Quarterback Niko Yamalev returns to Warren

Quarterback Niko Yamaleava has had so many twists and turns this summer that it’s almost like a soap opera.

He was a standout starter for Warren for two years after moving from Long Beach Poly after his freshman year. Then, in the spring, with great fanfare, he checked out of Warren and enrolled at Poly, ostensibly to play his senior year. Meanwhile, he caught the attention of the whole country due to the fact that he went to Tennessee. This summer, he was traveling the country, playing seven-on-seven and playing volleyball without training or playing for Poly, so many suspected something was wrong.

Now word has come that he is returning to Warren, along with his younger brother Madden, also a quarterback. That might be a little awkward for coach Kevin Pearson, who spent the summer coaching quarterback Darius Cowens, who joined Warren from Garden Grove Pacific after Yamalev left.

But Pearson said Monday night that Cowens plans to play safe in college and welcome Yamalev’s return. “Darius is a great athlete,” Pearson said.

This is just another example of how transfers affect high school sports. There is no guarantee who will be in the starting XI when so many players come and go. Warren opens his season in August. 12 in Honolulu, so Yamaleva will have to start training immediately.

Warren made a positive impression last weekend at Mission Viejo’s seven-on-seven tournament, becoming the only team to challenge the host Diablos before losing in the championship game. Cowens was the quarterback. Warren has other signings, including top wide receiver Jordan Ross.

With the return of Yamaleawa, Warren will once again be in the top 25 of the preseason.

Poly already showed this summer that Darius Curry is comfortable as a starting quarterback. He was a starter at St. Bernard was a freshman and played for the Jackrabbits last season until he suffered a season-ending knee injury.