Neuheisel gets chance at Loy­ola

The ju­nior dis­plays many of the same qual­i­ties that made his fa­ther a suc­cess story at quar­ter­back.

Los Angeles Times - - Horse Racing - ERIC SONDHEIMER ON HIGH SCHOOLS

There’s no mis­tak­ing an­other Neuheisel play­ing quar­ter­back in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

With thick blond hair and an in­stinct to lead, ju­nior quar­ter­back Jerry Neuheisel might pro­vide some bal­ance to blue-chip run­ning back An­thony Barr in Los An­ge­les Loy­ola’s of­fense this fall.

Neuheisel ar­rived from Bal­ti­more last year af­ter his fa­ther, Rick, was hired as UCLA’s foot­ball coach. He helped the Cubs’ sopho­more team win a Serra League cham­pi­onship, and ap­pears ready to make an im­pact at the var­sity level.

He’s 6 feet 1 and has some of the same qual­i­ties his fa­ther ex­hib­ited dur­ing his years as a quar­ter­back at UCLA.

“He’s got a lit­tle bit of the gun­slinger at­ti­tude that his dad had,” Coach Jeff Kearin said.

It hasn’t hurt that Neuheisel has grown up with a foot­ball al­ways nearby. He trav­els to UCLA and re­ceives lessons from his fa­ther. And he has been looking for­ward to be­com­ing a var­sity quar­ter­back for a long time.

“I’m ready,” he said. “I’ve got to get used to the speed, and you have to get used to sce­nar­ios. You have to of­fi­cially step up your game.”

Kearin won a South­ern Sec­tion ti­tle in his rookie sea­son at Loy­ola in 2005 but since then has been un­able to de­velop con­sis­tency at quar­ter­back. Neuheisel can help change that. He had to beat out an­other ju­nior, Brett Nel­son, dur­ing spring prac­tice, and he has to per­form this sum­mer to keep his job.

But that’s Neuheisel’s strength — em­brac­ing pres­sure and ex­pec­ta­tions. He has a quick release and makes good de­ci­sions. His fa­ther has told him: “Just be ready and ac­cept the chal­lenge.”

Jack Neuheisel, a younger brother who plays line­backer, will be a fresh­man at Loy­ola this fall.

Per­haps the most dif­fi­cult mo­ment for Neuheisel will come just be­fore the start of fall prac­tice on Aug. 15 — that’s when his floppy hair must be shaved to a quar­ter inch.

“It was painful for him when he came here last year,” Kearin re­called.

An­other Ka­reem to watch

With five play­ers in the NBA, Westch­ester has shown it can pro­duce ex­cel­lent bas­ket­ball tal­ent, and it ap­pears that 6-4 se­nior guard Ka­reem Ja­mar can be the Comets’ next big-time prospect.

His size, un­selfish­ness, ath­leti­cism, three-point shoot- ing skills and abil­ity to play de­fense make him an ap­peal­ing player with a bright fu­ture. He plays tonight against Gar­dena Serra at 7:30 p.m. in a semi­fi­nal game of the Fair­fax tour­na­ment.

Col­lege base­ball coaches are start­ing to nail down com­mit­ments for 2010, and UCLA has picked up a good one in pitcher Zack Weiss from Irvine North­wood. He has a 91-mph fast­ball and a 4.0 grade-point av­er­age.

Don’t bother bring­ing a bas­ket­ball ros­ter from last sea­son when at­tend­ing a sum­mer game.

Trans­fers seem­ingly are ev­ery­where, and the pri­vate schools are clean­ing up.

Los An­ge­les Price picked up 6-9 se­nior Richard Solomon from Torrance Bishop Mont­gomery. He’ll join Cal­i­for­ni­abound guard Allen Crabbe and Mon­tana State-bound guard Casey Tru­jeque, mak­ing Price the pre­sea­son fa­vorite to win a state Divi­sion IV ti­tle.

Gar­dena Serra has added Port­land-bound Keith Sham­burger, who was the co-Divi­sion V player of the year two sea­sons ago at LaVerne Lutheran. Sham­burger trans­ferred to Long Beach Cabrillo but had to sit out last sea­son when he failed to re­ceive a hard­ship waiver.

Here’s a safe pre­dic­tion: There will be more trans­fers to come.

Fol­low me

Fi­nally, I’ve joined the Twit­ter world. You can fol­low my rants and ob­ser­va­tions at twit­ter.com/latsond­heimer. I prom­ise not to say what I’m hav­ing for break­fast, though I did tweet Thurs­day that Ok­la­homa City guard Rus­sell West­brook was eat­ing a hot dog bought from the Fair­fax snack stand.

eric.sondheimer@la­times.com

Ge­naro Molina Los An­ge­les Times

THE LOOK: Loy­ola’s Jerry Neuheisel will soon have to en­dure the cut­ting of his thick blond hair. Top pitcher com­mits Trans­fers ga­lore

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