Rio Hondo League Football: Temple City’s Anthony White a crowd pleaser? Monrovia will finish on top

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No word yet on whether the city of Temple City will give Anthony White a key to the city, but the welcome mat is still laid out on the footsteps at Temple City High. White’s task at hand wasn’t an easy one. He had to hire a new coaching staff, get his parents and players to believe in the new spread offense he’s instilling this season all the while lurking behind the shadow of Randy Backus, who became extremely popular among players and staff during his 10-plus years at TC. Since his arrival, White’s been given the support he was seeking, and so far things are looking up. The Rams return one of the best offensive line in the West San Gabriel Valley and arguably the second best running back in Max Ruckle. Despite the lack of depth at the skill position and everywhere else on the defensive end, Temple City is still built to compete for not just the Rio Hondo League but also in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs, that’s my assertion given the pool of talent Sir White will have to choose from. White concedes there is some pressure to perform but added he’s confident with his abilities and grateful for the support of his administration and his star-studded coaching staff. If Temple City finishes second (my prediction) this season or, better yet, as the RHL champion, you can expect the Rams family to praise White and continue embracing the up-and-coming coach with open arms. One thing White wants to make clear is this: “I will do all I can to also please Goldenarm.” You see, that, Goldenarm? Even you have some influence in this little community of ours. It’s nice, ain’t it? With that in mind, I give you a crack at my predicted order of how teams will finish in the Rio Hondo League:

1. Monrovia — Nick Bueno is back to lead the way offensively and the addition of several running backs gives the offense added depth it didn’t have the luxury of having last season. Add the fact the Wildcats return four of their five offensive lineman and you’ve got one of the best group of linemen in the WSGV. The only question mark is the experience behind the depth; there’s very little. Also, baseball stud Justin De La Nuez will play outside linebacker this season. Should be fun to watch.

2. Temple City – Much like Monrovia, the Rams arguably have one of the best offensive linemen in the WSGV. This group have the experience fresh teammates will depend upon when the Rams make a deep run in the playoffs. Running behind that group will be Max Ruckle, who probably should have carried the ball a lot earlier last season, no diss on Joey Stewart. Smash-mouth football was the Rams’ tradmark for decades, but with White in place expect Temple City to run a spread offense. More players tried out for wide reciever for the first time in 50 years. There will be a long list of receivers White will get to choose from, but who will throw them the ball is the question and primary concern for the Rams, who open camp Monday. You want names of the players competing at QB? I’ll hook you up Monday.

3. Blair — I can already see the e-mails coming but bare with me. Based on what I’ve heard and listened from second-year coach Gary Parks, the Vikings could compete for a playoff spot this season. A bunch of heavy-hitters will anchor the line, something the Vikings’ success will heavily depend on. Add a few key players at key positions and you’ve possibly got a wild-card team in Blair. That said, I can easily see myself swapping the Vikings with San Marino when the football section runs later in August.

4. San Marino – Still hate me, Titans fans? Well, don’t. Until we know exactly where everyone else stands (offensive line, secondary, skill positions) we won’t know if San Marino will be the same team that started the season unbeaten heading into league. What we do know is Joe Forgatch returning at quarterback and Stevie Yortsos filling the role as Mr. Everything gives the Titans a pretty good chance at moving up on this unofficial list. Use it as motivation, use it as another reason to throw tomatoes at me, but the season’s still early and nothing ever is certain. Just look at my predictions from last season.

5. La Canada – New coach. That’s about as much as I know about the Spartans. First-year coach Dan Yoder is very familiar with the program having been the JV coach the last four years. He’s also been a history teacher at LC the last five years. I imagine Rocky Moore will be back at quarterback. Aside from him, not really sure what’s to made of the Spartans. I’ve put in a call to Yoder and I’m sure he’ll call back. Still, based on last year, La Canada again could be the dark horse and provide a good scare to some RHL teams. Just ask Temple City.

6. South Pasadena – Conor Bednarski is the returning quarterback. The junior will shoulder more responsibility on offense. But the question is, who will he be throwing to? Steven Colliau is gone, meaning every other receiver entering camp is either brand spanking new or lacks varsity experience. The Tigers return five starters on offense, including senior running back Howard Serrian. South Pasadena on the defensive side is very thin. They return just three players. This could be another rebuilding season for the boys on Fremont.

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  • Info

    Make TC Proud Young Buck, Coach White

  • TommyTitan

    Really Miguel? Blair above San Marino? Blair lost a vast majority of their skill positions/fast people. I respect Coach Park’s efforts with Blair but I’d say they’re still a ways off from being in the top 3 in the RHL. But you’re right in the fact that this wil probably provide some motivation for the SM players.

  • Desert Rat

    I agree with #1 and #2…but bump Blair behind the Titans and Spartans. I expect La Canada and San Marino to battle out for the third spot…one that I don’t see Blair fighting for.

  • !stang!

    I heard blair only has 13 players on the field. And they didn’t even have spring practice because was tring to go to another school. PUSD should close blair down and send the kids to muir or muir.

  • UMM …DID YOU READ THAT

    !STANG!,
    B4 “before” you start bashing blair review your sentennce ‘sentence”. Make sure you “write” right a complete thought.

    “because was tring to go to another school” LOL !!

  • Goldenarm

    Coach White is obviously the guy running the show, but he did not hesistate to reach out and grab coaching personnel likely to say just what they think…and challenge White’s decisions openly…if that is what they feel must be done to win.

    You have to respect that kind of leadership. Only a losing General surrounds himself with meek Captains, unable to make a decision and untested in battle.

    It is these OC’s/DC’s that have given TC new life, in fact everyone, from Coach Horton to Mondo to the new kicking dude – all are capable people who believe in what they are doing.

    As far as me, if Coach White needs a bowl of chili from the snack bar or a suggestion on who his starting D line should be….I’m there either way. I’ve got 3 years TC personnel study time on my resume, and I know who can get in the backfield, who stands up to the double team, who will fight until the last tick of the clock. But you know what, I’ll just get the chili.

    I am hoping this year introduces the new Spread – Run offense. Our lineman do not backpedal well, they do better when pointed downfield, rather than pocketing up. If we play soft and fill the night sky with fluttering Voits – Monrovia will bury us where we stand. We enter into a speed, agility contest with the Wildcats, we lose.

    Lastly, 9/11 – Arroyo is going to throw deep corner on us, and they will have receivers open. Prepare, Rams, prepare.

    Influence, never.

  • Mike

    There is a very good chance that TC starts out 0-4 or 1-3 (Arroyo, Alhambra, Arcadia & Rosemead) and with a loss to Monrovia later in the year, they should end up 6-4 or 5-5.

  • The Lancer

    The calm before the storm….

  • Football Fan 2009-2010

    Next week is 2 adays, that’s when it counts! Players be ready to prove yourself to your coaches that you are the right person for the job!!!

    Look luck to all the schools!!

  • Football Fan 2009-2010

    Next week is 2 adays, that’s when it counts! Players be ready to prove yourself to your coaches that you are the right person for the job!!!

    Look luck to all the schools!!

  • goteamgo

    Some schools are doing two a days right now, this week – why wait for next week?

  • Bigfatfan

    Pretty pessimistic on south pas Miguel. SP has a real shot to finish 3rd in RHL. It will be fun to surprise a few folks in the SGV, including the Star News folks. Blair in third? Give us a break Miguel!

  • Goldenarm

    BigFatFan,

    I guess the returnee numbers Miguel has down are correct…but there were plenty of sophs and juniors suited up for SP last year….where are they now?
    These youngsters were in the pit and getting beat on last year, meaning this year they would come back and understand what they need to do to become the beater, rather than the beatee.

    Mike,
    if 6-4 gets us in the playoffs, and we improve every week…I will take it gladly.
    Have no doubt, we can run on Arroyo….if we choose to establish early on that our front is indeed as good as they say. Or maybe that front is OVERRATED and last year was a fluke?
    Game 1 last year, Arroyo was 100% dug in on the run…because after 27 seasons, they know what TC is (was)good at. Nobody knows just what to expect this season…and some are probably spinning old VHS of Eagle Rock, Glendale or the Mead and cut and pasting it on a set of Ram Horns….and selling it to their scout teams.
    As fball approaches, There are more if’s this year than any year I can recall.

    I am going to say it here and now………we will get a victory in game 1.
    Go Rams!!

  • Bigfatfan

    Goldenarm: other than Coach Parks at Blair telling Miguel he has some “big bodies” on the line, I am not sure of the rationale to put this team in 3rd on a preseason poll. The Vikings were horrible last year and I did not see anything in Miguel story that suggested they have been able to upgrade this year. As for SP, I’d say that returning FIVE starters on offense would be very encouraging sign, especially when three of those guys are your center, tailback and QB. As you correctly stated, majority of the team has varsity experience from last year, even if they were not starters. So look for the Tigers to sneak up on some early opponents like SG, Glendale or Alhambra. Tiger head coach Ed Smith is not the type to hype his team, so I doubt he provides any direct info to Miguel for these stories.

  • GloucesterCoach

    BigFatFan:
    You’re right about Coach Smith. He never hypes up his team. Miguel did you watch this SP team hold their own against Monrovia last year? You make it sound like the Tigers are putting out a JV team this year…

    GoldenArm: You’re right about young guys getting there tails beat in…hopefully this is the year it actually comes to fruition and we get some results. Unfortunately SP always, always lacks depth. We’re always one injury from a busted season.

    Monrovia and TC are the obvious teams to beat in the RHL this year no surprise. I’m excited to see how far our best will go with the new CIF format. Don’t get me started on how RHL teams would always get matched up against teams like Paso Robles and Mira Costa….

  • Goldenarm

    At this stage, my odds on rankings would be:
    Monrovia (speed, coaching, returnees, defense)
    San Marino(many returnees both skill and line,coaching)
    Temple City(RB and O line, kids who COULD be players)
    So Pas – La Canada (even odds)
    Both teams are very solid at QB, and have coaches and kids TIRED of falling short of a playoff birth. From the very beginning this year, either one or both of these teams will take victories away, from games they were expected to lose. I think u r rght about Coach Smith selling a “woe is me” story to Miguel.
    Blair -(conflicting stories, history of let downs)

  • Matt

    Goldenarm

    Do not overlook LC. The improvement in Moore is tremendous and he is backed up by the JV QB who lead his team to a 9-1 season. They have a bunch of wideouts and a real solid tight end. Line will be the question. The running back is very good and they need to find a little more depth at that position.

    Defensively they will be solid. This is not a Wheeler type team. Good by Double Wing and good by no pride. This will be a hard playing, fundamentally sound team that will compete in all games.

    Last year they destroyed Blair and SP. Lost to SM by 9 and Monrovia by 3. They tied TC.

    Miquel, make the short drive and see for yourself. You never came by in spring or summer. If you called in early August, Yoder was around. If you called last week he was on vacation. See for yourself before you judge a team.

  • FB Einstein

    Heard…TC has a STUD Freshman QB coming in for Hell Week. Not sure how accurate, but I’ve heard he is the real deal and will start on the V as a freshman. Can anyone confirm? Goldenarm, I know you have some info. on this! I think his last name is Cox. Not sure how he got the transfer but word is this kid can seriously put TC in the running for a CIF Championship…yea thats what I said…CIF CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

  • New York

    With that type of expectation, are you sure his last name is not Elway?

  • Bob Anon

    Matt is way more in the loop about LC then me.

    A big concern for LC is the lines, as many big bodies graduated last year (and the year before).

    Yoder and team will have what looks to be a tough schedule (is Firebaugh the only gimme? I think so)

  • Goldenarm

    Matt,

    I think you would admit I have never overlooked La Canada.

    The only position that actually seeds with any conviction is #1 – and that belongs to Monrovia. Predictions on the next five teams are based on thin hamburger at this stage.

    FB Einstein,

    Yeah, I know some of the story, not all. I am not raising the CIF banner up the flagpole just yet.
    It takes a DEFENSE to win CIF anything, and since we have not even put on pads, I won’t be jumping for joy…but might have a 42 inch vertical if miracles happen in December. If it were Cierre Woods or Jordan Canada I might jump a little.

  • New York

    Goldenarm,

    Not getting Jordan and Jamie Canada was a big miss for you.

  • BigFatFan

    Last year, LC beat SP 20-0 primarily because the SP QB threw FIVE picks. and these were stupid picks, not caused by LC pressure or defense. without those picks, its a 0-0 tie, because both teams were so inept.

  • Goldenarm

    NY

    We never “get” anybody…or so it seems. If you recall at this time last year, O cat was suggesting I start trolling Las Tunas for a running back to replace the departing Williams Do.
    This happens, that happens, and TC suddenly dusts off a JV kid (Ruckle)and things work out for us.

    This year? Who knows, things are a whole lot different.
    All TC’er’s are strangely focused on the QB position. We can win without a star QB, at least we could with our previously formatted offensive structure. Now, spread, crap, I just don’t know yet.

    One thing for sure, we cannot win without a seriously bad ass defense.

  • BigFatFan

    Goldenarm: i think its going to be a real interesting season in the RHL. both TC and Monrovia lost many of their studs from last season. so it will be a question of how well they reload with in-house talent. I think we could be in for our share of surpises as no team looks like a dominant “for sure thing” this year. Two years ago, the SP frosh team gave TC frosh a real drubbing at Temple City. those frosh boys are now juniors, and I see SP being competitive with TC this season.

  • Goldenarm

    BFF

    we don’t disagree – this is the most open the RHL has been since 06.
    ed white definitely gave Miguel the low-ball view of talent at SP. It will be a war to find a playoff spot, and the Tigers will be greatly improved – I have no doubt.
    However, I would not use the TC freshman game as an indicator of anything, one way or the other. we have not had a winning freshman team in 4 plus years…another indication of how players respond to TC coaching and improve along the way. Were I in Vegas, I would roll the bones, spin the wheel, anything but bet on the RHL.

    Our freshman losing era may come to an end – as White has slotted Coach Cable as freshman head coach. He did a good job in the absence of Backus last year, particularly with the backers and db’s for the Azusa and Paraclete games. He is a smart young coach with a good tude – I expect him and his crew to fare well.

  • BigFatFan

    it will be interesting to see Ed Smith’s assessment of his SP team for the upcoming season.

  • New York

    So which WSGV team has the best shot at going 14-0 this year? Don’t start with the Charter Oak jokes/comments.

  • Foosball

    “Another rebuilding year for SP” LOL When is it not?

  • Matt

    BFF
    Give LC credit they made the picks and converted them into 20 points. Inept on both sides, I agree.

    Goldenarm

    I am not accusing you of that. All I am saying is to all out there, Don’t overlook LC. I know everything you write comes from two things, knowledge and passion. Or is it VO & 7………………….

  • SgvUlumni

    I think LC is the most over-rated team in the RHL.
    I mentioned the fact that we had a pretty tough pre-season in L.A. Roosevelt, Temple City, and that includes LC!
    YES all three are tough, solid teams and I stick by my opinion.

  • thug

    LC is gonna win it all for sure. ROCKY MOORE

  • thug

    LC will win it all. ROCKY MOORE

  • OchoCinco

    Man Cha Please. LC definitely the dark horse in this group just watch ‘em.

  • OchoCinco

    Man Cha Please. LC is underrated and they definitely are the dark horse this year.

  • Scout4universe

    LC is under rated this season. Rocky Moore #10 is a class act. He’s a natural. The lightning fast Michael Arkfeld #80 If he hits a hole or swings to the outside he’s gone. Michael Arkfeld knows how to catch a ball.
    just two of the well coached LC Team……..

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