Monrovia begins road to four; Wildcats hit practice field for the first time

MONROVIA — The path for a selected few high school football teams begins in the hot summer months and ends, if they are lucky, on a cold championship night in December.
No team in the area knows more about that than Monrovia High School, which has traveled down that road the past three seasons. They began their journey Monday, opening practice with an eye on a fourth consecutive CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley title, which would match Temple City’s run of four consecutive CIF-SS titles in the early 1970s.
“It’s an exciting time,” said Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox, who has guided the Wildcats to the finals each of the past four seasons, wining the past three after losing in the finals to San Dimas in 2009. “It’s good to be back at it. (The players had three weeks off, so we’re ready to go.”
Monrovia is expected to be one of the favorites in the Mid-Valley, despite graduating seven first team All-Area players from a team that went 12-3, won the Mid-Valley title and played in a CIF State Southern California Regional Bowl.
But the cupboard is hardly bare.
The Wildcats, who could beat the opostion via the run or pass last season, will stick it on the ground, leaning on what Maddox has called one of his better offensive lines. The group includes seniors Josh Cano and Avonte Moore. The running chores are expected to be led by senior Darione Jones, who ran for nearly 1,000 yards as the team’s No. 2 back last season. Monrovia could also benefit from St. Paul transfer Kurt Scoby, who is not yet eligible.
Senior DeShawn Potts gets the call at quarterback. He will add some athleticism to the postion, which last year was handled by Blake Heyworth.
“It’s a new year,” Maddox said. “We set are expectations high, and we’ve done that each year. It’s a different group, a different team dynamic.
“We have a great core group of kids, who where here last year and they are ready to step up this year.”
Monrovia, the favoritie in the Rio Hondo League, faces one of the area’s most difficult schedules, which features a three-game stretch against San Dimas, South Hills and St. Francis. The Wildcats close the regular season at San Marino, which will likely be for the league title.
Monrovia opens at home against Ayala on Sept. 6.
The regular season for several area teams begins Aug. 30, highlighted by La Salle, which was 10-1 last season, hosting Cathedral.

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  • Kennedy Bryant

    Another season under way… At first blush the Wildcats look to be loaded again, expecting another long run into the month of November and December. Go Wildcats

  • observantcat

    What’s up Steve, did you mean Avonte Moore?.. He will be a man/child on the Dline this season. they have him listed at 6’2 280 and he can move.

    • Steve Ramirez

      Got it, Cat. Yes, he’s a beast.

  • New York

    Exciting times! Go Cats!

  • New York

    Quick edit to the Maddox quote…”our” not “are” expectation high.
    Great content as usual, Steve.

  • Dmindy

    monrovia has a handful of good running backs..not just the ones u mention…

  • Phil Blackwell

    Looking forward to this season for the wildcats!!! We just keep reloading every year under the direction of Maddox. I mean Ayala will be another close game. But with San Dimas, St. Francis and South Hills at Home….I Won’t be surprised if the Cats will be 4-1. Steve you know its hard to beat the Cats at home. I can’t believe Im saying this but the toughest game for the cats before the playoffs will more than likely be…San Marino…Wow times have changed.

  • GrimReaper

    The only suspense will be if NY and Mr Bryant injure one another by slapping each others backs after each score by “YOUR MONROVIA WILDCATS!”

    Go CATS! The Championship is predestined.

    After the– sorry this seat is saved, for people that never show up–over and over again during the multiple games at Monrovia I attended last year, I won’t be back. Clearly the worst venue for a non-aligned spectator to watch a game.

    • Kennedy Bryant

      I’ll save a seat for you right here…..