Above: Two-time Tribune player of the year Mike McDonough might have been celebrating two championships instead of looking like this if the Colts were in the Mid-Valley Division when he was playing.
I was asked over the weekend what happened to Northview and Covina football. It must be frustrating to be in such a winnable division and have to suffer the growing pains of a down year for both, if that’s what you want to call it. Seriously, think a couple of those Mike McDonough-led teams at Covina would have licked their chops in this division today? When the Mid-Valley Division was re-created a couple years ago, I thought, well here’s the chance for Covina and Northview to compete for championships, only those titles have gone to Paraclete and San Dimas, with the Vikings at least getting to the quarters in 2008. These are schools with two very good football coaches, Darryl Thomas and Jim Arellanes, tell me they will be competing for CIF titles soon, because the Mid-Valley is never going to be more appetizing than in is right now. If everything stays the way it is, San Dimas and Monrovia should be favored to get back to the finals, though Arroyo looks pretty good on paper too. But how far off are the Vikes and Colts from competing again? Will Wilson and Nogales suddenly come alive by dropping out of a division with Charter Oak, Diamond Ranch, Bonita, South Hills, West Covina and Rowland, and into one where a first-round game could come against, say, South Pasadena? La Canada? Gabrielino? The bottom line is, I miss those huge games at Covina District, and now that South Hills is going to the Sierra League and may struggle just to make the playoffs, Covina and Northview will never have a better opportunity to steal the limelight from its crosstown friends on Cameron. If they don’t, It might look strange come November when CDF’s lights are shut down by the second round of the playoffs. Unless off course, Rio Hondo Prep makes it back to another championship game.