Football: Maranatha’s Andrew Elffers a star quarterback in the making. Check that, Elffers is a star QB. Period.

Photo courtesy of David Thomas

If you happened to be at last Friday’s game pitting Maranatha and Cerritos Valley Christian, you definitely got your money’s worth. If you were there, you got to see more than several stars in the making. Omar Younger showed he can take a hit. The collision knocked Younger’s helmet off, and ultimately Younger out of the game. He suffered a concussion and is listed day-to-day.

There were others who had impressive perofrmances. Jeremy Major, Mark Jebbia, R.J. Straker, Josh Jones quickly come to mind.

If you happened to be at the game, you also got a chance to see one of the best sophomore quarterbacks in the nation. Yes, in the nation.

Elffers, a 6-foot-2 slinger with stunning field vision, completed 34 of 57 passes for 587 yards and six touchdowns on Saturday. He completed nearly 67 percent of his passes, and perhaps more remarkable, is the fact he threw no interceptions.

So far this season, Elffers has completed 64 percent (127-of-200) of his passes through eight games. He’s passed for 2,236 yards (279.5 yards per game) and 23 touchdowns against just six interceptions. That’s a QB rating of 127.

More than impressive.

Now let’s see how the numbers stack up against the rest:

Elffers’ total yards passing is No. 1 in the Olympic League and it’s also tops in the Mid-Valley Division as well as the entire Southern Section. Elffers also is the No. 1 quarterback among sophomores in California by more than 500 yards over Cathedral QB Hayden Rettig, brother of former La Salle QB and San Clemente QB Chase Rettig (Boston College).

Elffers is No. 3 among all quarterbacks in California and the No. 5 sophomore quarterback in the nation.

The consensus among Valley Christian fans who chimed on the blog over the weekend is that Maranatha is more than ready to compete in the Mid-Valley Division, despite what the Minutemen Olympic League record may indicate.

Fortunately for Maranatha, Elffers is only a sophomore, and he will only get better. Maranatha has produced Matt Schilz (Bowling Green) among other athletes who have gone on to play at Division I schools, but it may be safe to say that Elffers may soon be the Minutemen’s best prospect.

Unfortunately for the rest of the Olympic League and Mid-Valley Division, Elffers is only a sophomore, and he will only get better. With his vision, powerful arm, ability to elude the pass-rush and extend plays with his legs, Elffers will make Maranatha a force to be recokned with for the next few years.

Good luck with that.

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Getting to know … Temple City’s Joshua Simangunsong

Above: Joshua Simangunsong (No. 2) has been a lightning rod for the Temple City offense. (Photo courtesy of Rick Ramirez)

Temple City’s Joshua Simangunsong has taken the Rio Hondo League by storm. The 5-foot-8, 145-pound senior is a running machine, to say the last. The talented running back has rushed for 859 yards and 10 touchdowns this season and has rushed for at least 100 yards in four of the five games this season. He’s scored at least one touchdown in each game and is coming off a remarkable 224-yard rushing performance on 27 carries and three touchdowns to lead the Rams to a 27-15 win over La Canada. That win helped the Rams improve to 2-0 in league. Temple City has its biggest test of the season Friday night at 7 when the Rams square off against Monrovia at Maranatha High. I got to spend a few minutes with Simangunsong during Monday’s practice. For one, I learned how to properly pronounce his last name. He’s well-liked among his teammates, and it’s easy to see why. Simangunsong’s mile-wide smile and outgoing personality makes it easy to root for the kid.

Born (date and location): April, 23, 1993 in Jakarta, Indonesia

Favorite TV shows: SpongeBob SquarePants and anything on Nickelodeon

What’s in my iPod: Hill Song, Reliant K, All Time Low

Dream car: Not a car guy

Favorite movie(s): John Q

What I’m reading right now: Siddhartha (novel)

I’d love to trade places for a day with: Bob Sanders

A talent I’d most like to have: Dance

Favorite meal: Curry

Favorite athlete to watch: Bob Sanders

Dream vacation: Australia

Favorite sports team: Indianapolis Colts

Dream date would be with: Jessica Biel

My hero is: Jesus Christ

Goal for the season/year: Win league

Best advice I’ve received from a coach: Dip in, dip out.

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UPDATE: Burbank Police Department reviews conduct of coach; Lagace to sit out Friday against Hoover.

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

The Burbank Police Department is reviewing the conduct of a Burbank High School assistant football coach who allegedly put his hands on an Arcadia football player after a scuffle broke out between the teams in a 48-20 Apaches victory Friday.

Burbank assistant coach Stone Wall was fired by Burbank head coach Hector Valencia for allegedly grabbing Arcadia’s Taylor Lagace during a scuffle with Burbank player Quortney Brazier, which spilled over to the Burbank sideline.

No formal charges have been filed, but Burbank police were called to the scene Friday.

“We’ll look into it regardless of what the parents’ wishes are, because it involves a minor and an adult,” Burbank Police Sgt. Travis Irving said. “We are looking out for the safety of the juvenile. A miscellaneous report will get reviewed by detectives.

“I don’t know if they’ll do a follow-up, but if they determine there’s something criminal, they’ll take it to the city attorney’s office.”

In a story published by the Los Angeles Daily News on Saturday, Valencia said Wall was fired for putting his hands on an opposing player.

Valencia said Wall was trying to break up a fight between Burbank’s Brazier and Arcadia’s Lagace.

“It wasn’t like (Wall) threw a punch, but he pushed Lagace off Brazier, and obviously that’s inappropriate,” Valencia said. “What he should have done was pull our guy away. It looked bad, and I had to let (Wall) go. … It was a tough night.”

Both players were ejected from the game.

“All I know is one of the (Burbank) coaches inappropriately grabbed my kid,” Arcadia coach Jon Dimalante said. “I can’t accept that.”

Dimalante added that during film review, he saw “that (Brazier) just kept grabbing him (Lagace) by the face mask, pulling him down.”

There’s no word on whether the Lagace family will file charges against Wall.

Valencia also told the Daily News that Lagace punched Brazier in the face and that Brazier had a black eye Saturday.

Dimalante, however, refuted that report.

“He wasn’t throwing any punches,” Dimalante said. “The kid had a helmet on, so I don’t know how that black eye happened.

“After halftime he (Valencia) came over to apologize. He said I had every right to be upset and that his coach was fired and will never coach at Burbank again; that he had already been sent home. He apologized to Lagace for that through me.”

Lagace’s ejection from the game results in an automatic one-game suspension.

He’ll sit out Friday’s game against Hoover, and per CIF-Southern Section rules, Lagace is not allowed on the sidelines or anywhere on campus during the game.

Players who left the sidelines during Friday’s scuffle also are subject to suspension, but CIF-SS spokesman Thom Simmons said that’s handled on a case-by-case basis.

Rob Wigod, the CIF-SS assistant commissioner in charge of football, is out of the office until Wednesday, which means a report, if filed, was submitted but has yet to be reviewed by CIF.

“As of right now we don’t have anything,” Simmons said. “I don’t suspect we’d entertain anything that has to do with this until Rob (Wigod) gets back.

“If we get information that would lead us to look at film and bring the two schools in, we’ll do that, but right now we’re not there.”

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Star Picks: Batteries energized after 5 OTs on Friday

The Stang Fan and I will go head-to-head this season…

Melendez: 13-5 last week; total 90-38-1
Stang Fan: 16-2 last week; total 99-29-1

What a weekend. There definitely was no shortage of football this weekend, what with spending almost five hours Friday night at Maranatha, then spending my Saturday morning writing a story for Sunday’s paper and, of course, watching football on Sunday. Stang Fan had a pretty great week. He lost only two games when he picked Burbank over Arcadia and Crescenta Valley over Pasadena. A slate full of interesting games this week. Temple City likely will finish second in the Rio Hondo League behind Monrovia. The third-place spot will be a battle between South Pasadena and La Canada. St. Francis’ playoff hopes hang in the balance when the Golden Knights host St. Paul. Arcadia and Muir likely to win this week, but I can’t be so sure about Pasadena against Burbank.

Friday’s games
Temple City vs. Monrovia at Maranatha, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Monrovia)
Burbank at Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Burbank)
St. Paul at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (St. Paul)
Hoover at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Arcadia)
Muir at Glendale, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Muir)
Pasadena Poly vs. Flintridge Prep at South Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Poly)
Blair vs. La Canada at Muir, 7p.m. — Melendez (La Canada)
South Pasadena at San Marino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (South Pasadena)
Arroyo at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Arroyo)
Montebello vs. Alhambra at Moor Field, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Alhambra)
Keppel at Schurr, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Schurr)
Bosco Tech at Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Cantwell)
Rosemead at Mountain View, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Rosemead)
Duarte vs. Workman at La Puente, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Workman)
Bell Gardens at San Gabriel, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Bell Gardens)
La Salle vs. Mary Star at Daniels Field, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Mary Star)

Saturday’s games
Marshall at Campbell Hall, 1 p.m. — Melendez (Campbell Hall)
Rio Hondo Prep at Chadwick, 2 p.m. — Melendez (Rio Hondo Prep)
Maranatha vs. Village Christian at Glendale, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Maranatha)

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