Star Picks: Road to the CIF-SS finals begins Friday

The Stang Fan and I will go head-to-head through the playoffs…

Melendez: 14-4 last week; total 137-45-1
Stang Fan: 14-4 last week; total 146-36-1

The regular season comes to an end, and it looks like Stang Fan will win the competition in his first year. It’s all good. He was a worthy opponent. I struggled picking Rosemead over Temple City. You know what the Rams are capable of doing on the ground with Joshua Simangunsong leading the way. But in the end, I went with experience, and the Panthers last season made the playoffs, albeit it was an early exit. Still, Panthers running back Matt Fregoso last year ran wild against San Marino. He was the lone bright spot in Rosemead’s first-round loss. I like Maranatha over La Puente. Still no word on Chris Cornell’s status for the Minutemen, but you have to love Maranatha’s chances with Andrew Elffers directing the offense. Muir’s win over La Mirada will be no surprise. I’m expecting the Apaches not to let up while Pasadena Poly and Rio Hondo Prep represent the Prep League well. This is the end of the rope for La Canada and St. Francis.

Friday’s games with predictions
Temple City at Rosemead, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Rosemead)
Muir at La Mirada, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Muir)
La Puente at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Maranatha)
Norwalk at Arcadia, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Arcadia)
Gladstone at Monrovia, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Monrovia)
La Canada at Covina, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Covina)
Hamilton vs. Pasadena Poly at South Pasadena, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Poly)
California City at Rio Hondo Prep, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Rio Hondo Prep)
St. Francis at Dominguez, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Dominguez)

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  • PurdueAlum05

    Good luck to all West San Gabriel Valley teams this week. Let’s go out and prove doubters wrong!!!

    “You know what the Rams are capable of doing on the ground with Joshua Simangunsong leading the way. But in the end, I went with experience, and the Rams last season made the playoffs, albeit it was an early exit.”

    Did you mean Rosemead? Temple City didn’t make the playoffs last year. I still believe Temple City has gotten better over the year and will make-up for the early season loss to Rosemead. Beating the same team in the same season is a tough task and I think Temple City will challenge them.

    I am also calling Muir to upset La Mirada. The Stangs played Bishop Amat tough and I believe that team will show up Friday night.

  • Miguel Melendez

    Purdue: I meant to say the Panthers. I’ll change it. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Grim Reaper

    Never underestimate the potential for the “Mead” to lose a first round game.

    Flawed as TC’s SP game performance was, if the TC D can do a decent job containing the Mead running game, the game is a toss up. Neither team will win in the second round, but this matchup looks to be potentially the best spectator game in the first round.

  • Football Fan


    Sorry it’s nice to be optimistic for your hometown team but LM will beat Muir by at least 2 touchdowns. LM has 5 D1 bound college recruits and have overcome their early season adjustments of replacing key positions and are back to being the dominating team they were last year. Muir will more than have their hands full on LM’s home field. Just playing tough against Amat will not be enough to beat LM’s huge and talented line.

  • PurdueAlum05

    Grim Reaper,
    I agree with you. Either team will see a second round exit.

    Temple City at Rosemead –(Temple City)
    Muir at La Mirada –(Muir)
    La Puente at Maranatha –(Maranatha)
    Norwalk at Arcadia –(Arcadia)
    Gladstone at Monrovia –(Monrovia)
    La Canada at Covina — (Covina)
    Hamilton vs. Pasadena Poly at South Pasadena –(Poly)
    California City at Rio Hondo Prep –(Rio Hondo Prep)
    St. Francis at Dominguez –(Dominguez)

  • Homer

    Muir has a lot of Athletes but that just is not going to be enough! Question Miguel have you seen this La Mirada team play? or are you going off of record? LM is the most balanced team in the Southeast 1600 passing and 1700 rushing. Both backs are averaging 6 ypc. They smashed (42-14) a very good Mayfair team, that same Mayfair team that played Lakewood tough Los Al tough and Chino Hills tough and sorry to say the Amat score going into the 4th quarter was 34-6 is that really playing someone tough? I know it looks sexy on paper but lets be realistic here! LM by 14.

  • Goldenarm

    Stang Fan,

    lets hear your take on the LM game.

    I work with the dad of one of the LM players, but sorry man, no inside injury report or even a peak at the game plan…they know my loyalties lie with the SGV.
    Seen some film with the dad and trust me, LM can open some holes. Your backers have got to get there and fill – our it will be trouble for the Stangs. LM has depth.

    I put cash on the Stangs….and I got 6 points to boot.

  • Boom!

    Muir will have an emotional let down after beating the dog*ish out of PHS. It might be close for the first couple of quarters, but look for LM to overpower Muir.

  • Coach

    Mid-Valley Division
    Top Bracket
    Village Christian 14 at No. 1 Azusa 31
    Azusa’s first test of the year.
    Temple City 38 at Rosemead 42
    Rosemead is strong and TC doesnt belong.
    Bell Gardens 31 at Whittier Christian 42
    Whittier Christian is to big upfront.
    La Canada 0 at No. 4 Covina 45
    La Canada another team that shouldnt be in the mix, their going to get zipped two years in a row. Covina is way to talented.
    Bottom Bracket
    San Dimas 35 at No. 3 Arroyo 38
    Arroyo doesnt care who they play but are going to have their hands full with the returning C.I.F Champs.
    La Puente 0 at Maranatha 42
    LP sorry…not a chance.
    Baldwin Park 28 at Schurr 28 tie (Schurr wins in O.T)
    Cantu comes through!!
    Gladstone 0 at No. 2 Monrovia 55
    Shame on you G-Stone…this is what you reap! A first round exit.

  • i still think Muir is too undiciplined to win… too many penalties at crucial times will hurt them

    Rosemead’s Fregoso is on a roll, over 900 yds in last 3 games with over 10 TD’s, saw TC get handled by South Pas last wed, cant see them winning, but a nice team

  • valley guy

    If Muir win tis game believe me they will go all the way Muir is fast and strong LM looks good also but when they drop back and try to pass i believe Muir will have at least 3 or 4 picks come friday night LM only hope is to run the ball and as we all witnessed Muir run Defense these last 5 weeks yeah 5 weeks has been looking like the steel curtain defense. And for them to have a safety who is all over the field helps them to with those big corners LM better hope their run game open up because the pass will be shut completely down….MUIR by 17

  • Homer

    Valley Guy you should proofread it takes 30 seconds and you wont look like a 4 year old. Muir by 17 is an absolute joke if they can pull it off it will be a close hard nosed game. I don’t think Muir has faced an Offense like La Mirada’s Still going with LM by 14.

  • Goldenarm

    Last year is last year. Fregoso had mimimal yards and alot of carries against TC last year.
    The Rams don’t have ANY D lineman in the mold of Sutton, O’Malley and Fei, who terrorized the Rosemead backfield last year, making hits at the QB/RB exchange.
    In fact, the only lineman returning from last year is now our fullback…and he is having an outstanding season for TC, despite coming off an injury.
    Although TC did do a good job on Fregoso in their first meeting, that focus opened the Mead passing game and their QB had time to search well beyond his first target and find the open man, hurting TC time and again. It is now or never to find some way to rush the passer, because all season long our pass rush has not developed. Combine that with 10 yard cushions on the outside receivers and now you can picture Koffler and crew drooling to IMMEDIATELY TEST the quick pass to the outside. TC – please be ready for this! It is coming and plays that work off it will follow (out and up, etc)

    I think in game 1 the Mead looked past us, since our only victory at that time was against SoElMo, who had a horrible season. This time the Mead is cranked up and beating them is going to take DEFENSE in the 3rd degree.
    Whatever the outcome, McFarland has prevented further decay of Ram football, and the kids have quickly found trust in his word and actions. I personally hope he continues on at TC for years and grows the program, pushing the admin and Ramrodders to get him what he needs to return the Rams to a solid division contender.
    With our talent pool this can only be done by ground up fundamentals, overseen by frosh to varsity coaching talent dedicated to the same goal.
    Go Rams!

  • Realist

    Big game for the Apaches this week. I have 100% confidence in this Arcadia team. Go get em fellas.


  • Anonymous

    Its Money time. Its time for Mtown to Break the Stigma. Kill the any “10th Time” slogan. If we are not mentally tough, Mistake Free, playing every play, Then we will be Chanting “11th time”. Just like every division You are going to have to win 4 tough games! 16 quarters of Football. Playing 15 well may get you 2nd place. Ohhh we’ve heard it all, said it all and said it all…The one good thing about this season, is we are not 10-0, we are not the #1 seed, we already lost to San Dimas. We don’t have to worry about those things now…That’s Azusa’s problem! We just have to play ball. Its time to “Grow a pair” and take the title Mtown.yeah we have Bueno and McCarthy, but We have the “team” to do it.. We need the Diaper Dandies to stand up! 2nd best this year would absolutely be dagger in the heart! Beat Gladstone! That’s it,then Saturday let’s talk some more! Lock in! Ride or Die Green and White!

  • Monrovia lets “get it in”!

    Ride or Die Green and White! Get Locked and loaded. Play mentally tough, Mistake free and Snap to Whitsle Football for 4 Quarters! We are not looking for Slogans like “10th times a charm” or the “Bottom Bracket” is easy, or even “We got the best team”. The best team is the team that’s holding up the trophy at the end of the year! We will have to win 4 tough games! If the boys stay focused on the game instead of all the propaganda, then good things will happen! This week I see Gladstone between us and the title. Next week it will be someone else, then the week after that it will be another hungry team, all the way to promise land! The queston is how bad do we want it. Are we going to take it? Every year we say the same thing! This year we don’t have to worry about 10-0 or the #1 team, we already lost to San Dimas. We have had our adversity! Now its time to settle in and take it all. Lets go!

  • Bill and Teds

    Who is monrovia trying to kid around? Case in point, 2006 lost to La Salle in CIF and many more. The black cloud looms over monrovia high.

  • No one ever wants to say who their team is…

    Bill and Ted who is your team? Exactly!

  • $Big Aaron$

    @Football Fan Muir has almost the same team we put on the feild at charter oak last year and they had 5 D1 players 4 that play D1 now and Dennis Rufus who is going D1 we lost that game by 1 20-19 i dont know much about LM but im sure they should be worried bout us when we lost to Bisop Amat we did not have 2 of our captins playing our starting QB Jeff Davis and our 4 year starter on the oline C Danny Huerta not just good players but leaders and kids who set the tempo on the oline and for offense

  • Anonymous

    $Big Aaron$

    Come on buddy last year was last year and you are telling me that two kids make a team? and tempo should be set by all 11 on the field! Give me a break, Muir will put up some points Yes I fully agree with you on that one. Muir has to have the game of there life’s to hold LM under 28 points. Let me put it to you this way Mayfair’s D held Lakewood to 24 points going into the 4th Q they only had 14 on the board. La Mirada put up 42 on Mayfair and there JV team played the whole 4th Q. Sorry I’m a big fan of upsets but I’m also a realist and the reality is Muir is in for a long night and an even longer bus ride home!

  • midvalley talk

    Wow…Line play, How about QB play and Defense and everything else? Mid Valley talk. said:
    @Golden Arm, Aztec Pride, Colt 74, Valley Guy and anyon else..

    Golden arm, Great point about offensive and defensive line play. So Far I Have seen several of the Midvalley Powers play. I can say that some teams are going to be tested up front! Azusa’ line may be good, but they have not been tested in Montview. Arroyo’s line has not faced any competition in the Mission Valley. Covina, Monrovia, and San Dimas, BP, Maranatha, and Whittier Christian have face better line play throughout the year. Line play is going to determine how you run the ball.
    Offensive line/Defensive line Ranking
    1. Whittier Christian
    2. Monrovia
    3. Arroyo
    4. Covina
    5. Azusa
    6. village Christian
    7. Baldwin Park
    8. San Dimas
    9. Rosemead

    Now, No one is really talking about the depth at the QB Position in the Mid Valley playoffs. There are several Notable QB’s. QB play is going to make up a huge part of a teams chances this year. The top bracket has 3 The bottom bracket has 6. This is how they rank up.
    Qb Rankings
    1. Bueno(Monrovia)
    2. Livingston(Covina)
    3. Anderson(Whittier Christian)
    4. Elfers(Maranatha)
    5. Rivera(Arroyo)
    6. Cantu(Schurr)
    7. Rodriguez(Baldwin Park)
    8. Watts(San Dimas)
    9. Nunez(Azusa)
    10.Adame(Bell Gardens)

    Defense will get you to the Finals.
    Defensive Rankings
    1. Monrovia
    2. Azusa
    3. Covina
    4. Baldwin Park
    5. San Dimas
    6. Whittier Christian
    7. Arroyo
    8. Schurr
    9. Bell Gardens

    Offensive Rankings
    1. Covina
    2. Monrovia
    3. Arroyo
    4. Azusa
    5. Whittier Christian
    6. San Dimas
    7. Schurr
    8. Maranatha
    9. Baldwin Park
    10.Villiage Christian

    Athletes on Team Ranking
    1. Monrovia
    2. Covina
    3. Baldwin Park
    4. San Dimas
    5. Azusa
    6. Arroyo
    7. Whittier Christian
    8. Schurr
    9. Maranatha
    10.Villiage Christian

    Notable impact players in the Midvalley…


    Livingston, Venegas, Padilla

    Nunez, Ochoa, Nieto

    Whittier Christian
    Anderson, Worthy, Robles

    San Dimas
    Watts, Kolbeck, corona

    Rivera, Miller, Vasquez

    Cantu, GonZales,

    Baldwin park
    Jackson, Crutchfield, Rodriguez

    Bell Gardens

    Village Christian

    Elfers, Jones

    Macias, Fregoso

    I I have some interesting categories….chew on that!

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