Prep Rally: Here are the high school football receivers you should know about

Shane Rosenthal of Newbury Park makes the catch during a summer seven on seven competition.
(Craig Weston)
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Hi, and welcome to another edition of Prep Rally. My name is Eric Sondheimer. Let’s lead with a summer look at receivers to watch for this fall.

The pass catchers

When it comes to receivers to watch, Mission Viejo and Mater Dei have two each playing at another level. The Mission Viejo duo of Phillip Bell and Vance Spafford will put all kinds of pressure on defense. The Mater Dei duo of Marcus Harris and Chris Henry Jr. is equally challenging.

Warren’s 6-4 Jace Brown has been gaining momentum as a top prospect after his outstanding playoff run last season and continued development in the off season. He committed to UCLA last week. He’ll get to team with junior Jalen Ross.

Warren receiver Jace Brown.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Shane Rosenthal of Newbury Park is coming off a junior season in which he caught 122 passes for 1,947 yards and 21 touchdowns. Junior Madden Williams of St. John Bosco has made a major jump in the off season and should be a standout for the Braves.

Trent Mosley of Santa Margarita is the reigning Trinity League MVP after a fantastic sophomore season. Chaz Gilbreath of Mayfair had 84 receptions as a sophomore. Demare Dezeurn of Bishop Alemany was one of the fastest sprinters in California as a freshman and should be an electric sophomore player. Cory Butler of Corona Centennial is a big-play weapon.

Kamarie Smith of Long Beach Poly had 11 touchdown catches as a sophomore. Jadyn Robinson of Gardena Serra has shown talent at Long Beach Poly and San Juan Hills. Marquis Bradley of Charter Oak caught 19 touchdowns passes for Ontario Christian.

Chaminade has a strong duo in senior Logan Carpenter and junior Devin Olmande. Cameron Brewer of Bishop Montgomery had 73 receptions for 1,308 yards last season. The Singleton brothers from Culver City, Myles and Braylon, return for their senior seasons. Myles caught 15 touchdowns last season. Judah Douglas of Temple City had 15 touchdown catches.

Narbonne’s Allen Blaylock and Xavier Owens flashed moments of big-play abilities as sophomores. Griffin Seals, a 6-3 senior who’s also an outstanding safety, had 11 touchdown grabs in 2023 for Santa Monica.

Sophomore tight end Mark Bowman of Mater Dei.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

As far as tight ends, 6-4, 230-pound sophomore Mark Bowman of Mater Dei caught four touchdowns as a freshman. Vander Ploog of Troy is a 6-6, 220-pound senior committed to Washington. Zach Giuliano is the latest talented tight end from Corona del Mar and is headed to Stanford. AJ la of Orange Lutheran and Stevie Amar of Oaks Christian will be big-time contributors blocking and catching. Dayton Norris from Carson could be the top tight end in the City Section.

Summer growth spurts

With size 18 shoes, Servite tight end Luke Sorensen has grown to 6 feet 4.
(Craig Weston)

It’s the summer of growth spurts in high school football. Sometimes it’s height, sometimes weight, sometimes strength. But it’s happening.

One example is Servite tight end Luke Sorensen. He has size 18 shoes and is 6-4 on his way to 6-7. There are a lot of athletes making changes to help them this fall.


Here’s a look at players who could be heard from in the fall as they undergo lots of changes since last season.


Narbonne linebacker Mark Iheanachor (left) and King/Drew defensive end Chinedu Onyeagoro are headed to SMU.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

All-City linebacker Mark Iheanachor of Narbonne said he has known All-City defensive end Chinedu Onyeagoro of King/Drew since they were 7. Both have Nigerian parents.

Iheanachor played youth football while Onyeagoro focused on basketball. Onyeagoro finally started playing football in 2022 and recorded 40 sacks over two high school seasons.

Iheanachor announced he had committed to Southern Methodist, then went to King/Drew to watch Onyeagoro make his commitment to SMU. The two visited the school together last year and now they are going to be teammates in the fall of 2025.


Here’s their story.

Also committing this past week was offensive lineman Elijah Vaikona of Santa Margarita. The 6-8, 370-pound senior committed to USC. Orange Lutheran receiver Tyler Hennessy has committed to UC Davis. Linebacker Austin Coronado has committed to Columbia. He was at St. John Bosco and has transferred to Glendora. See transfer portal.

Linebacker LaVar Arrington Jr. of Charter Oak has committed to Penn State. Defensive back Jayden Gray of Moorpark has committed to Air Force. Receiver Jace Brown of Warren committed to UCLA. Receiver Elliot Cooper of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame has committed to Columbia.

Receiver Marquis Bradley of Charter Oak has committed to UC Davis. Receiver Tavian McNair of Corona Centennial committed to Utah. Linebacker Christian Knoos of Oaks Christian committed to UC Davis.

Scheduler of the year

In this era of divisional playoff placements based on computer rankings, there continues to be a debate among coaches about how tough to make their nonleague schedules knowing teams need to reach .500 to help secure an at-large berth in the Southern Section.

Without checking every football schedule, let me say the scheduler of the year has to come from Bishop Alemany, which went 1-9 and 3-8 the last two seasons but used to be a Division 1 team.

“I walked into this,” new athletic director Randy Thompson said.

The Warriors are moving from the Mission League to the Angelus League, and coach Casey Clausen has put together a nonleague schedule that is anything but tough. They host Desert, Bernstein and Salesian, play at Arizona Salpointe Catholic, at San Fernando and at Lawndale.

Going 5-1 is possible.

The most interesting part of the schedule is answering the question who’s going to tackle Alemany receiver Demare Dezeurn, who ran a 10.36 100 meters this spring.


Bryce Rainer (left) and Duncan Marsten.
Bryce Rainer (left) and Duncan Marsten are Harvard-Westlake graduates expected to be chosen in the MLB draft.

The 2024 MLB draft begins on Sunday, and look for former Harvard-Westlake standout Bryce Rainer to be a top 10 pick. His Harvard-Westlake teammate, pitcher Duncan Marsten, also could be chosen later in the draft.

Other Southern California products who could be taken early include pitcher Braylon Doughty of Chaparral, pitcher Boston Bateman of Camarillo and pitcher Levi Sterling of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

Former Orange Lutheran coach Eric Borba took a team of local players to win the National Championship Series. Among the top players was Orange Lutheran 6-foot-8 junior pitcher Gary Morse.

Rookie pitcher Paul Skenes of the Pittsburgh Pirates and El Toro High was selected to represent the National League in MLB’s All-Star Game. Also in the game are Hart grad Tyler Glasnow of the Dodgers, Mater Dei grad Ryan McMahon of the Rockies, El Modeno grad Freddie Freeman of the Dodgers and Cypress grad Jarren Duran of the Red Sox.


Los Angeles area coaches have voted on awards for girls’ lacrosse.

All American winners:

Alexandria Rangel, Sr - Chaminade High

Kate Donnelley, Jr- Mira Costa High

Eloise Shin - Jr -Marlborough High

Sophia Cuteno - So - Marlborough High

Ave Fossati - So - Marlborough High

Chloe Gibbs - So- Oak Park High

Riley Padian Sr- Palos Verdes High

Caitlyn Kelly Jr - Redondo Union High

Megan Toomey of Marlborough was selected as coach of the year.

Senior Brady Kezelman of Santa Margarita has committed to Manhattan lacrosse. Senior Gus Singh of Loyola has committed to Amherst.

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Notes . . .

Senior Trent MacLean won’t be playing for Thousand Oaks this coming basketball season. The 6-foot-9 son of former UCLA star Don MacLean is joining SoCal Academy. . . .

Senior guard Grayson Sinek has gone from La Habra to JSerra. He was the 3AA basketball player of the year as a junior. . . .

Former Bosco Tech athletic director Vincent Nolasco is the new athletic director at St. Anthony. . . .

Former Anaheim Canyon basketball player Josh Goodall has committed to UC Merced. . . .

The AAU Beach National Championships begin Sunday in Hermosa Beach. . . .

Nathan Bernstein is the new baseball coach at La Canada. . . .

State champion wrestler Ronnie Ramirez of Walnut has committed to Oklahoma State. . . .

The best summer seven on seven tournament of the summer is set for Saturday at Edison High. The Battle of the Beach has St. John Bosco, Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo and Corona Centennial, among others. Starts at 9 a.m. and usually is completed by 3 p.m. . . . .

St. Francis guard Mazi Mosley is transferring to Montverde Academy in Florida for his senior season, coach Todd Wolfson said. He’s another example of a player setting out on his summer camp tour and getting offers too good to stay in a constantly changing high school basketball scene where agents and NIL are becoming prominent for top players. . . .

Damien's Nate Garcia.
(Nick Koza)

Damien 7-foot center Nate Garcia has committed to Cal Baptist. . . .

Tae Simmons of Heritage Christian has committed to San Diego State for basketball. . . .

Infielder Mateo Rickman of Torrance has committed to Long Beach State. . . .

Sisters Avery and Addi Junk from Redondo have committed to Florida State beach volleyball. . . .

Abby Zimmerman of Redondo Union was named MVP in helping her club team win the 16 Open national championship in girls’ volleyball at the Junior Nationals in Las Vegas.

Junior guard Brandon McCoy from St. John Bosco helped the USA U17 national team win the gold medal at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in Istanbul. He had 13 points and four assists in the final victory over Italy. He also won a gold medal last year for the U16 national team.


From the archives: Tara Davis-Woodhall

Tara Davis-Woodhall
Tara Davis-Woodhall after winning the silver medal in the women’s long jump final during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last year.
(Bernat Armangue / Associated Press)

Agoura High graduate Tara Davis-Woodhall is headed to Paris to represent the United States in the Olympic Games in the women’s long jump.

In 2017 at the state championships, she won the 100-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump. She went on to Georgia and now is focusing on gold.

Here’s a story from last March discussing her journey.


From the Los Angeles Times, a story on UCLA’s new football recruiting philosophy.

From, a story on former San Clemente tight end Broderick Redden going on a two-year missionary work in New Zealand.

From the Los Angeles Times, a look at Bronny James’ first news conference with the Lakers.

From the, a story on the growing friendship of Pirates pitchers Jared Jones and Paul Skenes.

Tweets you might have missed


Until next time...

Have a question, comment or something you’d like to see in a future Prep Rally newsletter? Email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latsondheimer.

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