2011 Schedules: Northview Vikings …

Week 0: Franklin
Week 1: at El Rancho
Week 2: La Puente
Week 3: at Chino
Week 4: at Baldwin Park
Week 5: Pomona
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Wilson
Week 8: at Nogales
Week 9: San Dimas
Week 10: Covina

Aram’s take: Northview is one of those teams that if you wanted to sell me on them being a playoff contender, I’d listen. And if you wanted to say they’re an also-ran, I’d listen to that, too. Basically, what I’m saying is that I’m very interested in seeing the Vikes this summer to get a feel for how many athletes they have. Year 2 of the Marcel Perez Era should see improvement as is usually the case in Year 2 of any new regime. Perez scored when he picked up former Monrovia head coach and Damien assistant Steve Garrison as one of his assistants. I keep going back to last August when I merely drove by Northview on the way to the office and was pretty impressed by my look-through-the-fence view. Anyway, the Vikes went 3-7 last year with all the three wins coming in league. They only lost to Covina by a count of 14-11, but were blanked by San Dimas, 43-0. See what I’m saying about people being able to sell me either way with this team? Outside of Covina, and I guess Pomona, the Valle Vista League won’t be as strong this year. I cannot put Northview in the top two right now, which means in my mind’s eye they have to earn an at-large to be dancing in Noviembre. Opening league with BP and Pomona in back-to-back weeks will tell us all we need to know. If the Vikes can win both or manage a split, that should make the final two games against San Dimas and Covina very interesting. I will call for 5-5 … for now.

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2011 Schedules: Nogales Nobles …

Week 1: at Rowland
Week 2: Jurupa Hills
Week 3: Ontario
Week 4: at South El Monte
Week 5: Wilson
Week 6: at San Dimas
Week 7: at Covina
Week 8: at Pomona
Week 9: Northview
Week 10: Baldwin Park

Aram’s takes: If you’re a Nobles fan, you have to hang your hat on that usually teams improve in Year 2 of a new coach. That, and the fact Nogales does have one of the better players around in Keith Bolden. The flipside is that Nogales went 1-9 last year and every one of the losses was in double figures. So even if you get mild improvement, will it be enough to close the gap in all those losses? The good news for the Nobles is that outside of Covina and maybe Pomona, the rest of the Valle Vista League isn’t likely to be as strong as it was last season. With Diamond Bar and Garey off the nonleague schedule, I will call for one more nonleague win than last season and one win in league for a semi-safe early record prediction of 3-7.

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2011 Schedules: San Gabriel Matadors …

Week 0: Muir
Week 1: at South Pasadena
Week 2: San Dimas
Week 3: at Baldwin Park
Week 4: Rosemead
Week 5: BYE
Week 6: Montebello
Week 7: at Keppel
Week 8: at Bell Gardens
Week 9: Alhambra
Week 10: Schurr

Aram’s take: Excellent schedule. Love the Week 0 test against Muir. Last year’s game was supposedly close for a while before mistakes did in the Mats. Maybe things can get crazy this year. Then you get right into to some nice Mid-Valley Division matchups against San Dimas, South Pas, BP and Rosemead. It takes stones for any Mid-Valley team to play that many inter-division games given how that no league has more than two guaranteed berths into the postseason. Obviously, SG needs to handle business in those games in case they need one of the four at-large berths come Noviembre. The Almont League should be interesting this year with several teams, including league champ Schurr, losing LOTS of guys. There’s no good reason why SG shouldn’t be 3-0 heading into the final two games of the year, and those two games are HUGE and at HOME. San Gabriel is one of my sleeper teams this year after beating both Alhambra and Schurr to end last season and finish 5-5 (missed the playoffs). Alhambra was young last year and will be a year older/better this year. Schurr is always formidable, but unless there’s another Aaron Cantu around campus Sparty will be down a notch (sorry for any hurt feeling there). With experience back at QB and the second year of a new coach, I make SG my early favorite to win the Almont. I will call for 7-3 as an early record prediction.

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2011 Schedules: Covina Colts …

Week 0: West Covina
Week 1: at Gladstone
Week 2: at El Monte
Week 3: Walnut
Week 4: at Pomona
Week 5: at Baldwin Park
Week 6: Nogales
Week 7: San Dimas
Week 8: at Wilson
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Northview

Aram’s take: Due to the Valle Vista League now having seven teams, Covina and its league brethren play just four nonleague games. In Covina’s case, two of them are strong and two of them leave a lot to be desired. Contrast Covina’s schedule with Monrovia’s. There’s no El Monte or Gladstone on Monrovia’s schedule and there shouldn’t be on Covina’s either. The West Covina game will go a long, long way toward letting us know just how far the Colts have come. The Walnut game is a big revenge spot. Covina cannot afford a slip up there. Folks I’ve spoken to who were at last year’s game said that Covina gave that one away. With Walnut replacing quite a few players, Covina looks like a good bet in that one. So where do the losses come from on this schedule? West Covina is the only potential loss and that game’s a toss-up (for now). Nobody in league is going to touch Covina. The Colts may get pressed by Pomona and possibly San Dimas, but let’s be honest — Covina has the league’s top QB, RB and WR. When you’ve got that big of an edge, only a fluke can derail you. For now, I will call the West Covina game a loss, the only one on the schedule, and Covina should be 9-1 with a lofty seeding heading into the Mid-Valley Division playoffs.

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2011 Schedules: Monrovia Wildcats …

Week 1: Glendora
Week 2: at Arcadia
Week 3: San Dimas
Week 4: South Hills
Week 5: at Paramount
Week 6: at La Canada
Week 7: Blair
Week 8: at San Marino
Week 9: at Temple City
Week 10: South Pasadena

Aram’s take: Of all the schedules I’ve seen, this could be the best put together of the lot. I think Coach Maddox knows his team isn’t likely to get tested too hard over the final five weeks of the season, so he’s loaded up the nonleague with (HERE’S THE KEY) doable but formidable games. It’s a perfect balance. Can you say for sure that M-Town will beat Glendora or South Hills? No. But you wouldn’t be shocked if they did and those wins would do wonders for the Wildcats’ street cred. The games with San Dimas and Arcadia are also nice because if M-Town were to be upset in those games, nobody would be overly stunned. As for league, it’s getting obvious Monrovia needs to be bumped to the Pacific League. As somebody who’s been going to RHL games since the mid ’80s when I was a kid, it breaks my heart to say that. But the demographics have changed just about everywhere else beside Monrovia. And when I see talent like I saw a week ago when I visited practice, it’s very obvious that Monrovia ISN’T a Rio Hondo League team. In year’s past, one would salivate about back-to-back road games at San Marino and Temple City. And while those two games should give the Wildcats a decent workout, they aren’t going to lose. The nonleague is very tough for a team that does have some veteran talent to replace. I will call for one slip up on that notion alone and put M-Town at 9-1 as my early record prediction.

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