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Birmingham Charter started the football season with four straight losses before finally claiming victory over Hueneme High 28-14 last week. All five opponents have been CIF Southern Section schools.
Coach Jim Rose schedules a Southern Section gauntlet every year, and almost every year, the Patriots head into West Valley League play with a losing record.
“We’d like to do better,” Rose said laughing. “We don’t plan to games.”
Furthermore, it seems every year the underwhelming record makes it easy for Birmingham to be forgotten in the City Section contender conversation. Meanwhile, other City programs contending for Open Division berths are thriving. San Pedro is 6-0. Franklin is 5-0. Roosevelt and Eagle Rock are 6-0. West Valley League foes Granada Hills and Cleveland each only have one loss.
The Patriots are 1-4 heading into West Valley League play. Last year, they started 0-5 before going on to win its second straight Open Division City title. It’s all part of the plan …
“We haven’t lost a City Section game since 2018,” Rose said. “It works.”
Technically, the loss – although on the field – in 2018 was to Narbonne in the Open Division semifinal, which is now a 2-0 forfeit win due to Narbonne’s wins being vacated due to violations.
The last time Birmingham lost a regular-season City Section game was in October of 2017, a 24-21 loss to El Camino Real.
“We do this every year. The competition prepares us for the City and our ultimate goal, which is to win a City title,” Rose added.
The Patriots are in a growing phase, especially with last year’s Daily News Player of the Year Arlis Boardingham gone, but they’re still the reigning back-to-back Open Division champions. This year’s standouts including junior athlete Peyton Waters, sophomore quarterback Kingston Tisdell, freshman linebacker and running back Ronnell Hewitt, sophomore linebacker Eddie Plaza, and senior running back Naiim Morgan, who ran for more than 100 yards in the win over Hueneme.
Wideout Jojo Adams and lineman Chuy Cortes are impact transfers that are now eligible after serving the sit-out period.
“These young guys are struggling to finish games, but they’re getting better because of it,” Rose said. “We try to peek at the right time.”
Birmingham will start league play at home against Taft (3-2) Friday night. The Patriots outscored its league opponents 219 to 13 last year.
IMPACT SIT-OUT PERIOD PLAYERS NOW ELIGIBLE
The CIF Southern Section’s sit-out period is over. Student-athletes that transferred schools and didn’t move residence have served their penance, and are now eligible to play as of Friday, September 30.
Oaks Christian lineman and linebacker Dylan Hampsten (a transfer from Saugus) is the area’s biggest impact transfer that will be eligible. He was a Daily News All-Area selection last season after recording 40 tackles and a team-high 10.5 sacks.
“I’m feeling great now that I finally get to play!” Hampsten said.
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Oaks Christian also receives the service of quarterback Axel Eason and lineman Will Simic – both will add depth to both positions.
Ololade Adeduro, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end, becomes eligible for Alemany, along with wideout Michael Lindsay and lineman Andrew Angel, according to the CIF website.
Calabasas (4-1) will add Anthony Simon to the offensive line and Roberto Paladines at linebacker.
Defensive back Tyler Scott becomes eligible for West Ranch (6-0) after transferring from Alemany. Preston Handler, a defensive back and wideout for Thousand Oaks (5-0), is now available. Cody Wirz will add some depth to the secondary and backfield for Newbury Park (5-1). Granada Hills Charter (3-1) adds John Williamson at defensive end and tight end this week.
Castaic (1-5), which is experiencing its first-ever varsity season in school history, gets five players from Canyon High eligible this week against the Cowboys. Nate Ramirez, Pedro Najera, Manny Ortiz, Deacon Andres and Jonathan Kombrick will all get to suit up against their former school Friday night.