Column

High school football transfer season begins

Eric Sondheimer
Contact ReporterVarsity Times Insider

It’s my favorite time of the year: transfer season for high school football players. Do you detect any sarcasm?

Get your pencils and erasers ready. The fall semester is ending. The spring semester will soon begin. Review the rosters and coaching changes. See which teams need a quarterback. Then follow the shoes . . . ooops, wrong sport. Follow the Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Last October, you may remember, I found 100% of the teams in The Times’ top 25 rankings had at least one impact transfer. It’s the best and sometimes only way to make it to a CIF state championship bowl game at the highest level.

More than 20 quarterbacks switched schools in 2016. This transfer season will be tricky for quarterbacks. There’s a lot of returning starters on top teams, making it difficult to pick a new school and be guaranteed a starting role. The league to watch is the Trinity. Santa Margarita, Anaheim Servite and San Juan Capistrano JSerra all graduate their starting quarterbacks.

Adding to the intrigue is No. 1 sophomore quarterback Bryce Young of L.A. Cathedral, who is expected to leave. His coach, Kevin Pearson, has not indicated he’s returning, and Young is supposedly considering a transfer to Santa Ana Mater Dei, which will be looking for a replacement should J.T. Daniels decide to enroll at USC a year early.

Always remember when one quarterback prospect leaves, it starts a chain reaction. Darius Perrantes of La Canada St. Francis was the big winner this past offseason. He showed up from Encino Crespi. There were multiple candidates for the starting position. He won the job and ended up passing for 2,917 yards. One quarterback ended up leaving and another switched positions.

Adding to the transfer cycle this season: For the first time, there are no restrictions on moving for sports reasons. You can tell a coach, “I’m leaving because you don’t pass enough.” Or tell a coach, “I’m leaving because I don’t like being a backup.” The language citing athletically motivated transfers was removed earlier this year.

It’s still illegal to engage in undue influence but does anyone remember the last time someone got caught?

One reason Calabasas moved quickly to replace coach Casey Clausen on Friday — after he resigned to become coach at Alemany — was fear of an exodus of players during holiday break. Chris Claiborne was immediately hired.

“Football families go on a shopping spree during the holidays,” Calabasas athletic director Jon Palarz said.

Just because a player transfers doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. People do move for family reasons. And now, the reason for the move doesn’t really matter (though if someone is at three schools in three years, that might be a warning sign something is up).

Anyway, as I sit here in the warm press box at Sacramento State preparing for the final day of the 2017 football season, I thought it would be appropriate to remind everyone to have a Merry Christmas, and wish every coach a transfer (whose parent isn’t named LaVar Ball) as their present.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Follow Eric Sondheimer on Twitter @latsondheimer

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