Los Angeles Preps: Ryan Maddox

South: Football All-CIF honors

January, 18, 2012
A list of players and coaches from south Los Angeles County who garnered top honors on All-CIF teams, sorted by division:


Offensive player of the year: QB Steven Rivera (senior, Arroyo)
Defensive player of the year: LB Brett Walsh (junior, Monrovia)
Coach of the year: Ryan Maddox (Monrovia)

Thoughts: No one was more valuable than Rivera, who capped his stellar four-year career by passing for 3,400-plus yards and 38 touchdowns and leading the Arroyo Knights to the Mission Valley League title. By all indications, Walsh beat out teammate Ellis McCarthy, one of the state's most highly recruited players, for top defensive honors. Walsh, a junior, was second in the entire Southern Section with 192 tackles, thriving behind McCarthy's havoc up front. Maddox was recognized for the second straight year after leading the Wildcats to their second straight title.


Offensive player of the year: RB Alex Tayco (senior, Rio Hondo Prep)
Defensive player of the year: LB Jake Holguin (junior, Rio Hondo Prep)
Coach of the year: Ken Drain (Rio Hondo Prep)

Thoughts: A deserved sweep for the divisional-champion Kares. Holguin, a 6-foot-3 linebacker who led a defense that allowed just over 10 points per game last season, returns next year.


Offensive player of the year: RB Chris Solomon (senior, West Covina)
Defensive player of the year: LB Dorrin Turner (senior, West Covina)
Coach of the year: Mike Maggiore (West Covina)

Thoughts: The back-to-back divisional champs swept for the second straight year, with Maggiore and Solomon repeating in their respective slots. Backup tailback Jimmy Frazier, who had more yards and touchdowns than Solomon in less carries, could have easily shared the offensive player of the year award. Solomon, who is being recruited as a defensive back, recently took an official visit to Colorado.

Mid-Valley: Monrovia 53, San Gabriel 14

December, 11, 2011

MONROVIA -- Marquise Bias swung the flag pole feverishly as the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard. Back and forth, back and forth he swayed until the flag wrapped around itself and became tangled, the large Monrovia logo no longer readable.

It was about the only thing Bias did wrong Saturday night.

The senior running back rushed for 260 yards and three touchdowns, propelling Monrovia to its second straight CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship with a 53-14 drubbing of San Gabriel. After falling short in their previous eight finals appearances, the Wildcats have gone back to back.

"Marquise has done that all year," coach Ryan Maddox said. "He keeps his feet moving and doesn't stop."

Like at every Monrovia home game, ceramic fire pots aligned in the shape of the letter M flickered high on a hill adjacent to the renovated field. On this night, it could have very well stood for Marquise.

Bias' six-yard touchdown run on a gutsy fourth-and-1 call early in the second half was the go-ahead score. The fourth-seeded Wildcats (11-3) scored 39 unanswered after the break and capped their season by winning 10 in a row.

"Coach gave a little speech," Bias said. "He told us to pick it up and play the way we've been playing."

Versatile back De'Shawn Ramirez added 150 total yards and three touchdowns, including a 66-yard romp in the final minutes that was the exclamation point on a game that got out of hand quick.

Unseeded San Gabriel (9-5), which started the season 1-4, squeaked by to reach the final, beating its three opponents by a combined nine points. The Almont League champions beat Maranatha (9-3), second-seeded Arroyo (40-38) and third-seeded San Dimas (29-28). The Matadors, making only their second finals appearance in school history, were in it at halftime when receiver Alex Villalobos hauled in his second touchdown.

"They did not surprise us," Maddox said. "They did what they do well."

(Read full post)

Monrovia on the verge of repeat

December, 8, 2011
Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox was in the process of explaining his team's success when he glanced over at mammoth-sized defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, who was sitting at a nearby table Monday at the annual CIF-Southern Section championships luncheon in Long Beach.

No need to say much else.

"He makes your defense, you build your defense around him," Maddox said of his highly touted player. "His presence frees up your linebackers to fly around and make plays. Ellis and our other defensive lineman demand blocks. Teams have to scheme for them."

McCarthy and the fourth-seeded Monrovia Wildcats (10-3), winners of nine straight, have allowed an average 17 points per game. They look to defend their Mid-Valley Division championship Saturday night against visiting San Gabriel (9-4) after knocking off top-seeded Covina in the semifinals.

"It's a tougher road because you become the target," Maddox said of defending the 2010 title, "but we've battled and played great football."

There's been growth, especially at the crucial quarterback position.

Junior linebacker George Frazier doubled as the team's signal caller to start the season, before Blake Heyworth was cleared to play. Heyworth has passed for 2,276 and 24 touchdowns, filling the void left by the graduation of dual-threat Nick Bueno, the reigning Mid-Valley player of the year.

"It's Blake's first year of varsity football," Maddox said. "He's a completely different player than Nick, more of a pocket quarterback who does a good job of distributing the ball to our athletes, spreading the field and creating holes for our running game."

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Preview: San Gabriel at Monrovia

December, 8, 2011

San Gabriel Matadors (9-4) vs. No. 4-seeded Monrovia Wildcats (10-3)

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Monrovia High School

Broadcast: Live on FoxSportsWest.com

How they got here: Unseeded San Gabriel, the Almont League champion, beat Maranatha (9-3), second-seeded Arroyo (40-38) and third-seeded San Dimas (29-28). Defending division champion Monrovia beat Pomona (24-7), Whittier Christian (67-21) and top-seeded Covina (41-27).

School history: The Matadors are making their second finals appearance in school history. They lost in the 2003 title game. This is Monrovia's third consecutive title game appearance and 10th overall. The Wildcats finally won a championship last year after losing in their eight previous attempts.

Key players: San Gabriel has dual-threat quarterback Andy Guerrero (230 passing yards per game) and defensive back Alex Villalobos. Monrovia is led by highly touted defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy, linebacker George Frazier, quarterback Blake Heyworth and tailback Marquise Bias.

Matadors' take: "We've grown and matured with that adversity [of starting the season 1-4]. Things have changed. We're a new team. All year we've been underdogs, so I guess we're used to it by now. We're taking it just as any other game we've played this season." - offensive lineman and team captain Brian Lopez

Wildcats' take: "We have that playoff experience and it helps. The kids aren't as apt to get nervous and have been there. For some of them it's their third time at a championship game. They know what to expect and that helps calm the nerves." - coach Ryan Maddox

Prediction: Monrovia 34, San Gabriel 27

Football: Monrovia's Ellis McCarthy is the man

September, 27, 2011

MONROVIA -- As Ellis McCarthy approaches the line of scrimmage, he notices all eyes are on him. The quarterback makes sure to shoot a glance in the direction of the high-profile defensive tackle from Monrovia before looking over to the sidelines for instruction from the coaching staff.

Adjustments are made according to where McCarthy is lined up, on the right or left side, presumably in an effort to make sure the proper protection is implemented before the snap.

McCarthy, mind you, demands this type of attention ... on a consistent basis.

Opponents typically know what's coming next, but rarely can do anything to stop him.

The 6-foot-4, 300-plus pound senior adjusts his massive shoulder pads first. A quick check of his leg pads immediately follows. Buckling his chin strap is next before he digs his oversized cleats firmly into the turf and setting up in his customary three-point stance.

More often than not, McCarthy is calm, cool and collected. He is prepared mentally and physically for the ball to be finally set in motion and the proverbial battle in the trenches to ensue.

McCarthy is immediately met by the center and guard, each seemingly determined to keep him out of the backfield. Colliding with the tackle pulling off the end to help out doesn't deter him in the least. An undersized fullback serves as the last line of defense but offers little resistance as McCarthy achieves his goal: Sacking the quarterback for a loss. Just another momentum-changing play.

(Read full post)

Football: Monrovia 29, Glendora 16

September, 8, 2011

MONROVIA -- The hangover lasted a little longer than coach Ryan Maddox would have liked but, in the end, his Wildcats found a different gear.

It's what champions do, after all.

Defending Mid-Valley Division titlist Monrovia scored 29 unanswered points to blow past visiting Glendora, 29-16, in the Wildcats' opener Thursday night. Although Maddox was pleased with the outcome, he wasn't too amused by how his team kicked things off.

"Things weren't going our way," Maddox said. "Our heads were down and we weren't playing championship football. They changed that attitude in the second half. They brought it."

Fans were tense when the Wildcats (1-0) trailed 9-0 in the second quarter. But the defense, led by top-rated defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, held firm and quarterback George Frazier found his rhythm. The junior passed for 158 yards and a touchdown, 108 of those yards coming in the first half. A last-minute scoring pass to Anthony Craft pulled Monrovia to within two at the break.

"This is a brand-new team," Frazier said. "We've got to work hard. It's another year; we can't live off of last year."

De'Shawn Ramirez's four-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter put Monrovia ahead for good. Shortly after, he returned a punt 83 yards for a score to give the Wildcats a two-possession lead.

"He brings the ability to go 80 yards on every play," Maddox said of Ramirez. "He's dangerous."

Marquise Bias, who had 115 yards rushing, added to the lead with a 46-yard touchdown run. It was all part of a 29-point run that had Glendora first-year coach Todd Quinsey shaking his head.

"They had a couple of big plays in the second half and we didn't," Quinsey said. "That was the difference."

The Tartans (0-2) failed to close out an opponent for the second straight week, having blown a lead against Charter Oak in Week 0. They look to snap the skid next Friday at Citrus College against Colony.

Monrovia, meanwhile, hopes Thursday was just the first step on the road to a repeat.

"We had our first week off so we wanted to come out hard," Frazier said. "Hopefully we showed what we're all about this year."

LA South: Football All-CIF teams

January, 28, 2011
The following is a list of players and coaches who garnered top honors on All-CIF teams, sorted by division:


Offensive player of the year: QB Nick Bueno, Monrovia
Defensive player of the year: LB Derrick Johnson, Monrovia
Coach of the year: Ryan Maddox, Monrovia


Defensive player of the year: DL J.R. Tavai, Mira Costa


Defensive player of the year: Eric Capachione, South Torrance


Offensive player of the year: HB Chris Solomon, West Covina
Defensive player of the year: LB Maurice Dupleasis, West Covina
Coach of the year: Mike Maggiore, West Covina


Offensive player of the year: WR George Farmer, Serra
Defensive player of the year: S Marqise Lee, Serra
Coach of the year: Scott Altenberg, Serra

For a list of all the All-CIF-Southern Section football teams, click this link.

LA South: Five things from the weekend

December, 14, 2010
1. DeAnthony Thomas will forever remember his final high school game. "Black Mamba" made sure of it, scoring two touchdowns and recording two interceptions Saturday at his future college stadium, the Coliseum. Mamba wept, smiled, laughed and exhaled following Crenshaw's 45-7 win against Carson, securing the school's second straight City Section Division I championship. Coach Robert Garrett was even bold enough to say, "I'm at a loss for words right now, but back to back is back to back. So back to back to back to back, how about that?"

2. On the same note, you had to feel for Carson's Myles Johnson, the tailback who before the game proclaimed that only Carson could beat Carson. His words turned into reality Saturday, with the Marine League champion Colts committing nine turnovers. Johnson fumbled near the red zone following a long reception when both teams were still scoreless in the first quarter. Out of obvious frustration, Johnson initially did not line up when coach Elijah Asante summoned the team's captains for the postgame medal presentation. He was the only one still wearing a helmet.

3. Lost in Monrovia's Mid-Valley Division championship win was the superb play of Nick Bueno, the Wildcats' 5-foot-10 dual-threat quarterback. The senior -- nicknamed "Muy Bueno," or "Very Good" -- threw three touchdown passes and was equally effective with his legs. "So many people focus on (Bueno) just running the football," coach Ryan Maddox said. "Sometimes that's the case because we get up a lot (of points) and we just run." Bueno finished the season with more than 1,800 passing yards, 1,500 rushing yards and 37 total touchdowns.

4. Arguably the most exciting game of the weekend took place at Walnut High on Friday night. West Covina emerged with the Southeast Division championship thanks to a last-minute 80-yard drive, but Hacienda League rival Bonita played well enough to leave with the hardware. The two teams figure to make next year's Hacienda race a good one.

5. Western Division champ Gardena Serra is going bowling again. The Cavaliers will play Folsom in the Division II state bowl game Saturday at the Home Depot Center.

Mid-Valley Division: Monrovia 38, Whittier Christian 8

December, 11, 2010

ARCADIA -- The 10th time was the charm.

Monrovia finally got the monkey off its back, edging Whittier Christian, 38-8, Saturday night to claim the CIF Mid-Valley Division championship -- the program's first in 10 trips to the finals. Third-year coach Ryan Maddox checked one thing off his to-do list.

He'll set his sights on his next objective: Getting wideout Jay Henderson a scholarship to play collegiate football.

"He had an incredible game," Maddox said. "He's a gifted athlete. We're going to do everything we can to get him playing at the next level -- he's got that kind of talent."

Henderson did it all for the Wildcats (12-2), scoring four touchdowns and piling up 229 yards of total offense. His 69-yard punt return for a touchdown broke a scoreless tie in the second quarter. Monrovia never looked back.

"I was just thinking about scoring and getting my team pumped," Henderson said. "It was about getting the energy up."

The electric punt return did the trick, as the Wildcats scored the game's first 31 points. Henderson followed his return by catching a 28-yard touchdown pass from Nick Bueno, then added scoring receptions of 63 and 46 yards midway through the third quarter.

"I was in the zone," Henderson said. "The coaches talked about being in the zone the whole week, so I just had that mindset."

Monrovia's defense was in the zone too, just like in the previous 10 games. Whittier Christian quarterback Stephen Anderson wasn't given the chance to get going offensively, as the lefty completed just four of his first 15 pass attempts -- much of that a product of 6-foot-5 Ellis McCarthy's pressure up front.

Anderson was picked off three times and finished with 134 yards on 15-for-38 passing. Backfield mate Grant Escobar had 115 yards rushing, though a bulk of that came when the game was decided. The Heralds (12-2) did have a good look when both teams were scoreless early in the second quarter. But an Escobar fumble at the Monrovia 18 ended a promising drive.

Monrovia's defense proved too fast, too hungry for a Whittier Christian team that did not score less than 21 points in any game this season.

"Our defense is so fast to the football," Maddox said. "They're aggressive, they're physical. I thought last year's defense was excellent; this one was better. They stepped it up."

The Wildcats did not allow more than 14 points in any of their last 10 games.

"It feels great to be a CIF champion," said Henderson, a senior. "I hope they get it next year."

Perhaps the 11th time will be a charm, too.