1. Glendora (6-0) – Glendora was 3-7 and 1-4 in the Baseline with nothing to make you believe they could turn it around. I thought they would take a year off and wait for the Palomares league. Then some sophomore QB name Matt Fink came along and here they’re, undefeated and ranked sixth in the powerful Inland Division.
2. Diamond Ranch (5-1) – The Panthers didn’t seem like they were improving in recent years, going 7-4 last year and getting routed 49-0 by La Serna in the first round of the playoffs. It has been a long time since coach Roddy Layton guided them to back-to-back title games, and was wondering if they would ever get back or even close. This could be the year, they’re ranked second in the Southeast and can take control of the Hacienda with a win at Diamond Bar, Friday.
3. Pomona (6-0) — The Red Devils were 6-5 and 4-2 in the Valle Vista and only lost 24-7 to eventual champion Monrovia in the first round of the playoffs in 2012. But even if you thought they would improve, who thought they would be unbeaten through six games and might possibly stay that way until facing San Dimas in Week 10?
4. Rosemead (5-1) — The Panthers stunk in the first year without coach Matt Koffler, going 4-6 and missing the playoffs. A year later, they look like serious Mission Valley League contenders and are ranked 10th in the Mid-Valley poll.
5. Baldwin Park (5-1) – Even though the Braves were crushed last week against San Dimas, they were undefeated the first five weeks after going 0-10 last year. Again, the only direction they could go was up, but nobody thought they would be unbeaten halfway through the season. Another team you could have put on this list was Bassett, 3-3 overall but a perfect 3-0 in the Montview.
1. West Covina (3-4)– The Bulldogs compete for championships, that’s the bar they raised by winning back-to-back titles in 2010 and ’11. But things have unraveled, they’re 3-4 and in danger of missing the playoffs. It didn’t help that Antonio Noodles Hull transferred to Diamond Bar, but as much as they’re struggling, would he have made that much of a difference anyway?
2. El Monte (1-5) — One year after its greatest season since 1979 and player of the year Brandon Martinez, who led them to an 8-4 record and league title, the Eagles are having one of the worst years in the Valley at 1-5 with a strong possibility of finishing 1-9.
3. Rowland (2-5) — A season ago the Raiders tied for the Hacienda League title and usually are contenders for a playoff spot. But they’ve fallen off the map, losing five straight, including a loss to Walnut, dropping it to last in the Hacienda. They probably won’t win another game, finishing 2-8, something you haven’t seen in a while.
4. Damien (2-4) – I know the Spartans played a tough schedule, but I thought coach Mark Paredes’ arrival would be similar to the arrival of Amat coach Steve Hagerty when he guided the Lancers to a 7-4 record and playoff berth in his first season. And I certainly didn’t expect them to get blown out the way they did against Charter Oak last week. Now I have serious doubts they make the playoffs.
5. Charter Oak (2-4) — You have to put them on this list because they started 0-4 for the first time in more than two decades. There are always expectations at Charter Oak. But I’ll give them this, they’ve won two straight and unlike the other teams in the disappointment section, they have a great chance to still turn it around. The others, I’m not so sure.