the Turkey Tussle would have landed Pasadena in the playoffs. The Dogs had just come off a miraculous 45-41 win over Burbank that put them at 4-2 in Pacific League.
However Muir over powered Pasadena 34-12 and left the Bulldogs on the outside looking in. Several key players graduated from that squad but the Bulldogs are hoping they have guys to step up.
Now Randy Horton has taken the reins as the Head Coach.
“We look all right but yeah we’re definitely young,” said Pasadena DC Addison Hawthorne while watching his team throw with San Gabriel. “But we do have a lot of experience on our line.”
Aaron Simpson, who was the quarterback down the stretch in 2009, has moved out to wide receiver. Sam Saucedo, a senior, and sophomore transfer Brandon Cox are waging a competition for the starting quarterback position.
“Sam started a couple of games for us early last year so he’s had some experience,” said Hawthorne.
Saucedo fired several nice balls during the competition including bombs down the middle of the field.
Cox, who played safety for Temple City last season is tall, mobile and has the ability to beat you different ways. He seems a perfect fit at Pasadena blending right in with all the speed and quickness already present.
The quarterback battle was evident late in the day when Cox and Saucedo pleaded their respective cases with Horton as to who should take the last set of reps.
“I’m in. It’s my turn. I got it,” Cox said.
“No you took the Last ones. I’m ready to go,” said Saucedo.
Horton finally settled it. “I’ll tell you what. You each get five.”
Other players to keep an eye on for PHS in 2010 are running back Cleo Bates and receiver Marcus Green. Tyler Skinner should be a force on the defensive line.
Pasadena opens league at Arcadia on October 1. Their non league schedule consists of Westchester, Cathedral and La Salle.