Editor’s Note: I’m deleting Chino Hills from consideration. It pains me to do so, but they’re not in a local league any longer and it was problematic ranking them last year because of it (and because they beat whipped Amat and that made rankings even more difficult). Love the Huskies. Protest to CIF and your area, and get back in a local league (for us).
1. Bishop Amat — Forget the SGV, this is one of SoCal’s top teams.
2. Charter Oak — Leading passer, rusher, receiver all back.
3. Glendora — QB Fink is back and that’s enough for me.
4. St. Francis — Losing WR Crawford a big hit, but plenty of upside.
5. La Mirada — Reloading as we speak.
6. San Marino — Prediction: Will beat Monrovia. Central Div. semifinalist, too.
7. La Serna — Lots back on defense. Program just reloads.
8. West Covina — Offense should be way better. (I say that ever year)
9. Northview — Tons of key returnees on offense.
10. Pomona — QB Lockett back, but big losses elsewhere.
11. Los Altos — Nevens and rest of junior-to-be class is strong.
12. La Habra — Hard to get too excited until defense improves.
13. Damien — Dangerous RB to build around.
14. Monrovia — Hard to see Wildcats being better than ’14 edition.
15. Muir — Lots of key players have to be replaced … but there’s talent.
16. South Hills — Like the trajectory of the program.
17. Bonita — QB East back along with some key players on D.
18. San Dimas — What impact will coaching change have?
19. Diamond Ranch — Always talented, but any better than ’14?
20. La Salle — Program took a hit in ’14. Can it bounce back?
21. St. Paul — Defense has top tacklers back.
22. Claremont — Arrived a year early last season. Look out now.
23. El Rancho — Losing one heckuva senior class.
24. Montebello — Defending Almont champs as leading rusher back.
25. Azusa — Leading pass/receiver back. Offense will be legit.
La Mirada appears to be reloading after losing several key cogs to graduation.
For the second straight offseason, the Matadores have landed a big-time transfer from Servite. Micah Croom, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound WR/DB, transferred in recently. Croom is a Utah commit and was offered last week by Colorado.
Joining Croom is Tevaka Tutoi, a 6-2 QB who was the back-up at Long Beach Poly last season.
Last season, La Mirada landed WR/DB Tony Brown from Servite. He parlayed a big senior season into a scholarship to play at Texas Tech this fall.
Aram’s take: Coach Moschetti ain’t no es stupid. You didn’t think he would put St. John Bosco and Mater Dei on the nonleague schedule, then go into it sans talent? La Mirada has become a hot destination because Moschetti is getting kids out to the next level. The cute uniform combos help, too, I guess. Expect more movement from the Mats in the transfer department soon.
Editor’s note: To the players, thanks for the memories and best of luck in the future!
Different boundaries, different result.
The tweak in geographic areas to pool talent from for the West team in the SGV Hall of Fame All-Star Game for high school football seniors paid big dividends on Friday night.
The West ended a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 31-14 win over the East in the game’s 36th renewal. The East still leads the all-time series 23-11-2.
With the West struggling in recent years, game organizers changed the borders used to pool talent from previously the 605 Freeway to now Azusa Ave. The game was also moved from late spring/early summer to January in an effort to help players get some last-minute recruiting attention before signing day next week.
The West held up much better in the trenches than in year’s past and that’s all its offense needed to put up big numbers. Maranatha quarterback Eli Snyder threw two touchdown passes, both to Crescenta Valley receiver Jordan Lobianco.
Muir defensive back Brian Reyes had two interceptions, one of them he returned for an 82-yard touchdown in the second half to give the West a 31-7 lead. It was part of a dominant effort by the West defense.
The West lead 10-0 at halftime thanks to a 38-yard field goal by Montebello’s Enrique Lozano and a 22-yard touchdown pass from Snyder to Lobianco. Reyna hit UCLA-bound Monrovia receiver Octavius Spencer on a 53-yard touchdown pass and it was 17-0 early in the third quarter.
The East got a little momentum after a turnover lead to a 1-yard touchdown run by Bonita’s Angel Verdugo. Another West turnover gave the East more hope, but the West clamped down and didn’t allow any points.
Snyder’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Lobianco on the ensuing possession made it 24-7. The East tried to answer and was driving when Reyes made his second interception of the night and took it back for a score.
La Mirada quarterback Christian Lara hit Pomona’s Manny Luna midway through the fourth quarter to close out the scoring for the East.