High school sports are coming back.
One year after the world of San Pedro prep sports played its last sporting events on March 11, 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic forced the abrupt shutdown of all sports across the nation days later, youth sports are starting to make a resurgence with the new County of Los Angeles Public Health guidelines in place. For now, only outdoor sports are good to go, with indoor sports slowly but gradually returning.
When the COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease, everything will be back to “normal.”
In the CIF-Los Angeles City Section, they have recently announced among many changes: the cross-country championships have been canceled due to the current L.A. County rules of no more than two teams in competition. Both cross-country and water polo regular seasons have been extended to April 3 for any dual competition, a league scheduling decision.
Schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be permitted to play four football games on April 9, 16, 23, and 30 and have the option to play just league or nonleague games. Plus, girls volleyball has been moved to Season 2 and will be offering boys and girls outdoor grass volleyball to begin with hopes of moving back to indoors for the foreseeable future.
So with that being said, here are the top five teams to be on the lookout for in San Pedro.
1. SAN PEDRO HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
For the first time in recent years, the Pirates will be short on running back depth, especially with the graduation loss of former CIF-LACS Player of the Year Joshua Ward (UC Davis). That puts some emphasis on the passing attack, making senior quarterback Dylan Kordic (pictured) and wide receiver Joshua Johnson (Eastern Washington signee) a much more dangerous combination. Kordic and Johnson hooked up for touchdowns six times in 2019. The Pirates also return two more college bound All-City returning seniors in OL Kyle Keller (Drake) and one of the hardest hitters in town, DL Isaiah Howard (Midland). Don’t sleep on senior defensive back Richie Sanchez — three career pick-six touchdowns in two seasons. San Pedro reached the CIF-LACS Open Division semifinals in 2019 with a 10-2 record.
2. SAN PEDRO HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
This could be a great first year of coaching at San Pedro for Leanna Flores, considering the abundance of talent returning and the sudden wave of new talent arriving. Still, the Pirates will be built heavily on experience, and they have lots of it with seniors P/OF Kirstin Sanchez, second baseman Jo Jo Krause, third baseman Sierra Sandoval, first baseman Lexi Gallardo-Haage, and outfielder Makayla Martinez all returning. Juniors P/OF Vanessa Reed, C/INF Miah Owens, infielder Brianna Ventura, and outfielder Lexi “Lu Lu” Deleon are also solid. Sophomore pitcher Layla Jelenic went 3-0 during the shortened 2020 season and could be fully unleashed in a normalized regular season.
3. MARY STAR HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL
This one may be a surprise. If indoor sports return, and they eventually will, these Stars have a lot going for them. Eight-year coach Victor Tuberosi just might have his best team yet, which is saying something considering the 2019-2020 team finally ended a near four-decade wait of becoming a (Santa Fe) League champion. With senior guards Isabella Serrano (pictured), Kaitlyn Oasay, and Cristina Camacho, along with talented sophomore G/F Bella Marconi all returning, the Stars could be the favorite to win the league outright.
4. SAN PEDRO HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
The Pirates appear confident they can make another run at the Marine League and CIF-Los Angeles City Section Open Division championships despite so many graduation losses, but coach Steve Tedesco still has plenty of talent remaining and senior leadership from the likes of infielder Cain Lusic, outfielders Jake Harper and Dominic Porter, along with Kordic at third base when he finishes up football season on April 30.
5. MARY STAR HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Fresh off a share of the Camino Real League championship in 2019, coach Jason Gelber and the Stars will begin their 2021 spring season on March 19 at St. Anthony in the Del Rey League, where Mary Star will be supremely tested squaring off against the likes of the Saints, Salesian, Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood, and La Salle of Pasadena.
HONORABLE MENTION TEAMS: San Pedro High Girls Soccer, Mary Star High Softball, Mary Star High Baseball.
Note: As of press time, there is no information from Port of Los Angeles High School in regard to whether or not they’re going to participate in any spring sports. spt