As promised, I have updated the all-encompassing Top 25 going into spring. And there is plenty of movement. I stuck an “N” on the end of SGV to quiet those of you who will say “La Mirada isn’t in the SGV.” Auto Club’s road maps get your back on that, but when you throw the “N”, as in San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, you’ll see why they’re included. So let’s get to it …
Reloading or rebuilding? I think we all know the answer to that.
1. Bishop Amat – I seriously have no idea how any team will be able to cover Wallace Gonzalez.
2. La Habra — The Highlanders really don’t get all the credit they deserve for being one of the Southland’s perennial powers.
3. Charter Oak — Already hearing rumblings about how good the incoming frosh class is going to be. It never ends.
4. South Hills — Line play will be key for Huskies in new league/division and they’ve obviously got it.
5. Diamond Ranch — Panthers drop a spot over QB concerns. Let’s see what happens in spring and summer.
6. Glendora — Chad Jeffries opens eyes at Nike Camp. But does he have anyone to throw the ball to?
7. West Covina — OK, Coach Maggiore got me. If the Bulldogs truly are strong along both lines, they could go places with all that skill.
8. Muir — It’s kind of dumb to ever sweat the Mustangs’ skill positions, but that could be all that stands between Muir and a deep run in the Southeast.
9. St. Francis — I just can’t get over all that Bonds’ boys lost. A big spring/summer would relieve a lot of concerns.
10. La Mirada — Gotta love the Week 1 date against La Habra.
11. Damien — All I have to go on right now is confidence in the coaching staff. But in the Sierra League and Inland Division that isn’t enough.
12. San Dimas — As promised, Saints leap over Monrovia on the strength of their line play.
13. Monrovia — ‘Cats are going to be tested early and often with that schedule.
14. Rowland — Coach Snyder says there’s more skill talent than Michael Ball on the roster. Line play is all that stands between Raiders and huge season.
15. Schurr — Won’t argue with those picking the Spartans in the Mid-Valley Division.
16. Santa Fe — This ranking is more a vote of confidence that the Chiefs can always reload.
17. Baldwin Park — If the Braves get some QB play, they’ve got a chance to be the upsetter in the Mid-Valley.
18. Whittier Christian — I’m moving the WC up because any team that’s got a d-lineman with an offer from Nebraska is all right by me.
19. Bonita — If the QB Pendleton is as good as they say, then all that stands between Bo-Hi and some noise in the Hacienda is line play.
20. Arroyo — Knights drop a couple pegs because of the Anthony Miller injury, but I fully expect Coach Singiser to develop more capable hands.
21. Rosemead — Going back to the white helmets tells you what type of returnees Coach Koff has and what he wants to do with them.
22. California — Whittier Daily News guru Andrew Campa says don’t put it past Cal-Hi to repeat in the Del Rio. Good enough for me.
23. San Gabriel — Crucial spring/summer for the Mats to find a QB. As many passing games as possible is my prescription.
24. Alhambra — And what about the Moors in the Mid-Valley? I’m smelling a playoff win, maybe two.
25. Pomona — I dropped Pasadena for the Devils since it’s becoming obvious that A-Rice will be the man and the Colony transfers are already signed, sealed and delivered.