Narbonne quarterback Troy Williams was able to navigate his team through several defenses on their way to the City Championship last year. This year they are looking to do it again. Photo by Jason Lewis
Fairfax’s Miles Bowen, brother of Matt Bowen who led the City Section in rushing in 2009 and 2010 while at Fairfax, will be leading the team as their new quarterback. Photo by Jason Lewis
With a number of key returning starters, Narbonne is the team to beat in the City Section.
When Narbonne lined up against Carson last year in the Los Angeles City Section football title game, they pretty much rolled out an All-City team for their 48-32 victory. They had 12 players who were honored, and five of those players are back for one more crack at the title. This year they are thinking even bigger, with a possible chance at the State Bowl.
Quarterback Troy Williams, who has committed to the University of Washington, was the Player of the Year last season, and he is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. Other returning All-City players are linebackers Marquise Lomas and Keshawn Bierria, defensive lineman Sydney Walkins, and wide receiver Arlandus Richardson.
A tough non-league schedule and long time rivals from the Marine League will determine Narbonne’s chances of becoming only the second City Section team to make it to the State Bowl. Crenshaw did it in 2009, losing to De La Salle.
Narbonne has scheduled tough non-league opponents for some time now, and this year is no different, with Long Beach Poly, Lakewood, Serra, and Mater Dei on their schedule. That seems pretty insane, but that is exactly what Crenshaw did in 2009. They scheduled an extremely tough non-league schedule, and beat them all, which greatly enhanced their chances to make the State Bowl game after they won the City championship.
If Narbonne can run the table like Crenshaw did, they most likely will be rewarded too. But they cannot get too caught up in that, because the goal of every season is to win the league, and then the City title, and there are a few teams who are looking to knock them off.
The Marine league has been the toughest in the City Section for some time now, with Narbonne, Carson, and San Pedro battling it out every year. Count on San Pedro to be right there at the end, but Carson has a lot of question marks with a new coaching staff.
In the Coliseum League, Dorsey finally knocked off Crenshaw last year and won the league title after Crenshaw dominated the league for five years. It always comes down to those two teams, and this year will be no different.
Crenshaw, led by Mossi Johnson, who can line up at quarterback, running back, or receiver, opens their season this Friday night at Corona Santiago. Dorsey, who is led by quarterback Reginald Bell (committed to Tulane), opens next Thursday against Fairfax, who will be looking to finally knock off Venice in the Western League.
Venice has outright won or shared the Western League title every year since 2003, and the last league game that they lost was to Fairfax in 2005. That year Venice and Fairfax shared the league title, but since then, it has been all Venice.
Fairfax may have the horses to compete with Venice’s offense this season, as head coach Shane Cox feels that Fairfax can match up with any team in the City Section at receiver, and they have a young quarterback in Miles Bowen who can get them the ball. He is the younger brother of Matt Bowen, who led the City in rushing in back-to-back years while at Fairfax.
Bowen will be getting his first varsity start at Dorsey, but with the way he played last year on the junior varsity team and in summer practice, he looks like he can get the offense moving in a hurry.
Along with Bowen, senior receivers Bill Parker and Joe Floyd and juniors Rhaji Hicks and Jason Lewis Jr. have Cox excited about his offense.
Parker has been lighting it up over the summer at various camps, Floyd, a three year varsity starter, and Hicks have big bodies that will present major match up problems for defenses on the inside, and Lewis was Bowen’s main target on the junior varsity team last year. The two hooked up for 52 receptions for 905 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Fairfax also looks like they have talent at the running back position, but none of their backs have carried the ball for their varsity team.
For Fairfax, more than likely one game will define their regular season, and that will be against Venice.
The City Section will be a wild ride as usual with a number of great story lines. Friday nights are going to be awesome over the next four months.