Despite the disappointing conclusion to this season, the Wildcats should be proud of season accolades
It has surely been a disappointing few weeks for Monrovia’s football squad. Their dominant season came to a heart-breaking finish after they lost to Newport Harbor in the second round of the CIF Playoffs; a loss where they held a double-digit lead heading into the final quarter. Along with this, it was the final time for several of these Wildcats veterans to wear the proud Wildcats uniform.
Certainly, it is hard for these players to get passed this reality. A CIF Championship is what hundreds upon hundreds of high school programs in California dream of, and the Wildcats were only three wins away from grasping a trophy and hanging a banner. Nevertheless, it was a memorable campaign for these Wildcats, with their supremacy amongst conference play consistently being on full display.
Along with the team’s 10-2 overall record, Monrovia went a perfect 4-0 in Rio Hondo League play. Yet the undefeated record fails to do justice for just how dominant the Wildcats were in those four matchups. They defeated San Marino, Temple City, South Pasadena and La Cañada by a collective score of 183-17.
Although their impressive inter-league record may be the highlight of the season, they also let their home fans leave their stadium happy on several occasions. In fact, the team went a perfect 5-0 on home field this year, including a strong 41-0 playoff victory against the Santa Fe Chiefs.
Nevertheless, what stands out the most from this season is certainly the play of the squad’s seniors. Nearly every starter on this year’s team was a senior, particularly on offense. Quarterback Nick Hernandez had his best season under center, completing nearly 65 percent of his passes and throwing 33 touchdown passes compared to six interceptions.
The running back trio of Zeph Pascasio and brothers Tyree and Devon Mayes, all seniors, was phenomenal. Together they ran for well over 1,300 yards on 209 carries (6.22 yards per carry) and collected 17 touchdowns. As for the receiving corp, senior Mario Minor was the main target, catching 63 balls and earning 1,259 yards with 14 touchdowns. Senior Daylen Wilson was also exceptional, earning 45 receptions and reaching almost 900 receiving yards.
On defense, it was also the senior linebacker Hunter Nicely that played the role of captain. He earned 93 solo tackles, and his 151 total tackles led the team by nearly a total of 100. While his loss on defense is certain to affect the Wildcats next year, junior linebacker Jeremy Cruz-Sailor also had a strong year as a starter and will likely be the backbone of that defense in 2020.
All of these long-time Wildcats will be moving onto bigger endeavors next year, which leads to several questions for Chris Williams’ team next season. Will this program be able to fill the holes in this roster by next year and continue their impressive stature? Time will of course tell. But as of now, a strong season for these Wildcats will leave a mark on this program’s proud history, and these young men should be very proud of their hard work.