Chino Hills stiffing really hurt the sex appeal to what I dubbed the Rebuilding Bowl. Think about it: Bonita, Glendora and Monrovia are all replacing fantastic QBs. Fortunately, they all have some strong skill guys back to make it easier on their new signal callers.
Bonita: The Bearcats have absolutely no worries skill position-wise outside of QB. Reggie Turner looks like he’s ready to become one of the better backs around. Garrett Horine and Austin Venegas are already two excellent receivers, and watch out for receiver Toure McCully when he gets more seasoning. Cameron Griffin did not participate. Anyway, on to the QB situation. Both Tanner Diebold and Aaron Burgett had their moments. You can tell both are still very raw, but this was really Step 1 competition-wise for them and I would expect that with a full summer under their belts, they’ll be just fine. Many of the skill guys doubled as DBs, so Bonita looks athletic enough in the back seven. I’m not about to make an assessment of a linebacker based on how he looks dropping into coverage, but Nick Pichotta physically looks like a good one.
Glendora: It’s hard to get a gauge on the Tartans in passing games because of all the running they’ll do in new coach Todd Quinsey’s offense. It was very obvious on Thursday that both Donovan Holmes and Corey Victoria will have to carry this team. I cannot tell whether it’s a good or bad sign that Holmes and Victoria were responsible for most of Glendora’s success in pass plays way down field. Do you want your RBs to be your top deep threats? I digress. A pleasant surprise was 6-foot-4, 245-pound junior tight end Christian Schneider. This kid is a beast with a decent looking pair of hands. Kyle Kianpour looks to have a leg up on Mike Crook in the QB race. More than anything, I was impressed with Glendora’s defense. The Tartans pretty much limited a very talented Rancho Cucamonga offense to passes to backs out of the backfield (a real white flag in passing games). Glendora looked on defense once it settled in.
Monrovia: I was very disappointed to find out from ‘Cats coach Ryan Maddox that QB George Frazier wasn’t going to be at Bonita. I believe Maddox said G5 was at Boise St. Because of that, I limited my viewership of Monrovia. Hey, it’s passing league, QBs are uber-important. I already know M-Town has athletes where they need them, but I need to know if they have a QB. However, I did catch some glimpses of Monrovia’s defense and as you might expect, their athletes were giving their opponents some headaches.
Northview: It was a tall order to begin with for the Vikes. They were competing against upper-division foes and their divison’s reigning champ. Northview looks decently talented for a Mid-Valley team. There are some good-looking athletes on the roster. But they need some polish … and I’m being nice there. As does the defense … and I’m being very nice there. It’s a long summer and no doubt this young group will make strides and be better for the experience.
Rancho Cucamonga: Easily the most talented team there (what did you expect?). But … the play didn’t really match the talent. I don’t know this team and its coaches well because they’re out of the area, but I thought they underachieved for the amount of talent on hand. However, off in the distance you could hear the linemen competition going on and from what I hear, Rancho simply dominated that.
Mike the Clone: In what may come as a shock to many of you, I had never met Mike the Clone in person. Well, after getting out of my car on Thursday and striking up a conversation with the best sports photog in the business — The Keith Birmingham — what appeared to be an angry Glendora dad pulled up in his car near me. He said “Can I speak to you for a moment?” while motioning me over. I thought “Oh no, another person who doesn’t understand the blogs …” BUT, it was MTC himself playing a nice prank on me. Great guy. And yes, he and I will be doing some damage at an eatery near you sometime soon.