South Hills coach Steve Bogan isn’t telling anyone whether the glass is half full
NOTE: This is the second in a series of league predictions for leagues that consist of local teams only.
1. Charter Oak — Ask yourself who has the best offense in the league? Right now, we should all agree it’s Charter Oak. The Chargers have the league’s top QB in Travis Santiago and a plethora of offensive weapons to go with him. Defense is the big question mark for CO as the entire defensive line must be replaced. The secondary is fantastic and should be extremely stingy. Big Lou plans to rotate a lot of athletes on defense in hopes of keeping a fast and fresh group on the field. I don’t see anyone in the league that can really stretch the Chargers deep.
Predicted record: 8-2 overall, 5-0 in league.
2. Damien — As I’ve said before, the Spartans are the most improved team in the area. They addressed their needs in terms of speed and should use all those quicks to put more points up on offense and not give up the big play so much on defense. Damien’s defensive line could be the best around, led by Charter Oak transfer Alex Hernandez and Alex Arevalo. As improved as Damien is, you have to ask yourself whether they’re ready to hang with CO’s speed or handle Chino Hills’ brute strength. I will see yes to one of those.
Predicted record: 8-2 overall, 4-1 in league.
3. Chino Hills — The Huskies have some very big questions and some very areas of confidence. It’s going to take more than a ball-control offense to win the Sierra. It’s going to take QB Andrew Chavez making plays to a group of skill players that look solid, but lack experience and the explosiveness of last year’s group. I know Chino Hills has always done a great job reloading, but this is a different Sierra League now. Programs don’t just replace guys like Ifo, Auston Johnson, Brad Bergen, Nate Harris and Scott Calles. This team will be a work in progress, but fully capable of beating anyone in league.
Predicted record: 5-5 overall, 3-2 in league.
4. South Hills — This is probably the toughest team in the area to get a read on. The defense was atrocious last year, but it was underclassmen heavy. Are they better because they’re a year older? The offensive line loses some key players, but there’s talent, albeit inexperienced, to replace it. But you can’t bank on South Hills being at last year’s level. Then there’s Jamie Canada. If he returns to full strength or near it, he’s a legit weapon. But can you bank on that? This is a total mystery team. The parts are there for any kind of season.
Predicted record: 4-6 overall, 2-3 in league
5. Ayala — The Bulldogs had a legit excuse last year with all the injuries they suffered. The dynamic frosh class that is now juniors has remained intact and if they are healthy should help the program give a better account of itself? But is that enough? The Bulldogs are badly outplayed last season and one talented class alone isn’t going to carry a team far in the Sierra. Ayala will be improved, but not enough to threaten the top three.
Predicted record: 3-7 overall, 1-5 in league.
6. Claremont — I really do believe that one QB meant that much to a program. No, I’m not talking about last year’s stud Daniel Kessler. I’m talking about his replacement Matt Simko, who the coaching staff put a lot of time into getting ready. No, the ‘Pack would not have come close to last year’s amazing numbers, but Simko was solid and had some skill guys to work with. Claremont is now scrambling with inexperience and that’s the danger zone when you play this schedule in this league.
Predicted record: 3-7 overall, 0-6 in league.
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