Football: Star-News’ final rankings shape out

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1. MUIR (9-1, Prev. No. 1)
Ready for (D)Ranch dressing? The Mustangs beat who they were supposed to beat regardless of how big or small a margin. Muir is the best team in the San Gabriel Valley, err, West San Gabriel Valley, period. Mustangs are hoping Reuben Thomas is 100 percent by Friday’s game against Diamond Ranch. Beating any team twice in one year is never easy. This game is Friday’s game of the week. Roll out the blue carpet for yours truly.

2. ROSEMEAD (8-2, Prev. No. 2)
Panthers dealt with tough cards after the CIF pollsters committed a crime by not seeding them. But as Coach Matt Koffler said, it’s not time to cry about it. Go out and win and prove you truly deserved at LEAST the No. 2 seed.

3. MONROVIA (8-2, Prev. No. 4)
Wildcats headed to promise land? That depends if Monrovia can take advantage of the No. 1 seed. That Rosemead wasn’t the No. 1 seed has nothing to do with Monrovia. Regardless, the Wildcats will take whatever is given to them and use it to their advantage. Could the true No. 1 seed could be decided when Rosemead and Monrovia meet in the semifinals? Hmmm… (So, really, no thoughts from anybody on Maddox as coach of the year? Sheesh!)

4. ST. FRANCIS (6-4, Prev. No. 3)
Golden Knights start clean slate after losing the last two games of the season. St. Francis won the coin flip. Quartz Hill won’t be an easy trip.

5. TEMPLE CITY (5-4-1, Prev. No. 5)
Rams need to pound the ground with Max Ruckle. There’s no time to get cute with the passing game especially if Ruckle is racking up the yardage.

6. SAN MARINO (8-2, Prev. 6)
Fading at wrong time of the year? That depends on who you ask. D.R. Moreland will argue that but losing two of your last three games of the season because of the same reason (bad defense) can be troubling. Moreland said he plans on expanding QB Joe Forgatch’s role with the offense in an effort to have a more balanced attack.

7. SAN GABRIEL (5-5, Prev. unranked)
Peaking at right time of the year? Such could be the case. Coach Keith Jones said the Matadors played a complete game last Friday in a rout over Montebello to close out the Almont League. If there’s a time for a team to peak, now is obviously the best time. Isaac Valdez, Marcos Villalobos and Fabian Amaro played superb vs. the Oilers. San Gabriel will need that kind of effort if it is to make a good run in the Southeast Division.

8. DUARTE (5-5, Prev. No. 8)
Falcons make season successful after a shaky start. Jordan Canada got in his groove but much of that had to do with the fact the Falcons returned two important linemen (Staff and Lopez) after injuries earlier this season. A story on the fellas will run in Thursday’s sports pages of the Star-News and Tribune.

9. MARANATHA (9-1, Prev. No. 7)
Couldn’t win the game that counted. Sounds harsh but it’s true. The feeling here is the Minutemen will face St. Margaret’s in the final and meet Brentwood for the division title. Or not.

10. RIO HONDO PREP (6-3, Prev. No. 10)
Kares handled business in the Prep League and as a result could be looking at a quarterfinals appearance. Esguerra and Alaniz need to continue that dominance in the backfield and transcend it into the playoffs.

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