Dan Albano

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Mater Dei basketball standout Khylee Pepe transfers to Bishop Montgomery

All-County girls basketball player Khylee Pepe of Mater Dei has enrolled at Bishop Montgomery, her father, Paapaa, confirmed Tuesday.

Last season as a versatile freshman forward, the 6-foot Pepe helped the Monarchs (23-6) capture the Trinity League title and qualify for the CIF-SS Open Division and state playoffs. Mater Dei finished fourth in the CIF-SS Open Division.

Pepe averaged 11.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

The second-team All-county selection also was a valuable ball-handler on the fast-break and strong defender.

Her brother, Kobe Pepe, is a standout defensive end on the St. John Bosco football team.

Last season, Bishop Montgomery’s girls basketball also qualified for the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs, finishing fifth.

Please send girls basketball news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/14/mater-dei-basketball-standout-khylee-pepe-transfers-to-bishop-montgomery-2/

Orange County’s Top 10 running backs for 2018

Dan Albano’s Top 10 running backs to watch in 2018:

1.Shakobe Harper. Mater Dei

The senior doesn’t enter the season as a touted recruit but possesses the drive, quickness and opportunity to leave a legacy. The opportunities could come in the form of increased carries if the Monarchs run the ball more in 2018. Last season on 136 carries in 14 games, Harper rushed for 999 yards and 15 TDs.

2. Sean Dollars, Mater Dei

The Oregon commit is a highly-recruited senior who could be most valuable as an all-purpose back. He rushed for 919 yards last season at Rancho Cucamonga.

3. Chris Street, JSerra

Watch out for the junior transfer from Mater Dei. He has the explosiveness to race to No. 1 on this list. He averaged 8.6 yards per carry last season with Mater Dei en route to 609 yards. Street will be on the loose in 2018.

4. Isaac Hurtado, Cypress

The hard-running junior is coming off a knee injury but showed plenty last season to signal his arrival. His video highlights are must-see viewing. Hurtado will likely miss a few games early on but look for him to assert himself by the Empire League.

5. Keanu Norman, Los Alamitos

The speedy senior might get the most touches of any county back because he is the Griffins’ undisputed No. 1 weapon. He also is coming off a strong offseason, Los Alamitos coach Ray Fenton said. “He is going to have an amazing year,” Fenton said.

6. Reggie Strong, Orange Lutheran

The Lancers are expected to commit more to the run in 2018 and Strong looks like their man. The senior rushed for almost 650 yards last season on 137 carries. He’s 6-foot-1 and almost 200 pounds.

7. Arick McLawyer, Huntington Beach

The Oilers moved the senior to running back from quarterback to capitalize on his running skills. They won’t be disappointed. McLawyer should deliver a breakout season.

8. Jake Thomas, Santa Margarita

The senior backed up the first-team All-County running back Chad Magyar last season but now gets his shot behind a strong offensive line. Look for the hard-running Thomas to make the most of his chance, starting Thursday against Downey.

9. Patrick McMorris, Santa Ana

The highly-productive senior arrives from Godinez to a program that loves to run the ball. He will observe the sitout period for transfers, so look for him to debut in the Saints’ Orange Coast League opener against Costa Mesa on Sept. 28.

10T. Jamari Ferrell, Mission Viejo

The senior is back hungry and healthy after a leg injury cost him most of his 2017 season. Ferrell will be an intriguing weapon in the Diablos’ new spread attack but also keep an eye on sophomore running back Easton Mascarenas, who showed promise as freshman.

10T. Jamiel Henning, La Habra

The JSerra transfer returns close to his roots and should excel. He was a rising sophomore at Buena Park and has impressed the Highlanders since his arrival.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/14/orange-countys-top-10-running-backs-for-2018/

Mater Dei basketball standout Khylee Pepe transfers to Bishop Montgomery

All-County girls basketball player Khylee Pepe of Mater Dei has enrolled at Bishop Montgomery, her father, Paapaa, confirmed Tuesday.

Last season as a versatile freshman forward, the 6-foot Pepe helped the Monarchs (23-6) capture the Trinity League title and qualify for the CIF-SS Open Division and state playoffs. Mater Dei finished fourth in the CIF-SS Open Division.

Pepe averaged 11.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

She also was a valuable ball-handler on the fast-break and strong defender.

Her brother, Kobe Pepe, is a standout on the St. John Bosco football team.

Last season, Bishop Montgomery also qualified for the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs, finishing fifth.

Please send girls basketball news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/14/mater-dei-basketball-standout-khylee-pepe-transfers-to-bishop-montgomery/

Mater Dei’s Warren Loth, Ian Minsterman playing for U.S. youth water polo team

  • Orange Lutheran’s Matt Kacura shoots past the defense of Mater Dei’s Warren Loth during the Lancers’ 11-6 loss in a Trinity League boys water polo game at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, CA on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei’s Ian Minsterman passes the ball past Orange Lutheran’s Sam Sasaki during South Coast Tournament finals in Newport Beach, on Saturday, September 23, 2017. (Photo by Nick Agro, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Mater Dei senior water polo players Warren Loth and Ian Minsterman are playing this week for the U.S. men’s team at the FINA Youth World Championships in Hungary.

Loth, a defender, and Minsterman, a right-handed attacker, joined a U.S. squad with recent Orange County graduates Garrett Zaan (Huntington Beach), Hannes Daube (Orange Lutheran) and Ash Molthen (Orange Lutheran).

JSerra’s Brett Ormsby is the U.S. coach and assisted by Newport Harbor’s Ross Sinclair and Harvard-Westlake’s Brian Flacks.

Harvard-Westlaker defender Nico Tierney and Oaks Christian’s Alika Naone also are on the U.S. team.

Team USA opened the tournament Saturday with a 9-8 loss against Italy. The Americans then fell to Croatia 14-8 before collecting a 26-7 triumph against Uzbekistan.

Please send water polo news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/14/mater-deis-warren-loth-ian-minsterman-playing-for-u-s-youth-water-polo-team/

Trinity League Football Podcast: Team outlooks, predictions, breakout players

The Trinity League Football Podcast with Dan Albano of OCVarsity and insider Scott Barajas returns for Week 0 with team outlooks, predictions and a list of breakout players.

The 85-minute show also previews the Week 0 games: Bakersfield-Servite, Downey-Santa Margarita, Orange Lutheran-San Juan Hills, Timpview of Utah-St. John Bosco, Bishop Amat-Mater Dei and the game of the week, Corona del Mar-JSerra.

Listen to the weekly show HERE or below:

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/14/trinity-league-football-podcast-team-outlooks-predictions-breakout-players/

Former Newport Harbor track and field champion, pro wrestler Jim Neidhart dies

Former Newport Harbor standout track and field athlete Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, who became best known for being a pro wrestling star, has died.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office said Neidhart, 63, fell at home, hit his head and “succumbed to his injury” on Monday in Wesley Chapel, Fla., the Associated Press reported. No foul play was suspected.

Neidhart captured the California state championship in the shot put in 1973 with a toss of 67 feet, 3 1/4 inches. He also was the Masters champion that season.

Neidhart still holds the Newport Harbor record in the shot put with a toss of 69 feet, 3 3/4 inches.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/13/former-newport-harbor-track-and-field-champion-pro-wrestler-jim-neidhart-dies/

Football notes: Godinez focuses on unity after high-profile transfer

Godinez’s football team surprisingly found itself in the middle of one of the biggest transfer stories of the offseason.

All-County senior running back/defensive back Patrick McMorris left the Grizzlies last week and enrolled at rival Santa Ana High.

“It’s rare (to have transfers) at Godinez because it’s a fundamental school,” first-year Godinez coach Sebastian Hernandez said.

Transfer stories aren’t so surprising in the CIF-Southern Section. The section said last week that transfer approvals in July rose substantially from last year.

“It’s kind of the culture these days,” Hernandez said. “I have nothing against Patrick. He’s a great kid.”

Godinez doesn’t plan to stay stuck in the story. Coming off an eight-win season in 2017, the Grizzlies open Friday against Beckman looking forward to the 2018 season and focused on their own roster. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Santa Ana Valley High.

“We’re OK. It’s the attitude of, ‘Next guy up,’ ” Hernandez said. “We’re moving forward and we’re rallying for each other.”

Junior Elijah Robles (5-9, 170) will slide into McMorris’ spot and play tailback and safety.

Godinez also will be led by quarterback Jesse Cendejas (5-10, 165), a returning starter, and senior linemen Steven Nunez (5-7, 255), Mario Lopez (5-11, 265) and Mario Aparicio (5-10, 265).

Senior Axel Quezada (6-1, 170) is a wide receiver to watch.

Godinez and Santa Ana split two games last season but won’t face off this fall. They won’t meet in nonleague and were placed in different playoff divisions for this season.

The schools’ leagues also have changed. The Grizzlies reside in the new Pac 4 League after capturing the Orange Coast League the past two seasons.

“It’s really exciting,” Hernandez said of the Pac 4 League pairing with Laguna Beach, Ocean View and Western. “It’s going to be a challenge.”

NO LAUGHING MATTER

Loara coach Mitch Olson laughed at the notion but hopes it’s spot on.

A few opposing coaches believe the Saxons could contend for the title in the Garden Grove League, their new home after moving from the Golden West League.

The Garden Grove League appears wide open after Garden Grove’s move to the Big 4.

Olson was amused Monday that coaches were high on the Saxons after their struggles the past three seasons. They finished 2-8 in 2017 to drop their record to 3-27 the past three seasons. He also acknowledged there is substance to the buzz as he enters his fourth year at the school.

“We have a solid team,” Olson said. “I don’t know how we’re going to do. … I hope (the coaches) are right.”

Olson said he is encouraged by his team’s work ethic and attitude. The Saxons also have some talent in a 25-member senior class.

Running back Jiggy Mendoza (5-11, 180) leads the offense while Erick Franco (5-11, 220) and Anthony Aguilar (5-11, 190) are two-way linemen to watch. Franco and Aguilar are Loara’s only full-time two-way starters.

Drew Perkins (5-9, 160) is a versatile player. He’s slotted for wide receiver, safety and returning kicks.

“It’s been a good experience here,” said Olson, who led Kennedy to a CIF title in 2006. “(The kids) are appreciative of everything and they just work their tails off. … It would be nice to win some games.”

Loara opens at Estancia on Aug. 24.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/13/football-notes-godinez-focuses-on-unity-after-high-profile-transfer/

Albano’s Top 35 Orange County football rankings

Orange County’s 2018 football season finally arrives Thursday and Friday, so it’s time to start sharing some team rankings. Here are my preseason Top 35 team rankings:

Dan Albano’s preseason O.C. Top 35

The Top 10

1.Mater Dei; 2. Orange Lutheran; 3. JSerra; 4. Mission Viejo; 5. La Habra; 6. San Clemente; 7. Corona del Mar; 8. Santa Margarita; 9. Servite; 10. Villa Park

Knocking on the door

11. Edison; 12. Los Alamitos; 13. Capistrano Valley; 14. Tesoro; 15. San Juan Hills; 16. El Modena; 17. Valencia; 18. Yorba Linda; 19. Santa Ana; 20. Aliso Niguel; 21. Cypress; 22. Tustin; 23. Pacifica; 24. Katella; 25. Orange

Under-the-radar

26. Huntington Beach; 27. Garden Grove; 28. Irvine; 29. Laguna Hills; 30. Fountain Valley; 31. El Toro; 32. Canyon; 33. Segerstrom; 34. St. Margaret’s; 35. Sunny Hills

Others to watch: Trabuco Hills; Brea Olinda

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/13/albanos-top-35-orange-county-football-rankings/

Capo Valley hires Kyle Gorham as boys water polo coach

Capistrano Valley has hired former Santiago of Corona coach and collegiate assistant Kyle Gorham as its boys water polo coach, Gorham confirmed Monday.

The former Long Beach State men’s assistant coach replaces recently retired Steve Yancey at Capistrano Valley.

Gorham will be an on-campus coach at Capistrano Valley. He will teach government.

Gorham took over Santiago’s program in the 2015-16 season. His tenure was highlighted by leading the girls to the consecutive appearances in the CIF-SS Division 3 semifinals in 2016 and 2017. He also led the boys to a share of league titles in 2015 and 2017.

Gorham rose to coaching prominence as an assistant at Corona del Mar before heading to Long Beach State as an assistant under Gavin Arroyo. He played at Brea Olinda.

The Cougars will play in the Sea View League this fall with Laguna Hills, Tesoro, Trabuco Hills and San Clemente. Their playoff division would be Division 4.

Please send water polo news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/13/capistrano-valley-hires-kyle-gorham-as-boys-water-polo-coach/

OCVarsity Hot 150: Orange County’s top impact football players for 2018

This story is part of our 2018 high school football preview series

When it came to offseason camps and combines, attracting interest from college recruiters and playing well with high school teammates, few players in Orange County could match Ryan Hilinski.

The Orange Lutheran quarterback dominated the march toward the 2018 football season, transitioning from a county standout to a national recruit.

And it all occurred after an outstanding junior season with the Lancers.

For all those reasons, the senior is No. 1 in the OCVarsity Hot 150 player rankings. The annual list takes an expansive look at the many talented players in Orange County football and ranks them according to their expected impact during the upcoming season.

“I put my name on the map for sure,” Hilinski said in mid-July. “A lot of people had their doubts. … (saying) ‘Yeah, he’s a great quarterback at Orange Lutheran.’ … During this offseason, I took another step.”

Hilinski won MVP honors at two prestigious recruiting camps and was selected to the Elite 11. He also led Orange Lutheran to the semifinals of the Battle at the Beach passing tournament at Edison High.

The Hot 150 selections were based on input from coaches, analysis of video highlights from last season, college interest, statistics and observations.

  • Quarterback Ryan Hilinski, part of the Orange Lutheran football team which starts the 2018 season ranked No. 2 in Orange County, on their practice field in Orange on Friday, August 3, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei’s Bru McCoy in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 is one of the top five players at Mater Dei. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Wide receiver Kyle Ford, part of the Orange Lutheran football team which starts the 2018 season ranked No. 2 in Orange County, on their practice field in Orange on Friday, August 3, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei’s quarterback Bryce Young in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 is one of Mater Dei’s top five players. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • La Habra’s Clark Phillips has been selected to the Register’s All-County football team. Phillips was photographed at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mission Viejo quarterback Joey Yellen in Mission Viejo on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Yellen is one of the top returning quarterbacks in Orange County and he is expected to be a key player for the Diablos this year. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Wide receiver Kyle Ford, part of the Orange Lutheran football team which starts the 2018 season ranked No. 2 in Orange County, on their practice field in Orange on Friday, August 3, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei’s Elias Ricks in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 is one of the top five players at Mater Dei. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School receiver/safety John Humphreys (6) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Villa Park quarterback Paul Piferi looks for a receiver down field. El Dorado was taking on Villa Park in a nonleague football game at El Modena High. (Photo by Bill Alkofer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Orange Lutheran quarterback Ryan Hilinski after practice in Orange on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Hilinski, who has committed to South Carolina, is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. He and his family are dealing with a huge family tragedy after his brother Tyler, who played quarterback at Washington State, committed suicide last spring. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei linebacker/wide receiver Bru McCoy in Santa Ana on Thursday, July 12, 2018. McCoy is one of the top recruits in the nation and he is expected to be a key player for Mater Dei as it tries to repeat as CIF-SS Division 1 champs (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei’s Bryce Young throws a pass during the Nike Football’s The Opening Regionals at Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa on Sunday, March 11, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • La Habra’s Clark Phillips III, right, leaps in front of Fullerton’s Jonoven Smith to intercept a pass during a Freeway League game at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo quarterback Joey Yellen in Mission Viejo on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Yellen is one of the top returning quarterbacks in Orange County and he is expected to be a key player for the Diablos this year. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Villa Park fullback Anthony Hakai celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Paul Piferi during the first half. El Dorado was taking on Villa Park in a nonleague football game at El Modena High. (Photo by Bill Alkofer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei’s Elias Ricks, left and Nathan White, right, combine for the tackle of Orange Lutheran’s Kyle Ford during the first half of a Trinity League game at Santa Ana Stadium on Friday, October 27, 2017 in Santa Ana, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Corona del Mar’s John Humphreys, right, added USC to the growing list of scholarship offers he has received. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

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1. RYAN HILINSKI | Orange Lutheran, QB

Hilinski’s strong offseason, talented wide receivers and underlying motivation have him positioned for a dominant season. He was the first quarterback selected to the prestigious Elite 11. He committed to South Carolina and plays with wide receiver Kyle Ford and Co. Add that Hilinski is driven to succeed for his late brother, Tyler, there’s no telling what he can achieve. Look for JT Daniels-type numbers this season.

2. BRU McCOY | Mater Dei, WR/LB

The senior was slowed in the offseason by surgery for a sports hernia but is still the best two-way player in the county. And he will get to the chance to prove he’s the No. 1 athlete in the nation thanks to the Monarchs’ demanding schedule. By the end of the season, McCoy could have an argument that he should have been No. 1 on this list. The Hot 150 loves two-way players.

3. KYLE FORD | Orange Lutheran, WR

Just call him Amon-Ra 2.0. The senior dominated the competition over the summer and showed some of the swagger that gave Amon-Ra St. Brown, now at USC, that extra edge for Mater Dei last season.

4. BRYCE YOUNG | Mater Dei, QB

The USC-bound dual-threat junior takes the reins for the defending national champion Monarchs. He has the skills and maturity to keep Mater Dei rolling.

5. JOEY YELLEN | Mission Viejo, QB

The Arizona State commit possesses the arm, weapons and offensive-minded coach (Chad Johnson) to pile up monster numbers for the Diablos.

6. CLARK PHILLIPS III | La Habra, WR/CB/ATH.

The junior’s recruiting stock continues to soar and so has his value for the Highlanders. He’s playing both ways this season, so get ready for a show.

7. ELIAS RICKS | Mater Dei, CB

Fans can only hope that opponents challenge Ricks because the junior is the best cover corner in the county and perhaps beyond. He’s also a candidate for defensive player of the year.

8. PAUL PIFERI | Villa Park, QB

The 6-foot-5 Purdue commit will make Pac-12 coaches kick themselves for letting him get away. He has the arm and wide receivers to produce staggering numbers.

9. BRENDAN COSTELLO | San Clemente, QB

The Oklahoma State commit is a rising dual-threat senior who is ready to keep the Tritons’ quarterback legacy alive.

10. JOHN HUMPHREYS | Corona del Mar, WR/S

Humphreys is the Sea Kings’ version of Bru McCoy, only he plays a ball-hawking safety instead of linebacker. Now that Corona del Mar is part of the Sunset League, look for Humphreys’ profile to grow.

  • Mater Dei’s Shakobe Harper, right, breaks out into the open for a big gain as Bishop Gorman defenders give chase in Santa Ana on Friday, September 1, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Rancho Cucamonga’s Sean Dollars (#5), stiff arms St. John Bosco Ralen Goforth (#10), during Friday’s CIF-SS Division 1 second round playoff game at Rancho Cucamonga High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., November 17, 2017. (John Valenzuela/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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  • Rancho Cucamonga’s Jeremiah Criddell (4) celebrates after scoring against Upland Friday night. Rancho Cucamonga hosts Upland Friday night October 6, 2017 in CIF prep football game at Rancho Cucamonga High School. (Will Lester-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei’s Myles Murao in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 is one of the top five players at Mater Dei. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei sophomore right tackle Myles Murao has been offered by UCLA.

  • Capistrano Valley’s Nathan Manning passes against El Toro during the first quarter of a Sea View League game at El Toro High School on Friday, October 13, 2017 in Lake Forest, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei’s Shakobe Harper in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 is one of the top five players at Mater Dei. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mater Dei’s Christopher Street jumps into the end zone for a touchdown against Santa Margarita in the first quarter in Laguna Hills on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • JSerra’s Tarik Luckett hauls in a pass before turning it into a 59-yard touchdown in Long Beach on Friday, November 10, 2017. (Photo by Scott Varley, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

  • Bishop Gorman’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, left, is sacked by Mater Dei’s Keyon Ware-Hudson in Santa Ana on Friday, September 1, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Rancho Cucamonga’s Jeremiah Criddell (4) makes a large gain as Citrus Hill’s Shawn Dourseau (6) defends during the second quarter Friday night. Rancho Cucamonga hosts Citrus Hill in battle of undefeated teams in a high school prep football game Friday night September 22, 2017 in Rancho Cucamonga. (Will Lester-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • JSerra’s Tarik Luckett catches a touchdown pass over Orange Lutheran’s Deshawn Craig during a Trinity League game at Orange Coast College’s Dick Tucker Field in Costa Mesa on Friday, October 13, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Rancho Cucamonga’s Sean Dollars avoids Norco’s Cody Hinson in a non-league high school football game in Norco on Friday September 1, 2017.

  • Mater Dei’s Christopher Street, left, changes direction as he avoids a tackle by Mission Viejo defenders in the semifinals of the Division 1 football playoffs in Mission Viejo on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Capistrano’s quarterback Nathan Manning, right, hands off the ball to Kian Assarpour, left, in the first half of a quarterfinal CIF SS Division III prep football game against Damien at Damien High School in La Verne, Calif., November 17, 2017. (Photo by Libby Cline Birmingham)

  • Mater Dei’s Darion Green-Warren, center right, celebrates with Solomon Tuliaupupu, center left, after intercepting the ball for a touchdown against Bishop Gorman in the third quarter in Santa Ana on Friday, September 1, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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11. SHAKOBE HARPER | Mater Dei, RB

The diminutive senior simply puts up numbers against all comers. If the Monarchs run the ball more as expected, Harper will crack the 1,000-yard plateau and approach 20 TDs.

12. SEAN DOLLARS | Mater Dei, RB/AP

The Rancho Cucamonga transfer and Oregon commit is a playmaker waiting to explode in the Monarchs’ new-look scheme.

13. JEREMIAH CRIDDELL | Mater Dei, S

The Oregon commit from Rancho Cucamonga will play an active center field for the Monarchs’ defense, roaming from the secondary to the line of scrimmage. He’s another defensive player of the year candidate.

14. MYLES MURAO | Mater Dei, LT

The rising junior’s talent will continue to captivate as he moves to left tackle from right tackle. He added weight during the offseason and is now 290 pounds.

15. SEAN RHYAN | San Juan Hills, OT

The 6-foot-6, 300-pound senior might be the most intimating player in the county. And he possesses plenty of talent, too.

16. NATHAN MANNING | Capistrano Valley, QB

The Cal-committed baseball player also is an outstanding quarterback who passed for 3,023 yards last season. The Cougars won the Marina passing tournament in the offseason.

17. CHRIS STREET | JSerra, RB

Don’t be surprised if the junior transfer from Mater Dei emerges as the county’s top running back. He’s a physical marvel.

18. KEYON WARE-HUDSON | Mater Dei, DT

The Oregon commit missed last season because of injury, but now might be the county’s top defensive lineman.

19. DARION GREEN-WARREN | Mater Dei, Jr.

Opposing offenses could be in for a rude awakening if they challenge Mater Dei’s “other” cornerback. The Oklahoma commit isn’t far from Elias Ricks’ level.

20. TARIK LUCKETT | JSerra, WR

If Luckett is the county’s fourth-best wide receiver, then it’s one stellar class of pass catchers. The senior is a refined route runner with excellent size and hands.

  • JSerra’s Munir McClain during a season opening game at Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach on Friday, August 25, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Orange Lutheran’s Logan Loya is brought down by JSerra’s Calvin Mouisset during a Trinity League game at Orange Coast College’s Dick Tucker Field in Costa Mesa on Friday, October 13, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

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  • Mission Viejo High School wide receiver JoJo Forest in Mission Viejo on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Akili Arnold tries to jump over a trio of Servite defenders in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs at Mission Viejo High in Mission Viejo on Friday, November 10, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Mission Viejo High School wide receiver Akili Arnold in Mission Viejo on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Corona del Mar’s Mark Redman runs the ball during a CIF-SS Division 4 playoff game against Downey in Newport Beach on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mater Dei’s quarterback JT Daniels, right, can’t get away from JSerra’s Shawn Nielsen and is sacked in Santa Ana on Friday, October 20, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cypress’s Isaac Hurtado evades a tackle attempt from Woodbridge’s Sam Tipple in the first quarter during a season opening game at Western High School in Anaheim on Thursday, August 24, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Yorba Linda’s Mike Callahan, left, tries to tackle Canyon’s Jacob Munro during their game at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange, Calif. on October 20, 2017. (Photo by Karen Tapia, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tight end Ethan Rae, part of the Orange Lutheran football team which starts the 2018 season ranked No. 2 in Orange County, on their practice field in Orange on Friday, August 3, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Edison’s Hunter Griggs, right, is pulled down by Andrew Ueli-FAaatoalia after taking the ball down near the end zone in the CIF-SS Division 2 playoff game in La Habra on Friday, November 10, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • JSerra receiver Munir McClain leaps to try and make a catch during a game against Bishop Amat on Friday, September 8, 2017. Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer

  • Tight end Ethan Rae, part of the Orange Lutheran football team which starts the 2018 season ranked No. 2 in Orange County, on their practice field in Orange on Friday, August 3, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar’s Nathaniel Espinoza is sacked by JSerra’s Shawn Nielsen during a season opening game at Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach on Friday, August 25, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Cypress quarterback Alex Ashcraft hands the ball off to Isaac Hurtado during a season opening game at Western High School in Anaheim on Thursday, August 24, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School tight end Mark Redman (81) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tight end Ethan Rae, part of the Orange Lutheran football team which starts the 2018 season ranked No. 2 in Orange County, on their practice field in Orange on Friday, August 3, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Orange Lutheran’s Logan Loya works on a drill during the Nike Football’s The Opening Regionals at Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa on Sunday, March 11, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s JoJo Forest emerged as a breakout performer at the Battle at the Beach passing tournament Saturday, July 7 at Edison High. (Photo by Dan Albano, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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21. MUNIR MCCLAIN | JSerra, WR

The USC commit has recovered from a knee injury last season and is ready to challenge Kyle Ford as the county’s best deep threat.

22. LOGAN LOYA | Orange Lutheran, WR

The sure-handed junior has route-running skills and agility that make him nearly impossible to cover.

23. JOJO FOREST | Mission Viejo, WR/DB

The senior showed big-play capability against elite competition over the summer. Get ready for more highlights this fall.

24. AKILI ARNOLD | Mission Viejo, WR/S

The senior switches to wide receiver from running back but remains an elite two-way player.

25. SHAWN NIELSEN | JSerra, DL

The San Diego State commit plays with one of the best motors in Orange County. Look for him to push to lead the county in sacks.

26. ISAAC HURTADO | Cypress, RB/DL

The rising junior is coming off a knee injury but is a big-time talent if he’s healthy. He’ll likely miss the first few games of the season.

27. MARK REDMAN |Corona del Mar, TE

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior moves and catches the ball like a wide receiver. When he lines up outside next to John Humphreys, it will seem almost unfair.

28. MIKE CALLAHAN | Yorba Linda, DE

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound senior generated an offseason buzz with offers from Hawaii, Utah State and San Jose State among others. Now it’s time for him to start buzzing around opposing quarterbacks.

29. ETHAN RAE, Orange Lutheran | TE/DL

The senior committed to USC as a tight end up but expect to see him make an impact on defense this season as well. His two-way contributions help separate him from his rival tight ends in the Hot 150.

30. ANDREW UELI-FA’ATOALIA | La Habra, OL/DL

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior is a major presence but there’s skill behind his size. And his two-way play also makes him more valuable.

31. CADEN BELL | JSerra, QB

The Columbia-committed senior didn’t make the Hot 150 a year ago, but he now teams with major offensive weapons. If the Lions’ revamped line protects him, big passing yards will follow.

32. KOBAH FUAMATU | Mater Dei, LB

The junior transfer from La Habra could help fill the void of All-County linebacker Mase Funa, who is recovering from a knee injury.

33. ELIJAH MOJARRO | Orange Lutheran, TE

The Cal-bound senior was the first from Orange County’s talented tight end class to commit. He just knows how to get open.

34. WILLIAM NIMMO | Mater Dei, S 

The emerging senior certainly holds his own with the Monarchs’ so-called DBU (Defensive Back University) secondary. He joins McCoy as the Monarchs’ top uncommitted class of 2019 recruits. He holds several Pac-12 offers, including one from UCLA.

35. BRAEDIN HUFFMAN-DIXON | Mater Dei, WR

The Colorado commit found his chemistry with Bryce Young during the summer. Expect him to turn that into plenty of touchdowns in the fall.

36. KJ TRUJILLO | Orange Lutheran, CB

The Colorado commit gets his chance to lock down some of the Trinity League’s best receivers. He’s ready.

37. ETHAN GARBERS | Corona del Mar, QB

Garbers is on the rise with fellow juniors John Humphreys and Mark Redman. The air show is just beginning.

Los Alamitos’s Keanu Norman (5) leaps over Huntington Beach’s Klaus Himes (26) during the 2nd quarter at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The play was called back on a holding call. Long Beach Calif., Thursday, October 26, 2017.<br />( Photo by Stephen Carr, Daily Breeze / SCNG )

38. KEANU NORMAN | Los Alamitos, RB

If Orange County football tracked usage rate, Norman might be the leader in 2018. Expect the Griffins to heavily use Norman, who Coach Ray Fenton predicts will have a breakout season.

39. EVAN BENNETT | Mater Dei, DL

Watch him work. The Oregon State commit could be a disruptive force in the interior.

40. BLAZE MCKIBBIN | Servite, QB

The Serra of Gardena transfer fared well against strong competition last season, which will help him transition to the Trinity League.

41. DYLAN BONILLA | Villa Park, WR

Expect the slick, 5-foot-10 Bonilla to emerge as the No. 1 target of Paul Piferi and produce huge numbers.

42. MIKE MARTINEZ | Mater Dei, TE

Bryce Young, meet senior tight end Mike Martinez.  The UCLA commit only had eight receptions last season but improved in the offseason. And what new quarterback doesn’t need a 6-foot-6, 245-pound target?

43. REGGIE STRONG | Orange Lutheran, RB/S

Count the senior as one of the best two-way players in the county. The Lancers plan to give him more carries this fall.

44. ARICK MCLAWYER | Huntington Beach, RB/SS/ATH.

The 6-foot, 180-pound senior moves to running back from quarterback so he can put his running skills to better use. Hawaii, San Jose State and UNLV have offered.

45. WYATT TERLAAK | El Modena, OG

The Navy-committed senior will be a weekly guide of how to play offensive guard.

46. ALEC BANKS | Tesoro, OL

The senior’s hard work on and off the field has positioned him to make a run at All-County honors. Several Ivy League schools have offered the 6-foot-5, 270-pound senior.

47. LUKE FELIX-FUALALO | Mater Dei, RT

With a 6-foot-7, 300-pound frame, a verbal commitment to Utah and limited football experience, many eyes will be on the transfer from Cathedral of Los Angeles.

48. ANTHONY MUNOZ | Western, QB

Don’t know him? The senior passed for more than 3,000 yards last season and fared well against respectable Empire League foes. Remember him.

49. RYAN ZANELLI | La Habra, QB

The left-handed junior has the emerging talent and supporting cast to deliver a stellar season.

Cypress’ Elias Rios catches a long pass near the 5-yard line and is injured coming down in the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 9 playoffs against Aquinas at Western High on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.<br />(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

50. ELIAS RIOS | Cypress, WR/S

The Cal State Fullerton-bound center fielder is one of the county’s best two-way players and overall athletes. Last season, he tallied 45 receptions for 916 yards, plus six interceptions.

51. JEREMIAH FLANAGAN | Huntington Beach, WR/CB

Any colleges interested in an athletic, 6-foot-4 corner? The Oilers have a good one. He also is their top wide receiver.

52. RICKY LANE | Yorba Linda, WR/S

The senior remains one of the county’s best two-way threats. He’s a No. 1 wideout and key player for a strong defense. He caught seven touchdowns last season and had six interceptions.

53. ZACH BROGDEN | Orange Lutheran, LB

The senior is back after racking up 78 tackles last season and recently landed an offer from Air Force.

54. MARC FILIA | Irvine, QB

The UC San Diego commit for baseball also is a rising quarterback for the improved Vaqueros. He could surpass his impressive 2017 totals of 2,365 yards passing.

55. JAY BAGGS | San Clemente, TE/DL

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior forms a “Twin Towers” threat with fellow 6-foot-5 tight end Wakley Lush. Baggs could lead the Tritons in receptions.

56. JAKE THOMAS | Santa Margarita, RB

A strong offensive line and sophomore quarterback points toward the hard-running senior busting loose for a 1,000-yard season. He averaged 9.0 yards a carry last season while backing up All-County back Chad Magyar. Stetson has offered.

57. JAKE OVERMAN | Servite, TE

Blaze McKibbin, meet your No. 1 target. The Friars’ new quarterback will be seeking playmakers and the rising junior appears to be a talented answer. He could be one of the county’s breakout players.

58. PETER COSTELLI | Santa Margarita, QB

Costelli’s freshman film looks great, but takes on the Trinity League this fall as a sophomore. It’s a journey that will fascinate fans.

Linebacker Luke Hoggard runs drills during Edison’s first football practice of the 2018 season Monday, July 30, 2018 in Huntington Beach.<br />(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

59. LUKE HOGGARD | Edison, LB

The senior and reigning co-linebacker of the year in the Sunset League is the top returner for the Chargers.

60. KODY EPPPS | Mater Dei, WR

The sure-handed junior showed at the Mission Viejo passing tournament that he can make difficult catches. That’s an intriguing development because he has two seasons to play with fellow junior Bryce Young.

61. JOJO HAWKINS | Orange Lutheran, WR/ATH.

The versatile senior is primed for a breakout campaign after shaking an offseason knee issue. He could contribute at wideout, defensive back and returner.

62. REECE HITE | Mission Viejo, DE/TE

Another two-way player to watch. The senior has 11 offers at defensive end – including Air Force, Utah State and several Ivys – and also plays tight end.

63. LANCE KENELEY | Mission Viejo, DE

The rising junior combines a 6-foot-5, 226-pound frame with speed off the edge. Utah has already offered. Also watch his brother, Hunter, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound senior lineman.

64. SEFITA TUPE | Mater Dei, DT

Players with Pac-12 offers need to be followed. The 6-foot, 280-pound junior from Serra has been offered by Oregon State and could star for two seasons.

Godinez’ Patrick McMorris is brought down early in the first quarter of his team’s game against Sunny Hills. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

65. PATRICK MCMORRIS | Santa Ana, RB/S

One of the biggest offseason transfers, the ex-Godinez star makes the already strong Saints the favorite in the Orange Coast League and more of a threat in CIF-SS Division 8.

66. DREW RAMIREZ | Santa Ana, WR/S

The 6-foot, 190-pound transfer from Orange Lutheran brings Trinity League experience and leadership to the Saints. He forms an impressive duo with Patrick McMorris.

67. EDWARD WILLIAMS | Katella, TE/OLB

The senior delivered 1,000 yards receiving last season for the CIF champion Knights. His encore figures to be just as productive.

68. GEORGE MIKI-HAN | Mater Dei, C

It’s tradition to look for the Monarchs’ next star offensive lineman and it could be the sophomore center. Miki-Han is 6-foot-1, 300 pounds and will play two seasons with Bryce Young before he becomes a senior. Other fans might pick junior Tai Marks as the next standout.

69. STEELE DUBAR | Mater Dei, LB

The senior combines the leadership of a captain with production. He’s another All-County candidate.

70. JAMARI FERRELL | Mission Viejo, RB

The senior is back and hungry after a scary leg injury that wiped out most of his 2017 season.

71. TYLER SHIMOMURA | JSerra, WR

The senior doesn’t have the recruiting profile of Munir McClain and Tarik Luckett, but he makes tough catches just like the duo. Last season, he had 42 receptions for 715 yards and eight TDs.

72. DEAVYN WOULLARD | Mission Viejo, Sr.

The La Habra transfer is another excellent target for quarterback Joey Yellen.

73. RYAN SMITH | El Modena, WR

Justin Simpson owned the spotlight at receiver last season for the CIF champs, but Smith (6-3, 190) had some not-so-quiet numbers: 39 catches for 777 yards and a team-leading 12 TDs. Don’t sleep on him.

El ModenaÕs Collin Keefe makes the catch and runs for the first touchdown of the game as St. Margaret’s Michael Chew tries to block in the first quarter of a playoff game at El Modena in Orange on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.(Photo by Steven Georges, Contributing Photographer)

74. COLLIN KEEFE | El Modena, RB/SS

The senior could lead the Vanguards’ ground attack and remain a key defensive player. Sound familiar? His brother, Dillon, played the same role.

75. JACKSON CLOYD | Orange Lutheran, LB

Don’t forget about this senior. He was the Lancers’ second-leading tackler last season with 101 tackles.

76. SYRR BARNES | Mission Viejo, LB

The Mater Dei transfer found a home and starring role with the Diablos’ defense. Utah State has offered the senior.

77. GRANT RISTOFF | JSerra, DE/TE

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior bound for Penn gives the Lions a threat off the edge and an extra blocker to play smash-mouth football for Coach Pat Harlow.

78. RICHARD KREBS | Servite, OT

The anchor of an excellent offensive line, Krebs earns bonus points for being the school’s prior general or student leader.

79. RYAN SULIAFU | JSERRA, OG

The 6-foot-2, 310-pound transfer from Centennial of Corona will help spring holes for running back Chris Street and protect quarterback Caden Bell. Look for him at right guard.

80. JAKE COSSAVELLA | Orange Lutheran, OL/DL

Line play will be critical for the Lancers, and the 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior is their best. He impressed in Men in the Trenches training sessions.

81. CALVIN MOUISSET | JSerra, LB/S

The senior leader, who has been offered by Sacramento State, forms an excellent defensive duo with linebacker Victor Clanton.

82. SEAN OWENS | Corona del Mar, C

The Sea Kings’ legacy of standout centers continues with the 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior.

83. CADE ALBRIGHT | San Juan Hills, DE

The senior (6-5, 200) has a quick get-off and a BYU offer. He also could play tight end for the Stallions.

84. JAMIEL HENNING | La Habra, Sr.

He’s back … and that’s trouble for the rest of the Freeway League. The running back transferred from JSerra to rejoin the league where he showed promise as a sophomore at Buena Park.

85. ZION ALEFOSIO | Villa Park, WR/S

The dynamic junior transfer from Mater Dei takes the Spartans from Crestview League favorites to major CIF Division 4 contenders. He could emerge as one of the top playmakers in the county.

86. JAMES GILES | Capistrano Valley, LB

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker figures to be one of the county’s top tacklers. He posted 121 in 2017. BYU has offered him as a preferred walk-on.

El Toro’s Sam Whipple (22) takes down St. Francis’ Elijah Washington (25) during the first half of CIF-SS Division 3 semifinal football playoffs at St. Francis High School in La Ca–ada Flintridge on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. (Correspondent photo by Trevor Stamp)

87. SAM WHIPPLE | El Toro, LB

The under-recruited senior is certainly a player to watch after his stellar junior campaign. He collected 147 tackles.

88. JOHN GOSNEY | Huntington Beach, LB

He won the other half of the Sunset League linebacker of the year award in 2017. The under-the-radar senior had 100-plus tackles last season.

89. NICHOLAS LARRIVA | Santa Ana, DL/TE

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior, who is quick for his size, has been offered by Idaho State. He was the Golden West League’s lineman of the year in 2017.

90. EMERSON ALDANA | Segerstrom, DT/OL

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound senior earned co-defensive player of the year last season in the Golden West League. Now he is the Big 4’s problem. He had 10 sacks in 2017 while fellow lineman Cristian Carmona added nine.

91. JAMES MOTT | St. Margaret’s, QB

The senior passed for almost 3,000 yards last season and now works with offensive coordinator Nate Longshore, the former Cal QB. Mott is going to light up the scoreboard.

92. PATRICK ANGELOVIC | Edison, QB

The Chargers usually do just fine with their quarterbacks, especially seniors. Look for the first-year starter to be accurate for Coach Jeff Grady, who certainly knows the position.

93. KALANI WASHINGTON | La Habra, WR

The slot receiver is trending toward a breakout campaign after a strong offseason. Look for him to destroy his 25-reception total from 2017. Mitch Anderson, coming back from a leg injury, is another wideout to watch.

94. ROB FARNEY | San Clemente, LB

The senior is the Tritons’ latest tackling machine and like Wakely Lush, an Ivy League recruit. Last season, Farney collected 81 tackles and added five sacks.

95. VINCE ANTONACCI | Pacifica, DL

With the departure of Hagen Forman (seven interceptions) to JSerra, line play becomes even more important for the Mariners. The 6-foot-2, 260-pound senior is one of the top players for the reigning Empire League champion. San Diego has offered.

96. NICHOLAS VALENZUELA | Los Alamitos, LB

The Griffins are becoming known for their linebackers and the senior forms a potent duo with Giovanni De Leon.

97. GIOVANNI DE LEON | Los Alamitos, OLB

The rising junior could be one of the county’s breakout players. He has been offered by Arizona State.

98. JOHN TUA’VAO | Villa Park, LB

The junior returns after leading the Spartans’ defense with 90 tackles last year. He forms a special duo with three-year starter Daniel Asiata.

99. ANTHONY HAKAI | Villa Park, FB/LB

The junior was a physical runner last year to the tune of 553 yards and nine TDs. Expect him to run wild this season as defenses try to cover all the Spartans’ receivers. He also will pick up the slack for Anthony Talavera, who moved to Oregon.

Western’s Caine Savage reaches out to catch a pass for a touchdown during a game against Katella at Glover Stadium in Anaheim on Friday, September 1, 2017. (Photo by Kyusung Gong, Orange County Register/SCNG)

100. CAINE SAVAGE | Western, WR/DB

The 5-foot-11, 167-pound junior is on the rise after a strong offseason and a 1,055-yard receiving campaign last year. He also returns his quarterback Anthony Munoz and brother Cassius, so look for some scary numbers.

101. ETUATE MOALA | JSerra, DT/DE

The M.L. King transfer and nephew of Fili Moala teams with Long Beach Poly transfer Justin LeBeauf as two new defensive linemen to watch. JSerra coach Pat Harlow said both have impressed in practice.

102. JUNIOR AIONO | Tustin, OL

The 6-foot-3, 310-pound senior is the best of a strong crew of linemen at Tustin.

103. GARRETT CLAPPER | Tesoro, DE/TE

With Coach Matt Poston now back serving as defensive coordinator, look for the high-motor senior to be a force off the edge.

104. BRANDON SCHILLIG | Santa Margarita, OL

Offensive line will be a strength for the Eagles, and the 6-foot-5, 255-pound senior is one of their best. Also watch two-way lineman Nathan Clay.

105. KYLE ROBERTSON | Aliso Niguel, QB

Smart and athletic, the senior threw for almost 2,400 yards and 25 TDs last season and impressed over the summer. He helped the Wolverines win the Sunny Hills passing tournament. He’s a major reason why the Wolverines are on the rise in the Sea View.

106. RAI PEACE | Sunny Hills, WR/DB

The athletic 6-foot-1, 180-pound has been offered by Air Force, Brown and Columbia among others.

107. JACOB NASH | Woodbridge, WR/CB

The senior takes the spotlight for the Warriors after the graduation of his brother and quarterback, Nick. Little brother had 59 catches for almost 900 yards last year. He also collected five interceptions.

108. CAMERON EDEN | Edison, RB/LB

The hard-hitting senior racked up 100 tackles last year but will be counted on to supply more offense. He’s athletic enough to do both.

109. ISAIAH PALMER | Edison, WR/CB

The senior loves to hustle and make opponents pay for their mistakes. His instincts and leadership are major assets for the Chargers.

110. CARSON LEWIS | San Juan Hills, WR/S

Physical and tall at 6-foot-3, the senior has been offered by San Diego. He had five interceptions last year, but watch for his receiving numbers to soar under offensive guru Rob Frith, the Stallions new coach.

111. MATT DER TOROSSIAN | Laguna Hills, QB

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior is a huge reason why the Hawks (2-7 last year) could be one of the county’s most improved teams. Rising 6-foot sophomore wideout Mitch Leigber is another.

112. THOMAS KEELING | University, QB

The senior has recovered from a knee injury and impressed over the summer. Signs suggest he’ll be outstanding for new coach Scott Meyer.

113. PARKER MARSHALL | Tesoro, LB

The hard-charging senior looks to build off his first-team All-South Coast League selection last year.

114. NOAH SANCHEZ | Villa Park, WR

The Spartans’ receiving corp for Purdue-bound QB Paul Piferi is loaded. Sanchez had 82 receptions for almost 1,300 yards last season at Whittier Christian and be might be the No. 3 target.

115. KAMERON MATUA | La Habra, LB

The senior signal-caller for the defense has the leadership and credentials to help fill the void left by the departure of linebacker Kobah Fuamatu to Mater Dei. He was a first-team all-league selection in 2017.

116. JAMES BOHLS | San Clemente, RB

The Tritons believe the 6-foot, 195-pounder is their next star recruit. When it comes to producing college talent, San Clemente’s track record is pretty good. Cue the Sam Darnold highlights.

117. MARK ARD JR. | Santa Margarita, CB

Does a 4.43 40-yard dash grab your attention? The junior transfer from Orange Lutheran owns some serious speed and an offer from Nevada.

118. JARED AMASIO | Orange Lutheran, RB/LB

The 5-foot-10, 189-pound junior was part of the exodus at Servite after last season. He was the Friars’ third-leading tackler last year.

119. ELIJAH OROPEZA | Valencia, RB/LB

The junior could be the Tigers’ MVP. He forms a thunder-and-lightning running back duo with Nathan Sandoval and is an outstanding linebacker. If anyone in the Empire League has a chance to tackle Isaac Hurtado of Cypress, it’s Oropeza.

Yorba Linda quarterback James Festini, fends off El Modena defensive end Lee Groover as he runs for a touchdown in the second quarter of a non-league football game at Yorba Linda High Friday night. Friday, September 29, 2017. (Photo by Sam Gangwer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

120. JAMES FESTINI | Yorba Linda, RB/WR/ATH.

The physical, 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior moves to running back/wide receiver from QB, so look for more highlight plays.

121. CONNOR COBOS | El Dorado, DT/OG

Puget Sound wisely offered the senior because he is 6-foot-1, 260 pounds, aggressive, moves well and excels in the classroom. More offers could be on the way.

122. RAI SAGASTUME | Pacifica, RB

The slick, 5-foot-6, 156-pound senior joins the 1,000-yard club this fall. He rushed for 748 yards last year.

123. JAKE MEYER | Capistrano Valley, WR

It is hard to pick the best wideout for the Cougars. “All our receivers have stepped up,” QB Nathan Manning said. But this is certain: a few will have excellent seasons thanks in large part to their teamwork with Manning. The 6-foot-3 Meyer might have the best chance with his height and experience, but also watch for speedy Blake Morgan (Sea View League sprint champion) and athletic Jack Haley.

124. JULIAN ALESSI | Servite, WR

The junior transfer from Palos Verdes will deliver some added athleticism to the Friars’ offense. “He will make a difference in our community,” Friars coach Troy Thomas said.

125. LOGAN SCHWENKE | Santa Margarita, DE

Flashed considerable potential coming off the edge last season as a sophomore, which isn’t easy at a Trinity League school.

126. CADE FULLER | Servite, WR/S/P

The versatile 6-foot-3 senior could emerge as one of Coach Troy Thomas’ sleepers who develops into a star. Thomas routinely pulled the trick during his first tenure at Servite.

127. BRANDON KRAUSE | Fountain Valley, WR/S

If the 6-foot-1 senior improves on his 2017, watch out. He had 49 catches for 765 yards and six TDs. He also is now paired with JSerra transfer QB Josh Stupin.

128. NATHAN SANDOVAL | Valencia, RB

Shifty and quick, the 5-foot-6 senior appeared headed toward a 1,000-yard season a year ago before slowing late. Expect another big season.

129. JACOB COCHRAN | Yorba Linda, LB

Cochran and fellow senior linebacker Jason Syrko are both undersized but posted 90-plus tackles last season, recorded a few sacks and had a couple interceptions. They’re a big reason why the expectations are high for the Mustangs.

130. ANDREW PISANI | Katella, RB/OLB

The reigning CIF champion Knights have an excellent offensive line so look for the quick, 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior to gain plenty of yards.

131. TYLER WILLIAMS | Canyon, FS

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound senior is the Comanches’ best player, lone returning all-league player (second team) and has received recruiting interest from San Diego among others. He’ll be a good matchup against the Crestview League’s excellent wideouts.

132. NOAH HICKMAN | Ocean View, QB

The senior used the offseason to get stronger, so look for him to bolster his 2017 stats of almost 1,500 yards passing. “He’s going to have a huge season,” Seahawks coach Luis Nunez said.

133. MIKE CARRILLO | Garden Grove, RB/OLB

The Argos are excited about the 5-foot-8, 185-pound senior. He averaged about 8.0 yards per carry in 2017 and scored 10 TDs.

134. GAVIN KLEPPER | Fullerton, QB

The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder senior will be working with a new coach and new weapons but gained valuable experience last season.

La Quinta quarterback Michael Nadeau celebrates after the Aztecs’ 38-34 victory over Laguna Beach at Bolsa Grande High in Garden Grove, CA on Thursday, August 31, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

135. MICHAEL NADEAU | La Quinta, QB

The senior dual-threat is back after leading the Aztecs to the CIF-SS semifinals last season. Coach Andy Diaz departed for El Toro and Garden Grove switched leagues, but 6-foot-5, 220-pound Nadeau could lead La Quinta to a league crown.

136. JACOB ZAUAETA | Garden Grove, QB

The dual-threat senior compliments Carrillo well. He passed for almost 1,000 yards last season and rushed another 700. Shawn Haslip is a top target.

137. JAYLIN DAVIES | Mater Dei, DB

The sophomore appears to be the No. 5 defensive back at DBU, which means he could start on any other team in the county. A few Pac-12 teams have already offered.

138. NATHAN WYSE | Brea Olinda, RB

The Wildcats, contenders to win the North Hills League, just need the senior to pick up where he left off in 2017. He rushed for a season-high 137 yards in a victory against Esperanza in Week 10.

139. DILLON BASS | El Dorado, RB/LB

The Golden Hawks’ top candidate for breakout player of the year won the 100 meters in the North Hills League (11.50) in May.

140. KENUI HUEY | Los Alamitos, WR

The speedy 6-foot-3 target compliments Norman as playmaker for the Griffins. He was a first-team all-league pick last season.

141. ISAAC GALVAN | Orange, WR/LB

The Kennedy transfer appears headed toward a breakout season and could be the top target for sophomore QB Daylen Pedroza, no relation to Panthers Coach Robert Pedroza.

142. BRANDIN SUN | Orange, LB/DE

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior transfer from Nogales is an aggressive hitter who gives the Panthers someone to chase recent Santa Ana transfer running back Patrick McMorris.

143. ANDREW ANDRADE | Orange, RB/WR/S

The reigning CIF champion Panthers are high on the junior (5-10, 185), a transfer from Los Alamitos.

144. NATHAN KANYAVONG | Rancho Alamitos, RB

Garden Grove League teams beware: The 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior returns after busting loose for 1,074 yards last season.

145. SAM CARDUCCI | Aliso Niguel, WR/CB

The Santa Margarita transfer has energized a program that could contend in the Sea View League. “He’s a dude,” Wolverines coach Kurt Westling said.

146. CARLOS HERNANDEZ | Savanna, RB/CB/KR

The 5-foot-6, 140-pounder senior returned three kickoffs for touchdowns last season for the improved Rebels. He’s also a fierce hitter and can block an extra-point if needed. Remember him.

St. MargaretÕs Christopher Vartanian kicks an extra point from a ball held by James Mott in the first quarter of a playoff game against El Modena in Orange on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo by Steven Georges, Contributing Photographer)

147. CHRIS VARTANIAN | St. Margaret’s, K

The senior, who has been offered by Army, could duel Mater Dei’s Nick Lopez for county supremacy. “Strong kickoff leg and consistent inside 55 on FGs,” Brad Bohn of West Coast Kicking said of Vartanian.

148. CHARLES BEIN | San Clemente, P

The recent Air Force commit might be the best pure punter in the county. “He hits the ball with great hang time and distance,” said kicking guru Brad Bohn of West Coast Kicking.

149. JACOB GARCIA | Servite, LS

The junior is the No. 2-ranked long snapper nationally in the class of 2020 by Rubio Long Snapping. He also holds a preferred walk-on offer from Michigan. Yes, a long-snapper with early recruiting interest. The position has come a long way. Orange Lutheran’s Kameron Hawkins is another long snapper to watch.

150. MASE FUNA | Mater Dei, LB

If not for a potential season-ending knee injury, the Oregon commit and All-County selection would have been ranked No. 4 or No. 5 in the Hot 150. He’s that good when healthy. Since there is a slim chance he could return late in the season, there’s a spot for him out of respect.

The next six: coming next week.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/10/ocvarsity-hot-150-orange-countys-top-impact-football-players-for-2018/

Football recruiting: JSerra quarterback Caden Bell commits to Columbia

JSerra rising senior quarterback Caden Bell (6-0, 190), who will be a starter for the first time this season, has committed to Columbia of the Ivy League, he announced Thursday night.

Bell transferred to JSerra from Servite in the offseason after serving as a backup last year to TJ McMahon (now at Mississippi State). He passed for 328 yards and two TDs and rushed for another 81 yards.

Bell has impressed this offseason, landing offers from several Ivy League schools and San Jose State among others.

He committed to the New York school on the eve of JSerra’s scrimmage Friday night against visiting Norco.

Bell will blazing a trail to Columbia, which doesn’t feature an Orange County player on its roster.

Please send football recruiting news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/09/football-recruiting-jserra-quarterback-caden-bell-commits-to-columbia/

Standout football player Patrick McMorris transfers to Santa Ana from Godinez

Senior running back/safety Patrick McMorris, a standout at Godinez, has enrolled at Santa Ana, Saints football coach Charlie TeGantvoort confirmed Wednesday night.

McMorris (6-2, 175) rushed for almost 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns last season and added four interceptions to help Godinez capture the Orange Coast League.

He is the brother of former Mater Dei star and rising Cal fullback Malik McMorris.

“He’s a tremendous student-athlete and person,” TeGantvoort said of Patrick. “He’s the total package.”

McMorris’ arrival last week is a major boost to an already strong Saints team expected to duel with Orange for the title in the Orange Coast League and challenge in CIF-SS Division 8.

Last season, they won the Golden West League and reached the Division 12 semifinals.

Santa Ana finished 11-2 overall, losing to Godinez in its season opener before winning 11 consecutive games.

The Saints also won the Golden West in 2016. They finished as the CIF Division 13 runner-up and 13-1 overall.

Santa Ana likes to run the ball. On defense, TeGantvoort can pair McMorris at safety with Orange Lutheran transfer Drew Ramirez.

McMorris’ departure at Godinez could have a ripple effect in the new Pac 4 League. The Grizzlies are set to tangle with Ocean View and Western – two teams with talent at the skills positions — and Laguna Beach.

“He’s very good,” TeGantvoort said of McMorris.

Please send football news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/08/standout-football-player-patrick-mcmorris-transfers-to-santa-ana-from-godinez/

Trinity League Football Podcast: Offseason updates, team breakdowns, under-the-radar players

The Trinity League Football Podcast with Dan Albano and Scott Barajas is back with its first show of the season.

In Episode 1, the duo reviews top offseason news for each team, analyzes the strengths and weakness of each squad and reveal under-the-radar players to watch in 2018.

Listen to the show by clicking here 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/08/trinity-league-football-podcast-offseason-updates-team-breakdowns-under-the-radar-players/

Trinity League Football Podcast: Offseason updates, team breakdowns, under-the-radar players

The Trinity League Football Podcast with Dan Albano and Scott Barajas is back with its first show of the season.

In Episode 1, the duo reviews top offseason news for each team, analyzes the strengths and weakness of each squad and reveals under-the-radar players to watch in 2018.

Listen to the show by clicking here 

Follow the Trinity League Football Podcast on Twitter at @TrinityFBPod:

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/08/trinity-league-football-podcast-offseason-updates-team-breakdowns-under-the-radar-players/

Mater Dei football player Myles Murao invited to Polynesian Bowl for 2020

Mater Dei junior offensive lineman Myles Murao has earned his share of accolades.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound tackle helped the Monarchs become CIF-Southern Section, California and national champions last season. He was selected first-team All-County. And he’s piled up scholarship offers from top college programs, including one recently from Michigan.

Murao received another honor Wednesday that carried a special feeling.

He was not only officially invited to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Oahu, he was named one of the game’s ambassador players.

“Huge honor,” Murao said this week of the invitation. “Best bowl game in the country.”

Murao said his ambassador role elevates the significance of the invitation. He was selected because of his character on and off the field.

His role will be to share the positive and respectful Hawaiian spirit of the bowl game or the event’s “Aloha”.

“I find that way more meaningful to me, to represent that bowl game and that culture,” Murao said.

Murao will be working on his leadership this season. As the Monarchs’ lone returning starting offensive lineman, he moves to left tackle from right tackle.

Several other Mater Dei linemen have played in the game in the past.

St. John Bosco junior quarterback DJ Uiagalelei also has been invited to the Polynesian Bowl, which is broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/08/mater-dei-football-player-myles-murao-invited-to-polynesian-bowl-for-2020/

La Quinta football coach Ron Vander Sluis resigns, replaced by James Stewart

La Quinta football coach Ron Vander Sluis, who replaced Andy Diaz in March, has resigned and been replaced by James Stewart with about 2 1/2 weeks before the start of the season.

The Aztecs open against Anaheim at Bolsa Grande on Aug. 24.

Vander Sluis said Tuesday night that he resigned for personal reasons. The coaching veteran was set to replace Diaz, who guided the Aztecs to the CIF-SS Division 13 semifinals last season. Diaz then took the reins at El Toro, his alma mater.

La Quinta went 11-2 last season and finished second in the Garden Grove League.

Stewart takes over the Aztecs program for the second time. He coached La Quinta from 2003-08.

La Quinta returns senior quarterback Michael Nadeau and could contend for the title in the Garden Grove League, which no longer includes defending champion Garden Grove. The Agronauts now play in the Big 4 League.

Please send football news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/07/la-quinta-football-coach-ron-vander-sluis-resigns-replaced-by-james-stewart/

Man commits suicide at La Habra’s football stadium

A 28-year-old male committed suicide late last month at La Habra’s football stadium, which has been under construction for refurbishments, authorities confirmed.

La Habra Police Department Sgt. Jose Rocha said Monday that a witness saw the man jump off the press box early in the morning of July 27.

The Orange County Coroner said that Luis Marron was taken to UCI Medical Center where he was pronounced dead later that morning. The O.C. Coroner lists the death as a suicide.

Rocha said Marron attempted suicide at another location in the city in December but police intervened. Marron was held for a mental evaluation, Rocha said.

La Habra plays host to Morningside in a scrimmage Friday, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. The Highlanders open the season Friday, Aug. 17 by playing host to CIF-SS Division 2 rival Upland.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/06/man-commits-suicide-at-la-habras-football-stadium/

Orange County’s Top 10 tight ends for 2018

  • Mater Dei's Michael Martinez evades De La Salle's Henry To'oto'o in the CIF State Open Division championship game at Sacramento State in Sacramento on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Orange Lutheran’s Elijah Mojarro catches a pass against Servite in a Trinity League game at Orange Coast College Friday Oct. 20, 2017.(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Corona del Mar's Mark Redman runs the ball during a CIF-SS Division 4 playoff game against Downey in Newport Beach on Friday, November 17, 2017. (Photo by Foster Snell, Contributing Photographer)

  • Katella’s Edward Williams

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Dan Albano’s Top 10 tight ends to watch in 2018:

1. Mark Redman, Corona del Mar, Jr.

Get ready for Tae Le 2.0. The 6-foot-6, 242-pound Redman runs and catches like a wide receiver but make no mistake, he’s no wide out at his size. Four Pac-12 schools have offered, including UCLA. Look for Redman to post numbers similar to Le, now at Stanford.

2. Elijah Mojarro, Orange Lutheran, Sr.

The Cal commit is on the rise after an impressive offseason. He’s a 6 foot-4, 225-pounder with excellent hands and speed for his size. And he certainly has the frame to gain yards after contact.

3. Mike Martinez, Mater Dei, Sr.

Some might rank the 6-foot-6, 245-pound UCLA commit as Orange County’s No. 1 tight end and he could easily certainly finish there. He also impressed during the offseason and landed offers from Alabama, USC and much of the Pac-12. He also might be the best blocking tight end in the county. Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson has praised him for his leadership. He could be the total package by season’s end.

4. Ethan Rae, Orange Lutheran, Sr.

The recent USC commit (6-5, 240) missed his anticipated junior season with a knee injury but is back on track. He and Martinez have been the most heavily recruited tight ends on this list. His offers range from Alabama and Georgia to Ohio State. USC also received a recent commitment from St. John Bosco tight end Jude Wolfe of Laguna Hills (6-5, 250), another top recruit.

Wolfe, a former basketball player, also is a well-rounded tight end who appears headed toward a breakout season.

5. Jay Baggs, San Clemente, Sr.

The Tritons certainly know tight ends and have another gem. At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Baggs might be the No. 1 target for Oklahoma State-bound quarterback Brendan Costello, so 40 or 45 receptions could be within reach. Baggs also is a standout baseball player.

6. Jake Overman, Servite, Jr.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder is another tight end who might be his team’s top receiver target. The emerging junior has been offered by UNLV.

7. Edward Williams, Katella, Sr.

The 6-foot-2, 212-pound Williams is one of the smaller tight ends on this list but is big on play-making skills. Last season, he helped the Knights capture a CIF-SS title and play for a state title. He also plays receiver and outside linebacker.

8. Wakely Lush, San Clemente, Sr.

Lush pairs with Jay Baggs to complete the Tritons’ version of a Twin Towers attack. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder has been offered by Cornell and Brown.

9. Reece Hite, Mission Viejo, Sr.

The Diablos will have a few two-way standouts and be sure to watch for the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Hite, a rising defensive end. He holds 11 offers at defensive end but is expected to see plenty action at tight end.

10. Christian Moore, Huntington Beach, Jr.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Moore showed potential last season as sophomore and the Oilers are excited about him in 2018. Look for him to line up at wide receiver and fullback. He also plays linebacker. “He’s going to do everything for us,” Huntington Beach coach Brett Brown said.

Please send tight end nominees to dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twittter. This list will be updated.

POSITION LISTS

Orange County’s Top 10 QBs for 2018

Orange County’s Top 16 Wide receivers for 2018

Orange County’s Top 10 Tight ends for 2018

Orange County’s Top 15 linemen for 2018

Players to watch in each league

Did you see this?

OCVarsity Football Preview Page

Mater Dei football schedule, roster, stats for the 2018 football season. (File photo: Orange County Register/SCNG)

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/06/orange-countys-top-10-tight-ends-for-2018/

Former Laguna Beach, JSerra assistant football coach pleads not guilty in drug, gun case

A former Laguna Beach and JSerra assistant football coach pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this week for drug and gun charges, the Orange County District Attorney office said Friday.

Brian Jay Bishop, 35, pleaded not guilty Wednesday at his arraignment for charges of possession for sale of a controlled substance, sale/transportation for sale of ecstasy, possession of a controlled substance with firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in public. All charges are felonies, according to the District Attorney office.

The case is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 10 at the West Justice Center in Westminster, the District Attorney office said. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Bishop was arrested May 25 by Costa Mesa police and released after posting $25,000 bail.

The well-regarded coach was arrested after Costa Mesa police investigated the activities of what they called white supremacist gang members in the city. Costa Mesa police didn’t indicate if Bishop – listed as being from Trinidad, Texas — was a member of a white supremacist gang.

Bishop was arrested three days after he ended his employment with the Laguna Beach Unified School District.

Bishop was an assistant football coach at Laguna Beach High the past two years. Bishop told staff that he would be moving out of the area, the school district said.

Prior to Laguna Beach, Bishop was an assistant football coach and substitute teacher at JSerra. In 2014, he was praised as a wide receivers coach when former JSerra coach Jim Hartigan was selected as the Orange County football coach of the year by the Register.

Bishop played college football at Texas Tech and Texas A&M Commerce and high school football at Coppell in Texas.

Please send football news to Dan Albano at dalbano@scng.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/04/former-laguna-beach-jserra-assistant-football-coach-pleads-not-guilty-in-drug-gun-case/

No. 6 Corona del Mar excited to compete in challenging Sunset League

  • Corona del Mar High School receiver/safety John Humphreys (6) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School outside linebacker Sean Owens (53) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Corona del Mar High School quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School tight end Mark Redman (81) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School tight end Mark Redman (81), quarterback Ethan Garbers (4), offensive lineman Sean Owens (53) and wide receiver/safety John Humphreys (6) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School receiver/safety John Humphreys (6) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School receiver/safety John Humphreys (6) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School tight end Mark Redman (81) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School tight end Mark Redman (81) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School tight end Mark Redman (81) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Corona del Mar High School tight end Mark Redman (81), quarterback Ethan Garbers (4), outside linebacker Sean Owens (53) and wide receiver/safety John Humphreys (6) in Newport Beach, CA, on Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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The challenge Corona del Mar’s football program has been seeking is almost here.

After six years of ruling the Pacific Coast League, the Sea Kings move this fall to the more competitive Sunset League.

“We’re really excited,” Corona del Mar coach Dan O’Shea said. “We’ve been waiting for the challenge. The Irvine schools were really, really good early for us (in league play), but they’ve had a hard time with numbers.”

The Sea Kings’ numbers show the extent of their dominance. They won six consecutive, undefeated Pacific Coast titles and rattled off 30 consecutive league victories during one stretch. Corona del Mar also reached three CIF-SS finals during its time in the PCL — winning two — and captured a state crown.

A promotion was probably overdue, but the Sea Kings are now well prepared.

Corona del Mar, ranked sixth in the Register’s preseason top 10, is assembling enough talent to at least contend the next two seasons in the Sunset League. The Sea Kings will be in Division 4 for the playoffs.

The junior class boasts wide receiver/safety John Humphreys (6-5, 209), tight end Mark Redman (6-6, 242) and quarterback Ethan Garbers (6-2, 198).

Humphreys and Redman have received multiple Pac-12 scholarship offers while Garbers, the younger brother of Cal quarterback Chase Garbers, has been offered by San Jose State.

“This 2020 class,” O’Shea said, “is the best football class we’ve ever had at CdM.”

Corona del Mar has already identified nine other college prospects in the class. The group includes wide receiver Bradley Schlom (6-0, 170), a speedy transfer from Mater Dei, and wide receiver Simon Hall (6-3, 190), who also plays lacrosse.

Corona del Mar’s senior class doesn’t have as many well-known gems but is talented.

Three-year starting center Sean Owens (6-2, 240) is the top returner and could be the lone senior to start on offense. He was a first-team all-league selection last season.

Five or six seniors could start on defense. Emerging safety Jack Elliott (6-1, 175) could form an outstanding duo with Humphreys.

Elliot and senior linebacker Ari Froehlich (5-11, 190) earned second-team all-league honors in 2017.

O’Shea also is high on two seniors – running back/linebacker Luke Fisher (5-9, 185) and defensive end Ethan Jajonie (6-1, 205).

The main question for Corona del Mar will be how well it matches up against Edison and Los Alamitos in the trenches.

“We’re never going to be the biggest. We’re never going to be strongest or fastest,” O’Shea said. “But our kids will play hard and they’ll play with great technique.”

If Corona del Mar holds its own on the lines, watch out. The Sea Kings won offseason passing tournaments at San Juan Hills and Redondo Union. Their only loss in 7-on-7 passing tournaments was a 23-22 decision against Narbonne at Dana Hills’ Air Strike.

Humphreys and Redman looked unstoppable at Redondo Union. Garbers appears vastly improved after backing up last year.

“Los Alamitos and Edison are really good programs,” O’Shea said. “We just hope that we can rise up and compete with them.”

CORONA DEL MAR PREVIEW

Five players to watch

Jack Elliott, S, Sr.

Ethan Garbers, QB, Jr.

John Humphreys, WR/S, Jr.

Sean Owens, C, Sr.

Mark Redman, TE, Jr.

Schedule

All games 7 p.m.

Aug. 17: at JSerra

Aug. 23: vs. Palos Verdes at Newport Harbor HS

Aug. 31: vs. El Toro at Newport Harbor HS

Sept. 7: at Lakewood

Sept. 14: at San Clemente

Sept. 27: vs. Edison* at Huntington Beach HS

Oct. 5: vs. Fountain Valley* at Newport Harbor HS

Oct. 12: vs. Los Alamitos* at Cerritos College

Oct. 19: at Newport Harbor*

Oct. 26: vs. Huntington Beach* at Newport Harbor HS

*League game

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/03/no-6-corona-del-mar-excited-to-compete-in-challenging-sunset-league/