(Temple City) – Everybody else might be on dead period but at Temple City, the Rams are alive and kicking. Temple City took an early dead and came back the week after the Fourth of July holiday.
“It worked out perfect for us,” said Temple City Coach Mike McFarland. “When I first came on in May we went immediately into spring practice. I needed some time to get organized and fill my staff. Also this is giving us some continuity.”
The Rams have about 72 players in the program from the freshman all the way up. Several graduated and some transferred but McFarland is happy with what he has.
“These kids have been working really hard. They’re very coachable and want to continually get better,” McFarland said.
With Justin Smith graduating the quarterback position is wide open. Sophomore Mike Quintanilla and senior Bruce Pasillio have been competing for the job. Both were taking snaps Thursday afternoon. Quintanilla was firing strikes all over the lot.
Junior Carlos Mota will play a big part for the Rams on both sides of the ball. Offensively he will get plenty of carries at running back and play linebacker on defense.
“Yeah, he’s a stud,” said McFarland.
Josh Simangunsong, (or simply ‘Simon’ as he is known to his coaches), will also run the football and play defensive back. Simangunsong, a senior, will be looked upon to provide leadership as well.
Andrew Anda and Tyler Roach will be split wide and Tim Sanderson, all 6’3” of him, should have a big year at tight end. All three players will go both ways as well with Sanderson penciled in as the starting outside linebacker.
Temple City lost a ton of talent along the lines but they do have some size returning. Have you seen Michael Bassette? He’s listed at 6’3” and 315 pounds and it doesn’t look like an exaggeration.
“Oh yeah, he’s a beast. He’s not just big, he can really play. He’s been looking great,” McFarland said.
Bassette, only a junior, will be asked to stop the run as well as open holes for his backs. Helping Bassette up front will be Brian Wong, Felipe Serrano, Joseph Aguillen and center Vincent Diaz.
“We lost everybody from last year’s line but we’ll be all right there,” McFarland said.
Nick Palmer is the kicker and will see time at tight end and backer. A couple of other players to keep an eye on are linebackers Luis Lopez and Emil Leguera- both returners.
The Rio Hondo appears to be Monrovia’s world but McFarland isn’t thinking in those terms just yet.
“I’m not even thinking about Monrovia right now. I just want us to keep improving and getting better every day. As long as we do that we’ll be fine,” McFarland added.
The Rams open with Arroyo at home on September 10, followed by Alhambra, Arcadia, South El Monte and Rosemead – (nice local schedule). They begin league play October 15 against San Marino.