Varsity Times Insider
High school sports across the Southland
Football: Verdugo Hills gets lift from Troy Richards

Verdugo Hills football Coach Chad Runnels has been trying for several years to get Troy Richards to play football. He's been the starting center fielder for the baseball team.

"He's the fastest kid in school," Runnels said.

A heart ailment prevented Richards from coming out, along with concerns from his mother, Runnels said.

But Richards got clearance from his cardiologist and approval from his mother, and the Dons (2-2) couldn't be happier. He's averaging 20 yards a reception, with 10 catches, and the Dons last week knocked off unbeaten Village Christian, 32-17.

Verdugo Hills didn't have quarterback Gage Van Kempton for its first two games (broken hand), but his return allowed standout receiver Carter Otte to return to his normal position. With Otte, Richards and Jacob Moore, Verdugo Hills has a solid receiving trio.

Next up is a game that could decide the East Valley League championship, when Verdugo Hills hosts Arleta.



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Football: Josh Davis emerges from the shadows at Gardena Serra

Josh Davis isn't the most well-known prospect at Gardena Serra. Certainly not when you consider the high-profile nature of his teammates. The senior, however, is slowly carving out his niche. The days of flying under the radar could be coming to an end.

Once an afterthought in recruiting, Davis is receiving interest from multiple colleges. Rightfully so, given his efforts this season as the Cavaliers prepare to face La Puente Bishop Amat in a Mission League game on Friday night.

“Look around, we have players here that are doing big things. That's OK with me too. I'm happy for everyone. Those guys are family,” Davis said. “I don't worry about the headlines. I know my time is coming. I have a job to do, that's my concern, taking care of business.”

The 6-foot-1, 265-pounder is a two-way starter along the line of scrimmage for the Cavaliers (4-1 overall, 1-0 in league). How well he does at offensive guard and defensive end could be vital against the Lancers (2-3, 0-1).

Davis will have...

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Football: San Clemente to hold a military appreciation night

Thursday's football game between Tesoro and host San Clemente will be Military Appreciation Night.

Seventy-five Marines will be greeted, served dinner and be presented gifts by local merchants.

There's also a Socks for Heroes socks drive, where fans are urged to bring all black socks to donate to military personnel.




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Boys' basketball: Lots of standouts at Calabasas one-day tournament

There was no lack of talent at Sunday's one-day basketball tournament at Calabasas honoring former Coyotes assistant coach Joseph Frazier.

Calabasas Coach Jon Palarz watched all 10 games and singled out a group of players for their top performances.

Included in the list were Aaron Holiday of Campbell Hall, Chance Comanche of Beverly Hills, De'Anthony Melton of Crespi, Michael Oguine of Chaminade, Christian Juzang of Viewpoint, Austin Butler of Buckley, Michael Alvarez of Oak Park and Justin Bessard of Calabasas.




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This week's Southern Section polls

Despite its loss to Bishop Gorman last week, St. John Bosco remains No. 1 in this week's Southern Section Pac-5 Division coaches' poll. Mater Dei is No. 2 and Alemany No. 3.

Here's the link to complete football rankings.

Here's the link to girls' volleyball rankings.

Here's the link to boys' water polo rankings.

Here's the link to girls' tennis rankings.

Here's the link to cross country rankings.




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Football: This week's Prep Zone schedule

This week's schedule for Fox Sports West's Prep Zone on Friday night:

Games on the web are La Mirada vs. Bellflower; Corona Roosevelt vs. Norte Vista; Chaparral vs. Mission Viejo; Norco vs. Serrano.

Fox Sports West will show Gardena Serra vs. Bishop Amat on TV at 7:30 p.m.

Time Warner Cable will televise St. John Bosco vs. Crenshaw on Friday at 7 p.m.




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Girls' volleyball: Big opening week for the West Valley League

Girls' volleyball in the City Section begins in the West Valley League this week, and what great action there is on tap.

First up is City Division II title favorite Taft taking on El Camino Real on Monday. Taft owns a win over Division I power Palisades and is led by Andrea Bosnic.

El Camino Real has junior Kayla Jacks and senior libero Alex Ardaki.

After tuning up against Taft, El Camino Real faces Division I title favorite Granada Hills on Thursday. The Highlanders have won five of the last six City titles. Sophomore Sarah Hagge might be the best player in the City. Senior Rachel Kayongo isn't too bad herself.

The other team to watch in the City is Carson, which is the Marine League title favorite.

Update: Taft defeated El Camino Real in five sets on Monday night.




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Football: It's Taft alum vs. Taft alum when Arizona State plays USC on Saturday

It's going to be a Taft High reunion on Saturday at the Coliseum when Arizona State plays USC.

Former Taft quarterback Michael Bercovici of ASU will be winking over at former Taft defensive lineman Antwaun Woods of USC. The two were teammates in 2009 and 2010 and remain friends.

But once kickoff happens, Woods will be trying to sack and disrupt Bercovici.

Former Taft Coach Matt Kerstetter, who now coaches in Texas, is flying in for the game.




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Football: Inglewood, North Torrance accept double forfeit

Inglewood and North Torrance have accepted a double forfeit from last Friday's game after officials stopped the game in the third quarter when an incident occurred following a punt return, Southern Section spokesman Thom Simmons said.

Inglewood players left their bench and will also forfeit a scheduled Friday game against University, because it would not have enough players to play following ejections, Inglewood Coach Jason Miller said. Later Monday, Miller said the school has decided to challenge the ruling of not allowing the team to bring up JV players.

Whether North Torrance will have to forfeit its next game scheduled for Oct. 10 hasn't been decided. It depends on how many players North Torrance has available. North Torrance has requested a meeting with the head official from last week's game to review video and determine how many players left the bench and should be ejected, according to Simmons. That meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. The official will then forward a report to...

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Football: Chaminade unveils another top freshman in Mykee Irving

In its Mission League victory over Loyola last week, Chaminade used for the first time on varsity 6-foot-3, 270-pound freshman lineman Mykee Irving.

Irving, who had been playing junior varsity, contributed the only sack of the game for the Eagles. He's also a basketball player

Chaminade already has been playing a top freshman on offense in running back TJ Pledger.




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Football: Santa Margarita's Rick Wade is causing havoc

Santa Margarita has never had a defensive lineman lead the team in tackles _ until this season.

Rick Wade, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound senior defensive end committed to UCLA, has 51 tackles.

Last week against Venice, he had an interception and returned a fumble for a touchdown. He finished with 14 tackles.

He's No. 80 in the video above.




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Football: Four sites under consideration to host City Section finals

City Section Commissioner John Aguirre said he was finally able to make contact with USC officials in trying to see if the Coliseum might be available to host the City Section football finals on Dec. 6.

The Coliseum, Valley College, Southwest College and Cerritos College are the four sites Aguirre said he's evaluating.

The City Section wants to hold its Division I, II and III finals on the same day at the same site. Stadium costs will be an important factor. A decision should be finalized by next month, Aguirre said.




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