MONTEREY PARK - Schurr High graduates Aaron Cantu and Carlos Arredondo are two big reasons East Los Angeles College won its first conference title in 37 years this season.
Cantu, a freshman, led the team at quarterback, while Arredondo transferred over from Cerritos College and set the school's record for receptions in a season.
Cantu said this team knew early on it was capable of a championship season.
"That's been the carrying the team," Arredondo said. "We're not the teams of the past. It's a new year. It's our year and we're not the teams of the past. We want our legacy to be strong."
Add Cantu: "We're doing what (coach Lynn Cain) said from the beginning of the year. That's what we believed in. That's what's making it happen."
Arredondo said Cain has also come of age this year.
"It's his fourth year here," Arredondo said. "He's finally got the group of guys he wants to be here. Guys are playing for something. They're playing to win. He lets the coaches do their coaching and he oversees everything and tries to keep a finger on the pulse."
Cantu added Cain's style is much like that of their former coach at Schurr, Ben Negrete.
"They've been around the game for a long time, so they know what they're talking about," Cantu said. "I had a great time at Schurr. Negrete and all the coaches were great to play for. I had a great time and they taught me a lot. I learned how to play football at Schurr and I'm continuing that at ELAC."
Arredondo said he did transfer to ELAC to be with his old quarterback.
"It was a great choice," he said. "The chemistry on the field hasn't changed. We're still on the same page. Now, we're able to communicate. We have the type of relationship where we're not afraid to speak up with each other and we share information, whether it's on the field or off the field."
"I feel like I can place the ball anywhere in his vicinity and he'll make a play on it," he said. "The other thing is we have other solid recruit. We are having great years. It's not just Carlos, but out depth has really opened up. Our other guys are stepping up and making plays. Guys are making the most of the game and playing with a sense of urgency."
In addition, Arredondo said this team is winning because of all its players.
"There are plenty of guys who had winning careers in high school and it has translated over and we just have a common goal, which is to win." Arredondo said.
(Shel Segal can be reached at