DISCUSSION TIME: Miramonte League vs. San Antonio League …

Who’s better?

It’s hard not to like a league that’s produced players like these

NOTE: This discussion only pertains to 2000-present. It is now a very valid argument since both of these teams are a part of the same CIF division – the Southwest Division. Also, I got nostalgic while putting this thread together. Wow, are these two leagues good.

ANOTHER NOTE: If you feel I’ve left something out, please comment and I will add it if needed. Please help with the CIF championship years if I’ve got them wrong or left something out.


Does having the top program in the SGV make the SAL tops?

Meet the boys:
Miramonte League: Bonita, Diamond Ranch, Charter Oak, Los Altos, WIlson.
San Antonio League: Nogales, Rowland, South Hills, Walnut, West Covina

Top coaches:
Miramonte League: Greg Gano (Los Altos), Lou Farrar (Charter Oak).
San Antonio League: Mike Maggiore (West Covina), Steve Bogan (South Hills).

Notable postseason accomplishments: South Hills (CIF champs 2000, ’02, ’03, ’05); Los Altos (CIF champs 2000 2002, ’03), Charter Oak (CIF champs 2001); West Covina (CIF champs 2004), Walnut (CIF finals 2002, semis ’04 ), Wilson (CIF semis ’03), Diamond Ranch (CIF semis 2004).

Notable recent players: Shaun Cody (Los Altos DE), Brigham Harwell (Los Altos DE), Travis Brown (Los Altos WR), Daniel Drayton (Los Altos RB/DB), Randall Brown (Los Altos RB/DB), Felipe Aguilar (Los Altos QB), Daniel Sandello (Los Altos QB), Chapelle Brown (Los Altos WR/DB), Patrick Fuller (Charter Oak RB), Juan Silva (Charter Oak DB), Will Harris (Charter Oak DB), Michael Perri (Charter Oak QB), Bryan Payton (South Hills WR/DB), Jeremy Payton (South Hills WR/DB), Marquies Winbush (South Hills RB), Tobi Umodu (South Hills DE), Brian Slover (South Hills TE/DE), Kevin Mort (South Hills QB), Philip Guerrero (South Hills QB), Martin Garcia (South Hills WR/DB), Fred Glaster (South Hills DB), David Dreisbach (South Hills OL), Walter Thurmond III (West Covina WR/DB), Mike Williams (Bonita QB), Charles Brown (Diamond Ranch TE), Brandon Edwards (Diamond Ranch RB), Price Wilks (Wilson RB), Charles Lacy (Wilson QB), Sean Sheller (Walnut OL), Kyle Necke (Walnut RB/LB), Daniel Al-Gattas (Walnut QB), Kyle Petersen (South Hills P), Aaron Perez (Charter Oak P), Jason Murray (South Hills DB), Corey Cranford (Charter Oak LB), Keith Harris (Charter Oak RB).

HELP WANTED: I know I’ve left some players out. Please add suggestions.

Top programs:
Miramonte League: Charter Oak, Los Altos.
San Antonio League: South Hills, West Covina.

Occasional noisemakers:
Miramonte League: Wilson, Bonita
San Antonio League: Walnut

Fading fast:
Miramonte League: None
San Antonio League: Walnut

Bottom feeders:
Miramonte League: None
San Antonio League: Nogales

Aram’s take: This argument is much closer than Miramonte League supporters want to admit. On one hand, the Miramonte League has the depth (there’s no cream puffs in the league), but on the other hand, the SAL has the more recent CIF titles and the SGV’s top overall program in South Hills. The players who have come out of these leagues in recent years are downright scary and represent the SGV’s top talent. In that respect, the Miramonte League has the edge, but D-1 players are frequently coming out of the SAL and it’s not just South Hills whose producing them. Because of Los Altos, the Miramonte League has produced the best team in recent SGV history. The 2003 Conquerors are unmatched in terms of talent and accomplishments. Miramonte League fans can keep pointing at that team, the one before it, the Cody years and Charter Oak’s consistently good performances. SAL fans can point at South Hills’ expanding trophy case and WestCo’s title in 2004. There’s is more to it than that, however. What makes these league’s so strong are things like Walnut’s scattered postseason success in the 2000s, Wilson’s 2003 semifinals team, Bonita’s sneaky good performances, Rowland’s revival and Diamond Ranch’s amazing talent basel and possible emergence as a reliable, winning program.
But perhaps the strongest factor that transcends both leagues is the coaches. Between both leagues there are FIVE former Tribune Coaches of the Year.
Now that the two leagues occupy the same division, the question becomes which one is better? It simply has to be asked. It must be debated. And the good news is that beginning this year, the leagues will throw it down annually and the answer will become apparent.
In terms of overall depth and body of work in the 2000s, the Miramonte League is better. In terms of the past two seasons, the SAL is better. Which brings me to the question of what league do you favor going forward? As of right now, mid-summer 2006, which league do you favor heading into 2006? The answer is the SAL. South Hills will likely reload. West Covina is loaded and according to some better than the 2004 team. Rowland is easily a Top 10 SGV team. Although Charter Oak and Los Altos remain strong, they don’t tower over any of the SAL’s top teams. Charter Oak is 1-1 the past two seasons against WestCo. Both games were tight. South Hills routed LA last year, but it was the Huskies first win in four tries. Rowland blasted Wilson last season and the 04 game was close. Walnut and Bonita seem to go back and forth. Detractors of the SAL will finally get their chance to have the “they play in a weak division” argument substantiated or proven wrong. The vibe here is that it will be proven wrong. It should be fun.
Edge: San Antonio League

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