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  • Basketball
Crespi guards Brandon Williams, left, and Taj Regans.
Crespi guards Brandon Williams, left, and Taj Regans. (Eric Sondheimer)

If all goes as expected, standout senior guard Brandon Williams of Crespi said Tuesday he should receive doctor's clearance by Saturday to return to the basketball court.

"I feel I'm 100% right now, honestly," he said.

Williams missed all of his junior season after a misdiagnosed knee injury. He had surgery and has spent months preparing for his return.


The 2018 lacrosse season in the Southern Section is approaching, but the number of teams for boys and girls remains short of the required 116 to have a championship run by the Southern Section office.

There are 97 boys teams scheduled to compete in the Southern Section. There are 83 girls teams.

Until the 116 figure is reached for boys or girls, lacrosse will remain a non-championship sport in the Southern Section.


Sherman Oaks Notre Dame coach Kevin Rooney had no idea that freshman receiver Griffin Cleveland is an actor.

"He's doing well in football," Rooney said.

Cleveland has appeared in more than a dozen TV shows.

  • Football

Usually it's Gardena Serra or Bishop Amat in the favorite's role for the start of the Mission League in football. But this season, it's Chaminade earning the spot.

The Eagles are 3-1 and put up a solid game against No. 2-ranked St. John Bosco. Their offensive line is outstanding and the defense is much improved. They have Stanford-bound Michael Wilson at receiver and a solid quarterback in Ryan Stevens.

After the Eagles, everything is wide open. The opening games should be competitive except for Chaminade taking on 1-3 Crespi. The other two games have Sherman Oaks Notre Dame hosting Loyola and Alemany playing at Serra.

  • Football

A year ago, L.A. Roosevelt went 1-9 and ended its season with a 49-3 loss to rival Garfield, the seventh consecutive time the Rough Riders had lost to the Bulldogs.

Coach Ricardo Zepeda pleaded for his returning players to get into the weight room to become stronger.

It appears they listened. Roosevelt is off to a 4-0 start and showing signs of life.

Justin Hazell of El Camino Real had the fastest time at the Woodbridge Invitational on Saturday.
Justin Hazell of El Camino Real had the fastest time at the Woodbridge Invitational on Saturday. (Jun Reichl)

Justin Hazell of El Camino Real stamped himself as a contender to win a state championship in Division I cross country after recording the fastest time at the Woodbridge Invitational on Saturday.

He ran 13:59.5 for the three-mile course, defeating some of the best runners in California.

Hazell, a senior, won the City Section individual title last season and won the 1,600 and 3,200 at the City track finals. But his performance on Saturday shows much improvement.

El Camino Real Coach Jun Reichl credits Hazell’s work ethic for his steady growth.

“Honestly, I can’t think of a day he’s missed practice in the last four years,” he said. “He’s so consistent. I’ve relied on him building up his mileage gradually. We’ve focused more on doing faster workouts and running faster when it counts rather than running more.

“His mentality is phenomenal. He doesn’t set limits on himself. He’s the kind of kid if he believes he’s going to do something, he’s going to achieve it because he spends time visualizing.”

Hazell pulled away in the final 100 meters after running a 4:36 first mile, Reichl said.

“I knew he could do it, but it was a big statement,” Reichl said.

Hazell has been running for 10 years.

“When I was little, I was trying different sports, and I tried running and stuck with it,” Hazell said.

  • Volleyball

Santa Ana Mater Dei is ranked No. 1 and Santa Margarita No. 2 in this week's Southern Section Division 1 girls' volleyball poll.

Westlake is No. 1 in Division 2, and Laguna Beach tops Division 3.

Here's the link to complete rankings.

The strength of the Trinity League can be seen in this week's Southern Section Division 1 coaches' poll. All six schools are in the top 10.

Mater Dei is No. 1, St. John Bosco No. 2, Orange Lutheran No. 4, JSerra No. 7, Santa Margarita No. 8 and Servite No. 10.

Here's the link to the complete rankings.

  • Football
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame football Coach Kevin Rooney is in his 38th season and has 299 career victories.
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame football Coach Kevin Rooney is in his 38th season and has 299 career victories. (Eric Sondheimer)

Kevin Rooney arrived at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the fall of 1980. He had been an assistant coach at Mountain View St. Francis in Northern California. He was hired to be the Knights' football coach and athletic director.

During the early years, I used to receive phone calls and real hand-written letters from people wondering why Rooney was ever hired. His first two teams went 3-7 and 4-5-1.

It's 38 seasons later. Notre Dame has won 18 league titles and four Southern Section titles. The team is 4-0 going into its Mission League opener on Friday at home against Loyola. And Rooney is still coaching.

  • Football

Hawthorne is off to a 4-0 start under first-year coach Derwin Henderson, something that hasn't happened since 1999.

And leading the way has been the double threat at quarterback in senior Joshua Robledo.

A junior varsity player last season who played receiver, Robledo volunteered to be the quarterback.