NOTE: This is dedicated to Aaron, who likes to bust my chops about not writing this thing every weekend.
If you’re not watching the PrepXtra Live Postgame Show on Friday nights, then you’re missing a lot. And if you don’t watch it live, then you need to catch the replays. Some interesting fallout from this week’s show that has really stuck with me was new San Marino coach Mike Hobbie openly questioning why Monrovia is in the same league as the Titans, according to PSN Preps Editor Miguel Melendez. To Hobbie’s credit, there has been a lot of recent talk about M-Town moving to the Pacific League. And in the sense that there are some HEAVILY CHANGING demographics that have taken or are taking place in CERTAIN (Temple City 0-8) geographical locations, then let’s just say it may not be a bad idea. But when you start talking about enrollments and using that as a reason why M-Town should be gone, well that’s just garbage. Monrovia has about 1,750 students. I believe that makes it right on par or smaller than other RHL schools. The thing about the RHL is that it’s been the same six teams for as long as anybody can remember. Yes, CIF overweights football performance when it re-leagues or re-divisions, but to break up something that’s been around that long is ridiculous. The ‘Cats are on another level right now, but there have been periods of time when you could say the same about Temple City and yes, even San Marino. You have to love that West Covina scored on Antonio “Noodles” Hull’s first play from under center. Of course, Noodles himself had little to do with it. He simply handed off. Bigger than Noodles’ varsity debut (if that’s possible) was the emergence of Bulldogs sophomore running back Josh Best. I had gotten a tip about Best a week prior while sitting with an in-the-know WestCo supporter at the San Dimas-Covina game. I’m not sure that Best being the stud that he is really changes WestCo’s stature this season. It’s not like the Bulldogs were hurting at RB. But when you look to next year and the year after, it’s starting to be pretty obvious that the Bulldogs are going to remain one of the area’s top teams, if not the top. Best, Salgado, Hornsby, Noodles, Sydney Jones, Henderson, Ojala, Najera, Franklin and whomever else the cat drags in will all be on the roster next season. Scary. Thought I might mention that while Noodles certainly qualifies as one of the best names around, it might not even be the best on the Bulldogs’ roster. That probably goes to 320-pound defensive lineman Funky Medina. Guess we all know who his parents’ favorite rapper is. Speaking of Tone Loc, did you know that our very own Tommy Kiss was one of the first to render aid to the famous rapper when he had a seizure recently in Atlanta. Es verdad. Something that is maybe no es verdad is that Arroyo QB Steven Rivera “flipped off” the Rosemead mascot after running out of bounds during last week’s game-winning drive. I was sitting right there and saw the whole thing. Rivera’s momentum took him past the Rosemead bench and onto the track where the Panthers’ cheerleaders and mascot stand. Yes, he gestured toward the mascot, but from my view it was not the finger. And it didn’t appear to be anything with malice intended. The Panthers’ mascot playfully kicked at Rivera as he ran back to the field. I have received emails from some Rosemead peeps lobbing some pretty nasty allegations toward my “new favorite player”. Wish I had the replay, but I truly did not see it as Rivera “flipping off” the mascot. Is it possible that he did? Of course. I’m trying to line up a 60 Minutes-style interview with the Panthers’ mascot. Speaking of Rosemead, Robledo is/was right, Maranatha losing on Friday truly hurts the Panthers’ chances of being an at-large team. It’s just another team that Rosemead has to get behind in line for one of the four at-large bids in the Mid-Valley Division. The Panthers also could have used a Duarte loss. By the way, Rosemead RB/LB Matt Eddy was absolutely amazing on Friday. The kid plays both ways and carried 35 times!!! for 185 yards and two scores. Who knew: South El Monte and El Monte in Week 9 has huge meaning. Speaking of the Mid-Valley playoffs, I will be writing an open letter to CIF on this blog the Saturday after the regular season ends (and the day before playoff brackets are announced). I will then text my contacts at CIF urging them to read it before making the brackets. The letter will basically share mine, Fred and Miguel’s opinions of who the four at-large teams should be. We will come to a consensus. Will they read it? PROBABLY. Do I expect it to have any impact? NO. Is there a slim chance it does? YES. I truly don’t think that in the 36 hours between when the regular season ends and the playoffs are announced that CIF hyper-analyzes who the Mid-Valley at-large teams SHOULD be. Not with the PAC-5 pairings to worry about. That’s where we can help each other. I know that without Nine at QB Amat will be hard-pressed to win a first-round PAC-5 playoff game (likely on the road). But I still want the Lancers to make it. A postseason without Amat would simply suck. Correction to Saturday’s print edition: Charter Oak is 7-1, not 7-2. As things stand now, Aram will be back on the Charter Oak beat full-time for the first time since summer. The plan is for me to cover the Chargers on Friday when they host Damien and again the following week when they visit Chino Hills. Things can change, but that’s the plan. Want to thank Chino Hills QB Andrew Chavez for reminding on Twitter that I picked against the Huskies vs. Damien. As I told him, he almost didn’t get to point that out. But to his credit, Chavez put the game-winning pass right on the cash. Congrats to him and the Huskies. Speaking Chino Hills’ win over Damien, there’s probably a good chance that Spartans coach Greg Gano’s visor and headset are probably still somewhere in orbit. Back to my “new favorite player” Steven Rivera: He set up the game-tying score with a beautiful strip of a Rosemead ball carrier. He then preserved the win with an interception at his own 15. Those are two outstandingly clutch DEFENSIVE plays made by the Valley’s leading passer. Think about that last sentence for a second. Did anybody else notice Muir’s win over Burroughs last week? Burroughs stud RB Zander Anding did not play. Cue up the “injuries are part of the game” people. The win did wonders for Muir’s playoff chances and it appears the Tussle with PHS is going to be for a playoff spot (or more). The Burroughs loss was great news for Arcadia. Which one of you Pacific League teams want to start the playoffs on the road vs. the Hacienda? There are three Pacific teams at 4-1 in league. There are two Pacific teams at 3-2 in league. Things aren’t quite as muddy in the Hacienda League, thanks to West Covina being alone in first and D-Ranch alone in second. But the league’s final two playoff spots are up for grabs between Bonita, Walnut, Los Altos and Diamond Bar. D-Bar and Bonita are in the best spots, but then again that will chane after this week. Still, a coin flip scenario appears likely. Hey Aaron, this is for you. Did you (not you Aaron, but everybody else) that Bonita actually trailed at halftime before winning 50-17 over Walnut. At least that’s what John “Nuttin Honey” Honell told me. I wonder what CIF will do with Santa Fe when they construct the Southeast Division brackets. The Chiefs are cruising toward the Del Rio League title, but doing so will only make them 6-4 overall. That’s what happens when you play a nonleague sked that featured Hamilton of Arizona (10-0 currently), Charter Oak, Esperanza and St. John Bosco. Combined record of the teams Santa Fe LOST to in its nonleague schedule: 29-7. And by the way, Charter Oak’s win over 6-3 Esperanza looks better and better. I think the Chiefs deserve a top-four seed (in a four-league division). About my Friday column on size mattering. I have seen both Monrovia and Covina, and Monrovia is not bigger. Are you people counting the size of receivers or something? I’m talking linemen. Yes, Ellis Mac-Cee is bigger than anything Covina has, but Nick Hynes is pretty big himself. I’m talking about across-the-board size on the LINES. C-Town is bigger. Anyway, the column was counting Tribune coverage-area teams only, so Monrovia is excluded.