Editor’s note:This is the second Top 25 of the offseason. The first was put out before most of the transfers and coaching changes took place. There will be another Top 25 put out after spring practice once I’ve had a chance to make the rounds. As we move closer to August, the picture will become much more clear.
1. Monrovia — The most complete team around. Period. 2. Bishop Amat — Defense may not have size, but it has plenty of experience. 3. West Covina — How to use Noodles, and where, the big question this spring. 4. Charter Oak — Loss of leading passer/rusher will be very hard to overcome. 5. Damien — Waiting to see what’s up this summer, but this could be No. 1 by fall. 6. Chino Hills — High-upside team has talent, but lacks experience. Scary. 7. La Habra — If you thought last year was a reload, wait until you see this year. 8. St. Paul — New regime has been reportedly working hard to get talent infusion. 9. La Mirada — Leading passer, rusher and receiver all back. 10. St. Francis — QB returns, but there’s tons of question marks elsewhere. 11. La Serna — QB Palmer is one of the best dual-threats around. 12. Arcadia — Down compared to last year, but still solid enough to bang with most. 13. San Dimas — Consistency, not talent, is program’s greatest attribute. 14. Maranatha — Division switch should put Minutemen in thick of title chase. 15. Muir — Loss of Talifero stings, but decent talent remains for new head coach. 16. Duarte — By far the best transfer haul of the offseason. 17. Cantwell — Skill talent is there to do damage in the Northwest. 18. Arroyo — Can rely on ground game and defense until new QB is settled in. 19. Pasadena — Insiders tell me how great things are, then later admit it’s a one-man show. 20. San Gabriel — Hearing some very interesting things about SG. A team to watch! 21. Bonita — New head coach/old staff. Bearcats should be solid if nothing else. 22. Diamond Ranch — Really need to see what Roddy’s working with this spring. 23. Azusa — Aztecs had to cringe at Duarte’s upgrades. 24. Claremont — ‘Pack have decent skills, but need a toughness upgrade badly. 25. Diamond Bar — Some of the best talent around in spots, but toughness?
Aram’s take: This isn’t a spring practice highlight video. It’s a PROMO VIDEO for spring practice. A PROMO VID FOR SPRING PRACTICE! Just awesome. Coach Maine is going to will this program back to prominence if it hair-lips the Governor.
During the Century League’s final appeal of having the Sunset League (Los Alamitos et al) taken out of the PAC-5 and placed in the Southwest Division, the league made the suggestion at Wednesday’s Southern Section Council meeting that the Sunset be placed in the Inland Division and the Sierra League be placed in the Southwest.
The Century League reportedly contacted all the schools in the Sierra League to inform them of this proposal and those who responded reportedly liked the idea, but the Sierra was handcuffed because it did not originally appeal the new playoff grouping proposal.
The council voted down the suggestion, but the fun wasn’t over. The Empire League, which is also part of the Southwest Division, was up next and momentarily sent a room that just hours earlier had voted 41-40 to pass part of the controversial transfer proposals into a frenzy by moving to have ALL PLAYOFF GROUPING PROPOSALS denied and revisited in two years during re-leaguing.
Technically, legally, you’re not allowed to suggestion such a thing. But even CIF President Bill Dabbs momentarily was thinking that it was a valid request because “telling” the section that is HAS TO APPROVE the playoff grouping proposals is not reasonable.
A lengthy debate ensued and for a while the playoff grouping proposals were hanging in the balance. Then, things calmed down and a vague rebuff of the Empire League’s proposal put the fire out.
But I’m telling you, for several minutes it felt like the council was going to vote on whether to even enact ANY of the playoff regrouping proposals.
Aram’s take: In my opinion, moving the Sunset from the PAC-5 to the Inland makes way more sense in terms of competitive equity than moving the Sunset all the way down to the Southwest. Yes, the Southwest makes way more sense geography-wise, but as we all know geography is an argument that people often use to support their point when it’s convenient. And of course, the Sierra League is a way better fit in the Southwest than it is in the Inland where the league has won THREE playoff games in two seasons.
Lost in the shuffle of the MONUMENTAL vote by the Southern Section Council yesterday was Miggy Melendez reporting that Arcadia has hired Chris Long to replace Jon Dimalante as varsity football head coach.
Aram’s take: Kudos to Arcadia for moving quick on this. They were up against it timing-wise and got somebody in. And kudos to Miggy for the nice scoopage.
Because there’s so much misinformation and misunderstanding of the new CIF transfer rule proposals that will be voted on Wednesday at the Southern Section office, CIF’s Thom Simmons has agreed to join us on a special episode of PrepXtra Live to clear up any confusion.
We are aiming to go LIVE at 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon and you can watch on any of the SGVN prep sports blogs. Of course, tomorrow is a very fluid for Simmons, so we may have to adjust the time. Stay tuned …
If any of you have questions for Thom Simmons, please submit them to my Twitter handle @ChemicalAT and I will do my best to read/ask them on the air.
The first bit of inclinations as to which way local leagues will be voting on a new transfer rule proposal at Wednesday’s CIF-Southern Section council meeting are starting to trickle in.
A Sierra League representative told the Tribune on Tuesday that league would be casting its vote AGAINST the new 30-day sit-out transfer rule proposal. Meanwhile, a Hacienda League official told our Fred J. Robledo that the Hacienda will be voting IN FAVOR of it.
We will learn more about the reasons why each league feels the way it does at tomorrow’s meeting. But for now it appears that just as in the court of public opinion, many leagues are split over whether to vote in favor or against the proposal.
Aram’s take: I’m not sure why a league like the Sierra, with several schools that historically GET transfers, would be voting AGAINST this new rule. But to each their own. The more I read about this rule, the less earth shattering it seems to be. And the more people I talk to, the more convinced I am that most people don’t truly understand it. The L.A. Times and other media outlets’ scare tactics seem to be rubbing off on some people who clearly haven’t delved deep enough to know the new rule wouldn’t turn prep sports into the Wild West. Wednesday should be VERY INTERESTING.