Football: Rio Hondo Prep has one of the coolest uniforms, programs in the West San Gabriel Valley.

Above: Rio Hondo Prep’s football program cover

Say what you want about Rio Hondo Prep and how small the school is and its reason for being successful (that a bulk of its championships came from 8-man football or that it plays in the Northeast Division). But you have to give credit where credit is due, that the Kares have one of the coolest, sleekest uniforms in the West San Gabriel Valley. Check them out above on the cover of the Kares’ football program cover. Rio Hondo Prep is officially fitted by Nike. The Rio Hondo Prep crest on the helmet gives it a big-school feel rich in tradition. It’s not often, if at all, you’ll find a school of Rio Hondo Prep’s size (99 students) that have the majestic showmanship with full-black uniforms. Rio Hondo Prep isn’t all talk. The Kares in these playoffs have outscored their playoff opponents, 116-0.

Here’s the second page you’ll find in the program, by the numbers:

44: Seasons of prep football

33: CIF playoff appearances (.778 winning percentage in CIF playoffs, 74-21)

22: League championsips

19: CIF championship game appearances

12: CIF-SS championships

6: Times named California small school team of the year

5: Undefeated seasons

2nd: Only to Long Beach Poly (18) in CIF-SS fotball titles won

1: Smallest school in California that plays 11-man football

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  • Bob Anon

    How would RHP do against Monrovia, Bishop Amat, or Long Beach Poly?

    If they are that successful, surely they would want to challenge themselves by playing tougher competition. Pete Carroll preferred to do so; let’s see RHP play schools such as Covina or Muir next season.

  • coltfan97

    THEIR STUDENT BODY CONSENT OF 99 STUDENTS!!!! This is remarkable!!! I applaud them!!!

  • sl

    Bigger schools would never play them because there would be nothing gained from it. Besides they play 8 man football. Is Muir going to play against them with 11 or completely change the way they play with 8? Think about it

  • StangNation01

    They play 11 man football now. And I applaud them too. They won in the division and league they are put in. They don’t even have 100 students so I’m sure the football team is more than half of the school population. If they had 1,000 or 2,000 students they may have been a power house or average but we will never know. But you gotta congratulate what they’ve accomplished.

    I know Muir’s non-league schedule is serious next year. They aren’t shying away from any challengers. I can’t wait for the Stangs 2012-2013 season!!!! We are gonna be ready!!!!

  • objective fan

    To Miguel Melendez, Props and Kudos to you Mr. Melendez for recognizing Rio Hondo Prep. It is remarkable what this small school has been able to accomplish so far. They have a tough game ahead of them this friday vs. Boron, but I think they will be ready and as long as they continue to play good football, they will continue to win. To OH PLEASE Judging from your YAWN comment I would assume that perhaps you represent one of the larger schools in this area and are used to getting a lot of attention. The boys and staff at RHP certainly deserve to get an “ATTA BOY” once in a while and I applaud Mr. Melendez for doing so. Your YAWN! comment only serves as a bad commentary on yourself as it shows you have no class or respect for a group of boys who love football and only want to do their best. Let RHP have a moment in the spotlight, Im sure whatever interests you will be back in the limelight soon enough.

  • Julio Rivera

    My son is a Kare. And grew up in the kare program which also supplied the Maranatha qb, Arcadia qb, countless players for Monrovia, Arcadia, charter oak, Temple City, Bishop Amat, Covina, and even Chino Hills qb. The Monrovia coaches know us and some of their kids are in the program. Before Kare, he went to school with Rio Ruiz from Bishop Amat.
    We beat schools in higher divisions that beat the big schools in the area.
    Before you yawn or comment – go to some games or the local gyms and see for yourself who puts the work in!!!

  • Humble Kare

    Thank You for the recognition. It is very much appreciated. Our boys have worked hard. Its good to see positive comments toward Rio Hondo Prep. And again Miguel, Thank You.

  • anonymous

    Thank you Mr. Melendez for the recognition. For some of the comments below RHP plays 11-man football. They have since 2002. Rio has played there share of competition (I.e. Maranatha) who they thrashed handily a few times. Now these schools no longer schedule RHP. Ask any student, who is also on the team, and they’d love to play any area school.

  • just wondering

    Hey thanks for giving this school some ink, I think they would surprise quite a few teams in this area.

    Just go to calpreps and check out their schedule and their power points. they are no joke.

    Why they could play with most teams in area
    1. They are very physical
    2. They make almost no mistakes.
    3. there is a strong tradition of winning.
    4. A few of their kids could start almost anywhere in the valley

    I think they will actually be the first team in the entire region to win a state title, or possibly one of our small schools.

    Last note Mr Rivera, you say that the Maranatha Quarterback played at Kare youth, just think if he had attended Rio Hondo Prep he would possibly be plying for a state title in 2012 when regionals start.

    Great post Mr Melendez, you are showing some good juice here and the Karma is great, Thanks a bounch

    To “OH Please” you are bad windage with your unkindly remarks, sad as you may be, stay tuned to RHP and yawn as they win another TITLE. Thank you soo much.

  • Power


    Yes, they are a good team for small school, yea! But never ever use the power rankings to say your team is this or that, that is based on your schedule and again, you are a small school that plays small teams.

    You beat one or two legit teams but overall your schedule,league and CIF is soft DUE to size.

    Muir/Monrovia – those teams KILL teams, right below them are the Saints –

    Move up a CIF Division, win CIF and then you will get more than write up here and there that mainly says you have nice uniforms and for a SMALL TEAM, your good!

  • just wondering

    Power I wished you had that power as in brain power. it is clear that you are rather new to the power rankings or the subject of strength of schedule.

    You are a child in this area, the very fact that they have a decent power score is the fact that they have played some one rather respectable in order to recieve a good or “HIGHER” score.

    One example is a team that early in the season is 4-0 and still at a -16 p/s while another team is lets say 2-2 or maybe 1-3 with a +16 p/s it is due to the quality opponent, not wins and losses.

    Therefore it is impossible to have a good or”HIGH” power score with a cupcake schedule, now you are getting educated on the subject.

    One more for your pea brain to ponder Santa margarita has a +65.5 p/s “a PAC 5” team, while Westlake a team two divisions down has a 69. p/s. it is due to strength of schedule. Is the light coming on.
    I believe Calpreps has a 88% accuracy rate.

  • Other YAWNer

    I agree with the other yawner. The whole league should get out of Div. XIII. They have significantly more resources as high dollar prep schools. If RHP wanted to move, they would get the whole league to move. See how they would do in Division XII or XI. No more CIF titles for RHP if they moved up.

  • Finchamp

    Sour grapes by undoubtedly bloggers whose teams are done for the year. Look, RHP has about 46 boys at their school. They field JV and Varsity football teams that play 11 man football and have done so since 2001 I believe. They BELONG in a lower 8-man division based on size but pleaded to move up for stronger competition. Every school RHP plays in league has 2, 3 or 4 times the student body population…period!

    What RHP has is coaching and continuity and please do write about it if you don’t know any better. No one is saying they can beat Muir or Arcadia but every year they schedule games against teams in higher divisions and usually win. Two or three talented kids at RHP get hurt and they are in trouble. Resources? Depth? That’s what public schools have. They have your tax dollars, credentialed teachers, beautiful fields and equipment and more.

    I’ll admit it is odd that Miguel chooses to comment on the uniform but that’s all he has seen of RHP–so that’s all he is qualified to talk about. I know RHP, had a son there, and know that it is defensive schemes, offensive creativity and tenacity that wins games at RHP. Were you ever an underdog? Well, that’s kind of the feeling at RHP….always smaller than the opponent and often driving 100s of miles to play them.

    And finally, on larger teams having nothing to gain by playing them…they have a lot to lose if they don’t play well against them. Ask ANY coach in the SGV and they will tell you to never underestiamte the KARES because, clearly, there is magic inside that uniform!

  • New York

    Welcome back, Paul. I hope I awakened you the other day!

    I do like these uniforms. They remind me of the Permean Panthers’ uniforms. Like Permean, RHP relies on preparation to beat superior athletes in bigger schools. These guys don’t need an asterisk next to their success for being a small school. Size is relative. The first that mentions Monrovia and Long Beach Poly is silly. Monrovia is small compared to lots of schools as well.

    Pete Carrol was coaching at USC!!! That is the equivalent of the Long Beach Poly of High School. LBP should play the biggest and badest schools on an absolute basis. Criticizing RHP for not doing that is absurd. Monrovia and Bishop Amat dont even schedule their entire pre-seasons that away.

  • Xmetal

    Well said, Mr Finchamp –

    @ power – can you even name a kid on the Monrovia team? I know quite a few as well as most schools in the SGV. As Rivera stated, these kids grow up playing against everyone….period. Elfers is good, So is Carr, Ruiz, ect… The RHP qb’s also go to the same camps and also know Chris Rix. Unlike them, the RHP offense is also a power on defence.
    Just saying to give the credit were it is due. My kid goes to Rio Hondo and works out with Charter Oak players. How would monrovia do against Charter Oak?

    I have seen every teem play this year. Rio Hondo has a great coaching tradition Which I believe can be traced to Temple City’s coach Hitchcock.

    So either watch some games, put up or shut up.

    Thanks Miguel for the ink. These kids play because they actually love to play. It is nice that you recognised them.

  • lightfighter

    @ the other yawner –

    It is obvious that you do not know anything about the program. RHP kids work hard at different functions and jobs to earn enough money for things like trips and activities.

    Most everything else is provided by volunteers. Being a Kare is not for everyone, it takes hard work.

    On another note: these kids play multiple sports. The recievers are also the basketball players. On the weekends, they voluntarily coach young kids.

    It is not all about money.

  • CIF fan

    I did not know much about RHP football until I went to a playoff game in 2008 when they played Linfield Christian in the semi-finals, and since then I have been addicted to watching these kids play. I have never seen a group more aggressive and finesse players. These kids hit like there is not tomorrow and put everything on the line week after week. It’s a shame to read people’s comments, when they are absolutely clueless about RHP football. When you actually go out to one of RHP’s football games, you will understand and appreciate the passion these kids have for the game. The brotherhood at this school is amazing and like no other school.
    Yes, RHP has less than 50 male students but that hasnt stopped them from producing some of the areas most elite athletes in the past couple years including: #25 Antonio Alaniz(08), #20 Cody Cowell(09), and #9Jake Holguin(10 &11) just to name a few. These three players would easily be standouts at any school they went to and probably wouldve received a lot more media and scout attention, but that is not what they play for. Holguin, who is playing in his second championship has done well this year, and will without a doubt be one of the areas standouts next year during his senior year. Dont let the school size convince you that all its athletes are small because that certainly would not be the case with these three animals.
    Another fun fact for you clueless Rio haters is that in 2008 and 2009 Rio had back CIF SS championship appearances including back to back CIF-SS player of the year awards for Alaniz and Cowell. Those two playing together on the same side of the ball were vicious and unquestionably had their teammates backs; they certainly set the tone on Friday nights and were fun to watch. Before underestimating the talent and competition at Rio, feel free to stop by this Saturday night as Holguin and the Kares attempt to bring home the schools 13th CIF Championship.

  • Dylan

    How is Rio Hondo a prep school? Do any of their students actually go to college?


    They teach a college preparatory curriculum… that is what makes them a “prep” school. What you do with your life when you leave school is up to you, not really sure what your point is.

  • Anonymous

    Final score RHP 29 AHS 7. Give respect where respect is due. Don’t make any excuses about how the coaching for AHS was different, or how AHS lost a lot of their starters. RHP gave AHS a beating. AHS score 7 points in the last minute of the game when RHP had their second team in. Congrats RHP!

  • Anonymous

    Final score RHP 29 AHS 7. Give respect where respect is due. Don’t make any excuses about how the coaching for AHS was different, or how AHS lost a lot of their starters. RHP gave AHS a beating. AHS score 7 points in the last minute of the game when RHP had their second team in. Congrats RHP!