Above: Arcadia and Monrovia open the season at Fullerton High last year. The site was changed because of poor air conditions stemming from the Station Fire.
MIGUEL MELENDEZ COLUMN
Try and keep up.
Randy Horton, who served as an assistant football coach at Temple City High School last year, is the new head coach at Pasadena.
Mike McFarland, who was pink-slipped before school year’s end and after one season as coach at Pasadena, is head coach at Temple City. He takes over for Anthony White, who left after one season to pursue the same position at Buena Park High.
Mike Mooney, whom many moons ago was the longtime head coach at Temple City before leaving to pursue an administrative position at San Marino High, goes from assistant to head coach at San Marino after D.R. Moreland resigned early this year to further his education.
Still with me?
Lou Torres, who begins his 25th year as a teacher and assistant football coach at Alhambra High, was promoted to head football coach at Alhambra after Gil Ruedaflores called it a career after 21 seasons.
Jude Oliva, who was a finalist for the head coaching position at Alhambra, was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach at San Gabriel in place of Keith Jones, who retired early this year.
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All this unfolded in the offseason, and if we had this much news then, can you imagine the headlines waiting to happen
It’s the uncertainty that keeps us on our toes, and it’s that variable that makes all of this exciting. That it happens in football is what makes the sport king of them all.
High school football consumes our lives perhaps more than any other sport, and if all we have to think about are X’s and O’s come September, then let’s count ourselves lucky.
There was a time when the economic downturn was all the rage. We were reminded of the seemingly bed-ridden economy
Remember last year’s run-up to the season opener? It was riddled with canceled football practices and postponed games because of raging fires in the San Gabriel Mountains.
No longer were we hoping and wishing for exciting matchups to pan out, but rather cool weather to help our men and women in the line of fire.
So far things are looking up, and here’s hoping we didn’t jinx it with more summer heat.
The only heat I’m expecting is the friction between San Dimas and Monrovia when they meet in Week 3, the third of four meetings. Yes, third of four meetings because they’re the teams we all know may end up in the Mid-Valley Division finale again.
No need to get ahead, though.
Monrovia will show that Glendora’s not the only school with a star quarterback. Sure, Chad Jeffries is San Diego State-bound, but look for Nick Bueno to not be outdone.
There’s no hiding it here: Bueno is the player we all want to see. He made it fun to cover Monrovia games, and this year will be no different, especially with a loaded schedule.
Speaking of which, San Gabriel will make or break the season with a nonleague schedule that includes Muir, Burbank and Rosemead.
St. Francis has it tougher, because its loaded schedule got a much stronger lineup in the Mission League. Serra, Harvard-Westlake and Cathedral are no jokes. St. Francis coach Jim Bonds sounds confident about this year’s talent. You should have seen his eyes light up talking about the long list of stars in the making, such as 6-foot-3 quarterback Brett Nelson, 6-foot-4 lineman Patrick Carroll and 6-foot-3 tight end Travis Talianko.
Carroll isn’t the only big lineman in the area. Blair’s Donell Wilson stands 6-4, 280 pounds, and his size is a big reason the Vikings finally may put together a threatening offense.
Arcadia’s Taylor Lagace, a 6-foot-2 wide receiver and linebacker, is one of the most dangerous players in the area. His ability to locate the ball and make bruising tackles marks him as one of the most intimidating athletes in the Valley.
The same can be said about Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy. The 6-foot-4 tight end and defensive end saw double coverage early and often for good reason.
This year has to be Conor Bednarski’s year. The 6-foot-3 quarterback at South Pasadena has all the makings for producing a standout season. This being his senior year, you can almost be sure he’ll live up to the billing and hype that started his sophomore year.
Still, there’s a good chance San Marino keeps the Crowley Cup and Muir extends its Turkey Tussle winning streak to 12 and retains the Victory Bell.