The Mid takes a look at the teams in the Southeast Division that surprised and failed to make any statement during the 2011 football season. Please feel free to agree or disagree and add your own thoughts on the surprise teams.
WINNERS – Los Altos
After two years of struggling to gain any momentum in the former Miramonte and now ultra tough Hacienda, the Conquerors get into the playoffs after beating both Diamonds. Justin Fa’ola is a big reason Los Altos fortunes turned around and it’s a feel good story for Scott Tibbs and Shane Virnala.
LOSERS – Diamond Bar
The beginning of the season it wasn’t a question of whether the Brahmas would make the playoffs but if they could challenge West Covina for the top spot in the Hacienda. Instead it’s the same story of what could’ve been for a talented group of players from Diamond Bar. In the end the loss to Bonita and the inability to translate its Spring/Summer Passing league success was its down fall.
WINNERS – California
Raise your hands if the Condors were YOUR preseason pick to make the playoffs. Me neither. Coach Jim Arnold deserves some consideration for coach of the year after last season’s 3-8 finish and turnaround to the second best team in the Del Rio League. California plays to its strength which is ball control and is starting to gel as a team late in the season.
LOSERS – Pioneer
A year removed from challenging for a playoff spot, the Titans were a complete bust getting outscored by 100 points in Del Rio League play. Its only win was to Whittier in the second week of league, which could have catapulted them into playoff contention if they could’ve parlayed it into win against a reeling El Rancho. It didn’t happen and Pioneer finished at the bottom of the Del Rio again.
WINNERS – Burroughs
Heading into the season, the Indians weren’t considered a threat to defeat Arcadia in the Pacific League. Yet, the emergence of Zander Anding rushing and a nasty defense that will wear down an offense by hitting and hitting.
LOSERS – Muir
Penalties, penalties and more penalties! The fact that the Mustangs continue to get flagged more than any other Southeast Division team makes it tough to think they can go far in the Playoffs. Muir has some good skill players that can light up a scoreboard but yellow-hankies usually bring a touchdown back. Beginning the season, the Mustangs looked like a threat to Arcadia. In the end they sneak into the playoffs by virtue of the “at-large” berth.
WINNERS – Bellflower
Not many believed that the Buccaneers were good enough to contend for the Suburban League title. Instead, they upset La Mirada in the opening week of league and ended up with a share of the league title. The running game is stout with Travis Newberry and Ryan Hundley with 2,541 yards rushing.
LOSERS – Mayfair
Had the shot of winning the Suburban League title by just beating La Mirada two games ago. Instead, the Monsoons lay an egg and share the league title. The worst part of the scenario of sharing a league title is the dreaded coin flip which could hurt Mayfair by making it the third place team. The best part of the scenario….the Monsoons will be playing a second-place team in the first round.
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