Los Angeles (Calif.) Venice has the unenviable task of taking on the juggernaut that is Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian this evening (Thursday September 28th) in game that will be televised by ESPN.
If Venice is going to win this they will have to control the line of scrimmage and they are able to succeed in this endeavor then expect senior two-way standout Thomas Garcia (6-4, 290, 5.3) will be one of the reasons why.
"Thomas is a hard worker with an outstanding work ethic," Venice assistant coach Irving Booker said. "He has a great personality and his popular with his teammates.
"On the football field he has a whole lot of upside," Booker said. "He's definitely a D-I player somewhere.
"Thomas is just beginning to fulfill his potential," Booker said. "He's a little raw, but like I said he has a lot of upswing.
"Thomas already has D-I size and outstanding reach," Booker said. "His reach is something that you can't teach and that's a God given gift."
"Another thing that D-I schools are going to like about Thomas is he has pretty good mobility for a guy his size," Booker said. "He's kind of a bigger Erick Lobos who played for us and is now a defensive lineman for the Washington Huskies."
"Thomas plays both ways for us and comes out to play night in and night out."
Other players who are getting D-I attention for Venice who could make an impact this evening are wide receiver James Hood (6-2, 185, 4.53), safety/linebacker Sharmar Thornton, and safety Jonathan Brasfield.
Hood has NFL bloodlines as his dad played for the Seattle Seahawks. He's a guy who will go get the ball and make plays. Hood has caught 10 passes so far this season with a team leading 272 yards and two touchdowns while averaging an outstanding 27.2 yards per catch.
Thorton has lethal hitting ability who has racked up 16 tackles and three sacks.
Brasfield is really coming into his own as a football player and is a sure tackler who gets to the football. On the season he has accounted for 24 tackles.
Venice also has some juniors who will be getting D-I looks, a year from now.
Keep your eye on two-year starter quarterback Richard Ragland (6-1, 195, 4.6), wide receiver Que Sean Gregory (6-1, 195, 4.55), wide receiver Jerry Johnson (6-3, 180, 4.6), running back Curtis McNeal (5-8, 175, 4.48), offensive lineman Calvin Ferns (6-4, 280, 5.1), linebacker Chris Woods (6-3, 215, 4.6), linebacker Raymond Gordon, linebacker Kris Johnson (5-10, 180, 4.5) and cornerback Naeem Forrester (6-0, 170, 4.5).
It must be said that Venice has one of the more talented junior classes in the Los Angeles City Section.
Like every school that will play Oaks Christian, Venice wants to be giant slayers and will bring a very good effort.
Like Ventura (Calif.) Saint Bonaventure, Venice is a well coached football team by Angelo Gasca and his staff.