Prep notebook: Birmingham’s David Diaz is about to show what multitasking looks like

Birmingham junior David Diaz
Birmingham junior David Diaz plans to play for his club soccer team and his school soccer and football teams.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Junior David Diaz of Birmingham High is about to go where no teenager has gone before during a year of the COVID-19 pandemic. His plan is to play for Birmingham’s City Section title-contending soccer team while also playing for his MLS Academy club and kicking for Birmingham’s football team.

All in the same season.

“He’s crazy,” Birmingham soccer coach EB Madha said.

Diaz better get used to lots of swabs going up his nose.

“David will be tested every week,” athletic director Rick Prizant said.

Diaz is a top student and athlete for the Patriots.

“I’m going to try to do all three,” he said.

Diaz scored 17 goals as a freshman when Birmingham won the City Section soccer championship in 2019.

“He could go pro,” Madha said.

When it comes to kicking for the football team, Diaz said he’d try to practice when possible. Otherwise, he’ll show up on game night. He began his club season this past weekend. The first Birmingham soccer match is Monday. The first football game is March 26.


Indoor sports begin: When Orange Lutheran hosted a girls’ volleyball match against Santa Ana Mater Dei in its gymnasium this week, it was one of the first indoor matches to be be held since the California Department of Public Health issued new guidelines allowing indoor sports to begin with enhanced testing conditions.

No parents or fans were allowed because both schools wanted to see how things went in a controlled atmosphere. Each school tested its players and coaches to make sure everyone was ready to go.

“The kids were really excited,” Mater Dei athletic director Amanda Waters said. “The energy, even though there weren’t fans, was really high. It was ‘Who cares who’s winning. Let’s get the kids playing.’”

Orange Lutheran won the match 3-1. The Trinity League plans to have a four-match girls’ volleyball season and will focus on that indoor sport before moving to basketball late this month or in early April.

Mater Dei and Orange Lutheran have different private labs helping to test athletes.

When asked how schools should handle testing, Waters said, “You have to find a company to come to your school to do it, then find a company to bill insurance so the school doesn’t have to pay for every test.”


Gyms are opening: Testing programs will help schools open up gymnasiums for basketball practices. Schools in the Foothill League were starting to get athletes tested on Friday so that gyms can be open for practicing this week. Schools in Huntington Beach Unified began testing indoor athletes.

Some schools say no to spring football: City Section schools had a deadline on Friday to decide whether to play football next month. The schools opting out are Fremont, Locke, View Park, Gardena, University, Sotomayor, Jordan, Rancho Dominguez, Eagle Rock, Franklin, Torres, East Valley, Fulton, SOCES, VOCES, USC Hybrid.

Loyola High offensive lineman Josh Morales is grateful for a chance to finally play football after helping his parents fight COVID-19.

March 11, 2021

Washington Prep and Hawkins will move to the Coliseum League to help make up for the absence of three teams.

Dorsey vs. Crenshaw: The Dorsey vs. Crenshaw football game has been scheduled for Thursday, April 29, at Jackie Robinson Stadium next to Dorsey‘s campus.