They lounged in the bleachers, about 150 strong. Some tall and sinewy, wearing confident smiles. Others short and pudgy, looking a bit apprehensive. All of them high school football players, their various team colors clashing into a sort of rainbow.
Antonio Pierce gazed up at them and scowled. The broad-chested former New York Giants linebacker sensed a lack of energy.
“Dude, go turn that music up,” he instructed a man wearing a Long Beach Poly High football polo. “We have to get these kids ready!”
When the music got louder — a scratchy version of “Straight Outta Compton” filling a stadium squeezed between academic buildings...