Artesia: This will be Coach Aaron Craver's first year at the helm for the Pioneers; he served as the Offensive Coordinator last year. He took over after Coach Vince La Rosa stepped down.
If there is one thing that I know that can't be taught, is speed, and Artesia has an abundance of it on their team. They had several members of the football team qualify for CIF in track in the sprint portion.
They return several key players they will be led by QB Anthony Johnson who is trying to fill the enormous shoes that where left by the lightning quick QB they had last season, Donnay Ragland.
Artesia will be a team that returns one of the toughest linebackers in the league in TJ Taimatuia. I saw him attend the USC Rising Star camp, and the kid looked good against some elite competition.
Rumors have been circulating, that I have been unable to confirm, but one of Artesia's fast WR's has possibly become a St. Paul Swordsmen.
Prediction: Artesia is going to have a tough preseason. The play Edison, Millikan, and Gahr who are all solid clubs. They should beat up on Villa Park. They should go 1-3 in pre-league and go either 4-2 or 3-3 in league.
La Mirada: Well after a few season of turmoil Coach Mike Moschetti has done a good job in turning the program back in the right direction.
The team did very well last season and is going to be led by Senior QB Daniel Poncedeleon; the kid has baseball scholarship offers from USC, and several other programs. His arm strength isn't the question his decision making this season will be. He is going to be looked at as the leader on the offensive side of the ball.
The offensive line should be a lot bigger this season as they return junior Isaac Luatua; he is a strong kid that doesn't mind mixing it up in the trenches. Look for him to be the anchor on the offensive line.
I have spoken to several players and people around the program and they are excited to have RB Matthew Haltom eligible for the upcoming season; he had to sit out last year from Varsity after he transferred from John Glenn where he started eight games at free safety and led the team in tackles as a sophomore. He will look to be in the mix on defense, but it's his skills that he brings to the offensive side of the ball, that has people raving.
Prediction: Look for La Mirada to Knock off St. Paul and show some old school tough and grit against La Habra. They should end up 3-1 in pre-league, and if they can find a compliment in the running game to go with their passing attack, they are my dark horse to contend for the league title; after all, they where the last team to beat Mayfair for a league title.
John Glenn: They return the most starters of any team in the Suburban League, but that may not be a good thing considering they went 4-6 last year.
They will return QB Jose Escobar Jr. who had a solid year last year. He returns his favorite target in 6'2'' 215 lb. WR Rhamad Green. They will have their defense return most of the back seven, however they lose speedster Timothy Moten, and they lose their anchor from last season defensive lineman Jose Lopez, as both young men graduated.
This will be coach Anthony Wilson's second year at the helm. This can be a break out year for them. They play a solid pre-league schedule. But we will find out all we need to know about this team as they play the top 3 teams from last year in the first 3 games of league this year.
They should be solid on both sides of the ball. It will be interesting to see if their speedy RB Brandon Kelly can translate his 10.3 100-meter speed into TD's.
Prediction: They go 3-1 in pre-league and they build a little momentum before they run into the league juggernauts. They go 3-3 in league and show that they are headed in the right direction and they take the 4th playoff spot from the Suburban League.
Bellflower: The school is crawling with athletes but for some reason they can never seem to translate that into a league title.
They had a real bright spot at the end of last year; they had a freshman named Travis Newberry play in spot duty on the Varsity, and he looked impressive for a freshman. The kid plays RB and I look for him to shoulder a majority of the workload this season.
They return QB Jeremy Allen who has been a starter for the better part of the last two seasons. They will have plenty of athletes who can take the ball the distance, however their line play will be key, and they don't return a lot of size on the line.
They will look to spread teams out this year and utilize their athletes in space.
Prediction: They should go 2-2 in pre-league, but they will again be in the cellar of the Suburban league and finish 1-5.
Cerritos: This is a school that has been rocked several times in the last couple of years by coaching changes and it has been reflected on the field; they are 1-19 in the past two 2 season combined. This not a school that is short on game breakers, they played Marquis Moss last year at WR and QB, and was an explosive player.
They also return Junior RB Aaron Francis. He had 111 tackles last season from his CB spot and was voted a team captain by his teammates. He looks to expand his role this season and really help the team try and reach for the top of the Suburban League.
They return a lot of size on the offensive and defensive lines. There are still huge questions related however, to how they will handle yet another new coach. This will be the third head coach in three years. This spells a problem for a program that is trying to regain its winning ways.
Prediction: Unfortunately I don't see the Dons getting much better they go 0-4 in pre-league and 0-6 in league.
Final League Prediction/Thoughts: I think that this will be a year in which we could have three 4-2 teams atop of the league and battling for a league title. Every year in high school football, it seems that there is one kid who emerges from out of nowhere or a parent who thinks little Johnny is a star and the kid transfers to a new school. I have heard a ton of rumors about new kids at schools in this league, so they may or may not help, but you never know. Good luck to all the athletes this season!
Editor's note: Look for Raymond's 2009 week-by-week analysis right here.