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PREP EXTRA / A weekly look at the high school sports
scene in the Southland
| CITY SECTION REPORT

There's More to Venice Than the Boardwalk

November 05, 1998|GARY KLEIN

Venice High has never won a City Section football championship.

The Gondoliers were a 2-A Division semifinalist in 1985 and have reached the quarterfinals in other divisions several times.

Venice still has a long road to the City championship game, but the Gondoliers are enjoying their best season since 1989 when they lost to Locke in the quarterfinals and finished 11-1.

Venice, which lost in the first round of the 3-A playoffs last year, takes an 8-0 record into Friday's Coastal Conference game against University and will probably finish the regular season 10-0.

UCLA-bound quarterback J.P Losman has passed for 2,331 yards and 34 touchdowns for a team averaging 46 points a game. Last week against Palisades, Losman completed eight of 16 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown as the Gondoliers won, 49-20.

Losman has made use of several talented receivers.

Jerrold Wilkerson has 32 receptions for 751 yards and 13 touchdowns, Paul Thomas has caught 30 passes for 800 yards and 11 touchdowns and Sharif Rosales-Webb has 27 receptions for 559 yards and five touchdowns.

Venice can also run the ball with Jaime Moreno, who has gained 1,065 yards and scored nine rushing touchdowns.

"We knew we had something special in the works, but they have really played to their potential," said Tony Chretin, who has been co-head coach of the Gondoliers since 1985. "We're looking forward to the playoffs."

Venice, which has competed in the weaker 3-A playoffs for several years, will be put in the major division this season.

"We know the teams in the Southern Pacific Conference play a very physical brand of football week in and week out, and that's something we're going to have to prepare for," Chretin said. "But our kids are excited about the challenge."

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