La Mirada rates a slight edge over Artesia, Glenn has a new coach and La Mirada Coach Ray Mooshagian said, "There isn't a pushover in this league."
1. LA MIRADA--The Matadors get the edge over Artesia from rival coaches for two reasons: Mooshagian and quarterback Eric Brooks. Brooks is "one of the finest players I've seen," said one coach. A three-year starter, he passed for more than 1,200 yards a year ago. He'll hand off to speedy all-league running back Brad Alexander, who gained more than 1,000 yards last year. Mooshagian, the dean of area coaches, begins his 26th consecutive year as a high school head coach. La Mirada has finished no lower than second since he came to the school seven years ago.
2. ARTESIA--In two years as head coach, Vince La Rosa has guided the one-time also-rans to one co-championship and one league title. His teams often start slow and don't get much attention until the playoffs. Linebacker Martin Hammons, a late bloomer last year, returns to anchor one of the best defenses in the area. Other returnees include all-league running back Damon Davis, linemen Lance Comes and Tony Zarazua and quarterback Mark McAfee.
3. NORWALK--Twenty-five letterman and nine starters return for second-year Coach Phil Vala. "We have fair size and have been hitting the weights this year," Vala said. Defensive tackle Randy Bunt, defensive end Brian Gibson, defensive back Jose Gomez, guard/center Alex Moran, flanker David McCoy and tailback Dae-Ho Song all return.