After a 9-2 season that ended in a Western State Bowl win over Bakersfield, the Long Beach City College football team looked reloaded and ready for 2017, as the Vikings held their annual spring game at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Vikings defense is packed with talent, and the game opened with four interceptions before a touchdown was scored. Ultimately, the White squad beat the Black squad, 20-14.
“We really like our freshman class coming in,” said LBCC coach Brett Peabody, who has revitalized the Vikings program in his four years, taking over a team that went 0-10 the season before he got there and went 4-6 his first season, and then 28-6 the last three years.
The Vikings front seven will be packed with talent as usual, including former Bosco standout Chandler Leniu at linebacker and Leuzinger grad DeAnthony Jones, who will play both ways. They’re also adding Bosco linebacker Cross Poyer, who will play safety for the Vikings. Poyer looked comfortable in the secondary, with an interception on the second play of the game Wednesday and another 10 minutes later.
“Cross is a natural and he’s got a bright future,” said Peabody, who will have somewhere between 15 and 20 Bosco and Long Beach Poly alums on the roster this year once the freshman class is finalized.
“It’s a big priority for us to get guys from programs like that, because they’re used to winning, they’re used to working, they’re disciplined and they usually know the game,” said Peabody.
In addition to Poyer and Leniu, the Braves will get some help up front from former Braves lineman Mitchell Kay.
Offensively, the Vikings are hoping to get 2015 star Mike Wilson eligible at receiver this year. Wilson rewrote the school’s single-season receiving records two years ago but missed last year due to academic issues. Peabody said if Wilson can go alongside Carson product Jabari Minix, he expects to have one of the top receiving corps in the nation. Edison alum Sean Colamonico has great hands and pulled in a pair of highlight-reel touchdown catches on Wednesday.
The bigger question at the moment could be who will be throwing to them. The Vikings have three quality quarterbacks in the mix in returner Grant Lowary, Drake Peabody (Brett’s son), and Steven Scales, all three of whom played well on Wednesday. Drake Peabody probably has the most complete skill package when it comes to the LBCC offense, which requires mobility and quick decision-making from its signal-callers, but his father said he won’t be playing favorites.
“I’m leaving all of that up to our offensive coordinator Sean Flynn,” he said. “Reps, rotations, all of that is his call, we’ll let them decide it on the field.”