Checking in with Oaks Christian
Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian will start the year as the top ranked team in the West region but Lions head coach Bill Redell isn't sure his team is quite deserving of the lofty ranking.
"It's an honor to be the No. 6 team in the nation, but that's pretty darn high," Redell said. "We do have a good team, I really like our guys on both sides of the ball. Our defense is really strong with (Cassius) Marsh in the middle of the defensive line and Zac Stout at inside linebacker.
"Our offense is actually really strong too. Nick Montana (quarterback) had a great summer and Malcolm Jones is a load at running back. Our only problem is depth. We're such a small school, we just don't have a lot of body's out there. So if someone goes down, we're going to be hurting but I'm sure that's how it is just about anywhere you go at the high school level."
The Lions open the 2009 season Sept. 4th at Alemany and their schedule is highlighted by a trip to Washington to face FAB 50 No. 9 Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline on Sept. 18th in a game that will be televised on ESPNU.
CHECKING IN WITH LONG BEACH POLY
The Jackrabbits find themselves in an unusual spot this preseason. Typically rated in the top half of the ESPN RISE FAB 50 rankings, Poly comes in at No. 42 but long time assistant coach Doc Moye thinks this year's team could surprise some people.
"We're very young, but very talented," Moye said. "We don't have any full-time starters back. We have a few guys who started a handful of games but not full time but the talent is there. Cory Westbrook will rush for 1,000 yards and is the most complete back we've had here in awhile. He has great hands out of the backfield and brings a new dimension to the position for us.
"On defense, we have two juniors that will be national recruits in two years. Kameron Jackson is a big time corner, he'll be as good as Donovan Warren when he's a senior. Corey Waller is a cross between Kenny Rowe (Oregon) and Iuta Tepa (UCLA). He's faster than Tepa off the edge and has the ability to play linebacker like Kenny. He'll be a scary pass rusher on third and long."
Poly has a daunting non-league schedule that includes a game at FAB 50 No. 16 St. Bonaventure on Sept. 11th. The Jackrabbits open Sept. 3rd versus Orange County power Servite of Anaheim.
CAMDEN COUNTY COACH TAKES BLAME FOR LOSS
That was Camden County (Ga.) head coach Jeff Herron after the Wildcats (No. 33 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50) dropped their opener 14-10 to Grayson in the Corky Kell Classic Saturday at the Georgia Dome. Camden will have a chance for redemption in their next two games, as they face strong out-of-state competition in Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast and Hoover (Ala.), and there is no shame in losing to Grayson, who now has knocked off the defending 5A state champions in back-to-back years (Lowndes in 2008 and now Camden County in '09).