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Varsity Times Insider: The latest sports news from Southern California's high school teams

Eric Sondheimer has been covering high school sports for the Los Angeles Times since 1997 and in Southern California since 1976. Get his latest from the field and follow all our prep sports coverage and analysis here.

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  • Football

Joseph Maiale has been hired as the football coach at Canyon Country Canyon.

Maiale was the line coach at Oxnard this past season.

He has 15 years of coaching experience.

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  • Football

Loyola announced on Thursday that football coach Rick Pedroarias has resigned after two years as head coach. He will continue to teach at the school.

The school has launched a search for a replacement, and among the candidates the school will consider are former Cubs players Drew Casani, who is inside linebacker coach, and Mike Gilhooly, who is currently the team’s defensive coordinator.

Loyola, once a Division 1 power under former coach Steve Grady, has struggled in the era of transfers. It still believes it should be successful building from within with four-year players.

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BOYS BASKETBALL

Alliance Bloomfield 67, Los Angeles Leadership 55

Arroyo 55, Rosemead 33

Chris James of St. John Bosco gets excited in game against La Mirada.
Chris James of St. John Bosco gets excited in game against La Mirada. (Nick Koza)

The semifinals for the St. John Bosco tournament on Friday night are set. It will be St. John Bosco taking on Loyola at 6 p.m., followed by Windward playing Long Beach Poly at 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday night, St. John Bosco improved to 10-0 with a 72-34 win over La Mirada. Josh Adoh scored 18 points. Windward defeated Gahr 66-48. Kijani Wright, a freshman, scored 23 points. Justin Rene scored 35 points in Poly’s 70-43 win over Bishop Amat.

Loyola defeated Los Alamitos 66-48, with Stanford-bound James Keefe scoring 18 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and making seven blocks.

The Easton baseball tournament will have its earliest start ever in 2019, with first-round games on Feb. 9.

The 36-team field is topped by Harvard-Westlake, last year’s No. 1 seed in Division 1. Other strong teams in the field include Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Simi Valley, Camarillo, defending City Section champion Birmingham and St. Bonaventure, which returns hard-throwing Jake Saum, a UCLA signee.

Rain could be a problem with the early start date.

(Easton tournament)
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Photo of former Campbell Hall running back John David Washington from school yearbook.
Photo of former Campbell Hall running back John David Washington from school yearbook. (Campbell Hall)

Another day, another former high school athlete from Southern California making it big in the entertainment business.

John David Washington, who played football, basketball and ran track at Campbell Hall, is a Golden Globe nominee for his acting role in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman.”

Even though Washington is the son of actor Denzel Washington, former Campbell Hall coach Russell Gordon said John David was not focused on acting. Sports was where he gained attention in high school, becoming Campbell Hall’s all-time rushing leader and later becoming a standout at Morehouse College. He graduated from Campbell Hall in 2002.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Animo De La Hoya 47, Camino Nuevo 13

Arlington 69, Elsinore 41

  • Basketball

Few high school basketball teams in Southern California have played a better eight-game schedule than Riverside Notre Dame. Coach Robert Robinson wanted to challenge his veteran team, and so far, the Titans are 5-3 after a 52-44 win over Riverside Poly on Tuesday.

The Titans have played No. 1 Sierra Canyon, No. 7 Bishop Montgomery, No. 8 Corona Centennial, No. 22 Washington Prep and No. 24 Riverside Poly.

Dondre Bausley led the win over Poly with 17 points and Anton Monzga had 15 points. Lamont Butler had 15 points for Poly. Still to go is a matchup against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the tough Damien tournament Dec. 26.

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  • Football
Quarterback Johnathan Porter, a.k.a. rapper Blueface, is shown in a 2014 Arleta team football photograph.
Quarterback Johnathan Porter, a.k.a. rapper Blueface, is shown in a 2014 Arleta team football photograph. (Bill Coan)

Arleta football coach Bill Coan has a team photo of his 2014 football team. Players keep coming by, taking a look and saying: “That’s him.”

The starting quarterback on Arleta’s 2014 East Valley League championship team was Johnathan Porter, who has since become Blueface, a rising young rapper with tattoos seemingly everywhere.

“To me, he was very coachable,” Coan said of Porter, who ended up graduating from Golden Valley High in Santa Clarita in 2015.

The CIF state championship bowl games at Cerritos College on Friday and Saturday will bring to a close the 2018 high school football season.

The schedule on Friday has Grace Brethren playing Del Oro at 4 p.m. in 2-AA and San Diego Cathedral Catholic taking on Folsom in Division 1-AA at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, Lawndale will play Fresno San Joaquin Memorial in 2-A at 4 p.m., followed by Sierra Canyon taking on Brentwood Liberty in 1-A at 8 p.m. Parking will be free.