Claremont and Bishop Amat high schools have had two of the premier football programs in the San Gabriel Valley in recent years, and this season was no exception as both won league championships.
So it should come as little surprise that the two have the most players on the 46-player first and second teams of the 1985 Los Angeles Times All-San Gabriel Valley all-star squad. Each has four players on the first team and two on the second team.
Claremont placed 6-8 All-America quarterback Dan McGwire, wide receiver Travis Watkins, linebacker Sean Telish and place-kicker Steve Bayer on the first team and defensive lineman Bobbie Warren and offensive lineman Pete Pruitt on the second team.
Muir, Nogales Had Stars
Bishop Amat landed running back Eric Bieniemy, offensive lineman Jack Montes, linebacker Ramon Diaz and defensive back Johnny Brown on the first team and added tight end Pat Patterson and defensive back Paul Marquez to the second team.
Muir, which captured its third straight Pacific League championship, and Nogales, which won its first Sierra League title, placed two players each on the first team. Muir's are defensive back John Hardy and running back Ricky Ervins, and Nogales landed offensive lineman Dennis Karjala and defensive lineman Eugene Brown.
Nogales also placed two players on the second team: running back Darryl Lewis and wide receiver Ron Lattimore.
Charter Oak, which easily won the Montview League championship, placed only one player on the first team, defensive lineman Jim Lopez, but has three on the second-team--running back Jeff Obert, defensive lineman Bill McCoy and defensive back Les Kast.
Bayer and running back J. J. Flannigan of Pomona were the only repeaters from last year's first team.
Twenty schools are represented on the first and second teams.
Coaches Were Polled
The selections were based on a poll of 50 11-man football coaches in the Times San Gabriel Valley Section area, covering the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. Players were selected on the basis of their regular season performance.
Players from Montebello schools are considered for the Times All-Southeast team, and players from La Canada schools are candidates for the All-Glendale squad.
The first teams from all Times sections will be honored at the annual Times High School Football Brunch and Awards Presentation at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the Anaheim Hilton, 777 Convention Way.
The program, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times Fund, will honor first-team all-stars from the San Gabriel Valley Section and nine other Times circulation areas: Centinela-South Bay, San Fernando Valley, Glendale, Southeast, Westside, Central City, South Coast, Orange County and San Diego.
First-team players will receive a gold helmet plaque and a certificate.
The featured speaker will be Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, superintendent of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and Bruce Johnson, defensive coordinator of the academy football team, which will play Texas in the Bluebonnet Bowl on Dec. 30.
The Times San Gabriel Valley Section's coach of the year, lineman of the year and back of the year will be named. The winners will receive trophies.
Parents and the head coach of each first-team all-star have been invited to the brunch. All high school head football coaches in the 10 areas are welcome.
It could be called "The Year of the Running Back" in the San Gabriel Valley because the area had one of its best crops of rushers ever. Eight players surpassed 1,000 yards.
The three running backs are considered among the top players in the CIF Southern Section.
Hails for Flannigan
Leading the way is Pomona's Flannigan, a 6-0, 185-pound senior who rushed for 1,530 yards and 18 touchdowns in only 165 carries, an average of 9.2 yards. Flannigan, considered one of the top college prospects in the nation (9.4 seconds in the 100), rushed for about 3,500 yards in the last two seasons.
An All-CIF performer, Flannigan was recently selected Pacific Regional prep football player of the year by Gatorade, making him one of eight finalists for the national award. He is being recruited by many of the top football colleges in the nation, including Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Another member of the strong first-team runner corps is Bishop Amat's Bieniemy, who is only 5-8 and 180 pounds but had a big season for the Lancers.
Bieniemy is a junior but was named the most valuable player of the Angelus League. The speedster rushed for 1,514 yards and 25 touchdowns in 251 carries during the regular season to lead his team to the title of what is considered by most as the top league in the CIF.
Ervins: Runs and Catches
The third running back on the first team, Ervins of Muir, may be the most versatile. Ervins, 5-9 and 182, rushed for 1,218 yards and 14 touchdowns in 167 carries.
Ervins, a junior who has run the 100-yard dash in 9.8 seconds, also caught 12 passes for 100 yards and returned four kickoffs for 242 yards--one for 98--and 2 touchdowns.