City Section football championship predictions: San Pedro is king

San Pedro receiver Robert Sarmiento holds his arms out by his sides in the end zone.
San Pedro receiver Robert Sarmiento (3) strikes a pose in the end zone.
(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

The City Section football playoffs begin Friday for Divisions I, II and III. The Open Division has a week off. Here are predictions on who ends up as a champion.

Open Division: San Pedro. The No. 2-seeded Pirates would have been seeded No. 1 but lost to Banning in a Marine League thriller when they messed up on a field-goal attempt. Receiver Robert Sarmiento continues to be an offensive weapon few teams in the City Section can match. Banning won’t have injured running back Jakob Galloway. The big question still unanswered is where does unbeaten Palisades fit in. The Dolphins have an elite running back in Daniel Anoh, but nine of their 10 victories came against City teams in a season where the City isn’t very strong. San Pedro, Banning and Birmingham all were tested against quality Southern Section teams, so the Dolphins will have the chance to prove they belong.

Division I: Dorsey. First-year coach Stafon Johnson had a plan: Try to get better every week. The Dons are not the same team that was crushed by San Pedro in September. Players have joined the team, adding speed and size. They have a tremendous leader in quarterback Josh Coleman. There will be challenges ahead. Huntington Park knocked off Garfield. Reseda has played well in big games. Venice is dangerous when healthy.

Division II: Jefferson. It might not have been a good night for Democrats on Tuesday but it’s going to be a good month for the No. 9-seeded Jefferson Democrats. Coach Jason Grant, who was a long-time assistant to Robert Garrett at Crenshaw, has a team gaining discipline and confidence. Fairfax from the Western League is seeded No. 2 and starting to gain momentum.


Division III: Santee. This is a division filled with teams trying to regain their footing, such as No. 1-seeded Taft. No. 13 Santee should be a team to watch. The Falcons have to get past Narbonne in the opening round, and if they do, beware. No. 2 San Fernando is another team capable of winning the title.

The Cougars do not have enough players vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in the playoffs, according to coach