After participating in a summer passing game last week as a member of Arcadia High School’s football team, De’Shawn Ramirez has decided to remain a Monrovia Wildcat after all.
Ramirez informed Monrovia of his decision during a meeting on Monday afternoon during which Monrovia principal Darvin Jackson decided to restore Ramirez’s eligibility to the Wildcats’ football program.
“We’re going to support the opportunity for him to represent Monrovia,” Jackson said. “As principal of the high school, because athletics are a privilege, I had to make the decision based on the facts that were before me.
“He (Ramirez) has met the terms of the agreement that were made last year and therefore we believe that young adults should be given another opportunity.”
Ramirez spent last week practicing with Arcadia and played running back, receiver and safety for the Apaches in a passing game while Monrovia was still in limbo about whether to restore his eligibility to play football. Ramirez spent last school year at Canyon Continuation High School after being expelled from Monrovia and kicked off the football team following an undisclosed disciplinary infraction at school.
Jackson issued a statement on Friday night saying that Ramirez and his family had the weekend to decide which school Ramirez wanted to attend this fall. Ramirez’s eligibility to return to the football program is effective immediately. Monrovia, like most other local teams, has just entered the busy summer passing circuit portion of its offseason schedule.
Ramirez rushed for 851 yards and 10 touchdowns at Monrovia as a sophomore in 2009. Even bigger things were expected of him entering his junior year, but he sat out while the Wildcats went 12-2 and won the CIF Mid-Valley Division championship.
Trouble found Ramirez again in May when he was stabbed in the neck during a fight at a house party in the 100 block of Montana Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia.
With Ramirez back and joining a team that returns several key starters, including heavily recruited defensive end Ellis McCarthy, the Wildcats figure to be favored to repeat as division champs. Based off his 2009 form, Ramirez is widely considered to be one of the top running backs in the area as well as a dangerous receiver and kick returner.
Since Monrovia was Ramirez’s last established school of athletic eligibility, the senior won’t have to sweat any eligibility issues with CIF.
Aram’s take: Absolutely the right decision by Jackson. Everybody makes mistakes as teenagers … some bigger than others. BUT, Ramirez would not be better off without football in his life. Much better for him to have the gridiron taking up most of his time than hanging with Baby Roc 3. Feel me? Anyway, for about a week it looked like Arcadia was building a case to be co-favored with West Covina in the Southeast Division. The Apaches were almost sitting up on a sick collection of skill players had Ramirez come over. They’re still darn good. As for Monrovia, well, bad news for the rest of the Mid-Valley. It seems to me that Covina is the only team in the division that can match the Wildcats in terms of skill players, and even that might be pushing it. If G5 is as good as they say at QB, then M-Town looks like a good bet to hoist another banner.