Everything is in its proper order as far as Valley College football Coach Chuck Ferrero is concerned.
His team has won five straight games, outscoring the opposition, 176-49, and sits alone in first place in the Southern California Conference heading into its final regular-season game Saturday against Chaffey.
It's just the scenario Ferrero expected all along.
"This is exactly the way I thought it would be," Ferrero said. "It took us a little while to establish the idea of a team and to believe in one another, but that's what we've got going now."
Even Ferrero, however, couldn't have anticipated the course Valley would take to the top of the standings.
First, Ferrero was scheduled to be laid off as part of cutbacks of faculty and staff in the Los Angeles Community College District. It wasn't until the second day of fall classes that Ferrero was officially cleared to coach.
Coming off an 8-2 season in 1985 and buoyed by the arrival of 17 transfers from Pierce, which dropped its football program in June, expectation ran high at Valley, even by preseason standards.
Then Valley lost its first three games.
"After the chaos before the season, we wound up with massive numbers--137 guys out for the team," Ferrero said. "We were playing tons of kids and there was no continuity."
That changed at the end of the College of the Desert game, in which freshman Barry Hanks settled the quarterback position by throwing for 232 yards in one quarter. Suddenly, the pieces began to fit.
"We finally figured out who could play, selected a traveling team of about 80 guys and went from there," Ferrero said. "The rest is history."
Well, almost. Valley (5-3, 5-1), despite a half-game lead in the conference standings, is tied in the loss column with Desert. In the event of a tie, Desert would get an automatic bid to the SCC bowl Dec. 6, leaving Valley to contend for an at-large bid to one of the eight postseason bowls.