Los Angeles Preps: Andrew Elffers

CIF-SS playoffs: Mid-Valley Division

November, 13, 2011
11/13/11
4:05
PM PT
The Covina Colts received the top seeding Sunday, a mere formality considering that they'd been the division's top-ranked squad for quite some time. Valle Vista League winner Covina (9-1) opened the season with a six-point loss to rival and defending Southeast Division champion West Covina but rolled the rest of the way. Coach Darryl Thomas has his group in good position. Here’s a breakdown of the division:

The seeds: No. 1 Covina, No. 2 Arroyo, No. 3 San Dimas, No. 4 Monrovia.

Best first-round matchup: Pomona (6-4) at Monrovia (7-3) -- Pomona, which lost to the top seed by only two points, could very well leave Monrovia with a victory if the Wildcats don't play inspired.

Toughest road: Monrovia (7-3) -- It appears as if defending Mid-Valley champion Monrovia will have to go through top-seeded Covina in the third round. That's a lofty task.

Potential shocker: Maranatha (8-2) at San Gabriel (6-4), first round -- The possibility for an upset is there any time an elite-level quarterback is involved. The Maranatha Minutemen have that in junior Andrew Elffers.

Darkhorse: Azusa (7-3) -- The Montview League champion Aztecs have won seven straight and have already seen their potential second-round opponent, San Dimas.

Final analysis: It's hard to imagine anyone beating the Colts, especially if quarterback Billy Livingston stays healthy. They will likely have to go through defending champion Monrovia but the Wildcats, despite the presence of top lineman Ellis McCarthy, have been very beatable in 2011. Second-seeded Arroyo, behind record-setting signal caller Steven Rivera, should have no problem advancing out of the lower bracket.

Championship prediction: Arroyo vs. Covina -- The Colts will sneak past Monrovia in one semifinal and ride that momentum. Arroyo's high-powered attack will find difficulty against Covina's tough defensive front. Final score: 31-20, Covina.

Link to the Mid-Valley Division bracket on CalPreps.com

Maranatha gets pep talk by Kurt Warner

September, 29, 2011
9/29/11
10:02
AM PT
Former Super Bowl MVP and four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Kurt Warner surprised the Maranatha football team Tuesday with a visit to practice, giving a pep talk that lasted nearly seven minutes.

"Football is great," Warner told the Minutemen. "We all want to win when we play football. We want to win championships. We want to win every game. I understand that. But life is what it's all really about. It's about being excellent in everything that you do."

Maranatha (4-0) is excelling early on, ascending to the top of the Mid-Valley Division rankings according to the CIF Southern Section top 10 poll. The offense is averaging more than 36 points per game, led by junior quarterback Andrew Elffers (11 passing touchdowns and 893 yards).

The Minutemen host La Caņada (1-2) on Friday and travel to South Pasadena (2-1) next week before the start of Olympic League play.

Top returning QBs in south L.A. County

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
6:20
PM PT
With the start of the high school football season less than two weeks away, we give you a list of the top 15 returning quarterbacks in south Los Angeles County, sorted by last year's passing totals. Andrew Elffers, a junior at Maranatha in Pasadena, headlines the list. Arcadia's Myles Carr, No. 13 on this list of leaders, is the top-rated senior quarterback in the southern part of the county, according to ESPNU recruiting rankings.

Rank / Name (Year, School) / Yards / Touchdowns-interceptions

1. Andrew Elffers (Junior, Maranatha): 3,328 yards, 37-10
2. Billy Livingston (Senior, Covina): 2,838 yards, 25-8
3. Hank Trumbull (Senior, Chadwick): 2,829 yards, 31-19
4. Troy Williams (Junior, Narbonne): 2,597 yards, 23-9
5. Travis Santiago (Senior, Charter Oak): 2,418 yards, 21-10

6. Hayden Rettig (Junior, L.A. Cathedral): 2,217 yards, 17-20
7. Christian Smith (Senior, St. Bernard): 2,171 yards, 24-3
8. Rio Ruiz (Senior, Bishop Amat): 2,000 yards, 19-7
9. Steven Rivera (Senior, Arroyo): 1,963 yards, 21-4
10. Dallas Lopez (Senior, Downey): 1,940 yards, 16-4

11. Jihad Vercher (Junior, Salesian): 1,937 yards, 26-5
12. Manuel Santa Cruz (Senior, El Monte): 1,924 yards, 14-19
13. Myles Carr (Senior, Arcadia): 1,872 yards, 26-4
14. Justin Lewis (Junior, L.A. Jordan): 1,868 yards, 16-17
15. Garren Edwards (Senior, View Park): 1,858 yards, 23-7

Here is Elffers' nearly eight-minute long sophomore highlight tape:

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