The opening kick off for high school football is still a couple of weeks away. All the passing circuits are completed and fall camp is underway. Most teams will be throwing on the helmet and pads soon as they begin the stretch run to zero week.
In August it’s always difficult to nail down a CIF winner and sometimes even for league. By September 1 you will have read every preview from here to the Inland Empire to Orange County and each one could have a different opinion.
Here in the San Gabriel Valley we’ve seen most of the teams compete in passing tournaments like the Arroyo SGV Shootout and the Air Assault at Bonita, as well as numerous other throws through out the summer. Does that make us experts? Excuse me while I double over in laughter. Experts? Hardly!
All we know is what we’ve seen and heard over the last few months. Even that could change by week two.
Concerning the Mid-Valley and Southeast Division teams here is what we know on August 14: We know that…
Arroyo is the favorite in the Mission Valley League because Steven Rivera in the best quarterback in the league. Rivera is a four year starter, has a gun for an arm and is a leader on the field. After three years of running the offense, he rarely makes mistakes. A running game and a solid defense are important, but when you have a quarterback like Rivera, it makes all the difference in the world.
Rosemead will need a strong running game and defense to carry the team this year, but that is usually the case for Coach Matt Koffler over the years. With a first year QB in Adan Guillen, senior Andrew Gibson and junior Dominic Salas will get plenty of work toting the rock.
Shurr won’t be airing it out as much as much as usual. Edgar Jimenez has stepped in for the graduated Aaron Cantu and Coach Ben Negrete will rely on the legs of Bradley Powell and Eric Magos. The Spartans will be in the thick of the Almont mix. Why? Because they always are.
Josh Mendoza is ready for a big year at Alhambra. He has had a great summer and has made huge strides since starting last year as a sophomore. Mendoza has the Moor faithful excited about a return trip to the playoffs.
San Gabriel Coach Jude Oliva has a tough decision to make: Andy Guerrero or Eric Alvarez? No we don’t know who it will be but here’s a guess. Whoever it is will be asked to throw the ball… a lot.
Azusa will win the Montview. The Aztecs have a solid quarterback in Jake Martinez and several other offensive weapons. Who’s second? La Puente.
With Whittier Christian losing a ton of players to graduation, Maranatha is the early pick to win the Olympic. Quarterback Andrew Elfers is already getting D1 looks.
Covina, with Billy Livingston, Vinny Venegas and Gevontray Ainsworth at the ready, will win the Valle Vista. San Dimas will finish second. That being said San Dimas has the potential to be a final four team.
Monrovia will win the Rio Hondo. Etch it in stone. It’s as sure as the sunrise. If you could bet on High School football this is one you wager the house on.
West Covina is the best team in the Southeast. We’ll hear from folks from Arcadia, Muir, Bonita and La Mirada, but the WC has the CIF trophy and Chris Solomon.
First Year Coach Ryan Maine has people believing in Diamond Bar and Henry Omana could be the best quarterback in the Southeast. The Brahmas will make the playoffs.
The Del Rio is wide open.
That’s what we know for now…I think.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com.