The City Section Playoffs begin on Friday for Divisions I, II and III. In the open division for a week. Here are the predictions about who will be the champion.
Open Division: San Pedro. The Pirates, seeded at number 2, would have been seeded at number 1, but lost to Banning in the Marine League thriller when they failed a field goal attempt. Receiver Robert Sarmiento is still an offensive weapon that few teams in the City Section can match. The ban won’t hurt the injured Jacob Galloway. The big question that still hasn’t been answered is where the undefeated Palisades ranked. The Dolphins have an elite backback in the form of Daniel Ano, but nine of their 10 wins have come against City teams in a season when City is not very strong. San Pedro, Banning and Birmingham have all been tested against qualified South Division teams, so the Dolphins will have a chance to prove their affiliation.
Division I: Dorsey. Freshman coach Stafon Johnson had a plan: to try to get better every week. The Dons are not the same team that San Pedro defeated in September. Players joined the team with increased speed and size. They have an amazing leader – guard Josh Coleman. There will be problems ahead. Huntington Park shot down Garfield. Reseda played well in big matches. Venice is dangerous when it is healthy.
Division II: Jefferson. Tuesday may have been a bad night for Democrats, but it will be a good month for the 9th-placed Jefferson Democrats. Coach Jason Grant, a longtime assistant to Robert Garrett at Crenshaw, has a team that is gaining discipline and confidence. Fairfax from the Western League is seeded number two and is starting to gain traction.
Division III: Santi. This is a division filled with teams trying to reclaim their positions, such as the No. 1 seeded Taft. No. 13 Santi has to be a team to watch out for. The Falcons must pass Narbonne in the first round, and if they do, be careful. # 2 San Fernando is another team that could win the title.