Football: The (real) final top 10 rankings explained

Above: Stop raising your hand, Joey Diaz, the Panthers are still the No. 1 team.

On Tuesday, Dec. 16 at precisely 9:21 a.m. I created the “final” top 10 rankings. I had been getting a lot of heat already for not having a photographer at the Rio Hondo Prep game and again for not having a story about the Kares in Tuesday’s paper. I figured, heck, why not ruffle every one else’s feathers by giving them a spoof top 10 poll. That’s exactly what I did. I was telling Freddy how I thought I was losing my readers/comments on the blog. The truth is, I hadn’t lost my readers. In fact, our numbers were up! What hadn’t been coming in as much as I’d want were the comments. So I somewhat randomly guessed the final top 10 rankings to get Stang Fan, MADD DOGG and others to come out of hibernation and keep the conversation going (would you REALLY think I’d end the final top 10 rankings WITHOUT a 10th-ranked team?!?!?) After all, isn’t that what a blog is all about?


1. ROSEMEAD (11-3) — The Panthers can compete with just about any team in the San Gabriel Valley. They’re loaded in the trenches, they have a good passing QB and of course Tra Sumler. Still, I wonder why Koffler didn’t hand the ball to Sumler more often. Sure, he had 28 carries but against Monrovia he had at least 10 more carries. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda. Rosemead had a fantastic season and made the West, err, San Gabriel Valley proud.

2. MUIR (9-2) — The “One and done” wonder was fun to watch all season. I think I caught at least three games. Kenny Howard said Myles Campbell would have a breakout season and he did, catching nearly 800 yards receiving. The Mustangs have weapons at just about every position to compete with the big boys, whether it’s on the defensive line (Fernando Aguilar and Paul Devine), at quarterback (Jarron Williams) or at receiver and running back (Campbell and Reuben Thomas). If Chris Dunlap was healthy all season who’s to say Muir doesn’t fare better against Diamond Ranch in the first round of the Southeast Division playoffs. That might be far fetched, or is it? It doesn’t bode well that the Pacific League was weak this season. The Mustangs needed some stiff competition before the playoffs began but they didn’t get it, and then came the Panthers; starving for a playoff win which may have ultimately been what caught Muir off guard.

3. MONROVIA (10-3) — Steve Garrison to Ryan Maddox. The legend passed the torch to a legend-to-be. What Maddox did at Monrovia was amazing. Pundits are asking, “Who did they really beat?” but one must give credit where credit is due. Maddox inherited the schedule the Wildcats played this season. If I was a betting man, Maddox would have a tougher preseason schedule. The Monrovia staff at one point asked themselves whether they should scrap the Wing-T offense. But Maddox opted to continue with it and Monrovia improved week after week, riding Marquise Williams to the semifinals.

4. ST. FRANCIS (6-5) — In each of their final three games, the Golden Knights fell victim to a bad call here or there from the officials. This is not to say St. Francis shouldn’t shoulder the blame for not capitalizing on opportunities, but there’s little doubt the Golden Knights are talented. With Dietrich Riley returning next season and a more mobile QB in Justin Posthuma, look for St. Francis to climb the mountain next season and compete for the Mission League title and past the first round of the Western Division playoffs. And here’s hoping a Muir vs. St. Francis happens next season. The community deserves it.

5. TEMPLE CITY (7-5-1) — The Rams showed for at least one half against Paraclete in the semifinals of what a complete team playing in sync can do. Temple City had Paraclete on the ropes but faltered in the second half. If you thought the Rams played well this season wait until next season when a junior-loaded line returns next season to block for junior Max Ruckle, who rushed for most of his yards late in the season. Morgan Hatch did most of the intangibles that perhaps went unnoticed to a not so keen eye, but anybody with football knowledge knows how valuable he was to the team. The guess here is Tim Loya will not be taking a head coaching position. So much time and dedication goes into coaching and it gets much tougher when you’re a head coach that is NOT a teacher on campus. Randy Backus has been back on campus teaching for a week now, and It’s unfair for the Temple City administration to have Backus wondering whether he’ll return as coach or not. Give the man a break and get it over with whatever decision they’ve probably already come to a conclusion with.

6. DUARTE (6-6) – Come to think of it, there are so many exciting players to be on the look out for next season including Jordan Canada. The junior rushed for nearly 2,000 yards. The Falcons lose some big boys on the line but Wardell Crutchfield III is showing promising signs. He was the leading tackler for Duarte and he’s only a sophomore. Too bad Canada wasn’t healthy all season long. Who knows how more exciting the MD Classic would have been.

7. SAN MARINO (8-3) – The Titans had a promising start. They played simple but effective football with Scott Dooley running circles around defenders. But he was able to do that because of a big line led by Joe McMahon. Who knows what happens if Steven Wright doesn’t go down to an injury. The Titans likely would have had a more balanced offense. San Marino raised eyebrows with wins over San Gabriel and Cantwell, but lost some luster with losses to Temple City, Monrovia and then Paraclete, the eventual Mid-Valley Division champion. Still, they were able to create some buzz in a community that seemingly had forgotten about football.

8. SAN GABRIEL (5-6) — The Matadors were on the cusp of making a nice turnaround, only to lose to a questionable La Serna team in the first round of the Southeast Division playoffs. Isaac Valdez was a stud at quarterback, throwing for nearly 3,000 yards. At that rate, he’ll finish his senior season throwing for over 9,000 career yards at San Gabriel. He also rushed for nearly 700 yards, making him the complete quarterback in the WSGV. Marcos Villalobos was his favorite receiver (1,000+ receiving) but it’s a wonder how the Matadors couldn’t do more damage in the playoffs. That’s when you realize a running game can compliment and balance out a true offense.

9. RIO HONDO PREP (10-3) — Two running backs who rushed for over 1,000 yards legitimately makes the Kares one of the top teams in the WSGV. It’s likely they’d have more than a hard time beating the teams above but it’s not unlikely they wouldn’t give them a run for their money. Eddie Garcia was a monster on the defensive line with over 100 tackles and eight sacks and Tim Esguerra and Antonio Alanis gave Rio Hondo Prep a true 1-2 punch in the back field. Say what you want about the Kares, but with a total enrollment of only 87 students and the distinction of being the smallest school playing 11-man football in California, Rio Hondo Prep has quickly become a powerhouse among small schools.

10. MARANATHA (11-2) — Matt Schilz threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns and Terrell Cornell caught for just over 1,000 yards. He’s only a junior and he’s certainly shown his potential, but who will throw to him next season? The Minutemen need a stronger preseason schedule. Playing tougher opponents certainly would have prepared Maranatha against the likes of its nemesis, St. Margaret’s. Among the highly-anticipating football schedules to be released in the months ahead, I’m looking forward to the Minutemen’s. But will it be too late at this point? Will it lose its luster after Schilz takes his pro-style arm to possibly a Pac-10 school? Perhaps. But sometimes it’s fun to think about what could have been.

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Football: All Mission Valley League

Most Valuable Player: Tra Sumler, Rosemead
Quarterback of the year: Angel Alejandre, Rosemead
Lineman of the year: Chris Flores, Rosemead

QB Jose Garay, South El Monte
RB MIke Vasquez, Arroyo
RB Luke Ayala, El Monte
AP Raul LIra, Rosemead
WR Bobby Navarro, Rosemead
WR Chris Rodriguez, Arroyo
WR Manny Acosta, South El Monte
TE Luis Diaz, Rosemead
OL Javier Lozano, Arroyo
OL Julio Tena, El Monte
OL Oscar Quinones, El Monte
OL Javier Sanchez, Rosmead
K Bobby Maldonado, Rosemead

DB Alex Chang, Rosemead
DB Chris Noriega, Arroyo
DB Fernando Noriega, El Monte
AP Mike Chavez, Arroyo
DL Edward Vasquez, Rosemead
DL Javier Lozano, Arroyo
DL Oscar Quinones, El Monte
DE Luis Diaz, Rosemead
DE Matt Philip, Arroyo
LB Cesar Chavez, Rosemead
LB Gilbert Delarosa, Rosemead
LB Joey Diaz, Rosemead
LB Mike Vasquez, Arroyo
LB Julio Tena, El Monte

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Football: All Mission League


Most Valuable Offense: Dietrich Riley, St. Francis, Jr.
Most Valuable Defense: Rian Younker, St. Francis, Sr.
Most Valuable Player: Malcolm Marble, Alemany, Jr.
Most Valuable Lineman: KC Obi, Alemany, Sr.

OT Kris Durham, St. Francis, Sr.
OT Sergio Figueroa, Alemany, So.
OG Ian Abot, Alemany, Sr.
OG Mike Janious, Alemany, Sr.
OT Matt Miller, Chaminade, So.
OT Nick Armer, Chaminade, Sr.
OT Craig Romero, St. Francis, Sr.
RB Malcolm Marable, Aelmany, Jr.
RB Dietrich Riley, St. Francis, Jr.
RB David Metcalf, Alemany, Sr.
WR Ronald McCrory, Chaminade, Sr.
WR Chris Gant, Alemany, Sr.
WR Malik Speed, St. Francis, Sr.
K Matt Goudis, Chaminade, So.

DE KC Obi, Alemany, Sr.
DT Rian Younker, St. Francis, Sr.
DT Ian Rodriguez, Alemany, Sr.
DE Mario Obando, St. Paul, Sr.
LB Anthony Espinoza, Alemany, Jr.
LB Michael Demery, St. Paul, Sr.
LB Nick Grudotzke, Chaminade, Sr.
LB Chris Cabrera, St. Francis, Jr.
DB Nick Cook, Alemany, Sr.
DB Anthony Daniels, Chaminade, Jr.
DB Kevin Garcia, St. Paul, Jr.
DB Osagie Odiase, St. Paul, Sr.
P Adrian Montecinos, St. Paul, Sr.

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Football: All Almont League

Most Valuable Offense: Isaac Valdez, San Gabriel
Most Valuable Defense: Frankie Villalobos, San Gabriel
Most Valuable Player: Ricky Mendez, Schurr
Lineman of the Year: Cesar Estrada, Bell Gardens
Coach of the Year: Ben Negrete, Schurr

WR Angel Sanchez, Schurr
WR Mitchell Crockom, Alhambra
WR Marcos Villalobos, San Gabriel
TE Max Ochoa, Schurr
OT Marc Gonzalez, Schurr
OT Xavier Pineda, Bell Gardens
OG Joshua Melendez, Schurr
OG Alejandro Bobadilla, San Gabriel
C Miguel Fernandez, San Gabriel
QB Darrian Cazarin, Alhambra
RB Daniel Vargas, Bell Gardens
RB Edwin Molina, Schurr
RB Albert Martinez, Bell Gardens
K Giovannia Salazar, Bell Gardens

DT Sean Abeyta, Schurr
DT Alejandro Bobadilla, San Gabriel
DE Daniel Ramos, Bell Gardens
DE Mark Avila, Schurr
LB Robert Duran, Schurr
LB Justin Munoz, Bell Gardens
LB Heriberto Duenas, Bell Gardens
LB Edwin Molina, Schurr
LB Arthur Brown, San Gabriel
DB Carlos Arredondo, Schurr
DB Ryan Beatty, Alhambra
DB Marcos Villalobos, San Gabriel
DB Fabian Amaro, San Gabriel
P Angel Sanchez, Schurr

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The Spartans are coming! The Spartans are coming!

What a game tonight.

La Caada will take on Bishop Amat tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the Arroyo Tournament. I will be there on assignment bringing you all the action in Friday’s paper. I hear all these things about “Bishop Amat” ruling girls basketball in the San Gabriel Valley. Well, I’ll just have to find out for myself if that’s true or not. I got to catch Sherman Oaks Notre Dame last night before the Monrovia-Downey tipoff. Notre Dame has a girl (No. 32 or 22) that is strong inside and talk about hops, she’s got ‘em. That will be a good game Saturday when Monrovia faces a formidable challenge in Notre Dame. For the record, the Lancers are 6-0 and are coming off a 73-18 drubbing over Kennedy. The Spartans are 6-1 and are coming off a 51-45 win over Flintridge Prep. Certainly, the Lancers will be a test for the Spartans and it’ll be interesting to see how they respond to adversity. La Caada is led by Courtney McCutchan’s 12 points per game.

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WSJ: The Do-It-Yourself Athletic Scholarship Guide

I welcome all stories from bloggers who happen to run into good reads, even if it’s not from our site ;-) This read comes from The Wall Street Journal, the link sent via e-mail from a fellow blogger New York. It’s a good read for parents and students struggling to get the attention of recruiters.

Above: Alisha Eckberg’s family followed a Web guidebook to attract recruiters. (Michael Justice for The Wall Street Journal)

From The Wall Street Journal

Kirsten Bladek had a problem.

Three weeks into her senior season on the Monarch High School volleyball team in Colorado, the 5-feet, 10-inch setter found herself warming the bench. Her dream of an athletic scholarship seemed dead — especially since her family couldn’t afford the $1,000 or so that many parents pay these days to hire a private athletic-recruiting counselor.

But then in September, Ms. Bladek spent $39.99 to post her athletic rsum and pictures of her playing on the Web site The shots, combined with videos posted later, highlighted her ability to set the ball from in front of her forehead, with arms thrust out like Superman in flight. That display, combined with some telephone campaigning by Kirsten and her mother, got college coaches to start paying attention.

“I’ve been getting so many calls from random numbers, half of them I’m scared to pick up,” says Kirsten, who recently took an all-expenses-paid visit to New Mexico Highlands University, where she was offered a scholarship.

Ms. Bladek’s experience highlights the changing landscape of athletic scholarships. Coaches and recruiters easily notice top-tier talent in big-name sports. But mid-level high-school athletes or those in lesser-known sports often pay high-priced private consultants to connect them with coaches. With fees ranging from $700 to $5,000, the system has been expensive for students and inefficient for coaches — who get scouting recommendations only on kids who can afford to pay the consultants.

Now, do-it-yourself services have emerged that allow student athletes to showcase their abilities for a fraction of the price. Aside from, other sites include, (owned by CBS Corp.’s MaxPreps unit),, and There are also numerous sport-specific sites.

Click here to read the rest of the story on The Wall Street Journal’s Website.

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Boys Basketball: La Caada Tournament

La Caada Tournament

St. Francis vs. Maranatha at St. Francis, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday’s Games (All games at La Caada)
Schurr vs. Little Rock, 4:30 p.m.
Saugus vs. Maranatha, 6 p.m.
St. Francis vs. Village Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Friday’s Games (All games at La Caada)
Schurr vs. Lincoln, 3 p.m.
St. Francis vs. Saugus, 4:30 p.m.
La Caada vs. Little Rock, 6 p.m.
Maranatha vs. Village Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s Games (All games at La Caada)
Seventh-place game, 2 p.m.
Fifth-place game, 3:30 p.m.
Third-place game, 5 p.m.
Championship game, 6:30 p.m.

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Steve Garrison comes out of retirement, joins Gano

Freddy Robledo was all over the Greg Gano hiring like white on rice and he’s revealing on his blog that Gano has already assembled a super star staff. So who’s staff is better, Damien’s or Bishop Amat’s?

Damien supporters might be interested to know that Gano already has begun assembling his staff. Former Wilson football coach and athletic director Dave Merrill, who guided the Wildcats to a section championship in 1997, is retiring at Wilson and becoming the offensive coordinator. Former Monrovia coach Steve Garrison, who took the Wildcats to three CIF championship games in the 1990′s, is also joining Gano’s staff along with his longtime Los Altos assistants Lee Fair and John Howing.

So much for Garrison taking over at Pasadena. A legend leaves the WSGV.

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Football: All Rio Hondo League

The Star-News All Area team comes out on Christmas. Until then, I’ll release All-League teams as they reach my inbox or via fax. Yes, I’m calling on you, coaches/AD’s.

MVP: Marquise Williams, Monrovia
Co-Offensive Back of the Year: Scott Dooley, San Marino; Max Ruckle, Temple City
Offensive lineman of the Year: Josh Ouellette, Temple City
Defensive back of the Year: Steven Yortsos, San Marino
Co-Linebacker of the Year: Nick Conora, Temple City
Defensive lineman of the Year: Ryan Watkins, Temple City
All-purpose: Sean Denney, La Canada

Thaddeus Brown, Blair
DJ Cole, Monrovia
Joey Stewart, Temple City
Morgan Hatch, Temple City
Trayvon Wysinger, Blair
Steven Colliau, South Pasadena
Michael Weston, La Canada
Joe McMahon, San Marino
Josh Lowden, Monrovia
Matt O’Malley, Temple City
Ted Kavich, La Canada
Kizz Prussia, Monrovia
Gianni Bruno-Lopez

Terrell Jones, Blair
Michael Rollins, San Marino
Steven Colliau, South Pasadena
Bobby Michel, Monrovia
Robert Schwartzbaugh, Temple City
Jermaine ARnold, Monrovia
Joe McMahon, San Marino
Ben Harwich, San Marino
Grant Haggard, Monrovia
Josh Lowden, Monrovia
Joey Stewart, Temple City
Michael Weston, La Canada
Daniel Cisic, San Marino

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