Barring the inevitable transfers, it appears the City Section's top teams for 2015 will be Narbonne, San Pedro and Crenshaw. It helps that all three have veteran coaches in Manuel Douglas, Mike Walsh and Robert Garrett. And all three return lots of players from successful teams in 2014.
Narbonne, the winner of three Division I titles in the last four years, has the makings of a special team, with 18 of 22 starters returning. Of course, it all comes down to how hungry the Gauchos will be. Junior quarterback Roman Ale made major strides, limiting his mistakes and becoming an expert in running the no-huddle offense. Running back Sean Riley has exciting speed and linebacker Lawson Hall is a star in the making.
Narbonne won't have an easy time in the Marine League with roadblocks such as San Pedro and even Carson. San Pedro returns quarterback Jacob Miller, several linemen and standout defensive back AJ Frazier, the league's defensive player of the year.
Crenshaw played lots of underclassmen, and if the Cougars can build around sophomore quarterback Daiyan Henley, beware. Also back are running back Aundre Carter, receiver Rayshawn Williams and defensive end Derek Moore.
Other teams with lots of returnees include Venice, Palisades, Birmingham, Sylmar and Taft.
In January, the City Section will revise its playoff divisions as part of a two-year cycle, so teams could move up or down depending on recent results.