PRESEASON: Top 10 linebackers in the SGV …

… let me just say this, linebacker is a loaded position. Let the debate begin.

Norys as in Chuck Norris as in Lone Wolf McQuade as in punishing.

I asked around to try and get other opinions about this group ranking. What I took from those conversations more than anything else was that everybody interprets the position, and how it’s played well, differently. What makes a good linebacker to me is somebody who plays the position like AJ Hawk or Brian Urlacher. I like LBs who run down plays. I like LBs who fly to the sideline and either force the runner out or destroy him before he gets out (of bounds). I DON’T like guys like current USC stiff Keith Rivers who can’t run down a play from behind (see embarrassing Rose Bowl performance for example) or get stiff armed and hold on for dear life until a teammate secures the tackle (again, see Rivers). Another thing I learned is that many people like LBs who play the position by simply letting every run play fall into their laps before making in the tackle. Do the words “Stay home, Zavala” mean anything to you?

1. Chad Norys, Rowland – The area’s version of Troy Polamalu. It’s chic now to be an LB/SS combo.

2. Carlton Fletcher, Bishop Amat – Was returning a fumble for a touchdown everytime we turned around last year.

3. Anthony Hile, Damien – Never thought I’d say this … “throwback player.”

4. A.J. Pasalo, Charter Oak – Psycho.

5. Shaun Rosenthal, West Covina – Part of WestCo dynamic duo …

6. Nick Field, West Covina – … the other half of the best LB tandem in the area.

7. Mike McDonough, Covina – QBs shouldn’t hit like this.

8. Damon Kulkinski, South Hills – Have a vibe he’ll be higher on this list at the end of the season.

9. Manny Esquivel, Covina – The forgotten rock of the Colts last season.

10. Anthony Chavez, El Monte – As sure of a tackler as anyone on this list.

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