Football Long Beach Poly

PREVIEW: Long Beach Poly vs Mission Viejo Football

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly is sponsored by Bryson Financial.     

One of the best games in all of California will take place in Long Beach tonight, as Long Beach Poly hosts Mission Viejo in the Jackrabbits’ home opener at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 7pm. The Jackrabbits are 1-1 after playing games in Hawaii and Oregon, and are looking forward to getting a game at home.

They won’t have a lot of time to revel in the atmosphere as they face one of the other top public school programs in the State.

“We had some success so far but we haven’t been consistent,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “We’re pushing the kids to be consistent–we understand what’s at stake and we understand they’re going to be excited to play us after we beat them last year. So we have to come out and have an incredible week of practice and be ready.”

The Jackrabbits’ narrow defeat over Mission Viejo on the road last year was a signature win, and it will take an improved effort tonight for them to do it again. The Jackrabbits’ young offensive and defensive lines will have their hands full with experienced Mission Viejo opponents.

“They’re talented, and we’re talented too,” said Barbee. “There were things we were able to do against Bishop Gorman that we should have been able to do all game long–and we didn’t. So we need to prepare for this game with a sense of urgency.”

Poly is inching closer to having its full roster available, as anticipated starting CB Mikey Beresford has been cleared by the CIF-SS to play tonight. That’s a big lift for a defense that has had to rely on two freshmen in the defensive backfield, a difficult scenario to take into a game against Mission Viejo and coach Chad Johnson.

Offensively, Poly has seen QB Darius Curry throw to a variety of receivers, but they’ll need to be able to run behind their inexperienced O-Line to have a chance against the Diablos.

We’ll have live updates from the sideline all game long including video.

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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.