Prep Professional Sports

SPORTS DIGEST: L.A. City Section to add 31 to Hall of Fame ranks

Thirty-one contributors to Los Angeles high school athletics will be inducted into the Los Angeles City Section Hall of Fame during ceremonies to be held April 28.

Among this year’s class are several athletes who went on to have prominent careers in college or professional sports. They include: Banning High School quarterback Vince Ferragamo (class of 1972), who quarterbacked the Rams in Super Bowl XIV; Willie Crawford (Fremont High class of 1964), who signed a $100,000 contract with the Dodgers two days after graduating from Fremont; Freeman McNeil (Banning High class of 1977), who went to UCLA before playing 12 years with the New York Jets; and Don Buford (Dorsey High class of 1955), who played baseball and football at USC before having a 10-year career in Major League Baseball with the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox.

Also being honored are John Smith (Fremont High class of 1968) and Anthony Davis (San Fernando High class of 1971).

Smith, a track and field athlete went on to UCLA and the Olympics. At one time, he was the world-record holder in the 400 meters. When his running career ended, he coached the track team at UCLA for 17 years.

Davis went to USC, where he played tailback on the 1972 and 1974 National Championship teams. He scored six touchdowns in a game against Notre Dame in 1974. His professional career saw service in four different leagues over a span of six seasons.

Davis also was a fine baseball player, playing on three consecutive College World Series championship teams while at USC.

Chris Ferragamo (Banning High School class of 1957), brother of Vince, is being inducted for his coaching career, which included eight City Section football titles at Banning. Six of the eight came consecutively.

Paul Knox (Hamilton class of 1970) also is being recognized for his career coaching football at track, mostly at Dorsey.

Others being honored are Tony Dobra (San Pedro High class of 1974), softball coach; Marv Dunphy (Taft High 1966), volleyball coach; former City Section Commissioner Hal Harkness (North Hollywood High class of 1956), contributor; Lucious Harris (Cleveland High class of 1989), basketball; Toya DeCree Holiday (John F. Kennedy High class of 1981), basketball; Carolyn House Helmuth (Marshall High class of 1963), aquatics; Sue Kamiyama (Dorsey High class of 1967), contributor as athletic director and coach; Lorre Moore (Narbonne High class of 2001), basketball; Randy Rosenbloom North Hollywood High class of 1969; contributor, broadcast television; Julie Rousseau (Dorsey High class of 1983), basketball coach; Eric Sondheimer (Poly High class of 1976), contributor, journalist; and Jim Tunney, who worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District from 1951 to 1975 while also working as a National Football League referee.

For the first time, the City Section is inducting a Legacy Group of 11 who graduated before 1955. They include Nate Barrager (San Fernando High class of 1925) football; Motts Blair (Poly High class of 1908), basketball; Milt Davis (Jefferson High class of 1947), football; Fred Haney (Poly High class of 1918), baseball; Jeanne Hoffman (Los Angeles High class of 1934), contributor, journalism; Joe Jares (Hamilton High class of 1955), contributor, journalism; Mickey Riley, (Roosevelt High class of 1927), aquatics; Woody Strode (Jefferson High class of 1934), football; Charlie Toney (Manual Arts High class of 1917), track and field; Adam Walsh (Hollywood High class of 1921), football; and Louis Zamperini (Torrance High class of 1935), track and field.

The City Section inducted its first Hall of Fame class in 2011. Every other year since then it has selected another class.

The L.A. City Section has produced some legendary athletes over the years. It is nice to recognize some of the greatest athletic contribution every two years at the Hall of Fame induction.

ON THE BRINK: By the time you read this, the Clippers season may have come to an end. The Clippers overcame the biggest deficit in NBA Playoff history to win the second game of its opening series against the Golden State Warriors, knotting the series at 1-1.

Unfortunately, all that 31-point comeback did was wake up the defending champs and the Warriors have roared back to win games three and four and get end the series with a win in game five April 24.

The Clippers scorers have gone cold and the wrong time. Forward Danilo Gallinari has not had a great series. Neither has center Ivica Zubac.

Off-the-bench scoring threats Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell have been held in check by the Warriors. Other than Patrick Beverly, who has been an aggressive defensive player on Steph Curry and Kevin Durant throughout the series; rookie point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the team’s best player.

Of course, the Clippers weren’t supposed to make the playoffs this year and they lack playoff experience. This year is showing the young Clippers still have some improvements to make but the Clippers have a young team and lots of salary cap space this offseason, which should bode well for the 2019-20 season.

LOCAL RIVALRY: Mark your calendar for July 19 and Aug. 25. Those are the two times the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club will face each other this season.

Expect both games to sell out because both teams are very good and have very supportive fan bases.

LAFC sits atop the Major League Soccer Western Conference with a 7-1-1 record. The Galaxy is right behind LAFC with a 6-1 mark. Both teams are 5-0 at home.

LAFC is coming off a 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders, the third place team in the MLS West.

Carlos Vela leads the league with 10 goals already. Diego Rossi is third with sixth goals.

Between them is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the brash star of the Galaxy, who has seven goals so far.

Vela is in a three-way tie for first in the league in assists with five.

The two local soccer teams figure to be rivals for years to come. It will be a good thing to get it on the rivalry in its early stages.

The July 19 game will be on the Galaxy’s home turf in Carson, The Aug, 25 game will be at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium. Get tickets while you still can.

NEW STADIUM SEATS: Speaking of getting tickets, the Rams announced April 24 that the general public can begin selecting seats for the 2020 football season in the new Inglewood stadium.

Fans may now go to TheRams.com/LAStadium to learn more information, see seating options or book an appointment to visit the LA Stadium Premiere Center. The new stadium is the centerpiece of the 298-acre Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park being built by Rams Owner and Chairman Stan Kroenke.

All season tickets come with a stadium seat license that range from $1,000 to $80,000, depending on where the seat is. Individual tickets will range from $60 to $125 for reserved seats, $150 a game for premier seats and $375 a game for club seats.

“Delivering a game-changing experience for Rams fans is at the heart of Stan Kroenke’s vision for LA Stadium,” said Rams COO Kevin Demoff.  “We have seen great enthusiasm from season ticket members when they see the stadium come to life through virtual reality or a visit to the Premiere Center. We are excited to now give more fans an opportunity to learn more and join us at our new house at Hollywood Park.”