Culver City High Has Lofty Goals For The Football Season
Part 1 of 2
August 24, 2017
Our football team has really put time and effort in the weight room and on the football field, and weve got huge goals for the 17 Season!! stated football head coach Jahmal Wright.
Culver City goes into the football season as the top-ranked team in Division 11 in the Southern Section polls. That is a lofty ranking but probably well deserved.
Two years ago the C.I.F. realigned the Divisions, and Culver City was amazingly put down to a lower Division. The reason why the Centaurs were dropped down to Division 11 was because of their record in 2014 and 2015. Last year the Cents went into the playoffs ranked number two in the Division.
However, they faced a powerful Valley View Eagle Team from a very strong Inland Empire league and was a third place team. They were rebuilding under a new head coach and even though they were a third place team they easily could have competed in Division 3 or 4 for a C.I.F. title according to several observers. They beat Culver City and blew out every team until the finals, went to the State Semi Finals and won, but lost in the State Final game.
Culver City played very well against the Eagles until disaster struck late in the first half.
However, since Culver City kept scoring in the second half it gave them strong hope they could compete for a C.I.F. title this year. Although the Centaurs have a little more depth this year they could have used a few more bodies in key positions that may hurt them later on in the season or in the playoffs. However, the coaches are very encouraged by the work ethic, camaraderie, and enthusiasm of the players so far. The players also feel that they will have a solid shot at winning a third league title in a row and can compete for a C.I.F. title.
Culver City is returning seven offensive starters from their explosive league championship team from a year ago that averaged over 43 points a game, and we are very excited about our offense because of the returning starters on the O-Line and the skilled players. We've been working hard, fine tuning our technique and execution, and I look forward to another successful Culver City Offensive fast breakFootball Season, stated Coach Wright.
Quarterback Jonathan Martin, 6-1 185, is a returning three-year starter who has a total understanding of the offense and could break some hallowed Culver City offensive records held by the great Darius Banks 08. Last year he completed 211 of 329 attempts, 64% completion totaling 3,231 passing yards and 41 TDs in only eleven games.
Certainly one of the tops in Southern California in that short of a span.Martin has received some interest from Division I AA and D-2 schools for his services for next year. He is fleet of foot and has an intelligent mind. Coach Wright and the Centaurs want to improve those numbers, and if he stays healthy he should accomplish those goals.
Coach Wright responded, Jonathan has worked hard and has a total command of our offensive system. He has matured tremendously and has benefited from being a two-year starter.
Last year Martin was the Ocean League MVP and an All C.I.F. Division 11 quarterback. The backup quarterback will be new junior transfer Tee Barnes, 6-1 155. Unfortunately, because of his transfer from Santa Monica High he cannot participate for the first 30 days.
The other backup quarterback is sophomore Nick Lucero, 6-1 195, who will be the starter on the JV Team this year. Both possess good arms and are intelligent and good leaders.
Culver City has four very good, capable running backs this year. All of them are about the same height and weight, and they all possess speed, quickness, and good cutting ability. Coach Wright reflected, We are blessed with a talented, athletic group of running backs that will add to the explosiveness of our offense this Season.
Last years starter Brandon Oum, 5-8 175, had 106 carries for 875 yards at 8.2 yards per carry avg., and seven TDs and running back Nick Bradley capably filled in in spots to help the Centaurs ground game. Swift footed senior Jerrian Anderson and junior Joshua Ford give the Centaurs tremendous depth at this position.
Culver City has a fantastic group of receivers who are very capable of playing at the next level. In fact, most scouts feel that Culver City has five Division I receivers. The number one receiver, with seven scholarship offers, is glue-fingered Charles Ross, 6-1 175.
Ross has offers from San Diego State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Jose, New Mexico, Montana State, and Sacramento State. He caught 58 passes last year for nearly 1,000 yards. He has tremendous ball skills and is very, very smooth and reminds some people of the great Michael Bumpus 04.
He is also being looked at by a few PAC-12 Teams and is hoping to get an offer from one of them. Junior Kevin McGuire, 5-9 170, 11.1 100m as a frosh, has tremendous speed and playmaking abilities. He caught 58 passes for nearly 1,000 yards also. He also carried the ball for over 400 yards last year on runs and options.
Coach Wright wants to maximize his playmaking ability and will install a wildcat package to take advantage of McGuires skills. He should get several Division 1 offers this year. Senior receiver Alexander Smith, 6-1180, is committed to Wisconsin and has very good hands and gives us another dimension at the wide receiver spot. He should make a lot of plays for the Centaurs this year. Last year, he ran back five punts and kickoffs for TDs to show how explosive he is.
Junior newcomer Jamal Glaspie, 6-1 185, has very good hands and good speed and runs great routes and will add to a deep corps at the slot and wideout position. Junior Tyler Luckett, 5-7 155, who played on last year on the varsity, will contribute more heavily as a slot receiver with his great speed and quickness.
Sophomore newcomer Chris Miller, 5-11 155, looks to be a young but outstanding route runner who is very knowledgeable about the game and possesses good hands. Seniors Aaron Leach and Robert Simon, who both played last year on varsity, will also see playing time along with junior Kannon Davis.
Coach Wright went on to add, This group of wide receivers has the potential to be one of the best groups ever in CCHS history.
Every high school coach knows that football is a team game and without a very strong offensive line the team would go nowhere. Fortunately, this year the Cents have a little bit of depth and some size. They return two three-year players in guard Jayden Porter, 5-9 245, and center/guard Nic Swinford, 5-10210.
Porter has outstanding feet and is explosive and strong and is the leader on the offensive line. Swinford is a hard worker, has gotten stronger in the weight room and has tremendous knowledge of our system.
Junior guard Diego Campos, 5-9 245, started last year as a sophomore and showed his aggressive, hard-nosed nature.
Junior center/guard Gabriel Robles, 5-10 255, played occasionally on the varsity last year and is tough and should do very well. New starter left tackle, junior Amir Hodge, 6-3 240, has shown tremendous promise in the Spring and Summer with his speed, quickness, and athleticism. We are looking for an outstanding year from this smart, young man. Junior newcomer right tackle Kofi Karikari, 6-4 260, has never played organized football before. However, line coach Leo Zambrano feels Kofi has dramatically improved and should help them tremendously.
Other Centaurs who will see action on the line are Antonio Morillo, Jose Lopez, and Leonardo Emelio. Coach Wright summed up the line like this, On the O-Line we return with a lot of experience and knowledge. We will be able to depend on them to anchor our offense this Season.
Part 2 next week will focus on the defense and special teams.