Lynwood has won 30 straight league games, but may have a tough time keeping that going because the league is much improved following a couple of down seasons. Still, the Knights are favored to win the league title again, with Paramount foremost among the challengers.
1. LYNWOOD--The best part of his team, says Coach Larry Anderson, is the offensive line, which is talented as well as huge. The leader is right guard Emmanuel Onwutuebe, whom Anderson believes may be the best player in the league. That line should open holes for the team’s top running back, all-league Austin McCowan. Lynwood coaches have been trying since February to teach Keith Nixon, heretofore a wide receiver and running back, to play quarterback.
2. PARAMOUNT--The Pirates have worked hard in the weight room to add strength to a team that is quick and experienced (22 returning lettermen). Quarterback Kojuan Williams has led the team to the playoffs two straight years. Frank Harper is a three-year starter at free safety for a defense that Coach Ken Suxh expects to be good. Paramount, which lost to Lynwood, 26-0 last season, won’t play the Knights until the last game of the season.
3. CERRITOS--There are several good seniors on this team, including all-league linebacker Gerardo Perez, who leads a young defense, and 6-5, 240-pound offensive tackle Ron Scranton. The new quarterback is senior Adam Price. Four players are trying to replace All-Southern Conference running back Andre Wooten, who graduated.
4. DOWNEY--Coach Gary Stempson, whose Vikings were 5-5 last season, hopes to improve by abandoning the wishbone offense and passing more. Sean McConnell, a baseball player, will be the quarterback. The best linemen are Jeff Green and Gary Gall, who play both offense and defense. The defense is inexperienced.
5. GAHR--Attitude is the strong point with the Gladiators. “They approach the game with enthusiasm, they’re eager to learn,” said Coach Darrell Walsh. “There are no super stars, just good team unity. Gahr is young--32 of 44 players are juniors. Top players are Steve Danjou, a senior offensive tackle and linebacker, and Frank Beckton, a junior running back and linebacker with two years of varsity experience. Doug Dehlinger, a junior, moves from defensive back to quarterback, a new position for him.
6. DOMINGUEZ--The Dons were only 1-8 last year, and Coach Willie Donerson says, “We’ve got to improve.” Offense is the strength, with 10 returning starters, including all-league tailback Anthony Green and quarterback Trendell Williams, a junior who passed for more than 800 yards last season.
7. WARREN----John Hennigan has moved from California High to take over the Bears, who lost all 10 games they played last year. “We have good talent, it’s a matter of directing it in the right way,” Hennigan said. The running attack should be strong with Darius Turner and Anthony Simmons, and the defensive line is strong with 6-5, 235-pound David Main and 6-3, 230-pound Greg Reynolds.