CORRECTED: In honor of the Almont League joining the fray, here’s your opening Mid-Valley Division top 10 …

CORRECTION: Special props to New York, who brought to my attention that Paraclete is OUT of the Mid-Valley Division. I confirmed it with CIF’s Thom Simmons, who thought he’d make it through his Friday without having to talk to me. Perhaps it was old news, but it’s news to me. That changes everything … so here’s your revised top 10.


It’s still San Dimas and Monrovia 1-2.

Here’s your Mid-Valley top 10 heading into spring ball

1. San Dimas – This is different from my opening all-encompassing top 25 of area teams where I had Monrovia above San Dimas. The reason for the change is that San Dimas returns a lot on both lines and Monrovia does not. So unless the ‘Cats can close that gap in line play, San Dimas gets the nod.
2. Monrovia – Nobody can question the amount of skill M-Town has coming back. But what about line play? That’s the ‘Cats big question. If I see something I like from the big uglies over spring and summer, then don’t be shocked if M-Town goes to No. 1.
3. Schurr – Best passing team in the division? The return of QB Aaron Cantu makes me think so. The big wild-card is just how much “the relief” helps the Spartans in the playoffs. They might just be the team in the division.
4. Baldwin Park – Love what coach James Heggins is doing over at BP. Then you throw in WC2 calling the defense with WC3 doing the enforcing, and this could be BP’s best team in years if Demetrius Jackson is all that … like we hear he is.
5. Arroyo – I’m sure the Knights are rolling their eyes at the thought of Schurr being the best pass attack in the division. It’s close. It’s certainly close. It’s not Arroyo’s offense I’d be worried about, it’s whether the Knights’ defense is ready for prime time.
6. Whittier Christian – Best defensive player in the league in Jeff Worthy and some decent skill returning makes The WC the favorite in the Olympic. Of course that means they’ll have to score on Paraclete this year.
7. Rosemead – Koffmead had several players get their feet last year. That meant playing Arroyo tough but also getting worked by San Marino. Expect Rosemead to be a notch better and a true title contender with a little luck.
8. San Gabriel – I think the Mats will like their first-round opponent much better this year than, say, the past two years when they hooked up with West Covina and La Serna. So that means if a QB is found, SG is looking at a Thanksgiving practice.
9. Alhambra – The Moors have consistently put out a solid product and now get a chance to let all that enrollment show through. Like SG, Alhambra should enjoy the first round much better than recent years and that means playing into Thanksgiving is a very live prospect.
10. Azusa – I’m throwing the Aztecs for a fewreasons. The first is that they have to be considered one of the surest league champs, so that puts them in the field and probably with a good record. The second is that they were in the semis last year. The third is that quite a few people have told me my concerns about Azusa in the post-McDade era are somewhat unfounded, meaning the Aztecs remain talented.

  • New York

    Aram,
    I thought Paraclete changed leagues and divisions…

    Monrovia did lose a lot of guys up front, but we now have a seasoned offensive line coach who should help that transition significantly. Watch for Ellis McCarthy to have a breakout year as a junior. He certainly has the natural tools to go big time.

    I think it is right to rank the returning champ at #1 for now. Tough to argue with (as ranking goes). Maybe you can drop Paraclete and bring in one of the other overated Almont teams.

  • New York

    Maybe once San Marino announces Mooney as the head coach you can add them to this listing as well.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    Appreciate it, NY. You’re right. The Clete is out. But!!!! I did not go with another Almont school because after the three I have we’re down to BG, Keppel and Montebello. Not quite ready to put one of them in the top 10. Nor am I ready to throw another Rio Hondo team in because after Monrovia it’s a crapshoot. I went with Azusa because I’m pretty confident that they’re going to win the Montview. I know BG fans will be sour, saying “we beat Azusa up last year” … true, you did, but the Aztecs are a better bet in their league than you are in yours.

  • Don

    This is really the way the rankings ought to be, by Division. I look forward to seeing the version of these for the other Ds youre going to cover. The best thing is that this should obviate those tiresome (insert your favorite team here) vs. Bishop Amat arguments that have become a blog staple. Amusing for a while, but day after day after day, cmon.

    Maybe a bigger story is how smaller, mostly home-grown programs such as M-Town and San Dimas can continue to excel against bigger schools and now, next season, against bigger schools like Schurr who play serious football. Face it, the only real knock on the Saints and Cats has been the competition; or lack of it. Say what you will about the Olympic League schools, they are no shrinking violets when it comes booking preseason opponents.

    Now: Where will Muir and La Mirada stand in the SE which figures to be dominated by the new Hacienda and Del Rey Leagues?

  • petrolero

    How long before Pete Gonzales turns it around over at Montebello High? He has a proven track record, but unfortunately people have very little patience these days. You have Alhambra, San Gabriel, and Schurr in the top ten ahead of MTB. I would assume that Bell Gardens would also rank higher. Is Montebello the 5th best in the Almont league, ahead of only Kepple? Whose on the MTB preseason schedule? Pete, rescue us! Bring back the pride.

  • New York

    I really hope the CIF does not refuse to grant more than one at-large birth per league. In some years, it could certainly make sense to grant more than one to a league if those additional teams are better than teams from other leagues.

  • falconko6

    woowww.

    Whittier christian not at least #4?? they beat arroyo and B.P. last year and return a TON of guys. They lost Fulbright at RB but have a promising guy behind him in Joel Rhone. Only a sophomore last year rushed for 150 yards in one game at the varsity level. Also, word is Dub-C is hitting the weight room hard and there guys are really improving, excited about next year.

  • Johnny B. Good

    Schurr # 3? Ok. I know Schurr is new to the division, so it’s about as high as it probably should be ranked @ this point in time. But, make no mistake about it, Schurr’s coming for the title. They have without a doubt the best passing game in the whole expanded area, let alone the division. Aaron Cantu is a legit bluechipper @ Qb. They have a nice non-league schedule (Cantwell,Downey,@El Toro,@Cal Hi, and @St. Paul) to start the season as well. They will be battle tested for the playoffs. To all the doubters about the Almont: You too, will become believers! Can’t wait for football season!

  • way2much

    what about Pomona? Two time cif Head Coach Anthony Rice from Colony and all league transfers from Colony that for some reason everybody thinks that they are going to play. What’s the DEAL! I forgot about the GM Sweeney that’s buying players addresses with his big time connections to the SDL league. Pomona should be in. Hold on news flash Pomona will be playing their home games on the campus of Pomona high school.Every home game just give Pomona 14 points for home field advantage. It is going to be tough to win on their campus at night.The visiting team fans will be sitting on the same side as the pomona fans. Bathrooms will be porta potties.Just give them 14 by the time you get settled.

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    ARAM,

    GOOD MOVE AND I KNEW YOU WOULD COME TO YOUR SENSES!

    AZUSA AZTECS #10

  • Goldenarm

    Aram,

    when you say alhambra has put out a consistent product….you must mean consistently underachieving.

    This year will mark the first year of “promise” in awhile. The Moors have been kings of self-destruction, penalty plagued, mistaken ridden football. They’ve had a healthy share of size and speed but blunder it away year after year. They had a productive QB, but got lost in the aerial game and wasted a whole stable of good line players who could have waged a ground war on most anybdy.
    I hope Torres brings a new face to Moor football. This could be a school that makes waves this season.

  • Cantwell Alum

    Cantwell plays #3 Schurr,#4 Baldwin Park, and # 6 Whitter Christian of Mid-Valley next season. Along with Bell Gardens its going to be a very challenging pre-season. It will definitely get us ready for the new Del Rey League.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    Goldenarm,

    I have an interesting take on this. Alhambra has underachieved according to who? I’ve seen a pattern of the Moors getting an incredible amount of hype year in and year out for, oh I don’t know, about 10 years now. Same with San Gabriel.

    Any idea where it comes from? You should.

    So after reading/hearing all this hype, some fans start the season with an inflated opinion of what’s really there. Granted, I haven’t been around the past three seasons, but until I see something along the offensive and defensive lines to make me think there’s something to go with the skill players, then I won’t overrate them. There’s no denying that Alhambra has put out a good product. Solid teams for much of the past decade. Alhambra and San Gabriel simply have not been able to hang in the trenches in the divisions they’ve been in recently. Skill-wise, they’re fine. Line play is another story. But I think simply being as good as they’ve been recently will be enough to make them a very tough out in this division. Same with SG.

  • NV FAN

    The team that everyone should be worried of is Northview. They might have fallen last year but Northview never stays down here they come. Northview is turning things around. Dont be surprised when they are at the top of this list come December. Lets go Coach Perez get these guys going.

  • OK

    NV Fan,

    Get a clue the only team in the valley you can compete with is LA next season. That’s only because their coaching is just as weak as yours.

    P.S. yes you both have zero talent. You want to compete go 8 man.

  • Mid Valley

    From what I hear San Dimas does have a bulk of their championship team returning including all of the offensive line. The one weakness that I see is at the running back position. Over the past few years they have had players that can carry the rock 20-25 times a game (Barbone, DJ, Kohler, Evans). Unless they got a transfer I don’t know about, that great offensive line may not have anyone to block for. I’d love to see them develop another player, or get a transfer in order to make another run at a title.

    Obviously Monrovia will be the most athletic team in the division. I’m sure they’ll have a chip on their shoulder as well. Could be scary!!!

    Don’t know much about Schurr, but from what I read they should be fun to watch.

    Baldwin Park could very easily be a championship caliber team. Always tough, and if the new kid pans out, they could run away with a league title, and maybe more.

    Should be another great year in the Mid Valley. I’m glad the division is starting to get the respect it deserves.

  • SCHURR PARENT

    In this new division, even in a down year Schurr will WALK through the playoffs !!!

  • Is it True???

    Schurr thinks they’ll walk through the division. Are they that good? I’ve seen SD play, and they’re pretty damn good. I’d be surprised if Schurr can just “WALK” right through them. I guess we’ll see.

  • Another “Schurr Parent”

    NO, Schurr does not think they’ll “walk” through any dividsion , or league for that matter. That is just some no nothing parent stirring the pot. As the parent of a former player, and I am still very active as a booster, I can tell you that one reason for Schurr’s past success has been their work ethic, and humble approach to the game. They don’t look past any team, but they are prepared and ready for any team they take on, they know no matter who is on the schedule, the game MUST be played.

  • Another “Schurr Parent”

    NO, Schurr does not think they’ll “walk” through any dividsion , or league for that matter. That is just some no nothing parent stirring the pot. As the parent of a former player, and I am still very active as a booster, I can tell you that one reason for Schurr’s past success has been their work ethic, and humble approach to the game. They don’t look past any team, but they are prepared and ready for any team they take on, they know no matter who is on the schedule, the game MUST be played.

  • Another “Schurr Parent”

    NO, Schurr does not think they’ll “walk” through any dividsion , or league for that matter. That is just some no nothing parent stirring the pot. As the parent of a former player, and I am still very active as a booster, I can tell you that one reason for Schurr’s past success has been their work ethic, and humble approach to the game. They don’t look past any team, but they are prepared and ready for any team they take on, they know no matter who is on the schedule, the game MUST be played.

  • Sd Backer

    FYI, SD has about 5 returning running backs. Taylor, Corona, Lawson, Espinosa, Gonzales, and 235 lb Damon Carreon! Not to mention a few more! They all carried the rock last year as well. Z has the history of turning out good runningbacks

  • SCHURR PARENT

    Yes I do believe that they will walk through this division.. “Another Parent” I know alot more than you might think. I did not say the other teams are not talented, I just truly believe that we are accustomed to playing much tougher teams on our schedule, are better coached, have mentally tough kids And come playoff time the boys will cruise through them.!!!

  • Goldenarm

    Aram

    it goes back at least 3 years and the problem has nothing to do with the kids and talent at alhambra.
    Ask anyone as far as underachieving – it is common knowledge, and that is my Alma Mater I am ragging on.
    It has been a story of dissention (sp) internal bickering, personality conflicts and lack of field discipline. Endless unsportsmanlike penalties, mental mistakes etc… and the like.
    My hope is next season the Moors have a great year

  • New York

    Schurr Parent,
    Easy partner. Fumbling the game away against Diamond Ranch does not epitomize mental toughness. Although Cantu, the tall WRs and bowling ball running back looked good between the red zones. Actually, they looked great, but they did not close.
    One has to appreciate the balance of the new Mid Valley Division in the playoffs. None of the leagues are intimidating, BUT taking only the top two teams and ideally some good third place teams should create a playoff bracket that is pretty darn tough to survive. 12/16 teams will either be league champs or almost a league champ. Some of those at-large teams may be a tri-champ. Losing Paraclete is disappointing, but adding the Montebello area teams is nice.

  • SGV

    schurr PARENT (PLEASE)!!!

    Is anybody going to tell this guy he’s talking out of his (A**).SCHURR WILL NOT WIN ANYBODY EAST SIDE OF THE 605!

    SCHURR PARENT, don’t throw stones in glass houses, because at the end of the season, you’ll be all cracked up! Go run your mouth to the cheerleaders maybe they’ll believe you…

  • Johnny B. Good

    Schurr Parent,
    I sure hope for Schurr’s sake, that the football team does not think they will “cruise” through the playoffs. Kansas was suppose to “cruise” through the tourney and got beat early.
    New York,
    I totally agree with you. The top sixteen teams (MidValley) will all be dangerous. Matchups will play huge in the playoffs. Having said that,(after watching Schurr play this past season) I’ll be surprised if Schurr isn’t playing for the Title. Schurr runs an extremely balanced offense. They have 1st team (Southeast) CIF center Albert “Rhino” Perez anchoring the line. I would love to see him and Worthy lock horns. Schurr’s returning left tackle is also solid (Alvin Garcia), while a junior to be, by the last name of Trejo will be the right tackle (6′-2 1/2″ 260 lbs.). Trejo is beast. New York, after seeing Cantu hang 300+ yards on Diamond Ranch, can you see someone from the MidValley stopping him? It will be interesting to see…

  • New York

    I think the best pass defense is the pass rush. Cantu can’t throw when he is on his back. Getting to him is easier said than done, but giving him time will make put undue pressure on the secondary. Worthy may provide that type of disruption. Monrovia will have a couple guys who can do it as well. Shutting down the run can do wonders for a pass defense as well, as that team is forced to be one dimensional. Again, easier said than done.

    I would not count out San Dimas. Usually defending champs do pretty well, especially with a returning and athletic offensive line. They will certainly score points again this year.

    It will also be interesting to follow Pomona with its new coach and all-CIF transfers.

  • Titan Blue

    Wheres the love for San Marino?
    the word around town is that Mooney most likely is the coach, there returning tons of talent on the defense. (a defense who held monrovia to 14) They have a great offensive line with great size. Talented running backs, and some good possesion recievers. The only question I see is the QB, and the big play wide out. I dont understand why they are not in the top 10

  • MidValleyNews

    SD:

    Taylor and Corona are good backs, but they don’t have a big back like they have had over the years. Sorry SD Backer, this Carreon kid is listed as a lineman. Don’t see too many linemen converted to RB. They are on the line for a reason. Z and his staff will develop another back, no doubt but they don’t have a kid coming in that has experience carrying the load. They will do fine however.

  • Sd Backer

    MidValleyNews,

    just for your info we change carreons status on max preps for you! and by the way he is good!

  • SGV Athlete

    Aram,

    what do you think about Gladstone this next season? they had a pretty decent year this last season, QB had the most yards in the East valley. could be a strong contender against Azusa for the Montview title…

  • AZTEC PRIDE

    SGV COVINA,

    Didn’t your QB graduate last year? By the way, if I had choice JOHN CHAVEZ, should have been the MVP for the MONTVIW LEAGUE! BOTTOMLINE!

    AZUSA AZTECS

    BACK TO BACK MONTVIEW LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!

  • Just Curious

    Aram, Where would you put Pomona in that mix?

  • Observantcat

    Back on the Prowl…
    Monrovia has probably the best group of offensive firepower in the SGV. DeShawn Ramirez, Nick Bueno, Buba Johnson and several underclassmen who could carry the Rock. As far as the Oline and Dline, There is actually very little falloff, I think the D will be led this year by Issiah Daniels and John Adams and Derrick Johnson, At the DE position Ellis McCarthy & Dean Bisterfeldt. along with a couple of mean LB Adrian Velasco & Evan Sanchez. I also believe that there is plenty in the well from the lower division teams JV & Freshman who are going to bring it this year. This should be a very exciting year for the Wildcats officially playing on their long overdue field. I’m sure Maddox will have these guys focused this season and ready to fight all the way to the end. Hopefully they wont have to play in anymore Monsoons.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    Just Curious,

    Could be as high as six or seven. I’m waiting for that situation to play out before I rank.

  • New York

    Has Pomona even named a coach yet? Is Brown still officially the head coach?

  • What The Hell??

    Where did this Carreon kid come from? I’m excited about watching what this kid might be able to do for San Dimas. Has Z found a need for a monster back like Monrovia’s Johnson? Is this tense or what!? Big on big! Hope Z’s not just blowin smoke.

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