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2011 posts
  • Football

Since he was 9, Simon Samarzich of Upland has been working on his long snapping skills. Now he’s ranked No. 1 in Southern California and No. 2 in the nation by long snapper guru Chris Rubio.

I asked Rubio to provide his rankings for the coming season.

Among the class of 2019 long snappers to watch are Jack Landherr of Chino Hills, Aidan Livingston of Santa Ana Mater Dei, Matt Rhodes of Calabasas and Derek Bedell of St. John Bosco.

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  • Football
Oaks Christian defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux had 21 sacks last season.
Oaks Christian defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux had 21 sacks last season. (Gary Coronado)

Taking a sneak peek at the defensive linemen to watch for the 2018 season, you have to start with Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oaks Christian. He’s an All-American defensive end who strikes fear into opponents.

Last season he recorded 21 sacks. He’s been working hard to be quicker, stronger and even more dominant.

Cole Aubrey returns at St. John Bosco. He had 15 sacks.

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  • Basketball
Three Fairfax basketball coaches covering 43 years had lunch on Thursday. Steve Baik (current coach), Steve Miller and Harvey Kitani.
Three Fairfax basketball coaches covering 43 years had lunch on Thursday. Steve Baik (current coach), Steve Miller and Harvey Kitani. (Eric Sondheimer)

It was a historic meeting of Fairfax High School basketball coaches on Thursday at the San Franciscan restaurant in Torrance.

While eating prime rib and chocolate mud pie, current Fairfax coach Steve Baik met up with former coaches Steve Miller and Harvey Kitani. Together, they represented 43 years of basketball coaching tradition for the Lions.

“Fairfax is the best basketball school to coach at,” said Miller, who was head coach from 1975 to ‘79.

  • Baseball

High school sports teams are traveling more than ever, so it should come as no surprise that the South Hills baseball program has come up with an interesting way to spend its Christmas break.

More than 40 players and families are headed to Hawaii for sun, surfing and playing baseball. They will be gone from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2.

Let’s see who emerges as best surfer on the team who can also hit a fastball.

  • Basketball

Save Oct. 20 on your calendar if you’re a high school basketball fan. The Rolling Hills Prep Fall Classic will be held at Harbor College, and the final three games of the night will be pretty good.

Fairfax will play Harvard-Westlake at 4:30 p.m. Rancho Christian will face Bishop Montgomery at 8 p.m. Also playing is St. John Bosco, which will face a team to be announced at 6:30 p.m.

Games will start at 9 a.m. with Rolling Hills vs. La Canada. Then Brentwood will take on Camarillo at 10:30 a.m., followed by Santa Monica vs. Long Beach Poly at noon. Mater Dei will play Riverside Notre Dame at 1:30 p.m. and Taft will play St. Bernard at 3 p.m.

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Thursday, Aug. 16

SOUTHERN SECTION

NONLEAGUE

  • Football
Jonah Tauanu'u of Narbonne is the top returning blocker in the City Section.
Jonah Tauanu'u of Narbonne is the top returning blocker in the City Section. (Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

A football team is only as good on offense as the line up front, and these will be some of the players making news in the trenches this season.

Let’s start with Sean Rhyan of San Juan Hills. He’s 6 feet 6, 295 pounds and has made a name for himself at one of the newer public schools in Orange County.

The best blocker in the City Section is left tackle Jonah Tauanu’u of Narbonne. A former tight end, he prides himself on his strength and agility.

The Luckhurst brothers will be playing football and soccer for Bishop Diego this season. Freshman Mark (left), senior Jack and junior Adam.
The Luckhurst brothers will be playing football and soccer for Bishop Diego this season. Freshman Mark (left), senior Jack and junior Adam. (Eric Sondheimer)

Former NFL kicker Mick Luckhurst is sure doing his part to help the kicking game and soccer team at Bishop Diego.

He’ll have three sons playing football and soccer this season at Bishop Diego. And he’s going to be not only the kicking coach but also the soccer coach.

Jack, a senior, is the returning standout punter/kicker for Bishop Diego. Adam, a junior, will be the backup varsity kicker. Michael, a freshman, is a quarterback and kicker.

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  • Basketball

Westchester has become the favorite to win this season’s City Section Open Division championship in boys’ basketball after the City Section approved a hardship waiver for Kaelen Allen, last season’s City player of the year.

Allen was granted a fifth year of eligibility.

No team could stop the muscular 6-foot-6 senior in the paint last season. His return, combined with guard Jordan Brinson, makes the Comets the team to beat in 2018-19.

Football participation declined for the third consecutive year in California.
Football participation declined for the third consecutive year in California. (Patrick T. Fallon)

Since 2015, nearly 10,000 fewer students are playing 11-man high school football in California, according to the latest CIF participation survey released on Wednesday.

For the third consecutive year, there was a decline in football participation even though sports participation is at an all-time high at 808,557.

There were 94,286 students participating in 11-man football during the 2017-18 season, a decline of 2.87% from last year. The last year there was an increase was 2015, when 103,725 participated in football.