[HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS ROUNDUP] Sizing up Local Football Teams
With high school football season ramping up, we take a look at the top teams in the area. Come back next month for full coverage of girls’ volleyball, cross country, and boys’ water polo as the fall sports season begins.
LOYOLA HIGH SCHOOL
It’s been 13 seasons since the Cubs won the CIF Southern Section championship against Esperanza back in 2005, but Loyola may be on the path back to competing at that high level under first-year head coach Rick Pedroarias, who likes the team he’s got this year.
“Our starting center Ty Mahar is a returner, he’s aggressive and he’s got great footwork. He’s a throwback type of lineman for us at Loyola,” he said.
The team will also have talented players with deep bloodlines in the program. Tommy Vanis is a receiver and speed rush defensive end who’s part of a legacy of a dozen Vanises to have played at Loyola, dating back to his grandfather.
Nicholas Barr-Mira, the team’s kicker, is the younger brother of Loyola standout Anthony Barr, who went on to an All-American career at UCLA and is now with the Vikings
“We’ve put an emphasis on special teams and details since spring ball,” said Pedroarias. Last year under Marvin Sanders the Cubs lost seven games, but four of them by just one possession.
Since Dennis Keyes began turning the Vikings’ program around in 2014, it’s been a steady rise for Campbell Hall. The team went 1-6 the year before Keyes got there and hasn’t had a losing season since, highlighted by last year’s 7-3 campaign that ended in the first round of the playoffs with a narrow los to Viewpoint, 14-10.
Quarterback Lucas Bahner is hoping to help a CH team that lost its last three games finish stronger this year. Bahner threw for 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, and is back in 2017 for his senior campaign. He’ll have help behind him, with returning running backs Taylor Applegate and Nathan Aszkenazy.
LOS ANGELES HIGH SCHOOL
This year will be a “GPS season” for the Romans, as 2017 will definitely tell them where they are as a program. After a run of successes under head coach Eric Scott, who won a CIF LA City Section title last year, the Romans will look to Ted Baker to try to continue their recent tradition.
Scott, meanwhile, has departed for the University of Nevada where he’s now the DBs coach. With opening games against Canoga Park, Dominguez, and Hollywood High, the Romans will have a good idea early if they’re in a good position to repeat as CIF champions.
Mike Guardabascio is the Prep Sports Editor for the Long Beach Press-Telegram.