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ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOLS

Kevin Ervin emerging as one of City Section's top running backs

The running back has scored 14 touchdowns in four games in Sun Valley Poly's run-oriented offense.

October 05, 2009|ERIC SONDHEIMER

In a season where there are many top running backs in the City Section, from D.J. Morgan of Woodland Hills Taft to DeAnthony Thomas of Los Angeles Crenshaw, Sun Valley Poly has a running back, Kevin Ervin, who's thrusting himself into consideration as one of the best.

Ervin has rushed for 869 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in four games as part of a Double Wing formation that features a fullback and two wingbacks.

"This off-season, he took so serious," said Coach Scott Faer of the 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior. "He's so powerful now but at the same time, so fast and his vision is phenomenal. He's the complete package."

Ervin played at Reseda Cleveland as a freshman before moving to Sun Valley and transferring to Poly, which has a history of not keeping top running backs who live in the neighborhood.

"I don't know how I got so lucky," Faer said. "I know other schools talked to him."

Said Ervin: "I'm staying."

Ervin is having fun with Poly's focus on the running game.

"I've played running back all my life and that's all we do is run the ball," he said.

The East Valley League championship is expected to be decided Friday afternoon, when Arleta (3-1, 1-0) plays host to Poly (3-1, 1-0). The scoreboard operator will be busy. Poly has scored 45, 43, 58 and 40 points. Arleta has put up 43, 42, 64 and 63 points.

"We're very excited," Faer said. "They feel right now they can play with anyone, and they should feel that way. They know Arleta is the best team on our schedule."

What's next at Loyola?

Coaches leaving in the middle of the season is hardly rare in the NFL or even at the college level, but for high school, it doesn't happen often at high-profile programs, which makes Saturday's announcement that Jeff Kearin had resigned at Los Angeles Loyola as a coach and teacher even more stunning.

Kearin has been under pressure the last two years from Loyola alumni who expect their team to contend for a championship every season. He won a Division I title in his first year in 2005, then didn't make the playoffs the next two years before returning to the playoffs last season. The complaints have never ended.

But Kearin said Sunday fan pressure was not the reason he left.

"I made the decision for me and my family," he said. "I wasn't being as attentive to the program as I should be."

Loyola is turning to 24-year-old defensive coordinator Adam Guerra, who will be the interim coach for the 2-2 Cubs. Former coach Steve Grady will serve in an advisory role.

Narbonne victory

It has been a long time since City Section teams came up with the kind of victories against Southern Section teams they are enjoying this season.

Harbor City Narbonne pulled off the latest triumph, knocking off Orange Lutheran, 37-31, in double overtime. Carson has beaten Santa Ana Mater Dei, Crenshaw defeated Lakewood and Norco and Woodland Hills El Camino Real beat Newhall Hart.

Narbonne (2-2) gets a chance to add to the City Section's list of accomplishments with a Thursday night game against Los Alamitos (4-0).

Great performance

On Saturday night, North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake receiver Jackson Liguori caught nine passes for 186 yards, including touchdown receptions of 64 and 54 yards, in the Wolverines' 24-20 upset of Mission Hills Alemany.

So how good is 3-0 Harvard-Westlake?

"We're just as good as before, except people didn't know it," Liguori said.

Addressing rumors

On Aug. 28, Matthew Koziol, a 17-year-old senior linebacker at Granada Hills, fatally shot himself in the head at home. No one knows why he took his life.

A couple days later, Granada Hills Coach Billy Parra was quoted as saying that Koziol had "gained 15 to 20 pounds of muscle" in the off-season, leading to speculation that he had been taking steroids.

A toxicology report released last month from the coroner's office was negative, proving Koziol used hard work to put on that weight.

It doesn't lessen the pain being felt by his family and friends, but the record needed to be clarified.

--

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

twitter.com/latsondheimer

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