It was a very good prep gridiron year

EDISON quarterback Griffin O’Connor sets up to pass in the “Battle of the Bell” at LeBard Stadium. The Chargers had a good season despite not repeating 2016’s feat of winning a CIF title (OC Tribune photos by Dave Simpson).

Congratulations to the area high school football teams that have now completed their seasons and brought glory to their school and the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area.

Orange High (which serves an eastern sliver of Garden Grove) won the big prize, grabbing the CIF-SS Division 13 title with a victory over Silver Valley. But La Quinta High did very well, too, losing to Silver Valley in the semi-finals for one of the best seasons in school history.

Garden Grove High had an historic season, too, but for a different reason. The Argonauts won their sixth straight Garden Grove League title, and possibly their last. The red-and-white has been so successful that its home next season will be the Golden West League/Conference, to be replaced by Loara.

Grove will therefore be playing in its fifth league in the school’s nearly 100-year history. The Argonauts – originally the Chili Peppers – have played in the Orange League, Sunset League, Freeway League and GGL.

They are the second team to be transferred out of the GGL. Pacifica was moved out twice, mainly for being too successful in football.

Pacifica (10-2) also had a good season, tying for the Empire League title and making it to the CIF-SS second round.

In Ben Jefferson, the Mariners had one of the most exciting players in the area. Also bringing the fans to their feet were Edison’s Griffin O’Connor, La Quinta’s Michael Nadeau and Orange’s Jason Wilkinson.

It was a very good year.

Backboards and baselines

With football behind us, local attention on the high school level turns to basketball. We are now in the dizzying season of tournament hoops in which you’re never quite sure who or where your favorite team is playing.

Having said that, we took a look at who is doing well out of the gate. The local boys’ teams with the best records are Garden Grove (5-1), La Quinta (4-1), Pacifica (4-1) and Marina (3-1). On the girls’ side, the top marks are from Grove (3-1), Huntington Beach (3-1) and Pacifica (3-1).

Of course, while early December marks are not predictive of the final outcomes, it does show that there’s a ton of potential for these teams when league play lights up in January.

Early stars with potential are Garden Grove’s Sebastian Castro, Marina’s Jakob Alamudun, Orangewood’s Uriel Bautista, La Quinta’s Michael Nadeau, Edison’s David Atencio and Josh Phillips, and Ocean View’s Paul Head and Mekhel Harvey. On the girls’ side, look out for Orangewood’s Jaqueline Saucedo.

The draft pick showdown

When the St. Louis Rams finished a miserable 2015 season before their move back to Los Angeles, the big question was whom would the team draft to fix their perennial quarterback problem.

JARED GOFF is much improved in 2017 over his rookie 2016 season (Rams photo).

The two top contenders were Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Jared Goff of Cal. Opinion was divided; Wentz looked great as a passer who was also mobile, but he played at a less impressive level than Goff did, who is more of a classic drop-back guy.

Frankly, I thought Wentz was the better selection, and he did, indeed, have a better rookie season for the Philadelphia Eagles than Goff did with the Rams.

But this year, both are having outstanding campaigns: the Rams are 9-3 and in first in the NFC West and the Eagles lead the NFC East with a 10-2 mark. To make matters even tastier, the two teams – and their super-soph QBs – will meet on Sunday at the Coliseum in what is certain to be the week’s most hyped game. At least in Southern California and Wentz-ylvania.

Pete Zarustica writes Monday Morning Coach.









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