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Varsity Times Insider: The latest sports news from Southern California's high school teams

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.

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Thursday, August 16th

SOUTHERN SECTION

NONLEAGUE

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A memorable summer of baseball came to a disappointing end for Long Beach in the championship game of the PONY 14U World Series in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night.

Chinese Taipei came away with a 3-1 victory in the final.

Long Beach fought hard until the final out, putting two runners aboard in the bottom of the seventh on a walk and hit batter.

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The high school football season begins Thursday night with what should be an entertaining opener matching Chaminade against host Oaks Christian at 7:30 p.m.

Oaks Christian will debut under first-year coach Charles Collins, which puts the pressure on Chaminade coach Ed Croson trying to figure out what changes in strategy and formations are in order.

Oaks Christian has a veteran team that won last year’s Division 2 championship. Quarterback Josh Calvert and running back Zach Charbonnet are an imposing duo. There’s also defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, who will need to be double teamed at times.

  • Football

LA36 will televise seven City Section football games this season.

The schedule starts with Friday night’s Canoga Park-Grant game.

Other games scheduled are Windward-Animo Robinson on Aug. 31; Contreras-Chavez on Sept. 7; Wilson-View Park on Sept. 21; El Camino Real-Birmingham on Oct. 5; Angelou-Jefferson on Oct. 5; and Locke-Dorsey on Oct. 12.

  • Baseball

Former Capistrano Valley baseball player Adam Sorgi has been named head coach at his alma mater.

Bob Zamora, who guided the Cougars to the Southern Section Division 1 championship this past season in his 41st year, will become an assistant coach.

Also joining the program is former California High head coach Tony Nieto, who will be a teacher and assistant coach.

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Thursday, Aug. 16

SOUTHERN SECTION

NONLEAGUE

  • Football
Mason White as a freshman, left, and junior
Mason White as a freshman, left, and junior (Jim Rose and Eric Sondheimer)

Mason White is growing up at Birmingham High.

In 2016, he was 13 and too young to play varsity football even though he was good enough. He had to play all season on the freshman/sophomore team.

Now he’s a 15-year-old junior and will be a top receiver/defensive back for the Patriots.

Narbonne leaves for Hawaii on Wednesday to play St. Louis on Friday in its season opener, and the Gauchos were given news by the City Section that three top transfer students have been cleared to play.

Linebacker Jordan Banks (Grace Brethren), running back Jojuan Collins (Dorsey) and defensive back Paul Edwards (St. John Bosco) will be able to play immediately after valid change of residences.

Brianne Penny, a receiver who transferred from Norwalk, must sit out until Sept. 25.

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  • Football

It’s quite a football rebuilding job that first-year coach Dameon Porter is undertaking at Crespi. There are only four seniors left in the program.

But Porter believes at some point this season, when the many sophomores and juniors get experience, the Celts will be heard.

In practice, junior tight end/defensive Jackson White and junior receiver/safety Taylor Evans have been playing like future all-league performers.

Grant coach Franco Stasilli should be doing backflips. His varsity team this season has 26 players.

“That’s huge for us,” he said.

The Lancers are probably the favorite to win the East Valley League considering they have eight starters back on offense.