Edison High hosted its 20th annual Battle at the Beach passing tournament on Saturday.
Immediately following pool play, Chargers coach Jeff Grady was asked to go on camera to participate in a rapid-fire game of 20 questions.
Grady admitted that the game did not particularly fit his persona, saying, “I want a proper mindset. I’m a thinker.”
Edison has many new faces on both sides of the ball. Grady, a former Fresno State quarterback himself, spent a lot of time imparting his thoughts to his team’s offense.
The Chargers appear to be grooming rising senior Patrick Angelovic to be their opening day starter at quarterback. He started slow with two costly interceptions against La Puente Bishop Amat in a 19-16 loss.
From there, he looked like he belonged on the field, leading the Chargers to wins against JSerra (15-6), Corona Centennial (8-0) and Downey (31-6).
“In my opinion, I’m biased, but I think quarterback is the toughest position, at least in our sport, in football,” Grady said. “I think [Angelovic] is improving. I think all of our quarterbacks are improving, week to week, so I’m proud of that.”
Angelovic called taking the reins a dream that is soon to become true. He thanked a number of mentors in preparing him for this moment. Former Chargers coach Dave White, former Chargers quarterback and recent graduate Griffin O’Connor (Yale) and Grady were among those named.
“It’s insane the amount of growth that I’ve come by since eighth grade,” Angelovic said. “I think I became a much better quarterback, especially because I’m more calm, and I know who I’m reading and who I need to throw to.
“Coach Grady and I, we meet twice a week during the school year, as like a class. We study on film and on the chalk board. That’s really helped me grow. I think this last year is the biggest growth I’ve had as a quarterback.”
Edison dipped deeper into its receiving corps than perhaps it had planned after Nathan Nabal sustained a leg injury early in the day. Isaiah Palmer got additional run as a slot receiver, and he appeared to have good chemistry with Angelovic.
On the outside, the Chargers looked to Cole Koffler and Dane Brenton as threats to go over the top of the defense. Jacob Biddle received looks in the red zone.
Palmer, who will start on defense for the Chargers, had an interception in the end zone against JSerra’s Caden Bell.
“Defensively, just look for good old Charger football,” Palmer said. “Hard in the middle and soft on the outside, but bend and don’t break.”
Edison was more than that on the defensive side in the Battle at the Beach. Tanner Nelson had an interception as part of an 8-0 shutout against Corona Centennial.
“We just need to learn to get a better feeling of playing together because we’ve got a lot of new starters on the defense, losing both safeties, pretty much the whole D-line,” Nelson said. “We should be good this year.”
Edison bowed out of the tournament with a 26-14 loss to Orange Lutheran in the Gold Bracket quarterfinals.
Mater Dei won its third straight Battle at the Beach, this time behind a new quarterback in Bryce Young. The previous two had come with JT Daniels (USC) as the signal-caller.
The Monarchs defeated Mission Viejo 26-6 in the final.
“We depend on the tournaments to get a lot of games and a lot of reps,” Monarchs coach Bruce Rollinson said. “Yeah, we got to the semis in one, and we got to the quarters in another, but we were beating ourselves.
“What I saw today, we dealt with the adversity, we never got down, we never got crazy, we stayed steady and there were a lot of key individual performances at the right time.”