* Coming back: The defending league champions return all-league selections LB Anthony Flores and TE Brandon Nunnally. RB Sylvon Marshall is a three-year varsity player.
DATES TO MARK
Oct. 5 St. Bonaventure vs. Harvard-Westlake
Nov. 3 Serra vs. Harvard-Westlake
Nov. 10 St. Bernard vs. Harvard-Westlake
QB Richard Irvin of Harvard-Westlake traveled to Wimbledon this summer to watch his sister, Marissa, play in women's singles.
It's Steve Grady's 25th season as coach at Loyola, and there's no reason the Cubs can't win the league title behind the versatile Matt Ware, a UCLA-bound senior with 4.38 40-yard speed. Ware plays quarterback and safety. But the Cubs have many talented players other than Ware. St. Paul figures to be Loyola's prime challenger with seven returning offensive starters. Coach Marijon Ancich has 304 career victories, one of only two coaches in California history to pass 300. Alemany can't be taken lightly because of tailback De'Andre Scott. Bishop Amat failed to make the playoffs last season but has 43 lettermen.
Coach Craig Schuler, 1st year
* Coming back: Scott rushed for 1,747 yards and 25 touchdowns last season with a balanced attack. The Indians don't have a quarterback with the talent of Casey Clausen, which will put pressure on Scott. A.J. Anthony, a converted LB, will likely play QB. Kicker Garret Marxen is one of the region's best. Art David should be a two-way starter on the line. Checking in: Scott will receive help from RB Albert Griffin, a transfer from Northern California. Two Crespi transfers, TE Jason Lance and LB Kenny Baker, could be impact players. Schuler coached last year at an NAIA school in Kansas, so his transition to high school will be interesting.
Steve Grady, 25 years
* Coming back: Ware could be the best high school athlete in California. OL Keith Ornelas has committed to California. DE Joshua Quaye and LB Jordan Trott were All-Del Rey selections last season, along with WR Greg Kavulich. Checking in: The Cubs had league champion sophomore and freshman teams last season. Sophomore WR Quintin Daniels is a speedster.
Coach Marijon Ancich, 8 years
* Coming back: RB Randy Rivas, WR Aurio O'Neill and OT Fausto Gonzales lead the Swordsmen. They'll also have players off a 9-0-1 sophomore team.
Mike DiFiori, 2 years
* Coming back: RB Donnie McCleskey burned Alemany for 340 yards rushing last season. OL Anthony Soto and QB Shane Russell are potential standouts.
DATES TO MARK
Oct. 20 Alemany vs. Santa Margarita
Oct. 27 Alemany vs. Loyola
Nov. 10 Loyola vs. St. Paul
WR Greg Kavulich of Loyola is the brother of former Chaminade offensive lineman Doug Kavulich, who played at Rutgers.
Despite losing the league's leading rusher and passer, Nordhoff will again be tough to beat. Tradition alone tells us that much. Santa Paula and Calabasas, which finished second and third last season, each return 10 starters and appear poised to challenge again for a playoff berth. Malibu is much improved, but has not won a league game in its three years in the Frontier. Santa Clara is forever rebuilding.
Coach Cliff Farrar, 14th year
* Coming back: Seven starters return from a team that lost to St. Bonaventure by a touchdown in the section final. CB Benny Borchardhad six interceptions last season and Jordan Hawkins, Ryan Fiore and Jacob Morrison are solid LBs. C Cory Sandefur, LT Justin Haney and WR Jon Hall also return. Checking in: Waging a battle for running back are juniors Jordan Hawkins, Nick Kaiser and Ian Campbell.
Coach Ed Gomez, 1st year
* Coming back: Seniors Xavier Ramirez and Jacob Macias, the Cardinals' leading rushers last year who combined for 800 yards, will run behind an experienced, bulky line which averages 240 pounds. CB Ramirez and FS Mark Rabago were all-league defensive backs last season. Checking in: Junior Sean Blackshear, at 6-3 and 245 pounds, will provide Santa Paula with muscle at tackle and defensive end.
Coach Larry Edwards, 21st year
* Coming back: Junior QB Justin Fenchel has familiar targets, senior WRs David Wolfe and Kyle Rudow, who combined to catch six of Fenchel's eight touchdown passes last season. Senior LB Ben Strull was the team's leading tackler. Checking in: Wolfe and Rudow will be pushed by senior Andre Woodard, who has great speed and reliable hands. The new offensive line is inexperienced, but strong. All five bench press 300 pounds or more.
Coach Dave Gutierrez, 1st year
* Coming back: Expectations are high at Santa Clara, where 15 senior lettermen return. Gutierrez, the defensive coordinator last year, guided the league's best defense, which allowed less than 200 yards a game. Checking in: Offense was minimal for the Saints a year ago, especially its passing game, which accounted for only two touchdowns. Gutierrez hopes to open up the offense behind sophomore QB Jimmie Griffin.
DATES TO MARK
Sept. 8 Moorpark at Nordhoff