EC Preps

MONARCHS BRING EXPERIENCE AND ARE THIRSTY FOR MORE THIS YEAR

2017 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW

By Adam Paul

Staff Writer

The 2016 Monte Vista Monarchs finished 7-5 and came within an eye lash of punching a ticket to the CIF Division IV Championship but came up short as they lost a thriller 35-32. The 7-5 record included starting 5-1.

The Monarchs veteran head coach Ron Hamamoto who is in his 6th year at Monte Vista and his 32nd year of coaching over all, usually has teams that run the ball as established last year when the team only completed three total passes all season.

However that will probably change this year as there will be a new quarterback leading the charge. Leading things under the gun will be Emmil Henderson who is a junior transfer from Helix and is said to have a very strong arm and will look to take the vaunted double-wing offense to the next level.

At the running back position will be junior sensation Jahmon McClendon who is considered to be one of the top backs in the county. Last year as a sophomore he rushed for 1,700 yards and had double digit touchdowns. Joining him will be a familiar name to Monarch fans, Torrey Mack who is the nephew of former Monarch great Darrell Mack.

New to the offense for Monte Vista will another Helix transfer in junior Jack Walker who will be at the tight end position. Both Walker and Henderson will be eligible right away.

Defensively the Monarchs return a few players from last year’s squad. Monte Vista had a hard hitting defense last year and will so again this year led by Blake Schmidt who is considered the best defensive player on the team. Joining him will be Terrell Kyle who like Schmidt is a sophomore and a returner from last season. McClendon will also be on the defensive side contributing the big hits as he did a year ago.

The schedule for Monarchs sends them on the road for the first three contests as they travel to Mar Vista opening night, they will than travel to University City and Patrick Henry before they return to the friendly confines of Spring Valley. Their first home game of the season will be September 15th against Casteel out of Queen Creek, Arizona and after that they will have a big challenge when they go up against defending Division III champions the Bishops Knights.

League wise they will start off against rival Mount Miguel at home. The Monarchs beat the Matadors last season. The second game will be at home and also one to gain measure of revenge as they take on the Santana Sultans. They will finish the league season on the road as they travel to El Cajon Valley and Granite Hills. The last game of the season will be a non-league contest at home against Valley Center which will be a tune up for the playoffs.

With the weapons the Monarchs possess they will be a heavy favorite to garner a birth in the CIF Division IV championship game and win it as they are the top rated team in the division according to the power rankings if they get into the playoffs.

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