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  • Football

It’s quite a football rebuilding job that first-year coach Dameon Porter is undertaking at Crespi. There are only four seniors left in the program.

But Porter believes at some point this season, when the many sophomores and juniors get experience, the Celts will be heard.

In practice, junior tight end/defensive Jackson White and junior receiver/safety Taylor Evans have been playing like future all-league performers.

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Grant coach Franco Stasilli should be doing backflips. His varsity team this season has 26 players.

“That’s huge for us,” he said.

The Lancers are probably the favorite to win the East Valley League considering they have eight starters back on offense.

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Chaminade High purchased land, in upper right, to build a baseball field and aquatics center.
Chaminade High purchased land, in upper right, to build a baseball field and aquatics center. (Chaminade High School)

The Chaminade Board of Directors is expected to vote next month or in October on a master plan that includes a new high school baseball field and aquatics center.

Last May, Chaminade acquired a shopping center near campus for $14 million. The 4.8-acre parcel would be used to build a parking lot, along with the baseball field and aquatics facility.

Also being proposed are additional classrooms at its West Hills campus. The current baseball field would be taken over by the softball team, which plays off campus.

Sandy Koufax is the answer. The question? Who was the first color commentator of prep basketball games in L.A. with Ross Porter?
Sandy Koufax is the answer. The question? Who was the first color commentator of prep basketball games in L.A. with Ross Porter? (Getty Images)

I went out to lunch with Ross Porter, the former Dodger and local TV sportscaster, and several other prep football fans on Monday, and the topic went to the time in the 1970s when Porter and KNBC (Channel 4) were televising high school basketball games in Los Angeles.

I remember the days of Bryant Gumbel and Tommy Hawkins, but I forgot who was Porter’s first color commentator, and it’s quite the trivia question.

The answer, incredibly, is Sandy Koufax, who was a very good high school basketball in Brooklyn before becoming a Hall of Fame baseball player with the Dodgers.

Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, Orange Lutheran and Mission Viejo are the top four teams in the Southern Section preseason Division 1 football poll.

In Division 2, Upland is No. 1 and Norco is No. 2.

Cajon is No. 1 in Division 3 with Paraclete at No. 2.

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If only they could hold an alumni game on Friday night before the scheduled football opener between Long Beach Poly and Dorsey at Rancho Cienega Sports Complex.

Poly has produced more than 60 NFL players, top in the nation. Dorsey has more than 30 NFL players, top in the City Section.

It could be Marcedes Lewis, Jurrell Casey, JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeSean Jackson taking on the likes of Keyshawn Johnson, Johnathan Franklin, Keith Browner.

Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas is taking his team to Hawaii this week for its season opener.
Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas is taking his team to Hawaii this week for its season opener. (Luis Sinco)

Never before in Southern California has the high school football season started so early, but ready or not, it officially begins this week with zero week games.

The best opening game on Thursday night has Chaminade taking on Oaks Christian in Westlake Village. These two top 25 teams teams have produced exciting matchups in recent years. Oaks Christian will be making its debut under first-year coach Charles Collins. Both teams have solid senior quarterbacks in Ryan Stevens for Chaminade and Josh Calvert for Oaks Christian. The big question is, who’s going to block Oaks Christian’s Kayvon Thibodeaux?

Another intriguing Thursday opener has Servite playing Bakersfield at Santa Ana Stadium. It marks the return of Troy Thomas to the Friars. Blaze McKibbon, who started at Gardena Serra last season, will take over at quarterback for the Friars.

  • Football
Junior quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei leads No. 1 St. John Bosco.
Junior quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei leads No. 1 St. John Bosco. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

With 14 returning starters and more than 45 players back on varsity, St. John Bosco is ranked No. 1 in The Times’ preseason high school football rankings. The Braves open their new stadium on Friday night.

1. ST. JOHN BOSCO. It is size and strength up front that make the Braves the team to beat.

2. SANTA ANA MATER DEI. An exceptional secondary and strong skill position players, led by wide receiver Bru McCoy.

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  • Football
Narbonne starts out as the No. 1 team in City Section football. The Gauchos have won four consecutive championships.
Narbonne starts out as the No. 1 team in City Section football. The Gauchos have won four consecutive championships. (Eric Sondheimer)

After watching some scrimmages and taking into account transfers and other information, here’s my preseason list of the top 10 prep football teams in the City Section.

1. NARBONNE. Even though the Gauchos still don’t know yet which of their transfers are going to be cleared for their trip to Hawaii next week, they will have plenty of weapons available. Quarterback Jaylen Henderson will get the start for the first five games, then face competition from Jake Garcia. The defense has been better than expected in early practices, and the offense should produce lots of big plays. The Gauchos have won four consecutive City titles.

2. CRENSHAW. As long as Robert Garrett keeps coaching, the Cougars are always a team to reckon with. A new all-weather field and lots of quality young players should make the Cougars dangerous by season’s end.

Athletic trainers are in need at high schools throughout Southern California, and Providence St. Joseph Health Southern California has decided to fund trainers for six high schools in the San Fernando Valley.

Burroughs, Burbank, Taft, Sierra Canyon, Alemany and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame will receive funding for trainers under the project. Several of the schools already have trainers, so the funds will pay for an assistant.

Taft will be the most closely watched school. It’s part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and negotiations have been ongoing because of liability concerns. If the lawyers sign off as expected, Taft would join the relatively few LAUSD schools with an athletic trainer.