It looks like Temple City will practice today in the gymnasium given the fields are very muddy and more rain might be on the way. I’m looking outside my window office and there is no rain.
Still, it wouldn’t serve the Rams any purpose to practice in the mud since they’ll be playing on turf at Citrus College on Friday at 7 against Azusa in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs.
Practicing in the gym is never the same, of course, as practicing on the field. Teams mostly go through formations and no tackling is done. One time I covered a UCLA football practice at Pauley Pavilion. It looked very weird. The players wore only tennis shoes, shorts and jerseys and it was all done at half speed.
Meanwhile, Monrovia practiced at 10 a.m. and got caught in the middle of the down pour. Coach Maddox said had they practiced at 8 a.m. they probably would have missed the rain.
Still, practice went as scheduled on the field as they prepare for Round 2 (literally and figuratively) against Duarte in the Mid-Valley Division playoffs.
In case anyone’s wondering, the Wildcats will not have Thanksgiving Day off. They will practice bright and early at 8 a.m.
“When a football program is in the playoffs year in and year, practicing on holidays sometimes is never an issue because the parents and players are used to it,” Maddox said.
Winning tradition comes at a price. But the kids will get home just in time to enjoy some turkey, mashed potatoes with tiny onions swimming in gravy, and of course pumpkin pie.
Coming Friday is a story on the MD Classic, Part 2. Maddox brings up an interesting point: when Monrovia played Duarte in Week 1, they did so without seeing much of Jordan Canada, who played sparingly in the first half and much more in the second.
So, really, Monrovia is going to play against a much better Duarte team who also returns senior lineman Maurilio Lopez, a towering presence at 6-3, 300 pounds. A battle in the trenches, indeed.