Maddox: Mid Valley Division title goes through Paraclete

If you’re Monrovia (7-0, 2-0) how do you stay pumped when you’re going up against the likes of South Pasadena, La Canada and Blair? You remember that if you don’t beat those teams there’s a good chance you drop from the No. 1 ranking in the CIF-SS Mid Valley Division. But even so, Paraclete is the defending Mid Valley Division champion. They put a whoop on Rosemead last year and if the Wildcats are to claim a CIF championship they realize it’s Paraclete’s to defend first.

“Absolutely,” Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox said. “They proved last year that they’re the team to beat. Until somebody in our division beats them and as long as they come out of their league on top, which in all likelyhood will happen, they’re the team to beat.”

Desert Rat, Spirit Xpress, what have you say?

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Football: The PSN’s Top 10 rankings, explained

Above: Steve Yortsos & Co. will have their hands full when San Marino hosts La Caada on Friday.


1. ST. FRANCIS (6-1) — The Golden Knights’ 27-23 win over Loyola last week was huge, the first in 27 years. Talk about breaking a bad spell. I wasn’t at the game but from reading the story it sounded like it was a good one. And good for St. Francis QB Justin Posthuma redeeming himself. And I agree, good story from Eric Sondheimer at the L.A. Times. Posthuma connected with sophomore Travis Talianko for a 3-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left in the game.

2. MONROVIA (7-0) — I’ve gotten quite a few emails asking why Monrovia is unbeaten yet ranked No. 2 instead of No. 1. Well, as I’ve explained before (haven’t I?) St. Francis has played much much tougher competition. They were this close to beating Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and just beat Loyola, and in spite of losing running back Anthony Barr (broken leg) early in the season and their head coach Jeff Kearin — who resigned halfway through the season for personal reasons — the win over the Cubs (3-4) is still impressive because Loyola’s a perennial power in the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division. However, there is no doubt the Wildcats are the best team in the Mid-Valley Division and arguably the best team in the SGV. From this point on it’ll be up to Monrovia whether it finishes unbeaten or not. Then, of course, the playoffs begin and there’s no telling from there on.

3. SAN MARINO (6-1) — The Titans will have their hands full Friday night when they host the Spartans. Both teams are coming off impressive wins over South Pasadena and Blair, respectively. If I had to guess, the Rio Hondo League finishes like this: 1. Monrovia; 2. San Marino; 3. Temple City; 4. La Caada; 5. South Pasadena; 6. Blair.

4. TEMPLE CITY (3-3-1) — Well, what can you say about the Rams. They are hurting right now with injuries depleting the roster. That said, Temple City shouldn’t run into any problems with Blair on Friday night. For the sake of argument, why not let Max Ruckle dictate the offense, just to see if the Rams’ ground attack is superior to the passing game. If Ruckle runs wild for 300+ yards then you have your answer. But then again, this would be coming against Blair so there wouldn’t be much revealing.

5. ALHAMBRA (4-2) — In retrospect, the Moors should have moved up to No. 4 in these rankings. Alhambra’s coming off a 28-21 win over Montebello, and this game was all the more impressive because Alhambra won on the road. The road show continues when the Moors travel to San Gabriel. I’m going to try to make it out for the first half, but no promises. Keith Lair will be there on assignment.

6. RIO HONDO PREP (7-0) — The Kares exacted vengeance last week when they derailed Chadwick, 43-7. Some competition. Rio Hondo Prep, however, still has some kinks to iron out when it comes to its passing game, and they’ll need one when they head to the playoffs. For now the offense can survive without it, but not come playoffs.

7. SAN GABRIEL (4-3) — C’mon, who really pegged the Matadors to win at Bell Gardens, and by a blow out no less. Certainly not me, but as usual San Gabriel wakes up in the nick of time. Last week’s 49-28 win over Bell Gardens was impressive because the injury-plagued Matadors held the Lancers scoreless in the second half.

8. LA CAADA (3-3) — No Josh Hanson meant Spartans QB Rocky Moore was left without his biggest and best target when they played host to Temple City. With Hanson back in the lineup La Caada has a legitimate shot at knocking off San Marino and putting its playoff hopes in doubt.

9. MARANATHA (5-2) — I still don’t have a hold of Maranatha. I’m not sold yet, I’m not doubting either. I’m down the middle. “Cheer- leader!” posted in the Star-Picks thread that Maranatha is a cute team … Yeah, cuz “cute” make teams win.

10. LA SALLE (3-4) — The Lancers are in a must-win situation on Friday when they host Mary Star of the Sea (4-3, 2-0). Mary Star brings a balanced offense whose offense is spotty at best. QB Cole Webb has 476 yards passing with two touchdowns and six interceptions. James Hungerford leads the ground attack with 388 yards and five touchdowns. La Salle (3-4, 0-1) is coming off a bye, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the Lancers are nursing some injuries. La Salle QB Mike Novell has completed 61 percent of his passes (727 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions).

OTHERS CONSIDERED: Pasadena (4-3, 3-1).

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Football: Does Monrovia bring home a CIF ring this year?

It may be a lot of pressure to put on Monrovia with three Rio Hondo League games left before the start of the highly-anticipated CIF-Southern Section playoffs. But can you think of any reasons why the Wildcats wouldn’t bring home the school’s first CIF football championship? There’s been a lot of debate about Monrovia quarterback Nick Bueno, whether he can play Division I or II or III. But the reality is, who cares? You think Bueno’s thinking about that right now? The goal right now is win Friday against South Pasadena, etc. You can’t deny the kid’s talent. He’s smart, elusive, poised and a proven leader. Bueno weathered the “pressure” of starting at quarterback his sophomore year, and he delivered. As proven, Monrovia has not thrown the ball because simply put the Wildcats haven’t had to. This is a simple case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. We must be naive to think that Bueno can’t throw just because he hasn’t as much as he did last year. I thought as much heading into the Temple City game, but the reality is Bueno doesn’t have to throw, and Ryan Maddox knows that. He’s as dangerous on the ground as he is through the air, but so far the ground attack has been excruciating for opposing teams to defend. When talking about a championship you need to have balance, a great defense and a true offensive threat, and Monrovia has all three. Monrovia’s stable of running backs is unparalleled; the defense is as fast as they are physical from Josh Lowden and Ellis McCarthy to Craig Brown, Christian Blanco and Charlie Cimmarusti. Why would you bet otherwise? This is about as good a chance as Monrovia’s ever had in the last 15 years.

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Football: Rams literally hurting after loss to Monrovia

Temple City was literally hurting after its 38-21 loss to Monrovia last week. The Rams (3-3-1, 1-1) will have to deal with injuries to Josh Simangunsong (concussion), Josh Lin (dislocated shoulder), Andrew Torres (mild concussion) and Sean Stanton (bone contusion) as they prepare for Blair on Friday. Simangunsong, a junior, took it hardest last week, and teammates tried consoling him after he learned he wouldn’t play the rest of the game. Simangunsong was injured in the second quarter, and from that point the dominos kept falling. After Stanton suffered a bone contusion to his left leg, Lin was called up to take his place at defensive back, and it wasn’t long before he went out with a dislocated left shoulder. Torres suffered a mild concussion after catching a 47-yard pass from quarterback Justin Smith to pull the Rams within 19-14 with one second left in the second quarter. Torres played a few minutes in the third quarter before he was taken out for the rest of the game. Senior offensive lineman Matt O’Malley couldn’t overcome constant cramping in his left leg. He missed most of the fourth quarter. “We’re kind of banged up,” Temple City coach Anthony White said, “but we don’t like to make excuses.” Simangunsong will likely miss Friday’s game, and Torres will be limited.

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TC’s Spratt, Bosco Tech’s Burrola OK after car accident

Temple City High School’s David Spratt and Bosco Tech’s Alex Burrola were involved in a single-car accident Saturday night in Temple City. Spratt, a senior wide receiver on the Rams football team, and Burrola, a senior defensive back for the Tigers, were transported to San Gabriel Methodist Hospital after the car they were in flipped over at the corner of Encinita Avenue and Pentland Street.
Burrola was treated for a cut on his left arm and Spratt had a bruised right knee and a sore back. They were released later that night. Burrola was driving Spratt home after Bosco Tech’s 35-30 loss to Verbum Dei at St. Matthias High School in Downey. Spratt has been a friend of Burrola for three years. “We lost control (and hit the sidewalk) when we were turning (onto Encinita Avenue), and next thing I remember is that I was upside down,” said Spratt, who sat out Monday’s practice. Spratt saw smoke and pulled Burrola out of the driver’s seat. “Then a friend on the street we were on heard and came and helped us,” Spratt said.

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