Reseda football’s ascent is helped by family loyalty

Reseda receiver Dranel Rhodes holds up his 12-year-old brother, Amari. They have an older brother who played for the Regents and are part of the tradition of younger brothers staying in the Reseda program.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

In the Reseda High weight room, there was a 12-year-old seventh-grader hanging out with all the varsity football players. Amari Rhodes is the younger brother of standout receiver Dranel Rhodes. He’s been going to Reseda practices since he was 3, when oldest brother Leonard began playing for the Regents.

“I’ve been doing it all my life,” Amari said.

Reseda’s football team went 10-2 last season and is opening the season at City Section power Crenshaw on Aug. 23. The Regents are on the ascent, and one big reason is that younger brothers are following their big brothers to Reseda.

Coach Alonso Arreola has been Reseda’s coach since 2005, and the endorsement of families is a positive for a school that must compete against private and public schools for athletes.

“It’s family-oriented,” said Reseda linebacker Prophet Tagoai, who’s the third brother to play for the Regents and has a 12-year-old brother, Nohea, who’s expected to follow him to Reseda. “I’ve known these coaches since I was 6. It’s genuine. It’s not like you’re a number.”

Dranel Rhodes should be one of the best athletes in the Valley Mission League. He played five games at quarterback last season. He’s going to team with receiver Mario Martinez and quarterback Trent Butler, a transfer from Agoura, to give the Regents a strong offensive attack.


Meanwhile, Amari will keep hanging around. He already knows the offense better than some players, so in two years, Arreola will have a running back and another Rhodes brother ready to go.