While six of the seven teams in the Moore League are in the Long Beach Unified School District, the seventh—Compton High—has had to deal with an even more bizarre offseason than the rest. Compton’s school district didn’t allow its programs to begin doing offseason conditioning until a few weeks ago (several months after the LBUSD’s schools began), and the school’s campus is also getting a complete tear-down and rebuild, necessitating a move to nearby Roosevelt Middle School.
“We’ve had the pandemic, we’ve had changing campuses, it’s just something we have to be strong and come together and keep working,” said longtime Compton coach Calvin Bryant.
Bryant has seen every side of the pandemic, as the school’s football coach, athletic director, an on-campus teacher, and also as a father. His wife’s school district is allowing her to teach from home, where she’s also watching their children, but Compton Unified has required its teachers to do virtual instruction from their classroom. For Bryant and the other instructors at Compton High, that’s meant a move to the smaller Roosevelt campus.
Bryant isn’t just responsible for moving his teaching materials from campus to campus, of course, he’s responsible for re-locating an entire football program worth of gear and equipment.
“Everything, all the sleds and all that,” said Bryant. “It’s the best time to get it done, though, there’s no kids on campus.”
Soon the campus will be demolished, beginning a planned three-year rebuild that would see the new school (and sports facilities) opened in 2023. In the meantime, Compton’s sports teams will practice at Roosevelt Middle, on a practice field with no stands. They’re in the process of figuring out where their home games will be played this year, either at Compton College or another Moore League school.
“We just have to do what we have to do to get it off the ground this year,” said Bryant. “Everyone has to be patient and understand that we’re transitioning to a lot of new things right now, everything is new. Our guys have to get their minds right.”
Bryant said that his squad had the same reaction as the other Moore League schools when they finally got to practice together again a few weeks ago: overwhelming joy.
“The guys came in and were so excited we had to get them to slow down and relax and focus a little bit,” he said. “It was like visiting your family when you come home.”
With so much uncertainty around the facilities this year, the Compton schedule is focusing on local rivalries. In addition to the six Moore League games, they’ll play city rivals Dominguez and Compton Centennial, as well as a third nonleague game against West Adams.
“It’s good to play against the local schools, all the kids and coaches know each other,” said Bryant. “Especially with us not having a field at least our kids know we can play in our city.”
Compton graduated a good chunk of talent but is looking to young standouts including Matthew Faafia, Aava Lilomaiava, and Dominique Sanchez to lead the way.
Compton 2020-21 Football Schedule
1/8 @ West Adams
1/15 vs. Compton Centennial @ Compton College
1/22 @ Dominguez
1/29 @ Wilson
2/12 vs. Jordan
2/19 vs. Millikan
2/26 @ Poly
3/5 vs. Lakewood
3/12 @ Cabrillo