Just for fun I looked for the West San Gabriel Valley teams ranked in Aram’s Post-Passing Circuit All-Encompassing SGV(N) Top 25 and see if that’s how the Star-News top teams would be ranked in order. Not surprisingly, Aram nailed it. There really can’t be any disputing Monrovia is the No. 1 team in the area. The Wildcats are the defending Mid-Valley Division champions and are one of the most balanced teams in the West San Gabriel Valley. Here’s an interesting tidbit to debate over: CalPreps.com has Monrovia ranked No. 76 in the state while Charter Oak, the SGV(N) No. 1 team, is No. 150.
At No. 2 is Arcadia. The Apaches have a strong tandem in quarterback Myles Carr and wide receiver Taylor Lagace. Look for the running game to give Arcadia a much more balanced offense this season with Rodney Arnett anchoring the backfield. The Pacific League, and the Southeast Division, could be in for a huge surprise.
At No. 3 is St. Francis. The Knights are always loaded, aren’t they. Travis Talianko is the guy to keep your eye on. Talianko is a two-time Star-News first-team All-Area kid at wide receiver. The defense figures to be much improved this season with a year under its belt. Joey Dowling and Luke Anderson return at linebacker and Parker Nieves also has experience in the secondary. Watch out.
At No. 4 is Muir. The No. 3 and 4 teams can easily be swapped, but I’ll leave them like this for now. Kevon Seymour is being recruited on the defensive end, but look for his versatility to lend itself offensively. He can play multiple positions (QB, WR, RB). Seymour already has been invited to the Army All-American Bowl and has offers from top Division I schools, including Florida. Tairen Owens also will see plenty of attention from the recruiting circle.
At No. 5 is Maranatha. The Minutemen’s offensive prowess starts with none other than Andrew Elffers. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior quarterback is the reigning Star-News Offensive Player of the Year. He’ll transition from shotgun to 3-step and 5-step drop backs. There still will be some packages that call for Elffers to line up at shotgun, but expect Elffers to play the more traditional role. Elffers passed for 3,328 yards and 37 touchdowns as a sophomore, and the Minutemen needed him to do that with significant injuries in the backfield. But with Omar Younger healthy and a slew of seniors committed to running the football, a run game could make Elffers’ life a little easier while also making the Minutemen a much more balanced offense.
As for the rest of the top 10, you’ll have to wait until PrepXtra Magazine hits the stands.