Grading the gridiron at the halfway mark
It’s time for a midseason report card on who’s performing at the highest level in high school football:
Quarterback: 1. Keith Price, Bellflower St. John Bosco, Sr.; 2. Allan Bridgford, Mission Viejo, Sr.; 3. Richard Brehaut, Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, Sr. On the rise: Ryan Kasdorf, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Jr.
Price, a Washington commit, has been the most valuable player in Southern California. He has led the Braves to a 5-0 record while completing 69% of his passes. He has thrown for 14 touchdowns and run for five touchdowns.
Bridgford has passed for 1,380 yards and 21 touchdowns with only two interceptions. Kasdorf has passed for nearly 800 yards in his last two games against Saugus and Anaheim Servite.
Running back: 1. Anthony Barr, Los Angeles Loyola, Jr.; 2. Jordon James, Corona, Jr.; 3. Bradley Randle, Vista Murrieta, Sr. On the rise: John Lister, Thousand Oaks, Sr.
There just isn’t another running back in the mold of Barr, who’s 6 feet 4 and keeps churning out 100- and 200-yard games. James has been lost for the rest of the season after breaking his right arm Thursday against Norco. He had rushed for 1,135 yards. Randle is a Maurice Drew-like baller. Lister is piling up the yards for unbeaten Thousand Oaks.
Receiver: 1. Ricky Marvray, Corona Centennial, Sr.; 2. James Flynn, Notre Dame, Sr.; 3. Victor Blackwell, Santa Ana Mater Dei, So. On the rise: Kevin Chandler, Mission Viejo, Sr.
The UCLA-bound Marvray is so quick and slippery that opponents don’t know how to stop him. Flynn has caught eight touchdowns. Blackwell is averaging nearly 23 yards per reception
Offensive line: 1. Kevin Graf, Agoura, Sr.; 2. Michael Philipp, San Bernardino Arroyo Valley, Sr.; 3. Erik Kohler, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, Jr. On the rise: Ben Gottschalk, Notre Dame, Jr.
College recruiters can’t wait to take a crack at the junior class of linemen, and ready to join the list is Gottschalk, who has been an early season standout for the unbeaten Knights.
Tight end: 1. Morrell Presley, Carson, Sr.; 2. Marlion Barnett, Corona Santiago, Sr.; 3. John Young, Loyola, Jr. On the rise: Bryson Lloyd, Santa Barbara, Sr.
The USC-bound Presley is averaging nearly 17 yards per reception, and anyone who tries to cover him with one defender is asking for trouble. Barnett has caught 25 passes. Lloyd has made 38 catches and scored four touchdowns.
Defensive line: 1. Iuta Tepa, Long Beach Poly, Sr.; 2. James Boyd, Los Angeles Jordan, Sr.; 3. Sione Tuihalamaka, Gardena Serra, Sr. On the rise: Juwuan Brown, Long Beach Poly, Sr.
Tepa is a Samoan tackling machine. He is controlling games with his nonstop energy. The USC-bound Boyd is the most unusual athlete in the Southland, playing quarterback, defensive end, nose guard and anything he’s asked.
Linebacker: 1. Vontaze Burfict, Corona Centennial, Sr.; 2. Kenny Tuiloma, Long Beach Poly, Sr.; 3. Eric Martin, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, Sr. On the rise: Dylan Davis, Ventura St. Bonaventure, Jr.
The USC-bound Burfict is a man competing among boys. Davis continues to come through against top opponents, hammering running backs.
Defensive back: 1. Robert Woods, Gardena Serra, Jr.; 2. Stanjarivus McKay, Long Beach Poly, Sr.; 3. Dietrich Riley, La Canada St. Francis, Jr. On the rise: Troy Hill, St. Bonaventure, Jr.
There are few defensive backs who close on a football as swiftly as Woods. McKay continues to excel on a Poly defense that is second to none. Riley and Hill are part of a talented group of juniors who will be getting big-time college scholarships.
Kicker: 1. Eric Stern, Whittier California, Sr.; 2. Matt Goudis, West Hills Chaminade, So.; 3. Michael Frisina, Brea Olinda, Sr. On the rise: Steven Picchini, Moorpark, Jr.
Stern set a school record on Thursday by making a 57-yard field goal. He has six field goals this season. Goudis had a 45-yard field goal Friday and is booming his punts. Frisina has five field goals. Picchini made a 48-yard field goal Friday and is an honors student.