Venice High has won the Western League football championship each of the last three years and the Gondoliers look strong again.
Coach Angelo Gasca, a former star quarterback at Santa Monica College, has built a solid program and appears to have another team in the school’s recent tradition.
Two seasons ago, Venice won every game until the last one, then was upset by Carson in the City Championship Game.
Last season Venice was 9-3.
Running back Kenny Ashley is one of the best in the city and defensive back Jonas Mouton and lineman Montel Moore are other Division 1 prospects. The team two years ago produced nine Division 1 players and the talent level this season is considered similar.
A key will be how sophomore quarterback Richard Ragland develops.
The strongest league competition through the years has frequently been Westchester. However, this season it could be Fairfax, which won the Invitational (lower level) city title last season.
Fairfax, which had a long losing streak in the recent past, improved to 5-5 last season.
Gasca coached J.P. Losman at Venice. Losman now starts for the Buffalo Bills. The program has reached the status where anything beyond a couple of losses is considered a disappointment.
Venice is among the favorites to win the city title. Dorsey is another strong contender, led by prep All-American running back Stephon Johnson who has been moved to quarterback. So is Taft, as Coach Troy Starr returns from taking a year away from the program.Birmingham is the defending champion.