Los Alamitos boys water polo sinks Santa Margarita to open South Coast Tournament

COSTA MESA — Los Alamitos’ boys water polo team might not be part of a high-profile league or have much recent experience in the Division 1 playoffs but the Griffins showed Thursday that their scrappy style can knock off a heavyweight.

Attacker Caleb Francisco and Nicholas Keane each scored five goals as the No. 9 Griffins defeated reigning Trinity League champion and No. 8 Santa Margarita 13-9 in a first-round match at the South Coast Tournament at Costa Mesa.

Los Alamitos (2-2) later fell to top-seeded Huntington Beach 16-7 in the second round but the Griffins showcased a strong press and dedicated counterattack against the Eagles (3-3).

The reigning Wave League champion Griffins forced at least five turnovers in each period and led for the final 21 minutes, 34 seconds of the match.

Francisco added three steals to help lead the defense. Junior goalie Tomas De Luca added six saves in his matchup against Santa Margarita goalie Zach Cwertnia (seven saves).

Los Alamitos led 9-4 at halftime before Santa Margarita trimmed its deficit to 9-7 in the third. But the Griffins called timeout and received a steal and breakaway goal from sophomore Cole Francisco to end the Eagles’ surge.

Keane then scored the first two goals of the fourth, converting a strike from center and power-play chance to give the Griffins a 12-7 lead.

Junior Nick Leung added two goals for Los Alamitos, which competed in the Division 2 playoffs in 2019 and 2018.

Nicholas Ohlson scored three goals to lead the Eagles while Spencer Averitt added four assists and played strong 2-meter defense.

In the quarterfinals Friday at 6 p.m., Huntington Beach will face Surf League foe Laguna Beach, which beat The Bishop’s 12-10 in the second round.

In other results, Mater Dei defeated Loyola 13-8 to advance to the quarterfinals to take on Trinity League rival Orange Lutheran, 14-8 winner against Oaks Christian.

Newport Harbor also reached the quarterfinals and will play host Harvard-Westlake.

Sacred Heart Prep and Cathedral Catholic will meet in the other quarterfinal at Foothill.

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More football teams facing scheduling obstacles this week due to COVID-19


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Three Orange County football teams are facing scheduling obstacles this week because of the virus while another school has found a new opponent.

Kennedy (1-1) has booked a game Friday at Canyon of Canyon Country (2-1), a step-up in competition for the rebuilding Empire League program.

“Tough game but we need it,” said Fighting Irish coach Dan Urbanos, whose squad lost games the past two weeks because of COVID-19 concerns. “Our kids deserve a game after two weeks off.”

Western (2-2) learned Wednesday night that its game at Artesia (0-3) on Thursday is cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns with the 605 League team, Pioneers coach Dan Davidson said.

Century (0-3 ) also lost a game Friday when visiting Mountain View of El Monte (1-2) canceled because of contact tracing for the virus, Centurions coach Dave Perkins said.

And Whittier Christian (1-1) has canceled its game against Don Bosco Tech (2-2) at Whittier College on Friday because of COVID-19 concerns within its program.

Western and Century, both from the Orange League, have yet to announce new opponents for this week.

Earlier this week, Santa Ana canceled its game against El Rancho because of COVID-19 protocols.

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

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Former Tesoro swimmer killed in car crash remembered as ‘great teammate’

Former Tesoro swimmer Jillian Abrian is being remembered as an upbeat teammate with a strong competitive spirit after she died Saturday in a traffic collision in Pueblo County, Colo., where she attended classes and swam at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

The university stated Sunday that Abrian “succumbed to injuries from a traffic accident”, which involved two other Colorado State University-Pueblo students.

The university added that one student received treatment for injuries before being released while the other was in critical condition.

Abrian, in her third year at the university, was a CIF-SS Division 1 qualifier as a junior and senior at Tesoro in 2018-19.

As a senior, she placed third in the South Coast League championships in the 100-yard butterfly and fourth in the 50 free.

“While she was an exceptional swimmer at Tesoro, it was her attitude, happiness and love of her teammates that made her so great,” former Tesoro girls swimming coach Todd Conrad said. “Jillian was always happy and managed to make everyone around her better.”

Abrian grew up swimming age-group with the Ladera Liquids and later joined Gators Swim Club under Ecuadorian Olympian Felipe Delgado.

Delgado recalled that Abrian was undersized but earned a collegiate scholarship because of her hard work.

“Total underdog story,” he said. “She was 5-foot-3, maybe 100 pounds but a huge heart. … Great teammate, great athlete to coach.”

As a freshman at Division II Colorado State University-Pueblo, Abrian raced on a school-record 200-yard freestyle relay.

Her last post on Instagram, from last month, has received several heartfelt comments.

“Your kind heart and warm spirit got me through many swim practices,” one person wrote. “Missing you.”

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Huntington Beach boys water polo holds off Mater Dei to win Santa Barbara Invitational

Huntington Beach’s boys water polo team showed Saturday that even if one of its best players doesn’t score, it can find a way to win a big match.

James Rozolis-Hill, Zach Bettino and Nikola Mirkovic each scored three goals to help pick up the scoring slack for Ryder Dodd as the top-ranked Oilers edge No. 2 Mater Dei 10-9 in the finals of the Santa Barbara Invitational.

The Oilers led 9-6 going into the fourth period and 10-8 in the final 4:16 in holding off Mater Dei at Santa Barbara High.

Huntington Beach (7-0) also overcame foul to capture the first major tournament of the season. Mirkovic fouled out in the fourth period while Dodd, Bettino and Matthew Morgan each picked up two fouls.

Emerging attacker Landon Akerstrom scored three goals to lead the Monarchs while Logan McCarroll and Carter Loth each added two. Nathan Tauscher made 12 saves in his duel with Huntington Beach’s Gabe Haddad.

More coverage to come.

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Huntington Beach’s offense stays hot in water polo win against Orange Lutheran


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The boys water polo season is young but Huntington Beach has already established its edict:

Outscore us if you can.

Orange County’s top-ranked team showcased its high-powered offense again Tuesday in an 18-11 victory against visiting No. 7 Orange Lutheran.

Sophomore attacker/defender Ryder Dodd and senior center/attacker James Rozolis-Hill each scored five goals and four other players found the net as Huntington Beach (3-0) pushed its goals-per-match average to 17.

Left-handed attacker Zach Bettino added three goals while Matt Morgan and Ethan Spoon each scored two. Hard-shooting Nikola Mirkovic scored once and also defended 2 meters with Dodd.

“Everybody can shoot, and we have a great goalie in cage,” Dodd said of senior Gabriel Haddad, who had eight saves against the sharp-shooting Lancers (2-1).

“It wasn’t easy at all (today). It required a lot of help from teammates on defense and then on the counter to score.”

Dodd did his part to spark the counterattack with three steals while playing plenty of 2-meter defense, a role he has picked for his brother Chase, now playing at UCLA.

“It’s big shoes to fill,” Dodd said of his brother, The Register’s player of the year last year and recent MPSF/Kap7 newcomer of the week.

The Oilers’ attack also showed its chemistry, converting 7 of 10 chances on the power-play. Rozolis-Hill drew four of the exclusions at center.

Dodd attributed the timing and passing to the Oilers commitment to play for the Vanguard club during the offseason.

“We played all summer,” he said. “There’s a lot of chemistry.”

Orange Lutheran stuck with the Oilers in the first half, trailing 8-7 at intermission and 9-8 early in the third period. But Huntington Beach went on a 3-0 run in the third, sparked by a shot in off the bottom of the crossbar by Bettino.

Bettino and Morgan added power-play goals and the Oilers found the separation they needed to pull away.

Leo Giessmann paced Orange Lutheran with four goals while Conor Brough and Caden Lidecis added two apiece. Goalie Donnie Robertson, a converted field player, made six saves.

“We did well,” Lancers coach Nestor Nunez said. “They have a phenomenal team. I’m really happy with the effort we put out and the composure that we kept.”

Brough and Giessmann each scored twice on perimeter strikes in the opening frame, which ended with the Oilers leading 7-5.

“First quarter was not an ideal quarter for us,” Dodd said of his team’s defense. “We still have a lot to work on in order to win CIF. But that game was a great way to really test us and see what we can pull out.”

The next challenge for Huntington Beach arrives this weekend at the Santa Barbara Invitational.

In another nonleague game:

Los Alamitos 14, Long Beach Wilson 11: Junior Nick Keane scored seven goals and Caleb Francisco added five to lead the host Griffins (1-1).

RELATED WATER POLO COVERAGE

O.C. top 10 rankings, important dates

Top players to watch

Preview: Rising JSerra excited about its future

Newport Harbor starts fast, sinks The Bishop’s

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Mission Viejo football shows quick progress in rout of Long Beach Poly


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LONG BEACH — Mission Viejo entered its rivalry game against Long Beach Poly on Friday seeking to improve in multiple areas after a lopsided loss to Servite.

The Diablos quickly checked their boxes.

Orange County’s No. 4-ranked team scored twice in less than a minute of the first quarter and showed progress on both sides of the ball en route to a 41-14 victory at Veterans Stadium.

  • Mission Viejo defenders tackle Long Beach Poly’s Tyson Bordeaux (15) during a nonleague game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Kenny Manassero (6), left, sprints past Long Beach Poly’s Jadyn Robinson (12), center, and Armani Wilkson (31) for a touchdown during a non league game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Jonathan Becerra (92) reacts after recording a sack on Long Beach Poly’s Darius Curry (1), not shown, during a nonleague game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Devin Samples (6), left, celebrates his touchdown with Jason Robinson (4) during a nonleague game against Mission Viejo at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Kenny Manassero (6), right, celebrates his touchdown with Ruben Lopez (5) during a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Mikey Matthews (8) makes a one-handed catch during a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Jonathan Becerra (92), right, sacks Long Beach Poly’s Darius Curry (1) during a nonleague game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Kenny Manassero (6) scores a touchdown over the tackle by Long Beach Poly’s Ikenasio Mikaele (25) during a nonleague game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Kadin Semonza (3) throws a pass during a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Poly’s Darius Curry (1) throws a pass during a nonleague game against Mission Viejo at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s KJ Reed (4) sprints with the ball during a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Jonathan Becerra (92), bottom, tackles Long Beach Poly’s Darius Curry (1) during a nonleague game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Kenny Manassero (6), left, celebrates his touchdown with KJ Reed (4) during a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadiumm in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo players enter before a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s Kadin Semonza (3) throws a pass during a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Mission Viejo’s head coach Chad Johnson watches his players during a nonleague game against Long Beach Poly at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Poly’s head coach Stephen Barbee watches his players during a nonleague game against Mission Viejo at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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One week after 44-7 loss against No. 2 Servite, Mission Viejo (2-1) held Long Beach Poly (0-2) to 165 yards of offense and delivered a defensive score and seven sacks.

“I’m happy. We have a lot of things we can take away,” Mission Viejo coach Chad Johnson said. “Our kids settled down and played great defensively. Offensively, we’re up and down … (but) we got our running game going tonight.”

The teams’ first meeting since 2017 was part of the Great American Rivalry Series. Running back Kenny Manassero of Mission Viejo earned MVP honors after rushing for 82 yards and three touchdowns.

The Diablos’ defense shared the spotlight.

Senior defensive back Jake Higgins returned an interception about 15 yards for a score as the Diablos opened a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Higgins’ play came 40 seconds after Manassero broke a 49-yard touchdown run.

Mission Viejo’s defense was consistent most of the night against Long Beach Poly, which played sophomore Darius Curry at quarterback for all but one series. The Jackrabbits didn’t have injured receiver/cornerback Daylen Austin.

Junior Jonathan Becerra led an active Mission Viejo defensive line with two sacks and another tackle for a loss. He was supported by sophomore Jack Matranga, senior Finley Weinheimer and junior Joseph Mendez.

Deandre Brunings recorded a sack to help lead the Diablos’ linebackers.

Mission Viejo’s secondary also covered well. Sophomore Trey Tolmaire added an interception that led to a 17-yard touchdown pass from Kadin Semonza to KJ Reed early in the fourth.

Long Beach Poly trimmed the Diablos’ lead to 14-7 before halftime on a 27-yard touchdown run by Devin Samples. The junior scored with 3:02 left in the second quarter and made the Diablos pay for two penalties on the drive.

Mission Viejo seized control in the third quarter with two rushing scores by Manassero.

The Diablos opened the second half with a 70-yard scoring drive. Manassero helped Mission Viejo capitalize on two pass inference penalties along the way to his 4-yard TD run from a jumbo formation.

The Diablos opened a 28-7 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run by Manassero later in the third quarter.

Long Beach Poly stayed in striking distance briefly thanks to its own defensive score, a 68-yard interception return by Donovan Turner that trimmed Mission Viejo’s lead to 28-14.

But Mission Viejo recovered behind its ground attack. Standout Mikey Matthews had a team-high six catches for 50 yards but the Jackrabbits kept him out of the end zone.

Mission Viejo’s difficult nonleague schedule continues in two weeks at Alemany, which earlier this season lost to St. John Bosco 24-3.

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Foothill-Pacifica football game canceled because of COVID-19 complications


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The football game between No. 15 Foothill and No. 19 Pacifica, scheduled for Thursday at Tustin High, has been canceled because of COVID-19 complications in the Mariners’ program, Pacifica coach Vinnie Lopez confirmed Sunday.

Lopez said because of contact tracing for the virus, the Mariners (2-0) would not have enough players to safely compete against Foothill (2-0).

“It is unfortunate,” he said of the cancellation.

Lopez said Pacifica has agreed to play Brea Olinda during its previously scheduled bye in Week 5 (Sept. 23-25) but the game contract hasn’t been signed yet.

Foothill coach Doug Case said his team doesn’t have any COVID-19 issues. The Knights’ bye is in Week 3 so their next scheduled game is against La Mirada on Sept. 17. But like Pacifica, Foothill also could add a new opponent.

Orange County football has experienced relatively few canceled games so far this season because of the virus. Some of the affected schools have scrambled to find new opponents.

In other Foothill news, senior quarterback Brody Jones will miss “a few weeks” because of a separated shoulder, Case said. Jones was injured the Knights’ 24-0 victory against Tustin on Friday.

Foothill’s other victory came against Cypress, which upset No. 8 San Juan Hills last week, making the Knights a strong candidate to rise in this week’s O.C. rankings.

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

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Foothill-Pacifica football showdown canceled because of COVID-19 complications

The football game between No. 15 Foothill and No. 19 Pacifica, scheduled for Thursday at Tustin, has been canceled because of COVID-19 complications within the Mariners’ program, Pacifica coach Vinnie Lopez confirmed.

Lopez said because of contact tracing for the virus, the Mariners (2-0) would not have enough players to safely compete against Foothill (2-0).

“It is unfortunate,” he said Sunday of the cancellation.

Lopez said Pacifica has agreed to play Brea Olinda during its previously scheduled bye week in Week 5 but the game contract hasn’t been signed yet.

Foothill coach Doug Case said his team doesn’t have any COVID-19 issues. The Knights’ bye is Week 3 so their next scheduled game is against La Mirada on Sept. 17. But like Pacifica, Foothill also could add a new opponent.

Orange County football has experienced relatively few cancelled games so far this fall season because of the virus. Some of the affected schools have scrambled to find new opponents.

In other Foothill news, senior quarterback Brody Jones (separated shoulder) will miss “a few weeks”, Case said. Jones was injured the Knights’ 24-0 victory against Tustin last week.

Foothill’s other victory came against Cypress, which upset No. 8 San Juan Hills last week, making the Knights a strong candidate to rise in this week’s O.C. rankings.

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

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OCVarsity Hot 150: Bonus list of top contenders, overlooked players

Several players were close to making the OCVarsity Hot 150 list of top impact players for the 2021 fall season. Other players were overlooked. Here’s a bonus list, in alphabetical order, of those players.

MICHAEL ALEJO, San Clemente, OG

The senior was an unsung standout in the spring, opening several holes for county offensive player of the year James Bohls.

LEVI BANUELOS, Fullerton, OL

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior can play multiple spots on the offensive line, and do it with a mean streak.

CHASE BARRY, JSerra, P

The county’s No. 1-ranked specialist, the senior booms his punts and gives the young Lions the chance to put opposing offenses on a long field.

HUNTER BENTON, Kennedy, WR

The 6-foot-2 senior certainly made his case again with 17 catches for 221 yards and four TDs against Long Beach Jordan in Week 0. He averaged almost 20 yards per catch in the spring.

OMARJAYE BLACK, Dana Hills, WR

Look for senior to remain one of Bo Kelly’s major target this fall, which means explosive plays.

NATHAN BLOOM, Corona del Mar, LB

The senior is a force coming off the edge and knows how to get off a block. Also watch for senior defensive end Dylan Wood.

BRYCE BROWN-JOHNSON, Orange Lutheran, S

The senior impressed with his speed and physical play over the summer. Strong breakout candidate.

MASON CALVILLO, Fullerton, S

The senior returns to anchor the Indians’ defense after finishing second in tackles in the spring.

JACK FAIRCHILD, Crean Lutheran, WR/DB

The athletic, 6-foot-3 senior posted huge numbers in the spring, and started just as hot in Week 0. He had 10 receptions for 99 yards and two interceptions. Also a standout in basketball and track.

JAKE FOYE, Santa Margarita, RB

You’ve seen the weightlifting videos on social media. Now get ready for the on-field highlights from the 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior. He rushed for 162 yards on 21 carries in a season-opening victory against San Juan Hills.

NICK GALLEGOS, Santa Margarita, WR

Look for the transfer from Orange Lutheran to emerge as one of Jaxon Potter’s top targets. In Week 0, the speedy senior had five receptions for 83 yards.

MAX LANE, Corona del Mar, WR

The Sea Kings believe the senior will emerge to lead their revamped receiving corp, which also includes sophomore Russell Weir, star of the freshman team, and junior Cooper Hoch and senior John Tipton.

DAVID MAHOOD, Sunny Hills, RB/DB

Running back is always a position to watch with the ground-oriented Lancers, and the junior looks like the No. 1 option. Also watch for seniors Chris Pinawin and Nick Wilde.

NICOLAS MENDEZ, Fountain Valley, LB

The ultra-quick senior is expected to anchor the Barons’ defense this fall. He racked up nearly 60 tackles in the spring.

CHASE MEYER, Mater Dei, K

The county’s top-ranked kicker, the senior will pile up the points this fall but also helps the Monarchs by delivering plenty of touchbacks.

JAYDEN NIUMATA, Orange Lutheran, LB

The senior transfer from Centennial Corona is hungry to get back on track after a knee injury slowed him in the spring.

WESTON PORT, San Juan Hills, LB

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound freshman made quite a debut with two sacks against Santa Margarita.

COLE ROBERTSON, San Clemente, LB

The junior flashed his potential in the spring with three sacks against rival Mission Viejo.

BRADY SCHRANK, Foothill, WR

The senior has returned to football, and should contribute to a strong wide receiver group. He caught 47 passes for 646 yards and 10 TDs as a sophomore.

MICHAEL SUTTON-SHY, Western, WR

The speedy senior forms a dynamic duo with Drew Faulkner. He delivered a tackle-busting TD catch in Week 0.

JAKE TURNER, El Toro, LB

The senior linebacker projects as the anchor of the Chargers’ defense.

AJ VANDERMADE, Huntington Beach, WR/S

The junior is a playmaker on both sides of the ball for the Oilers.

NICK WILDE, Sunny Hills, S/RB

The senior finished second in tackles (49) on a talented Lancers’ squad in the spring.

ALEC WILLS, Los Alamitos, WR/CB

Don’t sleep on the versatile senior. He performed well over the summer against top competition and also is one of the Griffins’ best corners. Wills caught a TD in the opener.

MASON WOLFE, Tesoro, WR

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior is an emerging standout with the Titans. He had six catches for 97 yards and two TDs in the season-opener.

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

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Football Preview: South Coast League predicted order of finish, team notes


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OCVarsity league football previews:

SOUTH COAST LEAGUE

Dan Albano’s predicted order of finish:

1.Mission Viejo: The Diablos have plenty of offensive weapons and the top offensive line but they’re inexperienced on defense. They return one starter in safety Ruben Lopez. The defense needs to grow up fast because it will take a well-rounded effort to win the title. Mission Viejo also needs to stay healthy with their brutal schedule.

2. San Juan Hills: The improved Stallions appear poised to beat either Mission Viejo or San Clemente, perhaps even both. They have an outstanding group of wide receivers, solid lines and some two-way players in the secondary. If the quarterback play is steady with either Colton Joseph or freshman Michael Tollefson, watch out.

3. San Clemente: The defending league champion Tritons return 12 starters but it will be interesting to see who emerges as the playmakers on offense. Blake Allen takes over as the No. 1 running back but he might need some help as a junior.

4. Tesoro: The Titans are solid with an excellent running back in Lucas Pesak but could be in chase-mode. “We obviously want to prove that wrong,” Tesoro coach Matt Poston said. “But that will be up to us to do it.” If they find production at quarterback and can make some stops on defense, the Titans could surprise.

Predicted offensive MVP

Mikey Matthews, Mission Viejo

The explosive junior slot receiver/running back is the Diablos’ No. 1 option on offense. Get ready for the highlight plays.

Predicted defensive MVP

Blake Allen, San Clemente

It’s going to be a wild race because there’s not an established standout returning on the lines or at linebacker. Allen, a junior safety, will have competition from San Juan Hills corner Chase Schmidt, Mission Viejo safety Ruben Lopez or darkhorse Braden Pegan, playing safety for the Stallions. Also keep an eye on San Juan Hills ends Brayden Bockler and Jaden Williams.

Notes

Mission Viejo’s revamped defense showed promise in a 21-20 loss against Los Alamitos’ No. 1s in the teams’ scrimmage last week. …The Diablos haven’t lost a nonleague game under fourth-year coach Chad Johnson but have bolstered their schedule to prepare for the South Coast League. The Diablos’ seven opponents: Apple Valley, Servite, Long Beach Poly, Alemany, Leuzinger, Sierra Canyon and Helix. “This will be the toughest challenge we’ve had (during my tenure),” Johnson said of the nonleague schedule. “We have to be tough guys.” …

San Juan Hills corner Chase Schmidt returns as the Stallions’ No. 2 tackler. … Senior Luke Davis will be an interesting player to watch at wide receiver or quarterback.

One of the under-the-radar standouts for San Clemente in the spring was right guard Michael Alejo (6-1, 270), who opened holes on several of James Bohls’ best runs. Alejo is now a senior …

Junior wide receiver Mason Wolfe (6-1, 175) could emerge Tesoro’s No. 1 receiver. His new position coach is former Tesoro star Sean Calcagnie.

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

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