(El Monte) – If four is cool why not go for six? That’s how many teams flooded B.L.Bergstrom Stadium Thursday to throw the football. Arroyo was joined by Mission Valley League rival El Monte, La Puente, Wilson, Monrovia and West Covina.
James Barrientos, brother of former LP Warrior Steven Barrientos was on hand to check out the action. Barrientos who also played for La Puente, liked what he saw so far especially from running back Jose Perez.
Perez, a 5’8”, 170 pound senior, rushed for nearly 600 yards last year while sharing time with James Fernandez and Jesus Vargas. Fernandez and Vargas are both gone now leaving Perez as clearly the man.
Garrett Wrey, who was a three year starter at quarterback, has graduated leaving the position open. Jimmy Jacobo could be the next in line.
Nobody in the Monrovia camp wants to see Nick Bueno graduate. But when he does after this season, the Wildcats already have a signal caller waiting in the wings in sophomore George Frazier. He’s big, strong and really mobile. Yikes!
That being said, Bueno looks better every time I see him.
Yes, Monrovia has plenty of running backs as well.
“We’re really deep,” said Monrovia assistant Mike Minter. He also likes the realignment in the Mid Valley. “I think it’s great with the Almont coming in. It’s going to be fun that’s for sure.”
We know about George Johnson, B.J. Lee and Chris Solomon at West Covina but the Bulldogs have welcomed a new face in the fold. Keenan Rodriguez, 6’1”, 190, is a linebacker who has transferred in from Moeller High School in Ohio. Yeah that Moeller-The same Moeller that has gained a reputation as a football factory over the last few decades. Gerry Faust coached there before taking over at Notre Dame.
Rodriguez played there last year as a freshman and is expected to make an immediate impact for West Co.
“He’s a stud. He looks really good,” said West Covina Coach Mike Maggiore. “I think he’s going to do well.”
Back to Monrovia. He’s gone but not forgotten. Wildcat Coach Ryan Maddox while talking about his current group of kids mentioned a recent graduate.
“Josh Lowden was such a good kid. Not just a great player but just a great kid,” Maddox said.
This comes on the heels of San Gabriel Coach Jude Oliva saying that Lowden, along with Schurr’s Carlos Arredondo were the hardest working kids during practices and preparations on the West squad for the the Hall of Fame Game.
We know how good Arroyo can be- a lot of talent returning, more experience and a solid coaching staff. The Knights just need to stay healthy.
Manuel Santa Cruz, a junior, looks good slinging it for El Monte. He has some targets in Memo Silva and Connor Salazar. Salazar will also play linebacker for the Lions. Santa Cruz got his feet wet last year and looked good down the stretch.