On Friday night, Inglewood, Calif., will compete for the CIF Southern Section Division 2 Championship.
Considering the circumstances, it was almost a miracle.
Obstacles for the fourth year coach Mil’Von JamesHis staff and his team are incomprehensible to most high school football teams, players and fans.
Let’s start with the field or lack thereof.
Oh, there’s a field in Inglewood but it’s full of dead grass and roots. The weight room, if you want to call it that, is a used car shop.
Since taking over the program, James and his trainers have spent thousands of dollars first on Craigslist and then anywhere they can find weights to put together a few things. like a gym.
There are two platforms in this space that the Los Angeles Chargers donated but they are severely degraded. Coaches will buy a 40-pound dumbbell here, a 10-pound dumbbell there, some bench plates when they can find something. The benches are glued together.
Sometimes birds fly in. There was broken glass when James and his staff took over and cleaned it up as best they could. Occasionally, a mouse can be seen. No running water. No heat in the winter, no air conditioning in the harsh Southern California summers.
When James took over, there was no coach office or dressing room. The trainer watched the game movie from the projector on the wall.
“It’s a testament to always wanting no matter what the conditions are,” said sporting director Inglewood. Michael grouse speak. “Sometimes, I don’t want to say we can do better than this, because you can always have better facilities, better weight room, you always want the best. When you put in a position, the players, the coaching staff, to get through, because that’s what makes the story of these kids, this coaching staff and the entire system at Inglewood High so great. It’s great, because we don’t train in the best conditions, we don’t have the best weight room, but we overcome every obstacle that we can’t control.
“It’s a matter of making something happen. You still have to find success.”
With all those obstacles, giving up is understandable.
But here’s an undefeated Inglewood team heading into a championship game against Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon, the one-time high school. Kylie and kendall jennerof the LeBron James, Jr.and children of Hollywood celebrities.
The dichotomy between the two fields could not be more clear.
Sierra Canyon has an exquisite ballpark. As depicted in this story, Inglewood’s field had potholes and was described as straight dirt.
Inglewood’s football show has no sleigh queues. They just received two bags this year for practical use. There was no running water during training so the coaches had to buy bottled water so the players had something to drink.
There’s Caroline Coleman Stadium in Inglewood for use but it’s shared with Inglewood (Calif.) Morningside and it’s supposed to be a park, so if there’s a practice session there, some people might be working out. Education or a birthday party could be a few steps away.
Last season, Inglewood played Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany in a game, and coaches had to park their cars with bright lights near the field during practice that week because the stadium lights weren’t working.
Before games, James was the one who bandaged the ankles and wrists of the players. There is no equipment manager so an assistant coach will take over those responsibilities.
James declined to do an interview for this story, but Grimble has heaps of praise for his school’s coach.
“It depends on the coaching and those kids trust their coach,” Grimble said. “You can play for a coach and not be bought or sold. These kids, they trust. They believe in the coach, they believe in Mil’Von and for me, that’s new and he’s a great leader for them.”
“When it comes to that, they’re motivated by him. I as AD, I watch how the games go and I talk to him on the phone like every day. Only to find that …the way the kids reacted and the management, even with his staff, everyone was behind him.”
Even with all these challenges, there is considerable high-level talent on the Inglewood team.
Terrell Bradshaw at 2024 is a three-star recipient with a near double-digit offer. In 2025, midfielder long distance husan have nine offers and are together making for an incredible second season with 3,377 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and five picks.
To get here, Inglewood beat the five-star quarterback in 2024 Julian Sayin and his Carlsbad team, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger, has the most promising Power Five, Apple Valley with Alabama committed attack Raymond PulidoRancho Cucamonga and survived last weekend in thriller 41-38 against West Hills Chaminade, who pledged to Oregon State and State of San Diego.
The Southern Division championship goes to Inglewood and Sierra Canyon, where Stanford DL commits Cameron BrandtBYU WR is committed Josiah PhillipsColorado WR is committed Brown Lavonimpressive ranking in 2024 and hot midfielder in 2025.
Inglewood seems ready for the next challenge.
“We are Bane,” said a person close to the program, who requested anonymity. “It’s great being Batman and being the king of Gotham, Batman has it all. He just decided to be a superhero. Batman doesn’t have to save Gotham. He’s rich, he could sit idly by, but he decided to do it.
“We? We are Bane. We have to sit here and fight for everything. We have to sit here in everyone’s shadow. If you ask the kids our quote every day, say it directly. , ‘You have adapted to the dark. We were born in it.’ They’ll tell you that.”