Southern California high school football fans will get a treat on Labor Day as Mission Viejo High School will host six games with teams from Arizona, California and Utah in the Under Armour Brothers in Arms Classic. Three of the teams — Mission Viejo (California), Mountain Pointe (Ahwatukee, AZ) and St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA) — spent part or all of the season in the High School Football America National Top 50.
St. John Bosco vs. Garces Memorial
St. John Bosco, which finished No. 2 in the nation in 2016, will play the finale of the three-day, six-game event. The Braves will face Garces Memorial (Bakersfield, CA) at 8 P.M. on September 2nd.
Bosco is expected to be in the national championship hunt again this season with the return of several top players that had a hand in last year’s California Open Division State Bowl Championship game win over De La Salle.
Offensively, Re-al Mitchell is back to run the offense for his senior season. Last year, Mitchell threw for 2,932 yards and rushed for 1,058 yards. He threw for 30 touchdowns and rushed for 15. On defense, Ohio State-recruit Jaiden Woodbey is back for his senior season. The 4-star college prospect had 48 solo tackles with four interceptions last season.
Garces Memorial is coached by A.J. Gass, who knows a thing-or-two about Bosco, since he coach against the Braves when he was the head coach at Servite in the Trinity League. Garces is coming-off a 7-4 season in 2016
The game against Garces Memorial will come one week after the Braves open the season on the road on against St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL), which finished No. 6 in the nation last year.
Vista Murrieta at Mission Viejo
On Friday night, host Mission Viejo (California), which climbed as high as No. 28 in our national rankings last year, will play Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA). Year-in and year-out these two teams are among the 25 best in SoCal.
Mission Viejo, which won a state championship two years ago, returns plenty of talent from last year’s 11-1 squad, whose season ended with a loss in the CIF-Southern Section quarterfinals. That loss snapped the Diablos’ 39 game win streak.
Defensively, Mission Viejo will be led by 4-star cornerback recruit Olaijah Griffin, who had two interceptions last year and led the Diablos in receiving as a junior with 39 catches and 11 touchdowns. Griffin, who is the son of rapper Warren G, is ranked as the No. 58 overall college prospect in the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
The Diablos also return 3-star Washington-recruit Austin Osborne, who 247Sports has ranked as the No. 21 overall prospect in the Class of 2018 in California. Osborne caught 16 touchdown passes last year while averaging over 26 yards per catch.
Vista Murrieta, which is coming-off a 9-3 season, will be led by 3-star cornerback Elisha Guidry, who led the team in tackles last year with 86 and one interception. Offensively, the Broncos return Khalil Shakir, who as a junior led the team in receiving with 29 catches and two touchdowns. Shakir, a 3-star recruit at wide receiver, also rushed for 374 yards (7.1 per carry) and six touchdowns.
Mountain Pointe vs. Chaminade
The event will kick-off on August 31st with an interstate battle between Chaminade (West Hills, CA) and Mountain Pointe. The Pride spent a significant amount of time in our Top 50 last year, climbing as high as No. 43, before losing to Chandler (Arizona) in the Class 6A state title game.
Mountain Pointe should be good again this year with a decent amount of talent returning from last year’s 13-1 squad, including junior-to-be quarterback Nick Wallerstedt, who took-over the controls of the offense after Noah Grover went down with a broken leg in October. Speaking of injuries, senior-to-be running back Gary Bragg will look to return to his pre-knee injury form. Bragg’s 2016 season ended after five games after averaging 9.3 yards per carry with 11 touchdowns.
Chaminade is coming-off an 8-4 season that saw the Eagles advance to the CIF Southern Section Division I quarterfinals where they lost to Centennial (Corona, CA) 66-35. Head Coach Ed Crosson is working on replacing two top players — quarterback Brevin White and running back T.J. Pledger — who transferred since the end of the 2016 season. White, who will be playing for his third different team in four years, is now the quarterback at Paraclete, while Pledger has transferred to IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL).
Chaminade’s top returning player is 4-star wide receiver Michael Wilson, who earlier this week gave his verbal commitment to Stanford. With Pledger at IMG, his back-up last year, Andrew Van Buren will be the Eagles’ featured back.
Rest of the Match-ups
There will be three match-ups between California and Utah at the Brothers in Arms Classic.
On Friday, September 1st, Servite (Anaheim, CA) will square-off with American Fork (Utah). Last season, American Fork finished 9-5, advancing to the Class 5A state semifinals. Servite was 4-7 with a loss in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section’s Division 1 playoffs.
On Saturday, September 2nd, Orem (Utah) will take-on Bakersfield (California) at 12:30 P.M., followed by Timpview (Provo, UT) taking-on Del Oro (Loomis, CA) at 4 P.M. Del Oro lost to San Clemente (California) in last year’s CIF Division I-A championship game. Del Oro, which won a state title in 2015, beat Bakersfield 57-16 last year to advance to the state title game against San Clemente.
Orem and Timpview both made Utah’s Class 4A playoffs last year with Timpview advancing to the second round where it lost to eventual state champ East. Orem lost in the first round to Springville, which lost to East in the state championship game.
On its website, the Under Armour Brothers In Arms Classic says it offers a unique opportunity for young athletes from across the country to gather together in honor of Lieutenant Brendan Looney to learn more about true leadership and sacrifice.
Under Armour Brothers in Arms Schedule
8/31 – Chaminade (California) vs. Mountain Pointe (Arizona), 8 P.M.
9/1 – Servite (California) vs. American Fork (Utah), 5 P.M.
9/1 – Vista Murrieta (California) at Mission Viejo (California), 8 P.M.
9/2 – Orem (Utah) vs. Bakersfield (California), 12:30 P.M.
9/2 – Timpview (Utah) vs. Del Oro (California), 4 P.M.
9/2 – St. John Bosco (California) vs. Garces Memorial (California) 8 P.M.
All games at Mission Viejo High School