If you watched our 2-minute drill previewing Whittier Christian-Maranatha you noticed Aram asking me who would I take right now if Maranatha and Monrovia played. I adamantly picked Maranatha, and here’s why.
Monrovia is hurting, plain and simple.
For starters, Ellis McCarthy has been held out since the South Hills game, and in that game he wasn’t nowhere near 100 percent since taking a helmet to the knee against Arcadia, the second game of the season.
McCarthy, a 6-foot-5, 311-pound defensive tackle who was just named a U.S. Army All-American, suited up against La Canada last week but he didn’t play. The simple answer? Monrovia didn’t really need him. Either way, he had missed practice all last week, which contributed to him not playing, too. McCarthy said he would try to get back out to practice, and assuming he did practice this week, who’s to say McCarthy will be needed against Blair on Friday night? Monrovia won’t need McCarthy, but the problem is he needs to get back to game speed, according to Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox.
“This week I’m not going to speak about our needs for him, but he needs to start getting into game shape,” Maddox said. “If he’s not practicing then he won’t play. If he’s practicing this week and it feels good we might get him some limited reps on Friday and get him going. But he needs to get himself back into game shape. He played against South Hills but I don’t know that he was at full strength. It’s been since game 2 (vs. Arcadia) since he was at full speed and full strength.”
Monrovia’s woes don’t end there.
George Frazier, who also suited up last week but did not play, likely will sit out Friday’s game, too. The same goes for Brandon Wingenbach. DeShawn Ramirez took a shot to the hip and is bruised. He’s also questionable for Friday’s game.
Then there’s quarterback Blake Heyworth. The junior took a shot to the shoulder last week against La Canada. He finished the game, but in actually what other choice did the Wildcats have?
“Blake finished the game after the shoulder injury because we didn’t really have anybody,” Maddox explained. “We suited George just in case something happened to Blake, and if it was a close game we would at least have someone to go to.”
Heyworth is questionable for Friday’s game. The new backup QB? De’Shawn Potts, a 5-foot-9 sophomore. As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Wildcats, how’s this for the cherry on top: Potts, the younger brother of former Monrovia QB David Potts, has sat out the last four weeks after suffering a broken toe from a 45 pound plate dropped on his toe in the weight room.
“So we’ll see how he’s running and how he’s reacting,” Maddox said. “It’ll be a contingency plan this week at quarterback.”
Which is why, right now, I have no qualms picking Maranatha over Monrovia.