Friday, August 31, 2012

High School Football in Ireland

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

For those of you that can't wait until the switch is flipped on the Friday Night Lights, don't worry, there's some Friday morning and afternoon football in Dublin, Ireland that will help you scratch that itch until your favorite team hits the field tonight.

The 2012 Global Ireland Football Tournament is just about underway in Dublin with the Kent School from Connecticut getting ready to play the National School of American Football team from the United Kingdom.  This will be the second time that Kent has played overseas.  Three years ago, Kent defeated Fiton College 27-6 in the Global Bowl in Bristol, England.

There are three all-U.S. match-ups starting with Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, California and Arizona-power Hamilton.  The other two match-ups are: Loyola Academy from Illinois against Dallas Jesuit from Texas and Father Judge from Philadelphia playing Notre Dame Prep from Arizona.

All three of these games represent that first time an all-American high school football game has been played outside of the 50 states.

Earlier this year, GIFT founder and former University of Notre Dame quarterback Patrick Steenberge joined me on High School Football America to talk about the event.  You can listen to that interview by clicking here.

All games, except for the Loyola/Jesuit game will be streamed live.  Click here to watch.

Lubbock Loses Opener

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

If you listen closely, you can almost hear Dandy Don Meredith singing "turn out the lights, the party's over".

You may ask, what the heck are you talking about?

Quite simply, Lubbock head coach football coach Jason Strunk, who's doubling as a High School Football America correspondent this year to give us all an inside look at his program, texted me after his team's opening game tonight against Canyon and said, "jumped out to 21-7 lead. Lights blew out at the stadium. Slowed us down. Tied 21 at half. Then had 4 picks in the second half. Lost 48-21."

I texted back, "the old blackout trick".

Bottom line, the Westerners' losing streak moved to 23 after the power failure that may have taken some of the juice out of Lubbock's early lead.

Can't wait to see what Coach Strunk writes tomorrow on the next installment of The Turnaround, an inside look at Lubbock.

In the meantime, check-out the game story from Lee Passmore of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal by clicking here.

Follow Coach Strunk on Twitter at @WestTXCoach.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"The Turnaround": Game Day for Lubbock

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock HS Head Football Coach

Blog Two-A-Days

Jason Strunk in action on the sideline
Reprinted courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
After nine months of prep work for 2012, the season was finally upon us. There is something special about the first day of practice. After spending months hammering the weights and being trapped inside, day one allows us to break free from the chains, so to speak. Cabin fever is over!

We kicked of the season with our Midnight Madness practice on Monday, August 6th at 12:01 a.m. We had a packed house for practice. The band, cheerleaders and pom-squad were all there. TV crews and print reporters were on-hand. It was a game-like atmosphere. The kids love this. We started it last year and now the players look forward to it every year.

Day one practice went well. We closed up the office around 3 a.m. Players reported back later in the afternoon at 4 p.m. for meeting and weight training. Coaches arrived back to Chapman Fieldhouse at 1 p.m. No signs of fatigue. We looked fresh.

Our first week of practice featured a schedule of morning lifting, meetings and nutrition. The players reported back at 5 P.M. for our evening practice, which also included a walk-through. The first four days of practice here have to be in just helmets. They call it the four-day acclamation period. Once we make it through that we can strap it up or real! However, we rolled right into the weekend practice the way we did all week. I figured Monday would be the best time to get after for real.

Monday, August 13th was our true first two-a-day practice. In Texas, just like it was at Purdue, two-a-days have to be staggered. So if Monday was a double practice, Tuesday could only be a single practice. That is how we had our schedule set up. I actually like it. I think the days of lining up and smashing heads for ten practices a week will never be seen again.

Aside from the typical bumps and bruises, we had a couple of guys with concussion symptoms to start the week off with. We had our first scrimmage looming on Friday, August 17th against Big Spring. I don't mind keeping guys out of the scrimmage. No sense in rushing back into things. So heading into Big Spring we knew we were going to hold out at least six guys, all starters. This was a good way to get some younger guys experience.

Big Spring Scrimmage

We started this controlled scrimmage on defense. We were flying to the football. Great way to start!

Big Spring ran 15 plays at us and we did not yield any points. You could see the weight training and stamina we have been working on shine through.

Really pleased with that first set!

We started slow on offense. With a controlled scrimmage it is hard to get your tempo rolling, especially when you are spread, no-huddle like we are. Our timing was off but we were able to move ball a little bit. We ran 35 plays in the scrimmage and netted about 170 total yards. Not too bad, but we know as we move along we will be able to churn out more yardage.

Overall, I think we did alright. Not a bad first outing. I really enjoyed Big Spring coming here. Great coaching staff and a first class program. Looking forward to going there next year.

The key, especially when rebuilding a program, is the mindset of the kids following the scrimmage. I think they expected more out of themselves. We were positive and upbeat (like always) with them after the scrimmage. We saw what we needed as a staff. We were fine. However, if you do not convey that to your kids how do they know what you are thinking? Communication needs to be constant in the early stages. Always telling them what you saw. Once they heard us say we were fine, they felt good about themselves. Our Saturday morning film session is where we will start correcting everything we didn't like.

Week Two was upon us on Monday, August 20th. We kept rolling with our two-a-day schedule. This week was different though. When I set up our scrimmages my intent was to get a solid, playoff contender from the year before. Monahans High contacted me in February and I said, yeah, let's get after it! Monahans made a deep playoff run in 2011. I think they may have advanced to the State Semifinals. That didn't matter to me. I knew they were good and what we needed to see.

We had a good week of practice. Although we were still sitting out key starters. I was concerned because I wanted to come out of Monahans healthy, but confident. What a fine line I decided to walk!

Monahans Scrimmage

I will say that we came away from the Monahans scrimmage feeling much better about where we are at than we did against Big Spring. Really pleased. We did some great things. We played two 15-minute running quarters. Great format, by the way.

Monahans is big and strong. They run the Wing-T. They can smash you! We held our ground pretty good. They scored twice on our 1's. We punched one in on their 1's. We learned a lot about what we can do and the key was we did it against a perennial playoff team.

We came out healthy and confident. We were able to pull it off.

Monahans is very good football team. Their head coach, Mickey Owens, is one of the nicest coaches I have ever met. Runs a quality program and does it the right way. I became a Monahans fan this night.

With all that said, it is time to start 2012. We travel to Canyon to kickoff the season tonight at 7 P.M. Texas time.

Let the fun begin....

Jeff Fisher's Editor Note: Come back later tonight to see if Coach Strunk and his Westerners could snap their 22-game losing streak.  It could be the program's first step toward the school's first winning season since 1975.  Follow Coach Strunk on Twitter at @WestTXCoach.

"The Turnaround" Day 2 inside Lubbock High School Football

By Jason Strunk
Head Football Coach
Lubbock High School
Lubbock, Texas

A Football Family

Tracy & Jason Strunk at Purdue with
Daughter Kennedy & Son Mac
In our profession we always preach terms such as team, family, commitment etc. We always mention those terms to our team. I'm no different. In fact, we just spent ten months driving those things into our player's heads. However, I feel in our profession we need to apply those terms to our own home front and give our loved one's some credit.

My wife Tracy, also a Northampton High grad, has been with me since 1998. She has seen a lot of football games. She has also broken down a lot of game film with me late at night. What other profession can you spend time with your wife like that? She can tell you what a Cover 2 defense is doing. She will also question my play calls. You have to take the good with the bad I guess.

When you talk about team, family and commitment how can you leave your wife out of that equation? Talk about commitment. Tracy has moved to three different states along this crazy path called coaching. That doesn't include the job offers I turned down in Colorado, California and Arizona. With each interview it adds more stress. Where are we going to be living is a big deal to your spouse. Through it all she has never wavered one bit. Always up for the next challenge. She rebuilds these programs with me. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Jason's son Mac at Purdue
Along the way we have expanded our family. Our son Mac is now 11. He has been enrolled in schools in Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana and now Texas. You want a team player? There is an example of one right there. He has never complained. He just flat-out enjoys it. He loved our time at Purdue. We also added our daughter to the mix while we were in Florida. Kennedy was born in 2009 while I was coaching in Tampa. She is now 3 going on 23. When I think of Kennedy I envision the little girl from "Remember the Titans." I have a feeling she will be all over the refs in years to come.

With all of our hectic schedules, sporting events, gymnastics and temper tantrums, somehow Tracy manages to keep it all rolling right along. Team, family and commitment. It is everywhere you look in the Strunk family dynamic!

Why Lubbock?

Following our 2010 season at Purdue, I realized I missed running my own program. I also missed working with high school kids. Two stints coaching college football was a great experience. For me though, however, I feel you can make a bigger impact in kid's lives on the prep level. When it boiled down to it I missed building the relationships with players. I needed to get back to high school ball.

I made a decision. We lost a tough game to Indiana in overtime to finish our season at Purdue. That night I told Tracy it is time to run my own program again. There was a catch this time though. If I was going to leave Purdue, a Division I school, it was going to be for a place where football is king. A place where football is the crown jewel. Where can I go coach Division I football but do it on the high school level? Texas. It was Texas or I was staying at Purdue. So I made the decision that I was going to Texas. The only problem was nobody in Texas knew of my decision. That was a large problem to have!

Like all coaches, I got on the phone and started working "my network". Nothing was coming up. Then one day I saw a job posting for Lubbock High School. After a quick internet search, I discovered Lubbock fit all of my criteria when looking for a job: struggling and needing to do a major rebuild! What else could you ask for? It was the perfect job!

Lubbock High School
Lubbock, Texas
I called a friend of mine, Chad Scott. He is the Running Backs coach at Texas Tech University. Chad, as luck would have it, was a Plant City High grad. He visited me quite a bit while I was in Florida. We developed a great relationship over the course of my time at Plant City. Chad placed a call for me and got my name into the mix, so to speak. I received a call from LISD in December 2010. They wanted to interview me after the New Year. The next thing I knew I was on a plane to Lubbock to interview for the position. It happened fast. I believe on January 8, 2011 I was introduced as the new HC/AD at Lubbock High.

The question I receive all the time is, why did you leave Purdue to come to Lubbock? The answer is simple. Lubbock is a great place to live, raise a family and coach football! The bonus? Rebuilding a tradition rich school that is hungry for success! Rebuilding programs allows you to put your own stamp on things. I truly believe we will turn this program around. I would not have come here if I didn't believe it!

Attitude and mental toughness... they are the key components in rebuilding football programs.


Reprinted courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
All I knew about Lubbock before we moved was that Buddy Holly was from here. It is pretty neat to be the Head Coach at the same school Buddy Holly attended. Aside from that, and knowing Texas Tech was in Lubbock, I did not know much about it.

Living here for over a year now I have learned a lot. It is a great city! It is also a great football city. Texas Tech is huge here and the city rallies around the Red Raiders. High School football is everything I expected it to be here too. I absolutely love coaching here. Nothing better than being on the sidelines every Friday night in Texas!

LHS has a strong football tradition. We have 3 state titles to our credit. Not many schools can claim that. Those state championship teams were from 1939 and the other two were from the early 1950's. At one point, LHS was the west Texas football power. The trophy cases in the school's main hallway are impressive. There is a sense of nostalgia walking through those proud hallways.

If you want tradition, LHS has it! Our goal is to restore that proud tradition!

The Rebuild

Inside Lubbock HS Locker Room
LHS has a proud tradition. The people of Lubbock and the alumni of LHS want us to turn this program around. When I speak to people about LHS they answer me with a sense of pride and they speak with emotion. The bottom line is people love LHS. The black and gold carries a lot of weigh around here.
In 1975, The Westerners won the District Championship. Since 1976, however, LHS has struggled, mightily.

Between 1976 and 2011, LHS has had one season where it reached .500 and that was back in 1998. Basically, since reaching the playoffs in 1975, LHS has had no winning seasons and zero playoff appearances. Right now, we are currently on a 22-game losing streak. The Westerners last won a game on October 23, 2009.

How do we snap this streak? The answer to that question will come through in these blogs over the course of this season. Right now, all I can tell you is where we started.

After year one, the coaching staff sat down and outlined our major areas of concern. We felt, as an entire program, we lacked mental toughness, attitude, discipline and size. The X's and O's weren't the problem. It was a combination of everything I listed and an overall lack football knowledge. Another concern was the lack of team chemistry. After years and years of losing and hearing that they cannot win, the program took on the mentality that it could not win. Zero confidence is not the way to go about playing football.

We recognized the needs and we developed a plan to attack our weaknesses. Here it is in a nutshell:

Improve mental toughness, attitude, chemistry, pride, commitment, sense of team and develop a new level of respect for our program. If we could get all these areas improved we felt like we can reach our goal: PLAYOFFS.

For the past 10 months we lived in the weight room, focused on nutrition, trained with Marines, worked out with kick-boxers, trained and developed our own SEAL squad and partnered with Texas Tech in a leadership and nutrition seminar that lasted for 6 weeks. If you take all of these components and tie it to the areas we felt we needed to improve upon, you can see how we addressed each weakness.

The results of ten solid months of work? An average gain of 12 pounds of lean body muscle (some guys gained 30 pounds); tripled the number of 225 pound benchers since my arrival in 2011; Increased the total amount of players in the program; this summer we had 125 football players working out daily, up from about 30 players the year before; increased mental toughness and attitude; the best chemistry of any team I have ever coached.

I would say it was a productive 10 months.

We also changed the way the players enter the building. Each coach greets them on the way into the complex with a chest slap and a smile. We make sure they have their eyes up, chest out and chin up. Confidence is everything in football. They walk with confidence now. In meetings they must sit up straight with the body posture we expect from them. There are no more signs of a program that has not won a game since 2009.

These are building blocks we have chosen to focus on in year two. So far, the results have been great.... but we are inching closer to the season and the results need to show up on the field now!

The LHS rebuild is underway!

Jeff Fisher’s Editor’s introduction: This is the second-part in a season-long series written by Lubbock head football coach Jason Strunk, who is in his second-year as head coach of the Lubbock High School Westerners in Lubbock, Texas.  The school hasn’t had a winning season since 1975 and is currently on a 22-game losing streak as it opens the season tonight on the road at Canyon.  Strunk is giving High School Football America readers and listeners an inside look at what it takes to turnaround a high school football program in the football-crazed state of Texas.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"The Turnaround" High School Football America's Look Inside Lubbock High School Football

by Jeff Fisher 

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than just good.

That’s definitely the case when it comes to today’s post that has us very happy at High School Football America.

If you are a regular reader of our blog, then you know we have moved High School Football America to Los Angeles for a radio show on KLAC AM 570 Fox Sports LA.  This is just the first step in a journey to become a leader in high school sports journalism.

High School Football America – SoCal, which is heard Saturday nights from 10 P.M. to midnight, is just a small part of the overall changes (check out the new logo to the left) we’re making in LA.  With the move to LA comes a redesigned website that will debut on September 10th and many new partners like Kellogg's Frosted Flakes® that will allow us to fulfill our mission of telling the story of America through great high school sports stories.

Some would say it’s hard to cut through the clutter of what’s out there for high school football fans to choose from.  Some say the country’s too big and the market is too fractured.

We say…NOT… if you go back to old school journalism, which is simply based on good storytelling. 

That gets me to the point of today’s story and why it’s better to be lucky than just good.

My lifelong friend Corky Blake, a sports writer and editor at The Express-Times in my hometown of Easton, Pennsylvania, wrote a story about our move to Los Angeles on August 19th.  The story itself put a smile on my face in the middle of a very hectic life as Trish Hoffman and I serve as chief cook and bottle washers of High School Football America.

This entrepreneurial effort is as America as it gets, and it’s probably one reason Trish added the word “America” into our name when she named the company back in 2008.

Corky and I have the same philosophy when it comes to journalism - the story always needs to be about the subject, not the person writing it.  If you focus on the story, you’ll be a respected journalist.  Corky has achieved that status from my perspective.

While Corky was interviewing me, I had a thought that I wanted to give our readers a true inside look at what it was like to be a high school football coach in America.  I didn’t know who, what, when or where, but I knew that I wanted to find someone that could find time in an already crazy, jam-packed life of high school football.

This is where the luck came in.

On the day our High School Football America story hit the pages of The Express Times and its internet site a head football coach in Texas, who happens to be from my hometown area which is known as the Lehigh Valley, read the story.  His name is Jason Strunk, head coach of the Lubbock High School Westerners' football program.

Lubbock High School has a proud football tradition with three Texas high school football champs from the late 30’s to the 50’s.

I don’t think I have to explain Texas football here, but let’s just say that a Texas football championship may exceed the best gift anyone could receive on Christmas morning!

Until August 19th, Coach Strunk and I had never officially met.  Yes, he watched my high school football highlights show called The Big Ticket on WFMZ-TV in Allentown when he was a player at Northampton High School.  Yes, he was a follower on Twitter, but until Jason read Corky’s story, he didn’t know that we were kindred spirits from eastern Pennsylvania.

1939 Lubbock State Championship team
Reprinted courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Yes, Texas is the crown jewel in the crown of high school football, but Pennsylvania doesn’t have to take a back seat when it comes to the tradition of the sport that is played at over 15,000 schools across America.

After reading the stories, Jason immediately “tweeted” me about our connection, which goes further than our hometown area of the Lehigh Valley.  I actually lived in Jason’s hometown of Northampton for 13 years.

I have to admit, while Jason knew a lot about me when he hit me up on Twitter, I knew little about him…thank goodness for Google!

To my surprise, the Google search showed an article written by Corky Blake (yes, my Corky Blake) about Jason Strunk, who left the Lehigh Valley to turn around the high school football program at Plant City High School in Florida.

Armed with Google-knowledge, I tweeted Jason back to say we should talk.  After exchanging cell phone numbers, we agreed to talk on Monday. 

As I thumbed-out the Twitter message suggesting a call, it dawned on me that Jason should be our featured high school football coach correspondent.


Corky Blake’s story from September 2011 talked about Jason turning around the Plant City program before leaving too take a coaching job at Purdue University.  It then talked about his next challenge – turning around Lubbock High School, which is right down the block from Texas Tech.

1952 Lubbock teammates holding state championship trophy
Reprinted courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
While Lubbock has three state championships, it also hasn’t had a winning season since 1975, the year before Jason Strunk was born!  The Westerners are also currently on a 22-game losing streak heading into the team’s season opener Thursday at Canyon High School.

Obviously the Eyes of Texas haven’t been smiling on Lubbock High football.

Jason and I talked on Monday, August 20th and by the end of our 30 minute chat, we agreed that he was going to be High School Football America’s poster child for an inside look at turning around a proud football program in the football-crazed state of Texas throughout the 2012 season.

And, like a typical high school football coach, Jason is attacking the assignment as hard as he’s attacking that 22-game losing streak. 

Like I said at the top, sometimes it’s just good to be lucky, and that’s the case here.  If it weren’t for my friend Corky and his connection to Jason and myself, I’m not sure who’d be writing this column this year.  However, I do know this, High School Football America is extremely pleased that Jason has agreed to do it for us and for you.

Jason began his journey into journalism by sending me several photographs, new and old, and then his first “story”.

So without further ado – I give you “The Turnaround”, an inside look at Lubbock by Jason Strunk.

Welcome to Lubbock Football…Day #1

by Jason Strunk
Head Football Coach
Lubbock High School

Jason Strunk in action on the sideline
Reprinted courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
My name is Jason Strunk, Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Lubbock High School, located in Lubbock, Texas.

Last week Jeff Fisher presented the idea to me about being a guest columnist for High School Football America. Without hesitation, I accepted the offer. I cannot think of a better way for us to tell our story of rebuilding the mighty Westerner football program! I felt this would be a great way to get our program, players, coaches and support staff some recognition for all they do for me on a daily basis.

My goal is to share with you the daily life of rebuilding a west Texas football program from the ground up. I hope you find these entries insightful and interesting.

2012 kicks off this week! Please enjoy the ride with us!

My Background

I am currently the head football coach at Lubbock High School, home of the Westerners. We are a 4A school (dropped down from 5A following last season). Prior to LHS, I was an assistant at Purdue University. Coaching in the Big Ten Conference was the best move I have ever made. Coaching Division I football was always a dream of mine. The lessons I learned on that level will be with me for the rest of my career. I can also say, with 100% certainty, that had I not coached at Purdue I would not have been hired in Texas.

Jason & Tracy Strunk with daughter Kennedy & son Mac
Before my family and I packed up for Indiana, I was the Head Coach at Plant City High School, a 5A school located about twenty minutes east of Tampa, Florida. I inherited a program that had not experienced much success in recent years. After struggling through year one, we rebounded in year two and qualified for the state playoffs. We posted the best record (7-3) the school had achieved in fourteen years. Our program was featured on and several other major media outlets for our quick turnaround. It didn't hurt that we had a handful of national recruits either. Coaching in Florida was a fantastic experience on all levels.

Moving to Florida was a dramatic step for our family. My wife and I grew up in Pennsylvania and moving away from family was a tough decision. It was a tough decision for me on a professional level as well. I spent the 2007 season as the Linebackers coach at Muhlenberg College. We were 10-0 in the regular season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA play offs. It was one of the most enjoyable seasons I have ever been apart of. Giving up a sure thing at Muhlenberg was a difficult decision. However, I felt that being a Head Coach in Florida would help me advance further in the profession.

From 1996 to 2006 I spent my time growing in the profession on the high school sidelines. I started off as a volunteer coach and advanced all the way to Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator by 2003. From 2003 to 2006 I helped with a remarkable turnaround at my alma mater, Northampton Area High School. In a four year span we won 31 games and qualified for the playoffs three times, including winning an Eastern Conference championship. Winning 31 games in four years was no small feat; Northampton only won 7 games in four years prior to our run.

As we progress over the course of this season I will be referencing my past quite a bit. I am a firm believer that experience is the best teacher. My past experience is a major factor in my day-to-day life. I draw from lessons learned in the past daily!

Editor’s Note:  I interviewed Jason on last Thursday’s national radio show.  Click here to listen to that show.  Also, between now and the relaunch of on September 10th, “The Turnaround” will appear here on our main blog.

You can follow Coach Strunk on Twitter. His handle is @WestTXCoach.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Airing It Out

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

It was quite a Week 0 for the forward pass in California.

Thursday night I watched El Toro quarterback Conner Manning chuck the ball 66 times for six touchdowns in the Chargers 47-24 win over Huntington Beach.  Manning, who's given his verbal commitment to Utah, was 44-of-66 for 454 yards.  Last year, Manning broke USC's Matt Barkley's single-season yardage record in Orange County.

Manning connected with six different receivers with Alec Shoffeit catching 12 passes for 119 yards.

Below are highlights from the game.

Then on Friday in northern California Folsom's Jake Browning tossed a national-record tying 10 touchdowns in a 68-28 win over Woodcreek.

Browning, a sophomore making his varsity debut, was 34-of-51 for 689 yards  with only one interception.

The ten touchdowns ties Browning with six other QBs for the national mark.  The 689 yards puts him second on the all-time single game record.  Pacific Palisades' David Koral owns the national mark with 764 yards in 1999.

Folsom has becoming a breeding ground for quarterbacks.  The last two Bulldog quarterbacks have been good at re-writing the California record book.

Browning replaces Tanner Trosin, who shattered the California single-season record for passing yardage last year with 5,185 yards.  Trosin is now at Cal Poly. Before Trosin, it was Dano Graves, who assaulted the state record book accounting for a state-record 85 touchdowns (62 passing, 23 rushing) during the 2010 season.  Graves is now at Air Force.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Night's National Scoreboard

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Conner Manning trying to decide which football he likes
Copyright High School Football America
My first game in California is in the books and boy did I see one of Southern California's top passers put-on a show.

El Toro's Conner Manning, who's given his verbal commitment to Utah, tossed six touchdown passes to lead the Chargers to a 47-24 season opening victory over Huntington Beach.  Not bad, considering El Toro wasn't able to find the end zone on its first three drives of the game.

A lot is expected out of the Chargers this year, with tons of talent back after a 12-2 campaign last year.

The OC Register's Steve Fryer reported online that Manning finished the game with over 450 yards passing.

Here are the rest of the scores from other opening night games in Southern California:

California Scores

AB Miller 39, Lakeside 20
Anaheim Canyon 35, Fullerton 28
El Toro 47, Huntington Beach 24
Loyola 42, Harvard-Westlake 27
Saugus 18, Calabasas 15
San Dimas 37, Bonita  36

Now here are other scores from around the nation:

Ohio Scores

Dover 28, Shaw 27
GlenOak 44, Firestone  7
Howland 43, Lakeside 16
Kenmore 25, Normandy 24
Lake Catholic 49, Strongsville 21
Massillon Washington 52, Buchtel 21
Rootstown 39, Sebring McKinley 7
Southeast 55, Newton Falls 26

Saturday, August 18, 2012

High School Football America - SoCal on AM 570 Fox Sports LA Tonight

by Jeff Fisher

We are locked-and-loaded tonight’s High School Football America – SoCal show on AM 570 Fox Sports LA.  Everything kicks-off at 10 PM as we continue getting you ready for next week’s Week 0 season openers.

Both hours of the show will be action-packed with guests from throughout our massive coverage area.

Vista Murrieta Practice
Murrieta, CA
The show will begin with Coley Candaele, head coach of Vista Murrieta, talking about his squad’s lofty national rankings thanks to some great returning talent led by USC-recruit Su’a Cravens.  Later in the first half hour, MaxPreps’ national high school football writer and main contributor to the website’s national rankings, will discuss why the Broncos deserve being ranking in all four of the major national polls.

El Toro’s Rob Frith will also be on the show talking about his very talented quarterback Conner Manning, who’s given his verbal commitment to Utah.  Frith will also talk about his program’s move into the rugged South Coast League this season. 

We’ll start the second half hour of the show talking 8-man football.  Yes, High School Football America – SoCal is designed to be well-balanced.

Bill Rivera is the head coach at Excelsior Charter in Victorville in the High Desert, plus the president of the 8-man Coaches Association.

Excelsior has finished runner-up the last two years in the CIF Southern Section 8-Man division with losses both years to Windward in the championship games.  This year Windward has moved-up to 11-man football.

It’s a couple of weeks away, but if you really need a fix in Week 1, plus want to help a great cause, head to Westlake High School for the Battle for Veterans Football Invitational.

Mark Soto, executive director of the event, will join us Saturday night to talk about his event that begins in northern California in Week 0 and spreads south for four games August 31st and September 1st.

The Battle for Veterans Football Invitational will feature six games over two weekends while raising money for wounded veterans.

Here is the schedule for the games at Del Oro High School in Loomis next weekend and Westlake High the following weekend:

at Del Oro HS
August 24, 2012 - Oaks Christian at Del Oro
August 25, 2012 - Westlake vs. Granite Bay

at Westlake HS
August 31, 2012 - Oceanside vs. Oakdale
August 31, 2012 - Del Oro vs. Westlake
September 1, 2012 -  Upland vs. Windsor
September 1, 2012 - Oaks Christian vs. Granite Bay

Our third coach of the night will be Jeff Steinberg of Santiago High School in Corona.  Coach Steinberg will take us inside his 2012 squad that is hoping to take another next step this year after a 7-4 season last season and a trip to the CIF-SS playoffs.

This will be the first of two consecutive weeks of talking football in Corona.  Next week, Centennial head coach Matt Logan will be a guest to talk about his team’s opener August 31st against St. Bonaventure from the Marmonte League.

And speaking of the Marmonte League, Sean Celinsky, the latest edition to the High School Football America – SoCal team, will make his debut Saturday night to preview the 10 team league.

Sean and I will get a good glimpse of the new chain of command at Oaks Chrisitan tonight when we’ll check-out the Lions scrimmage against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks.  Jeff Woodruff, a longtime college coach, is taking over for Bill Redell, the school’s first and only football coach, who retired earlier this year.

Tonight’s scrimmage between the two will stand-out a little more than most because these two teams had a bench-clearing brawl during the Saugus summer passing tournament.  It will be interesting to see what happens tonight when the pads and helmets are involved.

The Worm also returns tomorrow night when Garth “Worm” Wyckoff stops by for a look at Laguna Hills of the Sea View League, which had its streak of six straight Sea View League titles snapped last year by El Toro.  Worm will also talk about the other schools in the lague.

We’re still working on some other guests, so stay turned to us on Twitter at @hsfbamerica to learn about the rest of the show.

You can also keep-up with Southern California on our KLAC AM 570 blog by clicking here.