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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Whittier Christian (8-4, 4-0 Olympic League): All-CIF senior QB Ryan Esslinger leads the Heralds’ high-flying offense.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!