I’m hearing a lot of good things out of Covina. They have a quarterback and although Joe Benavidez is not the returning starter he’s looked great in the summer. All of the key skill players other than QB Darren Torres are back for the Colts.
The marquee guy is Pernell Smalley (1049 yards rushing) but Eric Williams (339 yards receiving) and Dorian Robinson are expected to play key roles. In the reconfigured Valle Vista Covina could finish second. Coming off of a 4-6 season, the Colts have something to prove.
While everybody likes San Dimas (how could you not?) Northview is the team the Colts have to beat to take the second spot. The Vikings have a freshman quarterback in Steven Comstock that HC Marcel Perez is really high on. Looking at his size and the way he steps back and throws it’s hard to believe he’s a freshman.
“He’s our guy right now. He’s making all the throws,” Perez said Thursday at a workout.
The Vikings are still basking in the glow of an 8-3 year and want to take the next step. Christeon Blackmon (803 yards rushing) is back along with receiver Nicholas Ybarra.
With Pomona now doing business in the Miramonte, those are the top three teams in the Valle Vista. No I’m not discounting the other three but I don’t think Rowland is there yet and Wilson and Nogales just settled their coaching issues last week.
Speaking of the Miramonte, I don’t know anything about OC Jerry Urias leaving Bassett. I talked to him last week and all systems are go with the Olympians. By the way with Garey, Ganesha and La Puente as the other three teams in league doesn’t Bassett have a legitimate shot at a playoff spot?
We keep getting asked about San Gabriel. I saw them last week at Arroyo. How did they look? Let’s just say it might be a landmark year for Keppel. If the Aztecs don’t win an Almont League game this year it will be a major upset.
No shot at the Matadors but this is going to take time folks. When Joe Ledesma walked in the cupboard wasn’t exactly full. Due to departures, lack of participation and coaching changes SG hasn’t had a JV team in two years. Their quarterback Anthony Gutierrez is returning but after him the Mats are short on experience.
“We have mostly freshman and sophomores. We’re really young,” Ledesma said. “It’s going to be a process.”
It’s been awhile since the days of Keith Jones and Jude Oliva. For San Gabriel it’s almost like completely starting over.
Montebello has to be the favorite right? Schurr and Bell Gardens will have their say but the Oilers look like “the dude” in the Almont.
When you look at three of the leagues in the Northwest one would wonder why in the name of the CIF Southern Section are we covering this Division. But when you look at the other two- the Prep and the Olympic – how can we not? Not covering the Northwest would mean ignoring schools like Whittier Christian, Maranatha, Village Christian and Rio Hondo Prep. Sorry, can’t do it. Although if you know anybody willing to drive up to Santa Maria or Nipomo to get us a score, let us know.
Just to refresh we’ll be covering the Mid-Valley, Southeast, Central and Northwest in 2014. We’ve added one Division – the Central. Why? Because that’s where Monrovia, Temple City, San Marino and the rest of the Rio Hondo reside.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tspeterson40