Birmingham’s Peyton Waters is ready to take over role held by Arlis Boardingham

Sophomore quarterback Kingston Tisdell and junior receiver/cornerback Peyton Waters pose for a photo
Sophomore quarterback Kingston Tisdell and junior receiver/cornerback Peyton Waters will be the leaders for Birmingham football this season.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

There was a changing of the guard Monday, the opening day of summer football workouts at two-time defending City Section champion Birmingham. For the first time in four years, there was no Arlis Boardingham on the field. The 6-foot-5, four-year starter is off to Florida.

Coach Jim Rose wasn’t in panic mode when asked if there will be life without Boardingham playing receiver and linebacker.

“We survived before he was here, we’ll survive after he was here,” Rose said.


The player identified to become the Patriots’ next big-play weapon is junior Peyton Waters, who has grown to 6 feet and 165 pounds after a productive sophomore season when he became a dangerous receiver and standout cornerback in the playoffs.

“It is a big responsibility,” Waters said of filling the roles Boardingham was so good at performing. “I feel I can handle it.”

The priority for Waters, 16, this summer is to spend hours in the weight room getting stronger.

Waters is a three-sport athlete in only his second year of varsity football. His growth has been rapid, physically and mentally.

Sophomore quarterback Kingston Tisdell, 15, will be relying on Waters, junior Cayden Noble-Chappelle and one of the biggest offensive lines Rose has coached to put the Patriots in position to win another City title.

“I like his route running,” Tisdell said of Waters.

Birmingham is scheduled to participate in a seven-on-seven passing tournament Saturday at Moorpark, along with tournaments at Central Park in Saugus on June 25 and at El Camino Real on July 9.

Birmingham was the No. 5 seed for last season’s playoffs but dominated its City Section opponents after struggling against tough nonleague Southern Section opponents. Rose intends to follow the same strategy this fall even though he’s going to start primarily underclassmen.

Twin brothers Bo and Nick Tonga, transfers from Palmdale Highland, each weighing in at more than 300 pounds, will be imposing blockers for Tisdell & Co.