Culver, Inglewood Look Best In League
One week into the high school football season things are shaping up in the Ocean League.
Culver City has won the championship the last three years and was impressive in its non-league rout of St. Bernard Friday night.
Inglewood also got off to a good start by going on the road and defeating CIF power Quartz Hill, 19-13.
But Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, who are regarded as strong challengers to Culver City, lost and suffered injuries.
Beverly Hills was jolted by Long Beach Jordan, 34-7 and may have lost two key offensive players for awhile.
Santa Monica lost at home to Leuzinger, 33-19 on a night when junior Cody Williams suffered a serious injury.
With six minutes left and Leuzinger trying an extra point Williams was blocked and didn’t get up. The game was delayed for 30 minutes while paramedics worked and an ambulance was called.
Williams was taken to Reagan UCLA Medical Center where he underwent surgery. Hugo Pedroza, the Santa Monica High principal, then issued the chilling email to faculty and staff that the team doctor said Williams has a cervical spine injury and his condition won’t be known for six to 12 months.
Williams will remain hospitalized for at least two weeks and his mother has requested that only family members visit.
What this will do to Santa Monica’s season remains to be seen. It was a devastating occasion for Travis Clark in his first game as the Santa Monica coach.
In addition, Santa Monica didn’t run the ball well. It’s two best ball carriers from last season graduated and the offensive line is inexperienced.
The other two Ocean League teams are Morningside and Hawthorne. Morningside is no pushover but doesn’t figure as strong as the others. Hawthorne hasn’t won a game in nearly four years and winning just once would be an accomplishment.
The league is awarded three CIF playoff berths. At this time Culver City and Inglewood are likely to take two of them, with Santa Monica and Beverly Hills vying for the other two.
It’s so early that all of this could obviously change. An eagerly awaited non-league game will be played between Culver City and Crenshaw, one of the L.A. City Section’s best teams.
As for prep football in Culver City, it’s first rate. Tom Salter not only produced high caliber teams year after year but left successor Jahmal Wright with plenty of talent.