The Times' top 20 high school football preseason poll of teams from the City and Southern sections, as selected by staff writer Eric Shepard.
1. LOS ALAMITOS (Southern Section, Division I)
Last year: 12-1, lost to Mater Dei, 28-24, in Division I semifinals.
Outlook: Fourteen starters return for the Griffins, whose 47-game winning streak ended in the playoffs last season. They have depth at every position and are particularly strong on offense. Quarterback Kevin Feterik and receivers Tony Hartley and Stan Guyness are considered among the top recruits in the state.
2. SANTA ANA MATER DEI (Southern Section, Division I)
Last year: 14-0, beat Bishop Amat, 28-21, in Division I final.
Outlook: The Monarchs do not appear as strong as in recent seasons, but Coach Bruce Rollinson has proved that he has no problem rebuilding. The team's strength is on defense, led by 6-foot-6 lineman Brad Williams.
3. FONTANA (Southern Section, Division I)
Last year: 8-4, lost to Bishop Amat, 20-0, in Division I quarterfinal.
Outlook: Coach Dick Bruich is slowly bringing his program back to the level it enjoyed during much of the 1980s. The Steelers expect to contend for a title with a lineup that includes blue chippers Anselmo Zamano at linebacker and transfer R. Jay Soward at receiver.
4. LANCASTER ANTELOPE VALLEY (Southern Section, Division II)
Last year: 11-2, beat Hart, 36-15, in Division II final.
Outlook: The Antelopes will be tested early with a nonleague schedule that includes Bakersfield, Long Beach Poly and Loyola. Senior running back Jermaine Lewis rushed for 1,367 yards and 21 touchdowns last season.
5. LA PUENTE BISHOP AMAT (Southern Section, Division I)
Last year: 13-1, lost to Mater Dei, 28-21, in Division I final.
Outlook: Coach Tom Salter took over a team last year that was considered the most talented in the state. Salter's main priority is to find a replacement for running back-defensive back Daylon McCutcheon, and the top choice is senior Ralph Brown.
6. LONG BEACH POLY (Southern Section, Division I)
Last year: 10-2, lost to Los Alamitos, 7-0, in Division I quarterfinal.
Outlook: After sharing coaching duties with Thomas Whiting for 10 years, Jerry Jaso goes solo. His first change was to switch himself from defensive coordinator to offensive coordinator. It appears to be a smart move because the Jackrabbits return a good portion of their offense, including fullback Akka-Ar Moses.
7. SYLMAR (City Section, Division 4-A)
Last year: 14-0, defeated Crenshaw, 38-6, in Division 4-A final.
Outlook: The Spartans are in good shape to try to win their third section title in the last four years. The main reason is the return of two-way standout Durell Price, a running back-linebacker who rushed for 1,966 yards, scored 30 touchdowns and had 100 tackles as a junior.
8. PASADENA MUIR (Southern Section, Division II)
Last year: 8-3, lost to Quartz Hill, 33-9, in Division II first round.
Outlook: Michael Harrison replaced Jack Allen as coach during the middle of last season led the Mustangs to the Pacific League title. But Muir was embarrassed in the playoffs, and Harrison expects to be under fire if there is a repeat performance. Transfer running back Michael Graham should provide immediate help.
9. LOYOLA (Southern Section, Division I)
Last year: 8-3, lost to Mater Dei, 31-7, in Division I quarterfinal.
Outlook: This appears to be a typical Loyola team, with solid depth but few superstars. The offense has five returning starters, including junior quarterback Scott Walter. The leader on defense is senior linebacker John Williams.
10. ANAHEIM ESPERANZA (Southern Section, Division I)
Last year: 7-4, lost to Trabuco Hills, 23-12, in Division I first round.
Outlook: It has not been easy playing second fiddle to Los Alamitos, but the Aztecs are better equipped to challenge their league nemesis this season. Twelve starters return and will be joined by two promising juniors: quarterback David Parrish and running back Jamal Footman.
11. NEWHALL HART (Southern Section, Division II)
Last year: 13-1, lost to Antelope Valley, 36-15, in Division II final.
Outlook: The Indians have two of the top skill position players in the area in quarterback Steve McKeon and running back Ted Iacenda. McKeon passed for 2,925 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, and Iacenda accounted for 2,376 rushing and receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The key will be the development of a young offensive line.
12. SHERMAN OAKS NOTRE DAME (Southern Section, Division III)
Last year: 13-1, beat Chino Hills Ayala, 27-20, in Division III final.
Outlook: A championship team that has its starting quarterback returning figures to fare well, and that is the case for Notre Dame. Ryan Bowne is back after completing 57% of his passes for 1,577 yards and 13 touchdowns. Receiver Troy Garner returns too. Add blue-chip lineman Edgar Nava and the outlook gets even better.
13. DORSEY (City Section, Division 4-A)
Last year: 10-3, lost to Crenshaw, 26-19, in Division 4-A semifinal.