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Column: Jordan High’s David Sandy is the new teenage star in Watts

Junior running back David Sandy of L.A. Jordan High cuts into a gap created by his offensive line.
Junior running back David Sandy of L.A. Jordan High has rushed for nearly 2,800 yards and scored 39 touchdowns this season.
(Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)
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It’s 10 a.m. They’re serving coffee at the City Section championship breakfast, and the only high school football player who dares to take a sip of the dark, hot brew is David Sandy of Jordan High.

“My grandma in elementary school used to serve me coffee,” he said.

Said coach Derek Benton: “David is like an old man in a young body.”

The community of Watts has a new teenage hero in Sandy, a junior running back who gained 221 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead Jordan to the City Section Division III football championship last week with a 42-30 win over Washington Prep, delivering the school’s first football title since 1980.

Sandy’s family could throw him his own parade. His father, mother, grandmother, four uncles and aunt all went to Jordan. No one knows more than him what it means to bring a championship trophy to the neighborhood school and make Bulldogs everywhere proud.

“It connects with the community of Watts,” he said. “It’s a big thing.”

Sandy was a volleyball player at Jordan as a freshman, then came out for football as a sophomore.

“He’s just a very special, humble individual,” Benton said. “He always plays down his talent. He’s a true scholar athlete, always looking for the good in people. He always defers to the team.”

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The captain of the volleyball team has used his athleticism in football to rush for 2,799 yards and 39 touchdowns.

“I just try to be as athletic as I can,” he said.

Jordan (11-3), a winner of nine consecutive games, is playing at Bell Gardens on Saturday night in a CIF regional bowl game.

Sandy is a 5-foot-11 outside hitter in volleyball, which has contributed four players to the football team. He has a twin brother who plays football for King/Drew. He likes to participate in school activities, having been in the band and ROTC.

Growing up in Watts, he said he always has to be focused on his surroundings. His rise as a community football standout has enabled him to put on a smile on many faces.

“This has really pulled the whole community and school together,” Benton said.

Added Sandy: “I didn’t realize how big the win impacted the community. It meant a lot more than I thought. It’s giving us a lot of opportunities. With all this fame and attention toward us, we’re able to get more from it.”

Everyone should salute Sandy for his contributions and offer a cup of coffee, too.


There’s only three schools with byes this week into the CIF state championship bowl games. They are Open Division finalists Mater Dei and San Mateo Serra as well as Fairfax. Yes, the Lions from the City Section advance to next week’s Division 7-AA championship game against the winner of Northern California‘s 7-AA regional between Portola and Ferndale.

Talk about pending culture shock.

Fairfax (10-4) is home to Canter’s Deli, Farmers Market and CBS Television City. Portola is 12-0 in football with a city population barely over 2,000. It’s a train town “on the Middle Fork of the Feather River in the Sierra Nevada mountain range,” according to the city’s website. Ferndale is 9-4 and in Humboldt County with a population of fewer than 1,500.

Whichever team wins, it will take a bus to Southern California and play the City Section Division II champions next weekend at El Camino College or Pasadena City College (to be announced on Sunday).

Fairfax coach Juan Solorio ought to greet his visitors with Canters danish, a sandwich platter or bagels and lox. It’s the Los Angeles welcome.

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