Three weeks ago, Westchester High football Coach Larry Wein said his team could not look to a potential season-ending showdown with Venice for the Western League title.
Now Westchester can't think about anything else.
The Comets (8-1 overall, 6-0 in conference play) travel to Venice (9-0, 6-0) Friday at 8 p.m. to try and spoil the Gondoliers' homecoming. A Venice victory would give the Gondoliers their first 10-win season in the school's 80-year history, co-Coach Al Dellinger said.
But the game has other significance. "It means first place in the league and second seed in the (playoffs)," Wein said.
South Gate, last year's L.A. City 3-A Division champion, is expected to get the No. 1 seed. Westchester and Venice are already assured of playoff berths.
When asked whom Westchester must contain to win, Wein said without hesitation: "No. 4, Louis Jones. He does everything, I can't remember a player having an impact on a team as he does."
Jones has played quarterback, running back, tight end, linebacker, defensive back and defensive end. He has rushed for 600 yards and scored nine touchdowns.
"We didn't teach him everything," Dellinger said. "He's a great athlete."
Dellinger said Venice cannot concentrate on one man because Westchester has so many quality players, including running backs Tim Holliday and Walter Grissam.