It’s official. Please join us in welcoming our new Eagles Varsity Head Football Coach, Elijhaa Penny!
As a graduate of NLMUSD, Penny has returned from his college and NFL career to Norwalk to give back to the community that he is passionate about. We are thrilled to welcome him into the Eagle family and look forward to the skill, experience, and energy that he will bring to our program!
The school welcomed him officially at lunch on Friday 3/24/23 in the quad. Students, teachers, and media were on hand to stop by and say, “Welcome!”
During the March 24 interview in the Quad, Coach Penny described his position here as preparing players to be higher-level athletes and to excel outside of high school. He reported having connections with NFL coaches and college coaches to help students he deems with potential to play at a university or have the commitment for it.
If there are any of our dear readers teetering the edge of playing football or not, Coach Penny says, “You can’t do that with football. It’s almost like a position where you have to be 100% committed. If you have a burning desire, just come out and try it. Other than that, I feel like football is one of those sports where you’re either 100% committed or you’re out.”
His goals for the season include winning the coveted Mayor’s Cup, stating, “I wanna win the Mayor’s Cup trophy, so we’re definitely going for that.” He continues to reflect on the community saying, “It’s definitely good for the city. Our kids are considered to be low-level talented kids but I want to make the best out of the city–whether that’s Norwalk or John Glenn, I don’t look at it any different (when it comes to the community).”
For our football players next fall, be ready to work for Coach Penny! Go Eagles!
ed. note: Coach Penny attended the University of Idaho, and then signed as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals, for whom he played from 2016-2018; he then played, most notably, for the New York Giants for four seasons from 2018-2021. The fullback retired from the NFL on November 28, 2022.
Last week, we made our picks for the wild card round. Let’s recap how we did. We all incorrectly predicted a Vikings win over the Giants; otherwise, our NFL correspondent Rodolfo Garcia was perfect in his other predictions.
Rodolfo Garcia | 5-1
Mr. Higgins | 4-2
Richard Sanchez | 3-3
Michael Rodriguez | 3-3
It is now time to move on to round two of the NFL playoffs, otherwise known as the Divisional Round. The top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs now join the fight, hosting the lowest remaining seeds in these Divisional Round games. *For this round of predictions, our sports editor Carlos Lopez replaces Michael to make picks.
Giants @ Eagles | Saturday, 5:15pm on FOX
Cowboys @ Niners | Sunday, 3:30pm on FOX
Jaguars @ Chiefs | Saturday, 1:30pm on NBC
Bengals @ Bills | Sunday, 12:00 noon on CBS
Check in with us next week when we wrap up these predictions and get down to the final four teams playing for the Conference Championships and a chance to go to the Super Bowl.
The World Cup Final is all set: Argentina vs France will be held this Sunday, December 18 at 7:00am and will be the first time these nations have faced each other in the final of the World Cup.
This game will be a fierce and tough game for both nations, but I see Argentina winning this game 3-2 in overtime with a late goal from an Argentina corner kick.
I originally predicted Argentina going all the way to the finals of the World Cup and even saw them beating France to secure their spot as the 2022 World Cup Champions. Argentina will be led by Lionel Messi and with a strong and motivated Argentina team behind him that is hungry for World Cup glory.
The last time Croatia and Argentina met up in the World Cup, Croatia overcame Argentina and defeated them to a 3-0 game in the group stages. Since then, this Argentina team has developed serious players and a new system with a new coaching staff that should lead this team to the championship.
The third place game is tomorrow, Saturday, December 17 between Croatia and Morocco at 7:00am. This will be the first time Morocco has made it to the semifinals and since they didn’t manage to defeat France, they will have the chance to play to get third place, which will be the first time any African team has made it to this point. That alone could put a whole lot of pressure on Morocco.
Croatia will be frustrated from the game against Argentina, and I could see Croatia breezing through this game, since the Moroccon team will be tired from the France game and will have less time to rest and prepare for Croatia. Overall, I predict Croatia winning this game 2-0.
When the Final 16 of the World Cup was released, Brazil and France were the favorites. Many were predicting them to head up against each other in the final. Many failed to see that while Brazil may have had a star-studded team, they lacked the discipline to play as a team and had a lackluster coaching staff. France not only has a star-studded team, they have the discipline to play as a team and a coaching staff that are more than comfortable enough to lead the team throughout the tournament. They did all this while missing key starters such as The Ballon d’or winner Karim Benzema (which is the highest individual level a pro player can achieve in their career). Pogba and Kante are other key players for France and lead them to win the 2018 World Cup.
The Final 16 was also just the second time Germany had not qualified to the knockout rounds due to goal difference. Belgium did not see the knockout rounds either, due to goal difference, despite having their “golden generation.” Due to not qualifying, Roberto Martinez, the head coach of Belgium has resigned and will not coach Belgium’s men’s national team for future games. He will not be the only coach to resign due to not qualifying further into the World Cup as the Mexico National Team has failed to qualify into the final 16 since 1994. Uruguay has also failed to qualify to the knockout stages from the same problem the last few teams have suffered, which was from having a low goal difference.
NFL Football is back after a long exciting offseason with surprising cuts and trades. Fans couldn’t wait for this offseason to be over for the season to finally start after fans saw exciting trades and picks of their NFL teams.
1. Bengals 2. Ravens 3. Browns 4. Steelers
1. Jaguars 2. Titans 3. Colts 4. Texans
1. Bills 2. Dolphins* 3. Patriots 4. Jets
1. Chiefs 2. Broncos* 3. Chargers* 4. Raiders
* = Wild Card Team
I am predicting that the Dolphins, Bills, Broncos, Bengals, Jaguars, and Chargers will be all in this year. Other notable teams to watch after a long offseason in the AFC (American Football Conference) are the Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders.
Predicted Record (14-3) What more can NFL fans say about the Buffalo Bills? The Bills are a talented team with a great organization and one of the best fan bases in the league. We all see what the Bills can do to any team in this league. The Buffalo Bills is a guaranteed or bust team to run it back, make it to the playoffs, and win the Super Bowl this year. Buffalo is locked and pinned as the favorite (+600) to win Super Bowl 57. The Bills are the common and familiar team to win it all this year, according to BET MGM. Man, what can we say more about this team? NFL fans saw how special this team was last year. And I do not doubt that they will do great this season.
The addition of outside linebacker and future Hall-of-Famer Von Miller, who had a great season last year with the Los Angeles Rams, will only help the Bills. Von Miller can cause damage to any O-Line with Gregory Rousseau on the other side of the ball. This team is explosive on both sides of the ball, offense and defense, and makes their opponents break down.
Last year Bill’s defense was in the top 5 with all-around great and talented players on defense: tackles, linebackers, and cornerbacks. The Bills have the 2 best LBs in this league Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano. Josh Allen, a MVP candidate this year, is a talented and special player who can do it all and be physical when running the ball.
This offense is full of studs with one of the top route runners in this league Stefon Diggs. Gabe Davis who had a great career game vs the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs last year. The Bills have one of the most underrated slots WR, speedy receiver Isaiah McKenzie, and Jamison Crowder, who got picked up in free agency. Having one of the most underrated safeties in Jordan Poyer and top CB Tre’davious White.
The Buffalo Bills and NFL fans are not forgetting the noticeable coin flip in OT in the playoff game last season against the Kansas City Chiefs. Sadly, for Buffalo, the Chiefs won the toss that made them the AFC Champion and did not give the Bills a chance. Many people believed if the Bills won that game the Buffalo Bills would be the defending Super Bowl Champion.
Predicted Record (11-6). The Miami Dolphins are a sneaky and devious team to make the playoffs this year and letting NFL teams and fans know that they are not playing around this year after a shocking and surprising trade from the Chiefs giving away one of their star players, a six-time Pro Bowler, wide receiver Tyreek Hill for a 2022 first-round pick (No. 29 overall), and a second-round pick (No. 50).
This trade will make the Dolphins and QB Tua Tagovailoa improve with two speedy receivers to connect with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Noticeable players to look at on this roster are the names of: Tua Tagovailoa, Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill, Xavier Howard, Christian Wilkins, Jaelon Phillips, Terron Armstead, Mike Gesicki, and Jevon Hollands.
The Dolphins are really good on both sides of the ball with offense and defense, a talented and raw roster to do something great this season.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Predicted Record (11-6). The Chargers and Los Angeles fans are having an exciting offseason this year. This Los Angeles Chargers team should be a team to not shock NFL Fans to make the Playoffs this year. After picking up one of the Top Free Agents CB J.C. Jackson after the New England Patriots were not willing to pay him to become one of the highest paid CB (Contract Details: 5 years $82.5 million and $25 million signing bonus and $40 million guarantees). This trade makes sense due to poor defense last year this will also help 3rd-year CB Asante Samuel. This defense can be something serious if it goes their way and will make the defense better if not one of the top defenses this year.
They also picked up one of the top player six time pro bowler OLB Khali Mack after the Chicago Bears traded Khalil to the Chargers (Bears receive a 2022 second-round pick–No.48 overall–and a 2023 sixth-round selection).
Finally, the Chargers picked up one of the most underrated slot CB in the NFL and top free agent CB Bryce Callahan, after the Broncos let him go due to past injuries in his career. Los Angeles can be something this year with 3-year player and Pro Bowler QB Justin Herbert. Finally, players to watch in this great roster are Justin Herbert, Nick Bosa, Rashawn Slater, JC Jackson, Khalil Mack, Kenneth Murray, Keelen Alan, Mike Williams Josh Palmer, Deandre Carter, Asante Samuel, and Bryce Callahan.
Predicted Record (11-6). WHO DEY?! The Cincinnati Bengals will run it back and will make the playoffs this year. It is a team that should make teams struggle throughout the end of the game having a fantastic season last year.
Last season, the Bengals were mind-blowing–the NFL world was still talking about how bad this team would be even with Joe Burrow coming back from a torn ACL and going 0-17.
The Cincinnati Bengals had a great offseason picking up some of the best and top free agents Offensive Linemen named Alexa Cappa (4 years $35 million including $9 mill signing bonus and $11 mill guaranteed), Ted Karras (3 years $18 million $3 million signing bonus $5 million guaranteed), and La’el Collins (3 years $21 million, $5 million signing bonus, $5 million guaranteed). After the offensive line got exposed last year in the Super Bowl and led the team with the most sacks in the NFL, Bengals fans and Joe Burrow should be happy and excited after getting key players to run it back this year for the playoffs. Finally, Joe Burrow will have plenty of time to throw the ball and not scramble much and stay more in the pocket this year.
Both sides of the ball offense and defense are special and have great players and are special for the future. Noticeable players in this talented roster to watch this year are Joe Burrow, Jamar Chase, BJ Hill, DJ Reader, Von Bell, Daxton Hill, Jessie Bates, Tee Higgins (pictured), Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, Cam Taylor Britt, and the entire OL.
Predicted Record (10-7) WOW! How is Broncos Country feeling right now? The Denver Broncos and fans had one of the most exciting and surprising offseason this year. They made a lot of huge moves from this organization, and there is a fresh start to this Denver team from owner to head coach to coaching staff. The Denver Broncos will finally make the playoffs this year.
The Broncos found their missing piece to make a run to the playoffs, by trading for legend and future Hall-of-Fame QB Russell Wilson, who then signed a new deal worth $245 million that will keep him in Denver through the 2028 season that will also include $165 million guaranteed. This trade will make this whole team and organization better and on this struggling offense last year. This Denver team should utilize Russell Wilson more on scrambling the ball to be successful in this league with many great pass rushers in divisional games; also, they should utilize him with his feet with his great speed.
Denver also signed free agent DE Randy Gregory after his agent found out of issues with the language in his contract a stated clause that said, “A player could lose bonuses or guaranteed bonuses if a player is fined or suspended with the Dallas Cowboys.”
The Denver Broncos’ running game is one of the best in this league with the “2 power punch.” Bringing back Melvin Gordon III will help more with this running game. Denver defense will be Top 5 this year due to bringing back some key players. This team has the most underrated CB in the league with CB Patrick Surtain and Ronald Darby. Patrick Surtain with no doubt will be a top 3 cornerback after having a standout season his rookie year.
This roster is the most underrated roster from the practice squad, with active players, and a 53-man roster. A lot of talent and studs are on this roster. Notable players to watch this year include Russell Wilson, Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordan, KJ Hamler, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Cam Fleming, Kendall Hinton, Michael Ojemudia, Essang Bassey, Calvin Anderson, Billy Turner, Quinn Meinerz, Dalton Risner, DJ Jones, Patrick Surtain, Justin Simmons, Caden Sterns, PJ Locke, Ronald Darby, Josey Jewell, Kareem Jackson, Jonas Griffith, K’waun Williams, Garret Bolles, Damarri Mathis, Baron Browning, Jonathan Cooper, Alex Singleton, Nik Bonitto, and Montrell Washington. “BRONCOS COUNTRY LET’S RIDE.”
Predicted Record (9-8). The Jacksonville Jaguars will make a run to the playoffs. After a really good offseason with many pickups, the Jaguars can be a legitimate team with many explosive players on this team’s roster. There were many changes in the organization such as a new head coach and players. Jacksonville made plenty of good moves and spent the most money in free agency this year out of every team.
The Jaguars picked up one of the top free agents in speedy WR Christian Kirk (pictured, below), making him one of the highest paid WR in the NFL (4 years, $72 Million contract with $37 million guaranteed. The NFL world was shocked with him being the highest paid WR in the league, but will shock and surprise many people with his skills such as routes and how he is a deep threat. These moves will help QB Trevor Lawrence with explosive deep-threat ball throws.
Also, the Jags picked up WR Zay Jones ( 3 years $24 million, and $14 million guaranteed) after having a great season last year, really an explosive contested catch player and somewhat a deep threat. They drafted great key players to help them make a run to the playoffs such as DE Trevon Walker (No 1. overall). This team can be special with this explosive offense and defense.
With the recent wins and upsetting losses with the current NFL season as of September 24 2022, this my NFL NFC conference prediction.
1. Packers 2. Lions* 3. Vikings 4. Bears
1. Buccaneers 2. Falcons 3. Saints 4. Panthers
1. Eagles 2. Cowboys* 3. Giants 4. Commanders
1. Rams 2. 49ers* 3. Seahawks 4. Cardinals
* Wild Card Teams
Teams to Watch:
First on the list in no particular order are the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers has had a difficult start to the season so far but it is still possible for him to bring the Packers to a possible NFC championship the record predicted for this season is 13 wins and 4 loses.
Philadelphia’s own Eagles are next up with an amazing start to the season and not showing any stop to their win streak. Don’t get too cocky Eagles fans, there is always the possibility of injury; but with reviewing the previous season records, the Eagles are an average-to-above-average team with a good set up. The Philadelphia Eagles are predicted to be at 9 wins and 8 loses with a playoff appearance.
WHOSE HOUSE?! … RAMS HOUSE. The L.A. Rams are up next and I predict them carrying out the west with a 15 and 2 record with a heavy battle between them and the Packers. With their past Super Bowl win it’s very possible they go back, but they could get eliminated sometime mid to late playoffs. Players to look out for during their games are Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp, and Matthew Stafford.
Could Brady and the Bucs win another one? Tom Brady is without a doubt the GOAT of quarterbacks; but could he take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to another Super Bowl is the real question? The record for this season hopefully will be 14 and 3. Buccaneers playoffs don’t look very bright with only having Mike Evans as their reliable wide receiver.
These are my NFC predictions and let’s see who comes out on top, good luck to every team out there and I hope for the best.
The legacy of John Madden is being one of the best coaches out of all coaches the Raiders ever had. This is particularly impressive when you consider that the Raiders was the only team he ever coached and was the coach for the Oakland Raiders from 1969 to 1978. Since then, this team is now the Las Vegas Raiders. At the time John was coaching, he was one of the best in the league. However, as good as he was at his job, he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame until 2006, many years after his retirement from playing football in 1958. Unfortunately, John Madden passed away at the age of 85 due to unidentified causes in his home in Pleasanton, California on December 28, 2021.
Before John Madden coached for the NFL, he coached college football at California Polytechnic State University for 3 years (1959-1961). The first year John coached the Raiders, he led them to a 12-1-1 record; they were first in the AFL western division, but lost the AFL Championship Game. After a couple of years of getting into the playoffs and losing, finally John Madden led the Oakland Raiders to their first Super Bowl win in 1976. Madden retired after the 1978 NFL season when he couldn’t take the Raiders to the playoffs. During his 10-year coaching career the combined record for wins, losses, and ties was 103-32-7, so you can say that his time as a coach was pretty impressive.
After Madden retired as a coach, he became a commentator for the NFL in 1979. His voice was broadcast from all the four major sports networks: CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC. John Madden was a great coach, commentator, and father. He has two kids, Joseph Madden who was born in 1954, and Michael Madden, who was born in 1958. His children were in their late sixties when their father passed. This is the great legacy of John Madden and one that should and will forever be remembered.
John Glenn High School played their last football game of the 2021 season on Friday, October 29 against the Pioneer High School Titans and came home victorious by a final score of 31-26, ending the season on a high note.
One of the two major highlights of the first quarter was when John Glenn kick returner Manny Sigala scored on a kickoff return, running 99 yards for a touchdown! Then, minutes later, Iona Young capped off a 62-yard drive with a touchdown run, tying the score at 13-13. Fans were in for a good game as John Glenn and Pioneer were neck and neck when the first quarter came to a close.
During the second quarter, the Eagles were close to defeat. Pioneer had scored two touchdowns, pushing their lead to 26-13. All of a sudden, senior athlete Richard Ramos returned an interception and scored a touchdown, bringing the Eagles to within a touchdown at 26-19 at halftime.
The biggest play, however, finally came when junior Mikel Udengwu returned an interception 77-yards for a touchdown, his pick-6 bringing the Eagles to within one at 26-25, leaving the crowd on their toes.
The Eagles and Titans were head to head, but Pioneer had the lead by one point. During the final minutes of the fourth quarter, senior quarterback Natanael Jacoboscored the final touchdown after an 80-yard drive making the comeback complete. After a couple of key defensive stops, the Eagles secured the win for John Glenn High School at 31-26, improving their overall record to 3-7, and finishing in third place in the 605 League with a 1-2 record behind league champions Cerritos (3-0; 5-6 overall) and Artesia High (2-1; 2-9 overall).
John Glenn’s Varsity Football team overall record this year is 2 – 7, and they are 0-2 in The 605 League. Although our Eagles are facing losses, they do not plan on giving up and will give it their all on the field.
On September 24th, 2021, our Eagles were up against Hawthorne, they put up a great game but finished on the losing end of a 48-34 game. In the first half, our players were positive minded and never thought of giving up, they completed passes and moved the chains. John Glenn had an excellent start in the 2nd half against Hawthorne, better than the 1st half, it was surely a very close game and they were head to head most of the time.
The week after the Hawthorne game, the Eagles faced off against Covina and unfortunately lost. “John Glenn did not give up and all our players kept a positive attitude and gave it their all,” says kicker Jimmy Torres.
On Friday, October 8th, 2021, it was our homecoming game and the Eagles were up against Garden Grove. Even though the Eagles lost the Homecoming Game our players did not give up so easily and were always giving it their all. After the game the Homecoming King and Queen were announced.
A huge congratulations to Natanael Jacobo and April Zavala, both amazing students here at John Glenn High School for being nominated as Homecoming King and Queen.
In the first 605-League game against Artesia, the Eagles lost 32-14. John Glenn and Artesia were head to head during the first and second half of the game but eventually lost the lead. Finally, last Thursday against Cerritos, the Eagles offense put up some good numbers, but Glenn ultimately lost by a final score of 52-31.
Please join us Friday October 29th, for our last football game of the 2021 season, here at John Glenn High School Stadium against the Pioneer Titans (1-7; 0-2 in league). It is senior night, with festivities set to begin at 6:30pm. Kickoff is at 7:00pm.
The John Glenn Varsity football team is 2-5 after 7 preseason games, including losses in our Mayor’s Cup game against Norwalk, and the Homecoming Game on October 8 vs Garden Grove. Despite the Eagles’ current record, the games don’t count until October 15 when 605 League play begins.
The first game of the season started off with an amazing win. On August 27th, John Glenn High School football team won by a score of 40-8 against Firebaugh (from Lynwood) which would kick off a great season for our returning athletes.
The following game, on September 3rd, the Eagles played their first home game of the year and beat Cabrillo by a score of 22-6.
During an interview with the players, I asked, ”How does the team work together to execute a win?” Wide receiver and kicker, Jimmy Torres explained, “We won games due to us executing the game plan and going on the field doing everything that was told to us.” Jimmy Torres and Fabian Avalos also wanted to mention that Iona Young, one of the players on the team, “Has raw talent and is an amazing athlete. He is quick and runs through holes made by our offensive line.”
Sadly, on September 10th, their two win streak was put to an end by Bonita Vista, with a devastating score of 41-6. Although we lost that game, Richard Ramos, a linebacker and an outstanding athlete, had an amazing performance that night, scoring his first touchdown. With pressure on our players, The Mayor’s Cup game against Norwalk High School was the week after their big loss.
With hope that our school will be victorious once again, all of a sudden during the Mayor’s Cup Game, at around 8:24 p.m. there was a 4.3 magnitude earthquake in Carson, California, that shook all of Los Angeles County. Students that attended the Mayor’s Cup Game say they did not feel the earthquake because of all the commotion and intensity at the game. When the dust settled, Norwalk had snatched back the Mayor’s Cup for the first time in three years after a decisive 51-7 victory.
The Eagles are looking to get back on track when 605-league play begins Friday, October 15. The final home game of the season will take place on October 29.
Sometimes, when you start by taking even the smallest step, life has a way of reminding you that things are going to be okay if you just keep going.
Walking into John Glenn High School Stadium on Friday, March 26 was not only a return to a place that had not held a football game since October 18, 2019, it was also a return to a rare, official, in-person school event during the time of the Covid virus. As we enter the tail-end of this once-in-a-century pandemic, a small crowd of dedicated students, athletes, cheerleaders, alumni, parents, teachers, and staff, showed up to cheer on the Eagles in their 605-League contest against the Cerritos Dons.
Even the security guards and administrators greeted guests at the gates with smiling eyes, voices muffled behind their masks and agreeing that, “It’s so nice to see you again.” Fans politely clapped and cheered, proud of their Eagles for showing up and doing their best for new head coach, Mr. David Cruz.
By all accounts, everything went smoothly. People cooperated by wearing masks, keeping socially distant from others, and coming in and out of the stadium with orderly understanding. There were no major injuries to report, players were largely respectful, and everybody in attendance got to experience an honest-to-goodness football game under Friday night lights on a beautiful spring evening. What more can you ask?
The results of the game are secondary to the uniqueness of the event. It doesn’t really matter that the visiting Dons ran roughshod over the Eagles young defense, rushing for six touchdowns by halftime. The powerful Cerritos attack was led by junior running back Connor DeFrain, whose 2 touchdowns matched starting quarterback David Sagun for the team lead. By the time it was over, the scoreboard read that the visitors won by a final score of 56-0.
With only six seniors on the roster–led by quarterback Matthew Huxtable, wide receiver Rafael Valdez, and team captain Anthony Lira–this young Eagles team has a long way to go to reclaim the glory of 605-League Championships and CIF Playoff appearances.
But, in the end, the important part is that they took that important first step. Didn’t we all?