Brentwood, defending champion in the CIF-Southern Section Eight-Man Large Division, is picked to repeat in the CIF preseason football poll, and Westchester, which went to the Los Angeles City 3-A final last year, may be the Westside's strongest 11-man team.
Other local high school teams that should make a good showing include Fairfax, Hamilton, Venice, Santa Monica, St. Monica and Beverly Hills.
An alphabetical listing of each of the Westside prep football teams and their prospects follows.
Beverly Hills Normans
CIF-Southern Section, Division II, Bay League
COACHES: Bill Stansbury and Dick Billingsley, sixth year as co-coaches.
LAST YEAR: 8-4 overall, 4-3 fourth in Bay League.
FIRST GAME: Friday, Lompoc, 3 p.m.
Strengths: Speed at wide receiver, defensive back and running back may be strongest point. No. 1 tailback Danny Edwards returns, and he'll be backed up by junior Greg Holmes, who will double at linebacker.
Junior cornerback Darren Smith may be team's fastest man. Cornerback John Song may be team's best receiver.
Other returning starters include Fabrice Perzik, who moves from defensive end to linebacker and has beefed up from about 187 pounds to 212; 220-pound defensive tackle Devon Sando and cornerback Sean Marks.
Problems: Replacing passing combination of John Johnson to Michael Moore, who accounted for a lot of yardage last year. Robbie Welles, Johnson's backup, is said to have improved and will probably often try to locate Song with his passes.
Offensive line and entire defense will be almost new. Billingsley said many of the linemen he is counting on are juniors who are not very big. "They average about 210 across the line, 215 at most."
Offensive and defensive sets: Pro style, multiple sets. Split six, 6-2-3.
Players to watch: Edwards could have good year if he gets blocking from inexperienced linemen. Perzik recovered 10 fumbles last year, and added poundage probably won't slow him much. Marks can return kickoffs a long way.
CIF-Southern Section, Eight-Man Large Division, Delphic League
COACH: Pat Brown, ninth year.
LAST YEAR: 9-1 overall, 3-0 Delphic League champions.
FIRST GAME: Saturday at Big Pine, 1:30 p.m.
Strengths: Size and strength for eight-man game, led by biggest, strongest player, Hamilton Von Watt (6-2, 205), an All-Southern Section linebacker last year.
Other experienced players, including All-SS defensive back Aaron Short, all-league defensive tackles Rosey Grier (son of former All-NFL defensive lineman Roosevelt Grier) and Evan Wender, and linebacker Zack Freedman, an all-league second teamer.
Problems: At quarterback, where there is no experience and where Brown has "penciled in a few kids who have never taken a snap." Eagles may also miss top runner Jay Langan, who graduated and hopes to play for Boston College. Brown says he has no one who looks like a wide receiver and will play two tight ends.
Offensive and defensive sets: Double-back offense in a power-I for most part, 2-4.
Players to watch: Junior Derrick Amey, last year's fullback, moves to tailback and will carry ball about 25 times a game. Compact (5-9, 170), with powerful legs, Amey moved from junior varsity to varsity after first game last year and alternated at fullback. Fullbacks this year will include Von Watt, Grier and Short, who will also spell Amey at tailback.
CIF-City Section, Southern Pacific Conference, 4-A Pacific League
CO-COACHES: Robert Garrett and Terrel Ray, second year.
LAST YEAR: 5-4 overall, 4-3 fourth in Pacific League.
FIRST GAME: Sept. 22, Manual Arts, 3 p.m.
Strengths: Speed at running back. Good receivers. Some pro-size linemen in two-way tackle John Wilson (6-5, 290), who played only defense last year, and Tony Wilson (6-2, 280), who may see action either at center or at his old defensive tackle spot. Another center candidate, junior Enrique Henderson (6-0, 225) is said to bench press more than 500 pounds.
Problems: Quarterback may or may not be problem. Position is tossup between Derrick Williams, an option type, and junior Daryl Loper, more of a pure passer.
No maybes that there is big problem on defense, where Cougars were almost all seniors last year. "Defense wins ball games," says Garrett, "and we're rebuilding the defense."
Offensive and defensive sets: Multiple sets, 5-2.
Players to watch: Garrett thinks Cougars will go to playoffs, buoyed by speedsters such as running back Kevin Hicks and fullback Charles Jenkins, and top returning wide receivers Devin Montgomery and Walter Hill.
Culver City Centaurs
CIF-Southern Section, Division VII, Ocean League
COACH: Lou Lichtl, first year.
LAST YEAR: 2-8 overall, 0-7 eighth in Ocean League.
FIRST GAME: Friday, St. Bernard, 7:30 p.m.