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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Fall season underway as league season approaches for girls volleyball

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

It’s not too often that all six area football teams have won a game after two games, but that’s the case with Gahr High the lone unbeaten team. And less than four weeks after the regular season began, the 605 League and San Gabriel Valley League each kick off their girls volleyball slate.


Artesia High (1-1) @ Chino High (1-1)-After an opening-season win, the Pioneers took one on the chin last Friday night, falling to Kennedy High 45-17. The Fighting Irish put the game way with 35 points in the opening quarter. Chino is coached by Joey LaRosa, a name very close to the Artesia family and is coming off a 13-6 win over Indian Springs High last Friday. Artesia is paced by sophomore running back Tyler Miller (33 carries, 343 yards, three touchdowns) and junior quarterback Devin Yoakum (seven completions in 11 attempts for 108 yards and a touchdown). This will be the first of three straight road games as the Pioneers won’t play at home until next month.

North Torrance High (1-1) @ Gahr (2-0), Sept. 13 – After winning three games last season and entering this season with a very inexperienced team, the Gladiators have been the surprise thus far, knocking off Jefferson High and Bellflower High by a combined score of 39-19. Junior quarterback Rashaad Willis (18 of 27, 164 yards), junior running back Johnny Robinson IV (25 carries, 137 yards, one touchdown, nine receptions, 70 yards) and junior wide receiver Chandler Nixon (four receptions, 55 yards) have paced Gahr on offense while Dixon has been the early force on defense with 14 tackles and an interception. The team has also recorded seven quarterback sacks.

North Torrance was blanked by San Pedro High 25-0 in its opener but rebounded for a 19-14 win against Fountain Valley High last Friday. The Saxons are a balanced team on offense with Stephen Bradford rushing for 236 yards on 33 carries while Trevor Keenan Lagarde has passed for 247 yards and two touchdowns. North Torrance has already posted 116 tackles and has picked off opposing quarterbacks five times.

Norwalk High (1-1) @ Bell Gardens High (0-2)-After going through the 2018 season winless, Norwalk shutout Bell High 26-0 last Friday. The Lancers scored 13 points in the third and fourth quarters and all 46 points they have scored this season have come in the second half. Senior running back Sergio Martinez gained 173 yards on 25 carries as part of a 256-yard rushing attack. Bell Gardens has been outscored 73-6 and has generated 285 yards of total offense in two games. 

Portola High (1-1) @ Valley Christian High (1-1)-After losing the first game of the season to St. Anthony High 47-6, the Defenders rebounded for a 41-6 victory against Lancaster High. Senior quarterbacks Colin Abrahams and Brayden Garner combined to pass for 174 yards while the team added 150 yards on the ground. Defensively, V.C. had 67 tackles and four sacks.

Portola, which opened its high school in 2016 and is in its second season fielding a football team, is coming off a 35-8 win against Santa Rosa Academy last Friday. Quarterback Brandon Yue has completed 18 passes in 25 attempts for 159 yards and five touchdowns while Nova Kebeli has gained 102 yards on 15 carries and found the endzone twice.


Artesia entered this month with a 2-8 record and will host Paramount High today before hosting its first ever tournament on Saturday. The Pioneers will then host Pomona High on Tuesday before opening league action against Pioneer High later in the week.

Cerritos High is on a two-game losing streak after being swept by Cypress High this past Tuesday. The Lady Dons (4-4) visited Norwalk on Sept. 5 and will stay on the road next week to face Warren High on Tuesday and Chadwick High on Wednesday. Cerritos will not play a home match until Sept. 19.

Gahr is coming off a thrilling five-set win against Marina High last Thursday and hosted St. Anthony High on Sept. 5 before travelling to Norwalk on Tuesday and visiting Downey High on Thursday in the San Gabriel Valley League opener.

John Glenn High was swept by Anaheim High this past Wednesday and will host St. Paul High on Monday while Norwalk, which won four of its first five matches, lost the next four entering its Aug. 29 affair with California High. The Lady Lancers will travel to Montello High today in between the Cerritos and Gahr matches.

V.C. has been alternating wins and losses and entered this week with a 4-4 mark. The Lady Defenders visited Mayfair High this past Thursday and will compete in the Kennedy Tournament on Saturday before hosting California High on Wednesday.

Whitney High, which is undefeated in four matches, all sweeps, hosted Mary Star of the Sea High on Sept. 5 and will also compete in the Kennedy Tournament on Saturday before hosting St. Pius-St. Matthias Academy on Tuesday.