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Lots of schools will be holding football scrimmages on Thursday and Friday, including Gardena Serra at Servite on Thursday at 5 p.m.

It brings back memories to the best scrimmage I've ever seen. It happened in 2010 matching Servite and Serra. Servite would go on to win the Division I title. Serra would go 14-1 and win its divisional championship.

The intensity level was amazing.

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Sophomore Mason White of Birmingham was only 13 last season, so he couldn't play varsity football.
Sophomore Mason White of Birmingham was only 13 last season, so he couldn't play varsity football. (Jim Rose)

It's time to offer an early evaluation of the top teams in City Section football. Scrimmages are set for this week, with zero week games on Aug. 25.

1. Narbonne. The Gauchos ended summer play with a dud. The passing game was inconsistent, and players hardly looked motivated. Things better change with pads on because nonleague games against Gardena Serra, Long Beach Poly and Corona Centennial will require an improved performance. Running back Jermar Jefferson is a highly regarded transfer from Redondo who should take heat off quarterback Jalen Chatman. The offensive line should be outstanding. The defense has the best City Section linebacking trio in Raymond Scott, Darien Butler and Julian Lewis.

2. Dorsey. The Dons gave Narbonne a scare in last year’s final and will embark on a challenging nonleague schedule that starts with Calabasas on Aug. 24. Their focus is on getting back to the final. There’s top individual players in running back Charles Mincy Jr., defensive end Tim Mosley and tight end Isaiah Smalls.

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For the second consecutive year, Chatsworth has seen the fastest athlete at its school move away.

Last year, it was City 100-meter champion Daniel Kamulali leaving for Sierra Canyon. Now, Daivion Barton, the West Valley League 100 champion, has enrolled at Birmingham, where he'll also play defensive back for the football team.

He placed seventh at the City finals.

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Junior Mykael Wright of Valencia.
Junior Mykael Wright of Valencia. (Eric Sondheimer)

Considering how much passing is taking place at the high school, college and professional level, it came as no surprise that a record number of defensive backs were taken in this year's NFL draft. There were 32 corners and 24 safeties selected.

That makes it good timing for Southern California to have lots of quality defensive backs this season and showcase what I believe is the most depth of any position.

Let's start with the St. John Bosco trio of Jaiden Woodbey (Ohio State), Stephan Blaylock (UCLA) and junior Chris Steele, who's wanted by everybody. The Braves are so strong in the secondary that several backups, like junior Jake Bailey, have scholarship offers.

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Nicholas Barr-Mira, the junior kicker from Loyola and younger brother of former Loyola and UCLA standout Anthony Barr.
Nicholas Barr-Mira, the junior kicker from Loyola and younger brother of former Loyola and UCLA standout Anthony Barr. (Eric Sondheimer)

All-Pro linebacker Anthony Barr of the Minnesota Vikings knows he's not No. 1 in his family when it comes to kicking.

That ranking belongs to his younger brother, Nicholas Barr-Mira, a junior at Loyola.

He kicked field goals from 37, 42, 47 and 52 yards on Saturday during an intrasquad scrimmage.

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Merlin Robertson of Gardena Serra
Merlin Robertson of Gardena Serra (Eric Sondheimer)

For those who enjoy watching linebackers this season, the Narbonne-Gardena Serra season opener on Aug. 25 at Narbonne will be linebacker heaven.

Narbonne All-City linebackers Raymond Scott, Darien Butler and Julian Lewis will get to match skills against Serra linebacker standouts Merlin Robertson, Justin Houston, Justin Patterson and Taelenuu Tua'au.

Spectators should pay particular attention to Jack Lamb of Great Oak. He's committed to Notre Dame.

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Jermar Jefferson of Narbonne scores a touchdown in a scrimmage on Friday.
Jermar Jefferson of Narbonne scores a touchdown in a scrimmage on Friday. (Eric Sondheimer)

Narbonne's green vs. gold intrasquad scrimmage always produces some highlights, because the players and coaches are very competitive. Head coach Manuel Douglas picks his team, and assistant Brandon Manumaleuna picks his players.

On Friday night, Douglas let his team wear new Nike green uniforms with white helmets. The gold team players weren't too happy.

But the scrimmage was an opportunity for Narbonne fans to get their first glimpse at some new players. Two stood out.

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If you're a Carson football fan, you might need a little patience this season. The team has 17 transfers, according to the City Section, and most are part of the sit-out period, meaning they won't be eligible until Oct. 1.

That means they will miss five games. Also, several players who transferred from Banning might not be able to play for the Narbonne game on Oct. 6. The City Section is looking at film from last year's Banning-El Camino Real playoff game, and those Banning players who left the bench during a brawl have to sit out one additional game this season.

The best transfer is All-City defensive back Sultan Moala from Banning. Right now, he's not eligible until Oct. 1. Several cousins also joined him in transferring from Banning.

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Norco senior Dalton Shepard is honored at a bull-riding competition.
Norco senior Dalton Shepard is honored at a bull-riding competition. (Facebook.com / amanda.r.sutton.)

Classes began this week at Norco High, where senior Dalton Shepard is the school's real-life cowboy.

He just got back from a bull-riding competition that he won in Utah.

As the announcer says on the Facebook video: "Shoot No. 2 on a bull called Knockout. He slides up on 1,800 pounds of fury."

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Loyola manager Gabriel Danaj and his drone that he uses to film practices.
Loyola manager Gabriel Danaj and his drone that he uses to film practices. (Eric Sondheimer)

It's the hottest new toy in high school football: drones flying above practice fields filming practices.

And it's usually the football manager doing the flying. Coaches are turning over their expensive drones to student managers.

It's only a matter of time before someone has a drone football manager competition to see who can be the next F-16 pilot using remote control.