There is nothing unusual about Bishop Amat High of La Puente winning football games.
Since the start of the 1980s, the Lancers have had one of the most successful programs in the CIF Southern Section.
But going into this season, Coach Mark Paredes had doubts. With newcomers in key positions, less size than usual on its interior line and a difficult schedule, this was not a season of great expectations for the Lancers.
Little did Paredes expect that Bishop Amat would reach the CIF Division I finals and he would earn the 1988 Los Angeles Times San Gabriel Valley coach of the year honor.
The Lancers snapped a 4-year jinx of being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the playoffs and finished with an 11-3 record. It was the team's first appearance in the finals since 1983.
Bishop Amat also had to overcome one of the most difficult schedules in the Southern Section. Among the teams the Lancers defeated were Carson, which had been ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today, and Loyola, which had been ranked No. 1.
The Lancers defeated L.A. City power Carson in a non-league game, 17-10, and Loyola in the Division I semifinals, 16-0. Bishop Amat also defeated defending Division I champion Fontana, 28-27 in overtime, in the quarterfinals.
Bishop Amat finally lost to Fountain Valley, 31-24, in the Division I final.
Paredes improved his 3-year record to 33-4.
The coach and two athletes received special honors at The Times High School Football Awards Brunch. The athletes are Daryl Green of Nogales, named back of the year for the valley, and Terry McDaniels of Pasadena, selected lineman of the year.
Green, McDaniels and Paredes each received a trophy. The 23 members of the All-San Gabriel Valley first-team offense and defense were awarded golden plaques and certificates, as were players from other Times circulation areas: Orange County, Westside, San Fernando Valley, Glendale, Ventura County, Southeast, South Coast, South Bay, San Diego County and Central City.
The awards, presented last Sunday at the Anaheim Hilton, were provided by the Los Angeles Times Fund.
Presenting the awards was Bruce Snyder, a former Los Angeles Rams assistant and Utah State coach who guided UC Berkeley to a 5-5-1 record this season. Snyder, the guest speaker, addressed the 276 all-star players and their parents and coaches.
For Green, the award caps a brilliant high school career in which he rushed for 3,436 yards.
A 3-year starter and All-Sierra League performer for Nogales, Green saved his best for his senior season. The 5-11 and 180-pounder rushed for 1,414 yards and 11 touchdowns in 177 carries--an outstanding average of 7.2 yards a carry.
He caught 12 passes for 142 yards and played well as a part-time defensive back with 2 interceptions and 60 tackles. He also has returned punts and kicks.
Green runs the 40-yard dash in a swift 4.5 seconds, which helps explain why he is considered one of the top college prospects in the valley. Among the colleges recruiting him are Colorado, USC, Michigan, Washington and Syracuse.
McDaniels culminated an outstanding prep career that saw him start on the line for Pasadena for three years and earn All-Pacific League honors the last two seasons.
He was also a two-way player at offensive and defensive tackle. At 6-6 and 245, McDaniels intimidated many opponents. Considering that he also has above-average 4.7 speed in the 40, it's no wonder that he is one of the most heavily recruited linemen in Southern California.
Among the major colleges on his recruiting list are USC, UCLA, Washington, Notre Dame and Arizona.
McDaniels has been receiving a lot of attention from recruiters as an offensive tackle, but he has had his moments on defense. The biggest was against St. Francis in September when he recovered two fumbles for two touchdowns. A good pass rusher, he also recorded 7 quarterback sacks.
Besides Green and McDaniels, the valley first-team offense has receivers Craig Palos of Claremont and Jeremy Smith of Bishop Amat; linemen Carnell Carter of Walnut, Lou Parra and Eric Dives of Los Altos, Len Gorecki of Damien; quarterback Brian Harmon of Bishop Amat; backs Mike Galindo of Northview and Darick Holmes of Muir, and kicker Danny Ibarra of Arroyo.