Team always comes first

Above: Adam Ross (No. 44) and Joel Bryant (No. 5) are leaders on and off the field at Flintridge Prep High School. (Staff Photo/Keith Birmingham)

Team always comes first
Bryant, Ross keep proper perspective at Flintridge Prep

By Miguel A. Melendez
Staff Writer

LA CAADA – Sure, football is their passion.

But for Joel Bryant and Adam Ross, it’s just a small piece to the everlasting puzzle we call life.

Bryant and Ross are running backs at Flintridge Prep. The Rebels didn’t have the best of starts this season, but Bryant and Ross, who have taken on the leadership role this season, are not concerned.

Bryant, who is as cool, calm and collected as an athlete can get, calmly explained how he gets his teammates to keep it together despite Flintridge Prep heading into Week 7 with a 1-5 overall record.

“I go into every game expecting we can win,” Bryant said. “Records are deceiving. They don’t define a team.”

Call them Thunder and Lightning.

Ross is a thundering back who would rather go through you than around you. Bryant is a lightning-quick back who is elusive and can avoid defenders with his quickness.

Ross is the workhorse who accounts for much of the Rebels’ yardage and leads Flintridge Prep down the field on long drives.

Enter Bryant, who finishes the job getting into the end zone.

“They blend as one complete running attack,” Rebels coach Perry Skaggs said.

“If you put us together we’re Reggie Bush,” Ross joked.

Ross finished with 12 touchdowns and 860 yards rushing last season to Bryant’s eight touchdowns and 428 yards.

Bryant has nine touchdowns to Ross’ six this season, but Ross shrugs it off.

What Skaggs will miss in Bryant and Ross when they leave for college are their personalities. They are two good players who are even greater people and shined because of who they are rather than what they do on the field.
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Star-News Player of the Year: Who’s in contention?

We’ve reached the midway point of the season and several players have emerged, and some that we thought would be contenders have dropped off.

Here is the list of the top five players listed in the 2008 High School Football Preview:

*Dietrich Riley

*Todd Golper

*Mitchell Crockom

*Marquise Williams

*Myles Campbell

But this award isn’t won until league and CIF playoffs are done, so who do you think will be standing in the end?

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Alhambra, TCity: Bottom two but who goes where?

Last week’s rankings had Alhambra at No. 9 and Temple City at No. 10, respectively.

Both teams lost last week. If you drop them out of the rankings, what teams get in?

If they both stay in the rankings, do they keep their ranking or does Temple City get the No. 9 spot despite the loss?

Consider this:

Alhambra lost to Schurr, 38-24: The Moors (3-3, 0-1) could not capitalize on some of their offensive drives. Alhambra had a chance to go up, 7-0, in its first possession but squandered the opportunity. Darrian Cazarin hit Mitchell Crockom on the first play with a 67-yard pass, but all the Moors got out of it was a 25-yard field goal from Brian Gonzalez. Schurr countered with a 43-yard field goal and then Robert Duran ran for a 3-yard score to make it 10-3 before going into the half with a 17-3 lead. Alhambra’s defense vanished in the second half as the Spartans scored on three consecutive possession. Cazarin had a great game. He finished the night completing 14 of 25 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown. But the running game that Coach Gil Ruedaflores said they’d implement so far is nonexistent. The Moors were held to 18 yards rushing on 12 carries. Can’t live by the pass the rest of the season.

Temple City lost to Monrovia, 13-7: Some probably expected Monrovia to blowout the Rams. But Temple City kept this game closer than many expected. The main objective for the Rams defense was containing Marquise Williams. That didn’t happen. Williams rushed for 244 yards on 18 carries and scored two touchdowns that came on the ensuing possessions following missed field-goal attempts by Temple City. Both of Williams’ touchdowns were 80-yard sprints. Overall, Temple City’s defense clamped down the Wildcats resurgent offense. Max Ruckle scored on a 5-yard run to cut the Rams’ deficit to 13-7 with 5:31 left to play. Monrovia failed to score on its ensuing possession, giving TC one last change to win. Not sure what’s the deal with Joey Stewart. He’s not mentioned in the story and it appeared the Rams preferred the passing game against a secondary that played back. Temple City’s running game could have taken advantage here. In any case, the Rams played a stout Monrovia team tough and nearly pulled off the upset.

The polls 1-8 will stay just about the same. No movement there (I’m sure Muir will argue that).

But does Temple City takeover the No. 9 spot because it played the No. 6 team in the area tough?

Does Alhambra drop one spot despite having beaten the Rams earlier in the season?

Tough call, eh?

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Arcadia’s Courtney Lee named 2009 Rose Queen

Above: Courtney Chou Lee reacts upon hearing she has been chosen as the 91st Rose Queen at the Tournament House in Pasadena on Tuesday. (Walt Mancini / Staff Photographer)

By Caroline An
Staff Writer

PASADENA – Arcadia High School senior Courtney Chou Lee was named Rose Queen during a morning ceremony at the Tournament House on Tuesday.

Lee is captain of her school’s varsity volleyball team, president of the Arcadia High Senior Men and Women group and is a committee member of the Methodist Hospital Foundation.

The seven-member Rose Court will reign over the 120th Rose Parade and 95th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1.

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Monrovia has proud, painful tradition

This story comes from longtime staffer Jim McConnell, the man we call, “The King” around the office. He writes a weekly Then & Now column. He gives us a bit of history today about Monrovia football.

Jim McConnell

Say “wait ’til next year” one hundred times. When you’re done, you will have articulated the mantra of Monrovia High football.

Few Southern California football programs have been as successful as Monrovia’s. None have been as star-crossed.

In the 100-year history of football at Monrovia High, the Wildcats have had legitimate shots at no less than 24 CIF-Southern Section titles. Incredibly, they’ve failed to win any.

Monrovia High was founded in 1887, which makes it one of the oldest high schools in Southern California. The school first fielded a football team in 1898. In 1914, it was one of the founding members of the CIF. By 1921, Monrovia was in the running for a berth in the CIF-SS playoffs and took a 7-1 record into its regular-season finale against L.A. Lincoln. A win would have vaulted the Wildcats into the playoffs, but Lincoln won 33-0.

By 1927, under the guidance of former USC star Hobbs Adams, the Wildcats were back among the top teams in Southern California. Monrovia was 7-1-1 entering its final regular-season game against league rival Covina. The powerful Colts – two-time defending league and CIF-SS champs – prevailed and denied Monrovia a playoff berth.

The 1928 season brought more heartbreak for Monrovia rooters. The Wildcats went undefeated in nine games, but were held to ties against league rivals El Monte and Citrus, and Covina once again wound up representing the league in the playoffs.

The leading player on the 1927 and 1928 Monrovia teams was quarterback Willard Brouse, who went on to play for Howard Jones at USC.

After a couple subpar seasons, Gene McAlister took over as Monrovia coach and put together a powerhouse in 1935. It was quite possibly the best team in school history and among the greatest San Gabriel Valley teams ever.

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