CCHS Football Gets Ready for First Game
Will Try to Repeat Championship Season
August 22, 2019
Defending CIF Division 7 Football Champion Culver City High is currently preparing for the 2019 season, beginning next Friday, August 30. They romped to their second title last November, beating San Jacinto High on the road, 61-21. With many of the players returning under 10-year head coach Jahmal Wright, the Centaurs eagerly look for a repeat performance this season.
Culver City will play five non-league games before they settle into Ocean League action for their last five of the regular season. The Centaurs will travel down the 405 Freeway as they traditionally open the season against West High in Torrance. Last season, they trounced the Warriors 62-20 in the opener, making it two straight wins over West after having lost the previous five contests.
In Game 2, the Centaurs are on the road to play Peninsula High for a 3:00 p.m. afternoon affair on Friday, September 6. Last season they destroyed the Panthers 61-27 as Malachi McMahon led the team with three touchdowns and rushed for 84 yards. Culver has won eight of the last nine games between the two schools.
Game 3 will also be on the road and a crucial early season test against very tough Warren High in Downey on September, Friday the 13th. Last season, the Centaurs won in the last seconds as quarterback Zevi Eckhaus threw a 44-yard touchdown bomb to Kevin McGuire. The 34-28 comeback was one of the most dramatic victories in Culver City football history.
The Centaurs home season opener against Palos Verdes High is a grudge match slated for September 20. Culver lost a heartbreaker, 37-36, as the Sea Kings rallied for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Reserve quarterback Nick Lucero led the Centaurs with four touchdown passes while throwing for 359 yards. Palos Verdes has won or tied for the Bay League title the last eight seasons.
On September 27, Culver travels a few miles east to take on the Dorsey High Dons for the fourth year in a row. The Centaurs shutout the Dons, 42-0, at home last season for their second consecutive win between the teams. Dorsey, last defeated Culver, 35-31, in 2016 and plays in Los Angeles City schools' Coliseum League.
The Centaurs open the Ocean League at Santa Monica High on October 4 at Santa Monica College. Last season Culver High buried the Vikings, 54-14, at home as they raced to a 39-0 first half lead. The Centaurs have beaten SaMo the past four games by an average score of 50-8 and have won five of the last six contests between the archrivals.
The most anticipated match on the schedule is Game 7 on October 11, a home match against 2018 Ocean League Champs, Lawndale High. The Centaurs have yet to beat the Cardinals on the field since Lawndale returned to Ocean League in 2014. Culver notched a forfeiture win in 2015 due to an ineligible Cardinals roster. Lawndale won the CIF Division 5 title and the State 2A Championship last season.
Things don't get much easier in Game 7 as the Centaurs are at El Segundo High on October 18. Perennially a strong football program under head coach and former Culver City High graduate, Steve Shevlin, the Eagles have given the Centaurs all they can handle for the past five seasons. Culver City won last season's contest, 28-0, making it three in a row after having lost two to El Segundo in 2014-2015.
The Centaurs last two games are usually the easiest in their recent schedules. They host Hawthorne High on Friday, October 25. Culver City crunched the Cougars 62-14 last season as running backs Joshua Ford and Kevin McGuire scored two touchdowns each. Eckhaus and Lucero threw to nine different receivers. They have beaten Hawthorne every single season since 2005.
Beverly Hills High is the last scheduled league game of the season at Culver City on November 1 before the CIF Playoffs begin. The Centaurs smothered the Normans at Beverly Hills last season, 70-6, setting the school's all-time scoring record.
The win also allowed Coach Wright to equal the school's lifetime record for coaching wins with current school Athletic Director, Tom Salter. The Centaurs went 4-1 in the 2018 post season, giving Wright the lifetime coaching record at 77-37. With a promising season ahead, that standard will certainly improve by the year's end.