Football: Satti has South East set for another title run
If South East wins the City Section Division II championship again this season, it will be because its coach, Roger Satti, refused to quit on his team or his school.
Satti took over for Derwin Henderson a few days before the Jaguars' third game of the season after Henderson was removed as coach following an incident in which several players were involved in a fight. Satti was the coach from 2005-10, but came out of retirement to coach again so the team didn't have to forfeit any games.
Now the Jaguars are the No. 1 seed in the Division II playoffs and determined to win the title for the second straight season. South East won it last year under Henderson but it was vacated after the City ruled the Jaguars had used an ineligible player.
"I was expecting it," Satti said of the No. 1 seed. "Van Nuys has been ranked ahead of us all year on MaxPreps, but I knew if the committee looked at common opponents they'd see we beat Huntington Park by 39 points and they beat them by six points. The big shock yesterday was how convincingly Eagle Rock beat Lincoln and I think that's why they got the No. 2 seed."
South East is 9-1 and finished in a three-way tie for first place in the Eastern League with Roosevelt and Garfield. The Jaguars are averaging about 40 points per game and Satti said the team has more athletes this year than last: "Our quarterback Jonathan Santos learned the offense last season and perfected it this season. It always helps to have your quarterback returning."
The Jaguars open the playoffs Friday at home against Bernstein. A potential semifinal matchup could pit Satti's squad against No. 4 Verdugo Hills, an opponent he called "dangerous" because the Dons run a similar type of high-powered offense. No matter who the Jaguars face down the road, Satti is happy they're still playing.
"I came back for them, for this school, so it's gratifying to see the kids respond so well to adversity."
-- Steve Galluzzo