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Football: Embarrassment of riches for Oaks Christian

December 7, 2009 | 10:35 pm

The loudest murmur among the players and coaches assembled today at the CIF football championship luncheon at the Grand in Long Beach came when Oaks Christian Bill Redell introduced the players he had brought with him from Westlake Village.

When the players stood, a couple of them standing 6 feet 5 and weighing close to 300 pounds, it was easily the most imposing group among the 27 teams assembled.

Redell also made sure to mention the college that each player was headed to, surely triggering some envy among his counterparts. The players were linemen Cassius Marsh (Louisiana State), Erik Kohler (Washington) and Alani Fua (Brigham Young), quarterback Nick Montana (Washington), running back Malcolm Jones (UCLA) and linebacker Zac Stout (Brigham Young).

Asked whether he thought his team should receive an invitation to the state championship open division bowl game should it defeat Gardena Serra on Friday in the Northwest Division title game, Redell said "it really doesn't matter to me. We just would like to be in a state championship game. Would I prefer to be in the open division? Probably, but if we can get in that's the big thing."

Did the Lions play a tough enough schedule to warrant getting the open bid? Redell pointed to victories over Washington state champion Skyline, Alemany, which has reached the Western Division title game, and Venice, which finished 10-2 after losing in a City Section quarterfinal game.

"We beat some good teams," Redell said.

A victory over unbeaten Gardena Serra would considerably boost the Lions' case, though it's hard to imagine anyone nudging an unbeaten Edison team out of the open division game provided the Chargers defeat Servite in the Pac-5 championship.

--Ben Bolch