Prepare for the Mt. Baldy League to be flipped upside down this season.
Well, maybe judgement should be reserved for at least another week.
The three teams that finished at the bottom of the seven-team league last season currently sit at the top. The one caveat: Mt. Baldy League play hasn’t begun yet.
As far as the postseason goes, nothing accomplished to this point matters as each team gets a fresh start when league play begins Friday night.
Through four games, the only winless team in the league is defending champion Colony. The team with the best nonleague record is Garey, which didn’t win a game during the entire 2011 season. Equaling Garey’s 3-1 mark is Montclair, which went 1-5 in league play last season.
Of course, you can’t pick your opponents once league play begins.
“This is the toughest nonleague schedule in Colony’s league history,” Colony coach Steve Randall said. “I still think we’re one of the better teams in the league. And I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Colony’s four opponents thus far are a combined 10-3 while the six victories for Garey and Montclair have come at the expense of teams with a combined mark of 3-17.
The defending league champion, however, is undeniably different this season.
Gone is Matt Bechtel, the coach that led Colony to the CIF-SS Central Division semifinals last season. Gone is reigning Mt. Baldy League offensive player of the year, quarterback Matt Simko, who transferred to Chino Hills. Even the player expected to succeed Simko transferred. Jonathan Trucks, the starter to begin the season, was injured in the second game, forcing Arizona-bound receiver Samajie Grant into the quarterback role.
“I don’t know what to think,” Chaffey coach Chris Brown said. “Colony has been playing real-deal teams and they lost their quarterback. Ontario and Montclair are going into league with confidence. But if I had to pick, I’d still go with Colony and Chino at the top.”
Chino, which ran away with the league title in 2010, narrowly missed out on a second consecutive league championship last season. Perhaps the Cowboys are poised to return to the top this year, but it hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride to this point. Chino has rotated three quarterbacks and hadn’t defeated a team with a winning record until last week’s impressive 16-0 victory over Hacienda Heights Los Altos.
The Cowboys host Colony Oct. 26 in the penultimate game of league play. It is difficult to tell what the playoff picture will look like at that point. Two seasons ago, all seven teams had a shot at cracking the postseason field entering the last game of the regular season.
Chaffey and Don Lugo, the teams that claimed the final two playoff spots last season, have struggled mightily to this point, giving more hope to last season’s bottom three teams.
Ontario and Montclair are in their second seasons under coaches Ron Stocking and T.J. Fiorenza, respectively. Montclair returned 17 starters from a young team a season ago, but has lost its only game against a team with a winning record.
Ontario, which returned 16 starters, nearly carried a three-game win streak into league play but for a one-point loss to Alta Loma last week.
Don Lugo 2-4