It was after his football team's first-round match-up in the L. A. Games last week and Muir Coach Jim Brownfield was bemoaning the fact that his team doesn't have an experienced quarterback.
Just then, an opposing coach walked by.
"I don't believe you. You say that every year," the coach said to Brownfield.
The coach had a good reason to be suspicious.
Brownfield has said the same thing in previous seasons recently and the Mustangs have produced All-CIF quarterbacks, including Dede Moore, Mark Hatcher and Richard Bell.
The coach was also suspicious because the Mustangs had just beaten Eagle Rock, 45-0, in their first-round game.
The star of the game just happened to be Muir junior quarterback James Dunn, a former Mustang baseball player who threw five touchdown passes in his debut as quarterback.
Not bad for inexperience.
It's still more than two months until the start of the prep football season, but several teams stand out among San Gabriel Valley schools.
The three front-runners may be Claremont, Bishop Amat and Los Altos, all with outstanding quarterbacks returning: Dan McGwire of Claremont, Rick Carter of Bishop Amat and Mark Smith of Los Altos.
Two other teams that figure to be strong are Diamond Bar, which won the CIF Southeastern Conference title last year, and Muir.
The Hacienda League placed three boys basketball teams--Bonita, Ganesha and Montclair--in the CIF 3-A Division quarterfinals last year, and if the performances of league teams in the 18th annual L. A. Games is indicative, next season should be another good year.
Ganesha, which reached the third round of the L. A. Games last week before losing to last year's CIF 4-A runner-up, Dominguez (51-46), may be strongest of the three. The Giants, coached by Larry Armstrong, had beaten a CIF 5-A team (Crespi, 60-46) and a 4-A team (San Gorgonio, 34-32) earlier in the tournament.
The Giants have four starters from last year's team: twins Ronald and Donald English at guard, forward Oliver Cunningham and center Kevin Cutler.
Bonita, which lost to CIF 4-A power Santa Monica (66-35) in the second round of the L. A. Games, has the difficult task of replacing 6-8 All-CIF center Greg Trygstad, who has graduated.
But the Bearcats, who lost to Morningside in the 3-A final last year, may have a suitable replacement in 6-6 junior Rick Fluckey, a transfer from Montana who was impressive in his team's first-round L. A. Games win over Chatsworth.
"He has a lot of talent," Bonita Coach John O'Neil said. "He's a Pac 10 (Conference) type of player."
Another Hacienda League team to watch is Diamond Bar, which beat Royal (51-50) in the first round of the L. A. Games before losing to Inglewood.