Going Gonzo

El Monte headed to the State Championship.

By Alex Gonzalez

After watching El Monte punch their ticket to play for a state title Friday night, the biggest thing that I took away from it was there is no team in the San Gabriel Valley that has more heart than the Lions of El Monte.

The final score read 30-18, but if you were at the game, some would say that Serra got lucky that only 30 was scored and not more. The Lions’ offensive line had their way with the Conquistadors as the game played out.

“Shoutout to my online, man. They work hard in the weight room, they push the defenders back so that we can find the hole and hit it,” said Davon Booth after the game.

By halftime, it was hard not to notice that Serra’s front four was drained, and by then it was too late. Both Booth and Abel Cueva made big plays in the second half that proved to Serra, the fans, and the city of El Monte that they have a bigger heart, and with that, no one can beat them.

Playing in front of a sold-out audience, in and outside the stadium, they had determination, confidence, and again, heart. When Serra of San Diego scored on its first possession, that was the only time the Lions trailed. They answered right back on their ensuing offensive series and continued to deliver a healthy dose of Booth and Cueva.

After the win, Booth said, “It means a lot. I’m speechless. We work hard 24/7 to get to where we’re at.”

That work shows why the team hasn’t lost all season while they blow by every opponent that came their way.

Just because this win adds to what is known as the best season in school history, but also, this is a win that put the city on the map when it comes to Southern California football.

“It means a lot. We’re putting the city on the map. A lot of alumni come from different schools and celebrating us. It’s a blessing,” Booth added.

El Monte used to be a no-name program that everyone scheduled against because they knew it was an easy win. Now, no one wants to play the Lions just so that 50 points won’t show on the scoreboard after 48 minutes of play.

They are respected by opponents, feared by those who won’t schedule them and loved by the city.

The Lions will travel up north to Crescent City next week, where they will try to etch their names as a state champion.

The game will be played, and the heart of El Monte will be there playing along with them.

That’s where I’m going.

22 Comments to "Going Gonzo"

  1. December 12, 2019 - 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Good Luck El Monte

  2. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 11, 2019 - 2:42 am | Permalink

    Come on man they went on to scrimmage a finalist, semi finalist and quarter finalist. But really you’re talking about a scrimmage

  3. In the know's Gravatar In the know
    December 10, 2019 - 11:46 pm | Permalink

    to Whit…. Really guy, when schools were called, all they said was that they didn’t want to play such a physical team before their seasons started….so you tell me what team you would like to see the Lions play???? And don’t forget Coach Ceniceros has played higher divisions … 2013-2014 Semi-Finals was one of the best games I have ever witness with La Serna…going into double overtime. Please stop hating and just be glad they are not playing your team!!!!!!

  4. Worth while's Gravatar Worth while
    December 10, 2019 - 9:31 pm | Permalink

    @whit South Gate???? Come on guy! Went to a scrimmage that was a much better look for us! Would’ve been a waist of time at SG.

  5. Just saying's Gravatar Just saying
    December 10, 2019 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    @whit well no matter who you team is Y’ALL couldn’t make it this far, so go crawl back to the rock you came out of and keep that negativity. Whatever is going on right now is positive. So Y’ALL stay in Y’ALL lane

  6. Whit's Gravatar Whit
    December 10, 2019 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Lol trying to flex and schedule teams in the middle of summer. Who are y’all trying to fool you know the legitimate programs have their schedules lined up far in advance. Then no showing to the scrimmage with South Gate.. it’s easy to bark when surrounded by chihuahuas.

  7. Tiggers69's Gravatar Tiggers69
    December 9, 2019 - 11:57 pm | Permalink
  8. Joe Pulitzer's Gravatar Joe Pulitzer
    December 9, 2019 - 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I ‘am not calling you a liar sir but maybe ill informed. Every team declines invitations to schedule games but not for reasons of fear. I would love to know WHAT 5 LOCAL TEAMS declined out of fear from playing El Monte. Did you hear it from El Monte people which would make sense because I doubt any sgv program would call you to admit, “Hey MVN, guess what El Monte want’s to play us but they are so good our guys are SKEEEEERED!!! I heard Sierra Vista asked Mater Dei and SJB for games next season but both declined. I guess there SKEEEERED too.
    From T. Peterson: Obviously it wasn’t from the teams that declined. Who would admit that? Ha Ha !! No Sierra Vista hasn’t asked MD or SJB for games…yet. Anyway yeah it was about 5 teams that declined to play EM.

  9. JP's Gravatar JP
    December 9, 2019 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I love how everyone is an expert. Good for EM they got there for a reason. So what if it’s D14. Don’t be upset because you’re not playing.

  10. Legend's Gravatar Legend
    December 9, 2019 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Been around the Mission Valley League for years and I must say that this is one of the coolest things to ever happen. This guys worked hard and deserve the very best. Nice job Lions get that one last victory for the SGV.

  11. Joe Pulitzer.'s Gravatar Joe Pulitzer.
    December 9, 2019 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

    @Hey Gonzales: You really think teams are going to shy away from scheduling EM? That’s hilarious. Maybe Little Sisters of the Poor or Keppel’s Powder Puff team but that’s about it. I don’t mind being happy but reporting that Serra was blown away and Serra was lucky made me wonder what game you were watching and what color glasses you had on.
    From T. Peterson: Not sure about going forward but there were about 4 or 5 teams that refused to play El Monte for this season. The Lions had to fill a couple of slots and reached out but the schools said no. All of them were local too.

  12. Areafan's Gravatar Areafan
    December 9, 2019 - 7:34 am | Permalink

    @Area Bro nobody care about Adelanto, this ain’t about them so why bring it up. STOP HATING no matter what division your in to be 15-0 is accomplishment so stop throwing salt. Adelanto had the opportunity to try and be here but they failed themselves. Move on, like The Sopranos ITS OVER. Good luck Lions keep proving all your haters wrong.

  13. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 8, 2019 - 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Obviously you didn’t see Serra or Jurupa Hills teams. Don’t talk smack if you haven’t even attended a game.

  14. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 8, 2019 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

    @area, shut up you moron. Just keep your ignorance to yourself …..

  15. Go Stangs's Gravatar Go Stangs
    December 8, 2019 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Probably won’t be a national record. Houston and El Paso are slightly farther apart, so I’m sure that some Texas teams have had monster trips at some point.

    Possibly the national record for distance traveled for an in-state game was set in August this season when the Barrow Whalers lost an away game against the Ketchikan Kings. 1600 miles is tough to beat, but maybe we have to give them an asterisk, given that neither town can be reached by car.

  16. Go Stangs's Gravatar Go Stangs
    December 8, 2019 - 10:30 pm | Permalink


    It’s not objective reporting, it’s an opinion piece. There was another article on the game that had reasonably objective reporting. There’s no reason MVS can’t have both types of articles.

  17. Area's Gravatar Area
    December 8, 2019 - 8:21 pm | Permalink

    D11 and D10 were stacked compared to the D12 cake walk save for Adelanto who stupidly eliminated themselves. Maybe they can compete in the upcoming years.

  18. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    December 8, 2019 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

    My son attended El Monte high school,Graduated in 2011.Played football and wrestled for 4 year’s! We are very Proud of what this team has accomplished.

  19. ?'s Gravatar ?
    December 8, 2019 - 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Is this a story from an objective reporter or a love letter from an adoring fanboy?
    From T. Peterson: So you don’t think El Monte going to a State Championship game for the first time in history is a big deal? Seriously?

  20. sgv's Gravatar sgv
    December 8, 2019 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Not to put a damper on the Lions terrific rum but they better relish in it. The huge state run will undoubtedly move them to D11 or maybe even D10. Having to deal with the Muirs, Marinas and El Ranchos that lurk in D11 much less D10 will make another run like this one impossible like Arroyo and other lower division teams have learned. I think Arroyo being placed in D10 made it easier for Singeiser to quit.

  21. Lions Den's Gravatar Lions Den
    December 8, 2019 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Hey Tim, can not say enough about El Monte. Great to see double wing smash mouth football.
    Just a heads on some good eats in crescent city, sea food (Fisher mans Restaurant) great clam chowder and the ( Apple Peddler ) Brosted Chicken excellent! See You there

  22. A Long Way to Go's Gravatar A Long Way to Go
    December 8, 2019 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    To win state, the Lions only need to win one game, but to play that game, they must travel 741 miles. So, while the team has set a school record for football, they’ll also be setting a school record for distance traveled to play a game. Heck, they’ll probably set a NATIONAL record for distance traveled in a state game. Long trip or otherwise, I wish the team all the best in finishing on top.

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