As the presents are unwrapped this holiday season, there are a few gifts I’d love to see under the tree next football season.
Here’s Andrew Campa’s 2008 Christmas Football Wishlist:
1. A St. Paul v. Santa Fe game
Those who were around when this was an annual city championship game remember how special the matchup was. Besides, other than La Habra, what other program has been as dominant as St. Paul this past decade than Santa Fe. But I doubt this game will happen anytime soon.
2. St. Paul v. La Habra
Talk about a battle of two great programs and two fantastic fan bases. It would have been awesome had both teams met this season, but a 2008 game wouldn’t be bad. Could the Swordsmen defense, which will lose several players, stop Highlanders back Ronnie Hillman?
3. Whittier Christian v. Cantwell
Both teams have taken great strides over the past couple of seasons. The Heralds had a great victory over Whittier in 2006 and Cantwell stepped up and scheduled St. Paul in 2007. It would be interesting to see how these schools would fair against each other.
4. La Habra v. Schurr
Okay, so maybe the game wouldn’t have as much meaning next season as it would have had this year or as it did in 2006. But the 2006 semifinal game was still one of the best area matchups in quite some time and it would be interesting to see if the Spartans can rebound after the loss of coach Elvin Dick.
5. La Serna v. Schurr
Again, another matchup that would have been great this season, especially given the Rudy Jordan-Joey Jordan transfer. In fact, the Lancers were a victory over Fullerton away from having set this game up in the Southeast Division semifinals. It was surprising to see how negative the Schurr fans were toward the elder Jordan at the Fullerton game and how happy they were to see Rudy. Both teams will also have returning senior quarterbacks in Ben Burke and Ricky Mendez.
6. Schurr v. Whittier
Would be an explosive matchup of two of the area’s top returning backs in Schurr’s Edwin Molina and Whittier’s Daniel Enriquez. Both backs split duties in 2007 and will likely be called upon for more action in 2008.
7. Montebello v. Cantwell
The other battle for the city of Montebello. The Montebello-Schurr matchup hasn’t been quite so competitive recently and this would be an opportune time for Cantwell to step and show they are no longer the forgotten child. Despite struggling, the Oilers would love to be able to punish the Cardinals.
8. La Mirada v. La Habra
Don’t think about the 2007 version of each team but the 2008 possible matchup. Seniors Devon Tracy and Ronnie Hillman have the possibility of tearing up the field before halftime. La Mirada has shown no fear in scheduling big-time games such as in 2007 when the Mats played Fullerton, Charter Oak and St. Paul.
9. El Rancho v. Whittier Christian
It’s the battle for respect. The Heralds have not been afraid of stepping up and challenging teams from the Del Rio League while the Dons had a tremendous bounce back season in 2007 that included an upset of Cal-Hi.
T10. Pioneer v. St. Paul
It’s the matchup of one of the trickiest offensive minds in the area in Pioneer’s Ramon Juarez against one of the great defensive minds in area in St. Paul defense coordinator, coach Gil Jimenez. Would be interesting to see how the Swordsmen deal with so many different formations and looks.
T10. Cal-Hi v. La Mirada
It’s the Condors’ stifling run defense against a power-rush offense of the Mats. On offense, both teams will try to establish the run and control the ball. It could be one of those 7-3 games.
What’s on your wishlist?