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ERIC SONDHEIMER

Things to look forward to in 2011

Athletic accomplishments will abound this year, and here are a few that might just become reality.

January 02, 2011|Eric Sondheimer

It's time to peer into my crystal ball and see what 2011 has in store for Southern California high school athletes, coaches and fans:

Huntington Beach Edison pitcher Henry Owens will be chosen in the first 10 picks of baseball's June amateur draft, then celebrate by getting on his surfboard and riding the best waves at 56th Street in Newport Beach.

Darnell Taylor from Los Angeles Crenshaw will shatter a glass backboard with a dunk.

On football letter-of-intent day, USC will proclaim that it has signed the three best players in Southern California, and the Trojans will be accurate with a class that includes De'Anthony Thomas of Crenshaw, George Farmer of Gardena Serra and Tre Madden of Mission Viejo.

Austin Hedges from San Juan Capistrano JSerra will dare any baserunner to steal on him, then back it up by throwing out every runner who tries, earning him the reputation as the best catcher prospect in Southern California since Mike Lieberthal.

Pitcher Lucas Giolito from North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake will throw a no-hitter, then rush home to study for a math test.

The experiment of having Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Ventura St. Bonaventure play in the Marmonte League for football will end after bitterness grows among public schools.

Long Beach Poly will take a trip to Sacramento and celebrate at Arco Arena as state Division I champion in boys' basketball.

Rouric Bridgewater of Pomona Diamond Ranch will hit three home runs in one game.

Parents will no longer worry about paying for car insurance for their son or daughter. Instead, it will be summer camps, summer college visits, summer showcases and summer private lessons that leave mom and dad screaming, "Enough!"

Young fans will surround Christian Rivera, Placentia El Dorado's sophomore shortstop, and ask for his autograph.

Tuition will continue to rise at private schools, but for some reason, top athletes will still be able to enroll.

Ty Moore from Santa Ana Mater Dei will strike out 15 in a game in which he will also hit a home run.

Freshman catcher Madeline Jelenicki of Valencia will be softball's version of Derek Jeter, with fans putting down their hot dogs and cellphones and paying attention to every swing she takes at the plate.

Four pitchers from Southern California will be first-round baseball draft choices: Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer of UCLA, Noe Ramirez of Cal State Fullerton and Owens. And Peter Gammons will boast that "California is No. 1 again."

Chatsworth will win a ninth City Section championship at Dodger Stadium for Coach Tom Meusborn, and Tom Lasorda will be there to give him a hug.

Dominique Dunning from Corona Centennial will earn respect as one of the best basketball players in Southern California because of the way he plays defense, hustles and makes plays in the clutch.

After winning the City Division I basketball title, Woodland Hills Taft Coach Derrick Taylor will promise to never say anything bad again about the City athletics office.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis of Mater Dei, the nation's No. 1 girls' basketball prospect, will take on Mater Dei boys' star Xavier Johnson in a for-charity game of one on one.

The state 100-meter track final will end up a showdown of future Trojans, with Serra's Farmer edging Crenshaw's Thomas.

Arleta pitcher Javy Lopez will be the surprise standout in City Section baseball.

Travis Wilson, San Clemente's 6-foot-6 quarterback, will become a top football prospect over the summer.

Michael Mullahey, a 6-4 junior setter from Los Angeles Loyola, will emerge as the best volleyball prospect in Southern California from the class of 2012.

The top five football teams in 2011 will be Anaheim Servite, Corona Centennial, St. Bonaventure, Long Beach Poly and Santa Margarita.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATSondheimer

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