Passing leagues help Culver City football work in new faces

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Culver City’s varsity football team is using passing league tournaments this summer to integrate some new players in their system after losing several key players to graduation last June. Some of the players that they need to replace are All-State quarterback Zevi Eckhaus, All-State wide receiver Amari Pait, All-League running back Ayinde Bankol, All-League linemen Dylan Nichols and Adrian Simon and All-League receiver Legend Waring. Those are just some of many talented seniors that graduated. 

Over the past six years, the Centaurs have had one of the top passing teams in Southern California so the loss of Eckhaus and before him Jonathan Martin puts a lot of pressure on the next quarterback, but freshman Alonzo Esparza looks like he may be ready for the challenge. He will be the first quarterback in Culver City history to start the season as a freshman signal caller.

Esparza does not handle himself like a true freshman. In the passing leagues, he played with intelligence and very good leadership qualities. As a freshman he still has a lot to learn, but he appears to be moving in the right direction. 

This summer, the Centaurs played in several passing league tournaments. Although they did not win any of the tournaments, they were generally very productive. 

The first passing league tournament they played in was in the San Gabriel Valley, where they lost in the championship game. In the next tournament hosted by Culver City, they were beaten in the consolation semifinals by Bay League rival Palos Verdes. 

The next tournament the Centaurs played in was against some of the top teams in Southern California. In the first game that were beaten by Division 1 powerhouse, Mater Dei. Mater Dei is currently the No. 1 ranked high school team in the nation.

The Centaurs won their first two out of three games in the Salesian tournament in pool play. Their loss was to Warren high school of Downey. Culver City will play Warren at home on Sept. 17, at 7 p.m.

The Centaurs will go into the 2021 season led by one of the biggest lines in Culver City history. Their running game should be solid behind that big line.  Their defensive line and linebackers should also be solid because they have a few starters returning from last year. The defensive backs are looking good and appear to be ready for the season opener on the road against West Torrance on Aug. 27, at 7 p.m.

Culver City’s tough preseason schedule should help the Centaurs get ready for the very competitive Bay League.

Passing leagues help Culver City football work in new faces