It’s hard not to think about what Ryan Maddox has done in less than two years as head coach at Monrovia. Are the glory days back at Monrovia?
Think about it: Monrovia is unbeaten at 5-0 heading into league action; they’re the No. 1-ranked team in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division; they’re the No. 1-ranked team in the WSGV; and their young studded lineup makes them the favorite to win the Mid-Valley Division championship.
Monrovia’s plummeting opponents to a pulp with little regard, and they’ve done it against two teams (Rosemead, San Dimas) who previously were ranked No. 2 in the division at the time they faced Monrovia.
They’ll take on San Marino on Friday night, the third team the Wildcats face that are ranked No. 2 in the division.
You guys remember the late 90’s when Monrovia made three straight CIF finals appearances in 1997 (vs. Mira Costa), 1998 (Paso Robles) and 1999 (Paso Robles).
In talking with Steve Garrison today it seems that 1998 game still stings and lingers to this day. The Wildcats lost, 24-22, but what made it harder to deal with the loss was knowing Monrovia dropped two passes in the end zone.
There were other good times. Who can forget when Monrovia didn’t lose a Rio Hondo League game from 1996-1999.
Monrovia this season’s yet to accomplish anything and at the very least whatever they have done is subjective.
But you can’t deny they’re an awesome team to watch and they have the makeup of a championship-caliber team. The signs are there — Monrovia’s glory days are looming.
“I don’t think there’s any question about it,” Garrison said. “They’re getting back to where it used to be. Coach Maddox’s done a fantastic job. Him and his staff have put together a championship team. I think they’re certainly on their way, and they’re the team to beat.”
I don’t see Monrovia getting ahead of themselves. Maddox and his staff are much too smart to let it happen.
Since Maddox’s arrival there was discipline from the start on and off the field. That this young squad has maintained humble and remain level-grounded is a testament to Maddox and his coaching staff, which is why I don’t see Monrovia getting ahead of themselves.
Maddox and his staff are much too smart to let it happen. Earlier this week, Maddox stressed the significance of staying humble, and Garrison echoed his sentiments.
“I truly hope Maddox and the Wildcats bring home the school’s first CIF championship,” Garrison said. “As much as I like it in my heart — and I have a lot of Wildcat in my heart — we still have the Rio Hondo League to get through; Temple City, La Caada and San Marino will have a say in it before it’s all over.
“It’s important to stay grounded and realize this is still a one game, one week at a time adventure. If you start getting ahead of yourselves, it can come back to bite you.”
Garrison hasn’t had a chance to watch any Monrovia games this season. Damien’s bye landed the same week as Monrovia’s. But he sees the kids’ excitement filter into Monday after each Friday night victory.
He was in his office when giving me a brief history lesson. He has Monrovia pictures plastered all over his wall, a constant reminder Garrison’s still very much part of the Wildcats football program.
“Without a doubt,” he says. “This was my first head coaching experience. To sit here and say I forget about it … I’d be lying to you.”
The experience went far beyond the gridiron.
“This head coaching experience helped me grow as a coach and also as a man and I just,” said Garrison, before taking a deep breath and continuing, “they’re fond memories I’ll never forget.”