Two-a-day practices are over, roster cuts have been made and uniforms handed out as local football players begin their quest for a CIF championship when the high school season kicks off Friday.
Mira Costa and Redondo figure to be in the hunt for a title in the highly-competitive Bay League which sent two teams to the Northern Division championship game where Palos Verdes defeated West Torrance 35-14.
Mira Costa opens its season on the road against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, a team that is coming off an 8-4 season that included a 3-1 record in the tough Serra League. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Mira Costa went 8-4 last season, was runner-up in the Bay League and reached the Northern Division quarterfinals. Head coach Don Morrow begins his 21st year at the helm and expects more of a balanced offense than last season when the Mustangs relied on the veer offense.
Morrow feels he has a strong senior unit led by tight end/defensive end Jahlani Tavai (6’4”, 230 pounds), lineman Joe Anderson (6-5, 300) and running back/linebacker Brandon Mills (6-1, 215).
The Mustangs return five starters on both offense and defense and Morrow believes the strength of his squad is work ethic, unity and toughness.
Joining Mills in the backfield will be running back Sebastian Franck-Love (5-11, 180) and six-foot-six quarterback Greg Briskin.
Mira Costa’s aerial assault will include wide receiver Harrison Morrow (6-2, 190) and tight ends Dane Largent (6-2, 200) and Tavai.
Anderson and Khalil Sonko (6-0, 250) will anchor the line and kicker/punter Casey Sublette (6-0, 180) will continue the tradition of the Mustang’s strong kicking game.
Notre Dame is coming off an 8-4 season that included a 3-1 record in the highly competitive Serra League. The Knights feature two Division 1 prospects in multi-purpose standout Koa Farmer (6-1, 195) and receiver Daniel Khan (5-11, 160).
Khan amassed 432 yards and seven touchdowns via the pass last season while averaging 18.6 yards per catch. Farmer averaged 17.9 yards per catch will accumulating 502 yards and four touchdowns.
Running back Chris Colarossi (5-10, 175) scored eight touchdowns in the 2012 campaign while averaging 4.98 yards per carry.
Mira Costa has an early-season bye on Sept. 6 before resuming it non-league schedule against Downey, South Torrance, Loyola and Newport Harbor.
Redondo Union second-year head coach Matt Ballard has a group of talented athletes returning on which to build on. The Sea Hawks finished 3-2 in the Bay League last year and dropped their opening-round playoff game to finish the season at 5-6.
Redondo returns six starters on offense and its pistol offense will be led by three-year starting quarterback Harrison Faecher (6-1, 185) who will utilize tight end Colin Hinkle (6-4, 205) and wide receivers Stephen Sudduth (5-10, 190) and Brett Ware as targets.
The Sea Hawks will feature a strong running game with all-league returner Jamaal Perkins and Jonathan Alagoa expected to open up the passing attack.
Redondo returns four starters on defense. Two-way starting lineman Harry Whitson (6-3, 260) will anchor the trenches and Barry Klein will lead the secondary.
Ballard believes the strength of his team is its work ethic, commitment and heart. He hopes his team’s athleticism will make up for a lack of size, speed and a small roster.
Redondo open the 2013 campaign Friday with a 7 p.m. home game against defending Pioneer League champion North Torrance. The Saxons were 11-3 last season and reached the Northwest Division championship game.
The Sea Hawks came away with a 42-35 road victory in last year’s season opener.
North should have more of a balanced offense than last season when the pass-happy Saxons three for 3.984 yards and 57 touchdowns.
Sophomore Mique Juarez (6-2, 180) takes over at quarterback with Adrian Colclasure (5-7, 150) as his leading receiver. Jacob Bugayong and Corey Cox are expected to carry the load of the Saxon’s running game.
Macall Vanamersfort (5-11, 245) and T.J. Cimaglio (6-2, 205) will anchor the defensive line.
Redondo will play Santa Monica, Antelope Valley, Culver City and San Pedro before its bye week prior to the start of Bay League action.