Well, that didn’t take long. Because for the first time there’s a significant shuffle in the Star-News Top 10 rankings, I’ve decided to post them here and explain why, although I think at this point they’re pretty self explanatory. Here we go..
1. ST. FRANCIS (2-0) — This is a no-brainer. After blanking Crescenta Valley in Week 2, coupled by a Monrovia loss, the Golden Knights move to the No. 1 spot. A real road test comes Friday at Venice, and we will have a reporter there so expect a story in the paper. We all know about St. Francis’ weapons, but its defense shined last week, and as coaches like to say, defense wins games.
2. ARCADIA (1-1) — Huge statement win over Monrovia last week. From the outside looking in I wonder why the Apaches continue giving up leads. Arcadia led 20-6 before Taylor Lagace came to the rescue in the waning minutes. Arcadia proved it’s a true Southeast Division contender.
3. MONROVIA (1-1) — I’ll finally get to see what’s going on with the Wildcats, who got some bad news Monday that Ellis McCarthy won’t play Friday against Mid-Valley Division rival San Dimas. Also not playing is starting linebacker Justin Jones, who left early in the game against Arcadia with a separated shoulder. Overcoming adversity is part of the sport. Here’s a chance for the Wildcats to show what they’re made of.
4. MARANATHA (3-0) — Slow start against Azusa, but the Minutemen blitzed past the visiting Aztecs in the second half. I don’t think we’ve yet to see Maranatha play a complete game, and when that finally happens, watch out.
5. MUIR (2-1) — Penalties, penalties, penalties. Thirteen, to be exact against Rancho Cucamonga. The Mustangs actually gave Rancho Cucamonga a game, but turnovers and penalties stymied Muir and there was no way to claw back in the second half. Muir looked gassed heading into the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, this was against an Inland Division team. Imagine what the Mustangs can do if they play mistake-free football? They could go far, but that’s all assuming injuries doesn’t plague Muir. Teams that make deep runs always have substantial depth, and that’s something as we all know by now Muir has lacked over the last decade.
6. ALHAMBRA (3-0) — Quarterback Josh Mendoza is a super star, simply put. The junior continues to take considerable steps forward with each game. The only concern is a slow start, because against a more disciplined and senior-heavy team the Moors could be in some trouble. I don’t see this happening, and if Alhambra heads into the Almont League unbeaten look for the Moors to be the Mid-Valley Division’s darkhorse.
7. SAN GABRIEL (1-2) — Don’t be surprised if a search and rescue team is out scavaging the area looking for the Matadors offense. San Gabriel mustered just six points against San Dimas. It’s not the team I expected. After watching San Gabriel against Muir and reading about the Matadors against South Pasadena, I would have thought they’d be pumped and ready for a step-up game.
8. ROSEMEAD (0-2) — Two quality losses, if you wanna call them that because I know Matt Koffler doesn’t see any loss as quality. A loss is a loss, but for the sake of argument, the Panthers have faced tough competition and my guess is they’ll finally get in the win column Friday.
9. PASADENA POLY (3-0) — The Panthers need to perfect their schemes while it has the luxury of tweaking during nonleague play, because let’s face it, they won’t face real competition until they meet Rio Hondo Prep, and then the playoffs.
10. RIO HONDO PREP (2-1) — The Kares dropped 40+ points against Kilpatrick. But it’s Kilpatrick so there’s not much telling there. Rio Hondo Prep will get a true test on the road at Boron.