By Tim Peterson
It’s only June but on the other hand opening night is just 60 days away. It’s a good time to take an early look at the Valle Vista League and see how it stacks up.
Northview: The Vikings ran the league table last year and there’s no reason to believe they won’t again. Not everybody is back but quarterback Steven Comstock is and that alone is huge. Jimmy Amezquita, who had 294 yards receiving, will provide some offensive firepower as well and give Comstock somebody to throw to. Safety Andre Tinoco, 41 tackles last year, returns on the defensive side of the ball. The gap has still not closed between the Vikes and the rest of the league. Northview is still on top.
San Dimas: The Saints are still smarting from a late season loss last year to Baldwin Park and a first round post season exit. They also lose Jarell Sykes and his 1815 yards. But San Dimas always runs the ball well and will have the horses to do so again. Noah Maldonado and Kyler Moreli both return to anchor the ground attack. The Saints also have some beef up front to pave the road. HC Mark Holman and staff will have San Dimas right in the middle of things again.
Covina: The Colts are coming off a nice campaign last season advancing to the second round of the playoffs. On opening night they played eventual CIF Champion Arroyo to a tie. The game later turned into a Covina forfeit but we did see what type of team the Colts had. Nin Burns II takes over full time at quarterback this year and has looked good so far on the passing circuit. Wahub Mallick (1181 yards rushing) has graduated but Covina may be able to fill his shoes with Ailaoa Tauvao and Deonte Bevel among others. Tristan Sprague returns to lead the receiving corp. The Colts are always a well coached team under Joe Brown and should be in the upper echelon of the Valle Vista again.
Baldwin Park: Quarterback Jacob Robles and receiver Chris Vargas both return for Joe Fuller’s Braves. Middle linebacker Andrew Ramirez who totaled 58 tackles in 2016 will be the main man in the defensive mix. The Braves are always that team that can bite somebody as they did last year by upsetting San Dimas. The problem is can BP win enough games to earn a playoff berth? The Braves were 5-5 last season and they’ll need to improve on that to get in.
Rowland: The Raiders also finished at .500 last year and came up with a big league win over Baldwin Park. But it wasn’t enough and when looking at the top teams in the league it doesn’t look like it will be either this year. Rowland lost its best skill position player – QB Michael Cundiff – to graduation and will rely on its younger players to get the job done. Ryan Jacobsen is back as HC and provides stability to the program but the Raiders still might be a couple of years away.
Wilson: Sal Ortiz takes over for Ryan Bateman as head coach. Ortiz is the Wildcats third coach in three years which gives you an idea of where the program is at. Wilson was 0-9 last year including losses of 59-0 to Los Altos, 53-6 to San Dimas and 62-0 to Northview. The Wildcats do return quarterbacks Nick Aguayo and Nick Ortega, who split time last year and they may provide some highlights, but for the Wilson faithful there will be a lot more valleys than peaks. The Wildcats are in rebuild mode. This is a recording.