PrepXtra All-Area Special: Monrovia’s Nick Bueno is Player of the Year; Monrovia’s Ryan Maddox is Coach of the Year. Maranatha’s Andrew Elffers, Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy are selected offensive and defensive MVPs.

The 2010 Star-News All-Area team is in today’s PrepXtra Magazine, which you will find packaged in today’s Star-News with stories online on our preps page. The magazine includes a San Gabriel Valley all-encompassing team, plus the selections from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune as well. Hope you enjoy! You can purchase copies of PrepXtra at the Star-News or Tribune offices as well.

Nick Bueno (Monrovia) Sr.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Andrew Elffers (Maranatha) So.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia) Jr.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Ryan Maddox (Monrovia)

QB: Andrew Elffers (Maranatha) Jr.
RB: Matt Fregoso (Rosemead) Sr.
RB: Joshua Simangunsong (Temple City) Sr.
OL: Patrick Carroll (St. Francis) Sr.
OL: Chris Salgado (Alhambra) Sr.
OL: Alan Felix (San Marino) Sr.
OL: Danny Huerta (Muir) Sr.
OL: Dean Bisterfeldt (Monrovia) Sr.
AP: Blake Edwards (Pasadena Poly) Sr.
WR: Travis Talianko (St. Francis) Jr.
WR: Jay Henderson (Monrovia) Sr.
WR: Matt Nelson (South Pasadena) Sr.
PK: Gilmar Tenes (San Gabriel) Sr.

DL: Nathan Hamming (Pasadena Poly) Jr.
DL: Clarence Irvin (Arcadia) Jr.
DL: Michael Singelyn (St. Francis) Sr.
DL: Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia) Jr.
LB: Derrick Johnson (Monrovia) Sr.
LB: Tim Sanderson (Temple City) Sr.
LB: Nick Preciado (Rio Hondo Prep) Sr.
LB: Oliver Campbell (San Marino) Sr.
DB: Taylor Lagace (Arcadia) Jr.
DB: Charlie Cimmarusti (Monrovia) Sr.
DB: Kevon Seymour (Muir) Jr.
P: Ian Sternau (St. Francis) Sr.


QB: Brett Nelson (St. Francis) Sr.
RB: Charles Quintero (Rio Hondo Prep) Sr.
RB: Patrick Martin (South Pasadena) Sr.
OL: Jordan Pinsky (Pasadena Poly) Sr.
OL: Michael Lind (South Pasadena) Sr.
OL: Darrell Cheng (Arcadia) Sr.
OL: Ryan Teegarden (Monrovia) Sr.
OL: Faustino Macatangay (Monrovia) Sr.
AP: Arthur Brown (San Gabriel) Sr.
WR: Alex Villalobos (San Gabriel) Jr.
WR: Karl Holmes Jr. (Muir) Sr.
WR: Joshua Jones (Maranatha) Sr.
PK: Nick Palmer (Temple City) Sr.

DL: Jerome Brown (Monrovia) Sr.
DL: Howard Vaughn (Muir) Sr.
DL: Trent Washington (Maranatha) Sr.
DL: Kevin Figueroa (South Pasadena) Sr.
LB: Victor Wei (Arcadia) Sr.
LB: A.J. Rail (Arcadia) Sr.
LB: George Gonzales (Alhambra) Sr.
LB: Ryan McAleenan (St. Francis) Jr.
DB: Sam Hutchins (Muir) Sr.
DB: Michael Arkfeld (La Canada) Sr.
DB: Tevin Hodges (Pasadena) Sr.
P: Miguel Lagunas (South Pasadena) Jr.


QB – Nick Bueno, Monrovia, Sr.
RB – Jalen Moore, Bishop Amat, Jr.
RB – Chris Solomon, West Covina, Jr.
RB – Matt Fregoso, Rosemead, Sr,
WR – Dennis Rufus, Charter Oak
WR – Jay Henderson, Monrovia, Sr.
OL – Joseph Gibson, West Covina, Sr.
OL – Allen Brown, San Dimas, Sr.
OL – Christian Orduno, Bishop Amat, Sr.
OL – Dean Bisterfeldt, Monrovia, Sr.
OL – Chris Salgado, Alhambra, Sr.
ALL – B.J. Lee, West Covina, Sr.
PK – Brandt Davis, Bonita, So.
DL – Julian Gener, Amat, Sr.
DL – Auston Johnson, Chino Hills, Sr
DL – Ellis McCarthy, Monrovia, Jr.
LB – Mo Dupleasis, West Covina, Sr
LB – Derrick Johnson, Monrovia, Sr.
LB – KC Huth, Bonita, Sr.
LB – Jose Nunez, Azusa, Sr.
DB – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Chino Hills, Sr
DB – Demetrius Jackson, Baldwin Park
DB – Vinny Venegas, Covina, Jr.
DB – Anthony Molina, West Covina
P – Christian Fulham, Glendora, So.

As you can see, when it comes to this newspaper’s All-Area teams, the spoils really do go to the victors.
To say the Monrovia and West Covina High School football teams dominated this year’s picks of the best players is an understatement.
So, I won’t say it, but it’s obvious that’s what happened.
The Bulldogs went 13-1. The Wildcats went 12-2. Both teams were the last ones standing in their respective divisions and it wasn’t by mistake.
From line play, to skill players to special teams, both Monrovia and West Covina were truly special. For Monrovia, the 2010 team was able to bring home the first CIF championship in school history.
It was not only a season of firsts on the field, but also at the Tribune and Star-News. This year, we produced a season preview magazine that, while great, will be even better with some improvements next season.
And now, to wrap up the season, we’ve gone back to the magazine style and brought the schools of the two newspapers together to produce our first All-Area team that combines players from the Star-News and Tribune zones.
Obviously, these are the very best of the best, in our opinion. These are the players who will not soon be forgotten in a season that will be remembered forever in two different places.
It’s never easy making these lists. It’s an imprecise formula of weighing teams with varying attendance levels competing in divisions that often don’t have much in common.
But after deploying our troops of writers to all the games from September to December, we’ve got a pretty good idea what we’re doing.
As you’ll find in the coming pages, 2010 was a season like no other.
From Nick Bueno’s great all-around effort to Chris Solomon’s running wild to Matt Fregoso’s record-breaking run, the San Gabriel Valley is alive and well when it comes to football.
Now it’s time to honor the individuals who make it happen in the best way possible.

By Aram Tolegian

Nick Bueno’s illustrious career as quarterback of the Monrovia High School football team would not have been complete without a CIF championship.

That’s why when the Wildcats fell short in 2009, losing in the finals to San Dimas, Bueno hung a picture of himself looking defeated while sitting on the turf in his locker. It was to serve as a reminder. It worked.

In all three of Bueno’s seasons, he put up exceptional numbers. His senior year, though, he wanted the sweetest prize of all to go with his gaudy stats. Bueno got that on Dec. 11 at Arcadia High when he led Monrovia to its first-ever CIF championship.

After throwing for 1,828 yards, rushing for 1,513 yards and combining for 37 touchdowns, Bueno is the Star-News Player of the Year. “It’s really an honor,” Bueno said of the award. “I’m glad I got to finish my season like this. It’s really good for me, but at the same time, I didn’t do this by myself.

“I had a lot of help from everyone. We really came together and that’s
why we won a championship.”

Indeed, Bueno’s teammates did play a huge role in helping the pint-sized quarterback lead his team to the elusive first championship in school history. But Bueno’s numbers paint the image of one of the best-ever individual seasons by an offensive player in local history.

Bueno led Monrovia in rushing this season, but it was his arm that got Monrovia its points when it mattered most, i.e. the Mid-Valley championship against Whittier Christian. Bueno threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns in the 38-8 win.

A week prior, Bueno helped the Wildcats avenge last year’s loss to San Dimas in the championship by putting a 47-17 whipping on the Saints in this year’s semifinals. Bueno threw for 226 yards in the symbolic win, which further boosted Monrovia’s confidence and helped ease the sting of the previous two setbacks.

As great as the numbers were, this year was all about the wins for Bueno and his team. Wins were the only thing that could eliminate the term bridesmaids from people’s vocabulary when they talked about Monrovia football.

But instead of using the spoils of winning as motivation, Bueno used the reminder of defeat in the form of the photograph that haunted his locker until the CIF championship plaque was all his.
“I had the picture sitting in my locker all year long,” Bueno said of the photo from last year’s championship game. “I remember that game ended and I was just sitting there. I felt it was a dream and when I stood up, everything would be fine. But it wasn’t.

“It gave everybody great motivation all year that we didn’t want to feel that way again.”
With his arm and legs, Bueno made sure on a weekly basis that there would be no regrets this year after the final game.

Is he the best player in Monrovia history? The numbers say it. The CIF championship ring says it. But you won’t catch Bueno saying it. “There’s just a lot of relief,” he said. “It felt good to get this done for the community. I’ve been working so hard to get a CIF championship, that if we lost, I would have felt like the last three years were for nothing.”

Instead, they were three of the best in Monrovia history.

By Aram Tolegian

It’s taken Monrovia High School football COACH Ryan Maddox three years to eliminate a lifetime of tough luck for the Wildcats when it comes to winning CIF championships.

Until its resounding win over Whittier Christian in the CIF Mid-Valley Division championship, Monrovia had always been known as the hard-luck loser when it came to the truly big games.

The Wildcats’ 0-9 record in title games before this year’s triumph spoke for itself. The label the program wore around had built up years of frustration for generations of players. Maddox was just the man to fix it all and that’s exactly what he did in his own subtle way.

For leading Monrovia to a 12-2 record, winning the Rio Hondo League and bringing home a CIF championship, Maddox is the Pasadena Star-News Coach of the Year.

“It was a culmination of three years of hard work by the coaches and the kids,” Maddox said. “This team went through its ups and downs this year, but you could see it in the kids, they weren’t going to be deterred.”

Maddox intentionally made Monrovia’s nonleague schedule one of the toughest around because he wanted the adversity that so many fans thought his team could not overcome to be present right away in their season.

Monrovia started the year with a loss to Glendora. Nobody blinked after that result, but when the Wildcats blew a big, fourth-quarter lead against San Dimas in Week 3 and lost in overtime, all the naysayers were back at it.

As much as the San Dimas loss stung, Maddox was able to use it to convince his team that nothing would come easy if the Wildcats wanted to reach their full potential.

Monrovia rebounded from the San Dimas loss by beating upper-division South Hills the following week, and the Wildcats never lost again.

“The San Dimas loss was the turning point,” Maddox said. “That (loss) crystallized what we were talking about with the kids. It all became evident.

“As coaches, we preached to them all along that you’re going to have to face adversity, and until you get through it, it’s all just talk.”

Once in the playoffs, Monrovia never even had to sweat the type of close game that would have fans doubting their mental states. The Wildcats routed Gladstone, handled Schurr, whipped San Dimas for some sweet revenge, and jumped all over Whittier Christian to win the elusive CIF title.

“I don’t know if it’s relief so much as it’s satisfaction,” Maddox said. “It’s very evident by the outpouring that there’s a lot of people who went through those losses. I don’t want to say it was
surprising the way we played in the playoffs. I think we knew our kids could play that way and they went out and did it.”

By Miguel A. Melendez

His numbers couldn’t be ignored.

Quarterback Andrew Elffers almost single handedly put the Maranatha High School football team on the national screen with his week in and week out performances.

His final numbers read like a perennial all-star: Elffers completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,328 yards and 37 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 269 yards and five touchdowns.

Maranatha (8-4) finished second in the Olympic League, arguably the toughest league in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division.

Elffers passed for 329 yards and three touchdowns against Mid-Valley Division runner-up Whittier Christian and 587 yards and six touchdowns against Cerritos Valley Christian in an epic, five-overtime thriller.

During the Minutemen’s first-ever appearance in the Mid-Valley Division playoffs, Elffers passed for 402 yards and six touchdowns against La Puente in the opening round and went 12-for-12 for 260 yards and three touchdowns against defending champion San Dimas in the second round.

That Elffers is only a sophomore makes it all the more impressive.

For carrying a team with such poise and in dominating fashion, Elffers has been selected the Pasadena Star-News’ offensive player of the year.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder finished as the top passer in the Mid-Valley Division and was second behind Claremont’s Daniel Kessler in the entire Southern Section. Among sophomores, Elffers was the passing leader in the state and third in the nation. He finished fourth overall in California.

“It’s a great honor,” he said. “But I’m nothing without my teammates and the whole school to back me up. I’m also nothing without my Savior. I thank them every day.”

By Miguel A. Melendez

Ellis McCarthy’s presence alone commands respect.

The junior defensive tackle from Monrovia High School stands an intimidating 6-feet-5 and weighs 295 pounds. His father, Ed, knew he had something special even at an early age.

“I thought I was raising a wide receiver,” he recalls. “He was always bigger than everyone else. But around the fifth grade he was just getting bigger and bigger, and I had a lineman in my hands.”

McCarthy was brought up to varsity his freshman year during Ryan Maddox’s first year as coach. The raw talent was obvious.

“We had a hard time blocking him at practice,” Maddox said. “He was still pretty green, but we knew he was going to be a beast. He just kept getting bigger and bigger, and he’s now turned into a major Division I prospect.”

McCarthy has caught the eye of Nebraska, LSU, Oregon, Colorado, USC and UCLA. He took part in the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio on the same day his teammates took part in a parade celebrating the school’s first-ever CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship.

McCarthy’s defensive prowess played a key part in the Wildcats’ success this season, earning him 2010 Pasadena Star-News defensive player of the year honors.

When the ball snaps, that’s when McCarthy is at his best.

“That’s my favorite moment,” he said. “The goal is the same next year and win another CIF (championship).”

Natural talent alone is not enough, and McCarthy understood that.

“He really pushes himself,” Maddox added. “He’s obviously very gifted and blessed with size, but he’s really worked hard to get faster and become better.”

As for 2011 opponents, the best is yet to come.

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