Giving devoted fans and loyal readers an insight to what goes through this head when selecting the Star-News Top 10 Rankings:
1. MUIR (6-1, 4-0) — (Previously No. 2) The goal for the Mustangs was to play to their potential and the last two weeks they’ve done just that. Had St. Francis battled and made it close against Crespi last week no way Muir jumps to the No. 1 spot. At this point, comparing schedules will lead us no where. The determining factor at this point is looking at final scores and how dominant or competitive each team is against its respective opponent. And at this point, Muir has dominated the competition thus far, legitimately earning its spot as the area’s No. 1 team.
2. ST. FRANCIS (5-2, 0-0) — (Previously No. 1) The meaty part of the Golden Knights schedule has passed. Still, their schedule will be tough. St. Paul and Alemany will be tough league foes. St. Francis, however, should make the playoffs. If the Golden Knights played against Muir, the Mustangs would win similar to the way Bishop Amat did two weeks ago. Dietrich Riley is the leader of the team and there are others like Rian Younker on defense who can lead the charge, but beyond that there are no other players who can dictate the game the way a Myles Campbell, Jarron Williams, Mitchell Garner and Tyree Mills can.
3. ROSEMEAD (5-2, 3-0) — (Previously No. 3) There’s not much to say about the Panthers. They are dominating the competition in league with a stout running attack led by Tra Sumler. The key now will be if QB Angel Alejandre can hone his skills because come playoffs, Rosemead will need a balanced attack. But the feeling here is the Panthers will make some serious noise come playoffs.
4. SAN MARINO (7-0, 2-0) — (Previously No. 4) Yes, patiently waiting for Monrovia. Look, the Titans are a strong team this season. Their schedule has been questioned by a few posters but San Marino has won handily. The two wins that help solidify the Titans as a contender this season are Cantwell and San Gabriel. Is it possible Blair and La Canada can pull off the upset? Yes, it’s possible, but highly unlikely. San Marino and Monrovia will be 4-0 heading into the season finale. The concern, however, is whether San Marino is outmatched given it now lacks a true passing game without Steven Wright.
5. MONROVIA (5-2, 2-0) — (Previously No. 6) Ryan Maddox the savior. It was a comment definitely not to snub coach Garrison. Never met the guy but have no doubt he’s a great person and even better coach. The comment alluded to Maddox finding a way to make it work this season. Don’t kid yourselves, the Wildcats struggled to start the season and gradually improved after their win over a then-unbeaten Beckman team, and what this comes down to is coaching. Maddox has earned his money.
6. ARCADIA (4-3, 3-1) — (Previously No. 5) For a second imagine the Apaches healthy and strong. Maybe they’re 6-1 instead of 4-3, but the reality is injuries are slowing down Arcadia. Besides the Monrovia game, the Apaches have not shown their true potential. Arcadia though should make the playoffs. Arcadia beat Monrovia so why are the Wildcats ranked higher? Because even with a healthy Todd Golper, the way Monrovia is playing now, the Wildcats would win.
7. SAN GABRIEL (4-3, 2-0) — (Previously No. 8) The Matadors are the strongest 4-3 team. Here’s a scary tidbit: San Gabriel’s three losses are to teams who are a combined 21-0!!! Enough said. Isaac Valdez is the best QB in the Almont League. He proved that much last week.
8. MARANATHA (7-0, 2-0) – (Previously No. 7) Talked to coach Joel Murphy a couple days ago about possibly playing a tougher nonleague schedule next season. Imagine a Maranatha vs. South Pasadena or Maranatha vs. Temple City, though it might be pointless next season when the Minutemen lose Kansas State-bound QB Matt Schilz. Maranatha needs to get its act together and finish teams quicker, especially if they’re against inferior opponents (like Kilpatrick). Brentwood vs. Maranatha will be a good one.
9. TEMPLE CITY (3-4, 1-1) — (Previously No. 9) The Colorado Rockies come to mind when I think of the Rams in terms of possibly peaking at the right time. That would be the playoffs. Temple City still is figuring out how to win games. Sure, they blew away Blair last week but for a little while the Vikings were in the thick of things. The secondary might be tested this week with Tigers QB Conor Bednarsky, only a sophomore, throwing like there’s no tomorrow. Then comes another test when TC faces a potent ground attack from San Marino’s duo running backs.
10. ALHAMBRA (3-4, 0-2) — (Previously No. 10) I’ll be covering San Gabriel vs. Alhambra on Friday, but something tells me the Moors won’t be rolling out the red carpet for me at Homecoming. Look, Alhambra has way too much talent to be 0-2 heading into its game against its rival. How Mitchell Crockom isn’t making more catches is beyond me. But someone with his size and athleticism should be able to lead the way offensively.
Crescenta Valley is not in our coverage area. Not sure why but those are the rules. But if they were in our area I’d rank the Falcons at No. 3 in the top 10.
p.s. I swear last night I had a dream I was covering the Turkey Tussle. The Rose Bowl was sold out, the lights didn’t work but the game was played anyway. I hate it when work follows me into my dreams.