Quarterback Nico Iamaleava is returning to Warren

Warren quarterback Nico Iamaleava.
(Luca Evans / For The Times)

There have been so many twists and turns this summer involving quarterback Nico Iamaleava that it’s almost like a soap opera.

He was a standout two-year starter at Warren after transferring from Long Beach Poly following his freshman year. Then, during the spring, with much fanfare, he checked out of Warren and enrolled at Poly supposedly to play his senior year. Meanwhile, he was receiving national attention for committing to Tennessee. He’s been traveling around the country playing in seven-on-seven competitions this summer and playing volleyball while not practicing nor playing for Poly, so many suspected something was up.

Now comes word he’s going back to Warren, along with his younger brother, Madden, also a quarterback. That could be a little uncomfortable for coach Kevin Pearson, who has spent the summer training quarterback Darius Cowens, who came to Warren from Garden Grove Pacifica after Iamaleava left.


But Pearson said Monday night that Cowens plans to play safety in college and welcomes Iamaleava’s return. “Darius is a great athlete,” Pearson said.

It’s just another example of how transfers are impacting high school sports. There’s no guarantee who gets to start when so many players are coming and going. Warren opens its season on Aug. 12 in Honolulu, so Iamaleava will need to start practicing immediately.

Warren made a positive impression last weekend at the Mission Viejo seven-on-seven tournament, being the only team to challenge the host Diablos before losing in the championship game. Cowens was the quarterback. Warren has other transfers, including top receiver Jordan Ross.

With Iamaleava returning, Warren will be back in everyone’s top 25 preseason list.

Poly has already shown this summer that it’s comfortable with Darius Curry as its starting quarterback. He was a starter at St. Bernard as a freshman and played last season for the Jackrabbits until a season-ending knee injury.