Being second option is working out just fine for the La Mirada High School football program.
The Matadores have prospered recently with players who transferred into the program after previously standing on the sideline at upper division schools and this year appears no different.
According to the CIF Southern Section website, La Mirada has already some impact transfers who look ready to help the school build on last season’s Southern Section and state championships.
“There’s second and third string players at Servite, Mater Dei, St. John Bosco and Long Beach Poly that are standing on the sideline, and they come to La Mirada and become national recruits,” La Mirada head coach Mike Moschetti said. “And that’s a fact. That’s a testament to the programs that they came from. There’s big-time players not getting films. If there’s kids at these schools who are second and third-string players, we more than welcome them at La Mirada. They helped us win a state championship.
“But we’re not recruiting them. We are a viable option and people are realizing that in order to get recruited, you have to have film. Standing on the sideline at Bosco, Servite, Bishop Amat or Long Beach Poly is going to do you no good.”
And, La Mirada is free in terms of tuition. It all adds up to another good haul this offseason led by the Long Beach Poly duo of defensive end Kevin Smith and linebacker Cam’ron Chatman. Then there’s 310-pound defensive lineman Jonah Aumua from the state of Washington and defensive back Jamall Jones from Long Beach Wilson.
It’s not like La Mirada even needs the help. The Matadores have six starters back on defense, including several with multiple college offers headlined by Elijah Hicks, who began his career as a back-up at St. John Bosco and now has 22 college offers.
The Matadores will begin what’s become the highlight of their offseason program next week when “conventus” — a grueling early morning workout routine in the school’s gym takes place. Players are put through several, often vomit-inducing drills in hopes of building team unity. It’s also become a favorite for college recruiters making the rounds.
“The players love it, the parents hate it,” Moschetti said with a laugh in reference to early start time.
La Mirada opens the season with Division 1 contender Orange Lutheran on Aug. 26.