Football: St. Francis escapes CV, remains atop rankings

Above: The St. Francis offense lines up against Crescenta Valley last Friday night (Michael Owen Baker/Staff Photographer)

Compiled by Miguel A. Melendez

1. St. Francis (2-0) — Turns out CV proved to be more than a worthy opponent. St. Francis was challenged, and just like Apache Joe called it, this was one was close. St. Francis might get another tough one this week against Burroughs. Despite the close win, it’s my assessment the Knights are the area’s best team, though the Wildcats are closing in and closing in fast!

2. Monrovia (3-0) — So much for last week’s “showdown.” The real showdown is Friday night at Monrovia where the Wildcats, No. 1 in the Mid-Valley Division, play host to No. 2 San Dimas. We’re going all out with this game: photographer, videographer and one of Southern California’s best journalist, Scott French. You can bet San Dimas is wanting to get its hands on Monrovia film. How they’ll stop Nick Bueno is beyond me. They not only have to account for his quick feet, but his arm is becoming a secondary option, at least it was against Arcadia and Rosemead. Each team is winning by large margin and score about 40 points per game. This game will ultimately come down to defense, where, again, Monrovia is loaded. By the way, what are they feeding Ellis McCarthy??? Whatever it is, I want some .. In case you haven’t already noticed: San Dimas (3-0) at Monrovia (3-0) is the PSN’s Game of the Week.

3. Muir (0-3) — Lost but still moved up. Yup, that’s how unpredictable these rankings have become. But take a closer look. Yes, the Mustangs lost to a tough Venice team, and despite a down year Muir is still talented. That being said, Alhambra, San Marino and Temple City can probably give Muir a run for its money, and then some. But until someone from the Pacific League knocks off Muir, the Mustangs remain up high because of their dreaded schedule. Why does it seem like Pasadena this season may break the Turkey Tussel losing spell? Here come the e-mails …

4. Alhambra (1-1) — A win is a win but the Moors still appear a bit raw. They needed a late-Vailele Peko interception to seal the win. Alhambra needs to win convincingly if they are truly to be considered an Almont League title contender. Joseph Becerra is filling in nicely as a go-to guy in the Moors’ offense. He caught six passes for 110 yards. Mitchell Crockom caught eight passes for 103 yards, modest numbers for a player with huge potential.

5. San Marino (2-0) — Benny Hung kindly shared the spotlight last season, but that’s not the case this season. He rushed for 232 yards and scored three touchdowns last week. They face an inferior team in Hoover this week, but you can bet D.R. Moreland will have this team prepared and won’t expect a walk in the park.

6. Rosemead (1-1) –The Panthers are hurting — bad. No mobile QB plus a secondary that was exposed last week amounted to a drubbing by the Wildcats. It won’t get any easier for Rosemead when it hosts Harvard-Westlake. Wait another week before slapping the “rebuilding” tag on the Panthers.

7. Temple City (0-2) — Will the Rams get their first win against the Apaches and “The Bald One,” as Goldenarm so eloquently refers to Randy Backus. It seems like Anthony White’s spread offense has ruffled some feathers. The TC faithful may be getting too ahead of themselves. This is preseason. You experiment a bit and figure out how to improve. If not for two mistakes late in the game those same fans unleashing their wrath would instead jump of joy because of a 2-0 start. Sooner or later Temple City’s going to win, and it very well may come against Arcadia. Until now, Temple City went toe-to-toe against Arroyo and Alhambra, but it’s clear the Rams are the superior team this week.

8. San Gabriel (1-2) — I’ve said it already: If not for injuries to three starting players there’s no telling how well the Matadors truly are this season. We’ll get a different look of San Gabriel come Almont League play.

9. Bosco Tech (3-0) — Next time the Tigers have a day Saturday game, grab a couple bucks and head over to Bosco Tech and enjoy a couple hot dogs and the stellar balanced attack. Johnny Calderon leads the way, and every reporter that’s covered Bosco Tech raves about sophomore QB Dillon Welsh.

10. La Salle (2-1) — The Lancers should keep their heads up. It’s obvious they are much improved. They scheduled the likes of San Marino, Monrovia and Temple City to measure where they are this season. Even if they lose, they win. That’s because going up against the big boys will be valuable down the road.

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Star-Picks: Spiraling out of control one week at a time

Melendez: Last week (total): 3-10 (19-28)

I’m not about to bore you with details of my whereabouts. I’ll just say it’s been a tumultuous week. I was also off Monday. Anyway, things here are just plain out pathetic. I went 3-10 last week, and I get the feeling it all fell apart after picking Rosemead over Monrovia. I couldn’t have been been more wrong, and if my boys on Madison aren’t still upset with yours truly, I’m gonna go with Monrovia over San Dimas; there’s just no stopping Nick Bueno. Besides, how do you stop a flow of thunder from the backfield: Ramirez. Johnson. De La Nuez. It’s just insane how talented the Wildcats are this season. The return of the glory days? That’s up for debate, but the guess here is those days certainly will be back if Monrovia takes care of the Saints. I’ll be covering South Pas at Glendale. I’ll FINALLY get a chance to check out Bednarski. Not sure what happened last week vs. Hoover, but for now it’s just an afterthought. Friday night I will be at Arcadia when Ruckle & Co. take on the Apaches. What an amazing night it was for La Caada, Marshall, Pasadena, and even Keppel. The Spartans — after having their practices canceled, scrimmage and season opener canceled because of the Station Fire — roared their way to a 35-0 victory. QB Rocky Moore completed 11 of 17 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He’s our athlete of the week in Wednesday’s paper. Marshall snapped its 31-game losing streak. Coach Ricky Pickens was ecstatic after the game, that much was evident if you read our story in Saturday’s paper. Pasadena earned its first win of the season, and despite having their locker rooms broken into, the Bulldogs still held their heads high. More on the burglary in Wednesday’s paper … Keppel battled tough and came close to snapping its own 40-game losing streak. They’ll get a chance to do it again Thursday vs. Pomona at Ganesha.

(All games 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

South Pasadena at Glendale — Melendez (South Pasadena)
Keppel vs. Pomona at Ganesha High — Melendez (Keppel)

San Dimas at Monrovia — Melendez (Monrovia)
Temple City at Arcadia — Melendez (Temple City)
St. Francis at Burroughs — Melendez (St. Francis)
Crescenta Valley at La Caada — Melendez (Crescenta Valley)
Blair at La Salle — Melendez (La Salle)
Harvard-Westlake at Rosemead — Melendez (Harvard-Westlake)
Azusa at Gabrielino — Melendez (Azusa)
San Marino vs. Hoover at Glendale — Melendez (San Marino)
Rio Hondo Prep at Boron — Melendez (Rio Hondo Prep)
Littlerock at Duarte — Melendez (Little Rock)
Bakersfield Christian at Maranatha — Melendez (Bakersfield Christian)
Chadwick vs. Marshall at Pasadena High — Melendez (Marshall)
San Gabriel at Contreras — Melendez (San Gabriel)
L.A. Wilson vs. Alhambra at Moor Field — Melendez (Alhambra)

Campbell Hall at Flintridge Prep — Melendez (Campbell Hall)
Pasadena Poly vs. Sierra Canyon at Granada Hills High — Melendez (Pasadena Poly)

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Football: Bulldogs’ victory marred by theft at LB Jordan

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The Pasadena High School football team’s first victory of the season came with a price.

Electronic items such as iPods, cash and clothing were stolen after the Bulldogs’ locker room was broken into during their 19-16 victory over host Long Beach Jordan.
Pasadena athletic director Tony Brooks said a report was filed with the Long Beach Police Department.

“We responded to a burglary call at Jordan High School,” Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Nancy Pratt said. “We arrived and learned that apparently during the game (at halftime) someone had entered the locker room (where) the opposing team had had their belongings and stole various personal items from some of those individuals. As of right now we don’t have anyone in custody.”

Pratt said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should contact the burglary division of the Long Beach Police Department at (562) 570-7351.

Brooks said police interviewed the bus drivers and “… I was told they had seen somebody climbing the fence from the park” and onto campus.

Jordan’s field location is similar to Pasadena’s, where it’s next to a public park.

Long Beach Jordan co-principal Mario Jimenez said statements by the police and Brooks are accurate.

“The individuals came over a wall from the park,” Jimenez said. “The bus drivers from Pasadena reported to us they climbed the wall. When they (the drivers) approached the individuals, they ran into the locker rooms and I’m sure they discovered the players’ items.”

Brooks said it was necessary to file a report. Jimenez said he also called the police.

“I wanted to (file the report) for insurance reasons,” Brooks said. “I didn’t want to leave the premise and not make a factual account of what was missing. I didn’t want to come back to Pasadena and parents be upset because a police report wasn’t made.”

Brooks said Long Beach Jordan school administrators had yet to accept responsibility as of Tuesday.

“We called to find out who opened the door and why there wasn’t a security guard at the door,” Brooks said. “My feeling is they’re responsible for the lost items. Their contention was that they had indeed closed the door but that a coach who requested to have the door opened left it open.”

Jimenez said he has apologized to Brooks and to Pasadena officials.

“I’m very sorry that (it) happened at our school because it makes us look bad,” he said. “But if the doors were shut nothing would have happened. I’m not going to comment on who should have locked the door. Mr. Brooks and I spoke about it and he knows where we’re coming from. If they want to point the finger on us, then that’s fine.”

Brooks said Pasadena officials are writing to the Jordan administration to address the matter.

“It’ll be a statement of facts and to see if there’s any kind of responsibility that someone will take,” Brooks said.

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Football: Dietrich Riley’s got playoff success in mind

Above: Dietrich Riley has played running back, receiver, linebacker, safety and on special teams in his three seasons at St. Francis. (Photo by Ernesto Elizarraraz)

Great story last week by Gerry Gittelson, former staff writer at the L.A. Daily News. Riley talks about the playoff success that’s eluded him thus far …

By Gerry Gittelson, Special to the Daily News

An impact player on offense, defense and special teams, Dietrich Riley must be accounted for at all times.

While the senior from St. Francis High in La Caada has more than proved himself as a running back, receiver, linebacker, safety, kick returner, special-teams gunner, etc., Riley has enough good players around him this season to make a serious playoff run, and that would be something new for the four-year starter.

Continue reading

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Cross Country: Arcadia boys best in school history? Yup

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

A sweep of the Laguna Hills Invitational. A third-place finish in the sweepstakes division at the Woodbridge Invitational. The Stanford Invitational coming up, a No. 2 ranking in a CIF-Southern Section Division I cross country poll this week, and a No. 4 ranking in one national poll.

These are heady times for the Arcadia High School boys team.

But running among the elite in invitationals and polls do not get teams to the CIF State Meet in November.

Winning league titles does.

That’s where the Apaches start at 3:15 p.m. today in Arcadia County Park when the Pacific League holds its first cluster meet.

Fortunately, Arcadia coach Jim O’Brien said, this Apaches team may be the best in school history.

Continue reading

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Volleyball: Anticipation building for LC/FSHA showdown

Compiled by Keith Lair

1. La Caada (4-2)
Royal Tournament up next

2. Flintridge S.H. (6-2)
Showdown with LC next week

3. Mayfield (3-3)
Showed signs against LC

4. Arcadia (5-1)
Second in own tournament

5. Maranatha (5-0)
Beat La Salle, Monrovia

6. Gabrielino (10-2)
Big nonleague matches ahead

7. Monrovia (5-2)
Third in Arcadia Tournament

8. Pasadena Poly (2-0)
Prep League play begins

9. Alverno (3-0)
Starting crazy part of season

10. Flintridge Prep (3-0)
Time to get tested

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Friday Night Postgame: Monrovia unstoppable; Marshall snaps 31-game losing streak; Alhambra, San Marino, St. Francis, Pasadena, La Caada and Bosco Tech earn win


Well, what can I say? I should have gone with ‘Rovia but I didn’t. The Wildcats are just unstoppable, and they proved as much in an emphatic 33-7 win over Rosemead in nonleague action Friday night. Nick Bueno did his thing, rushing for 107 yards on 13 carries. He scored one touchdown. Derrick Johnson joined in on the fun with three TD’s, and the Wildcats defense played stellar in the near shutout. Rosemead virtually self destructed after turning the ball over and committing costly penalties. Monrovia also was stymied by penalties, which negated two scores, including a 61-yard touchdown run by De’Shawn Ramirez. Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox, however, wasn’t so much concerned about that as he was about Charlie Cimmarusti, who was carried off the field after breaking his right knee cap in the second quarter.

Rosemead coach Matt Koffler talked about how the Panthers (0-2) were going to have to stop Nick Bueno if they were to come away with a win, but that certainly didn’t happen. Monrovia went on to avenge its 16-6 defeat to Rosemead in last year’s semifinals of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs. Monrovia will get another chance to make a statement when it hosts San Dimas next week.

In other news, Marshall snapped its 31-game losing streak. Marshall coach Rickey Pickens said there were plenty of seats still available at the beginning of the game against Pasadena Poly. But word soon spread of the Eagles’ lead and by the fourth quarter the entire school was in the home stands to watch Marshall beat Pas Poly, 36-24. Alhambra needed a late rally and a Vailele Peko interception with under 1:30 left in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Moors. Pasadena and La Caada had impressive victories. Everyone had the Bulldogs pegged in a blowout loss but it was anything but. What an emotional win for the Spartans. First, the fires cancel their fall practices, then their gym is designated an evacuation center, their scrimmage is canceled as is their season opener vs. Alhambra, only to go on and rout a revamped Glendale team. Impressive, Mr. Yoder.

Monrovia 33, Rosemead 7
Alhambra 17, Temple City 14
San Marino 35, La Salle 13
Marshall 36, Pasadena Poly 24
St. Francis 28, Crescenta Valley 21
Hoover 16, South Pasadena 13
La Caada 35, Glendale 0
Bosco Tech 23, Gladstone 19
Pasadena 19, Long Beach Jordan 16
Gabrielino 20, Keppel 17

Friday night’s record: 3-6

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Thursday Postgame: San Gabriel, Muir routed; Rio Hondo Prep takes care of business, Duarte doesn’t


San Gabriel not only had trouble getting into an offensive rhythm, but they couldn’t control the ball, committed costly penalties and lack of execution stymied them in the first half. Burbank led 14-0 at the half and piled it on in the third quarter en route to a 40-28 win Thursday night at Burroughs High. But you have to give the Matadors (1-2) some credit: They didn’t go down without a fight. In fact, Isaac Valdez led the second half effort and finished the night completing 20 of 38 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Mark Covarrubias was one of the few bright spots for the Matadors. He caught seven passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. As if the injury bug hadn’t already taken a huge bite out of San Gabriel, there’s some uncertainty as to what will be of senior running back Fabian Amaro who left midway through the fourth quarter with a neck strain. San Gabriel’s already without Alex Lopez, Arthur Brown and Steven Park. They should be ready come Almont League play. I have to imagine this game was hardest on Lopez who was hooting and hollering almost the entire game until there was no clear sight of a late comeback. Someone suggested to me that San Gabriel perhaps is overrated, but don’t slap that tag just yet. Sanchez himself at 6-3, 195 pounds would be a huge target for Valdez, as would be Brown and Park. This team could look very different and much improved come Almont League action. But there is no sugar coating this one. San Gabriel got beat hard. Burbank took a 14-0 lead at the half and there was no stopping QB Adam Colman, who competed 12 of 16 passes for 222 yards and five (yes, five!) touchdowns. His final four passes were touchdowns from 10, 60, 39 and 34 yards out. Leo Rodas was also a force on the ground for the Bulldogs (2-1). He rushed for 122 yards on 16 carries. “I just didn’t like the way we played,” San Gabriel coach Keith Jones said. “We told the kids we knew exactly what was going to come and they just didn’t perform. “We’re just not meshing very well all the way around. It wasn’t a good game. “I appreciate the fact the kids battled back late, but it’s not satisfying to me.” On a personal note I have one thing to gripe about. I arrived at Burroughs High at 6 p.m. knowing parking might be limited. I finally found a spot on the street and close to the visitors exit. But some Burbank dude was awesome enough to stand in the empty spot (big enough for two cars) and blatantly said “This spot’s taken” … Since when can someone just stand there and say the spot’s taken? I was close to putting the car in reverse and parallel park anyway, but dude in the blue polo shirt wasn’t worth my precious time. Real classy, dude.


Burbank 40, San Gabriel 20
Venice 49, Muir 14
Rio Hondo Prep 23, Brentwood 13
Pomona 29, Duarte 0

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…….Star Picks……Now that’s more like it…..

Sorry for the no-post on Monday. On the brighter side, yours truly improved immensely last week, going 12-2. I’m torn this week. No doubt the Rosemead-Monrovia game is the PSN’s Game of the Week, but there is no way to really tell who will win this game. As a result, I’m going to withhold my pick until Friday morning. On one hand, I want to pick Monrovia because they just seem to have more athletes at key positions, including Nick Bueno at quarterback and De’Shawn Ramirez at running back. What makes the Wildcats so attractive this season is their ability to wear down teams with a deep backfield. Yes, Ramirez rushed for 121 yards but it came against a depleted Duarte squad. Still, 121 yards rushing only five carries is pretty damn impressive. Then there’s Rosemead. How can you not pick them after showing they’re still the real deal and the reigning runner-up from last year’s Mid-Valley Division playoffs. For the ninth straight season, Rosemead coach Matt Koffler could have a 1,000-yard rusher. They showed their grit and determination in a “stunning” win over Covina last week, a much tougher opponent than Duarte. You make the call, pick the winner of the Game of the Week. I bet it’s not as easy as it looks. For the record, I have confirmed the Venice-Muir game will be played Thursday, not Friday.

The Stang Fan:Last week (Total): ??
Melendez: Last week (Total): 12-2 (16-8)


ROSEMEAD (1-0) at MONROVIA (2-0), 7 p.m.

(All games 7 p.m. unless noted)

Burbank vs. San Gabriel at Burroughs — Melendez (San Gabriel)
Venice at Muir — Melendez (Muir)
Brentwood at Rio Hondo Prep, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Brentwood)
Duarte vs. Pomona at Ganesha — Melendez (Duarte)

Rosemead at Monrovia — Melendez (???)
Alhambra at Temple City — Melendez (Alhambra)
La Salle at San Marino — Melendez (La Salle)
Pasadena Poly at Marshall, 4 p.m. — Melendez (Poly)
Crescenta Valley at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (St. Francis)
Hoover at South Pasadena — Melendez (South Pasadena)
La Caada at Glendale — Melendez (Glendale)
Bosco Tech vs. Gladstone at Citrus College — Melendez (Bosco Tech)
Pasadena at Long Beach Jordan — Melendez (Long Beach Jordan)
Gabrielino at Keppel — Melendez (Keppel)

Flintridge Prep at Villanova Prep, 2:30 p.m. — Melendez (Villanova Prep)

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