Summer football has its biggest tournament on Saturday
Get your lawn chair, ice chest and sunscreen ready. Saturday will be the busiest and best day to watch seven-on-seven summer football competitions in Southern California.
There are tournaments at Edison, Simi Valley, Culver City, Newport Harbor, Temecula Valley and Redondo Union.
The Edison Battle at the Beach tournament brings together almost a who’s who list of top teams and players. It also presents intriguing battles between private and public schools.
Among the elite quarterbacks are Los Alamitos’ Malachi Nelson (USC commit), Mission Viejo’s Kadin Semonza (Ball State), St. John Bosco’s Pierce Clarkson (Louisville), Long Beach Poly’s Nico Iamaleava (Tennessee), Mater Dei’s Elijah Brown, Long Beach Millikan’s Myles Jackson and Rancho Cucamonga’s CJ Tiller (Boise State).
The other position that is loaded with talent for the Battle at the Beach is defensive back, from Poly’s Daylen Austin (LSU) to Gardena Serra’s Rodrick Pleasant to St. John Bosco’s Peyton Woodyard and Ty Lee (UCLA).
The 9 a.m. pool play games include Mission Viejo vs. Long Beach Poly and St. John Bosco vs. Los Alamitos. That’s about as good as it gets matching skill-position players.
The Culver City tournament will feature some City Section teams, including San Pedro and standout tight end Nicholas Fernandez. Loyola quarterback Xavier Rice is back after tearing his ACL in the second game last season. Mira Costa has several top returning skill-position players.
San Clemente headlines the Newport Harbor tournament as the Tritons continue to have a competition for starting quarterback.
Temecula Valley has a 24-team tournament filled with Inland Empire teams, led by Corona Centennial.
Simi Valley, which was a little overwhelmed competing in the eight-team St. John Bosco tournament last week, will be hosting a 16-team tournament on Saturday. Oaks Christian, St. Francis, Calabasas and Saugus lead the teams. There’s also a lineman competition.
Action begins at 9 a.m. The best games usually happen in the morning when teams are fresh. By the afternoon, with the temperature rising, fatigue setting in and coaches wanting to get other players repetitions, the games become more ragged and unpredictable.
Saturday will be a great time to take a look at some of the teams and players to watch this fall. Of course, there’s no linemen and that means it’s not real football, so don’t get too excited if your team looks great or too disappointed if your team struggles. These tournaments are about the skill-position players developing timing, learning to compete and teams building camaraderie.
It’s always fun as long as the players, coaches and parents understand the season isn’t on the line based on victory or defeat in a passing tournament.
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