San Pedro tops teams to watch in City Section football

San Pedro defensive lineman Isaiah Howard and linebacker Kain Perris help swarm tackle a Banning receiver.
San Pedro defensive lineman Isaiah Howard (22) and linebacker Kain Perris (17) get help from teammates to bring down Banning wide receiver Brandon Alvarez last spring.
(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

Here’s a preseason top 10 for City Section football teams heading into the 2021 season:

1. San Pedro

The Pirates have lots of fast, experienced skill-position players from an impressive spring season. Quarterback Aidan Jackson looks capable of having some big games. Watch out for three-sport athlete Nick Fernandez at tight end and defensive end.


2. Birmingham

The Patriots start out with standout defensive end/receiver Arlis Boardingham and four-year starter Carlos Rivera on the offensive and defensive lines. They’ll have another transfer starting at quarterback, but they have much-improved speed.

3. Venice

Coach Angelo Gasca is confident his team’s defense will be ready to perform at a high level. The big question is how good Bishop Alemany transfer Paul Kessler will be at quarterback.

4. Banning

Running back Jakob Galloway is back for his senior year. Just give him the ball and get out of the way.


5. Granada Hills

The Highlanders’ double-wing offense will be tough to stop because running back Dijon Stanley is one of the fastest in the City Section.

Brothers Deji and Damola Olabode are defensive ends at Reseda.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

6. Reseda

The Regents have a group of seniors who were part of a championship team as sophomores. Watch out for the Olabode brothers, senior Deji and sophomore Damola. Both are defensive ends.

7. Crenshaw

The Cougars were so young during the spring that coach Robert Garrett didn’t know what to expect during practice or games. But you could see there was talent and speed. Let’s see if the spring experience lifts up the Cougars.

8. Garfield

Quarterback Jaison Vargas will hope for improved protection from his offensive line.

9. Palisades

The Dolphins have a new staff after coach Tim Hyde left for a job on the East Coast. They still have enough talent to be a Western League contender.

10. Kennedy

Quarterback Ryan Avalos guided the Golden Cougars to a 3-1 mark in the spring season. Running back Sione Manu showed promise.