Los Alamitos quarterback Hayden Smith hands off to Keanu Norman in the Griffins' 17-9 loss to Edison on Friday.

Fryer: Fenton brings 'new energy' to Los Alamitos


LONG BEACH – When you buy a house, there are some things you’re going to want to change with that house.

The house had some attractive features that attracted you to that house, too, so you’re not going to change them.

That’s sort of how Ray Fenton has approached his first season coaching Los Alamitos football.

Fenton replaced John Barnes as Los Alamitos head coach. Barnes coached Los Alamitos from 1979 through last season after which Barnes announced his retirement.

Like any new head coach, Fenton, Fountain Valley head coach last year, wants to infuse his own style into Los Alamitos football and have the players embrace his vision. There is also that “if it ain’t broke …" cliché.

“What they loved about the program before, let’s keep it,” Fenton said Friday before the Griffins played Edison in their key Sunset League game at Veterans Stadium. “And if the kids don’t feel strong about keeping something, let’s move on. It’s all about the kids, anyways, right?”

Los Alamitos senior fullback/linebacker Drew Platt said Fenton has the right approach.

“He really respects what we had with Coach Barnes,” Platt said. “But he’s really into moving into the future and bringing a new energy.”

Barnes was the first Orange County coach to compile 300 wins. His Los Alamitos teams won four CIF-Southern Section championships and a county-record 18 league championships. Barnes’ 324 wins were the Orange County record until Mission Viejo’s Bob Johnson passed him this season.

So Fenton has a tough act to follow. The Griffins (4-3 overall, 1-1 in league) had a tough time Friday. They lost to Edison, 17-9.

But that’s OK. It’s not permanent damage. The football house Fenton moved into has a strong foundation.

Elsewhere under the lights …

• Edison (6-1, 2-0) is in the driver’s seat for the Sunset League championship in Dave White’s final season as Edison coach. There is a sizeable drop in quality from the Sunset’s top two teams, Edison and Los Alamitos, and the league’s other four teams.

• Capistrano Valley (6-1, 2-0) is going to win the Sea View League. The Cougars rolled to a 41-7 win over El Toro (2-6, 1-1) in a battle of the league’s two best teams. The Cougars’ remaining two games are league games against Aliso Niguel (2-5) and Dana Hills (1-6).

• El Modena looked great in its final nonleague game, a 28-9 win over Foothill on Thursday. The Vanguards (6-1) play their North Hills League opener next Thursday at home against El Dorado (2-5). Their biggest challenge for the league championship will come from Brea Olinda (3-4), which El Modena plays Nov. 4, the final day of the regular season.

• That San Clemente (5-2, 1-0) beat Tesoro (4-4, 0-2) was not a surprise. The one-sidedness of that South Coast League game was, though, a 41-3 win for the Tritons. San Clemente plays league-favorite Mission Viejo on Nov. 4.

• Mission Viejo (8-0, 2-0) did Friday what Mission Viejo has done all season. The Diablos asserted their superiority early against San Juan Hills (6-2, 1-1) and rolled to a 57-28 victory. Mission Viejo looked great from the first snap of the season in the season-opening win against Santa Margarita and kept the momentum going from there.

• Mater Dei (7-0, 2-0) did not look past Orange Lutheran (4-2, 0-2) to the Monarchs’ showdown next week against St. John Bosco. The Monarchs, after a bit of a slow start, rolled, 56-14. They play Bosco next Friday at Cerritos College in what will be the most-anticipated game in California football.

• Sevite coach Scott Meyer is quite the psychiatrist. He coaxed the Friars to erase the memories of the 70-6 shellacking they received last week from St. John Bosco in a Trinity League opener. Servite defeated JSerra, 38-14, a huge league win for Servite (4-3, 1-1) that improved their playoff chances.

• JSerra plays Santa Margarita next Friday at Saddleback College. Both are 4-3 overall and 0-2 in league. That game is crucial for both as they try to battle for the Trinity League’s third and final playoff berth (Mater Dei and St. John Bosco will occupy the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, order to be determined next week).

• Segerstrom’s 20-17 win over Orange in the Golden West League keeps the Jaguars undefeated at 7-0 overall and 2-0 in league. Santa Ana is 7-0 and 2-0 in league. Santa Ana vs. Segerstrom is Oct. 28 at Santa Ana Stadium.

• Ocean View is 2-0 in the Golden West League, too. The Seahawks’ next three games are against Santa Ana, Orange (5-2, 1-1) and Segerstrom. Everybody has focused on Orange, Santa Ana and Segerstrom in that league, but Ocean View just might be a factor, too.

• Tustin and Kennedy won their Empire League games and are tied for first place. Tustin (6-1, 2-0) beat Pacifica on Friday and Kennedy (5-2, 2-0) beat Valencia on Thursday. Kennedy plays at Tustin on Thursday.

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