Football: It’s a shame the City of Arcadia hasn’t honored Rio Hondo Prep for its football prowess year after year.

Above: Rio Hondo Prep celebrates a 12th CIF championship back in 2008. Photo courtesy of Rio Hondo Prep

To my knowledge, the City of Arcadia has not officially congratulated Rio Hondo Prep for winning its 13th CIF football championship in December, and maybe not in 12 previous times. For all we know not in 2008, 2005, 2001, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1990, 1982, 1979, 1977 or 1973. In case anyone at the City of Arcadia isn’t aware, Rio Hondo Prep, in 44 years of playing high school football as a member of the CIF-Southern Section, has made 34 playoff appearances, won 23 league championships, made 20 CIF championship game appearances, been named California small school team of the year six times, is the second-winningest program behind Long Beach Poly, and is the smallest school in California that plays 11-man football with a high school enrollment of 99 students.

And yet, no word of congratulations to one of two high schools in the City of Arcadia.

I bring this up because on Thursday the City of Monrovia, for the second straight year, hosted a championship parade for Monrovia High. It was a nice celebration for the Wildcats, a celebration that was spearheaded by the City. The team and cheerleaders rode a bus and fire truck from Monrovia High and made a procession down Myrtle Avenue with police escort before arriving at Library Park where they were greeted by hundreds of fans. It was evident that the city truly cares and is honored to have a CIF football champion in its city. Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz was just as gitty as she was last year when Monrovia won its first-ever football title last year. The entire Monrovia school board was on hand, save for one member who currently serving overseas in the Armed Forces.

As I prepared for what the Star-News would cover on Thursday I began to wonder if maybe Rio Hondo Prep, too, would get some kind of recognition from the city, maybe it already had done so or was preparing for something down the road.


When I asked that question to Rio Hondo Prep coach Ken Drain he was not malcontent, much less disappointed. If you know Drain, also the school’s athletic director, basketball and baseball coach, he’s not one to make a big fuss, merely honored and proud that Rio Hondo Prep made another deep playoff run to bring home the school’s 13th CIF plaque. But I wondered why the City of Arcadia didn’t make some kind of effort. I put in a call Wednesday afternoon to the city and an operator suggested I call the city manager’s office. I was warned the office currently was in a meeting but that I could leave a message with the city manager’s assistant, Connie. She, as it turned out, was out on break so I left a message with a man who was filling in for her. My message was: Is there any kind of plan from the City of Arcadia to honor Rio Hondo Prep’s football team after winning its 13th CIF championship? I left my name, media affiliation and contact number, and I was told they’d get back to me.

They never did.

Look, if you know anybody from Rio Hondo Prep you’ll know that this isn’t something they’ve even thought about, much less get sour and call asking why they’ve yet to be honored over the years. But if you look at what Rio Hondo Prep has accomplished — mind you, with limited sources — you have to be taken back by the fashion in which they’ve accomplished such amazing feats. For Rio Hondo Prep to not, at the very least, receive a phone call from the mayor or a city councilman is beyond belief.

You almost have to wonder if it’s because Rio Hondo Prep is a private school, where as Arcadia High is a public school. Surely if the Apaches won a CIF football title someone from the city would have the decensy to congratulate Arcadia for its accomplishment.

Or maybe it’s because Rio Hondo Prep is tucked in a cuul-de-sac on the border of Arcadia and Temple City, going about its business under the radar, making it easy to ignore them. Heck, we here at the Star-News can share the blame on that, too.

I’m not saying throw a huge parade with police escort and sirens blaring down Restaurant Row. I’m not even saying give Rio Hondo Prep’s football team a proclomation, although how hard can that really be, because that could go a long way.

A phone call?

An in-person appearance to say congrats?

Anything, really, would have sufficed.

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  • BacktoBlog

    I grew up in the neighborhood around Rio Hondo Prep. The reason the City of Arcadia probably has not honored RHP is because RHP is not located in the City of Arcadia – it is located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County served by the Arcadia post office. It is served by the LA County Sherrif’s station in Temple City, and for those who live in the area going to public schools, you go to schools in the El Monte School district (Rio Hondo Elementary School and Arroyo High School.)

    When I lived there, we referred to the neighborhood as “South Arcadia” to differentiate us poor folk from those in the more affluent north. We were reminded that we did not live in Arcadia every time we tried to use the Arcadia library to check out books for our school projects.

  • hahaha!

    hahah! Are you kidding me? The reason why the city of Arcadia Dont congrate Rio Hondo Prep is because The school is not located in Arcadia. Arcadia dont have TWO high schools it only have one! Rio Hondo Prep is a private high school located in Unincorporated area of LA country… Like the guy stated on top The kids that lives in that area either goes to school in El Monte or m-Town! That area of the town has nothing to do with Arcada! ITs a whole differenet City!

  • Realist

    Another pathetic attempt by Miguel to bash Arcadia. The poor guy is so caught up in the “GREEN AND WHITE” that he doesn’t even know where Rio Hondo is located. Keep up the good work Miguel.

  • Game changer

    For all u incompotent people who dont know, i live right next 2 RHP and its located in the city of arcadia. Idk y u guys wouldcomment on somthing u dont know anything about.
    If ur gonna bash on this article then get ur facts right!

  • haha

    Rio Hondo Prep
    5150 Farna Ave.
    Arcadia CA 91006

  • BacktoBlog

    Game changer –

    Take a look at the official City of Arcadia map on the city website under “map of city facilities.” Unless the very tiny triangle of land next to the Arcadia 3 par golf course is RHP, you are in the county. Try calling the Arcadia PD for help, signing up for Arcadia Schools, or getting a library card at the Arcadia library. Then you will know for sure whether you live in Arcadia or not.

    The census region is officially designated as “North El Monte” (we preferred “South Arcadia”) with a zip code of 91106. If you Google or Zillow a real estate map of North El Monte you will see RHP is not part of the City of Arcadia. I lived there 18 years – I know.

    Still, RHP should be honored – maybe by the County?

  • 81

    even if RHP were in the City of Arcadia why should a city spend public funds to honor a private school? Does Pasadena throw a victory parade for Pasadena Poly? Just stupid

  • fan

    Whats wrong with a private school! so your saying the city shouldnt waste there time and money on RHP because there a private school?

  • Prep fan

    Miguel, have you heard anything about RHP playing Arcadia High next year?

  • kingofcali626

    Yes RHP is that triangle of land below the Par 3 golf course. O

  • New York

    Why are some bloggers actively denying an affiliation with a successful program? LOL!!! Why not do the obvious thing and claim some ownership of a successful affiliate? You are now entering, the Twilight Zone…and it’s not even a Thanksgiving Day marathon.

    To the private school bashers: The parents pay taxes into the local communities, but choose not to drain the tax pool through sending their kid to the local public school consuming public resources. In other words, the parents are basically donating money to your local schools. Stop complaining.

  • fan

    Thank you!!! New York!

    Ya all the bashers that are complaining about RHP and about this article are just jelous they cant win a cif championship!

    And yes i have heard that RHP is playing AHS next year,.

  • 6power


    Some of you best written word to date.
    Great job

    The strip bars in this geographic peninsula of town also are not eager to represent their address as “Arcadia”, possibly designating the area a Federation outpost for Klingons or other intergalactic scum.

    It is ridiculous this level of success is not celebrated by the Arcadia Power Brokers – someone should step forward and answer – WHY???

  • 81

    to fan,

    I hope you didn’t attend RHP, that would have been a waste of your parent’s money. Look at your “grammer”. (Let’s see if you figure it out.)

    Yes, a city should not spend public money on a parade for a private school. Have most cities not wasting enough money. Monrovia is fortunate because we are better off than most and have some hometown pride.

    Again, I don’t see people busting Pasadena because they don’t throw a parade for Pasadena Poly and their year after year success.

  • RHP Dad

    Just to let you know, the Arcadia Mayor went to Rio and played football. Regardless, Rio is about training up great kids who love the Lord and want to serve others. Not about getting praise for themselves.

  • Why should they?

    Public tax dollars celebrating a public Monrovia school=great

    Public tax dollars celebrating a PRIVATE school= not great.

    Maybe if the RHP kids supported the city of arcadia by going to AHS then they would get the recognition they claim to want.

  • Someone who knows

    First of all, RHP’s gym, the white building in the corner, and main classroom building are all in Arcadia’s city limits and they must go through the Arcadia City Council to make improvements to that particular area of its campus. That’s the area adjacent to the Arcadia Par 3 Gold Course

    The girls softball and youth field to the right of the entrance (which is on the Water Company’s property which they have full use and access which has existed for decades),the main football/baseball field, the buildings south of football field, the youth field, the bus parking area, the patio, and the youth basketball courts are all in LA County. RHP does have an Arcadia PO and has for years, as do most of the housing tract north of their campus.

    The back parking lot, between the housing tract and the flood control property is actually in the city of El Monte. The homes around RHP are in the El Monte City School District and El Monte Union High School District.

    That being said, the City of Arcadia is not obligated to have a parade or anything like that for RHP. However, the City Council ought to make one of those proclamations in a future meeting as should the LA County Board of Supervisors, and to present a plaque for a wall on campus. That would suffice and not cost much.

  • Game changer

    For your information “why should they?” the kids at RHP serve the arcadia community more than you know. Every kid at RHP has a team they coach in the Kare Youth League program, and not all the kids that are coached are form arcadia but a big portion of them are, so the RHP kids do serve the community!

    Also no one from RHP has said anything about claiming to want it! this was just an article

  • Interested?

    Is RHP really playing AHS next season?