Most of the schools are on dead period which explains why I saw Arcadia Assistant Coach Eric Elias on the golf course Saturday afternoon. “What? Are the Mid Valley guys out here playing for money?” Elias laughed.
The Apaches return to the field in early August to prepare for their home opener against Rio Hondo Prep on August 24. It’s a game Arcadia should win but it can be a dangerous one as well. Rio Hondo Prep is a well coached team that always competes despite being in a lower division. It’s good for the area with two Arcadia schools battling for supremacy and it’s the first time the schools have ever met.
“That’s exactly what we’re telling our kids is that we can’t take them lightly,” Elias said.
Arcadia advanced to the second round of the Southeast Division playoffs last year before falling to La Mirada. The Apaches finished 9-3 overall. Rio Hondo Prep won the Northeast Division CIF title going 13-1 on the season. Very interesting matchup.
The season actually kicks off Thursday August 23. That is the earliest start time ever for the football season. Usually the players are just finishing up “Hell Week” at this time. We all know the season is pushed up due to the State Bowl games at the end of the year but why subject the players to triple digit temperatures in the season opener? That’s a topic for a column on a different day.
Yes Joey Harmon did transfer to Arcadia from South Pasadena last month. But don’t forget he won’t be eligible to play for 30 days due to the CIF transfer rule. Under the current CIF transfer rule, Harmon will be eligible to play October 1.
By then Arcadia will have played five games including two Pacific League games with Burroughs and Burbank. After RHP, Arcadia has tough non league games against St. Francis and Monrovia.
Speaking of Monrovia, the Wildcats also have a transfer that has to sit out for 30 days in Gevontray Ainsworth. But that might not make a difference in them running the table. The Cats have fairly difficult non league schedule. They open with Ayala and also face San Dimas, South Hills and St. Francis. But once Rio Hondo league starts, they won’t be touched.
In the Rio Hondo, Monrovia is King but after that it’s a scramble. South Pasadena looked like the second best team in the league but with Harmon transferring that’s not a sure thing. There’s not a whole lot separating San Marino, Temple City and La Canada. With the realignment three teams are eligible to get in the playoffs. That leaves four teams battling for two spots.
Blair, the last team in the Rio Hondo, needs to take the season off. They haven’t had a practice in over month and still don’t have a head coach in place since Gary Parks stepped down at the end of the season. Even if a coach is hired tomorrow it would give them only a month before the regular season starts. Hire a guy and let him run the JV and freshman teams for the next year and see if the program can be rebuilt. The varsity can then regroup and come back in a year or even two if necessary. At this point it’s not just wins or losses, it’s a safety issue.
I’ve seen numerous teams this summer in passing leagues across the San Gabriel Valley including prominent schools like Monrovia, West Covina, Arcadia, Arroyo, Bonita, Alhambra and San Gabriel. But I haven’t heard anything fromSan Dimas. What’s up with the Saints? Well they have guys like Jake Payton, Cody McNeil and Noah Reep coming back so they figure to be a contender in the Valle Vista. But I don’t know. I’m still waiting for the call from Coach Bill Zernickow saying they’re going to be okay.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com.