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Our predictions for Southern California high school sports in 2014

The crystal ball sees big baseball draft picks, high college interest in local QBs, an epic dunk-a-thon and Justin Bieber checking out some football excitement.

December 26, 2013|By Eric Sondheimer

It's time to look into my crystal ball and see what the new year has in store for Southern California high school athletes and teams:

Khalil Bedart-Ghani of Los Angeles Loyola and Stanley Johnson of Santa Ana Mater Dei will engage in an epic dunk-a-thon, with the winner getting a new shoe from Nike named Air Ghani or Air Stanley.

The comeback players of the year in football will be running back Malik Roberson of Gardena Serra, coming back from a torn ACL, and running back Leo Lambert III of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, coming back from jaw surgery.

Sidearm relief ace David Berg of UCLA will make the scout who drafts him in June look like a genius when he gets out pro hitters as effortlessly as college hitters.

Nathan Hadley of Loyola will throw a no-hitter, then jump into the Cubs' pool to celebrate.

Chase Strumpf of San Juan Capistrano JSerra will hit three home runs in a game, then have so many autograph seekers that Coach Brett Kay will offer to be his security guard.

Jack Flaherty of Studio City Harvard-Westlake will throw a perfect game..

Former Mater Dei third baseman Ryan McMahon will emerge as one of the top prospects in the Colorado Rockies organization.

All-City forward Nick Hamilton of Westchester will be the first Comets basketball player to be selected valedictorian after going four years with nothing but As on his report card.

Chaminade's "The Cage" will create such a fan frenzy at the school's home basketball game against Crespi that fans will sleep overnight in sleeping bags and bunk beds to guarantee a place in the gym.

The Clausen brothers, Casey and Rick, will create so much excitement as Calabasas' new football coaches that neighbor Justin Bieber will drop by to see what's happening.

Anaheim Servite quarterback Travis Waller will become a YouTube sensation after using his triple-jump skills to leap over a defensive back on his way into the end zone.

The quarterback class of 2015 will cause college coaches to spend big bucks hanging out in SoCal: Josh Rosen (St. John Bosco), Ricky Town (St. Bonaventure), Blake Barnett (Corona Santiago), Waller (Servite), Brady White (Hart), Sam Darnold (San Clemente), Nick Robinson (JSerra), Tyler Hilinski (Upland), Damion Wright (Jurupa Hills).

Outfielder Coltin Gerhart of Vista Murrieta will be a surprise pro-baseball prospect because of his speed and bat.

Shortstop Luke Dykstra of Westlake Village Westlake will hit for the cycle and be a second-round draft pick.

Shortstop Josh Morgan of Orange Lutheran will be a fielding whiz and a sandwich draft pick.

Outfielder Marcus Wilson of Gardena Serra will emerge as a first-round draft pick.

UCLA-bound Zana Muno of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame will become a teenage beach-volleyball celebrity as she continues on a path to one day winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

Linebacker Ben Humphrey and defensive lineman Malik McMorris of Mater Dei will be nicknamed the "Monarch Mashers" after sacking quarterbacks en masse.

Narbonne will win the City Section Division I football championship. St. John Bosco will win a second consecutive Pac-5 Division title.

The Mater Dei girls' basketball team will win a state championship and finish unbeaten.

The best Hollywood premier will be the grand opening of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame's $3-million baseball stadium, complete with celebrities and director Dennis Dugan in charge.

Retired football Coach Harry Welch will find a new calling: TV commentator.

The first 12-year-old to be offered a college football scholarship for the new year will be seventh-grader Kyle Stanback, the 6-3 younger brother of Chaminade's 6-10 Trevor Stanback.

There will be so many sports transfers in 2014 that a new website will be unveiled: SoCalTransfers.com.

Oaks Christian will hold a fundraiser awarding a dinner to the person who can guess how long it will take for Coach Bill Redell to blow out 73 candles on his birthday.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATSondheimer

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