Five predictions for the West Valley playoffs
Five predictions for the West Valley Division playoffs:
1. Which four teams will make it to the West Valley semifinals? Mission Viejo, Los Alamitos, Vista Murrieta, Tesoro
2. Which team will win the West Valley title? Mission Viejo
The combination of talent, winning mentality and experience will help the Diablos repeat but it won’t be easy. They’ll win another shootout with Tesoro in an epic Orange County finale.
3. Which team will be the "surprise team" in the West Valley bracket? Los Alamitos.
The Griffins are rolling after snapping their five-game losing streak and have the talent to upset Chino Hills and perhaps the Valencia/San Juan Hills winner to make a run to the semifinals.
Los Alamitos also played a challenging schedule, feature an explosive and diverse offense led by QB Jack Telenko and have the motivation of heartbreak losses. It's been an unbalanced season for the Griffins but they might be good enough to get hot.
Also considered: Murrieta Valley. The Nighthawks beat 2014 semifinalist Great Oak, 42-10, last week to secure a No. 2 seed from the Southwestern League for their first postseason trip since 2012. Murrieta Valley's road will be tough. It opens with Fountain Valley and then likely encounters Mission Viejo in the second round.
4. Which player will be the postseason MVP in the West Valley? Brock Johnson.
The senior quarterback is the Diablos’ heartbeat and he’ll collect the hardware. However, the best player in the division, and arguably Orange County, is Tesoro quarterback Devon Modster.
5. Which O.C. team shouldn't be overlooked in the West Valley playoffs? El Toro.
Don’t sleep on the at-large Chargers (5-5). They lost to Tesoro and San Juan Hills by a combined seven points in the South Coast League. And don’t forget their stunning 59-21 victory against Los Alamitos in the first round last season. But El Toro drew a tougher first-round opponent this season: No. 2 seed Vista Murrieta.