Top 10 Quarterbacks in the SGV(N) …

M-Town’s Blake Heyworth has got the ring, the stats and the chance for more.

Editor’s note: I guess now would be a good time to explain what SGV(N) means. The “(N)” is the last letter in the company name that signifies the partnership of the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Whittier Daily News. The “(N)”, in this case means that the list pertains to players from the schools covered by this newspaper group.

1. Blake Heyworth, Monrovia — Heyworth has arrived somewhat late on the scene and that has him playing catchup a bit on the recruiting scene. But make no mistake, his generalship last season is what turned Monrovia from a talented, stumble-prone team into a champion. Heyworth didn’t play a full season, but still put up a 25-5 TD-INT ratio and 2,377 yards. He’s also the only player on this list with a ring as the starting QB.

2. Brandon Cox, Pasadena
— When you consider Cox is essentially a one-man show, what he does becomes even more impressive. What’s more, Cox will be even more of a one-man show this season because PHS graduated a fair share of surrounding talent and had one experienced WR jump ship for Monrovia. But the Arizona commit will be playing in the Pac-12 next season for a reason and his combo arm and legs is downright scary. Just close your eyes when Pasadena’s defense is on the field.

3. Andrew Elffers, Maranatha — I’m fully expecting a bounce-back season from Elffers in every regard. His stats should be better, but not like his soph season when the team ran a different offense. I also expect more wins and a better result in the playoffs. Perhaps too much, too soon was heaped on Elffers, but there’s no doubt he has the tools. The rocket arm is there, so are the brains. He’s not surrounded with overwhelming skill talent, but things should be better than last year.

4. Matt Simko, Chino Hills
— The stage is set for Matty Ice to have a memorable senior year. He’s got a D-1 receiver in Jack Austin to work with and the typically sturdy Chino Hills offensive line to protect him. It’s evident already in passing games that Simko sees the field properly and all that’s needed is some fine tuning. The arm is there. The frame is there. Footwork needs to get quicker (Inland Division coaches already telling me that’s the area they’ll attack). This should be one heckuva year for the 6-foot-4 senior.

5. Kevin Dillman, La Mirada
— He’s a sophomore and already has four college offers, according to a CNN/SI article I read. The 6-foot-4 Swede reportedly has all the tools, but just needs experience. He’s got the right coach in Mike Moschetti and the right division in the Southeast to do some damage (quite possibly one of the worst pass defense divisions I’ve ever seen last year. Yes, even West Covina often looked clueless defending the deep ball last year). It’s very possible Dillman will finish the season deserving of a higher ranking than this.

6. Jared Lebowitz, St. Francis
— Lebowitz got plenty of hype prior to last season, coming in from Vermont of all places to pilot the Knights. He put up decent numbers in his debut season (2,223 yards, 21 TDs). But now he’s got no Travis Talianko to work with. That hurts. At 6-foot-3, recruiters have taken notice. It also helps to have Jim Bonds as his head coach. If St. Francis can manufacture some good skill guys to surround Lebowitz, expect a solid rise in his numbers.

7. Paul Telles, St. Paul — Telles has been at the helm of the St. Paul offense since his sophomore season, but not until now has he had this much skill talent to work with. With Kurt Scoby at running back, defenses will have to respect the run and that should open the door for Telles to spray it around to a very strong group of receivers. Numbers-wise, it’s hard to project. Telles is facing a monster schedule, so that may offset the boost you might expect from all that skill talent around him.

8. Sean Sparling, La Habra — I really like Sparling’s footwork. He moves the pocket as well as anybody around and gets receivers open because of it. Sparling assumed the controls of La Habra’s offense without much fanfare and put up a solid season of 1,866 yards and 26 touchdowns. With an offseason of work under his belt, it’s safe to expect even bigger things, even though top WR Bret Bartolone was lost to graduation. La Habra always has solid skill players, so Sparling should be just fine. He played against a very tough schedule last year and should be even better for it. Sparling may not be flashy, but he’s easily one of the most savvy QBs around. The 4.2 GPA and high SAT scores only drive that home further.

9. Frankie Palmer, La Serna — Only a sophomore last season, Palmer led La Serna all the way to the Southeast Division finals. Optimists expect a growth spurt to catapult Palmer’s frame into something recruiters will fawn over. The rest of it is already there. Palmer can run and throw, and he’ll need to do both this season if the Lancers are to make up for the loss of leading rusher OJ Medina. Rounding off, Palmer threw for 1,500 yards and ran for another 500 last season. He could push for 2,500 and 1,000 this season and that’s some pretty rare air.

10. Brandon Martinez, El Monte — Almost feel bad for Martinez because the bar he’s expected to approach was set last season by Arroyo’s Steven Rivera. Quite a few people are expecting B-Mar to push for those type of numbers and lead his team to the Mission Valley League title. No doubt about it, B-Mart was magnificent last season. throwing for 2,160 yards and 27 TDs and rushing for 793 yards and eight more scores. He’s got the MVL stage to himself now, but with it comes expectations. B-Mart would be starting at several higher-division teams in the SGV were he not at El Monte, and that should tell you just how many hopes are riding on him as the Lions gear up for the most anticipated season in longer than anyone can remember.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

  • MVL Alum

    Word around the MVL is B-Mart is being moved to tailback and the transfer from Arcadia is starting at QB. Have you heard anything?

  • Top 10 Coaches

    Matty Ice is Nice! but if you wants some REAL controversy and heated debate on this blog try rating the top 10 coaches! lmao, you already can hear these crazy bloggers talking big time smack!

  • Aram

    MVL Alum,

    I have not heard that and would very stunned if that were the case.

    Top 10 coaches,

    Great idea, but I have to work with these guys. I can tell you this, we have very good coaching in the Valley and most of these guys know what to do with talent when they’ve got it.

  • i cant remember

    Hey i cant remember when was the last time south hills didnt have a top 10 qb. Do they even have a top 10 running back or a top 10 receiver or top ten linebacker. There line took 9th at the lineman comp. Could this be another long season for the huskies.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    In defense of West Covina’s pass defense from last year. West Covina completely shut down your #2 and #9 Quarterbacks on this list, in both passing and running they had nowhere to go! Your #5 QB did not even get on the field against WC!

  • Phil Shipley

    Really, what has Palmer done??? Didnt LS get beat last year by Santa Fe and Cal? Then there was that dibacle of a finals game vs WestCo. And now Medina is taken away as treat so teams will be key’d up on poor little Frankie.

  • Jefe

    Aram didn’t rank Noodles at #1?!?!?!

    I can’t believe it.

  • Aram

    MVL Alum,

    I tweeted Coach Sanchez your rumor and his response was “no way”.

  • BO knows passing

    Aram, what are your thoughts on the Bonita kid.
    You where pretty high on him last year and they have a nice passing scheme.

  • green pastures aka “El Gato Monte”

    This list is spot on, However, I’d flip the #1 and #2 QBs. I am not going to go homer on this. Cox is the best QB physically and his stats are crazy, and he has a committed to U of A. Blake is excellent and a D1 prospect. However Cox, has no RB, and not too many WR’s in addition to Simpson of last year. It was a miracle to get his team to the playoffs. Blake, has Bryant, Craft, TE’s Frazier and Walsh RB Ainsworth, in addition to Ramirez, Williams, and Bias last year. That’s several D-1 WR’s. IF you think Blake is better, then so be it. However Heyworth is my favorite.


    All are good picks, but considering that Cox was picked, before a single down in the 2012-13 season, for next year’s Army All American game, some would argue that he’s the man to out perform this season.

    Looking forward to this season.

    Laurence Todd

  • Not So Fast My Friend

    @green pastures:

    What I remember of Cox and I’m not completely familiar with him, was that he was a one man team for them. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    My question was his accuracy. What I do remember of him was he wasn’t the most accurate of passers and generally threw a soft ball (soft in terms of velocity). I’m sure he’s improved, but if you were to grade him on the following what you give him:

    Arm Strength

    Based on what I saw of him before, I’d go C, C, B, B.


  • green pastures aka “El Gato Monte”

    Yeah, Cox is not as accurate as Blake and his arm may not be as strong. Blake is not as mobile as Cox, and does not get out of trouble as easy as cox. So really it’s just a matter of what you need for your system. They both have desirable attributes. Pasadena has no Running back or WR’s and their line is not very good. So they would have no need for QB Like Blake. Monrovia has tons of weapons, so they don’t need a QB running around like Cox. But Cox had 26 TDs to 5 Ints /Comp 60%(Heyworth 52%, but Blake was pressing due to QB battle with Frazier). That’s pretty accurate. Cox Lead his team with 500+ yards rushing. I was giving him the nod based upon the fact he has no help. Blake has the ring, but if Cox was on Monrovia he would have a ring. If Blake was on Pasadena, they would be 0-10. But don’t get me wrong Blake is the shiznit, Cox is the Shiznit, There are just little subtleties on who is deserving. Especially when one guy is a one man show. I would not trade Blake for anyone. In Mtown, he is our guy. I hope this is clear. I don’t want my fellow mtowners to think I am dissing Blake. That’s not the case. I am glad Aram thinks so highly to rank Monrovia’s QB #1


    crazy cat,
    Don’t be too thrilled you just happen to be the flavor of the month . Remember how fast you lost your preseason number one to CH . So don’t blink your eye , things change that quick .

  • Not So Fast My Friend

    ok, so what grade would you give Cox and Blake on:

    Arm Strength

    definitely agree on each has their own plus’ and minus’ depending on the offense style and surrounding players.


    Looks like the “west” schools have all the QBs…no mention of an “east” QB not counting Simko…BTW when did Chino Hills become part of the San Gabriel Valley anyway??


    “Not So Fast My Friend said:
    ok, so what grade would you give Cox and Blake on:

    Arm Strength

    I would probably rate them both on the B level in all categories. Neither really had passing offenses (besides down and out/in) that’s really worth factoring Accuracy and Strength; at least none that would really test their skills in this area. But for what they’ve demonstrated over the years, I’m comfortable with giving them B’s. I think both matured in reading their defenses; Cox has the better “get out of the pocket” speed but Blake has a better drop back “in command of the offense” you want your quarterback to have i.e. good kick out, head up and scoping the field to fire. When Cox drops back it seems as if he itching to run…which he does in most cases. He’s more confident running, than passing – but that’s not entirely his fault.

    Both are good..very good, I think we’ll be better able to rate come mid-season.

    Good questions.

    Laurence Todd

  • joke

    What a joke El Monte ALL League Qb MOVING TO RUNNING BACK.
    MM stay off the BLOGS fool

  • green pastures aka “El Gato Monte”

    Don’t be too Thrilled. Mtowners love the blogs, but we don’t expect to be #1 in anything. We know are team is good. We know our players are good. We are not looking for validation from other SGV bloggers, or the writers. We are mainly concerned with winning the schedule in front of us, and signing the scholarship offers received. Everything else is know rankings, etc…We lean on the evaluations college coaches give our players, when on campus watching them play. Neither Fred nor Aram coach for any university or have any scholarships to offer. However they do make a difference by creating exposure for the kids who play in the area. So we are always thrilled and flattered and appreciate when one our kids is recognized…you flavor of the month commit was sum what haterish.

    Not so fast…

    Arm: B
    Reads: B+
    Footwork/: B
    Leadership/poise/Clutch: A+

    Arm: B-
    Accuracy: B+
    Reads: B+
    Footwork/Escape Ability: A+
    Leadership/poise/Clutch A+

  • Year of the rookie

    @SGV Lifer
    There are no QB’s listed from the East because almost all of the better schools in the east are breaking in new and untested QB’s this Fall. Amat, Co, Glendora, South Hills, Bonita (sort of), Westco, Walnut, Rowland, DB, DR, Los Altos, Covina, Azusa, SD (I think), Pomona. Heck, I can’t think of one returning QB in the East.

  • SGV Lifer

    @ Year of the Rookie…

    I can’t think of one either, so that’s what I figured…it just seems strange…all those schools that you listed for the East, and ALL of them are rebuilding at the QB position…WOW!

  • FromTheHeights

    No way is CH in the SGV. Not even close. Get that trash out of here. I delivered the Trib on my bike in the 80’s when CH was just a pile of….. Oh wait, this is a family show. Anyway, Aram, don’t waste any ink on them. Let them hammer on Josh to get his lazy arse in gear on his blog so we can get these IE folks out of here and we can have our paper back.

    Nice list. The top 3 are more like 1a, 1b, and 1c. All of them successful at their position in their own way.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    @ SGV Baller & Year of the Rookie,

    Interesting point you guys make. A lot of new QB’s on the East side this coming season. West Covina seems to do better than most when breaking in a QB. We just run the ball 95% of the time with a handful of backs that could all be starters for other elite programs. Chris Caballero was a two year JV QB before his senior year and was the Varsity back up, he got his chance when Jon Najera went down with a concussion against Covina in the first half of the 1st game last season. He did great and was well protected by an unstopabble ground game.

    Antonio “Noodles” Hull got called up as soon as he turned 14 years old to play Varsity. Due to WC making it all the way to the championship, he practiced and played with the Varsity team for 7 games, 4 of them playoff games. I think that experience will help him adjust to playing QB on Varsity this season. Playing scout team QB against West Covina’s defense every day will make you grow up fast! And as mentioned before, Jon Najera was initially the starter at QB, but by the time he was ready to play Caballero was playing well enough to hold on to the posistion. The Bulldogs should not miss a beat this year at the QB posistion. And if Noodles or Najera can play up to their potential, it should be an upgrade in that spot this season.

  • Bulldogs have bite

    My last post should of been adressed to SGV Lifer, not SGV Baller. My bad, sorry.

  • RoryH

    Did a QB ever show up at Charter Oak? With the new transfer rule, thought for sure someone would show up to lead the Charger attack. I haven’t heard a thing.

  • Not So Fast My Friend


    That was pretty funny! But not realistic. Given the business atmosphere for newspapers right now, the more participation and attention a newspaper can get, the better. It generally leads to more readers and more access to readers for advertisers, etc. It’s a win, win for everyone. I doubt anyone from the IE is trying to take over your beloved paper.

    Aram does a good job covering football. He talks about players from the IE as well as the SGV. I’m a Centennial guy, but my nephew plays for an IE team that is occasionally talked about in this blog.

    Relax and enjoy the conversation. You just might learn something. lol

  • Bonita QB?

    That kid over at Bonita is in the dog house, after the stunt he pulled last year. Bonita got a few transfers and one of them is a QB, the kid was cleared to play a couple weeks ago.

  • Aram

    Nobody is saying that Chino Hills is in the SGV (technically), but they are in a league with ALL SGV teams and you can get the Tribune on racks and in stores all over Chino Hills. In fact, when I was out there I asked the clerk at a 7/11 if he sold the Tribune and he told me he was all sold out and that they sell out almost everyday. When I told him that I work for the Tribune, he told me to tell whoever I need to that he needs more papers delivered each day.

    But none of that really matters, because we are a website more than a newspaper and whether you’re in Chino Hills or smack dab in West Covina, physical delivery and physical possession of the newspaper does not matter. Chino Hills is more relevant to the SGV Tribune than it is to any other newspaper. It’s in an SGV league and beyond that its nonleague schedule features games against two traditional SGV football powers in Amat and West Covina.

    The coaches and athletes at Chino Hills have been a pleasure to work with. They appreciate the coverage and participate in it well. They send their athletes to whatever we need without fail, i.e. photos at the Tribune, PrepXtra Live at the Tribune and two years ago they sent Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Nate Harris all the way to the Rose Bowl to be part of our Signing Day photo.

  • BobbyC

    I have seen both QB’s practice at Charter Oak and they are not very good. Anyone walking in the door would have a legitimate chance to start. The team looks like a sleeping giant but without a QB, they will remain in hybernation.

  • Nahh

    Charter Oak is not a Giant in the Inland div. They will be lucky to win the 1st round game. After that it’s a for sure Lose in 2nd round.

  • Aaron

    Uh what stunt did Sunshine pull last year? Last I checked he’s been throwing with the 1st team plenty, also heard that the transfer has decent size.

  • MonroVian

    C.O. will be ok, they have so many athletes that any Qb, mediocre or not will get the job done. Also everyone talks about D-Wash taking over the backfield. Although very fast and good, my pick would be Todd Green (also a junior) to tote the Rock. The kid is one of the most hard working, dedicated athletes on the team. Remember the name Todd Green, Beast!

    “You Don’t Want No Green And White “

  • Aram

    To win the Sierra League and make noise in the Inland (in CO’s case that means going past the first round), you have to be good all over. QB cannot be a liability. If CO is simply average at QB, they’re in trouble.

  • Dog House

    Both CO QB’s are sub par. Was not impressed with either. Bonita’s QB Diebolt was very impressive and is practicing with the 1’s team. However, Bonita is short in talent in the receiving department. What I am not hearing at any of these programs is depth in the QB slot. The best QB’s go down (Jeffries, Santiago, Ruiz)with injury and these teams fail thereafter. Sounds like the only team with QB depth is Chino Hills.

  • venta bicicletas

    Saludos, solo decirte que me ha gustado encontrar tu pagina web en google. he puesto en mi site un link a tu blog. Mi blog tiene un PR de 5.saludetes!

  • ambalaje plastic

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to understand so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I believe that you just can do with some percent to drive the message house a little bit, however other than that, that is wonderful blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.