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.