Football: Monrovia’s Blanco finally getting his chance

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

MONROVIA – Christian Blanco’s football career started seven years ago as a fifth-grade student at Monroe Elementary School.

The senior running back from Monrovia High School wasn’t carrying a football, much less wearing pads or cleats.

In fact, he wasn’t even on a football field.

He was racing his friend Davonte Walls in the 100-meter dash. Walls lost that day, but went home to tell his dad, Donell, about the race.

Blanco’s come a long way since, and become another weapon in the long list of weapons Monrovia will use against Whittier Christian on Saturday night at 7:30 in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship game at Arcadia High School.

“He (Davonte) came up to me and said, `Hey, dad, I really want you to meet my friend,’ ” recalled Donell, who works security at Monrovia and has served as head coach for the Wildcats freshman football team.

“I saw him (Blanco) race again and I thought he was pretty fast for his size. I encouraged him to play football, and he did.”

It wasn’t long before Blanco signed up to play for the Duarte Falcons. He wasn’t a stranger at Monrovia, where his older brothers Genaro and Rigo wrestled and played soccer.

Blanco grew up attending Monrovia football games and was in awe of star running back Adam Gabriel, who was heavily recruited by Wisconsin, Colorado and USC before signing with Colorado State. Blanco vowed to one day play running back.

“Since I was a little kid I wanted to play running back at this school,” Blanco recalled.
“So I did my best to work as hard as I could to get and run you over.”

CLICK ON THREAD TO CONTINUE READING FEATURE

Walls left Monrovia after his freshman season to live with his grandmother in Arlington, Texas. He became a three-year starting safety and earned a football scholarship to Memphis University. He’s twice played at Cowboys Stadium and played in front of a national TV audience.

Blanco’s career, much like his running game, took some time before taking off. He was brought up to varsity his sophomore season and was a kicker/backup fullback as a junior.

He was deep in the depth chart behind Deshawn Ramirez and Justin De La Nuez, among others, last season, but the 5-foot- 9, 210-pounder didn’t let that deter him.

He relished every opportunity running the ball, and he was often found eagerly waiting and standing next to Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox in hopes of getting a few carries in the late part of games last season.

“We knew he was talented,” Maddox said.

Talent alone, however, could get Blanco only so far, so he dedicated himself to losing weight.

In two months, Blanco lost 20 pounds. He watched what he ate and increased his workouts. Every day he jumped rope for 10 minutes.

He turned a large plastic duffle bag into a makeshift warm-up top. He wore a heavy sweatshirt as well in an effort to sweat more. It was a boxing trick he learned from his uncle, George Romo.

The extra work during the offseason didn’t go unnoticed. Blanco’s dedication was on display in the weight room, and soon he shed the pounds.

“He’s an extremely strong young man,” Maddox said.

“He squats probably close to 500 pounds. He’s a hard worker in the weight room and worked his butt off in the offseason to get himself into a position to start.”

Blanco is one among a slew of talented running backs Monrovia utilizes. Michael Harris, Marquise Bias, Derrick Johnson and Charles Jackson are the others. Blanco’s carries, however, have increased exponentially as the season has progressed.

He emerged as an unstoppable force in Monrovia’s 47-14 victory over San Dimas last week, punishing the Saints with 178 yards and four touchdowns.

“It got to the point in the San Dimas game no matter what we ran they couldn’t stop him,” Maddox said.

“As a defensive coordinator, you have to try to take something away. With Blanco, you have a tough-nosed runner with good vision. He has the ability to cut and run you over.”

Blanco is the second-leading rusher on the team with 629 yards and 10 touchdowns. Before last week, Blanco’s name was seldom brought up. He changed that almost in an instant last week, and is now another offensive wrinkle Whittier Christian will have to account for.

It’s the little things, though, that impress Maddox.

“It’s the way he finishes,” he said.

“He’s gotten better throughout the year; that’s why he is where he is now.”

Blanco last season didn’t see any action against Whittier Christian in the semifinals or against San Dimas in the division final. Mason Bryant took over kicking duties and Bueno led the Wildcats in carries against San Dimas.

Losing 12-7 to the Saints in the final still lingers, and it served as a constant reminder for Blanco as he prepared in the offseason.

Only this time he’ll play a bigger role and have more of a say in how it ends.

“I felt like they took something away from us,” Blanco said.

“It’s time for us to go and get it back.”

miguel.melendez@sgvn.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email
  • Romball

    What a week? Defeating the defending champs at their house,in their “Black Jerseys. ” home field…no home field…sort of home field. A rematch of last years semi finals. Blanco is a fun guy to watch, reminds me of what a lineman would loiok like if they ran the ball. He’s very strong but deceptively quick and hits the holes with a vengeance. I have not seen the Cats as focused as they are this year. These two games have had me eager with anticipation and if Bueno can spin it like he did last week then I have no doubt the cats will take home the crown.

  • BigCat

    I’m glad to see Blanco getting a chance now, after all of his hard work.
    However, football is a team game. Each and every player on the Wildcat team needs to be focused on the game. Each and every player has to be ready to play up to his capability. Go team! GO ‘CATS!

  • MonroVian

    Not going to lie, you would think Bueno, McCarthy or Johnson to be my favorite player right? Nope Mr. Blanco always caught my eye and I always wondered why they didn’t use him more…. After last weeks game my prayers were answered and Mr. Blanco Pounded that Rock like I know he could….. I was also lucky to shake his hand after the game and you would of thought he just came out of church, as calm as can be! I’m telling you he is the real deal…. I hope they utilize him more for his final week of H.S. Football…Thank you Wildcats for a awesome season, let’s do it one more time this Sat night fellas…..

  • Philly B.

    Blanco is a very good running back, a pounder if you will. And he saw a good running back coming up in Adam ‘A-train’ Gabriel. Adam was a great guy, had tremendous speed for his size, and he could HIT!!! After Akil harris, Adam Gabriel has to be one of the next greatest running backs in Monrovia’s history. I hope Blanco goes for 100yds against the heralds. Good Luck Cats Go Get em!

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com/ Seo Services

    I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I’m very very impressed.

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com Link Building

    Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

  • http://www.crackedwildfire.com dedicated server

    I found this website through bing while searching for dedicated servers and I was wondering if a blade is nearly as good as a dedicated server?

  • http://www.crackedwildfire.com hosted servers

    I found this website through google while searching for dedicated hosting and I was wondering if a blade is nearly as good as a dedicated server?

  • http://www.dedicated-servers.crackedwildfire.com dedicated servers

    I found this website through google while searching for dedicated hosting and I was wondering if a blade is almost as good as a dedicated server?

  • http://www.dedicated-servers.crackedwildfire.com dedicated server

    I found this website through bing while searching for dedicated servers and I was wondering if a blade is nearly as good as a dedicated server?

  • http://www.dedicated-servers.crackedwildfire.com dedicated server

    I found this website through yahoo while searching for dedicated server and I was wondering if a blade is almost as good as a dedicated server?

  • http://www.crackedwildfire.com dedicated server

    I found this website through bing while searching for dedicated hosting and I was wondering if a blade is almost as good as a dedicated server?

  • http://www.dedicated-servers.crackedwildfire.com dedicated server

    I found this website through google while searching for dedicated hosting and I was wondering if a blade is nearly as good as a dedicated server?

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com/ Link Building Services

    Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day :)

  • http://www.vipseoforum.com seoforum

    A very good and informative post!

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com Get Backlinks

    This is the best blog I’ve ever seen in my life! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to share your this with everyone.

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com/ Get Backlinks

    Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here :)

  • http://dublicatable.com Best Business Opportunity

    Does anyone know of a really good business to join? I am looking for the best business opportunity.

  • http://www.TheJobSearchSource.com Doug Toohey

    Thanks for the posting, I really appreciate it. It was most helpful.

  • http://seotons.edublogs.org seotons concours

    Hi buddy, your blogs design is simple and clean and i like it. Your blog posts are superb. Please keep them coming. Greets!!!

  • http://www.mycoolcasinos117.co.cc free website

    Hi!!! Hello from Russia!! Just Marry Cristmas!!

  • http://www.wprobot-review.com/ WP Robot Discount Code

    I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  • http://www.tlumaczeniatechniczne.atranspl.com Dekarze

    I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I’m very very impressed.

  • http://www.hdmoviesforfree.com watch free online movies

    Great post, bookmarked!

  • http://www.clearcreekfinancial.com free credits score

    Many thanks for the marvelous blog posting! I found your post very interesting, I believe you are a excellent writer. I added your blog to my bookmarks and will return in the futureto your blog. Keep up that exciting job, have a great daytime!

  • http://www.pornovideolarim.net/album/slideshow/56 lolita resimleri

    Thanks my friend was nice information

  • http://www.suusenco.nl/2008/09/23/pms/comment-page-21/ ian todd img

    Informed decision-making comes from a long tradition of guessing and then blaming others for inadequate results.

  • http://bestblackberry.com/blackberry-playbook-preview-and-first-impression-in-action-20184/ PlayBook specs

    I think McCain’s daily grueling schedule for the past year would land most of us in the hospital out of mental and physical exhaustion. Why don’t you go back to sleep and dream about your savior.

  • http://www.drseo.org Las Vegas Web Marketing

    Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

  • http://www.SeoMarketingServicesOnline.com Get Backlinks

    Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

  • http://www.bestrunningwatch.net/ Steve

    I was looking for something different on Google, but ended here, reading your blog post, good read, thanks.

  • http://www.guysgarage.com Lindsay Langbehn

    Kudos for the great article. I am glad I have taken the time to learn this.

  • http://www.cheapjuicys.com juicy couture

    Bing is logo most likely charge them a good-looking amount of cash but just after the numerous 1000′s that they possibly spent maybe th is could happen to be created by a college child in h is breaktime on Microsoft is extremely individual phrase.

  • http://runningclotheswomen.info running clothes women

    I am not truly positive if top tactics contain emerged around things like that, other than I am definite that your big work is clearly discovered. I was thinking if you offer some membership near your RSS feeds since I would be extremely interested.

  • http://lcdtvsaleshop.info samsung lcd hdtv

    I like this data presented and it has given me some sort of commitment to succeed for some reason, so keep up the good work.

  • http://www.goodbelstaff.com Belstaff bags

    One more fascinating post! Th is is one particular from the number of blogs I can return to on the regular bas is.