Vogt, Shidan having career thoughts: Buchanan's Mike Vogt and Sanger's Chuck Shidan have identical responses when discussing their futures as high school football coaches: "Definitely year-to-year."
Both are struggling through unusually low 2-6 seasons.
Vogt is 165-92-4 with one Central Section title in a combined 25 years at Mt. Whitney and Buchanan.
Shidan is 153-94 with three section crowns, all at Sanger.
Vogt has an additional consideration in that he was also hired as the Bears' athletic director this year. "Some [athletic directors] treat it as a retirement job," he said. "That's not the case in Clovis [Unified]; you roll up your sleeves and go to work.
"I didn't take the AD job as a short-term deal. And I also didn't say, 'One more year of football and I'm going to get out.' I have an affinity for Buchanan; this school has been good to me for 18 years, and I just want to give back."
Shidan, following 13 consecutive winning seasons, went 6-6 in 2009 and 5-6 in '10. And the Apaches have gone 1-7 the past two seasons in the County/Metro Athletic Conference – arguably the section's premier league this year, with Edison, Bullard, Sunnyside and Memorial all ranked in The Bee's top 10.
"This has been a different type of year; we're not used to it," Shidan said. "But this is what I've been doing for the last 32 years and I still enjoy preparing for opponents, getting on the bus and going to games.
"But it definitely is year-to-year for me, and I wouldn't have said that four or five years ago."
"Just give me 2 seconds": Playing a major role in Mendota's success entering the Aztecs' Highway 33 showdown at Firebaugh tonight have been five linemen who rarely come off the field. Offensively, they've given running back Edgar Segura what he requests, and that isn't much: "All I ask is give me 2 seconds and I'll get there," says the super soph with 1,409 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns. "The line's wonderful; I'm nothing without them."
The question is, will the linemen have Segura? He's questionable with a hip injury.
The two-way linemen are seniors Martin Maravilla (6-3, 250), Alfonso Perez (6-2, 200), Jacob Torres (6-1, 220), J.C. Munoz (5-10, 225) and Robert Beltran (5-11, 225).
The West Sierra League game will match The Bee's top-ranked Division V team in Firebaugh (8-0, 3-0) against D-VI No. 1 Mendota (8-0, 3-0) before an expected capacity crowd of 3,000.
The Eagles are led by Carlos Ramos, a three-year starter, who has rushed for 923 yards and scored 17 TDs. Mendota can also counter with Rafael Cervantes, who's averaging 10.6 yards per rushing attempt, has scored 10 TDs and is coming off a 137-yard, one-TD performance in Mendota's 24-3 win over Firebaugh a year ago.
PLAYER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Kevin Sundberg, Fowler: The junior defensive end (6-2, 270) made 17 tackles, including four sacks, in a 45-15 West Sierra League win over Woodlake last week.
He also starts at offensive guard, was the state's leading sophomore discus thrower last spring (167-0), was an advanced slalom skier in eighth grade and has a 3.7 grade-point average.
"If he played basketball, he'd be very good," Fowler coach Steve Nelson said. "He's an extremely good athlete with quick feet. He'll go somewhere [in football] and be very successful at the next level."
OTHER GAMES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Clovis (8-0, 3-0) at Clovis North (5-2, 2-1): The Tri-River Athletic Conference game at Veterans Memorial Stadium will have Clovis – ranked No. 1 in the section and No. 16 in the state – attempt to clinch at least a tie for its first league title since 2002. The Cougars haven't won an outright league championship since 1996.
Memorial (7-1, 2-1) at Bullard (6-2, 2-1): Not as sexy as it was a month ago, but, regardless, each team has had this one circled for a year.
Tehachapi (7-1, 3-0) at Wasco (8-0, 3-0): A lot to be learned here about D-IV No. 2-ranked Wasco, which has outscored the opposition 392-47, but has beaten one team (4-3 Bakersfield Christian) with a winning record and whose opponents are a combined 17-42.
Zachary Perigo scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, increasing his season total to 21, as Delano closed with a 21-7 rally to defeat Porterville 21-14 and remain in contention for a share of the East Yosemite League title.
Darrien Leal accounted for four touchdowns -- three on passes of 56, 14 and 22 yards to Jordan Maquinalez and one on a 2-yard run -- as Tulare Western beat Granite Hills 35-20 in the EYL.
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