Chatter spread from opposite directions, a spinning carousel of players in training uniforms confronting an increasingly confident underdog.
“They’re training well,” Mayfair High football coach Derek Bedell told an assistant.
“They’ve been out of business for a while now,” Banning head coach Raymond Graheda said.
West Torrance won’t lose again, judging by Saturday’s seven-on-seven Seahawk Classic at the Redondo Union. Yes, it’s summer football, but the Warriors were the surprise of the event, spotting a table of solid programs like Mayfair and St. Louis. Anthony goes 5-0.
The Warriors went 4-8 last season, went 1-4 in the spring of 2021, and went 2-8 in 2019. However, with a motivated group of adults and a coaching staff led by second-year head coach Todd Butler, keep an eye on West Torrance. Autumn has arrived in the Pioneer League.
“We’ll have a name by the end of this,” quarterback Jackson Sharman said.
Sharman may be the main reason for this in the season when he wants to create his own. A wiry 6-foot-2 with mullet-length brown hair, he barely missed a shot against St. Louis. Anthony and landed some deep shots against Mayfair and Banning that could have been hung in the Louvre.
Also look out for Ryan McBride, a refrigerator-like tight end who showed confident running down the route and soft hands against Mayfair.
Other Notable Achievements
“Elijah Noohy-Yandall of Banning is only 14 years old,” Graheda yelled after Noohy-Yandall scored a touchdown against Leisinger, “but he showed athleticism on Saturday. Standing just 5-8, he made a couple of deep ball jump tackles against the Olympians that seemed incomprehensible. Once running back star Jacob Galloway graduates, pilots will need someone to fill in the gaps in skill positions; Noohi-Yandall and brother Caleb, the older runner, seem to be up to the task.
Mayfair quarterback Evan Tomic, starting his fourth year in the program, led the Monsoons to a 4-1 record and received praise from Bedell. In addition to throwing one of the best deep balls, he also sports an impressive mullet. He, like Mayfair, is back on his shoulders as they look to match last year’s 9-1 record.
According to parent and volunteer Monica Rodriguez, the equipment at Banning’s gym has been around since the 1970s.
There was no air conditioning. The conditions were terrible, she said.
Soon enough, however, the pilots will have a brand new facility thanks to a grant Rodriguez wrote a year ago that she says was approved by the City of Los Angeles worth $75,000. Graeda said the program received an additional $25,000. The money will be used to build two new gyms for all ban programs, a new locker room, and a movie study area.
The pandemic has halted construction, Rodriguez said, but they expect new excavations to be open within four to five months.
Meanwhile, Banning’s had to move its gym to a classroom inside the school, leaving players to perform jumps and squats in front of blackboards and square wall-mounted TVs. This is a temporary sacrifice for new equipment that will benefit the school for years to come.
“That’s my goal – when I’m not here, I want the next guy to succeed,” Graheda said.