Suburban League Football Week 1 Recap; Week 2 Preview
Suburban League Week 2:
Week 1 Review: Well, I was right on picking five of the seven winners from this past weekend’s games. I thought the Matadors would put up a terrific fight and pound the Highlanders. Oops. Well someone got pounded, and it wasn’t the Highlanders. On the other hand, everyone else got hammered in league. Bellflower is still scoreless two weeks in and no points. The Norwalk Lancers are proving to be a force as they have amassed 121 points in two games. I look for a lot of teams to get back on track this week and continue their winning ways.
Week 1 Results:
Norwalk 58 Los Amigos 6: Norwalk got its double-wing attack rolling by steam-rolling the Lobos up and down the field. They have a three headed monster on offense led by senior wingback Adrian Gonzales, junior wingback Billy Moore, and senior fullback, two-way stud, Adrian Cortez.
La Habra 54 La Mirada 13: La Mirada really never got itself on a roll and instead tried to hang on for dear life. Any ideas of them becoming an area power again, right this minute, where halted by a stingy Highlanders defense. QB Daniel Poncedeleon played as well as he could, and diminutive running back Matt Haltom ran hard; but it still was not enough. They look to rebound this week against California High School of Whittier.
Glenn 38 Pioneer 3: The Eagles ground game got rolling as TB Brandon Kelly ran through, around, and over any Titan in his way. When the dust had settled, he had 25 carries for 257 yards. They also have a versatile athlete in Junior D.J. Bernard; he scored 4 different ways. He started things off by hauling in a 60-yard TD catch, and then he picked up a blocked field goal and raced 89 yards to the house, untouched. Then he jumped a route and returned it from 38 yards out. Finally he took a handoff and scored from 28 yards out and put a move on a Titan defender that would make any Madden gamer jealous.
Reality Check for La Mirada
This reporter is booted off field, even with press pass
La Mirada~Reality set in tonight as the La Mirada Matadores varsity football team took a beating in losing to one of OC's top teams, La Habra 54-13.
There were glimmers of hope however, as the Mats played respectable against an obvious powerhouse. The energy is there, and expect the Mats to improve each week.
Trying to get a glimpse of what was going on seemed to be the biggest challenge of the evening.
La Mirada Football web-site operator Matt Piazza, who has spent the last six years covering LM Basketball, just as many covering LM baseball, and had VOLUNTEERED to run the football site this season, was not allowed in and was told to by the principal to go get in line. Piazza is the ultimate La Mirada High cheerleader, and has brought more interest to LM sports, via the media, than anyone alive. Piazza has always made sure a bright, positive light shines on La Mirada ahletes in their endeavors.
By the time he waited in the long line, the game had started, and he was behind in his work for the evening.
.....more to come
Suburban League Week 0 Recap; Week 1 Preview
Suburban League Week 1:
Week 0 Review: Well I was right on picking five of the seven winners from this past weekend games. There was no shortage of close games. It started with La Mirada vs. St Paul on Friday night, and it came down to the final few minutes with the visiting Matadores prevailing. Then, to round out the first week of games, Glenn held off a furious comeback by the host Santa Ana Valley Falcons at the Santa Ana Bowl on Saturday afternoon.
Week 0 Results:
Norwalk 63 South El Monte 3: Norwalk got its double-wing attack rolling as they rolled passed South El Monte.
La Mirada 15 St. Paul 7: La Mirada suffered a few injuries, but they look to continue their charge toward another league title. Backup Shane Blood stepped in and helped lead the Mats to a huge victory; the school's first against St. Paul.
Glenn 28 Valley 26: The Eagles showed grit and determination as they fought themselves to a victory. They were led by QB Jose Escobar who looked very comfortable in the pocket, threw for 3 TDs, and added another rushing.
Montebello 14 Bellflower 0: The host Buccaneers never got themselves on track as they fell to the visiting Oilers from Montebello
Chino Hills 30 Mayfair 6: The Host Huskies could have made the lead larger if not for a few miscues during the game.
Beckman 31 Cerritos 13: Cerritos is still searching for their first win in over 12 games. They looked over-matched in this game.
Edison 36 Artesia 0: The pioneers speedy offense was neutralized by the attacking defense of the host Chargers.
Week 1 Preview:
La Mirada Pricks host Swordsmen for the First Time
Santa Fe Springs~With its two most acclaimed players sidelined by apparent serious injuries, the zebras throwing flags against it at about a 3-1 ratio and a scoreboard operator who suddenly forgot to start the clock with 29 seconds left and St. Paul out of timeouts, La Mirada survived with tons of heart in Friday evening's heartstopping victory, 15-7, over the host Swordsmen.
The triumph spoiled the return of legendary Marijon Ancich, tied for the all-time winningest high school coach in California history, and marked the biggest win for the Matadores in perhaps a decade, certainly a major hurdle in their attempt to return to prominence.
Suburban League Preview-Week 0
Mayfair: The Monsoons have been everyone’s perennial pick to win the Suburban League and there is ample reason for that. As the consensus pick, they have won 8 league titles in a row. Well, it all starts this week for them against a tough Chino Hills team. I look for Mayfair to get the ground game working early and let Hunko take his shots deep off of play action. The Monsoons will be on the road at Chino Hills Friday September 4th, 2009. Kick-off is 7pm.
Week 0 Prediction: Mayfair 28 Chino Hills 24
Norwalk: The Lancers look to be firing on all cylinders as they gear up for a showdown with South El Monte. The Lancers will need to get their running attack led by wing-back Adrian Gonzales to get going if they are going to be successful. I look for this to be a battle early, but expect the double wing attack to smother and run through, over, and around the Eagles of South El Monte. The game will be at South El Monte. Kick-off is slated for 7pm.
Norwalk 46 South El Monte 21
Artesia: The Pioneers are a small group but they are used to playing iron man football as they did it all of last season. They will be looking to get coach Aaron Craver his first win of the season when they travel to take on the Chargers of Edison High School in Huntington Beach. This will be more than a challenge for the Pioneers. The Chargers have several highly ranked prospects including center Roman Sapolu who has orally committed to Oregon State.
Edison 48 Artesia 14
La Mirada: The Matadores are back and they are hungry for the season to start. The atmosphere around the program is different this year; the kids are buying in that they have the athletes to compete. One of the most anxious Matadores to get out there and play is Matt Haltom he has not played in a varsity game since his sophomore year. I look for the Mats to come out throwing and give St. Paul a run for their money. This will be a clash of two different offensive philosophies when these teams take the field for battle on Friday. The Mats will look to throw, while the Swordsmen will look to pound the ball on the ground. I see the St. Paul ground game being the factor they will eat up some clock and keep the talented Mats offense on the sidelines
St Paul 28 La Mirada 24
John Glenn: The Eagles travel to the Santa Ana Bowl on Saturday at 1pm to take on the Santa Ana Valley Falcons who are led by the diminutive Running back, Darius Nacoste. He has run for almost 3,000 yards and he will look to pad that total against the Eagles. But the Eagles, I hear, have an answer in the form of 6’3’’ 245-pound middle linebacker Nu’a Niumataevalu, who is hungry to destroy ball carriers after being out for a year. This one should be an offensive shoot-out and whichever team’s defense can get the most stops in this one, wins. I look for the Eagles to clip the Falcons wings in a close one.
Glenn 35 Santa Ana Valley 31
Bellflower: The Buccaneers are rolling full steam ahead and they are really looking to start the season off on the right note. They will have the advantage of the confines of their home stadium when they battle the Oilers of Montebello on Friday at 7pm. They have a good mix of Veteran players, and they are also counting on the influx of their sophomores to help them be successful. Look for the Buccaneers to spoil Head Coach Pete Gonzales’ first game with the Oilers. Look for sophomore Travis Newberry to run all over the Oilers in a route.
Bellflower 42 Montebello 14
Cerritos: The Dons look to start their season off on the right foot, however they are traveling to Beckman of Irvine, a team that will be tough to beat. The Dons are hoping that they can get their offense unhitched as they try and make use of ultra talented sophomore Marquis Moss. I think that Beckman will be too much for the Dons, as they extend their losing streak.
Beckman 49 Cerritos 6
Final Thoughts: This should be a good weekend of football and it will definitely be a lot of fun to watch as we gear up for the long haul. Good luck this week to all of the players. I wish you all much success; and stay injury free.
Matadores Have Busy Week; Showdown with St. Paul Friday
La Mirada~You can tell the regulsr season is almost here as the La Mirada High School varsity football team held it's annual picture day recently and a offense/defense scrimmage was played this past Friday.
Picture Day was the usual chaos, with a little heat wave mixed in to make things interesting. Also, registration for school seniors was Friday, and the team also finished up 'two-a-days' on Thursday, making for a busy week.
A scrimmage on Friday proved interesting when a group from St. Paul High School was seen in the stands videotaping the practice. Athletic Director Kim Brooks apparently gave the OK for the taping.
La Mirada opens this Friday in Week 0 at St. Paul beginning at 7:00 p.m. Like many other teams playing in Week 0, La Mirada will not have the advantage of playing a scrimmage against another opponent, besides itself, before the season begins. However, this means the Mats will have a bye week during the season; with extra time to rest and prepare for their next opponent.
100 on-field tickets for this Friday's game are available for $10. Contact Diane Gramajo to purchase your on-field tickets at 562-569-1432.
2009 SUBURBAN LEAGUE FOOTBALL PREVIEW
Around the area, high school athletes are getting ready for a tremendously grueling two-week period in which their bodies will be put to the test.
It's the start of football season, and every team has the same chance to be a league champion, make the playoffs, and earn a Division Championship!
However, the fact remains that everyone's chances really, are not the same. So let's get right into it, I am going to break down each team in the Suburban League, and give you a prediction for each of their first games of the season. At the end of this column I will predict the expected order of finish.
Mayfair: The perennial favorite, they have been league champions or had a piece of the league title for the last nine years. They are always a tough team to contend with; and this year they are loaded at the running back position with two 1000-yard rushers coming back from last season.
Keith Harvey is the smaller of the two backs but don't let the size fool you he has good quickness; Dominique Small is the bigger of the two backs. Both of these backs fit the traditional Mayfair running back in the mold of past running backs Jimmy Manley and Derek Driscoll. They are quick to hit the hole and in a blink, can cut it back and go to the house.
There are questions in the secondary this year for Mayfair. They lost two of the areas more talented DB's from last year's team to graduation. They will be guided by Evan Hunko, a big QB who was able to win the starting job his freshman year and was poised for a break-out year last year, before an injury curtailed his season.
In pre-league, they play Pac-5 members Los Alamitos, and Lakewood who are led by super talented QB Jesse Scroggins who has orally committed to USC.
Prediction: Look for Mayfair to repeat as league champs, but it's going to be a close race. They will be looking over their shoulder at Norwalk and La Mirada. I look for them to start the year off 1-3 as they play one of the toughest pre-league schedules
Norwalk: Coach Jesse Ceniceros walked into a dream job last season. He returned a 1000-yard rusher and a good group on defense, and a team that had the experience, size, and speed.
This season looks to be a little of an enigma. They no longer have the services of powerful pint sized RB Jose Guzman; he graduated leaving many on the campus wishing he had one more year.
They return two all-league members on the offensive line including #24 Adrian Gonzales. At one of the wingback spots, he saw extensive action last year in the Paramount game when Guzman was suspended. He does not have breakaway speed, but the kid, minus his 150 lb. frame, runs hard.
Norwalk also returns Senior QB Dominique Diaz who took over last season before their deep run into the playoffs.
The person that I am most anxious to see line up in that purple and gold is a former RB from La Mirada, Davion Edwards. This kid is a hoss. We are talking 5'10'' and probably 225lbs. He is going to line up at the FB spot for them and can really balance that double wing attack that they run. Don't be surprised if they ride his enormous shoulders past Mayfair for a league title.
Prediction: I think that of all the other teams in the Suburban League, Norwalk is going to be able to challenge Mayfair. They should start the season 2-2 and end up 4-2 or 5-1 in league. They will make the playoffs.
Derrick Williams Update
La Mirada~Recently the La Mirada Blog spoke with Derrick Williams, La Mirada basketball star now attending the University of Arizona.
Williams told us that he finished up a little summer school activity, has returned home to La Mirada, and is getting ready for the first day of school, August 24th.
Williams, who originally signed a letter-of-intent to play with USC, decided not to play there when the team began to unravel after the Tim Floyd front-office situation.
Of course, Floyd was seen on the LM campus as early as Williams' junior year in high school, and was directed here by someone in the La Mirada hierarchy.
Bottom line, we don't get to see Williams play just up the freeway this season, something that disappoints him very much.
Of course, being in the PAC-10, he will make visits when UOA comes to play USC and UCLA. Besides, Arizona is not that far away.
High School Football Season Just Around the Corner
La Mirada~A touch of Autumn in the evenings indicates football season is almost here.
The 2009 La Mirada Matadores begin play September 4 against rival St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs.
Follow the Mat's progress all season long right here and look for an exclusive team-by-team Suburban League preview here on the La Mirada Blog the week of August 17th. Check for La Mirada game times on our community calendar.
Also, check out the cool 2009 LM Football web-site at www.eteamz.com/lamiradafootball. The link has also been added to our La Mirada Links page. Go Matadores!