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

August 25, 2010 |  8:33 pm

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

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