Los Angeles Preps: Eric Podley

Whirlwind of SGV coaching resignations

January, 10, 2012
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It has been a dizzying start to the new year in the San Gabriel Valley, where four head football coaches have stepped down in recent days: Bob Burt (Hacienda Heights Wilson), Darryl Thomas (Covina), Eric Podley (Bonita) and Steve Bogan (South Hills).

Bogan won four CIF-Southern Section titles and 13 league crowns in his 19 years at South Hills. He will remain a teacher at the school, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported. The Huskies went 3-7 in each of the last two seasons.

Thomas spent the last 15 years as Covina's coach, reaching the playoffs 10 times. The Colts were 11-2 last season, losing to two-time Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia in the semifinals. Thomas will remain as Covina's athletic director and will hire his replacement.

Podley was Bonita's head coach for 12 years, highlighted by the Bearcats' appearance in the 2010 Southeast Division championship game. Adrian Medrano, who served as Bonita's special teams coordinator, will replace Podley, who will remain on the staff as offensive coordinator.

Wilson went 1-9 under Burt in his first and only season. Nick Christos was named the school's new head coach, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Elsewhere, Pasadena La Salle will announce Russell Gordon as its new football coach, according to the Pasadena Star-News. Gordon, who spent 15 seasons at Campbell Hall, replaces Antoine Peterson, who was fired after four seasons.

Bonita breaks in new QB Tanner Diebold

September, 6, 2011
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Tanner Diebold admitted he felt jittery, if not completely nervous, when he saw fans streaming into Citrus Stadium for the annual Smudge Pot game between rivals Bonita and San Dimas on Thursday night. The sophomore quarterback attended the showdown in 2010 but going as a fan didn't quite prepare him for what he felt on the field during pregame.

[+] EnlargeTanner Diebold
Blair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comTanner Diebold's first varsity start was in the Smudge Pot game, leading Bonita over San Dimas.
"Before it all started I was real nervous," Diebold said following Bonita's dominant 40-20 win. "After the first series everything settled down. It was like playing in any other game."

Diebold, making his first varsity appearance, was shaky throwing the ball, completing only five of 13 pass attempts for 71 yards. He missed some throws early, though his receivers dropped at least four balls. Diebold made an adjustment and his first throw of the second half was a 19-yard laser up the middle that led Garrett Horine into the end zone. Bonita's student section, one of the liveliest in the area, chanted his name on various occasions.

Bonita coach Eric Podley said Diebold "looked like a rookie" but, overall, was pleased with how the sophomore directed his shotgun offense.

"I think he has unlimited capabilities," Podley said. "But he's got to show some progress."

Some of that development hinges on how he adjusts to the faster pace of the varsity game. Diebold guided Bonita's freshmen team to a 10-0 record last year, but he said he could stand in the pocket for a good while and scan every option. Now Diebold has to make his read and fire quickly.

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Football: Bonita 40, San Dimas 20

September, 1, 2011
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Smudge Pot trophyBlair Angulo for ESPNLA.comBonita players huddle around the Smudge Pot trophy after beating their rivals from San Dimas.

GLENDORA -- After the dust had settled and Bonita had hoisted the Smudge Pot trophy for the second straight year, Bearcats coach Eric Podley could breathe a sigh of relief.

"This means a renewal of my contract," Podley said jokingly. "I'll be back next year."

All kidding aside, Bonita looked like the team that reached the Southeast Division championship game last season, beating rival San Dimas handily, 40-20, in the annual Smudge Pot game Thursday night at Citrus College. The Bearcats claimed the hardware for the second straight season and have inched closer in the head-to-head series, which San Dimas now leads 22-17-1.

"The first goal we always have when we meet as a team, our number one goal, is to keep coach Podley employed," Podley said with a smile, not shying away from speaking in the third-person.

The Bearcats (1-0) led 10-6 at halftime before outscoring the Saints (0-1) 17-0 in the third quarter. Tailback Cameron Griffin had a pair of touchdown runs to go along with 64 yards rushing, receiver Garrett Horine scored twice and tailback Reggie Turner added another.

"We'll be running the ball a lot more this year," Griffin said. "You'll see more touchdowns."

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