NOTEBOOK / GARY KLEIN : Journalist Uncovers New Outlet as Coach

Ric Desotell has covered high school sports in the Glendale area for three years, chronicling victories and defeats and analyzing the performances of teams and coaches.

However, Desotell is not covering any of Ribet Academy’s football games for the Glendale News-Press this season.

Instead, he’s coaching in them.

Desotell, 31, succeeded Harry Morgan as coach of the Fighting Frogs after serving as their offensive coordinator for the final three games last season.


Desotell, who has the team off to a 2-1 start heading into Friday’s game against powerful Antelope Valley Christian (3-0), said he’s enjoying the challenge of moving from the press box to the sidelines.

“I’m a guy who finally gets to put his money where his mouth is,” Desotell said.

Try again: After one-sided losses to nationally ranked opponents, Glendale College’s football team expects a closer game Saturday when the Vaqueros (0-2) play Los Angeles Southwest (1-1).

After losing to Pasadena three weeks ago, Glendale was pounded, 31-3, by a Bakersfield College team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today.

“Bakersfield flat outplayed us,” Glendale Coach John Cicuto said. “They could be gearing up for another national championship.”

After reviewing tapes of the loss to the Renegades, Cicuto said he is encouraged by the progress the Vaqueros have made.

“Playing against teams like Pasadena and Bakersfield is going to help us in the long run,” Cicuto said. “We’ve been improving in certain areas even though we haven’t won.

“But getting that first victory is important.”


Quarterback Marco Arcipreste, who missed the Bakersfield game with a finger injury, will start for Glendale against L.A. Southwest.

Back to SCIAC: Occidental College resumes Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play Saturday when the Tigers (1-2 overall, 1-0 in SCIAC play) travel to La Verne (0-2, 0-1).

Occidental lost to Azusa Pacific, 28-10, in a nonconference game last week, but the Tigers figure to remain unbeaten in conference play, at least for a while: La Verne has already lost to Redlands and the University of San Diego.

Occidental Coach Dale Widolff will start freshman quarterback Derrick Williams, who completed four of 14 passes for 25 yards against Azusa Pacific.


“We’re young at the skill positions on offense and that’s affecting our consistency,” Widolff said. “Our intensity on defense also has not been consistent. We haven’t been able to sustain any kind of consistent effort for the whole game.”

KOd: The Franklin High football team, the defending City Section 3-A Division champion, was shut out by perennial 4-A contender Kennedy, 36-0, Saturday in a game in which the Panthers lost quarterback Julio Moreno and their entire defensive backfield to injuries.

Moreno was knocked out with bruised ribs in the second quarter and the secondary was decimated throughout the game.

“We took a physical beating,” Franklin Coach Ed Elias said.


Despite going with fourth-string quarterback Tony Aguilar, Franklin was behind only 15-0 with two minutes left in the third quarter when Kennedy scored 21 points in a two-minute span.

Franklin’s second- and third-string quarterbacks were sidelined with injuries during practice that week.

Moreno and other injured Franklin players are being evaluated on a day-to-day basis this week as the Panthers prepare for 3-A opponent Los Angeles High.

What, me pass?: The game plan against Bell-Jeff called for strikes through the air, but Glendale High Coach Don Shoemaker made adjustments when standout tailback Pathon Rucker rushed for 75 yards in the first quarter of Friday’s 30-0 victory.


Rucker, a junior, gained 163 yards and scored four touchdowns as the Dynamiters improved to 3-0 heading into Friday night’s game at Burroughs--the first of three consecutive away games.

Rucker has rushed for 524 yards (an average of 174.6 a game) and scored nine touchdowns for a Glendale offense that is averaging 368 yards.

The Dynamiter defense, led by linebacker Waki Jones and free safety Eli Enriquez, also has been excellent, limiting opponents to 136.6 yards a game.

Leader board: Hoover quarterback Rene Gambri played with a sprained ankle in the Tornadoes’ loss at Monrovia last week, but he still leads Glendale-area passers with 503 yards and four touchdowns.


Wide receiver Chris Kalaleh is the area’s leading receiver with 14 receptions for 223 yards and a touchdown.

Award time: Former Hoover High and Glendale College linebacker Steve Hieber made the most of his second start on the four-year college level, earning Big West Conference defensive player of the week honors for his team-high 10 tackles in San Jose State’s 47-13 win over Nevada Las Vegas on Saturday.

Included in Hieber’s total were two sacks and two tackles for losses as the Spartans limited the Rebels to 12 yards rushing and 138 yards in offense.

Can’t touch this: La Canada fumbled seven times, but lost only two in its 20-7 win over Burroughs on Friday night.


“We had a new center in on three of them and we changed the exchange on handoffs,” La Canada Coach Nic Larez said. “It better not happen again or we’ll be in trouble.”

Getting their kicks: The Occidental College women’s soccer team set four school records in a 14-0 win over La Verne.

Jos Bergmann scored five goals, the first after 52 seconds, and had three assists to set Occidental records for most goals in a match, quickest goal at the start of the match and most points (13) in a match.

The Tigers’ 14 goals also set a school record.


Staff writers Steven Herbert and Kirby Lee contributed to this notebook.