I’m doing this as sort of a tribue to Bulletin writer Clay Fowler and Dumb and Dumber character Lloyd Christmas , but more because I liked Fowler’s idea for doing this than the wit of the irrepressible Christmas. I’m biting Fowler’s style a bit, but he gave me the OK, so here’s my Top 10 ballot, complete with semi-educated comments and other cool banter.
10) Eisenhower (3-0): This is a shout out to the Eagles, who have done great work in being undefeated at this point. Yes, they’ve declawed their schedule a bit, but Ike wouldn’t have scored 50 points combined in three games last year, much less beat a team 50-7, like they did Norte Vista. The party could stop this week against undefeated REV, but then again, you never know. Either way, its definitely the biggest game at Ike in a few years.
9) Hesperia (4-0): The Scorpions won a little ugly this week, downing a winless Pacific game 10-0. But you can’t deny that Hesperia’s defense, which has two shutouts and only nine allowed points to its credit, can ball. I know the Scorpions are nursing some injuries and just hoping to get to their Oct. 12 showdown with Apple Valley with something close to a full team. They have to get through Barstow this week before healing a bit.
8) Colton (1-2): Before you get on my butt about putting a losing team in the top 10, hear me out. The Yellowjackets were 80 seconds from taking down a REV team that has been extremely impressive and lost a road game to La Quinta, a CIF runner-up a year ago. They have a powerful three-pronged rushing attack and good athleticism on the defensive end. We’ll see how they respond against Huntington Beach Marina.
7) Arroyo Valley (3-0): I got my first look at the Hawks and Robert Fuller and came away impressed. Fuller has a very cool, calm demeanor on the field to go along with certain confidence, things that his teammates seem to feed off of. I’m not sure about the Arroyo defense, though Riverside Poly has a heck of an offense in its own right. It will be interesting to see how the Hawks handle their first road game at Silverado Friday.
6) Chino Hills (2-1): After getting ambushed by Diamond Ranch in their opener, Chino Hills has responded well with two good wins, especially last Thursday’s road victory at Tesoro. There’s no question that with Corey Harkey and Michael Harris, the Huskies have some horses.They have a potentially dangerous game Friday against Etiwanda, who has been up and down NASDAQ-style this season.
5) Los Osos (2-1): I refuse to kill the Grizzlies for losing at Norco. First of all, Norco was more annoyed than Donovan McNabb listening to a Terrell Owens infomerical after losing to Leuzinger. Second of all, the Grizzlies had to go on the road in a hostile environment unlike anything in the IE, especially with all the dudes on horseback. So I’ll give Osos the benefit of the doubt. A loss to 0-3 Kaiser Friday kills my benevolence though.
4) Miller (3-0): In the preseason, every CBL coach I talked to was worried about the Rebels and how good they’d be in year two of the Jeff Steinberg era. So far, I can’t really blame them, as Miller boatraced its first three opponents before taking a bye. It will be interesting Friday against Fontana, which seems to be drastically improved as well. It’s good to see the battle of Fontana with some major CBL relevance.
3) Colony (3-0): This team lost some serious talent in Omar Bolden, Maurice Shaw, and Bobby Alt, but Daniel Simmons and Jeff Ginofli seem to be picking up the slack. The Titans had to win a brawl with Alta Loma, which prepares it for the brawl against Serrano up in Phelan Friday. Expect these two teams to grind it out and expect some hard hitting.
2) Serrano (4-0): I haven’t gotten to see this team yet, but in talking to Diamondback coach Ray Maholchic, its not particulary big, fast or experienced. It’s just a solid team that will keep coming after you and take advantage of your mistakes. The D-backs won a CIF title in 2004 doing that and at 4-0, are off to a heck of a start. Beat Colony this week, and Serrano is even more for real than it is already. And since you asked, they are very much for real.
Before getting to No. 1, a classic clip from Dumb and Dumber for those of you who made it to this point.
1) Redlands East Valley (3-0): I should think the Wildcats’ place as the No. 1 team in the area is pretty obvious. When you beat two defending CIF champions, both who were ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions, you deserve some credit. When you beat a tough Colton team on the road, you deserve some more. After winning its first two games late, REV got itself a breather against Compton Dominguez. If I’m the CBL, I’m slightly afraid.