Southern California has a lot of elite high school quarterbacks. On Saturday, many of them will be in the same place.
The annual Battle at the Beach 7v7 passing tournament is scheduled for Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.) with 20 teams that are divided in four pools of five. Champions will be crowned in gold and silver divisions.
Defending gold division champion Mater Dei (Santa Ana) features record-setting JT Daniels; St. John Bosco (Bellflower) has Re-al Mitchell; Centennial (Corona) has Tanner McKee, fresh off The Opening Final; Paraclete (Lancaster) features Devin White.
As much competition as there might be among quarterbacks, Mitchell said his focus is not the other team’s offense.
“As a quarterback, I care about defenses and prepare for them,” said Mitchell, an Iowa State commit. “Other teams quarterbacks’ are my defense’s priority. I just do my job to the best of my ability and try to win games.”
Although this is summer 7v7, a potential matchup between Trinity League rivals Mater Dei and Bosco is always intriguing. Mater Dei beat Bosco during the regular season, but Bosco answered back in the Southern Section Division 1 final and went on to win the state Open Division title.
The teams are scheduled to play Oct. 13.
“Our Mater Dei rivalry burns 24/7,” Mitchell said. “It doesn’t matter what time of the year and in what type of competition.”
Bosco has a deep roster of talent, with more than dozen sophomores already with offers and a number of players adding offers in recent days.
Mitchell sees value in any opportunity to play with his teammates.
“Playing 7 on 7 helps with timing and chemistry with wide receivers and running backs,” he said. “This takes linemen out of the equation, which obviously is a factor in 11-man football, but it’s easier to see and practice reading coverages. But all of that translates into real football.
“This is a tournament where I can continue to work on accuracy and perfect my craft and it gives us a chance to compete against great teams.”
Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) is the champ in the silver division. The team had Matt Corral, one of the top quarterbacks in the nation in the Class of 2018, last year. Corral has since transferred to Long Beach Poly.