Here's The Culver City High Football Preview
August 20, 2015
Last year Culver City High had a rare down year. It was the first time they missed the playoffs since 2001. Head coach Jahmal Wright feels we should turn it around this year.
Although the Centaurs are young this year they do have some experienced seniors on the O-line and D-line.
Every coach knows that a good football team lives and dies by how well their offensive and defensive lines do.
Coach Wright and his O-line coach Ralph Oliver and D-line coach Brandon Patterson feel that they have a good group of quick footed, athletes that should play havoc with the teams in the Ocean League. They’re not tall but they are wide bodied and have good footwork and run fairly well. The depth in the line is a concern.
Coach Wright thinks that we will have a rock solid defense and an improved offense. Proof of this was when the Centaurs played a very tough passing league schedule and held their own against some tough competition.
They did improve as the summer season went along, and they beat some very formidable teams in the last passing tournament of the summer which was the Santa Fe passing tournament. They beat city power Carson, division 1 power San Clemente, and Burbank. They also held their own in an 11 on 11 against an improved Leuzinger team that should win the Pioneer League.
The offensive line is lead by two returning senior players. Three year starting left guard Richard Yoshida and left tackle Kyle McKinnis. Richard Yoshida is the strongest centaur athlete, and he has very good footwork. He is a team captain and was an All-Ocean League offensive lineman.
He has become more of a vocal leader this year and is the rock of the o-line. He must have a great year and stay healthy for us to contend for a league tittle. Kyle McKinnis is a two-year starter and had a great offseason to prepare his body to become a potential All-League candidate.
He’s athletic and must protect the backside of the quarterback. The new center will be junior Cameron Williams. He’s a tough, strong, athletic player who will play multiple positions.Right guard will be senior Cameron Lowe. He’s a hard working, intelligent, strong player who will help solidify our line and should have a great year. Right tackle is junior Sebastian Knowles. He is a hard working player who we are counting on to have a solid season.
There are several other linemen who will also see playing time this year. They’re junior Armando Rodriguez, who is recovering from a broken foot, sophomore Jayden Porter who’s short but tough with great feet. There is also center guard Nic Swinford, who’s vastly improved, smart, and tough. Also senior Cameryn Newman who may take over one of the line spots.
This year we have two smaller but outstanding running backs and three solid backups. Senior Fred Poindexter has waited two years to be the starting tailback and has tremendous side to side lateral ability and catches the ball fairly well and is a willing blocker.
He should have a breakout senior season according to coach Wright. The other running back is Cahlil Hooper who is the fastest Centaur athlete. He too also has great side-to-side lateral mobility and is a great, hardworking kid. The other players who will see action are Junior Justin Cox, senior Vernon Roddy and Brandon Oum.
Coach Wright says, “there is a nice position battle between last year’s frosh quarterback Jonathan Martin and last years JV starter Bryce Lewis-Wolfe. Martin, who can run and throw, led the freshman team to 9-1 record and a first place finish in the Ocean League.
He has worked hard on his mechanics in the offseason and has made steady improvement during the spring and summer. Bryce led the JVs to a co-Ocean League championship and is a steady leader. Wright feels that both players are capable of leading the Centaur offense and will continue to battle into the preseason.
This year Culver has a brand new receiving corps, which is a rarity for the Centaurs. They will be much taller and fairly athletic, and Wright feels they have a lot of speed and talent but little game experience. 6-6 Junior Deven Osborne is the tallest wide receiver in school history and is a three-sport athlete.
6-1 senior Mason Mulvihill, who was a first team all-league baseball player, has made big improvements since last year since adding at least two inches and gained around 20 pounds. He has caught the ball well and has shown good playmaking skills. He will add experience and leadership to a good receiving corps. He will also be the holder on PATs and field goals.
Junior Justin Cox, one of the Cents best athletes and a CIF qualifier in the long jump has shown flashes of explosive capabilities. “Look out for Cox this season” stated Wright.
Sophomore Tyeler Grant has a fierce and competitive nature and is exactly what the Centaur offense needs. To help bolster a young and inexperienced group 6-3 senior wide receiver Kyle Johnson is another great three-sport athlete who will stretch the field quickly with his speed. He hasn’t played football since his freshman year, but Wright was very happy he chose to come back out.
Junior Mekhi Ware, who has improved immensely, said Wright, will add depth to the receiving corps. Others who will see playing time are senior and baseball player Tomas Saucedo, 6-2 senior Renato Juarez, Junior John Lewis and David Textle, and sophomore Robert Simon. Wright also mentioned Junior Ryland Sugars and said he has some of the best hands on the team and will add physicality and toughness.
The backbone of any defense is the strength of its trenches, and this year the Cents will have a defensive line they can depend upon. All Ocean League nose guard is senior Richard Yoshida the strongest Centaur (600 pound squat), who brings leadership, quickness, and toughness.
Defensive tackle senior Kyle McKinnis is a two-year starter who the Centaurs are depending on for production and leadership. He had a great offseason and started all 10 games last year. Senior Cameryn Newman has worked hard and is poised for a breakout season.
250-pound sophomore Jayden Porter was one of the top freshman linemen and earned a position on the varsity as one of the stronger lineman in the weight room. Others who will be competing for playing time are senior Thomas Johnson and sophomore Justin Berry.
The line backing group is brand new and there is strong competition for playing time taking place. This is a young but talented group and there is not a lot of experience but they are working hard and are up to the challenge: Elijah Salazar and Elijah Zavala, Aldo Soriano, Diego Lopez, Jacob Weiner Alex Sanchez, Antwon Smith, Marcell Brown, Ryland Sugars, are all competing for playing time.
The defensive backs had a productive summer during the passing tournaments showing the ability to defend the pass and hopefully will be strong against the run. Senior Louis Schulze is coming of a tremendous track season. We are depending on Louis to use his experience from last year and speed to be a shutdown corner.
Cathedral transfer Mekhi Ware has made a tremendous improvement this off season and showed to be able to continue the great tradition of great Culver City defensive backs. Free safety is Mason Mulvihill. Mason is a returning starter who will provide leadership in the safety spot. He is a team captain and has been making big plays all summer.
Strong safety Justin Cox is a returning starter. He is moving from free to strong safety and should be a force to reckon with. Cahlil Hooper will add depth and speed to the cornerback position.
Other DBs who will vie for playing time are team captain Quintourious Truitt, Jr. Steven Ashby, Jr. John Lewis, senior Willie Williams, senior Cameron Hooper, senior Daniel Valdivia, and Jr. Billy Greene.
If the Centaurs can stay healthy work hard and come together as a family they have a chance to have a productive season.