News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

The Peterson Principle

Tim Peterson

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You can say it was bad coaching that let Westlake back into the game Thursday night against La Serna. Or more appropriately you can say it was simply bad execution. Or another theory is that it was just a series of bad events- one of those things.
I mean one of Westlake’s touchdowns came after La Serna failed to cover a kick off and Westlake fell on the ball. No, this wasn’t an onside kick, although Westlake did recover one of those too, this was a deep kick off that the Lancer kick returner let bounce. How does the coaching staff prevent that? The bottom line though was that La Serna won the game and there is no disputing one fact- Frankie Palmer was terrific.
When the Lancers needed a big play, they turned to Palmer. If they needed a pass, it was Palmer. If they needed a run they looked to Palmer. Palmer did it all for La Serna including standing on the sidelines and cheering when the defense was on the field.
When Westlake tied the score late in the fourth, Palmer said ‘no problem’ and calmly drove his team down the field to the game winning field goal with 00.03 on the clock. Palmer ran for 146 yards and a touchdown but it was 200 plus if you count all the yards he accumulated scrambling away from Westlake defenders. He also tossed two touchown passes while completing 15 of 22 for 131 yards.
He was efficient. He was exciting, and he was motivating. He was whatever La Serna needed him to be to win the football game. As long as Palmer is leading the way, La Serna is a threat to win not only the Del Rio League title, but the Southeast Division as well. How good is he? Just ask the gassed Westlake defense.
It’s always been suggested that it’s better to schedule up during the non league season. But is it always the best option? If you keep losing doesn’t the confidence start to wane? We know La Mirada is better than 0-4 but that’s exactly where the Matadores are right now after Thursday night’s rout by St. Francis. La Mirada’s schedule is brutal but the losses have to weigh on you after awhile. San Dimas is 0-4 as well but aren’t they still a top five team in the Mid-Valley Division? With Northview coming up this week will the losses have a negative effect on a once confident team?

On the other side of the coin Baldwin Park and Pomona haven’t been in any death marches but they are both 4-0. They keep winning and the confidence keeps building. Is either team better than San Dimas in the Valle Vista? Maybe not, but the truth is it’s much better to be 4-0 than 0-4. We’ll find out now that league play is starting.
As for La Mirada, the Mats have a few weeks to get well before they have to face Norwalk at home on November 1. That should be the fate of the world.

That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
The Peterson Principle