An Early Look at the Rio Hondo

Monrovia quarterback Trevor McPherson

By Tim Peterson

Is it still Monrovia’s league. Can San Marino regain control? When does Temple City get back in the race? Who’s left out? South Pasadena or La Canada? It’s time to take a look at the Rio Hondo.

Monrovia: After a year’s absence Monrovia returned to the top of the Rio Hondo. Although it wasn’t a great Wildcats’ season (6-5 overall, first round playoff loss) they did get the satisfaction of taking back the Rio. In 2017 they are looking to make some bigger strides. They have solid returning skill players in receiver Michael Washington, and sophomore Devon Mayes. Also Maury Rams IV should be back for a full season after missing the first seven games last year. In the four games Rams appeared in he accumulated 154 yards receiving and rushed for 177. Trevor McPherson has been taking most of the snaps at quarterback since taking over for the graduated Richie Schroeder. McPherson has looked good on the passing circuit but just last week a junior quarterback from Diamond Bar transferred in so McPherson may have some competition. Safety Alfonso Castillo, who also plays  running back, returns to anchor the defense. Last season Castillo had 45 total tackles and should be even better. It won’t be easy and the Cats might not roll through league, but on paper at least, they are the best team.

San Marino: After a dream season in 2015, the Titans came back to earth last year. However considering they lost all the key components to graduation, San Marino still managed to finish 3-2 in league and make the playoffs. Blake Cabot returns at quarterback  and although the Titans generally stayed on the ground, he did a good job of managing the offense and throwing for 498 yards, He rushed for 436. Head Coach Mike Hobbie’s grandson Beau Hobbie, who rushed for 633 yards and four scores in 2016, will lead the running attack. Senior receiver John Hutchison is also a skill player that the Titans will rely on. Linebacker Kade Wentz and tackle Thomas Ary (64 total tackles in 2016) will be a big part on the defensive side of the ball. The Titans will have their hands full with Monrovia, but if they can handle the rest of the Rio they’ll be fine.

La Canada: The Spartans surprised some people last year as they knocked off San Marino in the season finale to finish 3-2 in league and 6-4 overall. However they were on the outside looking in when the playoff pairings were announced. In June Ryan Zerbel stepped down as head coach and Jason Sarceda took over. It’s always tough when there is a coaching change in June but Sarceda was on the LC staff last year which will make transition smoother. Last season La Canada used several players at quarterback but senior Eric Helbing figures to be the starter.  Running back Vince Dioguardi who rushed for 245 yards last year will be the primary weapon in the backfield. With a recent coaching change and a lack of firepower the Spartans don’t figure to compete for a league title, but they might be able to make a run at third place and a possible playoff berth.

South Pasadena: The Tigers are one of those teams that always seems to go 7-3 and then miss the playoffs. last year they changed that when again they finished 7-3 in the regular season (3-2 in league) but did slip into the playoffs before falling in the first round. The Tigers lost some key players in quarterback Adam Arrellano and running back Jalen Ross but they do have some talent coming back including running back Jackson Totelben who ran for a couple hundred yards. Last season there was a three-way tie for third place as South Pas, LC and San Marino finished 3-2. It figures to be a toss up again with the Tigers right in the mix.

Temple City: For Temple City, 2017 isn’t about winning a league title, making the playoffs or even a winning record. Although those thing are always important and are ultimately long term goals, right now it’s just about restoring order. New Head Coach Riley Saxon has come in to try to do just that. Temple City, once synonymous with pride and excellence when it comes to the football program, hit a new low last season. The Rams finished 2-8 overall with one of the victories coming via a forfeit win over Blair. They lost 75-7 to South Hills, 50-0 to Arroyo and 48-6 to Monrovia. The football banquet at the end of the season was canceled due to off the field behavior by some of the players.  Some even speculated that the program could be dropped after reports surfaced of several players quitting. With their backs against the proverbial wall, Temple City then took a big step in the right direction. The school hired Riley Saxon. Saxon played quarterback at Temple City guiding the Rams to the 2006 Rio Hondo League title. That was the last time the Rams won the league title, and they also advanced to the second round of the playoffs that year. Saxon, who currently teaches on campus, has served as an assistant coach at Temple City, and is very familiar with the program.

““I’m looking forward to the opportunity of not only building a solid program but also restoring the traditions and history that gave Temple City such a great association with high school football and what it should be all about,” Saxon told our sports editor Joe Torosian when he was hired back in February.

And restoring TC traditions, at this point, is what 2017 should be all about. 2016 is in the rear view mirror, and the Rams are now looking towards a new start in 2017.

Blair: Last year Blair canceled its football program three games in. Now reports have surfaced that there will be no football in 2017 as well. Back in the spring Blair indicated that they would play this year but recently rumors have the season being called off, although nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Erick Pineda was hired as the new coach in May but whether or not he has a team to coach remains to be seen.

42 Comments to "An Early Look at the Rio Hondo"

  1. Truth's Gravatar Truth
    July 28, 2017 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    I’m not trying to argue, kids probably great. But I don’t see a D1 kid and played there abs coach many kids who’ve played there. He doesn’t have the explosiveness that D1 requires, maybe he senior year will be different. But on that film I say no way. If I was wrong he’d have offers already, legit offers not letter. Letters mean nothing

  2. SportsDad's Gravatar SportsDad
    July 27, 2017 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Walker ran the hurdles his freshman year and was a decent basketball and baseball player growing up. He probably has the strongest arm on the team. I used to tell his father he should of made him a quarterback. So to say isn’t athletic isn’t quite true. He does lack great speed but he has a great motor and never gives up on plays. Jerry Rice ran a 4.8 forty. Speed doesn’t determine a football player.

  3. SportsDad's Gravatar SportsDad
    July 27, 2017 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Javen Walker is only 16 so he is a young Senior so he does have more growing to do. He will probably go to a JC or the redshirt route.

  4. Observatcat's Gravatar Observatcat
    July 27, 2017 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

    You’re absolutely right, Chris was a phenom of an athlete ever since his pee wee days. I was just trying to make the point that size is of little value in the bigger scene of things. Chris also long jumped over 26 feet. Great athletes are usually the guys who stand out in any position and that catches coaches eyes. Javen is one of the guys. He”s 6″1 -185 and still growing he just needs to keep that football motor pumping and Monrovia needs to go deeper in the playoffs and his talents will get recognized a bit more.

  5. Falcon1's Gravatar Falcon1
    July 27, 2017 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

    What you left out is that Chris was it throwback from Nebraska to Glendale college before attending USC. The kid had amazing hops, I believe he said the vertical jump record at Nebraska. Another corner of that came from GCC to Alabama and to the NFL ( both Ex teammates of mine) was 5’7 145lb Mark McMillan aka Mighty mouse drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. At the size these young men were a special kind of athlete. The amazing thing about McMillan is that he never started for his high school team and didn’t start until his sophomore year at GCC. He was not fundamentally sound but this kid with slipped getting out of his pedal and still make a play on the ball.

  6. Truth's Gravatar Truth
    July 27, 2017 - 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Well he’s not athletic enough either.

  7. Observantcat's Gravatar Observantcat
    July 27, 2017 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Hey Truth, D1 doesn’t really require being larger in size, they prefer you to be very athletic as well as have the true mechanics of playing a position that you fit into. To that theory Monrovia had a guy that you may well know named (Chris Hale) now a color analyst for Fox Sports, former NFL player as well as USC is as good an example as I can think of. Chris is 5’7- 164lbs was the starting DB at USC and played for the Buffalo Bills and made quite a name for himself during his football days.
    Chris Hale
    No. 26
    Position: Defensive back
    Personal information
    Date of birth: January 4, 1966 (age 51)
    Place of birth: Monrovia, California
    Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
    Weight: 164 lb (74 kg)
    Career information
    High school: Monrovia High School
    College: Southern California
    NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 7 / Pick: 193
    Career history
    Buffalo Bills (1989–1992)
    Denver Broncos (1993)[1]
    Career NFL statistics
    Games played: 43
    Games started: 0
    Fumble recoveries: 3
    Interceptions: 1
    Safeties: 1
    Player stats at
    Player stats at PFR

  8. Truth's Gravatar Truth
    July 27, 2017 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I just watched the film, walker is not a D1 kid. Tho he looked like a heck of a HS player. He needs to get a lot bigger and faster! Good luck this year tho.

  9. Observantcat's Gravatar Observantcat
    July 26, 2017 - 7:35 pm | Permalink
  10. Pac 5 Scout's Gravatar Pac 5 Scout
    July 26, 2017 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I was curious why once active team bloggers have gone so quiet. After discreetly nosing around I found out teams like La Serna. Bonita, Downey, Charter Oak and El Rancho have asked their guys to stay off the boards and Twitter and focus on the job at hand. This would lead to Dad’s not posting either. That means that many posters are players with a childish agenda and boosters and assistant coaches hoping to up their teams profile. I’m sure dead period plays into this dearth but I hope a few fanatics come back. Been forever since CO or WC was on here.

  11. Observantcat's Gravatar Observantcat
    July 26, 2017 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    As sophomore football most defensive players start out this way. It usually takes a good year or two to correct those freshman mistakes where they gain the confidence to know that they are truly better than their competition. Flood’s work ethic this year is night and day from his frosh & sophomore years. He is eating Big macs not kid meals anymore (LOL) another kid who came through MHS a few years ago by the name of Ellis McCarthy wasn’t polished either in his earlier years as a matter of fact he played more offensive TE for that matter and he was about 6’4 230 as a freshman sophomore after attending more personal training sessions and packing on more muscle he became a beast in his Jr. and Sr. years. Having guys around you that are hungry and want to win HELPs a lot too. Pound for Pound Javen Walker is a much smaller man with a much bigger passion for the game in his position than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. He is a FOOTBALL PLAYER to the end aka (Ronnie Lott) guys like him will help others on the team to open up and use their skill sets to move forward and intimidate other players. Overall Monrovia will be a day to day week to week job staying on top of these players to get it done and I believe they will. Next conversation will be about the Offense.

  12. July 26, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    Watched Flood’s Hudl tape and just my observations are…
    No first step quickness
    Doesn’t have violent hands
    Stands straight up out of stance (Bad lower body bend)
    If that’s D1 now too you it’s a homer opinion and not factual.

  13. Superman's Gravatar Superman
    July 26, 2017 - 6:29 am | Permalink

    McPherson has foot, mechanics ,winding , shoulders and left hand all over the map, not a nice pic if he is good and if his weird way of throwing and he is good imagine if he got a QB trainer to work with him on all his “Not a QB style “

  14. Former football dad @ Rio Hondo Prep's Gravatar Former football dad @ Rio Hondo Prep
    July 25, 2017 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Not that I am an expert on local High School football, but have seen Camacho several consecutive weeks trying to help raise funds for tbe Arroyo program.

    Seems like a really good kid who has his head s crewed on straight. I wish him well, whatever his future holds in store, also, props to Tim Castaneda at Arroyo for being a giver!

  15. Michael Washington's Gravatar Michael Washington
    July 24, 2017 - 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry too much about the cats . Me and my brothers gonna be alright .

  16. MonroVian's Gravatar MonroVian
    July 24, 2017 - 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Yes this defense is tough and strong as they come. Don’t forget about Matt kid is built like a Built Mack Truck. Strong as a Ox too. Too many to list. Quarterbacks You’ve been warned.

  17. Sports Dad's Gravatar Sports Dad
    July 24, 2017 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

    August 25th can’t get here fast enough. Wildcats have lost to Burbank two years in a row. This year I think the Cats break through this year.

  18. Observantcat's Gravatar Observantcat
    July 24, 2017 - 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Remember the Name Jr. Rashad Flood 6’4 240 and tough as nails!!! D1 all the way, just another piece to what I will call ahead of time one of the best defenses in the last 10 years.

  19. FYI's Gravatar FYI
    July 24, 2017 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Just an FYI to all Monrovia folks. Someone from Montebello  (not saying names) can’t keep you guys out of their mouth. Even knows all the good players by name.  It’s kind of funny actually the guy doesn’t know how stupid he sounds. Almost like he is hell bent on trying to destroy their good name. Hey let me give you some advise. You look very stupid and obnoxious YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Considering the position your son is in I suggest you shut your mouth. Coming from a eavesdropping Mom. Go Oilers!

  20. Sgv's Gravatar Sgv
    July 24, 2017 - 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Just like when that one kid wanted to come to Monrovia but knew he had no chance with Richie there already. He had to go to montebello. The Qb kid who transferred into Monrovia recently is Legit and is better than any one of those guys. He can throw that ball with the rest of them. Trevor is good also, just not as polished. Going to be a tough call. Monrovia is and will be just fine.

  21. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 24, 2017 - 7:38 am | Permalink

    With no QB they will probably run the ball 80% plus jet sweep with Washington they do have a decent line with size and technique.. But seriously Camacho is going to Monrovia and those coaches aren’t next level coaches..the kids getting the offers are getting them from 7v7 tournaments outside handlers etc

  22. Observantcat's Gravatar Observantcat
    July 24, 2017 - 12:24 am | Permalink

    This years Monrovia team is already very dynamic. I do say this team will have the top 2 RB’s in the SGV playing together for the next 2 years and speaking of Line which will be lead by 6’5 350 Barber only a sophomore is looking good although he still needs to get his skill sets together The line is young and very BIG. The defense is what’s going to help get it done this season as they are really gelling this summer by the fall I’d be surprised if any team gets more than 100 yards on the ground on them Led by Javen Walker and Alex Marin and Gio Aragon as well as the Db’s who are quick and love to hit, it should be a very good season for the Cats, last years team was without it’s top 3 receivers as well as it’s starting QB after suffering what be an almost a season long injury in the Burbank game on the 2nd play. So for what they did last season was still phenomenal even losing to St. Paul in the first round was still an accomplishment especially after leading them most of the game, St. Paul went on to play in the semi’s in D7. Having Qb issues is a great thing at any high school remember when Nick Bueno became Monrovia highs starting QB he was all of 5’6 145 lbs meanwhile 6’5 215 Qb Joshiah Thropay left to Charter Oaks well you know the rest.

  23. July 23, 2017 - 11:45 pm | Permalink

    @sports dad
    CIF did away with athletically motivated transfer penalty. So at worst he’d sit out 30 days. But, what most schools are doing is looking for certain classes that aren’t offered at the athletes current school if not able to secure an address.
    @those who think this isn’t true…
    The Camacho family thinks in big picture. Fact is Arroyo kids do not go next level. One need only look to Rivera who has every record at the school and couldn’t play at Whittier. He knows he needs next level coaching to see next level defenders and next level defenses to help succeed past high school. Sure he can stay at Arroyo and win two more MVL championships but he’ll never be challenged. Arroyo is always supposed to win league at the end of the day he knows to make it out he’s gotta get better. MTown offers the weapons ,the line, the coaching and the competition. Period!

  24. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 23, 2017 - 10:51 pm | Permalink

    I just hope the qb that transferred from diamond bar to Monrovia isn’t the one from the mountain view tournament cuz then it would be as if Monrovia still doesn’t have a QB type situation….feel sorry for Washington he’s gotta be a little concerned not having someone feed to him the ball

  25. Sports Dad's Gravatar Sports Dad
    July 23, 2017 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

    To clarify my earlier comment Javen Walker had 83 total tackles for Monrovia last year. He missed one game and they also lost one game on the schedule because of Blair canceling their season. That does total 2 games missed.

  26. Sports Dad's Gravatar Sports Dad
    July 23, 2017 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Let’s say he does transfer. Do you really think Arroyo wouldn’t challenge the transfer and he would have to sit out a year? Unless he lives in Monrovia I’m sure that would be the case.

  27. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 23, 2017 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

    @Sgvtmz lol this post is hilarious and it’s more like a pipe dream what else can you muster up

  28. July 23, 2017 - 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Camacho knows Monrovia kids very well. Remember this most of Monrovias studs are underclass men he’d still have another for growth. Plus You’re crazy if you think Arroyo is on par with Monrovia! Different class. Besides Arroyo has all their athletes graduating after this season leaving a one man show and that isn’t good for a QB. Big picture it’s the smartest move. Just saying.

  29. July 23, 2017 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Camacho knows Monrovia kids very well. Remember this mist of Monrovias studs are underclass men he’d still have another for growth. Plus I’d hire crazy if you think Arroyo is on par with Monrovia! Different class. Besides Arroyo has all their athletes graduating after this season leaving a one man show and that isn’t good for a QB. Big picture it’s the smartest move. Just saying.

  30. Sgv's Gravatar Sgv
    July 23, 2017 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

    This thread is hilarious. How many Anonymous’s do we have. Camacho would be dumb to leave Arroyo so def don’t believe it. Monrovia has a good transfer Qb I hear.

  31. Sports Dad's Gravatar Sports Dad
    July 23, 2017 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Not so sure Camacho would leave Arroyo especially after playing 2 years plus the whole summer with them. Makes no sense he’d have to learn a new offense in 3 weeks and most importantly try to develop chemistry with guys he doesn’t know.

  32. July 23, 2017 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Never heard Schurr… but Monrovia is real. Mark it down

  33. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 23, 2017 - 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Lol enough of the Camacho transferring to schurr now Monrovia lol you guys have good jokes though…

  34. July 23, 2017 - 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Shocking rumor*****
    Given the credit of the source I gotta post it. Arroyo Jr Qb Ernesto Camacho headed for Monrovia. The Weapons Camacho would have at Monrovia is too tempting to pass on. Plus he’d be in a more respectable division better preparing him for college. If true This makes the Monrovia offense crazy explosive!
    From T. Peterson: Monrovia did get a transfer QB but he’s from Diamond Bar. He’s pretty good and will definitely compete with McPherson for the starting job. Camacho isn’t going anywhere.

  35. July 23, 2017 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Bottom line is you are NOT Division VI good. Your a Division X and lower school at best. Talent and line wise their
    Is a drop off from your team/league and your division.

  36. SportsDad's Gravatar SportsDad
    July 23, 2017 - 4:32 pm | Permalink

    All the teams in this league are garbage and should quit now instead of week 3

  37. SportsDad's Gravatar SportsDad
    July 23, 2017 - 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Majority of the leagues in the area are top heavy always have been. The Mission Valley and Rio Hondo used to be two of the more competitive leagues before Temple City and Rosemead fell to the wastelands. Muir ruled the Pacific for years until Burbank and Burroughs were added and the gang infestation made it easier for the privates to convince most of the best athletes they have a much better chance away from that drama. People get mad at them for leaving but they on the outside looking in. The Pasadena School Disrict is what real garbage looks like.

  38. SportsDad's Gravatar SportsDad
    July 23, 2017 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

    That’s very possible. Monrovia should be better. Question is how will the 3 teams that blew them out last year be. They got all 3 at home this year. La Salle, Burbank, and Damien. I don’t think they have much of a chance against Damien but should be much more competitive against La Salle and Burbank and beat one of them or even exceed expectations and upset both having them at home. Don Lugo will be very difficult and Whittier is no walk in the park.

  39. July 23, 2017 - 3:18 pm | Permalink

    This is terrible league. Not one team will compete for a ring and the talent gap between Monrovia and the rest is huge.
    Monrovia should move out of this league because it sets them up with a false sense of how good they really are.

  40. Anon's Gravatar Anon
    July 23, 2017 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Probably have the same result as season 6-5 team or lessamon

  41. SportsDad's Gravatar SportsDad
    July 23, 2017 - 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Can the offensive line protect Mc Pherson and open holes for the running game. I meant!

  42. SportsDad's Gravatar SportsDad
    July 23, 2017 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The Monrovia offense will be good. How good depends on McPherson and if the offensive line protects him and can open holes for the running game. They played well against weaker opposition but was manhandled by the better teams. They return quite a few guys hopefully they are bigger and stronger to be able to compete with pretty good teams on their non league schedule. On defense look out for Javen Walker a hard hitting linebacker who had 83 although he missed 2 games. Also Alex Marin on the D-Line could be hard to handle. Michael Washington isn’t a one trick pony is a ball hawken corner as well. Castillo is solid and an experienced leader. They should run through League and 3-2 in non league might be asking too much but not expecting 1-4 like last year.

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