The Butler did it!
Glendora has had some nice success over the past two seasons. Coach Mark Pasquarella turning around the Tartans program was something many local pundits saw coming. Glendora has finished second and third, respectively, in the past two seasons in the very difficult Sierra League. The Tartans didn’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs in either season mainly because they played in omni-tough Division II. Glendora’s opponent in both seasons was Hart.
The question as the 2006 seasons beckons is can Glendora take the next step? With the current coaching staff, it’s reasonable to expect Glendora to maintain where it is right now. But without more speed, it’s unreasonable to expect the Tartans to be much better.
In order to win in the Sierra League, there must be a combination of size and speed. In order to compete in Glendora’s division, the same combo must be present. When analyzing the Tartans, I always get the feeling that just one piece of the puzzle is missing. It’s not quite all there.
In 2004, Glendora had a dynamic offense behind QB Jacob Crook and receivers Brandon Bryan and Andrew Kenz. Bryan and Kenz actually earned All-Area honors at receivers in each of their senior seasons.
Last season, with Crook and Kenz graduated, the offense was much more ball-control and had a dynamic running back in Ben Rodriguez and a simple passing system that relied on Bryan to “go up and get it.”
Entering 2006, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the complexion of the offense will be. Rodriguez and Bryan are gone. The QB position wasn’t a team strength last year and Garrett Crook, Jacob’s brother who got some time under center last season, is likely to take over full time.
The ground game is also a question mark. It’s unreasonable to expect another player the caliber of Rodriguez to emerge. Zack Butler and Jordan Edmond are both speedy weapons and the offense will likely be built around them.
Glendora took a step back defensively last season. The Tartans didn’t offer much resistence against quality opponents – Covina (27), Amat (31), Arcadia (25), Chino Hills (43), Chino (31), Damien (29) and Hart (27). Basically, if you had speed, it wasn’t hard to get behind the Tartans’ defense. The secondary was the main culprit and made fans hold their breath when the opposing QB dropped back. I don’t see much in the way of improvement coming for the Tartans’ D.
Here’s the sked:
at Covina (loss)
at Duarte (win)
Charter Oak (loss)
Capo Valley (win)
at Rowland (toss-up)
at Damien (loss)
Chino Hills (loss)
at Ayala (win)
Diamond Bar (win)
Projected record: 4-6 or 5-5
Sierra League: Fourth place
As of now, I am not optimistic about Glendora making the playoffs for the third consecutive season. Chino Hills looks far and away like the best team in the Sierra League. Chino won’t simply evaporate just because Monger has retired. And Damien has the edge on Glendora right now because the Spartans have a playmaker at QB and more overall firepower.
Glendora just has too many question marks heading into summer to feel optimistic about this season. Not being sure about the QB position or the defense is a bad predicament to be in. The coaching staff is good enough to prove doubters wrong, but this is the Sierra League and the division formerly known as D-II we’re talking about here. Coaching only takes you so far before horses are needed to go the rest of the way.