Star Picks: Monrovia has the spotlight on Thursday

The Stang Fan and I will go head-to-head this week. Still no bet on what the loser has to do…

Melendez: 10-8 last week; total 43-19
Stang Fan: 13-5 last week; total 46-16

Last week was a disaster for me. Say what you want about my picks (John Wayne, Realist). This week is tough. My birthday is Thursday, and if mom finds out I went to a football game instead of dinner at her house this blog may be “From The Sidelines” with someone else. I’m sure some of you (John Wayne, Realist) would like that, but I digress. I’m planning on doing both Thursday. Should be a great game, but as you’ll see in a two-minute drill video later today, I’m picking South Hills for several reasons. As for Friday, there’s still a toss up with who gets our game of the week honors. Your call. Nice to see Arcadia swing into Pacific League action. The Apaches start league play 1-0 with their win over Pasadena, and it is when they’ll show how good they really are.

Thursday’s Game
Monrovia vs. South Hills at Covina District Field, 7 p.m. — Melendez (South Hills)

Friday’s Games
San Gabriel at Rosemead, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Rosemead)
Alhambra at South Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Melendez (South Pasadena)
Maranatha at La Canada, 7 p.m. — Melendez (La Canada)
Arcadia at Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Arcadia)
Burbank at Muir, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Muir)
Bell Gardens at San Marino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (San Marino)
Temple City at South El Monte, 7 p.m. — Melendez (SEM)
St. Francis vs. West Ranch at Valencia, 7 p.m. — Melendez (St. Francis)
Bosco Tech at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Bosco Tech)
Sierra Vista at Duarte, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Sierra Vista)
L.A. Roybal at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Gabrielino)
Keppel at Mountain View, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Mnt. View)
Malibu vs. Flintridge Prep at Occidental, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Flint. Prep)

Saturday’s Games
Paraclete vs. Marshall at Pasadena HS, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Paraclete)
St. Monica vs. Blair at Muir, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Blair)

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  • MoneyTalks

    Big game is the following week when arcadia host muir on Oct 8. Arcadia should get the win vs Pasadena this week, but we will not know how much arcadia has improved since the monrovia loss until they play a tough team like Muir. I heard a banged up Muir played Amat okay for a while. Tells me that they are still the team to beat in the Pacific. Arcadia gets to show off their new stadium.

  • John Wayne

    Enjoy dinner on Thursday, Miguel! I’m sure I can pretty much guess what you’ll be wishing as you blow those candles out….
    You’re picks are a little more honest and on this week. I can agree with you on the majority of picks. After a BoscoTech win last week, you are going against one of your valley favs this week…. haha
    There is NO reason Arcadia won’t kill Pasadena, that’s a given. Yes, you made “on paper” the right choice with a super tough La Canada team. However, if Maranatha proves to have more heart and pulls off the HUGE upset then what? hee hee hee
    I believe in those Minutemen and near mistake free game would almost ensure a win!

  • Goldenarm


    It is going to be a brutal year, and this game is one we can win, better win.

    Miguel –
    Manuel’s Special at El Tepayac – loser pays

  • Miguel Melendez

    Goldenarm: I learned my lesson when I was 15 about Manny’s special. Never. Again.

  • the critic

    my picks this week.
    thursday: monrovia
    san marino
    south el monte
    st. francis
    bosco tech
    sierra vista
    mt. view

  • Reno Hightower

    Reno’s travels take him north again this weekend. Reno was hoping to catch Marshall @ Paraclete. Alas, the game is Saturday @ PHS. Ryan Seacrest O’Hara; be prepared to get your butt whipped behind the woodshed. It won’t be pretty and it will sting for awhile. Ouch!Spank, spank, spank… didn’t Clarkson tell you NOT to take this job? O’Hara out!

    Props to M-Town stepping up the schedule. Loss to Saints hurts now, not later. Get your lower level coaches to SHUT UP. You ain’t the M-Town of old. Don’t embar-ASS what Coach Maddox is trying to instill.
    A 3-2 or 2-3 record doesn’t really matter if you are a #1 seed later on. Wildcats have the Defensive Weapons to shut down the South Hills Transfers.

    Alhambra @ South Pasadena. Winner has the rights to claim Gus’ Bar-B-Q for a year. Losers can can go to JD’s on Main Street. Tigers better not look ahead to Cathedral game as Moors wish to go 3-2.

    Hate to be 0-1 in Pacific League play come Saturday morning. An eight team league is a beatch. 3rd/4th place to face La Habra, Rowland, or Bonita on the road. (Muir, Reno knows that you were a 2 point conversion away from upsetting eventual champ Charter Oak. YOU STILL LOST!)

    Reno can’t spell Maranutha’s name. You lose to the La Canada Spartans, who have taken the the old TC Rams MO. Grind out the clock, play tough defense and special teams, be more physical in the 4th, and win. Nice Direction!

    Keppel @ Mountain View. The battle of Valley Blvd. Winner gets first dance @ Miss Kittys! Just don’t sit @ Reno’s booth. Keppel in an upset.

    SG @ Rosemead. Battle Royal to see who gets to recruit the Rosemead Rebels before Schurr sweeps in and lays claim before St. Paul does! Coin flip says…

  • tcchamps

    The battle for Gus’ Bar-B-Q for a year. Reno, that’s classic as always. Careful boys, Reno always speaks the truth.

  • Dan

    Monrovia wins on Thursday, to much speed for the SH. Huskies, sounds like SH was tired in the second half against Tesoro, not enough depth, really thought SH was going to be really good with the huge line and their two very good running backs, but the big guy’s seem to tire rather quickly, never seen a weaker SH team in this decade.

  • fanofgoodfootball

    Miguel, I am a Maranatha fan. Everyone got thrown off because of there first loss to a lesser team without some key players and they had not solidified the linebackers and the D. Line at that time. The linebacker core is fast and tough lead my a all league MVP linebacker . The QB is one of the best in the valley with receivers that are D1 quality. They have a kicker that is simply incredible. MHS lacks depth which is a symptom of a small school competing in a big forum but will field 11 that will match up to any high school football team. If you investigated even a little bit you would realize that MHS is a talented team full of athletes . Your friday night should be witnessing this game as it is a small school competing with a large school. La Canada should destroy MHS. We will see. You picked MHS again to loose…Please keep it up it is the best thing you could have done to help with the motivation. At least you picked a local team to beat MHS this time…

  • new guy

    Miguel, I like you a lot and i think you do an absolute fine job running this blog and the prep section, with that being Im a monrovia/arcadia lover, i know people might say how can you love rivals, but I live near each so im a fan of both. Arcadia will prove what they are capable of. I gotta say your wrong about the monrovia game its gonna be a battle but they are going to win i guarantee it.

  • turnt natha senior

    i’m not so mad this time.. who does expect us to win but ourselves?
    but it’s okay we like playing the boise state role

    p.s. you can pick against us for Western Christian too

  • Goldenarm

    South Hills is said to have an NFL size line. Even if partially true, this should be the type of challenge to fire up the M-town D line, who may be Monrovia’s best in years. That is saying plenty, because the 08 Cat D -line was damn good.
    The sack factor should play heavily in this game.

    thanks for the first hand report. What kind of offensive set does SH bring?

  • QB Sneak

    Here you go again, what about your comments last week? If this is Monrovia’s best in years, than what does that tell you about the San Dimas O-Line. They had their way with the cats last Friday night. They gave the QB all the time to score 21 pts in 8 min. and finished them off in OT. If it was not for the two mistakes, it should of been 28-14 San Dimas. The Saints outplayed the cats all night. Mr Buno only had 57 yards passing and 90 yards rushing.Total offense SD=451 to Monrovia=290. Monrovia will not beat SH. Mark my word!

  • Anonymous

    fanofgoodfootball said:

    “but will field 11 that will match up to any high school football team”

    Really? match up with Servite? Corona Centennial?….okay (shaking head)

    “The linebacker core is fast and tough lead my a all league MVP linebacker . The QB is one of the best in the valley with receivers that are D1 quality”.

    …then there is simply no way Maranatha should lose another game. In fact, with their weak schedule…any victory less than by 30 point would be considered a failure

  • Anne Onimus

    I have some serious doubts about Monrovia this year, specially after that 4th quarter collapse last week(not to mention the 4 turnovers against Glendora). The coaching staff lacks the killer instinct to destroy teams and are incapable of adjusting on the fly. One would think with a 20+ point lead in the 4th that they would run primarily a pass defense. They didn’t. The played against the run til the bitter end. They have kids at the wrong positions, their LBs think they’re DBs and vice versa. Their offensive play calling is too predictable. Everyone from this point on will be focused on Bueno, trust your other playmakers in key situations. And like I said at the end of last year, Maddox’s staff relies too much on their kids’ athleticism and don’t bother to coach them up. Word of advice, work on your tackling.

    I still cheer for the Wildcats but I’ll have to go with South Hills this week. At least we’ll win league. But after that, it’s all up in the air.

  • Realist

    Any Maranatha fans-

    OK… Heres the problem with Maranatha. The toughest opponent Maranatha plays all year is La Canada. How do you expect to get any publicity with a schedule like that. And dont live in denial, Maranatha couldnt compete with the top 4 teams in the Pacific League. They wouldnt be able to hang with anyone in the Sierra League. The toughest compitition they play is the 3rd or 4th best team in the Rio Hondo League. And by the way… your qb is definatly NOT one of the best in the valley.. he would be lucky to be a top 10 qb in the valley. Imagine what Nick Bueno or Myles Carr or Brett Nelson would do to the teams you play… And your linebackers aren’t that good. They seem good because you play teams with NO talent. Stop blabbing your mouth off, these are the facts. Im sick of hearing about Maranatha and how “good” they are.

  • Dan

    Golden Arm,
    Seems like I remember South Hills does a lot of single back spread formation, with the QB mostly under center but also in shotgun. They run some trips formation and some twins on both sides out of the spread formation. Also seen some double tight end with two backs and some Double tights with single back and twin recievers to one side or split on both sides {I think]. In short yardage I’ve seen them go to an odd looking wing formation where they have both a wing back and fullback just outside and behind the tackle. I guess they do a little bit of everything, we’ve played them so many times that even a fan like me gets a little familiar.

  • Bob Anon

    Maranatha is in the “others” category for the official CIF rankings. La Canada is not.

    Using the fact that the CIF is mentioning Maranatha and not LC–as well as the fact that Calpreps predicts a Maranatha win–I think it’s reasonable to conclude Maranatha is the “favorite”, even though they fancy themselves as some sort of underdog.

    I’ll try to be there Friday night to cheer on the Spartans.

  • goteamgo

    I think I may cheer for LC also, if for no other reason than to silence the Natha Nation.

  • PostSanDimasMorovia

    Sounds like alot of disgruntled Monrovia fans!!

    Sorry to say, but I don’t think Monrovia is going to improve in a weeks time.

    South Hills is probably a good 10 points better than San Dimas.

    South Hills will get back on track this week.

    Monrovia legitimately scored only 2 touchdowns on San Dimas last Friday night.

    On Monrovia’s and South Hills’ best night: Monrovia 14, South Hills 24.

    Yes, Monrovia SHOULD win their league, but they need to develop their kids for the playoffs.

  • Philly B.

    Ive read alot of barking and alot of hurt Monrovia fans. And You know what I dont blame them. Monrovia should of had this game…as far as Monrovia being on some sort of high-horse after whooping Arcadia, thats completely false! If anything monrovia should of been looking ahead to the san dimas game…after watching the highlights…Monrovia will have the best defense in the rio hondo league by far….But that being said…come playoffs…theres no reason why our DB’s should be getting beat like they were in the 4th qtr. I was very shocked by that because we have the speed to cover any receiving core in our schedule in my opinion….I really felt bad for Bueno…I know how bad he wanted that game and couldnt get it done…I hate to type this…But in all honesty Monrovia is the Dallas Cowboys…Both teams Should be 3-0 but are not!!!! And its very frustrating…Like Aram said, monrovia was the Glendora game but turnovers…and Monrovia had the Saints by the throat in three quarters but let it slip away. Props to maddox for going for the win..I questioned it at first, but I know if I was head coach I’d do the same damn thing. And Now Miguel has lost his faith in monrovia…and has picked South Hills to beat the cats! Oh well…when the schedule came out, I feared south hills over glendora and san dimas, because I thought Monrovia could pull those games out. But let be known I Never said I believed monrovia would come out of this pre-league schedule undefeated….New York said it, and it is what it is….I just hope Monrovia doesnt have any sort of hangover from last weeks lost to the saints. And they take out their frustration on that last and put it to South Hills. Congrats to San Dimas for winning last week. I HOPE we get to see them in the playoffs whether it be for semi’s or a finals rematch…..I dont think theres any other team better right now that are ranked in the mid-valley division…As far as monrovia not winning the big games…..I cant even deny that….The rematch against Rosemead…the rematch against La Salle…Playoff game a few years back against Paraclete…..Its hard…but at least I know that this tough schedule thus far will make us much stronger in league….No one in league will get past monrovias defense. Not South Pas, Not San marino without Do…Not even La Canada! Lets Go Cats give it to South Hills…

  • Just Me

    Maranatha would lose to a lot of the local teams but questioning their schedule does not make much sense. Let’s see, in their league alone four of the five teams show up in the mid valley polls. Whittier Christian #1, Village Christian #6, and Maranatha and Valley Christian in the others. These polls are done by a committee of mid valley coaches who know the teams and it’s obviously their opinion differs from yours.

  • Tommy TuTone


    Saying that LC is the toughest team that Maranatha plays tells me you don’t pay much attention. They just got bumped up into the Olympic league with Whittier Christian (ranked #1 in the Mid-Valley by CIF and probably the best team in the area) and Village Christian (#6 by CIF). Salesian is no push over either. I’m pretty sure Whittier and Village are a bit tougher than LC.

    I’m not saying Maranatha is the greatest thing since sliced bread…just pointing out a little flaw in your comment.

  • Shows your loyalty

    I still think that it is funny how you did about 5 articles on Monrovia to preview their season and then did not do a preview on St. Francis, the #1 team in the area, as you had promised. Please don’t bring up the magazine as an excuse, because you managed to write all those articles on Monrovia.

  • Just Me


    Here is a proposed project for you. Pick 20 schools from the area and rank their schedules. This would be informative, create a lot of debate, thus getting you hits, and most importantly it would provide insight on how each school schedules. I would suggest a point system that wouldn’t be that hard. The categories could be
    1. Ranked Opponents
    2. Division of Opponents
    3. Opponents record

  • Goldenarm

    QB Sneak –

    I picked monrovia by 14 and my first post Sat was a congratulatory statement to SD. Apparently some backers such as yourself need additional love and praise before they can look forward at their schedule.

    Dude, this was no statement game for the Saints, a single play either way and the “W” bounces to the other team. You have an outstanding coaching staff who gets top notch play out of their kids…and I am sure they know this was a game they were fortunate to pull out.

    M-town has a strong effective D line, I am glad you feel otherwise, but I just disagree.

  • New York

    Let’s keep in mind that Monrovia has had one of the area’s toughest pre-seasons thus far. That said, I would not have been surpised to see Monrovia 3-0, just as I am not surprised to see us at 1-2. I am surprised, though, at the way we have lost. Monrovia essentially snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. I am also surprised that we have not utilized McCarthy as a TD catching, chain-moving tight end. Our defense is on the field too long against good teams when our offense does not move the chains.

  • Tom S

    Since MM seems to be ignoring the La Canada vs Maranatha game here’s what fellow reporter Aram has to say about the game on his blog

    “Maranatha (3-1) at La Canada (2-1) — Huge game here for Maranatha and the Olympic League, because if I’m not mistaken this is the only inter-division nonleague game that the Olmypic will play this season. It’s easy to envision a scenario in which Maranatha finishes third behind Whittier and Valley Christian. If that happens, this result looms very large. La Canada can bolster its case with another inter-division win … and this would be a biggie.”

    Good to see someones interested in the big local game

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