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St. John Bosco routs Loyola, 45-0

Braves' defense is impressive and Josh Rosen throws for two touchdowns, but if the result is clear, the numbers of the jerseys are not.

September 15, 2012|Eric Sondheimer

They should start handing out binoculars to high school football fans with the price of admission, because schools no longer seem to care whether fans can actually see a player's number on the field.

Bellflower St. John Bosco and Los Angeles Loyola each came out Friday night with sleek Nike-designed jerseys that required "special glasses" to identify players, as one St. John Bosco observer quipped.

"I'm just making it up," a play-by-play announcer for iBN Sports said at halftime.

From what I could see from the St. John Bosco press box, the Braves (4-0) sure looked good in a 45-0 rout of the Cubs (3-1).

Sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen completed 11 of 16 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns and had two passes intercepted. St. John Bosco's defense held Loyola to one first down in the first half, three in the game and 15 yards passing.

Elijah Lopez returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown. Arlandis Hinton caught a 12-yard touchdown pass and Shay Fields had a 46-yard touchdown reception. Jaleel Wadood scored on a 13-yard run and was a standout on defense.

The Braves have outscored their four opponents, 217-22. Their speed on defense, combined with a strong, effective defensive line, will make them a definite title contender in the tough Trinity League.

"I think we're pretty good," Coach Jason Negro said. "We're physical and can really run, and if you can continue to combine those things and stay healthy, we'll be OK."

Now, if only people in the stands could identify the players.

St. John Bosco unveiled new black home jerseys with gold trim and navy blue outlines. Loyola, which probably didn't want anyone to know its players' identities the way the team performed, wore white road jerseys with thin blue outlines. The jerseys are part of a disturbing trend. Everyone wants to look like Oregon.

"I love these jerseys," Wadood said "It's a new look. When you look good, you play good."

Except what happens if only parents know who the kid is making the tackle because of invisible numbers?

"They're legal," Loyola Coach Mike Christensen said. "I know who [the players] are. That's all that matters."

I think Christensen was joking, but who knows?

Athletic Director Chris O'Donnell told me before the game, "You're the first to say you can't read the number."

I just hope these new jerseys aren't simply designed to make it more difficult for teams to identify players when video films are exchanged.

Maybe Fox Sports West and Time Warner Cable will start telling teams if they can't get jerseys that can be seen by their announcers, then their games won't be shown on TV.

In conclusion, sorry to be a party pooper, but the jerseys deserve to be thrown in a trash can.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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