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Football: My new No. 1 team is the Servite Cavaliers

Bring on Mission Viejo, Long Beach Poly, Santa Ana Mater Dei and Westlake Village Westlake. The team I saw on the field Wednesday night would crush them all.

For a brief time, players from Anaheim Servite and Gardena Serra were mixed together, running drills, getting instructions from both coaching staffs and looking like the best group of players anywhere. They were at Servite for a scrimmage, but the coaches decided to turn it until almost an intrasquad affair, running it as a big practice, then breaking up to have team and individual competition.

Of course, the big question would be the team name, either the Servite Cavaliers or the Serra Friars. Scott Altenberg of Serra and Troy Thomas of Servite both agreed they'd be comfortable coaching a combined team.

It was an unusual scrimmage, with teams shaking hands before the action and saying a prayer together.

In the scrimmage, what was clear is that Serra, the defending Division III state bowl champions, has the chance for another 15-0 season barring injuries. If the Cavaliers' huge offensive line can protect quarterback Conner Preston, Serra shouldn't be held to less than 28 points in a game all season. George Farmer made an impact Wednesday at receiver, defensive back and on kickoff returns.

Servite held out two of its best linemen, Troy Niklas and Wyatt Baker, because of injuries, and the offense looked shaky at times. But the Friars' defense should be outstanding.

Servite opens its season next Thursday at Orange Coast College against Oceanside. Serra plays at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame next Friday.

And one note. I watched the freshmen scrimmage, and Servite has a future standout at quarterback in 6-foot-3 Neil Pauu, brother of varsity linebacker Butch Pauu.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Comments () | Archives (4)

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Since Fr. Junipero Serra was a priest I suggest "Serra Friars".

And if Serra's #75 is the same kid from last year I hope he improved his mobility over the off season.

west coast best coast

damn...that #75 for serra is HUGE!

dwayne baudy

I remember during the early 90's when Eric Sondheimer wrote for the daily News. He couldn't stand Serra. How times have changed


I think it's safe to say Serra can line up against the best teams out there and go toe to toe. Like you stated ES barring injuries this team will be very hard to slow down. Hopefully they'll get a shot at the Open Division bowl Game. There main weakness may be out of there control this year... SOS ( Strength of Schedule) but only time will tell


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