|Ponciano says that he specializes in reclamation projects
where he comes in to a team that is down and resurrects them to
respectability again. However,
he is also trying to get his players on to the next level even if it
means only having that player's services for one season instead of
two. Coach Ponciano
estimates that in the last 12 months Valley has lost 13 freshmen to the
"That obviously hurts us but hopefully it will help us in the long run," said Ponciano. "What it boils down to is that the kids are the most important thing, and I truly treat them like every one of those kids is my son. And what would I do if he was my son?"
It is a difficult balancing act between trying to build a winning
program and helping the players get their education.
Ponciano is doing what he can to keep his system going.
As they head into the 2002 season the Monarchs will face improved
competition within their own Conference.
Here are the players that are expected to keep Valley on an
A three-way battle between freshmen.
Salar Shakeri (6-0, 210) FR
Ryan Martinez (5-11, 210) FR
Kevin Arbuckle (5-11, 185) FR
Willie Jackson (6-1, 207) FR
"We think we're as good as anybody," said Ponciano of his wideouts.
TE Eddie Whittaker (6-5, 250) SO
WR/KR James Norris (5-7, 165) SO
WR Sanders Trent (5-8, 165) FR
WR Sam Worthy (5-10, 170) SO
Mario Palomino (6-5, 315) SO
Jessie Quevedo (6-4, 260) FR
Ryan Davis (6-4, 270) FR
DT Brook Emelio (6-3, 270) SO
NG Dante Culbreath (6-4, 320) SO
DE/LB Rashaad Goodrum (6-4, 240) FR
DE Tearrius George (6-4, 265) FR
MLB Michael Porter (6-3, 210) SO
Bryant Barrientos (5-10, 200) FR
Chris Govea (5-10, 198) FR
"We're traditionally pretty good at this position and we think we will be this year."
CB Craig Chisholm (5-10, 172) SO
CB Richard Brown (6-0, 170) FR
S Matt Lutz (6-0, 195) SO
S George Covington (6-1, 210) SO
Ron Ponciano has added Armando Gonzalez as the offensive coordinator.
Gonzalez held the same position under Ponciano at Cal State-Northridge.
Former Valley WR Gil Rodriguez will coach the QB's.
Jimmy Sims, former head coach at Bishop Montgomery, is a
full-time assistant now as well.
The goals for the Monarchs are to have a winning season and go to a bowl game. In a Conference that includes perennial winners Canyons, Allan Hancock, and Bakersfield the task will not be easy. However, Ponciano points out that five of their games were decided by four points or less last season.
"This is going to be a pretty big season for us as far as can we turn the corner or not? If I cannot turn the corner then that one-year stuff (freshmen going to Divison I after one season) has got to be put to the side. Because you can't lose seven Division I starters a year and expect to be good," said Ponciano.
The Monarchs improved by one game a season ago. To reach their goals this year will require a three-game turnaround. The talent is there but it is a matter of how long it will stay.
TEAM & PROSPECT PREVIEW: LA Valley College
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