By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Despite his team’s 2-3 finish in the inaugural Westside Classic Passing Tournament on Saturday in Culver City, Palisades High football coach Tim Hyde was encouraged by what he saw from his squad heading into the start of camp.
The Dolphins shut down North Torrance 16-2, battled reigning CIF Southern Section Division 7 champion Culver City to the final possession before falling 26-18, held Pasadena to a touchdown in a 10-2 loss, trounced Antelope Valley 34-6 to advance to the winner’s bracket and forced two three-and-outs before being eliminated by No. 1-seeded Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 26-6.
Palisades looked and played much better than it did in going 2-5 at the Simi Valley Tournament two weeks earlier.
“The thing I was looking for here was mental toughness and I saw some of that,” Hyde told his players afterwards. “We play hard every game, that’s what we’re about. We got inside the 5-yard line five times against Notre Dame and we had no three-and-outs so we showed we can move the ball against a really good team. There’s a lot to work on.”
Tight end Noah Ghodooshim led the way with 12 receptions and five touchdowns in the five games. Sy Riley and Ricardo Abrego had interceptions against North and Immanuel Newell showed his athleticism with acrobatic touchdown catches against Antelope Valley and Notre Dame.
“This is our youngest team by far but we have a really good senior group,” added Hyde, entering his seventh season. “We have about a dozen linemen, so we will figure out who fits where the first few days with pads. Our goal is to put the best 11 kids on the field for each and every snap.”