Above: Glendora’s Chad Jeffries
2010 Tribune Preseason All-Area Team
QB: Chad Jeffries, Glendora, Sr.
RB: Taj Teague, Claremont Sr.
RB: Jamel Hart, South Hills, Jr.
WR: Dennis Rufus, Charter Oak, Sr.
WR: Aubrey Coleman, Walnut, Sr.
OL: Edwin Garcia, Azusa, Sr.
OL: Allen Brown, San Dimas, Sr.
OL: Christian Orduno, Bishop Amat, Sr.
OL: Andy Orozco, Charter Oak, Sr.
OL: Siaosi Aiono, South Hills, Sr.
PK: Dillon Corona, San Dimas, Jr.
Above: Charter Oak’s Charlie Avila
DL: Peter Nonu, South Hills, Sr.
DL: Austin Johnson, Chino Hills, Sr.
DL: Charlie Avila, Charter Oak, Sr.
LB: Mo Dupleasis, West Covina, Sr.
LB: Wardell Crutchfield III, Baldwin Park, Sr.
LB: Joseph Herrera, Gladstone, Sr.
LB: Mike Juarez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
DB: Ifo Ekpre-Olumu, Chino Hills, Sr.
DB: Demetrius Jackson, Baldwin Park, Sr.
DB: Aaron Almond, Diamond Ranch, Sr.
SS: Chris Solomon, West Covina, Jr.
P: Hector Dominguez, Wilson, Sr.
For Postional Rankings, click thread…
TOP FIVE QUARTERBACKS
1. Chad Jeffries, Glendora, Sr.
Was the most sought-after San Gabriel Valley college recruit at quarterback in more than a decade until announcing over the summer he will attend San Diego State. He earned Sierra League first-team honors after throwing for 1,692 yards and seven touchdowns and rushing for 657 yards. Has the tough task, however, of leading the Tartans in the powerful Baseline League.
2. Rio Ruiz, Bishop Amat, Jr.
The “Big River” Ruiz has been compared to 1980s Amat giant J.R. Phillips, who led the Lancers to three consecutive Angelus League titles. Ruiz has the arm strength, athleticism and savvy to become one of the Lancers’ all-time greats, but for now everything is potential. He has yet to start his first game, but coach Steve Hagerty said Ruiz proved last season he isn’t afraid of the moment.
3. Steven Rivera, Arroyo, Jr.
Earned Mission Valley League most valuable player honors as a sophomore after leading the Knights to the league title. Coach Jim Singiser believes Rivera could go down as the best quarterback in school history. After starting as a freshman, he threw for 1,941 yards and 25 touchdowns and averaged 176 yards as a sophomore. Scary to think he has two years left.
4. Michael Ball, Rowland, Sr.
The Vince Young-type quarterback earned San Antonio League first-team honors as a sophomore after throwing for 1,871 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushing for 676 yards and 11 scores, but he was sidelined for six games as a junior after suffering a broken collarbone. His poise and experience should pay huge dividends as the Raiders chase a Hacienda League title.
5. Travis Santiago, Charter Oak, Jr.
As a sophomore, Santiago helped lead the Chargers to a 13-1 record and back-to-back CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division titles. He will be asked to do much more after throwing for 1,629 yards and 16 touchdowns on a team that featured Miramonte and Southeast Division player of the year Adam Muema at running back. Santiago is athletic and confident, always a dangerous
TOP FIVE RUNNING BACKS
1. Jamel Hart, South Hills, Jr.
Earned second-team All-San Antonio League honors after rushing for 525 yards and seven touchdowns in a back-up role behind league player of the year Geoffrey Vaughns. Hart is extremely quick and shifty and doesn’t need much space to break a big one. Behind one of the Valley’s best offensive lines, he will play a pivotal role as the Huskies have moved to the difficult Sierra League.
2. Taj Teague, *Claremont (transfer), Sr.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder may be the best of the bunch and already has received scholarship offers to play in Division I. In just seven games last year, Teague rushed for 802 yards and six touchdowns and averaged 114 yards and nine yards per carry. He is also one of the area’s best cover defenders and will be asked to shoulder the load in a tougher-than-usual Valle Vista League, but he should be able to make a huge impact.
3. Nate Harris, Chino Hills, Sr.
The defending Sierra League champion Huskies return a first-team running back who led the team with 673 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged only 51 yards a game, but he was part of a backfield that averaged 151 yards and will be asked to do much more. On pure ability, he may be the best of the pack considering the tough opposition he faces week after week. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he averaged 100 yards a game and helped lead the Huskies to consecutive league titles.
4. Matt Fregoso, Rosemead, Sr.
Panthers coach Matt Koffler knows a solid running game opens up the playbook, and he’s got a consistent running back in Fregoso, who rushed for 1,453 and 13 touchdowns to earn Mission Valley League player of the year honors as a junior. Fregoso averaged 132 yards a game and will be called on more often if the Panthers are going to contend for a league title and fight for a Mid-Valley Division championship.
5. Jordan Taylor, San Dimas, Sr.
The Valle Vista League and defending CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division champion Saints are known for a vaunted Wing T offense, and Taylor will get the bulk of the carries. He rushed for just 494 yards as a junior, but he averaged a startling 11.49 yards a carry and scored seven touchdowns. Along with Dillon Corona, they form a devastating one-two punch.
TOP FIVE WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Dennis Rufus, Charter Oak, Sr.
With six standouts earning Division I scholarships from last year’s CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division championship team, there are those who feel the 6-foot-2, 200-pound wideout has the most potential. He already has more than 10 scholarship offers and will play a pivotal role in the Chargers’ quest to three-peat as they move to the Sierra League. The returning All-Miramonte League and Southeast Division first-team selection and Tribune first-team honoree led the Miramonte with 41 receptions for 801 yards and 10 touchdowns.
2. Aubrey Coleman, Walnut, Sr.
The 6-foot-5 wideout passes the eye test and is getting looks from NCAA Division I scouts. He has been a big-time threat since his sophomore season and will shoulder the load more than ever. He is a returning first-team All-San Antonio League selection after catching 33 passes for 445 yards and three touchdowns. He’s a two-way player who has a lot of defensive responsibility as well, but the Mustangs will look to him more than ever as their go-to receiver.
3. Wallace Gonzalez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
There is plenty of intrigue about the 6-foot-5 wideout
4. Remontay McClain, Covina, Sr.
He should be the toughest player to cover after winning the state title in the 100 and 200 meters. How many times will the Colts air it out for McClain to out-race defensive backs to the end zone? He didn’t have a great junior season, which included 13 receptions for 276 yards and four touchdowns, but he was a late bloomer in track and should show well his senior season. If confidence is important, he has a lot of it. He will work tirelessly to make his senior year as memorable as his junior season in track.
5. Abraham Ochoa, Azusa, Sr.
The 6-foot receiver earned Montview League first-team honors for the back-to-back league champions who also advanced to the Mid-Valley Division semifinals for the first time in school history. He led the league in receiving with 39 receptions for 582 yards and seven touchdowns, which included a seven-reception, 170-yard performance against Gabrielino in which he scored three.
TOP FIVE DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
1. Ifo Ekpre-Olumu, Chino Hills, Defensive Back, Sr.
The reigning Sierra League player of the year returns after leading the Huskies to the league title. He also might be the area’s best overall talent, a solid corner or safety who had 38 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 2009. He proved to be a triple threat last season after scoring 19 touchdowns (12 rushing and seven receiving), but certainly his biggest impact comes on defense, where college coaches are lining up in hopes of getting his services.
2. Charlie Avila, Charter Oak, Defensive Line, Sr.
The 6-foot, 240-pounder was first-team All-Miramonte League and first-team All-CIF Southern Section Southeast Division after helping the Chargers win their second consecutive section title. He was part of a defense that not only shut out league foes, but shut out Diamond Ranch twice, including 21-0 in the championship game. Avila finished with 57 tackles, an average of 4.1 per game. He also had five sacks.
3. Wardell Crutchfield III, Baldwin Park, Linebacker, Sr.
The explosive Crutchfield will play several roles, but his biggest impact is on defense for the Braves. Crutchfield had a brilliant junior season after transferring to Baldwin Park from Duarte. He is the son of former Duarte coach and current Baldwin Park assistant Wardell Crutchfield Jr., who is the brother of former Muir legend and BYU standout Tony Crutchfield. He is an excellent student and already has given a verbal commitment to the University of Texas El Paso. He also was a Valle Vista League first-team selection and Tribune all-area second-team honoree.
4. Peter Nonu, South Hills, Defensive Line, Sr.
The Huskies’ strengths are in the trenches and the 6-foot, 190-pounder is a big reason why. Nonu earned San Antonio League first-team honors as a junior and also was a Tribune all-area honorable mention pick after helping the Huskies to the league title with 31 tackles. His impact is crucial after the Huskies switched from the San Antonio League to the more physical Sierra, where the Huskies will compete annually with Charter Oak, Damien, Chino Hills, Ayala and Claremont. Nonu widely is considered one of the Valley’s toughest interior lineman.
5. Mike Juarez, Bishop Amat, Linebacker, Sr.
He may be just 5-feet-9 and 185 pounds, but don’t be fooled by his size. All one needs to know is he earned second-team All-Serra League honors as a junior, quite an accomplishment considering the Serra is one of the most difficult leagues in the Southland. With key departures to the defense, Juarez will play a significant role after recording 38 tackles.