Culver City Observer -

Culver's Competing Well In Passing Tournaments


Fred Altieri

2015 Ocean League Champ Centaurs prepare for 2016 season

The Summer of '16 has been a busy but productive one for culver city High football. The Centaurs reached the semifinals this past week in a seven-on-seven passing tournament hosted by Santa Fe High with about 40 local teams participating.

They also made the semifinals the week before at a differently formatted seven-on-seven passing tournament hosted by El Rancho High. Culver had an excellent chance to make the finals but came up a few points short.

For the Santa Fe Tournament there were three teams in culver city's early round pool: Notre Dame, Villa Park JV and Santa Fe JV.

They lost the first game to Notre Dame on the last play of the game.

"Notre Dame, a Division I program, was up 27-23, had the ball for their last possession and needed three points to win the game. If we stop them we have a whole series, basically 4-5 minutes to get seven points to win the game," said Greg Goodyear, longtime culver city High football coach.

"The Notre Dame quarterback underthrew the pass but their receiver made a diving catch to win the game for them on their last play of their possession. We would have only had to get three completed passes and one other point to win the game. So we lost 30-23."

The Centaurs expectedly and easily beat both the Villa Park JV and Santa Fe JV teams by the identical scores of 30-4. They beat Palisades High in the next round, 32-17.

The Culver coaching staff headed by Jahmal Wright has been rotating two quarterbacks in the scrimmages. Jonathan Martin started every game at Santa Fe. Bryce Lewis-Wolfe came in to manage the later drives.

Lewis-Wolfe and Martin switched roles at El Rancho as Lewis-Wolfe started every game and Martin came in later.

Goodyear continued: "Both of them threw the ball fairly well. They're still working hard to improve their mechanics and such. They're fairly accurate with their throws compared to some of the other quarterbacks we saw."

The Centaurs beat Tustin of Orange County pretty handily 31-10 and took care of a very athletic Diamond Ranch team, 30-23. Up next was Carlsbad last year's tournament champion. The Culver seven played very well and routed them 30-9 in the quarterfinal match.

Villa Park, led by a quarterback with an offer to Purdue, dismantled the Centaurs in the semifinal game, 30-12. culver city still has a number of schools scheduled throughout the month: Lynwood, South Torrance and Bellflower for 7-on-7 action. There's also Long Beach Cabrillo.

The Centaurs play an 11-on-11 match against Leuzinger on July 19 and then have practices until July 27. Then they're off from July 28 to August 12.

The team begins official practice for the 2016 season at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 13.

The highlight of the El Rancho Tournament was a seesaw comeback victory over Northview High in the quarterfinal round. Leading up to the game Culver had defeated Pomona, 26-18; won a shootout with El Monte, 46-30 and crushed Bonita High 42-14.

"We beat Northview 44-40 on the last play of the game. It was an amazing play. We were down 40-38 and Justin Cox caught a pass from Bryce in the end zone for a touchdown for a comeback win," said Goodyear.

"We went up 26-14. They came back 26-20. We scored for 32-20. They made it 32-26. We scored to make it 38-26. Then they scored twice to make it 40-38. We held them to a three-and-out to get the ball back with less than a minute left in the game.

"We went the full 40 yards and we made a great catch on about the seven-yard line to set up the last play of the game when we scored to make it 44-40."

The Centaurs fought and lost a tough battle in the pool round to Don Lugo High, the tournament's eventual winner. Don Lugo had slight leads of 12-8, 12-10 and 16-12 but Culver couldn't find the end zone and lost 22-10.

Culver lost the semifinal match to Arroyo High despite having an early lead, 8-6. Arroyo retook the lead, 12-8. The two teams exchanged touchdowns to make it 18-14.

Fred Altieri

Centaur coaches, players, cheer team and fans vs. Peninsula High last season

Goodyear: "Three times we had a chance to throw the ball up to get to Deven Osborne deep but each time we underthrew him. We should have won that game." Arroyo prevailed 18-14.

"The receivers we have this year are pretty good. Those doing well have been Mekhi Ware, Deven Osborne, Justin Cox, David Textile, Charles Ross and Tye'ler Grant.

"We take the passing leagues seriously. We want to win. We want to see who's going to compete, how kids react to adversity and positive situations. We get a pretty good idea of what we got in the passing leagues.

"We've played pretty well in the last two tournaments. We beat some good teams. It gives us hope that we're improving. The quarterbacks continue to work hard on their mechanics and consistency. We'll find out a lot more when the guys finally put on the pads in August."


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