Varsity Times Insider
High school sports across the Southland
Football: John Jackson III is at Mater Dei

John Jackson was a top assistant coach at USC and other schools. His son, John Jackson II, was a standout football and baseball player at Bishop Amat and USC. Now John Jackson III has chosen Santa Ana Mater Dei over Bishop Amat to begin his prep career in football and baseball. His father, JJ, the sports commentator for USC games and FSN, still bleeds Lancer blue, but Mater Dei fits in better for travel and other purposes. His son is a freshman quarterback. As for what happens if Mater Dei plays Bishop Amat, the father could be dealing with allegiance issues.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Baseball: La Mirada's Kim Brooks won't return as coach, athletic director

Kim Brooks, suspended when a profanity-filled tirade on April 26 became public via an audio recording, will not return as baseball coach or athletic director at La Mirada, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Brooks confirmed to the paper that he had been dropped from both positions. He had returned to the classroom as a teacher in June. Brooks had previously apologized to his baseball team. The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District completed an investigation and announced that it "will be taking appropriate personnel action" but declined to confirm any action against Brooks, citing privacy reasons.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Boys' basketball: Miles Jackson-Cartwright to play in Holland

Former Loyola High guard Miles Jackson-Cartwright, who played at Pennsylvania last season as a senior, has signed to become the point guard for Aris Leeuwarden in Holland. He averaged 11.6 points as a senior at Pennsylvania. He's the older brother of Arizona freshman guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright. Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Baseball: Orange Lutheran sophomore Garrett Mitchell commits to UCLA

Former Orange Lutheran infielder Josh Morgan signed with UCLA but never made it to campus after signing a professional contract. The Bruins decided to try again. They have received a commitment from Orange Lutheran sophomore infielder Garrett Mitchell, Coach Eric Borba said. He's 6 feeet 2, 180 pounds and was a varsity player as a freshman. He's fast, a top athlete and can play third base, shortstop, the outfield and even pitch.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Pac-12 football: Cal coach excited about Khalfani Muhammad

At Wednesday's Pac-12 media day at Paramount Pictures, California Coach Sonny Dykes said he hopes to expand the role for former Sherman Oaks Notre Dame running back Khalfani Muhammad, who made major contributions as a freshman. "Khalfani had a really good freshman campaign," he said. "We played a lot of young guys, and Khalfani was one of the bright spots." Muhammad spent most of the spring running track, but he has been using the summer to work on his receiving skills, which is critical for the Cal offense. Dykes said former St. John Bosco receiver Bryce Treggs is moving inside in the offense. "Bryce has been one of the most consistent players," he said. Another major contributor will be former Crespi receiver Chris Harper. Former Loyola defensive back Cameron Walker will be a big asset in the secondary.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Baseball: 2015 Boras Classic begins to take shape

The 2015 Boras Classic is looking like a state championship in baseball in Southern California. Among the teams confirmed for the 16-team Southern California tournament that begins April 7 are JSerra, Mater Dei, Long Beach Wilson, Chaminade, Corona, San Clemente, Aliso Niguel, Chatsworth, Great Oak, Alemany and Huntington Beach. The pitchers alone among those 11 teams ought to bring out the scouts en masse. Two teams from San Diego are also expected to join the tournament. JSerra Coach Brett Kay is waiting to hear from three other Southern California teams. JSerra and Mater Dei are the main hosts for the tournament in Southenr California. The winner of the tournament plays the winner of the 16-team bracket from Northern California.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Football: QB Malik Henry named to junior All-American preseason team

Junior quarterback Malik Henry of Westlake High has been named to the MaxPreps.com preseason junior All-American team. Here's the link to the complete team.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Baseball: El Camino Real to play Saugus for VIBL championship

The matchup is set to decide the Valley Invitational Baseball League champion. El Camino Real will play Saugus on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Birmingham High to decide the title after the two teams each won semifinal games on Tuesday. Matt Malconian threw a complete game, Dylan Hirsch had three hits and Colton Snyder and Eric Yang added two hits apiece in El Camino Real's 7-4 win over Loyola. Rudy Aguilar had a home run, double, single and four RBIs in Saugus' 8-3 victory over Hart. El Camino Real will have its ace, left-hander Jeremy Polon, ready to throw on Thursday.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Boys' basketball: Max Heidegger is leaving Crespi for prep school

Max Heidegger, a standout junior guard at Encino Crespi who was injured for much of last season, is leaving the school to enroll at Blair Academy in New Jersey, Coach Russell White confirmed. Heidegger was a terrific player as a freshman. He injured his back last season as a sophomore. Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Boys' basketball: Gary McKnight receives award as national coach of the year

The National High School Coaches Association has named Gary McKnight of Santa Ana Mater Dei its basketball coach of the year. McKnight guided the Monarchs to a 35-0 record and the state Division I championship. He has led Mater Dei to 22 Southern Section titles and 11 state titles in 32 seasons as coach.     Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Football: Malik Roberson continues his comeback

Running back Malik Roberson of Gardena Serra missed all of last season because of a torn ACL suffered during long jumping competition as a sophomore. Earlier this month, the 5-foot-7 Roberson dunked a basketball for the first time since his injury. It was the surest sign yet that he's headed to full recovery. He's expected to be one of the best running backs in the Mission League this season as a senior. "I'm not trying to regain my junior season at all," he said. "I want to be the senior player I dreamed about my sophomore year, have the senior year every senior dreams about." Here's the link to photo of Roberson's dunk. Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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Boys' basketball: Village Christian is getting 7-foot-3 transfer

Sun Valley Village Christian appears to be the destination for 7-foot-3 Jean Marc Christ Koumadje, a native of Senagal who played last season for Florida Montverde. Zagsblog.com quoted Koumadje's guardian as saying that Koumadje will spend the 2014-15 school year at Village Christian, which returns Bennie Boatwright and will be also getting guard Kahlil Simplis from Campbell Hall. It's a continuing trend of small private schools getting transfer students in basketball. Last week, it was revealed that Pasadena Maranatha is the destination for Chaminade's Trevor Stanback and St. John Bosco's Tyler Dorsey.   Twitter:@LATSondheimer  

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