What do we know 17 days before the high school football season kicks off? Well we write stories, talk to coaches, and post videos weeks and even months prior to opening night but we still don’t know everything.
We think we do but in a world where there are so many variables, it’s difficult to predict anything. Injuries, for instance, can change a season in a heartbeat. Just take a look at the last couple of years in the Mission Valley League.
Two years ago, senior Austin McFarland was slated to be Arroyo’s starting quarterback. But when he was injured and out for the season in the first game, freshman Steven Rivera was pressed into action.
Last year Rosemead was banking on Joey Diaz to be its primary back. Diaz was injured early and Matt Fregoso took center stage. Both of these situations worked out nicely for the Knights and the Panthers, but it’s an example how the outlook of a year can suddenly change.
Between myself, Torosian, Barker, and staff we have managed to get a read on a majority of the schools in the Mid-Valley and Southeast Divisions. Although we aren’t so arrogant to think we know exactly the way things will pan out, here’s what we think we know. To balance things out I’ll also tell you the things we don’t know.
We know: Arroyo and Rosemead are the teams to beat in the Mission Valley League. With Rivera, (1941 yards passing), entering his third full year as the starting quarterback and Mikey Vasquez (over 1300 yards rushing in 2009) returning at running back the edge goes to Arroyo.
Rosemead with Fregoso and quarterback Matt Macias returning the Panthers will give Arroyo everything it can handle. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, these are your top two teams.
What we don’t know: Can El Monte rebound from a 1-9 season and contend for a playoff spot? Coach Joel Sanchez is excited and there is some talent in place but can the Lions hold off South El Monte and the rest of the league.
Montview: We know: Azusa is the favorite. The Aztecs are 21-4 over the last two years and Coach Joe Scherf feels this is his best team yet. For what it’s worth Azusa won the SGV Shootout.
What we don’t know: Who will finish second, third and fourth? La Puente, Gladstone and Workman are the consensus but who knows? How good can the Lobos become under Scott Morrison?
Almont: We know: Schurr is the favorite. They have Aaron Cantu, Albert Perez, Chris Chiaromonte and plenty of depth. San Gabriel is good enough to take second and has an outside shot at Schurr.
What we don’t know: Who is San Gabriel’s starting quarterback. Eric Alvarez or Andy Guerrero? Guerrero or Alvarez? Last we heard Alvarez has the edge. Can Bell Gardens move into one of the elite spots? A local coach feels the Lancers are a lock for third. Montebello?
Rio Hondo: We know: Monrovia wins the league unless…no M-Town wins the league.
What we don’t know: Who takes second? La Canada has a new quarterback but Daleep Sandhu and Jay Kolina are returning. San Marino took a step last year but did they lose too much? Temple City? Mike McFarland did wonders with Pasadena but did he come in too late? Is the quarterback position settled? How good is Michael Bassette?
Valle Vista: We know: Quarterback Sean Kennedy will sit out at least half the season for San Dimas with an injury but the Saints are still the best team in the V-Vista. Baldwin Park will take second and battle for the league title. People are saying there are questions about BP. What questions?
What we don’t know: Who is the third best team? Covina with Billy Livingston and Remontay McClain? Wilson with Brandon Schreiman and Moses Vega? What does Anthony Rice have at Pomona? Will San Dimas Coach Bill Zernickow ever do another video interview?
Olympic: We know: Whittier Christian wins the league unless…no WC wins the league. Village Christian and Valley Christian will round out the second and third positions.
What we don’t know: How far away is Maranatha? The Minutemen have a great facility, a solid coach and have made a bold move into the Mid-Valley. Under the lights, the stadium has a small college feel.
Next week: What we know and don’t know about the Southeast Division.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.