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

There Could Be More Reruns of the Carson Show

September 07, 2000|GARY KLEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Carson High reclaimed supremacy in City Section football last season by winning its 10th title, the first since 1993.

Carson is regarded as the favorite to repeat but will be tested during a challenging preleague schedule and Marine League play.

The section has tweaked its playoff format in the aftermath of last season's problems.

In 1999, league champions and co-champions gained automatic berths in the elite 16-team Championship division. Several weak leagues, however, ended in three-way ties for first place, and those schools filled out many of the slots usually garnered by at-large teams from the strongest leagues.

The policy created imbalance in the Championship and Invitational divisions.

This season only one team from each league is guaranteed a playoff spot in the Championship division. Other teams will be seeded based on record and strength of schedule.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday September 7, 2000 Home Edition Sports Part D Page 10 Sports Desk 1 inches; 19 words Type of Material: Correction
High school football--The last name of Wilmington Banning center Mike Wolfson was spelled incorrectly in a story that appeared Sept. 7.

Here is a look at 10 teams to watch:

1. CARSON

The Colts lost all but one starter from last season's prolific defense, but Carson has eight starters back on offense, including talented quarterback Justin Cooper.

James Robinson, Travion Stevens and Craigston Robbins give Coach John Aguirre several options at running back and wide receiver Avante Arrington is also a playmaker.

Carson will test itself in preleague games against Westchester, Fountain Valley and Fontana A.B. Miller.

2. CRENSHAW

The Cougars are coming off a terrific 1999 season during which they defeated Southern Section power Loyola, won the Coliseum League and advanced to the City final.

Quarterback Devin Hollins and receiver/defensive back Terrence Whitehead are the key players for Coach Robert Garrett's team.

3. SAN PEDRO

The Pirates are seeking their first City title since winning consecutive championships in 1996 and '97 and Coach Mike Walsh says he has an outstanding group of running backs led by Alex Teems.

San Pedro will move into a new on-campus stadium once league play begins, possibly ending an era of tremendous home-field advantage enjoyed at intimate Daniels Field.

4. WOODLAND HILLS TAFT

Rick Clausen, a transfer from Mission Hills Alemany, will be the starting quarterback for Taft, seeking its second title in three years.

Running back Lee Marks rushed for more than 1,400 yards last season and sophomore receiver Steve Smith is regarded as an upcoming star.

Taft, however, violated section rules by practicing on Labor Day and could face punishment from the City's Rules Committee.

5. WILMINGTON BANNING

The Pilots, who won the Invitational championship last year, will contend for the City title if they can physically weather a preleague schedule that includes Taft, Long Beach Poly, Crenshaw, Santa Fe Springs St. Paul and Santa Ana Mater Dei.

James Carter, Albert McCray and Sal Guererro are running backs who will operate behind a line led by center Mike Wilson.

6. SYLMAR

The Spartans, known in the past for outstanding rushing attacks, feature a talented passer in John Valdez and several quality receivers.

Linebacker Josh Martin is one of the best in the City.

7. WESTCHESTER

The Comets feature their usual supply of big, strong offensive lineman with Mark Fenton and Duane Hunter leading the corps.

Quarterback Jason Benson is back for a team that will be tested Friday in its opener at Crenshaw.

8. DORSEY

The Dons, led by senior quarterback Stanley Hollis, might be a year away from being a favorite for the City title, but Coach Paul Knox has a knack for getting the most out of young talent.

Dorsey will get a chance to mature during a preleague schedule that features Sylmar, San Pedro, Arroyo Grande and Roosevelt.

9. FRANKLIN

With savvy Daniel Gonzalez in his third season as the Panther starting quarterback, Franklin is expected to win the Northern League again.

10. PALISADES

Record-setting quarterback David Koral is back and has a trio of receivers--Charles Ealy, Jacques Lazarus and Taft transfer Greig Carlson--that will light up the scoreboard.

Others: Venice, Cleveland, Jefferson, Narbonne.

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