Would it be a stretch to say Arcadia in the Pacific? The league is in flux. Burbank and Crescenta Valley have lost a lot of players to graduation, as did Pasadena. The Bulldogs have Brandon Cox, the best quarterback in the league, but does he have enough around him?
Muir is Muir. The Mustangs will always be competitive and always have the athletes. But they do have a new coach and they have also lost players including Denzel Talifero who
transferred to Duarte. There could be a transition and adjustment period. I saw Burroughs Saturday at the CV passing tournament and no greater authority than HC Keith Knoop will tell you that his team has a lot of work to do. Which brings us back to Arcadia.
There is always concern when you lose your quarterback and the Apaches lost a great one in the Fresno State bound Myles Carr. Taylor Lagace, headed for UCLA in the fall, will also be missed. Arcadia lost other skill position players as well as some bubbas on the line. Then Head Coach Jon Dimalante stepped down after 17 years a the helm. But let’s talk about what they do have coming back.
They have a quarterback. His name is Zach Yee. No he’s not your typical signal caller, that is, he’s not “Arcadia Tall.” He is however tall enough. He’s about 5’9” and was making all the throws Saturday. He threw the long ball, the out and the slant as well as anybody out there. He looked real comfortable directing the offense and had the Apaches rolling until
they up against a bigger, stronger Valencia team.
“Yeah he really looks good,” said Arcadia assistant coach Eric Elias. Yee will be key but the Apaches also have other pieces in the puzzle. Darius Elliot, WR/DB, could be an impact player and linebacker Austin Ford has bulked up and made tremendous strides since last year. Ford was all over the field making an impression on the coaching staff.
Sheldon McKinley returns and is a solid running back but he’s not even the best they have. Jake Medal, who rushed for 880 yards last year, is back for his senior year. Medal
will take a lot of pressure off of Yee who won’t have to throw the ball a ton for the offense to be effective.
“Joey Willm and Jordan Stellern are both back as our slot receivers and corners,” Elias said. “They’re both going to be key players for us.”
The loss of Dimalante will hurt obviously, but new HC Chris Long was on the Arcadia staff last year making for a smooth transition. He also brought in the staff from last season making familiarity a non issue. Tip Sanders, who has been a winner everywhere he has coached, has been added to the staff.
There you go. Arcadia wins the Pacific. Hey, it’s a solid argument.
The head gear for passing league games is apparently here to stay. The “leather helmets” as it were being worn by a majority of the schools Saturday at CV. We used to occasionally see them in the past few years on schools like Roybal, but now everybody is getting into the act.
Knoop was in rare form Saturday. His voice could be heard above all others on the upper field as he “patiently explained” to his quarterback the mistakes he had made on his read. It could be a tough year for Burroughs. The Indians had over 4100 total offensive yards last year and Zander Anding (class of 2012) accounted for over 2800 of them.
Crescenta Valley does a great job of hosting the 12 team passing league. There’s good comp and great facilities and it makes for a great day. And if you go out next year make sure you stop off at Billy’s in Glendale on the way home for the Triple Ruben. There’s nothing better.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com