There is no league tougher to predict than the new Hacienda League, which includes Diamond Bar, Diamond Ranch, West Covina, Rowland, Bonita, Los Altos and Walnut. Looking at Aram’s recent All-Encompassing San Gabriel Valley Top 25 poll, he has four teams from the Hacienda ranked, with West Covina No. 9, Diamond Ranch No. 10, Rowland No. 13 and Bonita No. 22, but seriously, there is no telling how this is going to shake out. Won’t Diamond Bar be reborn again after leaving the Sierra, especially with its sights set on a mammoth Oct. 1 encounter with its soon to be hated rival, Diamond Ranch, when the two meet for the first time? Can’t you picture Los Altos bouncing back and recharged under new coach Jim Arellanes? Walnut might be the one team in over its head this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this race comes down to the final weeks with as many as six teams within a game of each other. It’s going to be that tight. I too think West Covina has a slight edge, but I like Rowland to finish second, Diamond Ranch third and Bonita fourth. Diamond Bar, for me, is a sleeper. This is just what the doctor ordered for the purple, and looking at their preseason lineup of Nogales, Wilson, Don Lugo and Brea Olinda, the purple could and should be 4-0 when they meet DRanch, a game that will take bragging rights to another level.
Above: West Covina coach Mike Maggiore and staff will have their hands full this fall.