Football: Think you can pick the All-Area team? Try it.

Making these selections are never easy. Believe me. One thing is certain: no matter how it turns out, someone will feel their player, son, cousin or nephew was left off the team. I wonder, would the process be easier if there was a player of the year, offensive player of the year and defensive player of the year? Whatever the case, this season has produced a lot of good candidates, which makes it all the more harder to pick. Have at it.


QB – Pick one
RB – Pick two
OL – Pick five
AP – Pick one
WR – Pick three, which could include a tight end
PK – Pick one

DL – Pick four
LB – Pick four
DB – Pick three
P – Pick one

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Winter previews, preseason top 10 comes next week

Winter coaches: I lost almost all your cell phone numbers in a snafu last spring. If you’d be kind, can you e-mail me your phone number, or text me if you have my newest number, which starts with the number 5. Thanks!

Winter top ten previews for boys and girls basketball and boys and girls soccer will run on consecutive days from Nov. 30 through Dec. 3. Winter sports teams begin playing on Nov. 29. We will run a wrestling preview the following week. TOURNAMENT SCHEDULES: Please email schedules so we can post your schedules on the blog, in the newspaper, update them after each round, and of course so we know which games to cover. You can email them directly to

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Star Picks: It’s not a jinx, just a pick. You play. Go win.

The Stang Fan and I will go head-to-head this season, though I don’t see the point anymore…

Melendez: 7-2 last week; total 144-47-1
Stang Fan: 8-1 last week; total 154-37-1

The Stang Fan’s lone loss pick last week came against Muir. Yes, Muir. Of course you know by now the Mustangs thrashed La Mirada to move on. Arcadia and St. Francis were my wrong picks. I initially had Dominguez winning, but at the last second changed my mind. Call it a jinx if you want, but to say as much is insane, that whichever team we pick to win is jinxed. It’s a lose-lose situation, if you ask me. Pick a team to win, it’s a jinx, pick a team to lose, no faith or, worse, “disrespect.” Do I think Monrovia is going to win the Mid-Valley Division? Yeah. Of course. Will the Wildcats have it easy? Probably not. Monrovia has the talent to win the whole thing, but they have to continue to work hard to get it done. Any team’s own undoing in the playoffs will not be because this newspaper picked them to win. Their undoing will stem from miscues, penalties, turnovers, etc. Just like any team’s success will stem from execution and mistake-free football, not because this newspaper picked your team to win. When these picks come out, remember: It’s a pick, not a jinx. You go play, and win.

Friday’s schedule with predictions
Bonita at Muir — Melendez (Muir)
Rosemead vs. Village Christian at Glendale — Melendez (Rosemead)
Maranatha at San Dimas –Melendez (Maranatha)
Schurr at Monrovia — Melendez (Monrovia)
Pasadena Poly at Desert Christian — Melendez (Poly)
Rio Hondo Prep at Boron — Melendez (Rio Hondo Prep)

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Star-Jibber: … And then there were six … Muir the most dangerous team to face right now? Maranatha, Monrovia highlight the week ahead; Rosemead, Rio Hondo Prep, Poly hit the road in second round of CIF-SS Playoffs.

Still not sure which team will grace the Star-News cover, but Bonita-Muir make a strong case. The question everybody is asking right now: Is Muir the most dangerous team in the Southeast Division? The Mustangs didn’t just beat La Mirada, they sent a strong message. Are the ‘Stangs back? It’s looking that way. I knew this team was too good, and the way Muir played early in the season was not indicative of how strong they really were. It wasn’t until the Turkey Tussle when I finally saw the Mustangs put it together in just about every way possible, minus the silly penalties. Muir against La Mirada showed up on offense, thanks to Kevon Seymour, and took advantage of miscues and turnovers. Muir’s finally put it together, and teams better watch out.

Call me crazy, but I can see Maranatha beating San Dimas. I still want to gather info on Josh Jones’ injury. I told you La Puente’s credentials were suspect, and the Minutemen exposed ’em. Don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you about Andrew Elffers. The sophomore QB is like having a wizard offensive coordinator on the field.

Rosemead looked really good against Temple City. Paul Cruz filled in nicely for Matt Macias, who was not expected to play because of soreness in his right throwing shoulder. Matt Fregoso racked nearly 400 yards on the ground and he scored a whopping seven touchdowns. Seven! I’m starting to wonder if Village Christian can stop Fregoso. The kid dances around defenses. On one particular play in the third quarter, Fregoso jumped out of a small pile at the line of scrimmage and was within arm’s length of two Temple City players. But Fregoso put it in third gear and took off, making his way for yet another long TD run. By the way, way too many people on the Rosemead sidelines and not nearly as many fans sitting in the stands. Really, you can’t sell out a playoff game? Baffling.

Rio Hondo Prep and Pasadena Poly hit the long, dusty road. The Panthers should come back the victors. The Kares will face a tough Boron team, but vengeance will be on their mind.

Monrovia-Schurr will be interesting. Both teams boast outstanding quarterbacks. I still point to Ellis McCarthy as a huge momentum changer. No need to milk a dead cow by telling you about Nick Bueno. The kid’s pretty damn, well, Bueno.

Friday’s schedule
Bonita (10-1) at Muir (7-4)
Rosemead (8-3) vs. Village Christian (7-4) at TBA
Maranatha (8-3) at San Dimas (7-4)
Schurr (7-4) at Monrovia (9-2)
Pasadena Poly (8-3) at Desert Christian (9-2)
Rio Hondo Prep (9-1) at Boron (10-1)

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