Football season is a little over than a month away and it’s right about time to start cranking the preview engine.
City Section schools start conditioning on Monday and it’s only a matter of time before fans start planning out their schedules for the next four months. I’ll be planning on giving you some previews of teams before the season starts.
Just to whet your appetite a bit, here’s a list of some of the top games to plan on seeing involving City schools – starting with the game everyone wants to see at the start
Lakewood at Crenshaw (September 4) – Division I state title game implications. A freshly minted USC-bound quarterback in Lakewood’s Jesse Scroggins and the best collection of talent in the City in Crenshaw.
Need another more reason to grab a seat early? How about this is a rematch of last year’s thrilling game where Lakewood overcame a 28-14 halftime lead to win 42-34.
Both teams have explosive, balanced offensives and stellar players on defense so it’s no surprise they will be ranked around the top 10 of the state preseason poll.
Enough can’t be said about this game and all eyes will watch to see the implications this game will have in December.
Narbonne at Long Beach Poly (Sept. 18) - Both teams aren’t as loaded as last year, but this game still has potential written over it as the defending City Co-champs tangle with the Pac-5 Division champs.
The Gauchos hung tough with a Pac-5 team last year in Los Alamitos before succumbing in the fourth quarter and it gets no easier with a trip to Veterans Stadium against the always tough Jackrabbits.
Gardena Serra at Carson (Sept. 18) – Another thrilling rematch from last year, won by Serra 21-19.
Serra returns perhaps the best and fastest wide-receiving corps in the state (Robert Woods, George Farmar, Devin Spann and transfer Paul Richardson) while Carson will be one of the most improved teams in the City this year.
Expect another thriller and any chance this year you get to see Woods, arguably the most electrifying player in the state, take it. And also key in on his mates, especially Farmar, a junior who may be the fastest of them all.
Compton at Dorsey (Sept. 25) – This is another big step for Compton Coach Calvin Bryant in developing his program and coming to Dorsey.
The Tarbabes are already going to Utah to start the season and after defeating Dominguez last year, they’ll look to unseat another tradition-rich program. Keep an eye out for tailback James McConico III, a highly recruited senior with speed to boot.
Mater Dei at L.A. Jordan (Sept. 25 @ LA Southwest College) – Year Two of Jordan’s difficult schedule gets somewhat easier as they host St. Bonaventure on Sept. 18 and then Mater Dei in the post Matt Barkley era.
While the game won’t be as intense as last year’s showdown between Barkley and James Boyd, word is that the Bulldogs have some more offensive trickery up their sleeve that will test the rule book and four games into their season, it could be polished enough to make this game fun to watch.
Taft at Serra (October 9) - It’ll be a battle featuring two of the best all-around players in Southern California with Woods and Taft running back D.J. Morgan, who’s committed to USC.
Last year’s game was a coming out party for Serra’s speedy bunch and it could be another repeat at home. But despite losing several key seniors on defense, Taft’s offense could be potent with Morgan and returning quarterback Antuan Goodall.
Narbonne at San Pedro (Oct. 16) – The long-awaited rematch of the City Championship final and there will be nothing short of high intensity on the field and in the bleachers.
How can these teams top a triple-overtime classic last October and their tie game at the
Coliseum for the championship?
The odds favor San Pedro because of their stellar record at home. After Carson beat them on the road in 2007, the Pirates returned the favor last year in a 7-6 slugfest. On the flip side, the Gauchos are the last team to beat San Pedro at home and have won four of the last six meetings.
Either way, the best new rivalry in the City will heat up once again and this is by far one of the most anticipated games of the season.
Dorsey at Crenshaw (November 6) - The Classic has been one-sided the last two years but try telling folks that diminishes the intensity of this rivalry.
Crenshaw won last year’s meeting 34-0 but while they may look at this game to shore up their third straight league crown, Dorsey is looking to play spoiler – a role they fell victim to in 2007 when they were shocked by the Cougars.
Saving the best for last, there’s also two other rivalry games that date to keep an eye on with Birmingham at Taft and Carson at Narbonne.