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Sizing up Area Prep Teams: Poly----as Usual----Is at the Top : A preview of the Southeast/Long Beach area high school football teams: : Olympic League

September 11, 1986|PAUL McLEOD

Ontario Christian, Valley Christian and Brethren appear to be the favorites for playoff berths. The league has been reduced to six teams from eight a year ago.

BRETHREN--Second-year coach Mike Fitch has 15 returning starters, and that's why a majority of league coaches feels the Warriors have an edge in the title race. Fitch wants to pass more this year with quarterback Derek Stott and wide receiver Rhett Nichol. Brethren was 3-7 last season.

VALLEY CHRISTIAN--Coach Mike Wunderley let one get away last year. His team went 12-1, record 10 wins by shutout and outscored its opponents, 501-34. But the Crusaders were upset in the playoff semifinals, 14-0, by eventual Inland Conference champion Tehachapi. Can the 11 returning starters forget about what should have been last year and give it another good shot this season? "There's not a weak sister in this league," says Wunderley.

WHITTIER CHRISTIAN--Two years ago the Heralds went 14-0 and won their second consecutive Inland Conference title. But without longtime head Coach Tom Caffrey, who has stepped down to an assistant job, WC's fortunes are a question mark. However, 11 starters are back for new Coach Phil Bravo. The team may be the biggest in school history and Bravo expects he'll have power at all positions.

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