Here are the top three finishers from Pools 1 and 2 played Friday a.m. The top three from each pool (and one 4th-place team) move on to tomorrow’s 16-team championship bracket
Pool 1: 1. Claremont, 2. Santa Fe, 3. Perris Pool 2: 1. Villa Park, 2. Charter Oak, 3. Northwood Pool 3: 1. Crespi, 2. Summit, 3. LaSalle Pool 4: 1. Culver City, 2. Etiwanda, 3. St. Francis Pool 5: 1. Muir, 2. Southeast, 3. Silverado
*Chino Hills makes tourney as wild-card team.
Aram’s take: Whatchu say Mustangs, Whatchu Mustangs? Muir wins Pool 5 (was a tie, ‘Stangs got the ‘breaker). Who saw that coming? Charter Oak not winning its pool is a minor shock. But the Chargers qualified for Saturday’s big dance, so that’s all that matters. Claremont, as expected, cruised in its pool.
IMPORTANT: You’re gonna want to follow me on Twitter so that you can get LIVE updates all day Saturday w/twit pics. Also, I will be tweeting any updates I get from the Ayala Tournament and any line competitions.
I had sworn I was just about done with the whole passing circuit because A. I need to concentrate on writing the football preview and B. I’m just plain sick of it. Too much finesse. But each time I try to get out, they pull me back in. I couldn’t resist seeing South Hills for the first time and D-Ranch for the first time.
South Hills — The Huskies look solid. Nothing more and nothing less. It’s hard for me to really say much more because this is a running team with Jamel Hart the main weapon on offense. But you don’t get to see that aspect in passing games. The defense looked OK. More athletic when Jamie Canada got out there. About Canada, he’s still not 100 percent. He seems to be getting used to his knee brace and will only improve.
Glendora — I last saw the Tartans a month ago at Bonita and they’ve markedly improved. They good numbers out there and the QBs looked a lot better. As did the receivers. But what continues to impress me is the defense, which did very well against two teams with good skill talent.
Monrovia — The return of De’Shawn Ramirez. What can I say? He looks great. He’s in great shape and becomes yet another weapon at HC Ryan Maddox’s disposal. I know it’s getting old, by M-Town is easily one of the top three talented teams I’ve seen this summer.
Diamond Ranch — Finally! I finally got to see D-Ranch. The rumors of the Panthers’ demise is slightly overrated. Are they as talented or polished as past editions? No. But Andrew Fischer is one of the best WRs around. Isiah Locke looked pretty solid at QB. Overall, the D-Ranch still has athletes. I am a little worried, though, about the Panthers on the outside on defense. In terms of athletes, of the Hacienda League teams I’ve seen, D-Ranch is behind West Covina. In terms of passing games, they have the second-best passing game in the league I’ve seen this summer behind D-Bar. But that could be more of a testament to Bonita and WestCo’s struggles in that department.
Muir — Whatchu say Mustangs, whatchu say Mustangs? Oh yeah baby, oh yeah! OK. Muir has excellent talent. Believe it or not, they may be more talented than last year in the skill spots and back seven. But, the passing game needs MAJOR WORK. Is Muir a throwing team? Not really. But they were picked twice in their first possessions against Charter Oak. The defense also looked shaky, but hey, I saw them against CO, which is the best summer throwing team in the Valley.
Charter Oak — Yes, but do they have linemen? Seriously, I’m to a point where I want to cut to the chase with CO. The offense in passing games is so outstanding that it makes me want to know about the line, because if CO’s line is good, then this team has a chance to be very special. CO has become push-button on offense. They simply score at will. QB Travis Santiago simply doesn’t miss.
This news may be a tad stale, but impressive nonetheless. Monrovia’s De’Shawn Ramirez was named MVP of the Ultimate 100 scouting combine at Cathedral over this past weekend.
Now here’s the kicker, Ramirez evidently scored 10 of his team’s 11 in the 7-on-7 portion of the event.
Aram’s take: Looking forward to seeing Ramirez today in Monrovia’s passing competition against Glendora and South Hills. Also looking forward to seeing D-Ranch and Muir over at CO. Gotta split my time wisely. More on all this later. Screw the All-Star Game, by the way.
Pool 1: Perris, Claremont, Gabrielino, Santa Fe, Webb (Friday, 8 a.m.) Pool 2: Viewpoint, Charter Oak, Northwood, Palmdale, Villa Park (Friday, 8 a.m.) Pool 3: Summit, Glendora, Crespi, St. Bonaventure, La Salle (Friday, 2 p.m.) Pool 4: Culver City, Burroughs, St. Francis, Cathedral, Etiwanda (Friday, 2 p.m.) Pool 5: Esperanza, Silverado, Muir, Chino Hills, Southeast (Friday, 2 p.m.)
Top 16 teams return on Saturday for the championship tournament, which begins at 10 a.m.
Aram’s take: This is a damn nice tourney. You’ve got Charter Oak, which won the Air Assault. Southeast, which was second at Santa Fe. St. Bonnie, which was second at L.A. Valley. And Crespi, which the Guru makes the morning-line favorite everywhere they go.