Carson coach Elijah Asante has unquestionably been the most ambitious scheduler in Los Angeles County this year, aiming to improve his squad against elite competition. He reached for the stars but, in the end, was content just to land on the moon.
After losing to Long Beach Poly, Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo in consecutive weeks, the Colts (2-3) got back on track last Friday with a victory at San Diego Lincoln. And despite the ugly record, you can make the case that no team is better prepared for Marine League play.
That's where the dilemma lies for high school coaches -- sacrifice wins for progression or go for perfection? San Pedro is 5-0 but its opponents have a combined 9-16 mark. Carson's five opponents have gone 17-11; Narbonne's have gone 19-8.
"We got an opportunity to feel the heat, to feel the fire," Asante said. "And it was hot.
"We exposed ourselves to the very best and we aren't quite at that level right now. ... The Marine League isn't going to be a cakewalk either. You've got teams that are playing really well, like San Pedro. You've got Narbonne, which has one of the best quarterbacks [Troy Williams], probably, in the nation. They've got a very dynamic team."
The Colts open league play Friday night at home against Banning (2-3), whose losses were to Cathedral, Crenshaw and Gardena Serra.
"That's a rivalry game," Asante said. "It doesn't matter what our records are -- that's going to be a huge game."
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.