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2401 posts
  • Football
Jonah Tauanu'u of Narbonne is the top returning blocker in the City Section.
Jonah Tauanu'u of Narbonne is the top returning blocker in the City Section. (Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

A football team is only as good on offense as the line up front, and these will be some of the players making news in the trenches this season.

Let’s start with Sean Rhyan of San Juan Hills. He’s 6 feet 6, 295 pounds and has made a name for himself at one of the newer public schools in Orange County.

The best blocker in the City Section is left tackle Jonah Tauanu’u of Narbonne. A former tight end, he prides himself on his strength and agility.

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The Luckhurst brothers will be playing football and soccer for Bishop Diego this season. Freshman Mark (left), senior Jack and junior Adam.
The Luckhurst brothers will be playing football and soccer for Bishop Diego this season. Freshman Mark (left), senior Jack and junior Adam. (Eric Sondheimer)

Former NFL kicker Mick Luckhurst is sure doing his part to help the kicking game and soccer team at Bishop Diego.

He’ll have three sons playing football and soccer this season at Bishop Diego. And he’s going to be not only the kicking coach but also the soccer coach.

Jack, a senior, is the returning standout punter/kicker for Bishop Diego. Adam, a junior, will be the backup varsity kicker. Michael, a freshman, is a quarterback and kicker.

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  • Basketball

Westchester has become the favorite to win this season’s City Section Open Division championship in boys’ basketball after the City Section approved a hardship waiver for Kaelen Allen, last season’s City player of the year.

Allen was granted a fifth year of eligibility.

No team could stop the muscular 6-foot-6 senior in the paint last season. His return, combined with guard Jordan Brinson, makes the Comets the team to beat in 2018-19.

Football participation declined for the third consecutive year in California.
Football participation declined for the third consecutive year in California. (Patrick T. Fallon)

Since 2015, nearly 10,000 fewer students are playing 11-man high school football in California, according to the latest CIF participation survey released on Wednesday.

For the third consecutive year, there was a decline in football participation even though sports participation is at an all-time high at 808,557.

There were 94,286 students participating in 11-man football during the 2017-18 season, a decline of 2.87% from last year. The last year there was an increase was 2015, when 103,725 participated in football.

Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod, following up on his question asking, “Is it time for us to have a conversation about transfer rules?” has sent out a survey to 581 schools seeking reaction to potential suggestions.

The first question asked is, “Do you believe that our current transfer rules need to be adjusted?”

If the answer is yes, there are three potential changes suggested and feedback sought.

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Mark Redman, left, of Corona del Mar will be one of the top tight ends. His teammate, John Humphrey, is a top receiver. Both are juniors.
Mark Redman, left, of Corona del Mar will be one of the top tight ends. His teammate, John Humphrey, is a top receiver. Both are juniors. (Eric Sondheimer)

In the era of spread offenses, the tight end position lost some luster. But there could be a comeback under way in the high school ranks.

Tight end is a position these days that requires versatility and the ability to block and catch passes.

Junior Mark Redman of Corona del Mar is emerging as a top college prospect with offers from UCLA and Michigan.

  • Football
Kicker Jack Oswald of Chaminade is an aspiring rocket scientist with a 4.6 GPA.
Kicker Jack Oswald of Chaminade is an aspiring rocket scientist with a 4.6 GPA. (Eric Sondheimer)

Jack Oswald, the senior kicker at Chaminade, has a 4.6 grade-point average and hoped to be an intern at SpaceX this summer because he wants to be a rocket scientist. Unfortunately, they don't hire 17-year-olds.

He had to settle for getting up at 4 a.m. during his three-week dead period to drive to Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster and work at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory. He had fun.

He’s one of the stars of a rocket club on campus. They build big rockets.

  • Basketball
Sophomore Charisma Osborne leads Windward

The No. 1 girls’ basketball player in Southern California, Charisma Osborne of Windward, is back home after helping the USA 17U national team win a gold medal in Belarus.

Now it’s time to start getting serious about making a college choice.

Coach Vanessa Nygaard said Osborne will take college visits this fall before signing in November.

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Shown is the Cougar mascot for Lake Balboa College Preparatory Magnet.
Shown is the Cougar mascot for Lake Balboa College Preparatory Magnet. (Lake Balboa College Preparatory Magnet)

For the first time since 2012, the newly named Lake Balboa College Preparatory Magnet (formerly Valley Alternative Magnet) will have a sports program.

Principal Robert Clarke announced that he will have boys and girls basketball, boys and girls volleyball and boys and girls cross country teams for his students.

He has also revived a music program and the academic decathlon team.

Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas will need to exchange rosters before games with opposing coach in City Section this season.
Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas will need to exchange rosters before games with opposing coach in City Section this season. (Luis Sinco)

Get ready for Rostergate in the City Section.

A new rule requiring football coaches to exchange rosters before games takes effect this season. And there’s a stiff punishment for failure to do so.

The rosters also have to be accurate, with numbers correct. That could be challenging considering how players sometimes forget to bring jerseys on the bus ride. The coach will be responsible for making changes on the roster.