Football: Ranking the biggest surprises and disappointments with a month left before playoffs

finkBIGGEST SURPRISES
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.

maggioreBIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS
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.

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  • AZTEC PRIDE

    Fred I think you got room for one more for your “surprise team” of the season! How about AZUSA, after relinquishing the Montview title last season, not making the playoffs, plus coming in at third in league! Now in first place, getting stronger in every game and you also got them winning LEAGUE! That comes from dedication from Coach Scherf, and all the rest of the coaches who put their HEART & SOUL in coaching those Boy’s! Way to comeback Coach Scherf, and now you got your running game back also. Continue to play HARD NOSE FOOTBALL AZUSA!

    • FredJ

      They weren’t a surprise, I expected them to compete for the league title again.

    • Lancerito’s Buddy

      LOL, ROFLMAO…. Oh snap for a second I thought you said Hard nose Azusa football….

  • RealTalk

    Don’t count WC out just yet. You’re talking about the Hacienda League. Last year everyone thought BoHi had it locked up and then they loose their last 3 games. I think WC made their adjustments and it’s time to push for a play-off spot. One game at a time. You can never look ahead, just focus on what’s directly in front of you!!! #LetsGoBulldogs #ActLikeChampions #PlayLikeChampions #WinLikeChampions #BeChampions

    • Inland_FB_Fan

      #Ihate#’s

      • RealTalk

        #youstillcarryabeepertoo

        • Inland_FB_Fan

          #Iliveintherealworldnotavirtualone
          #IhaverealfriendsItalkto
          #Idontneedtotweettofeelimportant

          • RealTalk

            But you just did!!!

          • Inland_FB_Fan

            #idonthaveatwitteraccount

    • TruTH

      West Covina will have a tough time making the playoffs but if they win out they have good chance of getting at least the at large playoff spot. Looking at the games remaining on their schedule, they should beat Walnut. After Walnut they will have two tough road games at Bonita followed by Los Altos. They must beat one of those two teams to have a chance at the playoffs. It is the Hacienda so every team could win each week but the way Los Altos managed the game against Diamond Bar and how Diamond Bar beat West Covina that would be the toughest game remaining. I however, think West Covina beats Bonita thus receiving the at large playoff spot. The Hacienda is probably the toughest league in the Southeast and should get 4 teams in.

      • RealTalk

        The score may have been 34-13 but DBar didn’t beat WC…. WC beat WC.

        • disqus_wD2qThRkJd

          Right!! by 3 td! Quit being a sore loser!!

          • RealTalk

            5 unforced turnovers by one player. On what were solid drives. Please!!!

          • RealTalk

            DR will destroy Dbar… Won’t even be close. Blow out by half-time…

    • Robert Bravo

      West Covina has a QB now, Sophomore Isaiah Bravo, is now eligible. They are very talented at the WR position ……they are dangerous. Now teams cannot stack the box so their run game can be devastating like it always has been. Its good that you guys don’t even talk about them but if they beat Bonita ..all that will change.

  • reality

    Since you are determined that negative is the way to go to get hits and you are probably right why not do what the Times once did. I think it was Scott Ostler that had “The bottom Ten” column. That way he could rip into the worst teams and disappointments as well as worst cheerleaders, bands, fans, hotdogs, fattest players anything he wanted tohe could rip on. Boy could you sell some bar ads then.

    • FredJ

      Bottom ten column? For three years I’ve ranked every team in our coverage area (Super 35). What’s the difference. And I don’t think any of this is negative, in every season there are surprises and disappointments — take the good with the bad, that’s the only way you grow.

      • AZTEC PRIDE

        Come on Reality, you can’t be that sensitive, and what are we playing TOUCH FOOTBALL? LOL… Fred great article! hahahah…

        • reality

          Oops my bad. You are correct. Your Aztecs are unreal. After getting clobbered by those monster teams from Sierra Vista, Gladstone and Duarte last year any win this year by AZUSA is surprising even if it is against the little sisters of the poor. Congratulations!!

          • AZTEC PRIDE

            Whatever, so your topic on Fred’s CRUEL article is irrelevant then! What a joke! Oh yes it’s always good to beat those teams, if you knew the history of AZUSA! Okay BIG BOY FOOTBALL!

          • Lancerito’s Buddy

            ROFLMFAO!!!! There you go again using Big boy football and Azusa in the same sentence…. Boy this is some funny stuff. You should go on tour.

          • AZTEC PRIDE

            Lancerito’s buddy. hahahahahahah… You softie!

          • AMAT 73

            Reality,
            Who’s your team on Friday nights ????? Also wasn’t that bottem ten ranking on pro teams only ????

    • Wells

      Half of the article is the biggest surprises..or maybe you missed that part of the post.
      It is you who is focused on the negative.
      Fred is adding balance to the football season. If the Trib only wrote about the positive they would cover 25% of the teams.

      And Aztec Pride, based on your posts, you seem like an objective, positive guy. Kudos.

  • WCDan

    There was a clue three years ago that Glendora could be very good this year Fred, you guy’s missed it.

    • FredJ

      Three years ago?

      • WCDan

        Had to ride you a little for that #1 ranking you gave us, but I think Glendoras freshman team three years ago were very good, doesn’t guarantee they would be as good as they turned out to be this year as seniors, but it’s a clue.

  • INVICTUS

    Fred,
    Rowland finishing 2-8, something you rarely see from a coach Craig Snyder team. Probably because Craig Snyder is not the coach anymore. Thought a sports editor who covers the area would know that.

  • WeMonro

    Monrovia does well in all sports but basketball

  • Valley Athletics

    I don’t see Damien as a disappointment . They lost pucci and Elijah jones to transfer ,plus all there skill players to graduation . Can’t expect them to improve with what they lost . paredes has never taken over a losing team . At Amat he took over a team that was ranked number 1 in nation preseason . Patricio built that program up in 80s and paredes took over after markham . riverside north was also a winning program when he took over .

  • Bill

    Probably got some transfers and the school they left didn’t protest

    • WCDan

      What a douche bag.

  • SEMHS FAN 3481

    “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.”

    the EAGLES? Fred, the EMHS Lions are 1-6, while the SEMHS Eagles are 2-5; quite possibly, just as horrible as El Monte’s season.