Summer football has its biggest tournament on Saturday

Prepare your lawn chair, ice chest and sunscreen. Saturday will be the busiest and best day to watch seven-a-side summer soccer competitions in Southern California.

There are tournaments in Edison, Simi Valley, Culver City, Newport Harbor, Temecula Valley and Redondo Union.

The Edison Battle at the Beach tournament brings together almost a who’s who list of the best teams and players. It also presents intriguing battles between private and public schools.

Among the elite quarterbacks are Malachi Nelson of Los Alamitos (USC Commitment), Kadin Semonza of Mission Viejo (Ball State), Pierce Clarkson of St. John Bosco (Louisville), Nico Iamaleava of Long Beach Poly (Tennessee), Elijah Brown of Mater Dei, Long Beach Myles Jackson of Millikan and CJ Tiller of Rancho Cucamonga (Boise State).

The other position filled with talent for the Battle at the Beach is defense, from Poly’s Daylen Austin (LSU) to Gardena Serra’s Rodrick Pleasant to St. John Bosco’s Peyton Woodyard and Ty Lee (UCLA).

The 9:00 p.m. pool games include Mission Viejo vs. Long Beach Poly and St. John Bosco vs. Los Alamitos. That’s about as good as it gets for players with matching skill position.

The Culver City tournament will feature a number of City Section teams including San Pedro and standout tight end Nicholas Fernandez. Loyola quarterback Xavier Rice is back after tearing his cruciate ligament in the second game of last season. Mira Costa has several top returning skill position players.

San Clemente makes headlines at the Newport Harbor tournament as the Tritons continue to have contention for starting quarterback. Temecula Valley is filled with Inland Empire teams led by Corona Centennial.

Simi Valley, who struggled a bit in last week’s eight-team St. John Bosco tournament, will host a 16-team tournament on Saturday. Oaks Christian, St. Francis, Calabasas and Saugus lead the teams. There is also a lineman competition.

The action starts at 9:00 am. The best games are usually in the mornings when the teams are fresh. In the afternoon, when temperatures are rising, fatigue is setting in and coaches are looking to give other players replays, games become more restless and unpredictable.

Saturday is a great time to take a look at some of the teams and players who will be keeping an eye on this fall. Of course there are no linemen and that means it’s not real football. So don’t get too excited if your team is looking good, or too disappointed if your team is struggling. These tournaments are all about players developing skill based timing, learning to compete and teams building camaraderie.

It’s always fun as long as the players, coaches and parents understand that the season isn’t at stake because of winning or losing in a temporary tournament. Summer football has its biggest tournament on Saturday

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