It is one of the most tradition-rich high school football programs in Orange County. Los Alamitos will defend its Sunset League title with a 2021 roster that will rival most any in the nation. Head coach Ray Fenton welcomes back a wealth of talent that will put the Griffins in a position to win a 22nd league title and potentially the school’s fifth state title.
Fenton took over the Los Alamitos program in 2016 after having served as the head coach at Fountain Valley. In his five seasons, Fenton has recorded an overall record of 35-17-1. He has had just one losing season, a 4-7 mark in 2019.
The Los Alamitos program is steeped in winning tradition. The football program has won a total of 21 league championships throughout its history. Fourteen of those titles have been in the Sunset League, the most recent of which was last season. The program won three straight CIF state titles in 1991, 1992, and 1993, and won its most recent state crown in 2002.
Fenton returns an offense and a defense full of experience. The biggest loss for the Griffins from the spring is 2021 LB Tyler DeLeon. The 6-4, 215-pound DeLeon committed to Army and is off to West Point. The bulk of Los Alamitos starters on both sides of the ball return making this fall 2021 season a very promising one.
There may not be a better combination of skill players on one offense in the country. Los Alamitos has a five-star quarterback in Malachi Nelson (6-3, 180) throwing to a five-star wide receiver in Malaki Lemon (6-0, 180). Both are committed to Oklahoma and they aren’t the only weapons on the Griffins offense.
Fenton and the Griffins return a stable of talented receivers including 2023 prospect Ethan O’Connor. At 6-1, 170, O’Connor is extremely athletic and holds double-digit offers from schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Penn State, and USC. Also returning are junior Gavin Porch and senior Alec Wills.
Then, there is Desert Pines (NV) transfer Deandre Moore Jr. The 6-0, 190 pound Moore is one of the most talented receivers in the Class of 2023. His sophomore season was wiped out due to the coronavirus. Moore holds numerous offers including Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia among two dozen schools.
While the Griffins’ skill players get most of the notoriety, Los Alamitos returns a very talented offensive line. Adam Tomczyk (6-4, 265) is a 2022 prospect who has already committed to Utah State. Tomczyk is a two-way player who will likely play on the defensive front at the next level. He is joined by 2022 David Main (6-4, 260) who holds offers from Army, Navy, Dartmouth, and Penn. Cash Koepke (6-5, 290) is another rising prospect in the Class of 2022.
Running behind that outstanding front will be 2023 RB Nygel Osborne. The 5-11, 190-pound Osborne transferred into Los Alamitos over the summer. He holds offers from San Diego State, Arizona State, Kansas, and Colorado.
In their shortened spring season, Los Alamitos went unbeaten thanks, in large part, to an offense that averaged over 50 points per game. Nelson completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 1,513 yards and 23 touchdowns. He threw just four interceptions in six games. It’s almost hard to believe, but the Griffins offense will be even better in 2021.
The offense is surely the focal point of this fall’s Los Alamitos football team. The defense shouldn’t be overlooked. In the spring, the Griffins defense allowed just 74 total points, an average of just over 12 per game. Tomczyk is one of the keys up front on the Los Al defensive line. He is joined by 2023 prospect Sinn Brennan, who transferred to Los Alamitos prior to his sophomore season. Brennan, who is 6-5 and 235 pounds, recorded six sacks in the spring season and he is listed as a three-star recruit.
O’Connor also shares his athletic talents on defense at corner and the Griffins picked up some talented transfers that will help in the defensive backfield. Kevin Longstreet ’23 (5-9, 165) and Jordan Ginnis ’22 (5-10, 180) are both corners that will figure into the mix. Ginniss transferred from Saguaro (AZ) where he played five games last season returning an interception for a touchdown. Longstreet transferred from Trinity League power St. John Bosco.
The 2021 Griffins are set to become one of the most explosive offenses not just in California, but in the entire nation. The Oklahoma-bound connection of Nelson-to-Lemon as well as the introduction of Moore to the offense and the abilities of O’Connor make Los Alamitos one of the most dangerous offenses in the country.
The schedule is favorable too. The Griffins open the season with Lincoln from San Diego on Aug. 27. There is a non-league matchup with Santa Margarita of the Trinity League on Sept. 17. That game is on the road then the Sunset League schedule begins the first weekend in October. Los Alamitos averaged 49 points a game against league opponents in the spring. Their closest game was a 27-20 win over Edison. In the other four games, the Griffins scored at least 41 points.
Expect more of the same from Los Alamitos this fall as the Griffins tear through their regular season schedule. A long playoff run, culminating with the program’s fifth state championship, would not be a surprise at all. Los Alamitos is among the preseason Top 100 rankings at several media outlets and by season’s end could crack the Top 25.