La Mirada tops preseason WDN prep football poll

lamiradafoot
With most schools barely two weeks from opening their football schedules, I thought I’d take my first stab at an area Top 10 list. This was compiled with help from my friend and colleague Robert Morales, whom I’m replacing at the WDN, but the order you see is mine alone.

  1. La Mirada (9-2, 5-0 Suburban League): The Matadores are once again loaded with D-I talent and hungry after another early playoff exit.
  2. La Serna (12-2, 5-0 Del Rio League): All-CIF QB Frankie Palmer and the Lancers fell short in the CIF Southeast Division final, and are out to return.
  3. La Habra (8-4, 5-0 Freeway League): The Highlanders can dominate on both the offensive and defensive lines. Their Sept. 6 nonleague showdown at La Mirada will be epic.
  4. Santa Fe (8-5, 4-1 Del Rio League): Senior DL/LB Richard Bramble & Co. upset La Mirada in the Southeast Division playoffs a year ago with a sophomore QB.
  5. Whittier Christian (8-4, 4-0 Olympic League): All-CIF senior QB Ryan Esslinger leads the Heralds’ high-flying offense.
  6. Cal (8-3, 3-2): The Condors are young at QB and lack depth on the OL and DL, so they must stay healthy if they want to return to the playoffs.
  7. St. Paul (1-9, 0-5 Mission League): First-year coach Rick Zepeda has plenty of work to do to get the Swordsmen back to the playoffs.
  8. El Rancho (5-5, 2-3 Del Rio League): Senior WR Javier Carillo leads 15 returning starters for the Dons, who nearly upset Santa Fe last season.
  9. Schurr (4-7, 3-2 Almont League): The Spartans topped Montebello 28-7 in their regular-season finale to claim a share of second place in league.

  10. Montebello (6-5, 3-2 Almont League): The Oilers reached the playoffs last season and nearly upset El Monte in the first round

So there it is. The order is bound to change as the weeks pass and I learn more about each team. Nothing is written in stone.

 See you at the stadium!

 

 

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  • big daddy

    I guess we will see how good Laserna looks on AUG. 24TH, SCRIMMAGE.
    THIS YEAR, You know that La Habra tooled La serna at the Charter Oak
    passing. By the way, a few weeks ago you had La Habra above Laserna,
    now they are above LH ? What changed in 1 months time??
    UNDUE INFLUENCE??

    • He Hate Me

      He was probably swayed by the fact the have a solid senior QB. Not a sophomore QB who’s going to get SCHOOLED this season.

      • http://blogs.presstelegram.com/prepsports David Felton

        Palmer at QB was probably the top reason I put LS at No. 2.

      • Waldo Truth

        Schooled is right! Dance LM dance!

    • Chief Lover

      Really…. you talking about a Passing tournament and then a
      scrimmage. Let’s see how on the season starts before you start making statements. And before you start throwing legal terms around you should know the definition of the term.
      Rankings can be deceptive and can cost a good team a
      season…just ask La Mirada about Santa Fe. With all the hype that LM gets there is a little voice that makes them doubt if they are really that good, early exits in playoffs may define them as a team.
      Santa Fe, Norwalk, Downey are some of teams to watch out for
      in area.

  • The truth and nothing but…

    St. Paul seventh? They will finish 0-10 this season, next season, and the season after next! Watching practice, it may be the only school in the state without a black athlete on campus.

    • pirate7

      These kids play in one of the toughest leagues
      and divisions in the state… I don/t care if they go zero and ten. It’s neither you nor I putting on the pads. But I feel they’ll win 3-4 games.
      If you’re an SP fan you’ll support the players regardless.
      The Mission League is tougher than any league around Whittier, La Habra, La Mirada.
      Go Swordsmen

      • The truth and nothing but…

        Pirate, just curious, which three games do you see us winning?

  • House

    >Schurr and Shittier Christian breaking top 10
    >No Downey or Norwalk
    >St. Paul ranked seventh

    What the hell have you been smoking?

    • Get a clue

      Downey and Norwalk are not in the WDN’s circulation area, hence them not being included. How many times do we have to go over this with some of you guys? St. Paul seventh? That is a head scratcher. They might win one game and they will get absolutely smoked against Mater Dei, Chaminade, Serra and Amat.

      • http://blogs.presstelegram.com/prepsports David Felton

        Believe me, I scratched my head quite a bit putting this together. I feel pretty confident about Nos. 1-4, but 5-10 could get scrambled up any number of ways and not be wrong for a preseason poll. Thankfully, actual games will be played soon and I’ll have a clearer picture of the area’s best 10 teams. Thanks for reading.

      • House

        “LOL St. Paul is TERRIBLE because they might win only one
        game this year! (Please disregard their state schedule rank of #13 and their national of #50, however)”

        That’s like saying Auburn sucks because they only won one SEC game. I’m guessing St. Paul’s record will be about 4-6.

        • The truth and nothing but…

          House, who do you see us beating? With SP’s collection of talent, we won’t be 4-6 unless we were playing the likes of Workman and Ganesha. I am willing to bet if we line up against the likes of Salesian, Whittier Christian, or Rio Hondo Prep we will lose to these D13 programs.

          • House

            Why do you keep referring to St. Paul as “us”? I’m a recent La Mirada grad and diehard fan with a nephew at St. Paul, and obviously you’re a sad sack of shit for a St. Paul alumni. Jesus Christ man. I bet you have a kid at Amat with that handy financial aid too. Also, please never compare “us” to those pathetically overrated teams again. WC and RHP’s lines rival that of Gary Coleman, and “we” killed Salesian in both passing league and lineman comp.

          • The truth and nothing but…

            Why so angry? Let’s not start talking about financial aid because you are just opening a whole new can of worm and judging by your emotional state it’s another topic you won’t be able to handle. Let’s just say with about 90% of the current student population on some sort of financial aid, St. Paul and financial aid go hand in hand. Being a graduate of LM you sure are emotional about SP, there’s a reason Mike Moschetti dropped SP from their schedule. Anybody who is loyal to SP is automatically not welcome at LM. Being a fan does not mean you have to be disillusion or a cheerleader, I call what I see and I see “us” going 0-10.

          • Dude Relax

            I’m just curious. Where do you get your 90% financial aid statistic? Do you have any credible documentation to back up that “fact”? Are you a faculty member in that high school’s financial aid office or the archdiocese’s accounting department? Maybe you’re just in the business of hearsay?

          • The truth and nothing but…

            I have got a red cup in one hand and a Jimmy Changa in the other watching Telemundo. I say I am as relax as relax gets. Hearsay? Didn’t realize we were in a court of law, thought we were just having a friendly chat on a blog. Do we have to be in Guatanamo Bay to watch the interrogators water board the terrorists to actually know they were being water boarded? Do we have to actually rob a bank to know that bank robbers who get caught spend a very long time in prison? Some where there is a kid in this world who knows Disneyland exist but isn’t fortunate enough to go, how does this cute little kid actually know Disneyland is the happiest place on earth? How do we know these things are true if we are not in those places? Must be hearsay!

          • Dude Relax

            As humorous as you think my last post was, I’m being serious, really. It was a simple set of questions inquiring about the veracity of your claims. For instance, I can say that a great source tells me a bunny leaves eggs hidden in my garden, Santa leaves presents under a tree, and a magical fairy leaves dollar coins for discarded teeth, but anybody over the age of 9 would find me a bit daft. So, brushing off my quite uncomplicated request for evidence really doesn’t bode well for your credibility as an informed poster, even though you claim to speak the truth.

            That being said, on what grounds do you think it is acceptable to troll fans, players, and parents with misinformation, vitriol and acrimony when all that the SP family, or any HS football fan for that matter, wants to see is a successful and safe season? So what if they are proud of their kids. Does the anonymity of your account give you the authority to be an internet tough guy?

            It’s not a secret that the varsity SP football team have a lot of problems to work out, but if, as an apparent alumnus, truth is all you speak and you feel that there are serious institutional problems at the school, by all means go to the booster meetings to voice your opinion, speak with the coach, meet the principal, volunteer your time, or better yet, donate. I can guarantee, that they all will appreciate and are adult enough to receive your input. Walk the walk, otherwise you end up being the irritating nuisance that does the reputation of your school no favors.

          • The truth and nothing but…

            Dude, I must say I have some new found respect for you. I know it isn’t easy admitting to our school having problems with our football program but at least it is the truth and not sugar coated. Hence the reason I predicted a 0-10 season. I am not trying to step on anyone’s toe or be critical of our school, my opinion is solely base on what I see from watching practice and knowing how tough the Mission league is. I believe I have provided enough evidence to support my prediction.

            As to your comment that I am acting like a tough guy behind the anonymity of my internet account, are you suggesting your real name is Dude Relax? If not, how different are you and I? Minus the anger.

            As to the financial aid issue, I clearly stated above I do not want to open this can of worms. There’s only really one way for you to know for sure, may I suggest strolling into the office in the morning and ask the person in charge of collecting tuition to pull out the file of all St. Paul student for this year. Check each file to see how many of the approximately 500 student body actually pays 100% tuition. Seek and you shall find!

          • Dude Relax

            Thank you. I appreciate the compliment. As far as this season goes, an 0-10 season is definitely a possibility. One can’t be too short-sighted though. Talent-wise, those kids are really not much different than seasons previous to the last one, where they’ve had a modicum of success. Depth will be their biggest issue. Also nearby D1 schools do attract the best talent. Good for those kids who bypass SP though, hope they do well and stay healthy. What’s key is how SP plays more than anything. Last season there were major trust issues among others glaring problems that translated into a Hindenberg of a season. If the kids don’t play like they believe in the system, they will fail no matter how much talent you put in out there, regardless of race or size. That being said, a losing season, no matter the final tally, will be okay as long as they actually play for all four quarters with real determination despite the opponent and there’s continuous improvement for the next year’s crop of boys. The program will be fine in the coming years. They have in place a good group of people who are working on the fundamentals of team-building within the current culture.

            As far as the financial aid issue is concerned, it depends on what your definition of what aid is. That was my real bone to pick. Are you referring to CEF, academic scholarships, parochial grade school scholarships, or the Swordsmen parent rate where you work service hours, pledge to the science fund and sell raffle tickets? It doesn’t look like a much different arrangement than any archdiocese-run school such as Amat, Cantwell, Serra, et al. Plus, if a student gets some sort of aid, what does that have to do with sports program or the student? Serra isn’t in the most economically vibrant community, yet their football team is preseason #11 in the nation according to MaxPreps, they are dominant in baseball, and they generate an amazingly educated student body. Yet their tuition and aid policy is no different than SP’s or Amat’s, which incidentally serves an economy comparable to SP’s area. Kids at SP are in a good position today. They have great instructors, improved educational, technological, and athletic facilities, along with energized alumni backing them. It’s good to see that and something that should be acknowledged.

            Lastly, I brought up anonymity because it’s always best to refrain from animus in discussion. Using the gift of being incognito doesn’t mean that abuse is permissible. Privacy should be cherished. Remaining cordial with facts to back up statements gives the impression of credibility. I hope you didn’t get the impression that I was being spiteful. Relax is in my handle as you can see. I just wanted to point out flaws your argument, especially against a school that doesn’t get much love here. One can only hope that there will be real discussion in the comments section of this blog this season. Let’s give our schools of choice a good name.

          • The truth and nothing but…

            I see us going 0-10 and you see us doing not that much better than 0-10, at least we are in the same ball park with this year’s team. I have to disagree with you on your other observations:

            1) You said this year’s talent is comparable to two seasons ago. How so? Who are the players this year that you think will be as good as some of the top players from two seasons ago? I read in the Whittier Daily News today that coach Zapeda is building the team around the offensive line. Nothing wrong with that, in fact I agree 100% with the strategy, the only problem is two of the three linemen mentioned in the article have very little playing experience and will be seniors. So you can ask yourself, if these guys were any good wouldn’t they have played as sophomores, should have at least play as juniors. There is a good reason they haven’t played. We have a QB but no WR and a RB that have been out of football for almost two full season less the three games he played as a freshmen before blowing out his knee.

            2) You said we should be okay for years to come. How so? This year’s senior class only won one game as freshmen minus their best player, Elijah Carter, who transferred to La Habra. Next year’s senior class was 3-7 as freshmen minus three of their best players, both Ricky Wong and Raymond Soto are starters for the Southeast champs at Downey and Eddie Orta is now a focal point of Whittier’s offense. Last year’s freshmen class was 0-10, besides the Gallardo brothers who are both starting on varsity this year who else do we have? Unless we start scheduling some d13 teams we may go 0-30 the next three seasons. This year’s freshmen class is to be determined. Even though I have an opinion I won’t rush to judgement. I suggest we all give them the benefit of the doubt.

            3) You said last season was a Hindenberg failure and I would have to agree with you but I don’t think we are seeing the big picture. Every parent, football booster, and administrator in the school should ask ourselves the question,”why was last season such a big failure?” From day one, did we agree with the hiring of the coach? Did we support him? Why was he treated so badly that he quit on coaching the team? For those of us who have a job, we should ask ourselves one simple question, would we excel and enjoy going to work everyday knowing everyone in the office wanted us to fail? Many of last year’s bloggers brought up racism being an issue but I am not interested in opening any old wounds.

            4) Financial aid, I won’t go into any symantics this is only my personal definition, any students who are not paying 100% tuition and do not have at least a 3.5 GPA is on financial aid. If a student have at least a 3.5 GPA, he/she may be on scholarship.

            I believe I have once again give as much factual information as possible to back up my statements. As mentioned previously, unless the school is willing to open it’s books for us to check what each family is paying in terms of tuition, it’s all base on word of mouth speculation.

          • big daddy

            financial aid for what??Horrible environment and horrible athletics.
            you can go to public school for free for that.

        • Get a clue

          @House That schedule is why they will be lucky to win one game this year. At least Auburn is competitive. Will the Swordsmen be? And where do you get 4-6 from? Are you already drinking from your red cups?

  • David Hernandez

    The Ranch could be the sleeper. Ryan Araujo is a better pure QB than Joey Sanchez. Joey will be missed big time though. 15 returning starters along with an improved defense bodes well for the dons. Palmer will give the whole division nightmares.

  • Just saying…..

    ok if anyone ever saw every game santa fe played one would know that all the important games won were on “one Play” and performed by a senior… even against La Mirada it was a blocked field goal from a SF senior
    or the 50 yard catches by a Sf senior – their play was inconsistant and I believe last season was a one hit wonder. But Good Luck just my opinion and would like nothing more then to be proven wrong.

    • disqus_EwzMXwPVzM

      Football 4 quarters game not one play. seniors, juniors ,sophomores all of them played 4 quarters both sides of ball 27 SF 26 La Mirada.

  • pirate7

    Buena Park, Damien, Cathedral, and Harvard Westlake.
    Hope coach Z places his BEST on defense

    • The truth and nothing but…

      BP has both athletes and lots of Samoan linemen, Damien is down in skill positions but their OL and front seven on D are stout which is more than enough vs St. Paul, HWL will win by having smarter coaches and players, and Cathedral graduated their QB but is always reloading. It will take more than a fifth string RB transfer from Upland to get us a win.

      • Prep Fan 29

        I agree with Pirate except with the Catherdal game which I predict will be a close game!….The truth will be surpise to see how well Coach Z will have SP prepared to play!…QB Maier is going to surprise a lot of people!

        • The truth and nothing but…

          QB has an arm but who are his receivers? Btw, coach Z coached The Ranch for five years with a student population of over 4,000 (2,000 male students) and had a losing record every year. How will he do better now with 250 boys in a much tougher league? To borrow a question from House, “what are you people smoking” or drinking in those red cups?

          • Prep Fan 29

            When St. Paul wins their first game…Come back on and say you were wrong!

          • The truth and nothing but…

            WHEN we win our first game, I will definitely do that. But when we finish 0-10 don’t forget to give me some credit for calling it.

        • big daddy

          surprise how?? How many picks or sacks?? He will be lucky to finish pre season.

      • big daddy

        We hear this all the time about Buena Park, how good they are.
        Its like a annoying little chiwawa nipping at your ankles.
        Last year they killed the Cerritos of the world 75-0. Now Cerritos doesn’t have a team, they suited up 25 kids, but BP couldn’t even make the playoffs. This year, they have some so called QB guru, who pulled a kid that never had a chance to start at Edison to be his TRANSFER QB. They do have some skill guys, and I think ONE BIG Samoan lineman. I do think they will beat St Paul though. Not a good way to open your new field.

        • The truth and nothing but…

          Big Daddy, St. Paul’s new field will experience at least three years of 0-10 season. The current senior class was 1-9 as freshmen minus their best player who is now at La Habra, the current junior class was 3-7 as freshmen minus their three best players, two are starting for Downey and one for Whittier, and the current sophomore class was 0-10 last year and there are two varsity starters from that team. And half the varsity roster are from last years freshmen class. OUCH!!! The cherry on top is 95% of the team are Hispanic with no black student athletes, which looks more like a soccer team than American football.

    • Get a clue

      @disqus_07tPsusQy0:disqus Have you SP Boosters already started your drinking? That has to be the explanation for you picking them to win 4 games. They are lucky if they win 1 game. The QB is good but he has no supporting cast much less a line. The kid will be running for his life the entire year. No speed, no size and not a lot of talent = 1-9 or 0-10.

  • Waldo Truth

    We’ll see where it all shakes out. La Habra is coming to play! They love being underdogs, ask Los Alamitos!

    • http://blogs.presstelegram.com/prepsports David Felton

      I’m really looking forward to the La Habra-La Mirada game! Gonna be some studs on the field that night.

    • Waldo Truth

      Well glad we got that whole La Habra La Mirada thing worked out! Dance!

      • Waldo Truth

        I forgot to mention how cheesy and insulting it is to wear the colors of the visiting team like La Mirada did with La Habra. I understand LM will wear black and white when they play Servite. Classy LM, real classy!

  • pirate7

    In the end La Habra will finish no. 1

  • Lancer Mom

    Go Lancers!!!!!