Weekend Quarterback: Hard-hitting takes from the Valley’s most-athletic sportswriter …

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.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Aram,

    I was there when Noodles took his first snap and handed the ball to Best. I think that everybody in the stadium expected Hull to run the ball himself due to the hype and anticipation. It was a triple option right play and it just appeared that the entire LA defense was keying in on Noodles as Best almost waltzed his way to the endzone on the inside hand off.

    A lot of the OL/DL this year are sophmores and juniors, so expect another solid group of trenchmen next year to go along with all the skill players. Scary right?

    Lastly, if you got Funky Medina from the Maxpreps roster, he does not exist. It’s obviously a joke. 5-4 320 lbs lol! Look above him on the roster “Calvin (Cal) Worthington” 6-6 160 lbs! Wonder if Cal brought his dog spot with him as he drives up in a BRAND NEW FORD PICKUP?!

  • CO Charger Fan

    Aram,

    Coming up on game 9 of the season. Its time we all start to recognize the talent and leadership that #3 Herman Akins has shown while playing Safety on the Charter Oak defensive side of the ball. I never see his name on the Tribune and he is very deserving of the recognition. You’ve been to the games. You’ve seen him play. He’s a Baller on Defense and on Special Teams! Arguably the best Safety in the Valley! 11 tackles against Rancho Cuc.

    Not only is he an excellent ball player, but he is also a very good kid in school, and good to his mom and with his brothers. As Herman goes, so does the defense at Charter Oak.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    Herman has been great. So has Khari. Best secondary in the area. No doubt.

  • coltfan97

    To all Mid Valley Lovers,

    This is about the Olympic League!!!!! Will Maranatha make the playoffs if they lose too Village Christian? They would end up fourth place in their league with a record of 7-3!!!! Just wondering!!!!! It’s hard to predict the wildcard teams in the Mid Valley!!!!!!

  • Fred olsen

    Just think god Mark Pasq-whatever isn’nt coaching in the valley anymore!

  • Coach Slayer

    The Hacienda will rule again in the Southeast. With at least 2 teams in the semis. I still believe Muir is the biggest threat then La Serna and Santa Fe for teams not of the Hacienda. Bonita still has a ton of starters not playing for one reason or another but their backups are stepping up quite nicely. If Pods can make a run at the playoffs with this squad it may be his best coaching effort yet.

  • VVL

    Coltfan97,

    Very difficult for a 4th place team to make the playoffs. The four at large bids have.to be filled by a team that has a. 500 record or better. The only way a 4th place team can make the playoffs is if only 3 of the 6 3rd place teams have a .500 record or better. With the current records don’t see that happening.

  • coltfan97

    To VVL,

    Thanks for clearing that up for me!!! I thought that was the case!!!! Imagine if Maranatha loses to Village Christian!!!!! WOW, from being number one in the polls at one time to almost being out of the playoffs!!!!! They might even have the best QB in the division and not make the playoffs!!!!

  • Colt74

    If Maranatha were to lose to Village Christian their record would then be 6-4.
    I can’t see that happening. Karavedas IMHO will have them fired up for that game.

  • coltfan97

    Colt 74,

    Maranatha still has Village Christian and L.A Baptist to play!!!!! Maranatha is 6-2 right now and I expect Maranatha to beat L.A Baptist!!!!! If they lose to Village Christian they would be 6-3 with L.A Baptist to play!!!!! Remember the Olympic League has only 5 teams!!!!!!!

  • Dan

    Some West Covina takes,
    -Jimmy Frazier is one of the elite runningbacks in the area, amongst the area’s best.
    - Chris Solomon even at 85%/90% is still getting his big runs.
    -The secrets out on Josh Best, kid was a beast as a freshman, as he is at the varsity level on both sides of the ball.
    -Aaron Salgado quietly keeps on scoring touchdowns and making big runs.
    -The Bulldogs are impressive when the passing game is working, I would be curious to see what happens
    with more emphasis on using a short passing game [swing passes, slants, WR screens, rb to the flats criss cross over the middle, etc.] along with the occasional play action over the top or tight end in the seams.
    -Of course we would still be a run first offense…
    but with a little more spice.
    -People keep saying the division is WC’s to lose, but Arcadia, Mayfair, Santa Fe, Burroughs [with Zander Anding],La Mirada, Muir and Bonita all make me leary.

  • Colt74

    97,
    You are right. Maranatha is 6-2 right now. I made a spread sheet with the top 20 and had their loss record transposed with Monrovias. I had Monrovia at 5-2 and Maranatha at 6-3.
    Either way Maranatha will get in. Bet the farm on it.

    Dan,
    Stop being so humble! West Covina is on a mission. Enjoy the ride!

  • Southeast Insider

    Dan the Southeast will never be the same without Charter Oak. They are will always be the reigning champs. West Covina will always have an asterick next to their name in the CIF record books.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Southeast Insider,

    Charter Oak was not that impressive at all last year, we had some common opponents last season and won those games in a lot more impressive fashion. WC would have won that division last year regardless if CO was there or not. The asterisk should be put on CO winning championships and not facing any team above .500! You guys have yet to do squat in the Inland division so stay humble! I wish you guys all the luck this year, but you don’t understand that with public schools their reigns rise and fall quickly. Right now is our time in WC so hate all you want. People will always know which school has the nads to schedule up and which school never has.

  • Amat Bully

    Bulldogs have bite
    What are you talking about all that is, is gibberish we will never know if WC would had beaten CO last year and why should it be an asterisk next to CO victories when on CO last championship year before leaving the division they went through WC, and on the first year of the back to back that under .500 team (D-ranch) beat WC who was 10-2 going into the game. WC fell short both years once to the champions and once to the runner up so please stop hating on CO victories WC had their chance and fell short now that CO is gone WC or more than welcome to be the king of the southeast.

  • Amat Bully

    Bulldogs have bite

    Dude enough with this scheduling up junk CO and WC was in the same division for years and even though CO may not had scheduled a tougher schedule than WC when ever CO played against WC CO dominated them, so i guess all the scheduling up that WC did obviously didnt help them. And CO has only been in the inland division for one year this year making it the second give them some time before yapping off at the mouth stating CO hasn’t done anything yet, and your right public schools does rise and fall fast just check out CO from last year to this year. Good luck on this year even though everyone has you guys favored doesn’t mean its guaranteed.

  • CO Bro

    Bulldog, don’t listen to these two Moe’s, WC is a very good team and whether or not CO is in the Southeast has nothing to do with that. The past is the past, I wish WC nothing but the best on Back to Back titles!.

  • Amat Bully

    CO Bro

    Dude your such a punk and so worried about making friends stop kissing a$$ stick with your team stand up for them when people trash them a little instead of putting down real CO fans, grow some balls. No one’s bad mouthing WC.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Amat Bully,

    Yeah and we beat CO on our way to the 04 championship, so we sat atop the throne by defeating you guys on the way there too. So what’s your point? It’s not like you guys are on some mythical plane that only the gods can ascend to!WC may not have a great head to head record against Charter Oak in recent years, but we are 1-1 in the playoffs against you guys when it counts!

    This whole notion that you guys want people to believe that WC only won last year because CO was bumped to the Indland last year is just BS! Is it so hard to believe that West Covina is on the rise and starting to become a local power? We have 3000 students and the demographics in the school district that make a great foundation for success. We have great coaching and awesome fan support, and support from the community.

    Do you not post anti-Amat blogs on a daily basis because it’s your way of getting back at them for this so called cocky arrogance you perceive them to have?

    You are starting to sound like the very thing you stand against.

  • Richard Poppe

    Who cares? The world needs problem solvers, not a new generation of wannabe overpaid self-absorbed morons.

  • Amat Bully

    Bulldogs have bite

    Nah dont get me wrong i never meant it to come off that way, as to saying that WC is only winning because CO is gone, im not like the other CO fans i dont think that at all or want anyone to believe that. i was just defending the statement you made about CO should have an asterisk next to their championships. if i came off as being like the Amat fans i apologize and would hate to be like them, as a matter of fact im done arguing with those folks. I wish WC the best but i will never stand for a fan to say that they would had beaten CO after they left the division, in a way we both made arrogant comments because it just like me saying this year we would had beaten that other team that everyone knows im against, and you saying that last year you would had beaten CO.

    And im not like the other CO fans i dont think that at all or want anyone to believe that.

  • Amat Bully

    my bad about the typos my phone is tripping this morning.

  • Aaron

    Good takes all around…’Cats ran some veer, and some option, offense simplified for Burgett as he just needs to hand the ball off and make timely passes. However, he threw two picks and they’re going to need Diebold’s arm when they get to the playoffs. Yet, this happen with Garrett his junior year, he sat back and learned from a senior for a few games.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Amat Bully,

    No worries. I was only flipping the script on Southeast Insider. Truthfully those Back2Back CO teams were something else. I feel that WC is on the same path as CO, as in recent success is starting to breed more success by getting more kids interested to come out to play football. Or kids that live in the district to stay home and play for the local school and not elsewhere. Ofcourse we will start to get our share of transfers, but what good program is not getting them these days? Who knows, WC may get the boot to the Inland in the future also, so we can reume the head to head match ups and put the would of’s, could of’s and should of’s to rest.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    Aaron,

    What’s going on here? The ‘Cats running the ball, playing smash mouth football like the Dawgs, and the Bulldogs tossing bombs through the air, playing aerial assault football like the Bearcats? It’s like some sort of bizarro world in the Hacienda lately lol!

  • Amat Bully

    Bulldogs have bite

    as long as WC dont steal any of our players then its all good lol……Im hoping two Covina schools pull it off this year though WC, Covina good luck. And i was thinking the same thing maybe after this year if WC wins it all they might get bumped to the inland or the pac5. i think WC would definitely compete now that you are keeping all your talent and attracting other talent.

  • Monrovia’s line

    “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.”

    Aram, Covina’s Line has played the best in the Mid Valley, and Monrovia’s line has not played well, but size…I think Monrovia has size…especially in the underclassmen area on Jv’s and freshman.

    Monrovia’s line

    Iassac Miveret Jr 6’3 275
    Mathew Norman Jr 6’5 265
    Eric Brooks So 6’2 255
    Claty Taggert Sr 6’1 290
    Josh Cano So 6’1 272
    Kevin Spencer Sr 6’3 255
    Henry Cane Sr 6’3 225
    Avonte Moore so 6’1 245
    Ellis McCarthy Sr 6’5 305
    Lorenzo Casas Sr 5’10 250
    Danny Flores Jr 5’11 225

  • CO Bro

    LMFAO, AB you are a tool! You know it I know it and everyone who reads your dumb a$$ rants knows it. Why do you feel you need to defend CO so much? Whats your investment in the team? I’ve been a fan for almost 20 years now and I couldn’t give a rats a$$ if people want to bag on us. If CO was irrelevant there would not be so many haters so we must be doing something right. I, just like you do not like they way some (not all) Amat fans think they are they only football team worth of any recognition, but I learned along time ago that I cannot control what other people think or say, so why try. People have the right to say whatever they want, but for you to keep coming on here and trying to force people to recognize CO as a inland power is just ridiculous. As far as me growing some balls, just look at your chin there right there!

  • Dan

    Aram,
    As far as this year, J.Best adds to the depth of the running back position at WC, another pair of quick strong legs Maggiore can rotate in on tired defenses.
    Where he does change the stature of the team is on defense, he is a physical OLB and was putting on some nice hits on Friday, you can see one of them at the 4:40 mark of the West Covina video just after the coaches interview.
    Amat Bully, Southeast insider,
    CO had a nice run in the Southeast, they were dominant in the division and I respect that. In West Covina’s good years [04, 05, 06] there were some great games between the two and each of those games could have gone either way. From 07 thru 09 WC was not as good or had gone thru heavy injuries and it showed when we went up against a quality team like CO. Last years West Covina was probably the best team we had this decade, at the same time CO was not as good as their previous teams, no asterisk anywhere and no doubt in my mind West Co runs thru that CO defense and wins that game. This year would be a nice game, CO has been impressive all year and West Co as a team is finally starting to peak, as our qb grows and is starting to catch on the team is looking more impressive, the line is also starting to gel and is getting more physical by the day.
    CO Bro, appreciate your honesty and class, good luck to the Chargers.

  • Amat Bully

    CO Bro
    I never try to convince people that CO is a power house in the inland, if you read my post i always state to give CO some time and eventually they will become a power house. And i back CO up because its some fans that rather agree with the insulting fan than back his own team, sort of like people do when it comes to that other team. (you know who im talking about) And i believe CO has earned its respect from the SGV but do hey get it, not really just a little so when someone wants to bash a great program that i respect and root for i got to back them up just like they back it up on the field.

    next time read my post, or did you just sit there and think of one of the most gayest insult you could come up with, it was kind of funny.

  • Amat Bully

    Dan
    i must admit you can definitely make a bash look good with the way you word things, but come on dude in 08 WC finished 10-3 thats not bad at all and if your considering 05 and 06 good years then 09 would have to be good to because you had identical records, but i dont like to go back in the past or speak on an opinionated argument about if CO was still in the Southeast last year. I just hope that you guys have a good year finish strong and not get to cocky those pacific league teams are getting it together.

    P.S no way WC hangs with CO this year…..had to throw a little bit back at you…..

  • D-Mo

    Bulldogs Have Bite,
    When did WC ever beat CO in the playoffs? The only time I can remember CO losing to WC was in 2004 (13-12, right?), but that was not a playoff game.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    D-Mo,

    You’re right.I stand corrected. Although it was pretty late in the season for a non-league game which is probably why I remembered it as a playoff game. I think it was early November that year. My bad, but still a solid win although a close one on the way to a title that year. We had to beat Walnut and South Hills in the playoffs, both of whom had defeated us earlier that season. Still we did have to go through CO on one title march I should say then, and lost on one playoff match up. CO leads the series 5-1.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    The Charter Oak QB at the time? Anyone for a little bar room trivia?

    If you answered Manuel Ambriz, you answered right.

  • Dan

    Amat Bully,
    Ha Ha, just caught your last jab, I disagree, I’ve seen CO this year, at this time of the season WC hangs tough with CO because of the way WC is coming together. I say it’s anywhere from being a toss up to CO being a slight favorite, but on a good night WC is capable of pulling out a tough win. I know this is gonna break your heart but I think it would be tougher for WC to pull out a win over Amat, that is if they have Rio playing.

  • X’s and O’s

    Aaron you’re always throwing Bonita’s gameplan out there, but your actually hurting the team. I was at the Walnut game and I didn’t see them running any veer. I saw some zone read, but not any veer. If they are planning on running veer this week though, you just threw it out there for Maine and his staff.

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