Star-News Pick’em: Who advances to the state finals?

Keith is on vacation this week, so as an added feature, I thought I would pick all five CIF South Region bowl games, including going with Monrovia over Madison and Santa Fe Christian over Rio Hondo Prep.

Division IV

Rio Hondo Prep (12-1) vs. Santa Fe Christian (10-3) at Del Norte HS — Santa Fe Christian
Division I
Clovis North (12-1) vs. Long Beach Poly (11-3) at Veterans Stadium — Long Beach Poly
Division III

Madison (12-1), San Diego, at Monrovia (12-2) — Monrovia
Open Division
Narbonne (14-0) vs. Corona Centennial (13-1) at Cerritos College — Corona Centennial
Division II
Serra (12-2) vs. Edison, Huntington Beach (13-1) at Orange Coast College — Serra

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  • high school sports fan

    Well Steve, in the case of Rio Hondo, I hope you’re as accurate as you were last week. On paper, the two teams seem very even so I am surprised you are picking against the local team. Do you have inside information?

    • Steve_Ramirez

      It will be even, but I’m thinking home area advantage might be the difference.

  • RHPhomer

    Mr. Ramirez, NEVER count out the Kares

  • New York

    It’s pretty awesome seeing two local teams, Monrovia and Rio Hondo Prep, featured alongside Long Beach Poly, Corona Centennial, Serra and Edison as the teams selected to represent the CIF Southern Section in these Regional Playoffs. This is historic.


    really Steve? you still cant pick Rio Hondo?! cmon Steve! you guys cover RHP and cant even pull for them in these big games? it’s not going to hurt you if you do, trust me. youre upsetting us fans of the area teams.

  • GP AKA Green Machine

    Steve you might as well went homer on this pick. If we can get two teams in the state finals that would legendary. This may be something we never see again. Both of these teams are capable of winning this game. I will say the Kares, have a tough task going down to San Diego. However, if Tyco, get’s it going, they can win this game.
    Pick: Rio Hondo prep

    Monrovia’s Home field advantage should not be over played. However, the Cats are very comfortable at home. Madison by far will be the best team Monrovia has played so far. For the first time we will see, If Monrovia can handle a team that matches them with speed and size. Madison is also a team that has won their section 2 out of 3 times too. The only difference between these teams is that Monrovia’s QB is a SR and Madison’s is a SOPH. Last week turnovers cost Paraclete down the stretch. Like New York has pointed out earlier, the best way to shut down an balanced explosive team, is to rattle the QB. We hope to see a few mishandles, sacks or Ints. If Monrovia can take away the run early…we should be in business.
    Pick: Monrovia

    • New York

      This Madison QB is fun to watch on film. I can’t believe he is just a sophomore. He is tall and runs very smoothly to buy himself time looking down field. Their running back is very good. This might be the best team Monrovia has faced in 10 years (since Lompoc). The good news is that our playcalling has evolved to incorporate our muscle with Frazier and Ainsworth. Hopefully we have some wrinkles with our receivers and rely heavily on Bryant and Craft as well as use misdirection motion when Frazier is QB. I’d also like to see Craft in more coverage on their tall receiver on defense, like when he shutdown Covina’s tall receiver last year. Maybe put Bryant back at Safety to add some more height.

      I still think this is a game that will be tremendously effected by Ainsworth (very appropriate for a Monrovia team) on both offense and defense. He has the ability to rundown that QB. He has the ability to get yards on the ground. Obviously Walsh is another HUGE key with his pass rush and blocking on defense. Hopefully we can replicate that performance against Sierra Canyon.

      Madison has some BIG guys but they play like offensive linemen–great pass blocking but not very explosive on defense. They are hard to move backward, but they don’t move well laterally. We need to take advantage of that. Our offensive line should be able to get push and as long as we cover our blocks our backs will be able to get yards.

      • GP AKA Green Machine

        I saw this too, they just slide, they don’t turn and run.

        • New York

          Little nuances like spacing to take advantage of alignment are huge in games like this.

          • GP AKA Green Machine

            I agree….I think we should take away the outside running lanes and force their small but fast back to pound it. I am sure Arizona will be using him as a scat back.

      • Hey NY, Wheres the film/link on Madison?
        I think its gotta be Ainsworth running using his power and speed, and Frazier just bulldozes some hard yards and grind this game out and chew clock, then when Madison is caught sleeping, Heyworth quick strike to Craft

      • Found it. Man so far…their running back…fast, patience and quick. BEAST!
        Qb…decent Arm when he has time.

        • New York

          glad you found it. These guys have some and they have tall skills. I think their weakness is that lateral movement of their defensive front seven. If our guys get under their pads and keep our feet, our backs should get a lot of yards.

          • New York

            meant they have some size on the line

    • New York

      How do these guys look compared to that 1997 Mira Costa team?

      • GP AKA Green Machine

        Very Similar, but I would Say 1997 Mira Costa was a stronger program, only because they won the DIV X title, then won Back to Back Titles in Div II in 1999 and 2000. To Jump from D10 to D2 and Win it all says a lot about Mira Costa’s Program. Mira Costa Made it to the quarter Finals in D III this season. However, That was back when CIF had a good mixture of teams in Every Division, and it was not based on regions. Local Divisions like the midvalley, and Southeast Didn’t exist.

  • This will Definitely Be the Most Athletic team Monrovia has faced all year. They Have speed on thie outside and all the skilled positions. They’re QB, RB, WR’s are all pretty fast. This game could be a shootout. Or a close game, either way, it should be fun to watch

  • New York

    This is like an old school CIF game, when one team actually had to ride a bus for a few hours to play. It’s nice that Monrovia gets to host, rather than ride 5 hours and play in some cow field in Paso Robles.