Battle at the Beach to feature Southland's top high school quarterbacks


There’s no place in Southern California that will bring together more top quarterbacks in 2017 than Huntington Beach Edison High School on Saturday for its 19th Battle at the Beach seven-on-seven passing tournament.

“This is about as good as it gets,” former Edison Coach Dave White said.

White has stepped down after 31 years as head coach but he’s going to run the tournament, and who wouldn’t want to be part of a competition that features the three top teams in the state from last season in Bellflower St. John Bosco, Santa Ana Mater Dei and Corona Centennial.

But this tournament is about the quarterbacks. And some people believe the top three quarterbacks in the classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 will be on display: Tanner McKee (Centennial), J.T. Daniels (Mater Dei) and Bryce Young (L.A. Cathedral).

That’s just a start. There’s Iowa State commit Re-Al Mitchell of St. John Bosco; Utah commit Jack Tuttle of San Marcos Mission Hills; UNLV commit Griffin O’Connor of Edison; and 4,000-yard passer Jeremy Moussa of Eastvale Roosevelt.

And there’s more. J.T. Shrout of Newhall Hart is committed to Cal. Matt Robinson of San Juan Capistrano JSerra is a two-time all-Trinity League selection committed to Montana. Junior Blake Archuleta of La Puente Bishop Amat is a quarterback-pitcher with immense potential. Brevin White of Lancaster Paraclete is back with Coach Dean Herrington and ready for a huge season. Jalen Chatman of Narbonne, the City Section player of the year, is committed to Rutgers.

Among the team matchups, the 10:30 a.m. pool game between Mater Dei and Cathedral ought to set the standard for action. Cathedral has won three summer tournaments. Mater Dei has an offense featuring 11 returning starters.

There’s no tackling and no rushing the passer, but this tournament usually provides a nice sneak preview of the season ahead in terms of quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs.

The No. 1 receiver in the state will be there: Amon-ra St. Brown of Mater Dei. St. John Bosco’s secondary has players committed to Ohio State and UCLA. And Gardena Serra has safety Bryan Addison, whom everyone wants.

“Appreciate the athletes out there,” White said. “It doesn’t mean everything, but it does tell you teams that can really throw and defend the pass. For a lot of teams, this is the last day of their summer. It’s a fun day.”

Action begins at 9 a.m. The playoffs start at 1:30 p.m. and the championship game is at 3 p.m. Admission is free but there’s a charge for parking. Bring a lawn chair and join the debate over who’s the best quarterback — without pads.

City Section strength: If the high school basketball season in 2017-18 is about the guards, then the City Section is well positioned to make an impact.

Last week, Fairfax won its own tournament championship with a 74-73 victory over likely preseason No. 1 team Santa Ana Mater Dei. Guards Ethan Anderson and Jamal Hartwell had big tournaments.

Then Westchester won the Culver City tournament, beating Bellflower St. John Bosco, 66-61, in the final. Guards Jordan Brinson and Jeremiah Turley led the way.

Taft has also a pair of outstanding guards in Kihei Clark and sophomore Demetrius Calip. Birmingham returns All-City guard Devonaire Doutrive.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: latsondheimer



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