Star Picks: Most leagues open in Week 6, it matters now.

The Stang Fan and I will go head-to-head this season…

Melendez: 15-1 last week; total 64-29-1
Stang Fan: 12-4 last week; total 68-25-1

By the way, check out Aram’s All-Encompassing SGV(N) Top 25, as Maranatha and Arcadia make an appearance.

NOTE: St. Francis plays Saturday, according to I’ve changed it on the schedule here.

NOTE 2: Pasadena plays Friday, not Thursday. This is what happens when I update my budgets past midnight…

If not for my laughable 6-9-1 record in Week 5, I’m confident I would be running away with 2010 picks against Stang Fan. It’s a tight race and Week 6 could be crucial as most teams begin league play. (Folks, there’s still no wager between Stang and myself, so suggestions are definitely welcome). My lone loss last week was St. Francis (lost to Paso Robles 42-28. Muir, La Canada, St. Francis and Sage HIlls were Stang Fan’s wrong picks last week. Let me say this: I was not surprised to see Arcadia win big against Muir. The Apaches completely outplayed the Mustangs, and so far I’ve yet to see Muir respond when its back are against the wall. Arcadia went up 7-0 in a matter of minutes. Muir responded with a three-and-out, the end result a 72-yard fumble return for a touchdown to put the Apaches on top 14-0. I have Muir winning this week because Crescenta Valley’s record is bloated. The Mustangs have played the tougher schedule and within that schedule have shown they can compete. It’s time to finish. As for Arcadia, now’s not the time to get too high. Yes, huge win Friday and nice to see your league record unblemished, but the Apaches must maintain focus as they head into a Pacific Leauge showdown against Burroughs, also 2-0 in league. If Arcadia stays focused, disciplined and ready to show its back, then the Apaches will be a force to be recokned with. Big game for the folks at Maranatha. The Minutemen (5-1) travel to Whittier College to battle Whittier Christian (5-1) in an Olympic League showdown. Is it just me, or has the San Marino-Temple City game lost its luster because of recent struggles? Still, the Rams have shown steady improvement, and this is when Temple City will put it all together. Once again it should be an exciting week ahead.

Thursday’s game
Blair vs. Monrovia at Muir, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Monrovia)

Friday’s games
San Marino at Temple City, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Temple City); Stang Fan (TC)
Whittier Christian vs. Maranatha at Whittier College, 7 p.m. — MM (Whittier Christian); Stang Fan (WC)
Arcadia at Burroughs, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Arcadia); Stang Fan (Burroughs)
South Pasadena at La Canada, 7 p.m. — Melendez (South Pas); Stang Fan (LC)
San Gabriel at Montebello, 7 p.m. — Melendez (San Gabriel); Stang Fan (San Gabriel)
Crescenta Valley at Muir, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Muir); Stang Fan (CV)
Pasadena at Glendale, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Glendale); Stang Fan (PHS)
Alhambra at Keppel, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Alhambra); Stang Fan (Alhambra)
Gabrielino at Rosemead, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Rosemead); Stang Fan (Rosemead)
Flintridge Prep vs. Chadwick at Occidental, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Chadwick); Stang Fan (Chadwick)
Sierra Canyon vs. Marshall at Pasadena, 7 p.m. Melendez (Sierra); Stang Fan (Sierra)
Duarte at Ganesha, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Ganesha); Stang Fan (Ganesha)
Bosco Tech at St. Bernard, 7 p.m.– Melendez (Bosco Tech); Stang Fan (Bosco)
Village Christian at Rio Hondo Prep, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (RHP); Stang Fan (RHP)

Saturday’s game
Viewpoint at Pasadena Poly, 2 p.m. — Melendez (Poly); Stang Fan (Poly)
Serra at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Serra); Stang Fan (Serra)

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Friday Night Aftermath: Dimalante records win No. 100 in Arcadia’s 34-13 win over Muir; Rosemead rallies from 19-point deficit; Monrovia rolls; Maranatha wins big, too.


Friday’s results
Arcadia 34, Muir 13 — Myles Carr completed 14 of 17 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns, two to John Wong and one to Taylor Lagace. Nader Doumani returned a fumble 72 yards in the first quarter to put the Apaches up 14-0. Lagace recorded two interceptions and laid one of the biggest hits I’ve ever seen in my 10 years of covering high school football. Lagace and Muir’s Daityevon McFadden collided, with McFadden getting the brunt end of it. McFadden was slow to get up, but to his credit remained in the game and soldiered on. Arcadia recovered several fumbles, including one by Lagace and Wong. Straight up, Arcadia outplayed Muir in just about every facet of the game. After the game, Muir coach Ken Howard said, “I didn’t expect that kind of performance” and when I asked from which team, he said both. No doubt he was impressed, as I’m sure the rest of the West San Gabriel Valley is, too. Muir was healthy, had its weapons at its disposal, but the Apaches made it difficult moving the ball. Muir also didn’t help itself with penalties halting drives and negating several first-down conversions. Good win for Arcadia, that it gave Dimalante his 100th career win at Arcadia must have felt even more special.

Rosemead 29, Temple City 28 — Rosemead scored 20 unanswered points in the second half by way of three touchdown passes by quarterback Matt Macias, who bounced back from a rough outing last week in a loss to San Gabriel. Temple City’s Joshua Simangunsong rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the losing effort. Temple City led 21-9 at the half and 28-9 in the third quarter before the Panthers stormed back.

Monrovia 27, Paramount 7 — Nick Bueno completed 9 of 12 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Jay Henderson and Luke Williams had a spectacular performance.

Cathedral 37, South Pasadena 7 — Cathedral’s Zachary Green had eight carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Kristan Ivory had seven carries for 128 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown run to lead the Phantoms on the ground. Justin Kornford caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Conor Bednarski for the Tigers’ only score in the first quarter. Cathedral controlled the field position and the defense recorded eight sacks. South Pasadena had eight false start penalties, including four straight in one drive in the middle of the first quarter.

Burroughs 35, Pasadena 8 — The Bulldogs got held to 144 yards of total offense, gave up over 400 yards on the ground. Not the recipe for success. Pasadena led 8-0 in the first quarter, but it was downhill from there.

Golden Valley 35, San Marino 21 — Earl Johnson had 18 carries for 188 yards and four touchdowns to lead the visiting Grizzlies. Ryan Wood had 25 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown to lead the Titans.

Maranatha 59, Western Christian 7 — Chris Cornell recorded three interceptions and scored two touchdowns, including one from 80 yards; Jeremy Major scored on a 60-yard touchdown run and fellow sophomore Omar Younger added another one from 74 yards. The Maranatha defense recorded two interception returns for scores from Xavier Dansby and Mark Jebbia. The Minutemen improved to 5-1.


Paso Robles 42, St. Francis 28
Arroyo 26, La Canada 7
Bassett 6, Duarte 0
St. Bernard 29, La Salle 23
Brawley 51, Blair 0
Pasadena Poly 35, Sage Hill 14
Marshall 49, Calvary Chapel 20

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Football: Blogger Reno gives St. Francis tips for Friday

The following is a comment by fellow blogger Reno Hightower posted on another thread. Someone mentioned Reno is the best thing on this blog, and that’s not all that farfetched. It’s a funny post so I though I’d share.

Saint Francis. Welcome to Paso Robles! Reno wants to point out several truths about Paso Robles football as New York can attest to.

#1 Ten to fifteen SF fans will get speeding, no left turn, texting, etc tickets by the local Barney Fife. Hey, you’re helping thew local economy!

#2 The junior high will be packed. The showers don’t work. And the low stadium lights give War Memorial Field an eerie Twilight Zone Effect.

#3 Get there early as the PRHS boosters start the tri-tip at 2pm. Have a couple of sandwiches and bring Reno one.

#4 You haven’t had hometown officiating until you been “HOMERED” by the white hat at PR. He is the brother to Barney Fife and brother in law of Paso Robles Head Coach. Reno swears on the bible to this.

Seriously, Saint Francis will do fine with QB Nelson, Travis T, and the rest of the hard nosed Lancers. Best of Luck. It is like going to St. Paul; only longer!

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Football: Blair making $$$ with trip to Brawley

For the third consecutive year, Blair High School makes a 400-mile round trip to play Brawley on Friday, and Vikings and Pasadena-area fans are asking the obvious question: why?

The answer is simple: money.

Blair’s trip to Brawley, which is an hour west of Yuma, Ariz., and just north of Mexicali, is in the third and final year of its agreement. Blair coach Gary Parks was in his first season three years ago when close friend and Brawley athletic director Bill Brewer called to ask if the Vikings would be interested in making the trip south.

In exchange, Blair gets charter buses for the trip, food and a $2,000 appearance fee, all paid for by Brawley’s football boosters, according to Parks.

“Financially it’s great,” Parks said. “It allows the kids to get out of the city for a day and do something different before we start (Rio Hondo) league. We use the trip as a bonding experience.”

Brawley, a cattle town where summer temperatures often are higher than 120 degrees, is the only high school in its district. The public school plays in the CIF-San Diego Section, and all of its nonleague opponents are at least an hour’s drive away, with Blair traveling the farthest. Brawley’s Imperial Valley League games aren’t any closer. The Wildcats’ first league game this season comes against Palo Verde Valley High in Blythe, which is an 89-mile drive one way.

Parks met Brewer through church, and they go back to when Parks was coaching football at Verbum Dei.

“We were always looking for one long road trip at Verbum Dei,” Parks recalled. “So when I came to Blair, I wanted to bring that aspect, too. (Brewer) knows we’re strapped for cash, and the money we get helps us get the things we need outside what PUSD (Pasadena Unified School District) has cut.”

Parks said he’d like to continue making the trip, but his principal “wants us to stay closer next year.”

Added Parks: “We’re really going to miss it.”

Brawley has won both meetings by a combined score of 95-12.

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Football: Maranatha helps Pasadena City avoid going 0-6

If not for Maranatha’s 43-21 win over La Ca ada last week, no high school football team from Pasadena would have recorded a win in Week 4.

Pasadena and Muir each lost its Pacific League opener, to Arcadia (44-7) and Burbank (22-19), respectively. La Salle lost its Del Rey League opener to Bosco Tech (28-21) while Blair and Marshall were shut out in losses to St. Monica (42-0) and Paraclete (62-0), respectively. Pasadena Poly had a bye.

Maranatha’s defense deserves a lot of credit for the big win against its first Mid- Valley Division opponent this season. The defense recorded nine sacks while Minutemen quarterback Andrew Elfers threw for 200 yards on 9-of-19 passing with three touchdowns to lead the offense.

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Star Picks: Good to be back even after an ugly Week 4

The Stang Fan and I will go head-to-head this season…

Melendez: 6-9-1 last week; total 49-28-1
Stang Fan: 10-5-1 last week; total 56-21-1

Enjoyed a rare Monday off, but it’s good to be back — even after going an atrocious 6-9-1 last week. My boy Stang Fan didn’t fare that much better, but at least he didn’t have a sub. 500 record. No Thursday games this week, and quite a few teams have a bye, including the Almont League. Arcadia coach Jon Dimalante will go for his 100th career win at Arcadia High. I think for the first time in years it’s Muir with depth issues while the Apaches have numbers. This game will serve as a barometer to see how much Arcadia has grown since 2009. Arcadia also will debut its newly renovated football stadium, and you can bet the Apaches want this win for Coach D, especially since Arcadia hasn’t beaten Muir since 2003 when the Apaches won 41-26 to finish 5-0 in Pacific League play.

Thursday’s games
No games scheduled

Friday’s games
Muir at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Arcadia); Stang Fan (Muir)
Rosemead at Temple City, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Rosemead); Stang Fan (Rosemead)
Paramount at Monrovia, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Monrovia); Stang Fan (Monrovia)
La Canada at Arroyo, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Arroyo); Stang Fan (LC)
Cathedral at South Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Cathedral); Stang Fan (Cathedral)
Burroughs at Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Burroughs); Stang Fan (Burroughs)
Golden Valley at San Marino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Golden Valley); Stang Fan (Golden)
Western Christian at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Maranatha); Stang Fan (Maranatha)
St. Francis vs. Paso Robles at Flamson MS, 7 p.m. — Melendez (St. Francis); Stang Fan (SF)
Bassett at Duarte, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Bassett); Stang Fan (Bassett)
La Salle at St. Bernard, 7 p.m. — Melendez (St. Bernard); Stang Fan (St. Bernard)
Blair at Brawley, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Brawley); Stang Fan (Brawley)
Pasadena Poly at Sage Hill, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Poly); Stang Fan (Sage Hill)
Marshall vs. Calvary Chapel at Downey, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Calvary); Stang Fan (Calvary)

Saturday’s games
Verbum Dei at Bosco Tech, 1:30 p.m. — Melendez (Verbum Dei); Stang Fan (Verbum Dei)
Rio Hondo Prep at Webb, 2 p.m. — Melendez (RHP); Stang Fan (RHP)

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Friday Night Aftermath: Alhambra, Arcadia, Bosco Tech all winners as scores start pouring into the office. Maranatha, welcome to the PSN top 10 next week.

Above: Alhambra’s Chris Salgado making way for the running backs.


Thursday’s Result
Monrovia 28, South Hills 25

Friday’s Scores
San Gabriel 48, Rosemead 20 — Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. San Gabriel returned three Rosemead fumbles by two different quarterbacks for touchdowns. The Matadors defense also recorded three interceptions, which proved to be the difference. Andy Guerrero passed for three touchdown passes, two to to Andres Fernandez. Rosemead’s Matt Macias was pulled in the third quarter, but that move didn’t fare any better for the Matadors.

Alhambra 27, South Pasadena 14 — Alhambra’s punishing pass-rush defense was enough to set the tone early as the Moors put pressure on South Pasadena QB Conor Bednarski. The first two Tigers series resulted in a punt and Patrick Bruno interception, the latter setting up a touchdown on a Joshua Mendoza QB sneak. Mendoza completed 7 of 14 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns through the air and another on the ground. Bednarski clearly was rattled. He finished 8 of 24 for 166 yards and two interceptions.

Maranatha 43, La Canada 21 — The Maranatha defense definitely had its Wheaties for breakfast this morning, recording nine sacks on the night. Minutemen QB Andrew Elfers passed for 200 yards on 9 of 19 passing with three touchdowns, including a 40-yard hookup to Josh Jones. Omar Younger broke off for a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, call it the nail on the coffin. I’m a believer.

Arcadia 44, Pasadena 7 — Taylor Lagace returned a 92-yard kickoff for a touchdown. Lagace had three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. Just when Pasadena thought momentum swung its way, Lagace returned the kickoff to say otherwise.

Burbank 22, Muir 19 — Burbank scored the winning touchdown with 11.8 seconds left in the game, a quarterback sneak. Jeffrey Davis completed 19 of 29 passes for 254 yards and rushed for another 46 yards in the losing effort. Muir dominated the third quarter, but missed on a third and four in the fourth quarter that allowed the Bulldogs to get the ball back with some time on the clock.

Temple City 27, South El Monte 6 — The Rams’ rushing attack again came to life, only this time it resulted in a win. Running back Joshua Simagunsong carried the ball 20 times and rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown. Carlos Mota added 69 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

West Ranch 35, St. Francis 34 — West Ranch scored the winning touchdown with 1:14 left in the game to stun the Golden Knights.

Bosco Tech 28, La Salle 21 – Bosco Tech’s Devin Welsh rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns and made a 59-yard touchdown reception to lead the Tigers. Dillon Welsh completed 12 of 18 for 188 yards and two touchdowns, adding 56 yards on the ground. The game was tied at 21 in the fourth quarter. Bosco Tech was at the La Salle 11 with 6 minutes left in the game. Instead of opting for a field goal to take the lead, the Tigers went for it on fourth down, as Welsh connected on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Christopher Alvarez. La Salle’s Israel Lacy had 346 all-purpose yards as a receiver (79 yards), running back (61 yards) and on kickoff returns (206 yards). He also recorded an interception and a forced fumble. He’s definitely someone to look out for since dude’s only a sophomore.

Other Scores
Bell Gardens 35, San Marino 12
Gabrielino 43, L.A. Roybal 14
Malibu 14, Flintridge Prep 14, tie
Mountain View 40, Keppel 0

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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