Royal High soccer Coach Peter Schraml said he was "a bit nervous" when starting goalkeeper Steven Hambly set out for an Olympic development soccer camp at Stanford University, leaving the Highlander skipper with incoming freshman Brent Thompson to tend the cages.
Any doubts about Thompson's ability vanished when he and Royal posted consecutive shutouts in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the L.A. Games on Saturday at El Camino College.
Thompson made one save in a 3-0 quarterfinal win over North Torrance and had three stops against Bell Gardens to help spark a 2-0 semifinal victory.
"I was a bit nervous because I hadn't seen Brent play at all," Schraml said. "He practiced with us in one practice before the tournament. It seemed to work out well."
Thompson also kept alive Royal's perfect defensive record in the 64-team tournament. The Highlanders have not allowed a goal in five matches.
In today's final Royal will meet Orange, which defeated Pasadena Muir, 3-2, in a semifinal shootout. The championship at El Camino College will be a rematch of the 1989 title game, which ended in a 1-1 tie.
"They're a very skillful team," Schraml said of Orange, which won the Southern Section 2-A Division title last year.
Forward Dan Morris led Royal's attack Saturday, scoring twice against North Torrance and once against Bell Gardens.
Midfielder Troy Burley and forward Ryan Campbell also added goals for Royal.
TRACK AND FIELD
Howard Schrier of Birmingham High cleared 13 feet 8 inches to win the pole vault at El Camino College.
Schrier's mark was just off his personal best of 14-0.
Bobby Wiley of Monroe and Robin Heidt of Canyon posted comfortable wins in their 1,500-meter finals. Wiley timed 4 minutes 23.3 seconds. Heidt ran away from Locke's Brenda Stewart.