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.