Seventh in a series of stories featuring top high school football players by position. Today Weston Port, linebacker from San Juan Hills.
You stand in the middle of the San Juan Hills High football field, look up, look around, and begin to understand why this is the perfect name for the public school. The campus is surrounded by rolling hills. College recruiters heading to San Juan Capistrano will feel like they have been transported to a unique rural setting.
The team’s 15-year-old soccer star, 6ft 2, 220lb Weston Port, is asked how far he lives from campus.
“Just down the road – five minutes,” he said, jerking his finger up and to the right.
Privates Schools tried long and hard with offers of free tuition to persuade Port to leave his neighborhood school after he had become a standout youth footballer as an eighth grader.
“I was there at the beginning,” he says. “Then I realized that if I’m good enough, I don’t need to go to private school to become a D1 athlete. I’ve had friends who went the private school route, ‘Damn, all these kids are just looking after themselves.’ These are my really good friends. It hangs out and plays soccer. It’s a lot more fun and when it’s fun you play better.”
Port burst onto the high school football scene last season as a freshman in his first game against Santa Margarita. He was a week away from his 15th birthday.
As the bus pulled into the new Saddleback College Stadium, he asked himself, “Am I going to be destroyed by these kids?”
“I’m usually nervous before games,” he said. “We came out of the tunnel, I had my ‘dogs’ next to me. I didn’t feel afraid. I just freaked out in that game.”
He recorded two sacks while playing as the edge rusher in a 38-14 loss. In the 2021 season, he would contribute 91 tackles, including 25 for losses.
“As a player he’s one of the best I’ve seen and he’s only a freshman,” said coach Robert Frith last spring. “When I look at his film, I don’t know if I have coached a player so dominantly. We knew right away he was a guy and would start from the day he showed up. We made him captain when he was a freshman.”
Port moved to the area at 7 a.m. when his family arrived from Texas. When looking for a high school, the family had a plan.
“He and his father told me that he wanted to come to a program that was run like a family and not like a business,” Frith said.
Now that Port has everyone’s attention, he understands that resting on the laurels of newcomers will not be enough to achieve his dreams and aspirations. He has earned enormous respect through his dealings with others, his focus on good grades, character and politeness. It’s just about continuing your progress physically.
“I don’t want to think about my freshman year: ‘Oh, that was great.’ I want to get better,” he says. “As I keep growing and building, destroying kids will be a lot of fun.”
Linebacker to watch
Name, School, Ht., Wt., Year, Comment
Owen Chambliss, Corona Centennial, 6-2, 205, Sr. Fits the profile of a big-time hitter
Isaiah Chisom, Chaminade, 6-2, 225, Sr. A disruptor on defense
Reid Farrell, Valencia, 6-0, 190, Jr. Foothill League Defensive Player of the Year
Dylan Hampsten, Oaks Christian, 6-4, 210, Sr. Edge rusher was outstanding at Saugus
Weston Port, San Juan Hills, 6-2, 220, Sun. 12 sacks as a freshman playing defensive end
EJ Smith, Warren, 6-0, 230, Sr. Two-time league defensive tackle MVP
Leviticus Su’a, Mater Dei, 6-2, 225, Sr. Knows how to tackle great fundamentals
Jordan Whitney, Oxnard Pacifica, 6-2, 205, Sr. He’s been a standout for four years
Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, St. John Bosco, 6-2, 210, Jr. Back with a vengeance after a knee injury
Dylan Williams, Long Beach Poly, 6-2, 190, Jr. The next great poly linebacker
Morning: Maliki Crawford, defense attorney for Oxnard Pacifica.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/highschool/story/2022-08-14/weston-port-san-juan-hills-high-linebacker-sophomore-phenom Prep football preview 2022: LB Weston Port feels at home