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Taft has begun searching for a new football coach after the resignation of Matt Holly last week.

Holly was head coach for one season.

Holly hired a number of quality assistant coaches, and all of them are staying, Assistant Principal Neezer McNab said. They have been running practice this week.

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Saturday is going to be a big day for former Harvard-Westlake pitchers Lucas Giolito and Max Fried, along with their former coach, Matt LaCour.

Giolito will be the starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. Fried will be the starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves at home against the Dodgers. Both games start at 4:10 p.m. PDT And LaCour will be doing his best to watch both while watching his daughter play water polo.

“Saturdays were made for the iPad and iPhone while watching water polo on a pool deck,” he said.

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  • Football
Mason White is a 15-year-old junior receiver-defensive back at Birmingham.
Mason White is a 15-year-old junior receiver-defensive back at Birmingham. (Eric Sondheimer)

West Valley League football has been inconsistent in recent years with coaching changes and players coming and going. This season, from top to bottom, stability appears to have returned.

There’s one new head coach, Rick Hayashida at Chatsworth, and he had been a fixture at the school previously. Taft, though, is looking for a new head coach after the resignation of Matt Holly last week.

Cleveland made it to last year’s Division II championship game. Birmingham and El Camino Real continue to be the teams to beat. Granada Hills should be competitive after winning two Division II playoff games last season.

These are uncertain times for City Section football teams hoping to have more than just a varsity team this season.

Practice began on Monday, and with school not starting until Aug. 14, there’s a shortage of players for the freshman-sophomore teams.

Take perennial power Crenshaw. Coach Robert Garrett said he has a total of 33 players out for football for his two teams, including nine freshmen. If he had to play tomorrow, there would be no freshman-sophomore team.

Former Santa Margarita quarterback K.J. Costello takes over as starter at Stanford.
Former Santa Margarita quarterback K.J. Costello takes over as starter at Stanford. (Getty Images)

USC and UCLA are loaded with their usual group of former Southern California high school football standouts, but let’s take a look at other players from the Southland who could produce big seasons at schools across the country.

David Long (Loyola) should be one of the best defensive backs in the Big Ten playing for Michigan.

Greg Gaines (La Habra) is a key senior defensive lineman at Washington. Myles Bryant (Loyola) and JoJo McIntosh (Chaminade) will be important players in the secondary for the Huskies.

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Junior quarterback Bryce Young of Mater Dei committed to USC on Wednesday.
Junior quarterback Bryce Young of Mater Dei committed to USC on Wednesday. (Patrick T. Fallon)

USC has been having success with quarterbacks from Santa Ana Mater Dei, so why not keep the connection going? The Trojans received another strong endorsement on Wednesday when junior quarterback Bryce Young announced he has committed to the Trojans.

Young transferred to Mater Dei in January from L.A. Cathedral after quarterback J.T. Daniels announced he was leaving Mater Dei a year early to enroll at USC. Now Young will probably join Daniels on the Trojans’ roster in 2020.

Matt Barkley and Matt Leinart are former Mater Dei quarterbacks who enjoyed great success at USC.

  • Football

Which school has won the most City Section football championships? Most would say Carson or Banning. Maybe even Narbonne.

The correct answer is Manual Arts with 17. But the Toilers haven’t won a title since 1984, when Jeff Engilman was head coach.

Now there’s new hope for Manual Arts, which has left the Coliseum League and joined the Exposition League that includes Angelou, Washington Prep, Jefferson, Rivera, Santee and West Adams. Manual Arts also plays in Division III.

The 27th annual Commissioner’s Cup in the Southern Section has been completed, with Santa Ana Mater Dei emerging as the top sports programs for boys and girls during the 2017-18 school year.

The Southern Section previously announced this week that Oaks Christian and Culver City had finished first in boys and girls but revised its standings on Wednesday following a miscalculation in point totals.

The winners are determined by a point system that provides: five points for a divisional championship; three points for a divisional runner-up finish; two points for advancing to the semifinal round or a third-place finish in a team-place finish sport (i.e. cross country, golf, swimming and diving, track and field); and one point for a fourth-place finish in a team-place finish sport.

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  • Football
Linebacker Giancarlo Tarifa (left) and quarterback Jason Artiga hope to lead Birmingham to prominence in the West Valley League.
Linebacker Giancarlo Tarifa (left) and quarterback Jason Artiga hope to lead Birmingham to prominence in the West Valley League. (Eric Sondheimer)

High school football practice starts officially on Monday for the City Section and also lots of Southern Section teams. Zero week games are scheduled for Aug. 17 with scrimmages scheduled for Aug. 9-10.

In the City Section, Narbonne is heavily favored to repeat as Open Division champion. But which teams will challenge to be in the Open Division and maybe even get a shot at Narbonne?

San Fernando, the defending Division I champion, seems ready to take a shot at making the Open Division. The Tigers return numerous starters and play Alemany and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in nonleague games.

It’s summer break, so I’m looking back at some of my favorite stories, videos and moments covering high school sports. Let me take you back to April 2012. I got to see the impact of community service through the efforts of Loyola High athletes.

Kicker Conrad Ukropina joined classmate Eamon McOsker in offering an economics lesson to a group of youths who had been abused or needed special attention.

Community service is part of the requirement for graduating from Loyola. The key is whether it really makes an impact on the student himself and those receiving attention.