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Eric Sondheimer has been covering high school sports for the Los Angeles Times since 1997 and in Southern California since 1976. Get his latest from the field and follow all our prep sports coverage and analysis here.


Sons of Marques Johnson, John Williams face off in historic basketball encounter

Cyrus Johnson (left) of Culver City and Daylen Williams of Fairfax are the sons of two of the City Section's greatest basketball players, former Crenshaw standouts Marques Johnson and John Williams. (Eric Sondheimer)
Cyrus Johnson (left) of Culver City and Daylen Williams of Fairfax are the sons of two of the City Section's greatest basketball players, former Crenshaw standouts Marques Johnson and John Williams. (Eric Sondheimer)

For those who know the history of Southern California high school basketball in Los Angeles, Marques Johnson and John Williams were the best of their eras playing for Crenshaw High.

Johnson was the City Section player of the year in 1973. Williams equaled the same feat in 1984. Both won City championships. Both were first-round NBA draft picks.

Fast forward to what was an extraordinary scene on Sunday night at Pasadena Maranatha. Fairfax was playing Culver City in a fall league basketball game.

Daylen Williams, a 6-foot-6 junior at Fairfax, was guarding Cyrus Johnson, a 6-4 senior at Culver City. They are the sons of Williams, 51, and Johnson, 61, two of the greatest players in City Section history who last played high school basketball 33 and 44 years ago, respectively.

“Get out of here,” the elder Williams said from the bleachers when told that his son was guarding Johnson’s son. “Wow. That’s unbelievable.”

Both players scored six points. Fairfax won the game, 62-43.

If they ever meet again in a regular-season game this winter, it will be another moment to remember.


Prep player is going to be beloved by Raiders fans

Nathan Raider Moreno, a freshman linebacker at Loyola, has parents who are big Raiders fans. (Eric Sondheimer)
Nathan Raider Moreno, a freshman linebacker at Loyola, has parents who are big Raiders fans. (Eric Sondheimer)

You never know what you might see or who you might run into by showing up to a freshman football game. Such was the case on Friday night when watching Loyola take on Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

The outside linebacker for Loyola's freshman team is named Nathan Raider Moreno. Yes, his parents are big Raiders fans. And he tells the story how he got his name.

"The reason my parents wanted me to be named Raider is because they wanted my name to sound like the Raider Nation," he said. "Right now, it's currently my middle name but originally it was supposed to be my first name, followed by Nathan. Raider Nathan, Raider Nation."

Then Mom figured out there might be an issue with a first name of Raider.

"She wanted to me to grow up a normal boy," Moreno said.

Yep, the "normal boy" with the middle name Raider is playing football, so beware. Raiders fans will be cheering him on.

Get Eric Sondheimer's latest updates from the field


Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Loyola alumni featured at Vikings-Buccaneers game

It was quite a moment on Sunday for alumni of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Loyola at the NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Each team had a kicker from Notre Dame. Kai Forbath for the Vikings and Nick Folk for the Buccaneers.

Each team had a defensive player from Loyola. Anthony Barr for the Vikings and Chris Conte for the Buccaneers.

Of course, the Cubs were a little bit happier, because Loyola beat Notre Dame, 28-21, on Friday.


City Section has rule requiring teams to be on field for national anthem

The decision of the Pittsburgh Steelers to stay in the locker room during the national anthem on Sunday adds a new dimension to the debate over player protests that could start trickling down to high school coaches and teams this week.

There have been individual protests before, with players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem, but in the City Section, there’s a rule requiring teams to be on the field. It was put in to help make sure games start on time. The punishment is a 15-yard penalty. Teams cannot decline the penalty.

“It’s a school’s responsibility to comply with the rules of the game and section,” said City Section Commissioner John Aguirre.

Several coaches contacted Sunday indicated that they had no intention of keeping players in the locker room.

“I’m a high school coach, and at the end of the day, it’s between you and your parents,” said Dorsey’s Charles Mincy, a former NFL player. “We have enough issues right now. I don’t need that.”

Manuel Douglas, the coach at Harbor City Narbonne, said, “That’s about our country’s history and showing respect for our nation and all those who serve. My wife’s in the military.”

The controversy was played out at NFL stadiums on Sunday in the wake of President Trump call for owners to take action against players not standing for the national anthem as a protest.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told CBS:  “People shouldn't have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn't be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn't be separated from his teammate who chooses not to.”

All but one Steelers player stayed in the locker room on Sunday before their game against the Chicago Bears.

Aguirre said the issue will likely be discussed at a previously scheduled Board of Managers meeting on Monday.


Trinity League teams finish nonleague schedule with 28-2 record

Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson has his team at 5-0. (Eric Sondheimer)
Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson has his team at 5-0. (Eric Sondheimer)

The SEC has Alabama, but the Trinity League has six high school football teams that might be the best as a group.

The nonleague season is over, and the six schools finished with a combined 28-2 record.

Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran, Servite and JSerra are all 5-0. Santa Margarita and St. John Bosco are 4-1. And it's not as if they were playing weak teams.

If you take a peek at the standings on, St. John Bosco is listed as in last place. The Braves won Southern Section Division 1 and state Open Division titles last season and lost in overtime to Florida St. Thomas Aquinas, 9-3, in their opener. They are hardly a last-place team.

Everyone needs a little patience. All six teams will have their bye week this coming week. All that means is the defensive coordinators will be tossing and turning in bed trying to figure out how to stop their opponents over the next five weeks.

League openers start on Oct. 6. Good luck on predicting the order of finish. It's going to be madness.


In a wild game in Hawaii, Narbonne falls to St. Louis, 56-50

City Section Division I favorite Narbonne traveled to Honolulu to take on local power St. Louis on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium, and what an offensive battle it was.

St. Louis trailed most of the game before prevailing, 56-50.

Narbonne (2-3) came in with a sputtering offense but will leave Hawaii feeling much better about its chances of winning another Division I title, because quarterback Jalen Chatman finally got rolling.

He passed for 516 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Jermar Jefferson had 181 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

St. Louis (5-0) was led by quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who passed for seven touchdowns.

Narbonne was outscored in the fourth quarter, 28-13.


Football: Saturday's scores

Saturday, September 23rd



Santa Clarita Christian 42, Webb 16


Big Bear 49, Twentynine Palms 27

Brentwood 42, Maranatha 3

Campbell Hall 41, Fairmont Prep 0

Peninsula 44, Beverly Hills 0

Rio Hondo Prep 52, La Canada 0

Savanna 42, Costa Mesa 7


Bishop Diego 35, Solana Beach Santa Fe Christian 20

Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis 56, Narbonne 50

Mater Dei 52, Stockton St. Mary's 14

St. John Bosco 21, Washington (D.C.) St. John's 17




Windward 34, Thacher 6


Riverdale Christian 54, Maricopa 8


Mater Dei improves to 5-0 with blowout win in nonleague finale

Santa Ana Mater Dei is going into its football bye week as a clear No. 1 in Southern California, No. 1 in California and maybe No. 1 nationwide.

The Monarchs finished their nonleague schedule with a 5-0 record after a 52-14 win over Stockton St. Mary's on Saturday night at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

J.T. Daniels had five touchdown passes. Stephon Robins had an interception return for a touchdown. Chris Street had a long touchdown run.

The Monarchs are off until opening the Trinity League on Oct. 6 against Santa Margarita.


Sophomore QB D.J. Uiagalelei rallies St. John Bosco to victory in Washington, D.C.

Sophomore QB D.J. Uiagalelei of St. John Bosco rallied the Braves the victory. (Burrel Lee)
Sophomore QB D.J. Uiagalelei of St. John Bosco rallied the Braves the victory. (Burrel Lee)

St. John Bosco's trip to Washington, D.C., wasn't going well on Saturday. The Braves trailed St. John's of Washington, 17-7, in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Re-Al Mitchell was intercepted twice.

The Braves decided to insert highly regarded sophomore backup D.J. Uiagalelei at quarterback to try to ignite a spark. It worked.

Uiagalelei led two touchdown drives, including a 21-yard TD pass to George Holani, and the Braves rallied for a 21-17 victory.

Holani had all three St. John Bosco touchdowns, with a two-yard TD run with 1:59 left the game-winner.

Now the Braves (4-1) have a week off before a Trinity League opener against Orange Lutheran on Oct. 6. And who starts at QB will be interesting.


Clark Phillips of La Habra returns three interceptions for three touchdowns

In all his years of playing, coaching or watching football, La Habra coach Frank Mazzotta said he has never seen what sophomore cornerback Clark Phillips pulled off against Colony on Friday night.

Phillips had three interceptions and returned each one for a touchdown in a 49-14 victory for La Habra.

"I've been around football my entire life," Mazzotta said. "It's something I've never seen."

As if Phillips wasn't happy enough, Mazzotta said UCLA offered him a scholarship on Saturday morning.

He's 5 feet 11, 188 pounds.

"He's an explosive player," Mazzotta said. "He's cut out of stone."

Football: Friday scores

Friday, September 22nd



Belmont 32, Legacy 12

Bernstein 42, Roybal 6

Contreras 17, Hollywood 14


Chavez 20, North Hollywood 14

Grant 48, Monroe 14

Verdugo Hills 41, Sun Valley Poly 10


Angelou 35, Rivera 29

Jefferson 40, West Adams 33

Santee 28, Fremont 10


Canoga Park 42, Van Nuys 0

San Fernando 49, Panorama 0

Sylmar 22, Granada Hills Kennedy 20


Bell 49, Chatsworth 14

Los Angeles Hamilton 20, Taft 17

Los Angeles Wilson 21, Manual Arts 14

Palisades 35, Huntington Park 34

Reseda 19, Los Angeles Marshall 16

Torres 38, Sotomayor 0

Washington 42, Los Angeles 6

Westchester 27, Los Angeles Roosevelt 21

Wilmington Banning 50, Hawkins 0



Crean Lutheran 23, St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy 0


Cajon 39, Redlands 7

Carter 20, Miller 15

Redlands East Valley 47, Citrus Valley 21

Yucaipa 55, Eisenhower 0


Palm Desert 20, Xavier Prep 7

Palm Springs 40, Indio 17


Antelope Valley 28, Palmdale 7

Highland 39, Eastside 0

Lancaster 55, Littlerock 14

Quartz Hill 41, Knight 21


Chaminade 39, Crespi 7

Gardena Serra 38, Alemany 20

Loyola 28, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 21


Arroyo 56, Gabrielino 0

Rosemead 54, Pasadena Marshall 6

South El Monte 35, Mountain View 8


Lakewood 41, Long Beach Jordan 14

Long Beach Poly 28, Millikan 0

Long Beach Wilson 51, Long Beach Cabrillo 0


Arcadia 35, Muir 19

Burbank 59, Glendale 0

Burbank Burroughs 45, Pasadena 34

Crescenta Valley 54, Hoover 23


Glenn 64, Cerritos 25

Mayfair 20, La Mirada 6

Norwalk 35, Bellflower 6


Alta Loma 33, Claremont 31

Anaheim Canyon 37, Esperanza 9

Apple Valley 77, Adelanto 0

Aquinas 56, Rancho Christian 10

Arlington 21, San Jacinto 14

Arrowhead Christian 28, St. Bernard 25

Arroyo Grande 38, Santa Maria St. Joseph 20

Banning 22, Perris 8

Bassett 49, Sierra Vista 41

Beaumont 46, Desert Hot Springs 9

Brea Olinda 19, Foothill 15

Buena 38, Oxnard Pacifica 35

Calvary Murrieta 35, Anza Hamilton 20

Camarillo 42, Ventura 21

Canyon Country Canyon 36, Simi Valley 17

Canyon Springs 28, Tahquitz 12

Capistrano Valley 28, Trabuco Hills 14

Carnegie 14, Santa Rosa Academy 7

Carpinteria 17, Viewpoint 2

Century 42, Saddleback 6

Cerritos Valley Christian 35, Ontario Christian 3

Channel Islands 28, San Marcos 10

Chaparral 29, Victor Valley 10

Charter Oak 37, South Hills 14

Colton 34, La Sierra 10

Corona 56, Norte Vista 42

Corona Santiago 23, Etiwanda 21

Covina 49, Walnut 14

CSDR 36, Temecula Prep 6

Cypress 45, El Rancho 0

Damien 49, Monrovia 7

Dana Hills 34, Los Amigos 7

Diamond Ranch 56, Bonita 14

Don Lugo 27, Chino 13

Dos Pueblos 49, San Luis Obispo 0

Downey 54, Santa Fe 0

Eastvale Roosevelt 48, La Quinta 17

El Segundo 41, Torrance 10

El Toro 42, Saddleback Valley Christian 0

Firebaugh 38, Ribet Academy 13

Fontana 22, Rialto 13

Fountain Valley 49, Artesia 33

Fullerton 27, Golden Valley 23

Gahr 34, St. Anthony 7

Garden Grove Pacifica 42, Aliso Niguel 7

Glendora 41, West Covina 7

Godinez 28, Rancho Alamitos 27

Granite Hills 42, Keppel 26

Hart 44, St. Bonaventure 34

Harvard-Westlake 54, Dominguez 31

Hillcrest 23, Temescal Canyon 21

Irvine University 28, Estancia 0

JSerra 32, Los Alamitos 10

Jurupa Hills 40, Hemet 14

Kaiser 49, Serrano 42

Katella 34, Ocean View 33

King 31, Elsinore 14

La Habra 49, Colony 14

Laguna Hills 31, Irvine 28

Lakeside 42, Vista del Lago 6

Leuzinger 55, Hawthorne 14

Linfield Christian 45, Excelsior 7

Lompoc 42, Righetti 0

Los Altos 21, Newport Harbor 13

Malibu 35, McAuliffe 6

Mary Star 28, Bishop Montgomery 27

Mira Costa 35, West Torrance 6

Mission Viejo 28, Santa Margarita 23

Montclair 27, Ganesha 24

Montebello 36, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 16

Murrieta Mesa 59, Valley View 58 (2OT)

Murrieta Valley 38, Oaks Christian 20

Nipomo 37, Lompoc Cabrillo 21

Norco 57, Riverside Poly 16

Nordhoff 24, Fillmore 0

North Torrance 21, Morningside 7

Northview 32, Pomona 0

Oak Hills 45, San Gorgonio 12

Ontario 55, Jurupa Valley 20

Orange Lutheran 34, Heritage 21

Paloma Valley 42, Temecula Valley 12

Patriot 35, Bloomington 0

Pioneer 35, Hacienda Heights Wilson 14

Pioneer Valley 32, Santa Maria 28

Ramona 50, Arroyo Valley 14

Rancho Cucamonga 30, Citrus Hill 0

Ridgecrest Burroughs 46, Barstow 0

Riverside North 25, Moreno Valley 22

Riverside Notre Dame 63, Nuview Bridge 0

Rowland 27, Azusa 21

Royal 44, Santa Barbara 34

San Clemente 14, Palos Verdes 0

San Dimas 50, Diamond Bar 12

San Juan Hills 29, Huntington Beach 19

San Marino 30, Bell Gardens 6

Santa Monica 26, South Torrance 0

Santa Ynez 41, Templeton 7

Schurr 36, Whittier 35

Segerstrom 40, Northwood 12

Sierra Canyon 38, Redondo 3

Silverado 44, Hesperia 6

South Pasadena 27, Alhambra 0

St. Francis 49, Saugus 20

St. Margaret’s 48, Laguna Beach 7

Sultana 21, Summit 18

Sunny Hills 36, La Palma Kennedy 7

Temple City 41, San Gabriel 7

Tesoro 34, La Serna 9

Tustin 23, Beckman 8

Upland 41, Great Oak 20

Vasquez 41, Duarte 0

Villa Park 35, El Modena 28

Warren 29, St. Paul 28

West Ranch 48, Oak Park 21

Westlake 24, Moorpark 21

Westminster 32, Hueneme 28

Westminster La Quinta 56, Garey 21

Woodbridge 40, Rim of the World 6

Yorba Linda 28, El Dorado 10


Baldwin Park 56, South East 46

Birmingham 36, Agoura 27

Calabasas 35, El Camino Real 8

Calipatria 38, Riverside Prep 20

Compton 47, Gardena 0

Culver City 59, Los Angeles University 0

Desert Mirage 25, Calexico 14

El Cajon Grossmont 56, Buena Park 17

Heritage Christian 30, Granada Hills 22

Lawndale 35, San Pedro 26

Lynwood 52, Rancho Dominguez 0

Madera 34, Atascadero 14

Morro Bay 28, McFarland 12

Newbury Park 52, Venice 42

Oxnard 54, Locke 15

Paraclete 63, Tehachapi 7

Pasadena Poly 33, Rosamond 6

Paso Robles 27, Fresno Clovis North 7

Rio Mesa 44, Cleveland 7

San Diego Lincoln 40, Dorsey 7

San Diego Southwest 28, Orange Vista 14

Santa Clara 40, Los Angeles Jordan 16

Scottsdale (Ariz.) Notre Dame Prep 48, La Salle 17

Servite 49, Garfield 14

Silver Valley 58, Bishop 19

South Gate 57, Salesian 20

St. Genevieve 35, Arleta 7

Valencia 56, Bakersfield 14

Vista Murrieta 30, Crenshaw 20

Whittier Christian 39, Oakland Stellar Prep 20

Yucca Valley 48, Blythe Palo Verde Valley 6




New Designs University Park 30, Discovery 6



Lancaster Desert Christian 28, Lone Pine 6


Academy of Careers & Exploration 38, University Careers & Sports Academy 34

California Lutheran 55, La Verne Lutheran 12

Calvary Baptist 48, St. Michael's Prep 38

Cate 48, Lancaster Baptist 46

Chadwick 62, Rolling Hills Prep 27

Crossroads Christian 30, Lighthouse Christian 15

Faith Baptist 42, Orcutt Academy 28

Flintridge Prep 58, Bell-Jeff 0

Hesperia Christian 42, Riverside County Education Academy 26

Mission Prep 16, Joshua Springs 0

Mojave 42, Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian 14

Sage Hill 37, Price 0

Villanova Prep 55, Bloomington Christian 34


Alpaugh 44, Cuyama Valley 26

Animo Robinson 56, Lucerne Valley 0

Bright Star 64, Hillcrest Christian 32

Coast Union 72, Lemoore Kings Christian 22

Escondido Calvin Christian 58, Public Safety Academy 22

Fresno Christian 58, Mammoth 6

Laguna Blanca 64, East Valley 0

Sherman Oaks CES 44, Blair 12

Trona 50, Avalon 8



Culver City-Fairfax, Santa Margarita-Bishop Montgomery meet in basketball

The Southern California Black Coaches Assn. is sponsoring two days of basketball competitions this weekend to raise money for a Houston school in need of repairs following Hurricane Harvey.

Among the games are two top matchups scheduled for Sunday at Maranatha.

At 4 p.m., Culver City is playing Fairfax. At 5 p.m., Santa Margarita is taking on Bishop Montgomery. All four schools figure to be top 25 candidates.

Football: Thursday's scores

Thursday, Sept. 21st



Shadow Hills 49, Cathedral City 16


Anaheim 23, Loara 8

Coachella Valley 35, Rubidoux 34

La Puente 27, Gladstone 19

Garden Grove Santiago 24, Magnolia 14

Placentia Valencia 30, Troy 13

Santa Ana 59, Santa Ana Valley 21

Sonora 42, Bolsa Grande 0

Trinity Classical Academy 36, Southlands Christian 0

Workman 40, Bosco Tech 34 (OT)


Orange 23, Redwood City Sequoia 16




Upland Christian 63, Noli Indian 20


Riley Battin of Oak Park commits to Utah

Riley Battin, a 6-foot-10 senior at Oak Park, has committed to play basketball at Utah.

Battin is expected to be one of the top big men in Southern California this coming season.

He's known for his perimeter shooting and strong rebounding. He has worked on improving his strength and slimming down for the upcoming season.


Sierra Canyon receives lift from freshman QB Chayden Peery

Sierra Canyon has won three consecutive games since an upset loss to Westlake in its season opener, and the Trailblazers have done it behind freshman quarterback Chayden Peery.

"He's an extremely talented young man and I'm excited about his prospects now and going forward,"  coach Jon Ellinghouse said. "He's been the best freshman I've been around. What strikes me is his composure."

Peery, 6 feet 1, 200 pounds, has taken over for Mason Quandt, who suffered a knee injury in the season opener.

Sierra Canyon is also getting strong play from sophomore running back John Williams.

The Trailblazers should be able to tell just how much improvement they've made after Friday's road game against Redondo (2-2), which is led by quarterback Jack Alexander, who has 10 touchdown passes.


It took 22 years, but Jermaine Lewis finally avenged loss to Hart

It was 22 years ago in the 1995 Southern Section Division 2 championship football game that running back Jermaine Lewis of Antelope Valley saw his team lose to Hart 35-28.

Fast-forward to last Friday night. Lewis, the first-year head coach of Antelope Valley, celebrated his team's 44-38 overtime win over the Indians. He got his revenge.

Defensive end Bradley Brown had a big game with a relentless pass rush. And sophomore running back Jermaine Marshall rushed for 232 yards in 30 carries and scored five touchdowns.

Antelope Valley is 2-1 and favored to defend its Golden League championship. And coach Lewis is very happy.


Narbonne leaves for Hawaii on Thursday

Narbonne's football team is leaving for Hawaii on Thursday morning. The team is scheduled to play Honolulu St. Louis on Saturday night.

St. Louis is 4-0 and coming off a 49-13 win over Punahou, a team that defeated Garden Serra, 56-42. Narbonne defeated Serra, 17-14.

Beyond the game, the Narbonne team is scheduled to visit the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor on Friday and also have a luau.

Considering how big some of Narbonne's linemen are, viewing the feeding frenzy should be quite a sight.

Swimming will be saved until after the game on Saturday or Sunday morning. The team is set to return Sunday night.

Narbonne is 2-2 and gets a bye next week before opening Marine League play against Carson on Oct. 6.


City Section's Dymally cancels football season for second consecutive year

Dymally High School in Los Angeles has canceled its football season for the second consecutive year because of "insufficient" numbers, the City Section announced Wednesday.

"They were unable to get enough students," said Trent Cornelius, the director of athletics for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The team did not play any games this season and forfeited three games last year before canceling its season.

Dymally had teams in 2014 and 2015 after opening in 2012.

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