2011 Star-News Preseason All-Area team, who’s on it?


Above: Maranatha’s Andrew Elffers wasn’t on the preseason list last year, but the then-sophomore exploded with an offensive flurry that was much too hard to ignore, snatching top billing as the best West San Gabriel Valley quarterback.

I went through last year’s Preseason list and the actual All-Area list, and wouldn’t you know it — I was actually pretty good. Sixteen of the 25 All-Area spots were accurately chosen months before the season got underway. Not bad. I’ll actually pick this list, but you guys are my eyes out there and have seen a lot of good stuff. We know the usual suspects who will head this list, like Elffers, who last season was the No. 3 passer in the country (yes, the country) among sophomores. He completed a staggering 67 percent of his passes for 3,328 yards and 37 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 269 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Minutemen to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs. The other usual suspects? On defense of course you can’t ignore “Big Bad” Ellis McCarthy. The guy’s just a beast, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. Muir’s Kevon Seymour will also be on this list, but he’s a little trickier: Where do you land Seymour, on offense or defense. He was a preseason defensive back and made All-Area as a defensive back, but he’ll see plenty of action on offense where he can tear it up, too. The usual list of suspects continues with Arcadia’s Taylor Lagace and St. Francis’ Travis Talianko. As for the rest … that’s where you come in.

2011 STAR-NEWS PRESEASON ALL-AREA TEAM
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Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy is third-highest SPARQ rated defensive lineman at Nike’s “The Opening”, rated No. 7 overall in the country in Tom Lemming’s Top 100 List.

Just last week, Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy took part in Nike’s “The Opening” which brought together the country’s most coveted recruits. McCarthy, a 6-foot-5, 306-pound defensive behemoth, was every bit as advertised. He scored a 103.5 SPARQ rating while running the 40 yard dash in 5.11 seconds, running an agility shuttle in 4.77 seconds, has a vertical jump of 28.1 inches and netted 43 feet in a power ball toss competition.

In case you’re wondering, SPARQ stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. It’s a scoring system designed to measure sport-specific athleticism with results through various tests. To put McCarthy’s number in perspective, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and current Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow scored a 96.92.

It’s no wonder McCarthy is No. 7 in Tom Lemming’s latest Top 100 List. Lemming says “He has come out of nowhere to become one of the most recruited defensive players in the nation. 2010 film shows him dominating at both the end and tackle positions.” McCarthy is a five-star recruit by most scouting services and is ranked No. 5 in the nation at his position, with offers from Arizona, Cal, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC and Washington.

That list undoubtedly will continue to grow in the next months, and a decision won’t be easy with more from the SEC coming into the mix. McCarthy will visit Alabama. You have to wonder if the San Gabriel Valley’s sensation will stay home or hit the road before making it big in the NFL. Don’t mean to get ahead of myself, but we all know he can pretty much start picking out a house for his mom.

La Caada hosting Pas Poly, Van Nuys and Chatsworth at 4 p.m. in SGV vs. SFV showdown on Wednesday.

If you want your schedule posted, just email me at miguel.melendez@sgvn.com and I’ll post your stuff on here. It’ll be interesting to see how Pasadena Poly can fare against some of the big boys, which also includes La Caada. The Panthers lost a lot of firepower with the graduation of Blake Edwards (Princeton) and Hunter Merryman (Midlebury College). As for La Caada, the Spartans return Kevin Stoner, a senior running back who will likely shoulder more offensive responsibility. It’s looking like the offensive/defensive line will see a significant bolster with the addition of some notable newcomers in senior Brenden Daly (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) and Tanner Massimino, a junior lineman standing 6-foot-3, 210 pounds.

Pasadena Poly selected Cal-Hi State School of the Year in Division V. This again begs the question: Does this now validate Pasadena Poly is a sports powerhouse?

Just a few weeks go the Star-News announced that Pasadena Poly’s Hunter Merryman and Michelle Miller were chosen by this newspaper as the male and female Athletes of the Year. If I’m correct, it’s the first time ever in this newspaper’s history to have selected the top athletes from the same school. In my story I open by writing that “perhaps it’s time to start thinking of Pasadena Poly as a sports powerhouse.”

It was merely a suggestion that’s certainly open for debate, but the Panthers collected another honor that perhaps validates the suggestion. Pasadena Poly was chosen the Division V Cal-Hi State School of the Year. It’s the first time in the school’s history to garner the award.

Pasadena Poly won CIF championships in girls basketball and baseball. The boys water polo team was a finalist while the boys basketball team and the football team each reached the semifinals in their respective divisions. The girls basketball team also reached the quarterfinals of the CIF State Southern California Regional playoffs. Miller (33 points per game) for the second consecutive season was selected Star-News Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Merryman (.512, 42 RBIs) was selected first-team All-CIF in football, basketball and baseball, and Panthers baseball coach Wayne Ellis was chosen CIF and Star-News Coach of the Year.

Powerhouse or not? At this point, is it even debatable?

Just For You: Your week-by-week football schedule.

It’s still way too early to dictate coverage, but why not have a little fun and look ahead at which teams we might highlight come Friday Night Lights for the Star-News coverage area. This schedule can change as the games get underway, but some are pretty obvious if you take a quick glance. If you want to see the entire 2011 football week-by-week schedule just click on the thread. If you feel another game deserves the Friday night headline, post a comment. You just might change my mind.

Week 0
Muir at San Gabriel, 7 p.m.

Week 1
St. Francis at Arcadia, 7 p.m.

Week 2
Azusa at Maranatha, 7 p.m.

Week 3
San Dimas at Monrovia, 7 p.m.

Week 4
Arcadia at Muir, 7 p.m.

Week 5
Temple City at Rosemead, 7 p.m.

Week 6
Harvard-Westlake at St. Francis, 7 p.m.

Week 7
Whittier Christian at Maranatha, 7 p.m.

Week 8
Temple City at La Canada, 7 p.m.

Week 9
St. Francis at St. Paul, 7 p.m.

Week 10
Muir vs. Pasadena at Rose Bowl, 7 p.m.

CLICK ON THREAD TO SEE ENTIRE WSGV WEEK-BY-WEEK FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
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Football: Former St. Francis QB Justin Posthuma among those who worked out with about 30 NFL players in workout at Charter Oak High.


Above: Former St. Francis QB Justin Posthuma, right, with Charter Oak QB Travis Santiago during a workout with professional, college and local athletes at Charter Oak. Posthuma is also below.

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer

COVINA – As part of an effort to reach out to fans scorned by the NFL’s ongoing labor dispute, about 30 professional football players took to the field at Charter Oak High School for a public workout Wednesday morning.

Under the direction of former Charter Oak standout Jason David, who played five years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl title with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006, the players worked on agility drills and later conducted a 7-on-7 scrimmage with referees from the Foothill-Citrus Officials Association overseeing the action.

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Football: Mike Hobbie brings wealth of experience to San Marino … primed to compete in the Rio Hondo League?

I haven’t had the chance to personally meet Mike Hobbie, but he sounds like a down to earth kinda guy in the few times we’ve spoken over the phone.

Hobbie previously coached football at Roosevelt High in Fresno where in three seasons he compiled an 18-12 record and had no losing seasons in his short time with the Roughriders. He previously coached five seasons at the University of South Florida, serving as the offensive coordinator. The Hobbie genes run deep, as his son Matt played football at the University of Kentucky while also playing baseball professionally after being drafted out of high school by the Cleveland Indians. According to his bio at Roosevelt, Hobbie has 30 years of coaching experience “and is known for rapidly turning around beleaguered programs.”

Sounds like San Marino picked the right guy then to lead a San Marino team that went 3-7 overall and 1-4 in Rio Hondo League play. In fairness, the Titans lost their most explosive weapon in Kwame Do. The 6-foot, 185-pound star running back is expected to comeback with a vengeance after suffering a torn ACL that sidelined him just two games into the season against La Salle. In that game, Do rushed for 223 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown before suffering the knee injury five minutes into the third quarter. Do intercepted a pass in the third quarter, tried to break free from a tackle but when he planted his right leg it buckled, landing in an awkward position.

With Do going down so went the Titans’ offensive prowess. Do’s return could mean big things for the Titans, but will he be enough?

Matt Wofford could be the front-runner at quarterback, and the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder may some protection with senior Matt Kanauss anchoring the offensive line at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds.

San Marino has some winnable games against Eagle Rock and La Salle right off the bat, perhaps even Rosemead. But can the trenches hold off Bell Gardens? It gets tough in league with a revamped Temple City line and, of course, the monster that is Monrovia. Still too early to tell if San Marino can come back and compete right away.