Sneak Peak: The PrepXtra Football Preview Magazine will be in home delivery and news racks on Thursday, Aug. 29, the same night as the Smudge Pot between Bonita and San Dimas at Citrus College. You can also pick up a PrepXtra Preview magazine at the Smudge Pot game, just look for the SGVN PrepXtra booth. There’s loads of content in the magazine, but until then, why not give you a sneak peak at the top ten compiled by Aram Tolegian. There will be more info on the teams when the magazine debuts, but you can start discussing the rankings now.
1. BISHOP AMAT: The Lancers will welcome several Super Sophs to the varsity level this season. Their ability to contribute right away will be key early on. The parts are there for an explosive offense. The defense should be faster in the back seven. There’s no reason why Amat can’t win the Serra League and get over the first-round hump in the playoffs.
2. CHINO HILLS: The Huskies look like a good bet to get back on top in the Sierra. There’s talent from top to bottom and enough size to hang with just about anybody. Games against Bishop Amat and Charter Oak should tell the tale of the season.
3. CHARTER OAK: Two years ago, Charter Oak had the top offense in the area. Last year, it had the top defense. This year there’s no clear identity established as of yet, just a good core group of players for veteran head coach Lou Farrar to build around. At some point, this team figures to be very formidable again.
4. LOS ALTOS: The Conquerors allowed just 20 points per game last season. Another defensive effort like that combined with an experience offense would lead to a solid rise in the wins column. Remember, LA beat West Covina last season and lost come close games to solid teams. This is your area surprise team.
5. SOUTH HILLS: Albert “Fuzz” Rodriguez got things turned around in his first season as head coach. With league and likely division relief in the near future, the program has some serious momentum heading into this season. If the line play is still solid, the wins should follow. To be safe, expect something right around last year’s accomplishments.
6. WEST COVINA: Quarterback has generally been a caretaker position at West Covina, but you no longer can have the type of postseason Bulldogs desire in the rugged Southeast Division without at least competent QB production. This team is still loaded with talent and potential, and could make this ranking look like a joke if things break right.
7. DIAMOND BAR: There’s no reason Diamond Bar won’t be in the thick of the Hacienda League race. At times, they’ll make opposing defenses look stupid. At other times, they won’t be able to get off the field against the better ground games. Depth is an issues, but D-Bar stays healthy, it’ll be in the playoffs.
8.SAN DIMAS: It’s hard not to still like San Dimas in the Valle Vista League. There’s still plenty of talent on both offense and defense, and the rest of the league has a large gap to close. Whether San Dimas can make its usual deep run in the playoffs looks murky. Don’t expect 11 wins like last season.
9. DIAMOND RANCH: This has the looks of one of the area’s sleeper teams. The Hacienda figures to be another crap shoot. There’s no reason why D-Ranch can’t win it all. The Panthers have arguably the league’s top talent in defensive lineman Kammy Delp and a home-run hitter in Bryan at running back. If there’s a threat of a pass game, watch out.
10. BONITA: Bonita lost its final three games of the season last year by a combined five points. One of the losses cost the Bearcats a league title and the other sent them packing from the postseason. Expect the defense to be better and the offense to be the same or slightly worse. It all adds up to another season in the thick of the Hacienda race and maybe more.