Football: Monrovia haunted in past nine CIF title games

Monrovia is the only school in the CIF-Southern Section’s history to have advanced to nine finals without bringing home a CIF championship. Here’s a closer look at Monrovia’s nine title-game appearances in its storied history. If it beats Whittier Christian on Saturday in the Mid-Valley Division championship game, is this Monrovia team the greatest in school history?

1935 — Santa Barbra 14, Monrovia 12, Major Division at the Rose Bowl
1951 — Pomona 26, Monrovia 13, Major Division at Mt. SAC
1959 — San Diego 53, Monrovia 0, AAA Division
1973 — Crescenta Valley 14, Monrovia 7, AAA Division
1982 — Verbum Dei 7, Monrovia 0, Northwestern Conference at Citrus College
1997 — Mira Costa 28, Monrovia 14, Division IX at El Camino College
1998 — Paso Robles 28, Monrovia 24, Division X at War Memorial Stadium
1999 — Paso Robles 29, Monrovia 10, Division X at Citrus College
2009 — San Dimas 12, Monrovia 7, Mid-Valley Division at Citrus College
2010 — ???

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  • Apache Joe

    No way is this Monrovia’s greatest team ever. The level of competition they play here compared to schools like Mira Costa and Crescenta Valley way back are biggest, stronger, more talented football teams. Whittier Christian has some good players but come on, you can’t be saying that Whittier Christian is better than a school like Mira Costa in the 90’s or Paso Robles back then. The overall talent at Monrovia, especially 97 and 98 was pretty exceptional.

    Bueno will play college ball somewhere, don’t know the caliber or the level yet. McCarthy will be a 4-star recruit at least and be offered by probably all the Pac-10 and more.

    I would love for someone to compare Akil Harris to these two. For anyone who saw him play would know how incredible he was.

  • 2000 Wildcat of the year

    I played at the Town during 97,98,99 and those teams played better teams if we had played SD or WC for the tropy it would have been a 3 peat hands down but can’t cry over spilled milk so good luck cats if you bring it home you have my vote but only because you sealed the deal now if they could of played the 90’s teams think they would be in trouble!

  • FredJ

    Looking at all the scores the Wildcats were within in a touchdown in five of their nine losses, that’s just unlucky. I don’t know if winning on Saturday makes them the best Monrovia team ever, but they will be the first to get it done, guaranteed.

  • Anonymous

    Hey chill, I don’t know why Miguel Melendez would put that out there before the game. Let’s just focus on Saturday night. If Monrovia wins the game then you can compare.

  • Mon. Alum

    I would have to agree with Apache Joe. This is a great team but certainly not the greatest MHS has produced. When you think back to the teams stacked in 96-99 with Justin Yule, Mike Scott, Kasey Moore, Mike Mason, Danny Edmonds (who would have dwarfed McCarthy at 6’10 340), Akil Harris, and so forth this years team isn’t even close to being the best. What I love is that we’re still going to win this weekend! Sorry Whittier Christian, you’re in our way!

  • Now, it the time!

    You can not compare the divisions now to back in the day. Cif has done a great job reorganizing the divisions. Back in the day Teams were in division they should not have been in. Now The competition is balanced out. You don’t have Mira Costa a Div 2 team in Div 10 or Paso in Div 10. Monrovia is right where they should be. There are a lot of us who have played in those Championship games. It’s True, those teams played in a higher Division. We should not compare era’s. This will be the best team in 2000’s era when they win it. Plain and simple. Bueno will go down as one the best players in Monrovia history. Who could argue? You have to give him his props. 1 Cif Semifinals, and 2 CIF Finals appearances and possibly the 1st title. Yes they don’t have a Akil Harris, or Micheal Ainsworth, or a 80’s loaded team, but the cats do have talent. They have a McCarthy, and a load upcoming Freshman and Sophmores, who may go back to back CIF champs. That’s the truth. The Fact that Monrovia has lost some close games is not luck. We have had made some mistakes which cost us. This year Whittier Christian is a formidable opponent. Good Competition. Is this Mira Costa with two D2 titles, or Paso Robles, with 5 div 10 titles…no. You play them teams you are matched up with. Winning a CIf title is BIG no matter who you play! The game is going to be tough. If Monrovia, can win this game, and maybe next years game, they may get a shot at moving up in comp. Now look, “if” and “if” does not count, Monrovia wins all those title games, you could possible see Wildcat football playing in D1, D2, or D3 today. You have to Win to prove you are ready to Move up. Congrats to the 2010 Wildcats. Don’t let anyone stop your shine! Us old cats want this title, just as bad as you do! We are behind them 100%.

  • 8 Mobin / Mtown!

    Ha ha, yeah we had some BIGGINS back then! C/O 98 don’t forget Mike “A1″ Ainsworth, Jamal Bourne, Jerry” Big Nebraska” Hemingway (6’4, 295), Ron Givan, Akil “The Horse” Harris, Josh Adams, Paul E. John Huerta, Earvin Baker (who is a monster now) Adam S.!!!!! The list go’s on and on what a team! 8 Mob Was Bout It, Bout it! LOL… Hey boys go out on Saturday and play and win One for all of us that came up a bit short! It was meant to be won in 2010! Let’s get those rings Fellas……

  • FredJ

    If I’m Monrovia, I talk about 0-9 all the time. I talk to the players about being the first to win it. I would embrace breaking the streak the same way the Lakers embraced breaking the Celtics’ streak of eight straight finals wins over the Lakers before Magic Johnson and the ’85 team beat the Celtics for the title at the Boston Garden. There’s no better feeling than being the first to accomplish something, especially in Monrovia’s case, a team with the longest losing finals streak in CIF history. Don’t be afraid to talk about it or be upset with Miguel for posting the scores. Any sports writer worth his keyboard would play this angle up as much as possible. If you’re Monrovia embrace it, talk about it and do something about it – the reward will be everything you imagine it to be once you get it done on Saturday.

  • Go Mtown

    2010 be the First team to win. OK Cats Make history!

    CIF MID Valley Championship
    Monrovia vs Whittier Christian
    Saturday, Dec 11, 2010

  • Yeh yeh yeh

    Either way they’ll make history…the first Monrovia football team to win a CIF title…or the first football team to lose 10 CIF championships. History will be made this Saturday for sure!

  • hs fb fan

    I can’t help but notice that at least 7 of the championship games were at jc stadiums or better.

  • PurdueAlum05

    The best Monrovia team in school history has to be the 1997 with Mike Ainsworth and Akil Harris. Unfortunately for this team, Division IX was loaded back then as they lost in the finals to Mira Costa. I think New York would agree with me on this one.

  • Observantcat

    PurduAlum05:…Not, but close. “82” Team with Chris Hale. Paul Hewitt, Kim Ainsworth at QB, Cliff Soijka, and a host of other first team all cif players. Verbum Dei had 6 D1 players and 3 eventual NFL Monrovia graduated 6 D1 players as well and 2 NFL players from that team Chris Hale and Willie Griffin. Akil and Co. were good but this team was Great. By the way if they had to play a East vs. West back then Monrovia took out a Great Randy Tanner lead Bishop Amat team in the preseason.

  • New York

    I don’t look at this as 0-9. I look at this as a school rich in tradition such that they have been successfully competing at a high level for 75 years.

    Observant Cat,
    I notice the specific QB. Two questions: 1) Is it possible that the kid at Covina will come home? 2) What about Robbie B at QB?
    By the way, I understand the ’83 team was pretty tough but they lost to Harry Welch’s Canyon Country in the semis.

    PurduAlumn, I often struggle with Monrovia’s 1997 vs. 1998 team comparison and it comes down to this: 1997 had both Ainsworth and Akil. However, 1998 was led by a senior QB and senior tailback and at least three tough seniors on the offensive line. I think 1997 had a tougher defense. 1998 was more run dominated which is more consistent and reliable PLUS Darryl Moore was as senior QB. 1997 often looked to A1 to make a play. I can’t stress the importance of a veteran QB.

    Anyway, it really is splitting hairs between Monrovia’s 1997 and 1998 teams.

  • Gobidog

    I just want to make the comment that this may not be the most talented team but it may be the best coached. I have a good feeling about this game because this team has a ton of character.

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  • MHS

    The 2010 teams is not the best team in MHS history but they did do what no other had done before them. I can only imagine what the 1982,1983 and 1997 teams would have done to this level of competition. Thinking about it, the 82 team beating the then powerhouse Bishop Amat at their place. That would be like this years Monrovia team beating a pac-5 team like Alemany. And If I remember, the ’84 held a 6-0 lead over Loyola before losing 20-6. But all said, its the 2010 team with the title.

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