Is it a coincidence that almost every WSGV team lost last week? We knew someone was going to win the Arcadia-Monrovia duel, Rio Hondo Prep and La Salle also won, but everyone else looked rusty. But I guess that was to be expected, and like some of you smart football junkies have stated: Last week is not indicative of how good area teams really are. It was noted: Arcadia battled and if not for red zone turnovers the Apaches probably make it a lot closer than it looked. Same with San Gabriel, Alhambra, Maranatha and Muir, all of whom made a valiant effort in the second half. Still, a loss is a loss and though some teams (Muir, Alhambra, San Gabriel, Maranatha) dropped a few spots none dropped out of the poll completely. Not sure how folks at Monrovia will handle its new ranking, but who can argue they don’t belong there right now? I think if you match Monrovia vs. Muir (throw out injuries and rust from lack of practice) the Wildcats in my eyes would still have the upper hand. This season, Monrovia is much too deep and slightly more talented than the Mustangs. Traditionally, that’s not the case, but we’re talking about this season. It’ll be interesting to see how St. Francis fares this week at Arcadia, and depending on that outcome we’ll either keep Monrovia at No. 1 or make the swap.
STAR-NEWS TOP 10 RANKINGS
Compiled by Miguel A. Melendez
1. Monrovia (1-0) — Bueno ran the ball last week because that’s what the defense was giving him, and as a result he ran for over 200 yards and two touchdowns on runs of 30- and 55-yards. Monrovia doesn’t need Bueno to run every week, but that’s what makes him special: he can. Still, the Wildcats will wear down defenses with immense depth in the backfield, and a strong secondary and rising defensive line makes Monrovia the team to beat.
2. St. Francis (0-0) — The Knights are deeper than in previous years, but inexperience is the issue. The same could be said of Monrovia’s defensive line, but look at what unfolded last week; the young guns proved their worth, and the same might happen to this talent-loaded team.
3. Muir (0-0) — It won’t get any easier for the Mustangs when they visit Oaks Christian. It’s possible Muir could head into league play with an 0-3 record, but that’s what these games are for, to see where the Mustangs fare against some of the best. Jarron Williams played superb in the second half as did the secondary, but by then it was too late. I don’t think it was first-game jitters from the younger talent. Lack of practice on the field proved to be significant, and once Muir can get its pistons going they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
4. Temple City (0-0) — The Anthony White era begins against a hyped Arroyo team. I wonder if White sent a scout to the Alhambra-Roosevelt seeing as in White won’t get a chance to scout this week’s Alhambra-LC game, which was canceled. Max Ruckle can’t let the hype get to him. He must play with the same demeanor as he did last year and trust his veteran line will open the same holes.
5. Rosemead (0-0) — People are forgetting the Panthers, folks already crowning Arroyo, but you can’t ever count Matt Koffler out, at least we’re not.
6. Alhambra (0-1) — Crockom was nonexistent in last week’s loss to Roosevelt. He was tripled team, and I find it hard to believe Moors coach Gil Ruedaflores did not anticipate triple coverage. Crockom, who had only two passes thrown to him last week, was double teamed last week, and after a decent season last year, triple-teaming Crockom is the first thing the Moors coaching staff should have anticipated. Nevertheless, Ruedaflores said they learned from last week’s game. “I’m not going to give any Temple City advice,” said Ruedaflores when asked how the Moors will get Crockom more involved. “But no doubt now we know what to do to get him in the action. That was a plus, as far as what (Roosevelt) did; it’s a plus now to anticipate that, and it won’t happen again.”
7. San Gabriel (0-1) — The Matadors were overwhelmed in the second half, and it seemed like Isaac Valdez had an off night with only 119 yards passing. Don’t discount the Matadors. With Valdez leading the offense, San Gabriel is always a threat.
8. Arcadia (0-1) — There’s too much talent in the Apaches roster for them to not to break through. Taylor Legace had first-game jitters from what I could tell, but he settled and was a great target for QB Garrett Tuck. Arcadia’s meltdown in the red zone is a result of inexperience, but it’s clear there are a lot of bright spots, one of them being junior RB David Maldonado. Once Rodney Arnett returns, the Apaches could have the offensive compliment it lacked in last week’s loss to Monrovia.
9. San Marino (0-0) — San Marino isn’t expected to be tested Friday against Gabrielino. It’ll be interesting to see if the Titans’ offense jelled over the last few weeks.
10. Maranatha (0-1) — La Salle almost replaced Maranatha, but I decided to wait until I see how things go when they meet Friday at La Salle. The Lancers will have their hands full when they face safety Josh Jones, who was under the watchful eye of a scout from Arizona. Yup, the Pac-10 school. Jones was impressive with two interceptions and a touchdown.