News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

The Peterson Principle

By Tim Peterson

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I’m not ready to put together a football top 20 yet in any of the three divisions that we cover. It’s still a little early. But it’s never too early to start talking about how things might shake out in 2013 on the gridiron. Do they still call the football field the gridiron?

Although people think it’s Monrovia and then everybody else in the Mid-Valley Division there are some interesting developments. First of all I’m not ready to simply the hand the Mid-Valley over to the Wildcats. I know M-Town is loaded but have you taken a serious look at what the Cats have lost?

Let’s go over the list. Here you go: Ge Vontray Ainsworth, Mason Bryant, George Frazier, Brett Walsh, Blake Heyworth, Anthony Craft, Jacob Bueno, David Gallegos, Matt Norman, Isaac Miravet…all gone. Did you know that of the those ten players at least eight of them are playing college ball in the fall? Frazier and Walsh are playing D1 and Bryant will be in the Ivy League. I don’t care how loaded you may be, that’s a lot to replace.

I know Monrovia has some names coming back- Darius McClain, Darione Jones, Erik Brooks and Josh Cano on the line and of course the possible addition of one Kurt Scoby, but they have a long way to go before Ryan Maddox is holding up another Championship plaque. And replacing a quarterback is always a chore.

San Dimas, one of the teams that should contend with Monrovia, suffered a blow this week when it learned that Jake Payton is going to transfer. Payton rushed for over 1600 yards and scored 22 touchdowns last year as a junior. But keep in mind that the Saints ran for over 4300 yards as a team. Payton’s numbers were big and he’s a talented kid, but he also benefited from Coach Bill Zernickow’s system. San Dimas usually has three or four different backs that put up big numbers and this year should be no different. Fausto Martinez and Reece Alvarado are back and that’s close to 1000 yards right there. And Joseph Mayorga, who left San Gabriel and is now enrolled at San Dimas could contribute in a big way as well. San Dimas will be just fine.

When was the last time Paraclete wasn’t a factor? If you seen Norm Dahlia, you know he could get anyone to compete with just a look. The Spirits return Triston Brown (783 yards receiving), Franky Ramirez (224 yards rushing) and Chad Hall (319 yards receiving.) Also Christian Ruiz and Micah Robinson who had over 80 tackles combined between them both return on defense. Driving up the 14 to Lancaster in November is no picnic. Make no mistake Paraclete will be in the mix.

Sierra Canyon who battles Paraclete in the Alpha returns quarterback Andre Nunez, running back Kieran Yancy and receiver Isaiah Renfro. Losing Xavier Menifield and his 1577 yards and 22 touchdowns is a blow, but the Trailblazers have enough to fill the void. They’ll make it work.

The most intriguing league in the Mid-Valley Division might be the Almont. There have been three coaching changes in the off season with only the Schurr, Montebello and Keppel coaches remaining intact. Our own Josh Ouellette interviewed Moors HC Chuck Leonardis last week and things seem to be stabilized at Alhambra. David Ramos stepped down at Bell Gardens but came up with a good hire in Geoff Ackerman. JD Thompson has some big shoes to fill at San Gabriel and with word of recent departures he is off to a rough start.

And how can you not like Montebello? Pete Gonzalez has things headed in the right direction and has a core group of players coming back. DC Brian Zavala likes his linebackers comparing them to the “Northview three” in 2008.

Let the summer circuit begin.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
The Peterson Principle