MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Top 10 Games of the Year …


Quit fronting like you have a social life.

Something tells me that if you read this blog, you’ll have plenty of time on your hands between August and December … and, that’s OK. Needless to say, any kind of list isolating the top games of the year is subject to change. Things change. People change. Teams change. At least that’s what she said … minus the whole teams change part. Whatever. Anyway, a game that maybe isn’t on the radar right now could be played for the highest stakes of the season. I doubt it, but it’s possible. But for now, in the dead of summer, I’m confident in identifying what look like the biggest games of the season. Hopefully, these don’t overlap. But if they do, with the Tribune scoreboard and your Iphone, you can be in two places at once.

1a. December 7, Charter Oak vs. South Hills, CIF-SS Southwest Division finals – Quasi kidding.

1b. October 26, Charter Oak at Los Altos – The Miramonte League title and a top four seed in the Southwest Division playoffs figure to be on the line this night, unless Roddy and the Panthers get crazy again. Anyway, this is a huge rivalry even when patches aren’t up for grabs. Did you know Los Altos hasn’t beaten CO since The Miramontes Miracle in 2004?

2. October 12, South Hills at Los Altos – A battle of Southwest Division heavyweights, this could be a semifinals preview. Two of the area’s most successful programs, two of its top coaches and, of course, Dorian Wells vs. Bryce McBride. Don’t think the former teammates turned competitors storyline won’t be in-play.

3. October 12, Damien vs. Glendora, at Citrus Coll. – OK, we’ve got a nasty overlap here with South Hills/Los Altos on the same night. Coin flip and decide. This is a huge game for the Tartans and Spartans as it’s the Sierra League opener for both. The loser can probably forget about a league title and faces a climb to secure a playoff berth.

4. September 21, Glendora at Charter Oak – Big Lou wants the Mayor’s Trophy back. Glendora’s front seven doesn’t give anything back.

5. October 12, Northview vs. Covina, at District Field – OK, October 12 is going to be a nightmare. Is this the night that Northview tosses its big rival from the Valle Vista League throne? We’re going to find out everything we need to know about the VVL on this night.

6. October 12, St. Paul at Bishop Amat – More October 12. What a night! I might have to chopper to all of these games for a quarter. Anyway, given all that’s happened at Amat this off-season, nothing would be as bad as losing to St. Paul. I don’t know what Lancer fans will do if that happens. Major blood rivalry here.

7. November 2, Arroyo at Rosemead – No disrespect to South El Monte, who I fully expect will split with Arroyo and Rosemead once again. But by this date, the Knights and Panthers will have both played SEM, which probably makes this game the difference maker in the Mission Valley League. Plus, this rivalry has a longer history of meaningful games.

8. September 7, Monrovia at Duarte – If, and that’s a big “if,” Duarte is able to win this game, it could signal an official power shift between the neighboring cities. And to the victor goes the spoils, a.k.a the talent pool. Duarte’s resurgence just won’t be official until the Falcs beat the ‘Cats. It’s great to have these two teams playing a biggie!

9. October 5, Bonita at San Dimas – Little boys from these two communities dream of winning this game since they’re old enough to pee in the pool at Raging Waters. Smudge Pot – now that’s a rivalry!

10. November 11, Loyola at Bishop Amat - Think about the Amat season ticket plan – you get Orange Lutheran, St. Paul, Notre Dame and Loyola. OK, follow along here – let’s say Amat beats Alemany, Crespi or ND, that probably makes the Loyola game for a playoff berth, or a coin flip at least. And even if there’s nothing on the line, it’s still Amat vs. Loyola and all week I’ll remember going to Glendale College in the early 90s six hours before kickoff just to to see Scott Fields run without having to stand along the rope in the end zone.

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