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2401 posts
  • Football
Dog days of August for prep football

It’s the dog days of August, when high school football players are grinding under heat and expectations.

Whether learning plays on the field or sweating in the weight room, it’s time to get into shape, develop team chemistry and get serious about the season ahead.

At Venice High, veteran coach Angelo Gasca is excited about his team. He’s got a potential top offense with junior quarterback Luca Diamont and receivers Chad Johnson Jr. and Makai Cope.

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Linebackers are much in demand for the upcoming football season. There were lots of top players who graduated, so a new group gets the chance to take center stage.

One of the top returning underclassmen is junior Justin Flowe of Upland. He’s going to set the standard for excellence.

Chaminade’s tackling machine, Blake Antzoulatos, a Cal commit, will get many chances to show his worth as the Eagles play one tough opponent after another, starting with Oaks Christian on Aug. 16. The Eagles also have another promising linebacker in Jonathan Thomas.

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Top teenage golfers Ricky Castillo from Yorba Linda and Rose Zhang from Irvine have been chosen for the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team in golf.

The Junior Ryder Cup will be played Sept. 24-25 between the U.S. and Europe at Disneyland Paris.

Castillo, a Florida commit, is the No. 1-ranked boys player.

Four Southern California-based high school baseball players have been selected to play for the USA 15U national team.

The are catcher Karson Bowen from Orange Lutheran, pitcher Rheego McIntosh from Chaparral, catcher Charlie Saum from St. Bonaventure and infielder Cody Schrier from JSerra.

They will play at the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-15 Baseball World Cup in David, Panama, beginning Aug. 10.

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame players dine on Tri-tip, mac & cheese

With every scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped by crumbled Oreo cookies and M&M’s, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame football players enjoyed their moment of food ecstasy after their practice session on Friday night.

The complete meal that included tri-tip, macaroni and cheese, salad, rolls and beans was prepared by Notre Dame parents. It’s been a tradition for much of coach Kevin Rooney’s 39 years as head coach.

Notre Dame is not alone. Lots of schools turn to their parents to make unsung contributions to help their sons get through the early days of fall football practice.

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  • Football

Since he was 9, Simon Samarzich of Upland has been working on his long snapping skills. Now he’s ranked No. 1 in Southern California and No. 2 in the nation by long snapper guru Chris Rubio.

I asked Rubio to provide his rankings for the coming season.

Among the class of 2019 long snappers to watch are Jack Landherr of Chino Hills, Aidan Livingston of Santa Ana Mater Dei, Matt Rhodes of Calabasas and Derek Bedell of St. John Bosco.

  • Football
Oaks Christian defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux had 21 sacks last season.
Oaks Christian defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux had 21 sacks last season. (Gary Coronado)

Taking a sneak peek at the defensive linemen to watch for the 2018 season, you have to start with Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oaks Christian. He’s an All-American defensive end who strikes fear into opponents.

Last season he recorded 21 sacks. He’s been working hard to be quicker, stronger and even more dominant.

Cole Aubrey returns at St. John Bosco. He had 15 sacks.

  • Basketball
Three Fairfax basketball coaches covering 43 years had lunch on Thursday. Steve Baik (current coach), Steve Miller and Harvey Kitani.
Three Fairfax basketball coaches covering 43 years had lunch on Thursday. Steve Baik (current coach), Steve Miller and Harvey Kitani. (Eric Sondheimer)

It was a historic meeting of Fairfax High School basketball coaches on Thursday at the San Franciscan restaurant in Torrance.

While eating prime rib and chocolate mud pie, current Fairfax coach Steve Baik met up with former coaches Steve Miller and Harvey Kitani. Together, they represented 43 years of basketball coaching tradition for the Lions.

“Fairfax is the best basketball school to coach at,” said Miller, who was head coach from 1975 to ‘79.

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  • Baseball

High school sports teams are traveling more than ever, so it should come as no surprise that the South Hills baseball program has come up with an interesting way to spend its Christmas break.

More than 40 players and families are headed to Hawaii for sun, surfing and playing baseball. They will be gone from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2.

Let’s see who emerges as best surfer on the team who can also hit a fastball.

  • Basketball

Save Oct. 20 on your calendar if you’re a high school basketball fan. The Rolling Hills Prep Fall Classic will be held at Harbor College, and the final three games of the night will be pretty good.

Fairfax will play Harvard-Westlake at 4:30 p.m. Rancho Christian will face Bishop Montgomery at 8 p.m. Also playing is St. John Bosco, which will face a team to be announced at 6:30 p.m.

Games will start at 9 a.m. with Rolling Hills vs. La Canada. Then Brentwood will take on Camarillo at 10:30 a.m., followed by Santa Monica vs. Long Beach Poly at noon. Mater Dei will play Riverside Notre Dame at 1:30 p.m. and Taft will play St. Bernard at 3 p.m.