LA North: Oaks Christian football coach handicaps the Marmonte League

Three Marmonte League football teams are ranked in the top three of the CIF Southern Section Northern Division preseason poll. St. Bonaventure is ranked No. 1. Oaks Christian, the reigning Northern Division champion, is No. 2. Westlake is No. 3.

Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell recognizes how good the top three football team are. He even put St. Bonaventure as a slight favorite to win the league championship. But he also said there is one team in league everyone is overlooking.

“St. Bonaventure’s a very good team. They’re probably the favorite to win, although some people will say we’re the favorite to win,” Redell said. “Westlake again will be very, very good. Jim Benkert does a great job coaching over there, along with Todd Therrien over at St. Bonaventure.”

All totaled, five Marmonte League teams are in the top 10 in the Northern Division preseason poll. Moorpark is No. 6 and Thousand Oaks is No. 7.

“The surprise in the league might be Royal High School,” Redell said. “They did very good in the 7-on-7. They played Long Beach Poly really close, probably closer than us or Westlake played them. Royal might be a surprise to everybody. Moorpark will be very good. Some of those teams that have been in the lower division will have gotten better. It is a tough league with the Moorparks and the Thousand Oaks, St. Bonny and Westlake. Nobody’s a gimme at this point.”

Royal was 4-6 overall and 3-6 in the Marmonte League last season.