Varsity Times Insider
High school sports across the Southland
Baseball: Junior Dominic Fletcher commits to Arkansas

Standout junior outfielder Dominic Fletcher of Cypress has committed to Arkansas.

He's an excellent defensive outfielder.

His brother, David, plays for Loyola Marymount.




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Football: Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Oaks Christian excel in scrimmage

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Oaks Christian, Burbank and Saugus got together for a four-team scrimmage on Friday night at Notre Dame. Two teams were playing each other simultaneously using half the field, causing lots of whistles to be blown. There were lots of standouts.

Notre Dame unveiled its new quarterback, Cole Klayman, a junior, and he looked comfortable and confident. There was a hint of how good senior receiver CJ Sanders will be. The transfer from Tennessee who's committed to Notre Dame showed glimpses of his speed on a kickoff return and catch.

Oaks Christian receiver Michael Pittman, a 6-foot-4 junior, is a man among boys. If new quarterback Holden Thomas gets any time to throw, Pittman is going to be tough to stop. Running back Gil'Scott Jackson, a junior transfer from San Diego, is going to be a standout for the Lions.

Burbank will try to get as many touches as possible for Washington State-bound running back James Williams.

Freshman quarterback Matt Corral didn't play for...

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Football: QB Dawit Wilson transfers to Long Beach Poly

Long Beach Poly is trying to put together a passing attack, and the Jackrabitts may have found their quarterback of the future when sophomore Dawit Wilson enrolled from El Toro.

He has a terrfic arm and is also an outstanding athlete.

He played on El Toro's varsity basketball team last season.




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Football: Long Beach Poly flexes its muscles, shows off its speed

Two of the premier football programs in the Pac-5 Division, Long Beach Poly and Servite, engaged in a scrimmage on Friday. Let's just say that if first impressions mean anything, Poly was impressive.

The Jackrabbits scored on their first three possessions. Quarterback Joshua Love fired a 78-yard touchdown pass to Jackie Jones.

Servite held out several of its top players to get them healthy for next week's game against Bishop Gorman.

But it's clear that first-year Poly Coach Antonio Pierce has put together a team with potentially outstanding offensive and defensive lines and a team with lots of speed.





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Football: Garfield is making progress

A year ago, in a scrimmage against Crenshaw, Garfield players acted a little intimidated, especially after a Crenshaw player launched a Garfield player out of bounds and said, "This is a grown man's game."

On Thursday, Coach Lorenzo Hernandez was pleased with how his players competed play after play against the Cougars.

"Our kids played to the level of Crenshaw," he said. "I think our guys have arrived."

With San Clemente, Garfield's opening opponent, scouting the scrimmage, Hernandez held back lots of plays. But versatile quarterback Stevie Williams gave a hint of what he might do this season, breaking off a long run on an option play.





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Volleyball: Muno-Caputo improve to 2-3 at Youth Olympics

Zana Muno (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame) is missing school this week, but she has a good excuse. She's representing the United States at the Youth Olympic Games in China in beach volleyball.

The team of Muno and Skylar Caputo (Mira Costa) improved to 2-3 in their pool after a 2-0 victory over Vietnam.

The men's team of T.J. DeFalco (Huntington Beach) and former Redondo player Louis Richard is 1-4.

Action resumes on Sunday.




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Football: Inglewood to start freshman twins at linebacker

There's no holding back the Gibson twins, Ty'Rese and Ty'Rae.

They are scheduled to start at linebacker for Inglewood High as freshmen.

They have played well in youth football.

The only problem is trying to identify which is Ty'Rese and which is Ty'Rae. Luckily, they'll have a different uniform number.




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Football: How to do the haka dance

There has been a proliferation of high school football teams trying to do the haka dance.

Sometimes they do well, sometimes not.

If anyone wants pointers, above is video of Arizona's haka.




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Baseball: Terry Phillips is new coach at St. Francis

Terry Phillips, an assistant coach at Occidental College since 2010, has been hired as the baseball coach at La Canada St. Francis.

He previously was a high school head coach in Utah.

He takes over a program that has struggled to be competitive in recent years in the tough Mission League.




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Football: Narbonne, Chaminade engage in competitive scrimmage

There were mistakes by both teams, but the coaches for Narbonne and Chaminade left Thursday's scrimmage feeling confident their respective teams will be very good this season.

"I think we're going to be OK. I think they are, too," Chaminade Coach Ed Croson said.

"I feel like we just played a real game," Narbonne Coach Manuel Douglas said.

Croson liked the play of running backs JT Hill and TJ Pledger.

Douglas liked the play of safety Trevon Bierria and quarterback Roman Ale. The Gauchos also did well on special teams, a problem spot in last season's City championship game.

Chaminade opens it season against Venice next week. Narbonne plays Palos Verdes.




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Football: Cathedral is happy with sophomore QB Andrew Tovar

There might have been some panic among L.A. Cathedral fans after the expected starting quarterback, MC Poe, left school and moved out of California.

But after seeing Thursday's scrimmage against Venice, Phantom fans can relax. Sophomore Andrew Tovar is ready to take charge. He had to start in a game last season as a freshman against Gardena Serra, and Coach Kevin Pearson is confident he'll continue to progress. He's an A student who listens and learns.

Cathedral's most imposing player is 6-foot-7, 220-pound defensive end Simi Moala. Somebody better be assigned to block him or there's going to be big trouble.

Venice graduated lots of players from its semifinalist team, but the Gondoliers should get better with each game.




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Football: New faces, same results for defending City champion Crenshaw

The cupboard isn't bare at defending City Section Division I champion Crenshaw.

In a scrimmage on Thursday night against a good Garfield team, the Cougars unveiled a group of young, talented players that are going to keep Crenshaw an elite team in the City Section.

Gone is the City Section player of the year, quarterback Ajene Harris (now at USC), but sophomore Daiyon Henley is going to be a capable replacement. He has a strong arm, lots of maturity and only needs a little experience.

Junior running back Andre Carter had several impressive runs. Junior defensive end Derek Moore, 6 feet 2, 210 pounds, is going to cause lots of problems on defense. And beware of 6-3 freshman receiver Rayshawn Williams, who caught a 20-yard touchdown pass and has the makings of a future standout.

Most notable about Crenshaw is improved depth and size on the offensive and defensive lines that should help against such nonleague opponents as Long Beach Poly and St. John Bosco.

As for Garfield, the Bulldogs...

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