You would of have thought we were in Orange County or the Inland Empire or at one of the city schools last Thursday night. But no, we were right here in the San Gabriel Valley standing on the sidelines in Monrovia watching the Wildcats take on Glendora.
Why did it seem like we were anyplace but M-Town? Because also standing on the sidelines was UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel along with his son Jerry, who plays quarterback for the Bruins. USC was represented as well. Ed Orgeron, the recruiting extraordinaire, was there as was Assistant Coach Kennedy Pola. Recruiters from San Jose State and Oregon State among others were on also on hand. They were all there of course to see Wildcat defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy.
McCarthy, who checks in at 6’3”, 300 pounds, has offers from USC and UCLA but is also considering Cal, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Arizona, Tennessee, and Washington according to Scout.com.
At this point you can’t get much from college coaches attending a game. If you ask them who they are there to see you’ll get the standard response of “I can’t say but they all look good.” But it was no secret that McCarthy was the reason for their appearance.
Neuheisel didn’t talk about McCarthy but he did recall another player he recruited from Monrovia.
“Akil Harris was a kid we were trying to get. I was at Colorado at the time and we almost got him,” Neuheisel said. “He visits us, Cal and Washington but then he ends up going to UCLA.”
Harris, a running back played for Coach Steve Garrison and graduated from Monrovia in 1999.
If I’m Monrovia Coach Ryan Maddox I’m thrilled with what happened on the field against Glendora. The Wildcats played about as bad as you can play in the first half and although they were better in the second half, they still have plenty to work on. With that being said Monrovia still won by two touchdowns.
Blake Heyworth is a nice option to have as a backup quarterback, especially when George Frazier, the starter, is being recruited as a linebacker.
De’Shawn Ramirez as expected made an impact. His 85 yard punt return in the third quarter changed the atmosphere of the game. That’s great as long Marquis Bias gets his touches as well. Bias busted off a 46 yard touchdown run as well as a 49 yard sprint later in the game.
What’s with all these big leads getting away? Last week I saw La Salle build a 21-0 lead on Village Christian only to see it disappear in a 26-21 loss. Friday night Arcadia was up 20-2 over St. Francis mid way through the second quarter and it too evaporated in a 31-28 loss.
There’s a common theme and it’s the same every time a team blows a big advantage – turnovers. La Salle turned the ball over four times in its defeat while Arcadia had three turnovers as St. Francis came back to win.
Arcadia’s Taylor Lagace, like Desmond Reed of Temple City a decade ago, is one of those high school players that is a must see. He’s a senior this year. If you get a chance lay down a few duckets for an Arcadia game this season.
Early in the Arcadia game, while St. Francis was beginning its first offensive series, the Arcadia band was loudly playing away completely oblivious to the happenings on the field.
An official rushed over to the sideline and yelled that they have to stop. No response. Arcadia Coach Jon Dimalante calmly walked over to the band, smiled and said “Hey guys you sound great! It’s just that we can’t play while the other team is on offense. But again you really sound great!” Thanks! Several band members said and the problem was solved.
Dimalante is a class act.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com