The Compton football program is trying to control what it can control amidst upheaval this year. Compton’s campus is under massive construction, so the entire school has relocated to Roosevelt Middle School down the street.
“We’re trying to fight through it,” coach Calvin Bryant said. “We’re just trying to get things organized and put into place. It’s tough for all of our sports, not just football. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but if anyone can get it done it’s us, because we have had to navigate around a lot of circumstances.”
Compton surprised a lot of people during the spring season with a marquee win over Lakewood and a narrow loss at Wilson.
“It’s about being prepared,” senior Samson Tupuola said of taking the next step as a team. “It’s the little things that matter on the field like staying hydrated. Like the Wilson game, it was just a lot of little mistakes. The little things really add up to what happens in the end.”
“Those are the games that show us that we’re right there with everyone else,” Bryant said. “Those are learning moments for us. We’re eager to play everyone again with a fresh start.”
A big reason for that optimism is a strong offensive line and running back Deon Johnson (left). The senior scored three touchdowns on just nine carries in that loss to Wilson. Bryant said Johnson has explosiveness and agility that reminds him of the best ball carriers he’s had at Compton to lead his double-wing offense.
Tupuola, who was first team All-Moore League, will be joined on the offensive line with senior Elijah Martinez, senior Jonah Tumu Mose-Laulusa and junior Kingston Moa who is a transfer from Jordan. The increased depth in the trenches should help Compton stay fresh late in games.
The most heavily recruited Compton returner is junior Aava Lilomaiava, who will likely be the starting quarterback and starting middle linebacker. Lilomaiava has already received scholarship offers from Utah and New Mexico State.
The Compton offense has plenty of run plays built in for its quarterback and the strong 215-pound Lilomaiava will be tough to bring down.
“He’s the type of kid you don’t get very often,” Bryant said. “He’s got a great nose for the ball, he’s a good vocal leader and he brings a lot to the table. A lot of things are going to fall to him.”
Lilomaiava will be joined by Johnson, senior Ryan Iosua and junior Jeremiah Hall at the out-
side linebacker positions. Most of the offensive line will also play
defensive line in front of them.
Bryant said he likes his defensive secondary with senior Jeremiah Miller, junior Erick Barrios, senior Steve Henry and junior Amir Ford leading the way.
“We don’t have a lot of seniors but we’re definitely an experienced team,” Tupuola said. “We’re looking pretty good with a lot of versatility on the field. This year we’re going to make a playoff run for sure.”
Compton has a localized schedule again this year with games against Centennial, Dominguez, Inglewood and Narbonne. However, they still haven’t confirmed they can host all of their games at Compton College due to the campus construction.
QB – Aava Lilomaiava
RB – Deon Johnson, Erick Barrios, Amir Ford, DeShawn Shepard
FB – Ryan Iosua
OL – Samson Tupuola, Elijah Martinez, Jonah Tumu Mose-Laulusa, Kingston Moa, Brian Solis
DL – Samson Tupuola, Kingston Moa, Jonah Tumu Mose-Laulusa, Brian Solis
LB – Aava Lilomaiava, Deon Johnson, Ryan Iosua, Jeremiah Hall
DB – Jeremiah Miller, Erick Barrios, Steve Henry, Amir Ford, Taijon Direaux
2021 Compton Football Schedule
8/27 vs. Centennial
9/3 at Inglewood
9/10 at Dominguez
9/17 at Wilson
9/24 vs. Narbonne
10/1 vs. Jordan
10/8 vs. Millikan
10/15 at Long Beach Poly
10/22 vs. Lakewood
10/29 at Cabrillo