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PREVIEW: Long Beach Poly vs. Compton, Football

Long Beach’s oldest sports tradition will take place on Friday night as Long Beach Poly hosts Compton for its homecoming game. The Jackrabbits have been welcoming alumni for homecoming games since their first one in 1908, the inaugural season for the team (the school opened in 1895).

It will also be the most significant meeting of the two teams in a decade, as Poly (3-0) and Compton (2-1) are two of the teams atop the Moore League standings.

“Compton has had a great start to their season and it is no surprise when you look at the talent they have on the offensive line,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “They are very big and physical and their running backs run downhill. It’s going to be a very physical game.”

It will be Barbee’s first time coaching against Compton’s incarnation of its double-wing attack, which this year features more passing.

Compton coach Calvin Bryant relished his team’s 2007 and 2008 meetings against Poly, which were league championship-caliber contests played before huge crowds. He said he was looking forward to Friday’s game as well.

“Poly is still the class of our league,” said Bryant. “I feel that we’re improving each week–but we have to be precise to pull off an upset.”

Poly is coming off a comfortable win over Cabrillo while the Tarbabes are trying to recover from a tough last-minute loss to Millikan.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.