It’s hard to imagine a Long Beach high school football season to go better than it did at the end of 2021 when Long Beach Poly, Jordan, Compton and St. Anthony all reached CIF championship games.
Poly was moved down to Division 4 but its 20th CIF football championship didn’t mean any less to a community that’s been through so much over the last two years. The Jackrabbits lost many loved ones during the pandemic, and played the season in memory of longtime assistant coach Keith “Slice” Thompson.
Jordan made a historic run in Division 11 and played in the program’s first-ever CIF-SS championship game where the Panthers lost to Northwood. St. Anthony’s first-year coach Raul Lara got the Saints back on track and into the Division 10 title game where the Saints fell to Northview. Compton reached its first CIF-SS football championship game since 1979.
The most impressive and important part of championship week was the massive crowds full of fans and alums at all of the games.
“These kids know they’re not only representing Poly but representing all of Long Beach,” Poly coach Stephen Barbee said. “I could not be more proud of all these guys.”