T-minus 17 days until kick off…
M-Town and then what?
We all know who’s going to win the Rio Hondo. It’s M-Town and it’s not open for debate. We also all know who’s going to finish last. That my friends is Blair and it’s a forgone conclusion. But after that it gets interesting. Who takes second, third and fourth? Most people aren’t in the La Canada camp and I’m not either. The Spartans need a couple of years to get back on track with a coach in just his second season. It’s the other three schools that are stirring up so much interest.
San Marino went 10-2 last year and advanced to the second round of the playoffs but the Titans lost nearly every key player to graduation including running backs Ryan Wood and Nick Gott along with quarterback Matt Wofford. Andrew Ferraco, who backed up Wofford last year, will now be under center and safety Matt Ceja and running back Tennyson McFarlane are expected to step up. Coach Mike Hobbie and his staff have a done a great job of getting the Titans on track.
Temple City started slow but finished fast in 2012 to make the playoffs. The Nicks-Starling and Kaneko-do exactly what HC Mike McFarland wants them to do – pound the football. Together they piled up over over 1100 yards last year. Both are seniors. Quarterback Nasir Banihani will make his debut at quarterback but he’s had a solid spring/summer.
Then there’s South Pasadena. The Tigers have had winning records the last three seasons and have still missed the playoffs. Martin Konrad always has them in the hunt and this year should be no different. Okay so let’s not argue about the league champions, but there will be plenty of arguments as to who secures the other two Rio playoff spots.
The Tri-Valley is trouble
We talked about the Montview League last week and how any number of teams could come out on top. The problem for that league is what happens when the playoffs start. Playing in the Northwest Division is no picnic. Have you taken a look at the Tri-Valley League? Nordhoff didn’t even win the league last year but still won the Northwest CIF title. And the Rangers have all of the key ingredients back. Quarterback Tanner Workman- check, running back Taylor Livingston-check, running back Matt Woodcock – check, linebacker Coby Welch-check, receiver Jake Boyd- check, and the list goes on. The Rangers are ready.
If anybody can beat Nordhoff, its Bishop Diego who resides in the same league. The Cardinals knocked off the Rangers in late October last year 14-7 but didn’t get a chance to repeat the feat when they were beaten by North (Torrance) in the Northwest semi finals. It’s in the cards again for Bishop Diego this year with its quarterback returning. In fact the Cardinals have two quarterbacks returning in Anthony Carter and Gabe Molina. They also have two solid running backs in Abel Gonzalez and B.J. Murillo and a great receiving corps led by Nolan Tooley.
We might not know who will win the Tri-Valley but we do know this. It will be either Nordhoff or Bishop Diego. In fact that could also be the CIF Final match up.
The Mead Indeed
Word out of Rosemead is that the Panthers will not be hurt by the transfer of linebacker Matt Henderson. I’m being told that the kid replacing him is better and has been a force since Pop Warner. He played defensive end last year and has the ability to fill all positions. He also plays tight end on offense and has the best hands in the league. He has drawn interest from colleges already, and at FBU camps he made an elite team. His name? They call him Gunny. Real name-Michael Sahagun. So there you go.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.