Thursday Night Aftermath: Alhambra gets defensive in 18-8 win over Schurr, improves to 6-1 and 2-0 in league.

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer

MONTEBELLO – It wasn’t pretty, but Alhambra coach Lou Torres isn’t about to give it back.
Not when his Moors are in first place and undefeated in the Almont League.

Sebastian Espinosa returned a blocked field goal 65 yards for a touchdown and visiting Alhambra held Schurr to 82 yards to lead the Moors to an 18-8 victory Thursday over the Spartans in an Almont League game.

Alhambra, also getting a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Joshua Mendoza, improved to 6-1 and 2-0 in league. Schurr, which got a 1-yard touchdown run from Bradley Powell, slipped to 1-6 and 1-1.

“We knew it would be a defensive game,” Torres said. “We were like heavyweights. We just kept punching.”

The first half was a survival of the fittest, and the visiting Moors took advantage of the lone break – a blocked field goal that Espinosa turned into a 65-yard return.

It was a strange turn of events after Schurr looked like it might gain the early advantage when David Pena intercepted a Mendoza pass and returned it 22 yards to the Alhambra 13-yard line.

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Football: Monrovia is hurting … No, really. Hurting bad.

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.

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Football: Muir’s Kevon Seymour overwhelmed with emotion as he’s officially invited to January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.



By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

PASADENA — Kevon Seymour was in the middle of his speech thanking family, friends, coaches and teammates after he was officially invited Tuesday afternoon to play in January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

The room grew silent as Seymour — standing at the podium with half a dozen cameras pointing his way — did his best to gather himself when it came time to thank his mother, Veronica Starling Donald.

The long pause was followed by an impromptu applause that only seemed to fuel Seymour’s overwhelming emotions.

“I didn’t expect to go up there and cry in front of my teammates and reporters,” Seymour said. “I got up there and it hit me. I couldn’t say a word. I had to pause or else I wasn’t going to be able to finish.”

He looked back at his mother and offered a smile.

“I got teary-eyed myself,” Veronica said. “Even though he’s an adult he’s still my baby. I was really happy for him. He had happy tears, so it was good.”

There’s plenty for Seymour to be thankful for. The four-star recruit is the No. 9-rated cornerback in the nation according to Rivals and he’s the No. 85 overall rated player in the nation. Seymour has over a dozen offers from some of the finest college football programs in the nation, including Florida, Nebraska and a handful of Pac-12 schools.

Seymour’s rise to elite status started in the rough and humble upbringing in the housing project Community Arms, better known as Snake Pits to those who live there inspite of a strong presence of drugs and gang violence. It’s one of, if not the most, dangerous housing projects in Northwest Pasadena that also includes Kings Village. For 17 years, Seymour has called this place home.

“It’s called the Snake Pits because of the fighting and gang violence that goes on in there,” said Seymour, who carries a cummulitive 3.2 GPA. “I grew up there, my mother lived there and my mother’s mother grew up there. So we have history. It’s been hard because of the influence around me.

“I could have easily been sucked into that kind of life, but I wasn’t because I’m a leader not a follower.”


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2-Minute Drill: Whittier Christian at Maranatha, Friday at 7.

Whittier Daily News prep editor Steve Ramirez takes an early look into Friday’s showdown between Whittier Christian and Maranatha. It’s no secret by now, that Marantha coach Pete Karavedas started at Whittier Christian, and both coaching staffs know each other well.

Ramirez wrote:

Both teams are ranked among the top 10 in the CIF- Southern Section Mid-Valley Division, and the winner will take a step forward toward the league title. Pride, though, will also be on the line for coaches Sergio Gradilla of the Heralds and the Minutemen’s Peter Karavedas, who was an assistant at Whittier Christian last season. “We’ve talked about this since he got the job,” Gradilla said. “Now, it’s here. I don’t think it makes it more difficult (knowing one another). It’s going to come down to which team can step up and execute.”


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