Training Camp: A week’s worth at Maranatha

It was a mission for me to get to Maranatha. Nevertheless, I found my way onto a campus that felt like an oasis; one of the most peaceful and beautiful high school campuses I have ever seen.

Got to talking with Coach Joel Murphy, in his third season as head coach, and he’s looking for good things from his quarterback Matt Shields. The line is young but they have a good group I feel will compete with Brentwood in the Alpha League.

One interesting thing I noticed as I walked up to the coach’s office:

The entire football team stays in a dorm-style building for one week. The team checked in Sunday night and will pack for home on Saturday after the 10:30 a.m. inter-squad scrimmage and of course, a BBQ (by the way, I’m not doing anything that afternoon in case .. you know .. wanna send an invite … ha ha, j/k).

In the meantime, the players get an opportunity to bond with a week’s worth of each other. Football teams often are referred to as a family and in almost all cases it is another family. But Maranatha found a way to take it to the extreme, which is a great thing for the school, the team, players and family.

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Because you asked for it…

…The top 5 QB’s, RB’s and WR’s…

There’s been one poster in particular who has been begging for top 10 players at each position. Well, no way I could give you an educated guess on the top 10 players at each position in the first week on the job; coaches and AD’s out of town before the start of fall camp.

But after talking to numerous coaches it’s safe to say I can dish out at least the top 5 players at QB, RB and WR.

I know someone requested top 10, but are there really 10 quality quarterbacks in the Valley? I think there definitely are five good quarterbacks and you could argue 6-10 at each position.

I’ll have that list throughout Friday afternoon and possibly into Saturday, if not Monday for sure.

For now, give me your top 5 at each of those positions and if you think you’re slicker than I am, list your top 5 DB’s, DL’s, OL’s and LB’s … Or better yet, list your top 10!

This could be dangerous.

p.s. You guys have been fabulous and cordial on the comments. That’s always appreciated and makes my job easier to moderate the comments, thanks!

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Revised: Three more to go …

I’m hoping I don’t get screwed because I’m new here. Coaches/AD’s do return calls, right?

My copy deadline for the football preview tab is Aug. 26 and I’m trying to get the team capsules done by the end of this week. From the 17 team capsules I am in charge of, 14 are done.

That means four coaches/AD’s have not returned repeated calls from me and here is the list:

-Bosco Tech

-Flintridge Prep

-La Canada

If you are a coach, athletic director or know either one please have them call me at the office. 626.578.6300 (hit “0” for the operator and ask for Miguel Melendez).

I appreciate the help guys.

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…And now to you regularly scheduled program…

If you didn’t know by now the blog had been down since Tuesday afternoon. Our tech guys in West Covina, Los Angeles and Denver put their minds together and have fixed it.

Since the blog had been down I’ve been getting the football preview together (it’s slated to publish Sept. 3, but don’t quote me on that).

I know you guys want top 10 in every position and I hope to get that out here on the blog before the preview runs. But right now my priority has been to turn in copy by deadline and in the meantime I will keep you all informed about practices that I attend.

As far as the creepy note goes, I can get by. If I can handle Mission Viejo and Mater Dei fans I think I can handle anything on this side.

And looks like one person is already calling for my head, but I’m here to stay.

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Cue the song: Why can’t we be friends?!?

First thing first, don’t forget to bring your sunglasses and sun tan for this year’s Turkey Tussle. It’ll be held on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 1 p.m. at the Rose Bowl, of course. I’ll have a story in Tuesday’s paper about camps opening.

Oh, and then there’s this …

I don’t know about you but where I come from these are fighting words.

Just got off the phone with Pasadena coach Kevin Mills. The Bulldogs have five returning starters and despite a young team and an inexperienced quarterback, Mills said:

“I like our chances in the Pacific League. I’m not going to put anybody ahead of us. We have just as good a chance as anybody.”

And what about Muir? They return a good group AND beat the Bulldogs in the Turkey Tussle last year.

“(We) gave them the game,” responded Mills when asked what happened last year against Muir.

Will Muir get a run for its money? Sounds like Mills is betting on it.

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