The two most promising teams seem to be the San Pedro High boys and Port Of Los Angeles High girls. The Pirates have a huge roster under coach Peter Hazdovac and are looking to challenge rivals Narbonne of Harbor City and defending Marine League champion Banning of Wilmington for the league crown, while the Polar Bear girls are primed for another run at the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Small Schools Division title.
Who will be looking to score big in 2013-2014?
San Pedro: The Pirates will be led by the likes of senior D/MF Patrick Schultz, senior midfielder Andres Toribio, junior forward Juan Marquez, senior MF/F Daniel Powell, and senior defenders Mario Zabatta and Fernando Hernandez, who was the football team's placekicker. Junior Cele Berrera returns as the starting goalkeeper for a team already coming off a 2-0 victory over East Valley in their season opener on November 23. San Pedro went 7-7-2 last season, placing third in the Marine League.
Port Of Los Angeles: First-year head coach Gerry Pineda takes over a team that went 13-4-5 last year, reaching the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Small Schools Division semifinals, losing to eventual champion Sun Valley. The defending Crosstown League champion Polar Bears return the likes of senior captain Cesar Garcia, junior Casey Kane, senior forward Giovanny Salazar, and seniors Arturo Arce and Moises Fraere.
Mary Star: The Stars, coached by Steve Lucero, went 10-10 last season and reached the second round of the CIF-Southern Section VII playoffs. The Camino Real League title contenders will be paced by seniors Bryan Perez, Steve Mendez and Joey Osborne, sophomores Nick Renfroe and Jarod Alves, and junior Raymond Bravo.
San Pedro: The Pirates are under new leadership, as coach Elisa De La Pena-Nagle takes over for Gerhard Weber, who retired after 15 years at the helm. The eight-time defending Marine League champions have a lot to prove after a disappointing first round exit from the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs. San Pedro has a lot of youthful talent returning in sophomore goalie Taylor Miller (86 saves & 8 shutouts), sophomore forward Ashley Lopez (9 goals, 4 assists in 2012-2013) and sophomore midfielders Gabriella Ma (3 goals) and Heather Carlton, along with experience in junior midfielder Kirsten Bauman (5 goals). Senior midfielder Katie Sullivan, a transfer from Mary Star, provides even more experience for a team that went 11-8-3 last season.
Port Of Los Angeles: The Polar Bears went 16-5 last season after going 17-1 in the 2011-2012 season, and second-year coach Javier Torres has four juniors, all best friends, who certainly can pack a scoring punch in Tiffany Torres (no relation to Javier), Isabela Van Antwerp, Samantha Walker and Ariella Martinez. Forward Melissa Rodriguez, another junior, is very skilled, and senior forward Samantha Foxworthy (6 goals, 8 assists) is another scoring threat for the three-time defending Crosstown League champion Polar Bears. Rodriguez (13 goals last season), Van Antwerp (10 goals, 7 assists), Martinez (7 goals) and Tiffany Torres (10 goals, 13 assists) all combined for 40 goals last season. Senior goalie Nicole Sierra, and sophomores Daisy Garcia and Amanda Lazo are also key returners for a team looking to get their long-awaited shot at redemption from losing back-to-back City Small Schools finals to LACES.
Mary Star: After reaching the 2012 CIF-SS playoffs and claiming two straight Camino Real League titles, the Stars struggled mightily last season when injuries to key players took their toll. Coach Filippo Savato still has some incredible talent on his team and it starts with 2012 All-CIF selection Jordyn Alves. The UC Santa Barbara-bound forward has the strongest leg of anyone in San Pedro, scoring 18 goals in 2012, and 14 more in 2013. Alves isn't alone, as seniors Sarah Garcia and Jenna Clarke are both dangerous in their own right.
All six teams should have promising 2013-2014 seasons and some intriguing battles are about to take shape. POLA boys soccer has a big-time chance to prove their worth next week with a nonleague game at San Pedro on Monday, followed by another in-city duel with Mary Star on December 11 at Daniels Field. POLA and Mary Star will also hook it up in girls soccer as well on December 11 at Mary Star High.